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Startup news and updates: Daily roundup (April 17, 2024)

YourStory presents the daily news roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Wednesday, April 17, 2024.

Startup news and updates: Daily roundup (April 17, 2024)

Wednesday April 17, 2024 , 7 min Read

Funding news

Almonds Ai secures funding from Dubai-based anchor investors

Almonds Ai, a B2B loyalty and channel partner engagement solutions provider, secured funding from prominent Dubai-based anchor investors. It will use the capital to fulfil regional resource requirements and technology enhancement.

Additionally, the company has also opened a new office in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, marking Almonds Ai's inaugural international expansion. This expansion will facilitate the extension of Almonds Ai's services into the MENA region.

Varco Leg Care secures $500,000 seed funding led by Sunicon Maiden Fund

New Delhi-based Varco Leg Care raised a cumulative of $500,000 (over Rs 4.5 crore) in seed funding while doubling its valuation within a span of only 10 months. The recently concluded seed round was led by Sunicon Maiden Fund, an early-stage venture fund curated by Sunicon Ventures.  

Varco Leg Care plans to use the capital to enhance capabilities on multiple fronts, including improving offline touchpoints, advancing research and development (R&D) initiatives, and scaling and optimising marketing endeavours.

Moreover, the company intends to allocate funds and resources in the near term to bolster its credibility. This includes expanding its existing intellectual property portfolio, which currently consists of four filed patents by Varco, and disseminating findings from its in-house conducted clinical studies in reputable medical journals.

Tomorrow Capital spearheads $2.7M investment round in VitusCare 

This rigorous five-month initiative was meticulously crafted to empower small-scale NBFCs through tailored interventions, catalysing the flow of institutional credit towards them and fostering their expansion.

Founded in 2017 in Mumbai, VitusCare established itself as a pioneer in delivering high-quality dialysis care, especially in areas where access to such services is scarce. This investment underscores Tomorrow Capital's dedication to tackling chronic healthcare issues in India. Notably, Tomorrow Capital has taken the lead in VitusCare's Series A funding round, which amounted to $2.7 million. 

100 KMPH Accelerates Growth with Funding from LFS

Pune-based lifestyle brand 100KMPH secured undisclosed funding from Incred Capital, facilitated by financial advisor Lakhani Financial Services. The investment is a significant milestone for 100 KMPH as it advances its mission to redefine speed culture on a global scale.

This injection of capital arrives at a crucial moment for 100 KMPH, providing the brand with the resources to enhance its market presence and diversify its range of innovative offerings.

Circle of Games secures $1M in funding

Circle of Games (COG), a prominent Web3 multi-gaming platform, secured $1 million in equity funding from strategic investors Nazara Technologies FZ LLC (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nazara Technologies Limited) and The Hashgraph Association, a Swiss-based organisation pioneering global digital enablement for Hedera.  

With this funding infusion, COG aims to expedite its go-to-market approach, enhance platform functionalities, and broaden its global footprint across the US, EU, Middle East, Africa, and Asia in 2024.

Currently boasting over 250,000 registered users, COG intends to augment its gaming repertoire from six to more than ten games by Q4 2024. This expansion endeavour seeks to engage millions of gamers within the worldwide casual and hyper-casual gaming community.

Payinstacard secures seed funding from angel investors

Payinstacard, an app that makes bill payments easy and rewarding, raised an undisclosed investment from notable business personalities, PC Doraswamy and Sandhya Rani Maddipati, marking a key milestone in the company’s growth trajectory.

The platform will use the seed funding to revolutionise the bill payments sector in India, by acquiring new customers, and aims to reach at least 1 million users in the next 18 months, it said in a statement.

Other news

AuthBridge appoints Payal Aggarwal as VP - Human Resources 

Trust and authentication technology companies, AuthBridge Research Services, appointed Payal Aggarwal as Vice President of Human Resources. In her new position, Aggarwal will lead AuthBridge's human resources efforts, guiding the strategic vision for talent acquisition, retention, and development to propel the company toward its growth goals.

With 13 years of experience in human resources management, she brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to AuthBridge. She has a proven track record of driving employee-focused key initiatives across the entire HR spectrum for diverse industries and has held key positions at Bharti Airtel, InterGlobe Hotels, The Indian Express, and Franklin Templeton Investments. 

Sabre strengthens APAC team with the appointment of Rajiv Bhatia

Sabre Corporation, a software and technology provider for the global travel industry, appointed Rajiv Bhatia as Executive Director of APAC Market Expansion, to its team to support its growth strategy in Asia Pacific.

Bhatia, formerly associated with Bird Group, will play a key role in expanding Sabre's presence in vital growth markets, including India, which is among the fastest-growing travel markets globally.

With a wealth of experience in the travel sector, Bhatia brings valuable insights and a track record of success to Sabre's customer-focused team. He commenced his career with esteemed airlines Gulf Air and Thai Airways before serving as Chief Commercial Officer of Bird Group's India GDS business for 16 years.

SIDBI, GAME complete first NBFC Growth Accelerator Programme cohort

The inaugural cohort of the NBFC Growth Accelerator Programme (NGAP) led by the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) and the Global Alliance for Mass Entrepreneurship (GAME) concluded successfully.

NGAP aims to empower smaller NBFCs pivotal in supporting MSMEs, particularly emerging and micro-enterprises.

Comprising 17 NBFCs, NGAP Cohort 1 aimed to equip these entities in their growth trajectory, fostering leadership and fortifying their organisational frameworks for future readiness. The programme encompassed immersive modules delving into risk management, governance, technological leverage, and staying abreast of industry dynamics.

Additionally, participants benefited from personalised mentorship by seasoned industry stalwarts, fostering peer-to-peer learning and knowledge exchange. Each NBFC underwent thorough evaluations of its operational and financial standing.

Nasher Miles bolsters leadership with Anil Verma as Chief Strategy Officer

Nasher Miles, the premium luggage brand known for its vibrant and stylish designs, appointed industry veteran Anil Verma as Chief Strategy Officer. 

Before joining Nasher Miles, Verma held key leadership positions in various multinational companies like, Samsonite, and Delsey Paris. His commitment to fostering a culture of innovation and excellence aligns perfectly with Nasher Miles’s vision.

Verma’s extensive experience will be instrumental in leading Nasher Miles' expansion strategy. In his role, he will guide the brand’s foray into brick-and-mortar retail, ensuring a seamless customer experience across all touchpoints.

JIIF's incubation cohort programmes propel India's startup revolution

JITO Incubation and Innovation Foundation (JIIF) launched JITO Incubation Centre (JIC) Cohort 10. Following the success of Cohorts 8 and 9, applications for the Cohort 10 Incubation Program, which will be sector agnostic, have commenced, with a submission deadline of April 30, 2024.

Since its establishment in 2017, the centre has been dedicated to fostering next-generation founders and has garnered acclaim for its effective cohort-based programmes. It consistently draws a large number of applicants for its forthcoming initiatives, underscoring its growing reputation in the startup community.

Rapido and Tamil Nadu EC's initiative revolutionises voter transport

Rapido launched a "KadamaiKaanaSavaari" campaign as part of its National Duty during the General Elections 2024, in collaboration with the Tamil Nadu State Election Commission. The campaign entails Rapido offering complimentary bike taxi rides to voters throughout Tamil Nadu, including in major cities like Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai, Tiruchirapalli, and Salem, on April 19, 2024.

On the day of the elections, voters can access free rides through the Rapido app by using the code "VOTENOW" to exercise their democratic rights. The initiative is designed to facilitate residents' access to voting and promote a more inclusive electoral process.

This initiative is part of Rapido's broader nationwide campaign, which involves deploying over 10 lakh captains across more than 100 cities to offer free rides on election day.

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

Edited by Affirunisa Kankudti