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Startup news and updates: Daily roundup (March 6, 2024)

YourStory presents daily news roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Wednesday, March 6, 2024.

Startup news and updates: Daily roundup (March 6, 2024)

Wednesday March 06, 2024 , 10 min Read

Funding news

Louisa AI bags $5M in seed funding 

AI-powered platform Louisa AI has secured $5 million in seed funding to enhance its technology designed to systematise “serendipity” in professional settings. 

The funding round was backed by investment arms associated with Oxford University, as well as from early-stage venture capitalists like Palm Drive VC, Evolution VC, Nucleus VC, and Gaingelse. The round also saw participation from former Goldman Sachs partners, colleagues, clients, friends, and family offices.

The firm’s solution helps sales enablement and deal-making by using network effects to create impactful business connections.

"With this funding, Louisa AI is set to expand its capabilities and reach, demonstrating the power of AI in creating serendipitous business opportunities that might otherwise go unnoticed. Our goal is to make the 'lucky' encounters that drive business success, a systematised, repeatable process," said Rohan Doctor, Founder of Louisa AI. 

Other news

Shraddha Kapoor joins Palmonas as Co-founder

Shraddha Kapoor, Bollywood actor and Co-founder of Palmonas

Shraddha Kapoor, Bollywood actor and Co-founder of Palmonas

Jewellery startup Palmonas has appointed Bollywood celebrity Shraddha Kapoor as its Co-founder. The move was initiated by an Instagram interaction, which aligned the company’s goal to empower women through versatile yet edgy demi-fine jewellery.

“I was searching for simple, good quality and reasonably priced jewellery on the internet because I was so fed up of my daily wear jewellery breaking or getting spoiled. I came across Palmonas and I went crazy purchasing so many pieces because I fell in love with their design sensibility as well and felt like I had so many options for my different moods and for different days. For me the product is everything and the fact that Pallavi and Amol have nailed that, got me very charged up and excited to partner with them,” said Shraddha Kapoor, Actor and Co-founder of Palmonas. 

The Pune-based startup offers a variety of demi-fine jewellery, including necklaces, earrings, rings, bracelets, and Mangalsutras made of sterling silver and stainless steel.

Also Read
Palmonas is tapping the demi-fine trend with steel and silver jewellery

Cashfree Payments launches ‘Embedded Payments’ to ease business transactions

Akash Sinha, CEO and Co-Founder, Cashfree Payments

Akash Sinha, CEO and Co-Founder, Cashfree Payments

Payments and API banking firm Cashfree Paymentshas launched ‘Embedded Payments’–a platform-focused payment solution which equips software platforms with the tools to facilitate smooth payment experiences for businesses. 

“Innovation is the driving force behind everything we do at Cashfree Payments. We are thrilled to introduce Embedded Payments, India’s first platform centric payments solutions which aligns with our objective of making payments seamless for both businesses and end consumers. We have built this solution for platforms to make these integrations easy, and offer a solution to effortlessly onboard businesses and manage their accounts and payments,“ said Akash Sinha, CEO and Co-Founder, Cashfree Payments.

With this solution, software platforms enable end users to pay for products or services directly on the platform, eliminating redirects to external pages or sites. This streamlines the process, reducing disruptions and drop-offs.

Platforms can easily onboard their users as merchants, managing payments, refunds, settlements, and other post-payment workflows through a simple integration.

Mumbai Angels back Mestastop Solutions, a cancer metastasis drug discovery startup

Early-stage investment platform Mumbai Angels has invested in Mestastop Solutions, a biotech specialising in cancer metastasis drug discovery and predictive diagnostics. This marks the second investment from Mumbai Angels since their initial support in 2020, through the Mumbai Angels Network Angel Fund 1. The recent funding round also saw participation from various angel investors and Malpani Ventures.

The Bengaluru-based startup aims to utilise the funds to develop a proof of concept (PoC) for a novel target and prepare two approved drugs for clinical trials. Their goal is to investigate the potential delay of metastasis for primary tumour patients in an adjuvant setting.

”Mestastop is working on a noble cause to develop anti-metastatic drugs and it is an honour for us to be part of this journey. We believe that with the recent funding, Mestastop will be able to strengthen its research which can help in delaying metastasis and save countless lives,” said Nandini Mansinghka, CEO of Mumbai Angels. 

Gypsy Moth appoints Ishan Sinha as Chief Business Officer

Advertising agency Gypsy Moth has named Ishan Sinha as its Chief Business Officer. With a track record of delivering impactful marketing solutions, he will lead the agency's strategy and growth domains, driving business expansion initiatives.

Sinha brings over a decade of experience in marketing communications and digital marketing, serving at companies like Supari Studios and Ogilvy, catering to brands such as Netflix, Spotify, Tata Sky, Michelin, and Playboy.

"We are very excited to have Ishan onboard considering his strategy & content understanding. With his diverse experience across categories, we intend to strengthen our strategic approach towards our brands and projects hence looking for aggressive growth this year", says Priyanka Chugh, Founder, Gypsy Moth.

Founded by Priyanka Chugh and Kevin Johnson, Gypsy Moth is a 360-degree marketing and advertising firm that specialises in content creation and works with brands across all verticals. Some of its clientele includes Pepe Jeans India, Jockey India, Killer Jeans, Easybuy, among others. 

CoinSwitch becomes first crypto platform in India to reach 2 crore users

coinswitch

Crypto trading platform CoinSwitchhas surpassed two crore registered users, becoming the first in platform India. 


Compared to the daily average user growth witnessed in 2023, user registrations on CoinSwitch have surged by 5x this year. Over the past two weeks alone, trading volumes on CoinSwitch platforms have skyrocketed by 7x, while the number of users profiting from their trades has surged by more than 80%.


“Bull markets are a magnet for new users, and crypto is now on a bullish path. To be the most beginner friendly crypto trading app has been the priority at CoinSwitch since day one. The 2-crore milestone — a majority of whom are first time crypto investors — is a validation of these efforts, as well as a reminder to keep building and iterating for the users,” said Ashish Singhal, Co-founder CoinSwitch.

 

Furthermore, the crypto trading platform will be offering Rs 20,000 worth of Bitcoin to a lucky user every hour.


In September 2021, CoinSwitch secured $260 million in Series C funding from Coinbase Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz(a16z), to become India's most valuable crypto Unicorn with a valuation of $1.9 billion. 

Revamp Moto partners LoanTap, Bajaj Finserv, SBI to facilitate vehicle financing 

Modular electric two-wheeler manufacturer Revamp Moto has partnered with two-wheeler loan providers LoanTap, Bajaj Finserv Ltd, and State Bank of India (SBI) to offer financing solutions for its newest electric scooter model.

The financing partners will provide customers with credit lines, offering interest rates ranging from 12.4% to 15%, and allowing repayment over a period of up to five years.

To access these credit lines, customers are required to make a down payment of 20% of the vehicle's cost, which amounts to Rs 70,000 excluding GST. According to the company, the loan application process will take less than 30 minutes to complete. 

Customers keen on acquiring the electric scooter via financing can provide the required documentation, which differs depending on their employment status, whether self-employed or with a fixed income.

“This partnership will allow the customers to experience the future of transportation in a hassle-free manner and will help us achieve our vision to provide sustainable and adaptive solutions to society and mission to empower one million lives by 2028,” noted Pritesh Mahajan, CEO and Co-founder, Revamp Moto.

Tata Power installs 1,000 green energy-powered EV charging points in Mumbai

EV charging station by Tata Power

EV charging station by Tata Power

EV charging solutions provider Tata Power has achieved a milestone of over 1,000 of its EV charging points in Mumbai powered by green energy. 

Currently, the city has over 1,000 green charging points, with 44 available to the public, 385 situated in residential societies, 58 located in commercial areas like malls, hotels, and workplaces, and 531 designated as fleet charging points.

Tata Power has deployed more than 19 fast charging stations along the Mumbai-Pune highway and approximately 26 fast charging stations along the Mumbai-Goa (via Pune) highway. The EV provider promotes environment-friendly transportation with more than 73,000 home chargers, 5,300+ public, semi-public, and fleet charging points, and 690+ bus charging stations nationwide.

Digital payments brand Ongo partners with Patanjali Ayurveda Ltd 

AGS Transact Technologies Limited’s digital payments platform Ongo has partnered with Patanjali Ayurved Limited, to launch open-loop co-branded prepaid cards. These prepaid cards can be accepted on any device on the Rupay network pan India. 

“With Patanjali-Ongo cards, our customers will gain access to exclusive benefits spanning a diverse range of Patanjali's products and services across Patanjali stores. Additionally, with these cards they can now experience convenience at all RuPay acceptance points across the country,” said Acharya Balkrishna, Co-founder and MD of Patanjali Ayurved Ltd.

Users will also receive rewards when they buy Patanjali products using these cards. Moreover, the cards are equipped with NCMC features, enabling users to access transit services like NCMC-enabled metro, buses, tolls, and parking facilities across India.

Qoruz introduces new programme to enhance brand-agency ties

Influencer marketing SaaS platform Qoruz has introduced its Agency Partnership Programme to enhance brand-agency collaborations in India. The programme aims to simplify the process for brands to discover and engage with appropriate marketing agencies.

It provides a complete toolkit for both brands and agencies to facilitate connections, including curated agency lists, in-depth agency profiles, and a dashboard for managing campaign briefs. 

"We are excited to launch the Agency Partnership Programme. This programme not only simplifies the search and collaboration process but also enhances the overall efficiency of brand-agency partnerships. By leveraging technology to facilitate stronger connections, we reaffirm our commitment to supporting the Indian marketing ecosystem," said Praanesh Bhuvaneswar, Co-Founder and CEO of Qoruz. 

Swastika Investmart appoints Devashish Nyati as new CTO

Devashish Nyati

Devashish Nyati, CTO, Swastika Investmart

Brokerage firm Swastika Investmart Ltd has appointed Devashish Nyati as its new Chief Technology Officer (CTO) to spearhead the technology initiatives and enhance infrastructure stability. Nyati holds professional stints at Google USA. 

"Returning to India and becoming a part of it marks an exciting chapter in my career. I feel honoured to join a company recognised for its dedication to innovation and customer-centric solutions. I eagerly look forward to contributing to the organisation's growth by leveraging technology to enhance the overall financial experience for our clients,” said Devashish Nyati, CTO, Swastika Investmart. 

Established in 1992, the SEBI-registered stockbroker is a member of NSE, BSE, and MSEI, and acts as a depository participant for both CDSL and NSDL.

The Moms Co 'Mompreneurs Show' reveals its top three champions

The Moms Co.'s Mompreneurs Show, a platform for supporting mom-led startups, has announced its top three winners. Dr Pooja Goswami, Founder of RAMJA Genosenso led the champion spot while Jyoti Bharadwaj, Founder of TeaFit, and Sonali Saraogi Singh, Founder of Feed Smart, secured the first and second runners-up titles.

The show offered women motivation, mentorship, seed funding, and marketing grants.

"When we started the journey of The Mompreneurs Show, we did not anticipate the overwhelming response we would get. This show is a celebration of the incredible potential that lies within every mom in India, waiting to be unleashed. We are grateful to our partners for making this platform a reality," said Naiyya Saggi, Group Co-founder, Good Glamm Group and CEO, Good Community.

The show witnessed over 100,000 registrations, where 15,000 individuals received acknowledgement, and 80 underwent in-depth mentoring sessions with industry mentors including CEO and MD of Hindustan Times, Praveen Someshwar, Archana Khosla Burman from Vertices Partners, representatives from Startup India, FICCI FLO Mumbai, and Aspire For Her.

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


Edited by Megha Reddy