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Startup news and updates: daily roundup (March 7, 2024)

YourStory presents the daily news roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Thursday, March 7, 2024.

Startup news and updates: daily roundup (March 7, 2024)

Thursday March 07, 2024 , 5 min Read

Funding

Mufin Green Finance raises $5M debt from BlueOrchard

Mufin Green Finance has raised $5 million in debt from BlueOrchard, an impact investment manager. The company aims to leverage BlueOrchard’s extensive network and expertise and spearhead transformative projects that mitigate environmental degradation while fostering economic growth.

“This significant investment underscores our shared commitment to drive sustainable change and underscores our resolve to catalyse positive environmental impact globally,” said Kapil Garg, MD, Mufin Green Finance.

Edtech startup MyCaptain secures Rs 14 Cr funding from Inflection Point Ventures, others

Edtech startup MyCaptain has secured Rs 14 Cr funding from Inflection Point Ventures, MyNavi, Piper Serica, Super Capital and Ankur Capital.

The investment will help MyCaptain expand its reach and provide diverse educational offerings.

The startup plans to expand its hybrid programmes to more cities and establish more regional sales centres. It also aims to enrich its course offerings and programmes to reach a portfolio milestone of over 50 beginner courses and five placement readiness programmes.

"There is an urgent need for individuals proficient in web design, social media management, content writing and digital marketing strategies; yet these courses are far from being integrated into mainstream education. MyCaptain addresses the gap by offering courses like artificial intelligence, business analytics course, digital marketing and more to ensure students are well-prepared for the evolving professional landscape,” said Mitesh Shah, Co-founder of Inflection Point Ventures.

MyCaptain's platform offers courses designed for career discovery and exploration as well as job-focused boot camps. It claims to have trained more than 2.5 lakh learners.

MyCaptain -- Sameer Ramesh, Mohammed Zeeshan, and Ruhan Naqash.

MyCaptain's co-founders Sameer Ramesh, Mohammed Zeeshan, and Ruhan Naqash.

FreeStand bags $400,000 in seed funding round 

FreeStand, a B2B marketing platform, has bagged $400,000 in a seed funding round led by Venture Catalysts and Nocking Point Advisors. IIM-Calcutta Innovation Park, SucSEED Indovation, and angel investors Guneet Singh and Varun Singh Hooda also participated in the round.

The capital will be used to broaden offerings to encompass event and retail sampling channels, enhance data integration with diverse sampling partners, fortify company technology, and achieve new levels of scalability.

Founded by Sneh Soni, Kavach Chandra and Konark Sharma, FreeStand simplifies the process of executing product sampling campaigns for FMCG brands.

"With each brand distributing an average 300,000 samples across online and offline sales channels, this market is expected to grow to $1.5 billion-$3 billion by 2027, and this allows FreeStand’s innovative platform to emerge as a game-changer, offering a seamless and data-driven approach to executing sampling campaigns,” said Dr Apoorva Ranjan Sharma, MD and CEO of Venture Catalysts.

Other news

Elara Capital appoints Manoj Kohli as non-executive chairman of board

Elara Capital India has appointed Manoj Kohli as the non-executive chairman of its board. 

Kohli was the country head of Softbank India and the chief executive officer and managing director of telecom company Bharti Airtel.

“Elara Capital will extensively benefit from Manoj’s extensive business and leadership skills to help strengthen our business focus. His guidance will be invaluable to us to further strengthen our client offerings and achieve our growth plans,” said Raj Bhatt, Chairman and Chief Executive of Elara Capital.

Elara Capital is an investment bank for Indian companies looking at fund raising.

Deeptech venture studio NOW launches in Bengaluru

NOW, a deep-tech and deep-science venture studio, has launched in Bengaluru to drive innovation and entrepreneurship in the sustainability and climate-tech sectors in India. 

NOW aims to act as an institutional co-founder that proactively invests in and co-builds ventures from scratch, de-risking the idea-to-commercialisation journey for startups.

In the next 12-18 months, NOW will invest $250,000-$500,000 each in three to four deeptech, sustainability and climate-tech startups.

NOW will assist founders by providing finance, mentorship, product-market fit, access to market opportunities, corporate partnerships for prototype/solution validation, and access to climate-tech experts.

Founded by Gayathri Kuppendra Reddy, an entrepreneur, trained climate leader, and angel investor, NOW is led by a core team combining over 40 years of experience across startup scaling, climate entrepreneurship, innovation, SaaS, and venture capital.

Gayathri Reddy,  Founder and CEO, NOW Venture Studio

Gayathri Reddy, Founder and CEO, NOW Venture Studio

Salam Kisan plans to hire, train 500 rural youth and women as drone pilots and technicians

Salam Kisan, a technology-powered agricultural platform, plans to hire and train 500 rural youth and women as drone pilots and technicians.

The company participated in the recent Namo Rojgar Melava organised by the Government of Maharashtra, where it shortlisted over 250 candidates for roles such as agronomists, business associates, drone pilots and technicians, tele callers, crop doctors and marketing associates.

Salam Kisan trained India’s second and Maharashtra’s first female drone pilot Linta Shelke Waghmare from Wardha, Vidarbha, in August last year. It has hired, trained, and licensed 60 rural youth and women as drone pilots.

The company says it has worked with 68,000 farmers in Maharashtra to increase productivity and profitability through an AI crop calendar, post-harvest market, and use of technology in the agriculture ecosystem.

IIT Madras Entrepreneurship Summit 2024 to host over 1,000 business founders

Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) Entrepreneurship Summit 2024 will host over 1000 founders, more than 50 investors and about 15,000 students from over 400 colleges across India.

The ninth edition of the annual entrepreneurship summit includes a free-for-all startup expo, an event expected to provide a platform for 100 innovative startups to present their products and services.

The summit also involves a pan-India fundraising competition ‘Elevate’ that will bring together eminent startups and over 35 venture capital firms from across the nation, including Titan Capital, Speciale Invest, GVFL, and 100X. ­­­­

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


Edited by Swetha Kannan