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Startup news and updates: Daily roundup (April 24, 2024)

YourStory presents the daily news roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Wednesday, April 24, 2024.

Startup news and updates: Daily roundup (April 24, 2024)

Wednesday April 24, 2024 , 9 min Read

Funding

Soleos Solar Energy raises Rs 26.5 Cr in funding

Solar EPC solutions company Soleos Solar Energy has raised Rs 26.5 crore in equity funding from Swastika Investmart Ltd.

Other investors including India Ahead Venture Fund, Sunil Singhania's family office, Madhuri Madhu Kela, Nabs Vriddhi LLP, Pawan Agarwal, Head of PCG at InCred Capital, and several other HNI investors, also participated in the round.

The company said it will use the funds to executive projects, build teams, international business development and undertake independent power projects.

"We are thankful to have secured this funding, as this will allow the company to achieve greater trajectories. Soleos Solar Energy has always been on a growth path by incorporating the latest technologies, innovation, and training," said Bhavesh Rathod, Founder and Director of Soleos Solar Energy.

Adukale raises Rs 11 Cr in pre-Series A round

Karnataka snacks maker Adukale said it has raised Rs 11 crore in a pre-Series A funding round led by Force Ventures.

Other investors such as Aanya Ventures, Subrata Mitra, and Radhika Pandit also participated in the fundraise.

The company will use the fund to scale its existing outlets, expand its distribution network, and invest further in manufacturing and R&D for future products.

Adukale offers over 75 varieties of products created the traditional way. It has 20+ experience stores in Bengaluru and Mysore.

"At Adukale, our mission transcends mere culinary offerings; we aspire to encapsulate the essence of Karnataka's diverse culinary tapestry in every dish we craft, striving towards a position of leadership," said Bharat Kaushik, Director and CEO of Adukale.

Funding
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Plane raises $4M in funding

Project management platform Plane has raised $4 million in a funding round led by OSS Capital. The startup plans to use the funds to fuel community growth.

"This funding validates our vision of creating a user-friendly, extensible and affordable project management product," said Vamsi Kurama, Co-founder and CEO of Plane.

"As a first step, Plane One is designed ground-up for growing businesses that need essential tools to manage their projects and their instance better without being locked into ongoing SaaS-pricing commitments," he added.

Plane One, the company's project management platform, offers a one-time perpetual licence at $799. The platform can be used by teams of all sizes, across industry verticals.

"Plane’s open-core model, strong community engagement, and first-principles approach to project management deeply impressed us," said Joseph Jacks, Founder at OSS Capital.

KARBAN raises $1.07M in seed round

Smart appliances startup KARBAN has raised $1.07 million in a seed round from All In Capital, Tital Capital, and Rainmatter.

Urban Company, JK Family Office, CRED's Kunal Shah, and Anupam Mittal also participated in the round.

The startup plans to use the funds to fuel growth, hire people, and develop products.

"This funding marks a significant milestone, enabling us to accelerate our R&D efforts and develop world-class consumer products that are proudly Made in India," said Karan Bansal, Founder of KARBAN.

KARBAN was founded in 2021 by Bansal and Tanya Goyal. Its flagship product is a bladeless ceiling fan that comes with an in-built air purifier.

"While India witnesses a splurging demand for air purifiers, a separate unit plugged in one corner of the room is inefficient and air purification solutions have seen little innovation," said Kushal Bhagia, Founder, All In Capital.

"Karban’s Airzone is the 2024 alternative to existing air purifiers and ceiling fans both," he added.

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Boba Bhai raises Rs 12.5 Cr in funding

Bubble tea and QSR chain startup Boba Bhai has raised Rs 12.5 crore in seed funding from Titan Capital, Global Growth Capital UK, Arjun Vaidya, and Marsshot VC.

Investors including DEVC, Warm Up Ventures, 1947 Rise Fund, Peercheque, Varun Alagh, also participated in the round.

"We have already expanded rapidly in India, and with this fresh fund, we will expand to 100 stores across the country by December 2025," said Dhruv Kohli, Founder, Boba Bhai. "We aim to capture 75-80% market share in India in FY24."

The company retails through 25 outlets across seven cities—Delhi, Gurugram, Udaipur, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Chennai.

"We are impressed with Dhruv's vision and sharp execution with intense clarity in introducing and building 'Bubble Tea based Korean cuisine food brand in India', starting with Bengaluru and now expanding to Delhi-NCR and other cities," said Bipan Shah, Partner at Titan Capital.

"The team's commitment to tailor-make a range of bubble teas to cater to the varied palates and preferences of Indian consumers has helped it gain immense popularity in a short time," he added.

NFTFN raises $500,000 in funding

NFTFN, a fintech firm operating in the Web3 space, has completed the first phase of its fundraising, amassing $500,000 by dispersing 10 million $NFTFN tokens at $0.025 apiece over ten days.

In its second phase, the company intends to distribute an extra 25 million tokens at $0.030 each.

"We are deeply encouraged by the market's response and are gearing up to enhance our platform's capabilities significantly," said Vikas Singh, Co-founder and CEO of NFTFN.

"The upcoming phase is critical as we expand our offerings and further integrate with key industry players to bring unparalleled value to our token holders," he added.

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Other news

Rapido partners with Bengaluru municipality to offer free rides during elections

Mobility startup Rapido has partnered with the Election Commission and Bengaluru's municipal corporation (BBMP) to offer free auto and cab rides to differently-abled and senior citizen voters in Bengaluru.

Rapido will offer these free rides in Bengaluru, Mysuru, and Mangaluru on election day.

"We want to specifically ensure that differently abled, and senior citizen voters have equitable access to exercise their democratic right. By extending free auto and cab rides to them, we are redoubling our commitment to inclusivity and social responsibility," said Rapido Co-founder Pavan Guntupalli.

Tata Passenger Electric Mobility inks deal with Vertelo for 2,000 EVs

Tata Passenger Electric Mobility Ltd. (TPEM), a unit of Tata Motors, has signed a non-binding deal with Vertelo, a Macquarie-managed integrated fleet electrification platform, to provide 2,000 XPRES-T electric vehicles.

The company said it will deliver the vehicles to Vertelo in a phased manner.

"With over 89% market share in FY24, the fleet segment has seen rapid adoption by corporates and institutions," said Vivek Srivatsa, Chief Commercial Officer at Tata Passenger Electric Mobility.

"The XPRES-T EV has proven to be an attractive option for both customers and operators in the commercial fleet segment."

Samsung India launches second edition of its national skilling programme

Samsung India has launched the second edition of its national skilling programme, the Samsung Innovation Campus, aimed at upskilling young individuals in future-tech domains such as AI, IoT, Big Data, and coding and programming.

The programme provides both online and offline learning opportunities, including instructor-led training, hands-on projects, and expert mentorship by Samsung professionals.

The initiative aims to increase the employability of youth aged 18-25 years, aligning with government initiatives like Skill India and Digital India.

Students can participate in the Samsung Innovation Campus initiative through enrollment in the program offered by participating educational institutions, or through communication channels provided by Samsung and its partners.

The national toppers from each domain are awarded Rs 1 lakh, a chance to visit Samsung facilities in Delhi-NCR, and Samsung products such as Galaxy Buds and smartwatches.

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Groww receives SEBI nod on new index fund

Online trading platform Groww has received approval from SEBI to launch a first-of-its-kind Nifty non-cyclical consumer index fund through a new fund offering.

The scheme will be benchmarked against the Nifty Non-Cyclical Consumer Index, and the goal will be to enable general long-term capital growth, the company said.

The NFO will go live in the first week of May.

Toy manufacturer Jammbo expects Rs 50 Cr revenue in first year of operations

Bootstrapped toy maker Jammbo said it has recorded consolidated sales of Rs 21 crore in the first six months of operations, and added that it expects to close the first year of its operations with Rs 50 crore in revenue.

Started with a portfolio of 50+ toys, it plans to expand to 200+ products in the next 9-10 months.

It also plans to expand into the UAE, the US, and Europe by July, as well as tier II and tier III cities in India.

"We want to make India the toy capital of the world by 2030, we aim to elevate India's status in the global toy market but also inspire a new generation of creators, dreamers, and innovators," said Vipin Nijhawan, Co-founder and CPO of Jammbo.

Lendingkart names ex-Paytm Payments Bank CFO as its new CXO

Lendingkart has appointed Mukund Barsagade as its group chief financial officer.

Barsagade previously worked at Paytm Payments Bank  where he was CFO.

At Lendingkart, he will lead the finance, capital markets, legal and secretarial functions.

"The lending tech space for MSMEs is a fast-growing opportunity and joining Lendingkart which is a leader in the space is extremely exciting," Barsagade said.

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PhonePe's Indus Appstore launches voice search feature in 10 Indic languages

PhonePe's Indus Appstore's voice search feature will now be available in 10 Indian languages, in addition to English.

"Vernacular language speakers account for approximately 75% of India’s Internet user base underscoring the need to bridge the linguistic barriers that come with discovering and engaging with apps," the company said in a press release.

"Indus Appstore’s voice search technology elevates user experience by allowing users to freely express themselves in their local language with just a tap of the voice search button," it added.

The new feature is also expected to boost app installs.

Chargeup to onboard 25,000 drivers by 2025

Battery financing and EV asset management platform Chargeup plans to onboard over 25,000 drivers across 17 cities, especially in Tier II and III cities, by 2025.

Chargeup also wants to bolster its network by adding 1,500 new partner stations across cities it's present in, especially Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

"Chargeup remains unwavering in its commitment to revolutionise the EV landscape, empowering drivers with access to increased credit, faster turnaround time, and a new benchmark of service and uptime," said Varun Goenka, CEO and Co-founder of Chargeup.

"Our driver-centric approach underscores every decision we make, reaffirming our dedication to maximising their earning potential," he added.


Edited by Kanishk Singh