Startup news and updates: Daily roundup (February 5, 2024)

YourStory presents the daily news roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Monday, February 5, 2024.

Startup news and updates: Daily roundup (February 5, 2024)

Monday February 05, 2024,

11 min Read

Funding

EV ride-hailing firm Snap-E Cabs raises $2.5M in pre-Series A round

EV Ride-hailing platform Snap-E Cabs has raised $2.5 million in a pre-Series A Round led by Inflection Point Ventures.

An electric vehicle ride-hailing platform, Snap-E Cabs provides 100% electric, sustainable, efficient, affordable, and reliable mobility solutions. The capital raised will be directed towards talent acquisition to bolster growth, investing in technological upgrades, introducing new tech-enabled services, and expanding operations into additional geographical areas.

Mayank Bindal, Founder and CEO of Snap-E Cabs, said, “India’s transition to electric vehicles not only disrupts global oil markets but also positions the country, with its 1.4 billion population and rapidly growing economy, as a key player in the global EV market, marking a substantial step toward sustainable development.”

SportVot raises Rs 9.4 Cr pre-Series A funding

Sports broadcast and talent discovery platform SportVot has raised Rs 9.4 crore in a pre-Series A round led by Omidyar Network India, with participation from Anicut Capital, StartupLynk, Ventana Ventures, as well as existing investors Capital A, Ankur Capital, SucSEED Indovation Fund, and Marwah Sports. 

Sportvot provides a full suite of online services to stream sports events and help discover sports talent from the grassroots of India. The financial infusion will enable SportVot to amplify opportunity generation for emerging sports talent and elevate sports participation at all levels throughout India.

Talking about the funding, SportVot's Co-founder Sidhhant Agarwal said, "With this substantial investment, we aim to expand our technology and product offerings, not just within India but also internationally. Our goal is to make sports and advanced sports technology accessible to millions of athletes and sports organisations across India and beyond."

Merak Ventures makes its first investment in Rupyz

Merak Ventures, a sector-agnostic early-stage venture capital (VC) firm, has announced its first investment as seed funding to Rupyz—an integrated SaaS platform that enables B2B commerce and omnichannel distribution for FMCG and consumer brands. The firm has invested $1.2 million as the lead investor, alongside other angel investors.

Manu Rikhye, Partner at Merak Ventures, said, “Rupyz is addressing a critical need by enhancing omnichannel distribution by digitally transforming the B2B businesses of India. These businesses are essential for the economy and for providing access to their products to last-mile consumers."

Indian SMBs often struggle with limited digital commerce capabilities, hindering their growth potential. Rupyz offers an omnichannel commerce interface, especially beneficial for distribution-led B2B businesses in sectors like food, FMCG, personal care, and lifestyle. This solution automates and scales offline and online distribution, enhancing sales, and fulfilment channels.

Aarogya Tech raises $1.8M in seed funding

An innovative healthtech startup, US-based Aarogya Tech has raised a $1.8 million seed funding round, with $1.5 million infused by Hasu P Shah, Founder and Chairman Emeritus of Hersha Hospitality Trust. He will be joining the startup's Board. 

The specialised startup, with an office in Bengaluru, offers scalable, clinician-led, data-driven personalised health management services at home and within communities. Its primary focus is on disease prevention and early disease diagnosis.

The infusion of new funds will accelerate product development, fortify the analytics, and machine learning team, and scale-up the company's product and growth teams to 20+ in Bengaluru.

pharmacogenetics diagnostic laboratory

Papa Pawsome raises $400,000 in seed round

Indian natural pet care brand Papa Pawsome has completed a $400,000 seed funding round led by the Indian Angel Network (IAN). IAN investors such as Ajay Rajgarhia, KRS Jamwal, Jayant Mehrotra, and Rohit Rajput also participated in this round.

The funding is geared towards enhancing the welfare of pets and their owners, with the participation of another crucial strategic investor. These funds will play a pivotal role in scaling operations, broadening offerings, and improving the overall customer experience. The capital injection will also accelerate the development of innovative products.

Algorithmic Biologics secures pre-Series A funding

Deeptech startup Algorithmic Biologics(AlgoBio) has secured $2.5 million in pre-Series A funding led by Bharat Innovation Fund (BIF) ventures with participation from existing investor Axilor Ventures.

Proceeds of the fundraise will be used to support the product pipeline, building the sales organisation and furthering their international expansion. 

Utilising advanced algorithms and AI to transform the efficiency and scale of molecular testing, AlgoBio has introduced the Tapestry platform for next-generation sequencing (NGS) at the Genomics India Conference 2024. Aligned with the company's goal of enabling precise and cost-effective large-scale molecular testing, Tapestry empowers genomics labs to reduce sequencing expenses by eliminating 60-90% of library preparation costs which constitute 33-50% of the total sequencing costs.

"Tapestry is providing affordable genomics sequencing for all, in collaboration with leading genomics labs," said Dr Manoj Gopalkrishnan, Founder and CEO of Algorithmic Biologics. "We are very glad to have BIF join us as an investor and to have continued support of Axilor. We are excited to learn from their expertise in helping deeptech companies achieve transformation throughout India as well as internationally."

VECROS Raises $250,00 for spatial AI-powered drones

VECROS, a spatial AI-powered drone systems company, has raised a $250,000 investment led by Rebalance. The financial infusion will help VECROS advance its mission to reshape the landscape of drone operations across diverse industries.

The company aims to transform the drone industry through its state-of-the-art spatial AI technology designed for drones. It enables drones to comprehend space, depth, and structure, facilitating safe navigation. The flagship product, 'Athera,' represents an autonomous drone driven by the startup's exclusive operating system, 'JetpixTM.'

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Other news

8Bit Creatives partners with Rooter

Gaming influencer talent management agency 8Bit Creatives has partnered with Rooter, a gaming and esports content platform.

This collaboration will see 8Bit Creatives—as well as notable gaming influencers, PC gamers, and GTA roleplay creators such as Tanmay Singh aka ScoutOp, Parv Singh aka Regaltos, Raj Varma aka Snax, Salman Ahmad aka 8Bit Mamba, and Mithul Nayak aka 8Bit Binks—stream and curate engaging content on the Rooter platform.

The partnership seeks to substantially broaden the availability of diverse and captivating gaming content for audiences nationwide. Concurrently, they will explore various channels for brands and advertisers to establish meaningful connections with India's enthusiastic gaming community.

Rapido

Rapido collaborates with ONDC

Commuting app Rapido has collaborated with the government-backed Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) platform for seamless booking of Chennai Metro Rail Corporation (CMRL) metro tickets.

CMRL experienced an impressive daily average of 2.66 lakh passengers, totalling a remarkable 9.11 crore passengers on Chennai metro trains in 2023.

Rapido's commute planning feature includes the integration of various transportation modes, such as bike taxis, cabs, and autos, alongside metro ticket bookings. Expecting a substantial impact, Rapido foresees a minimum 15% increase in metro ticket purchases through its app, capitalising on its established customer base. While metro ticket booking is currently available for Android users, the iOS version is underway and is expected to be introduced shortly.

Databricks acquires Einblick

Data and AI company Databrricks has acquired Einblick, an AI-focused data platform that provides data teams with an agile workflow to swiftly explore data, build predictive models, deploy data apps and enable users to solve data problems using natural language.

The Einblick team has innovated advanced methods for translating natural language questions into the necessary code, charts, and models for generating insights. These capabilities will play a crucial role in supporting Databricks' mission of facilitating organisations to democratise data intelligence and develop the next generation of data and AI applications with an emphasis on quality, speed, and agility.

"When we founded Einblick, our goal was to empower companies to do more with data, by creating the easiest and most collaborative data platform,” says Emanuel Zgraggen, CEO and Co-founder of Einblick. “Today marks a significant milestone as we join forces with Databricks to further our mission. I am thrilled to embark on this new journey with a company whose mission is to simplify and democratise data and AI."

Pantomath Capital Advisors appoints Ajay Jain as Managing Partner, Investment Banking

Pantomath Capital Advisors Private Limited, a mid-market investment bank and financial services house, has appointed the former Executive Director of Centrum Capital, Ajay Jain, as Managing Partner, Investment Banking.

In this strategic role, Ajay Jain will lead Business Development vertical of the Investment Banking Division at Pantomath, bringing over two decades of experience to drive the group's strategic initiatives.

Jain, a chartered accountant with an Executive MBA and Independent Director certification, boasts over 25 years of leadership experience. His extensive expertise covers various sectors including BFSI, FMCG, auto and auto ancillaries, education, real estate and infrastructure, energy, logistics, metal, textiles, pharma, chemical, and building materials.

Commenting on the appointment, Mahavir Lunawat, Managing Director, Pantomath Capital Advisors said, “We are glad to welcome Ajay Jain to lead Business Development vertical of the Investment Banking Division at Pantomath. His extensive experience in diverse financial functions shall be a guiding force for the team.”

Jassper Shipping appoints Aniket Tamrakar as VP of Projects Division

One of the key players in the global shipping industry, Jasper Shipping has appointed Aniket Tamrakar as the Vice President of the Projects Division. In this role, Tamrakar will oversee Jassper Shipping’s growth and customer acquisition in steel, heavy engineering goods, and specialised over-dimensional heavy lift cargo industry for both import and export shipments.

Pushpank Kaushik, CEO of Jassper Shipping, said, “This strategic appointment aligns with our efforts to lay the groundwork for long-term international expansion. With his unmatched knowledge, Tamrakar is well-positioned to enhance our services, reinforcing our commitment to excellence in the shipping sector.”

e-commerce

Meesho most downloaded shopping app in India, second globally: Report

According to the latest Sensor Tower report, Meesho continues to be the most downloaded shopping application in India and second globally. The application experienced a notable increase in downloads, reaching 63 million from October 1 to December 31, 2023, highlighting its popularity among users.

Meesho also attained profitability in July 2023.

Climate Software Lab launches open-source India-specific landslide tracker tool 

The Climate Software Lab (CSL), affiliated with GPS Renewables, a clean fuels company, has launched a Landslide Risk Assessment model. This model can effectively map landslide risks in vulnerable areas across the Indian subcontinent, encompassing nearly 40 lakh people.

This tool is free open-source software that uses a host of local factors such as slope, local relief, forest loss, and tree canopy height to map an area’s susceptibility.

According to a report from the Indian Academy of Sciences, landslides claim approximately 500 lives annually, with property damage estimated at around Rs 300 crore. Unlike other natural disasters like floods and cyclones, predicting the occurrence of landslides is challenging, often triggered by rain. Therefore, the challenge for policy planners, scientists, and administrators is to employ cutting-edge technology for effective mitigation strategies. CSL's Landslide Susceptibility Model was specifically developed to meet this crucial requirement.

IGP.com launches 30-minute instant delivery service

International Gifts Platform IGP.com has launched its new 30-minute instant delivery service. This innovative step aims to redefine the dynamics of gifting, ensuring that the connection between the giver and the receiver is seamless, memorable, and free from any time limitations.

Building on the achievement of same-day and scheduled deliveries to more than 400 cities in India, IGP is now prepared to offer its products within 30 minutes, available at any time around the clock. IGP customers can access this expedited delivery option for 250+ SKUs across more than 2,000 pin codes.

To fortify this commitment, IGP.com strategically operates its three mother warehouses in collaboration with 50+ dark stores to ensure efficient logistics and timely deliveries.

KRAFTON announces its first Indian-themed mobile game 

Prominent video game developer and publisher Krafton India, in collaboration with Alchemist Games, has unveiled the pre-registrations for an upcoming mobile game with an Indian theme—Garuda Saga. Garuda Saga is a roguelike adventure game that immerses players in a rich and diverse world to choose and shape their own destiny.

For those who pre-register, a special reward awaits and an exclusive starter pack will be made available specifically for Indian users upon the game's launch.

Nexus promotes Anand Datta to Partner

Nexus Venture Partners has promoted Anand Datta to Partner in Bangalore. Anand joined Nexus after a stint as a management consultant and operating leader. 

According to a post on Medium by Nexus Venture Partners, “Anand has been central to many of our investments in Fintech and B2B commerce. Anand is also an advisor to several Nexus companies including Kiwi, Onsurity, Pice, Phyllo and many others. 

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


Edited by Kanishk Singh

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