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Startup news and updates: Daily roundup (February 29, 2024)

YourStory presents the daily news roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Thursday, February 29, 2024.

Startup news and updates: Daily roundup (February 29, 2024)

Thursday February 29, 2024 , 7 min Read


IntrCity secures over Rs 37 Cr led by Mirabilis Investment Trust

Mobility platform IntrCity has secured over Rs 37 crore in a funding round led by Mirabilis Investment Trust, with existing investors including Nandan Nilekani’s family trust (NRJN), Omidyar Network India, and Ujamaa Ventures also participating.

"In FY23, we experienced solid growth, with both our revenue and business turning profitable. As we step into FY24, we aim to keep this momentum going, backed by the incredible support of our investors," said CEO and Co-founder Manish Rathi.

"Our full-stack technology platform monitors and ensures that we consistently deliver a high-quality travel experience. Our presence in both bus and train travel markets gives us the ability to directly reach every long-distance traveller in India," he added.

The company operates IntrCity SmartBus, which offers travel options on 630+ routes across 16 states, and RailYatri, which provides comprehensive train travel information to over 15 million users per month. This funding will be used for product expansion and market growth.

Silence Laboratories raises $4.1M led by Pi Ventures, Kira Studio

Silence Laboratories has secured $4.1 million led by Pi Ventures and Kira Studio to advance its privacy-preserving authorisation and collaborative computation technologies.

Founded in 2021 by CEO Jay Prakash and CTO Andrei Bytes, the company focuses on digital assets, fintech, and healthcare, aiming to eliminate single points of failure in data-sharing ecosystems. Its decentralised authorisation library, Silent Shard, and the newly launched Silent Compute product facilitate privacy-enhanced collaboration and distributed signature authorisation.

This funding will drive R&D, team scaling, and global market penetration for their privacy infrastructure products.

“The Silence team is an amazing team with deep cryptography expertise and is working on a set of groundbreaking products in privacy and authentication infrastructure and I am really excited to support their journey,” shared Anurag Arjun from Kira Studio and ex Co-founder, Polygon.

SaaS startup Nurturev secures $1M pre-seed funding from Antler India

Pune-based SaaS startup Nurturev has secured $1 million in pre-seed funding led by Antler India.

The round also saw participation from Sparrow Capital, ISV Capital, Blume Founders Fund, and notable angel investors including Kunal Shah and Deepak Diwakar.

Co-founded by Sayanta Ghosh, Nikhil Ojha, and Rajat Jain, the platform uses AI and machine learning to aid B2B companies in prioritizing and qualifying revenue opportunities, enhancing conversions and reducing sales cycles. The solution integrates seamlessly with existing tool stacks and CRM workflows.

"For B2B companies, it is a significant challenge to manually qualify sales opportunities accurately and objectively. Nurturev's vision is to provide reps with comprehensive intelligence about the pipeline to prioritise customers with genuine needs and meet them at the right time in their buying cycle," Sayanta Ghosh, CEO and Co-founder of Nurturev, said.

Bandhoo secures Rs 7.35 Cr in pre-Series A round led by Venture Catalysts

Bandhoo, a construction technology and services company, has secured Rs 7.35 crore in a pre-Series A funding round led by Venture Catalysts.

The round also saw participation from Bandhoo's founders, Prashant Gupta and Sridhar Sundaram, alongside angel investors including Neeraj Aggarwal Chair-APAC at BCG; S Sriniwasan, Head of Kotak Alternate Asset Managers; and others.

The funding will fuel further tech product development and market expansion. Bandhoo had earlier raised $1.5 million from Unitus, InfoEdge Ventures, and Bharat Innovation Fund. 

"This funding will help us continue our growth by enabling fresh capital to further invest in our tech product development, as well as GTM," Prashant Gupta, Co-founder of Bandhoo said.

Venture Catalysts ++ delivers 54 startups above $50mn in 7 years

Venture Catalysts

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Automation software company Zvolv bags Rs 16 Cr from Silver needle, others

Automation software company Zvolv has secured the first close of its Rs 16 crore fundraise led by Silverneedle Ventures and joined by existing investors JSW Ventures and others.

With the investment, Zolov will integrate a trust-based generative AI layer into its enterprise AI applications to enhance efficiency and speed, and expand its offerings in the US market and further its presence in the healthcare sector.

"With this fundraise, Zvolv will get the additional firepower to increase their distribution capabilities, which will cement their name as one of the top hyper-automation platforms for businesses not only in India, but across the globe," Sachin Tagra, Managing Partner at JSW Ventures and Zvolv board member, said.

Zvolv is a hyper-automation company that specialises in low-code no-code solutions for businesses.

Rockstud Capital raises Rs 68 Cr as first close of second fund

Rockstud Capital, the alternative asset management firm, has announced the first close of its second fund at Rs 68 crore. The target size is Rs 300 crore.

According to Rockstud Capital, this capital raise was largely from domestic investors. Rockstud Capital Investment Fund - II looks to help companies fund their bridge rounds to scale their products and raise subsequent rounds of funding from institutional investors.

The fund follows a Yuva-Bharat theme approach wherein the fund focuses on investing in five key areas, namely, digitalisation, sustainability, financial inclusion, health and safety, and consumption. It would come in at the pre-Series A stage and write a cheque of $500,000 to $1 million.

Other news

Garware Fulflex India to acquire US-based Avcor

Polymer company Garware Fulflex India Private Limited will acquire Avcor Healthcare Products Inc, a US-based company that makes premium compression dressings and bandages.

As a part of the deal Garware Fulflex will add Avcor Healthcare's products such as compression dressings, thermal compression and cohesive compression bandages, tourniquet straps, and IV aids to its portfolio for both institutional and consumer/retail healthcare markets.

"We are thrilled to welcome Avcor Health Care Products Inc into the Garware Fulflex family. This acquisition exemplifies our commitment towards continuous improvement and customer excellence. Avcor's core values of innovation and quality resonate with ours, and together, we look forward to delivering unmatched value to our global customers", Diya Garware, Chairperson of Garware Fulflex said.

Dr Rajeev Gautam donates $250,000 to IIT Kanpur

Dr Rajeev Gautam, an IIT Kanpur alumnus, has donated $250,000 to establish three endowed programmes in the Department of Chemical Engineering.

The funds will create the Om Prakash Gautam Endowed Faculty Chair, the Rajeev and Joyce Gautam Faculty Fellowship, and the Rajeev and Joyce Gautam Travel Grant.

"We are grateful to Dr Rajeev Gautam for his generous support to his alma mater. The institution of the Endowed Faculty Chair, Young Faculty Fellowship and Travel Grant will enrich faculty and student endeavours by facilitating more robust research efforts, recognizing young faculty talent, and providing global exposure opportunities to students," Prof S Ganesh, Director, IIT Kanpur, said.

Garuda Aerospace secures 500 Kisan Drone order; to train 185 women drone pilots

Drone maker Garuda Aerospace has secured an order for 500 Garuda Kisan Drones from 10 major fertiliser companies under the NaMo Drone Didi scheme introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Under the NaMo Drone Didi scheme, Garuda Aerospace has trained over 185 rural women.

"Drones have the power to transform farming and agriculture in India. At Garuda Aerospace, we have been front runners advocating the use of agriculture drones for multiple proposes. The order of 500 Kisan drones is a win for us as a company as well as the agriculture economy," said Agnishwar Jayaprakash, Founder and CEO of Garuda Aerospace.

These drones will assist in precise fertiliser and pesticide spraying, reducing chemical exposure and improving crop health. Equipped with AI, ML, and GPS sensors, Kisan drones provide real-time data to farmers, reduce water usage, and cover large areas efficiently.

(This copy will be updated with the latest news throughout the day.)

Edited by Kanishk Singh