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Startup news and updates: Daily roundup (April 8, 2024)

YourStory presents the daily news roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Monday, April 8, 2024.

Startup news and updates: Daily roundup (April 8, 2024)

Monday April 08, 2024 , 11 min Read

Funding news

PlatinumRx secures $800,000 in funding

PlatinumRx, a Bengaluru-based healthcare startup, has raised $800,000 in a seed round from India Quotient, with participation from several prominent angel investors. 


The startup plans to use the funds to enhance its warehousing and distribution network. It will also expand its presence across India and increase its product offerings. PlatinumRx delivers to 20,000+ pin codes within 2-3 days and provides same-day delivery in Bengaluru, as per a statement. 

Other news

Swiggy now delivers to houseboats on the Iconic Dal Lake

Swiggy said it now caters to tourists staying on houseboats on the iconic Dal Lake in Srinagar. The foodtech company has tied up with Shikara operators who will assist local delivery partners in reaching the houseboats.

The delivery partners are adequately compensated for their time since these deliveries may take longer than traditional on-road delivery, Swiggy said.

Nithin Kamath supports the Social Stock Exchange

Zerodha's Nithin Kamath on Monday praised the Social Stock Exchange (SSE), a platform for social organisations to raise funds from the public. So far, six non-profit organisations have raised money through the platform.

Kamath mentioned in a post on X that there's no online mechanism to donate to these organisations so far, but there might be one soon. He added that if this happens, then they will make it possible for all Zerodha online customers to support social sector organisations working on important issues.

"The idea is to show a new section called "giving" on the console portfolio view, along with stock holdings. This will hopefully nudge people to give a little," he said.

Telangana Gig and Platform Workers Union (TGPWU) announces ‘No AC Campaign’

Drivers working with Uber, Ola, and Rapido apps have announced a no AC campaign due to declining per-kilometre fares. In a press note, they disclosed that using the AC leads to increased fuel and maintenance expenses.

Operating the cabs with AC amounts to Rs 16-18 per kilometre. However, after accounting for the commissions charged by Uber, Ola, and Rapido, their earnings are reduced to only Rs 10-12 per kilometre. Thus, with the AC running and the existing fare system, they are unable to cover the operational costs of running the cabs.

If their demands are not urgently addressed, TGPWU, in collaboration with trade unions in other states, will be forced to launch a nationwide campaign for the same, the note mentioned.

JSW One Platforms appoints Ranjan Pai as independent director

JSW One Platforms, part of the $23 billion worth JSW Group, has appointed Ranjan Pai as an Independent Director on the Board where he will provide strategic guidance and insights. 

Pai, with experience in education, healthcare, entrepreneurship, and investment, is an educationist, entrepreneur, institution builder, and investor. He is Founder and Chairman of the Manipal Education and Medical Group (MEMG), an Indian conglomerate spanning education, healthcare, research, and private investments.

Freo records Rs 350 Cr revenue in FY24

Freo, a digital banking platform, reported a gross revenue of Rs 350 crore for the fiscal year 2023-24. Over the past five years, Freo's gross revenues have increased by fivefold, and the company has been profitable for the last four months since December 2023.


While fee-based revenue now accounts for over 45% of the company's total revenue, 55% comes from interest-bearing products, strengthening overall profitability.


With a pan-India presence in over 1,200 cities, Freo's user base increased from 15 million in FY22 to 25 million by the end of FY24. Its contribution margins have increased from 16% in Q4 FY23 to over 40% in Q4 FY24. 


Recently, Freo secured an investment from SIDBI, the bank's first such investment in the fintech sector.

Bombay Shaving Company sets ambitious revenue targets post Rs 160 crore fundraise

Also Read
Why Vertex Ventures is so bullish about the Indian startup ecosystem

Invest4Edu onboards Hemika Tanwar, Chintan Kotak as co-founders

Invest4Edu, an education planning and study abroad consultant company, have onboarded Hemika Tanwar as Co-founder and Chief People Officer, along with Chintan Kotak as Co-founder and Global Business Head. 

Tanwar comes with over 15 years of experience in nurturing and leading people to achieve organisations’ goals and building an inclusive culture. Kotak has over two decades of experience in business and sales, making ventures profitable, scaling businesses, forging strategic partnerships, and pioneering innovative business strategies.

Tanwar has a postgraduate degree in human resource management and has worked in organisations like IIFL Finance, IndusInd Bank, and Reliance Retail. Kotak has an MBA in finance and has previously worked as senior director at IIFL Securities and in leadership positions with Kotak Securities and Motilal Oswal Securities

CredAble achieves an aggregate throughput of $8B 

CredAble, a working capital tech platform, said it achieved a milestone of aggregate throughput worth $8 billion for the financial year 2023–24. 

The company maintains an industry-leading average invoice period accelerated by 73 days and has processed over 2.5 million invoices on its platform.

Recently, the company secured partnerships with major banks across the MENA and APAC regions.

VilCart reaches Rs 100 crore revenue 

VilCart, a Karnataka-based startup, surpassed the 100 crores mark in revenue in March 2024. 


To achieve this they have formed strategic collaborations with Farmers and Farmers Producer Organisation, leading suppliers, manufacturers, and brands. They have implemented cutting-edge technology solutions to enhance operational efficiency.


Vilcart has successfully expanded its footprint to encompass 85,000 Kirana stores spread across 30,000 villages. 

STEER World appoints Ajay Bhasin as Group Chief Human Resource Officer

STEER World, a company specialising in materials transformation, has appointed Ajay Bhasin as its Group Chief Human Resource Officer (CHRO).


In his new position, Bhasin will oversee STEER World's global human capital strategy, operations, talent management, inclusion initiatives, safety protocols, and compensation and benefits programmes. He will be a key member of the executive leadership team, reporting directly to TN Hari, Executive Chairman of STEER World.


With a career spanning more than two decades of leadership in Human Capital, he has helped design and implement human capital practices in large and mature global companies. He previously worked as the head of HR at Tata Coffee. His previous leadership roles also include positions of increasing responsibility at Britannia Industries, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson and Johnson Limited, and Panacea Biotec. 

Hitachi Vantara invests over $200,000 in product showcase programme

Hitachi Vantara, the data storage, infrastructure, and hybrid cloud management subsidiary of Hitachi Ltd, has launched its partner programme to provide product showcase machines of the Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform (VSP) E590 device to support selected partners in India in their commercial acceleration.


Using Hitachi VSP E590 machines partners can deliver quicker Centre of Excellence (COE) capabilities to their local customers, including the ability to conduct Proof of Concepts (POCs) on customers’ unique solutions, validated with on-site customer data, and increase the number of workshops conducted.

 

Hitachi Vantara is supporting partners with machine investments, marketing, and sales efforts to drive awareness and enhance revenue. This includes setting up standees, social media promotions, deploying sales representatives, partner boot camps, customer events, and incentivised product bundles. Partners will develop a business plan outlining commitments for POCs, tech events, workshops, audience targets, customer participation, and revenue plans. These partners include—CTAP, PC Solutions, Orisenc Technologies Private Limited and Hitachi Systems India Pvt Ltd.

Also Read
Flipkart tweaks increment policy; to give merit-linked payouts

Flipkart launches bus bookings on its app 

Flipkart, a digital commerce ecosystem, has launched bus services on its app. 


This aims to meet the evolving travellers’ needs in the segment. Redemption of Supercoins for bus bookings is a unique value-added element that is available on Flipkart for new and existing customers. 


Key features of the bus booking service on Flipkart include access to great deals, no convenience fees or hidden charges, offers through supercoins redemption up to Rs 50 and a 24x7 voice helpline. As part of the launch offer, customers can enjoy a flat 15% off along with a 5% additional discount on SuperCoins for every bus booking made until April 15, 2024.


Flipkart will offer customers the choice of choosing from  10 lakh bus connections with connectivity to 25,000+ routes across India.

Virgio is now available on Nykaa and Myntra

Virgio, a sustainable fashion brand, has debuted on Nykaa and Myntra. 


This move aims to make the brand's collections more accessible to consumers across the nation.

 

Virgio emphasises eco-friendly materials, carbon footprint mapping, smart QR code labels and ethical manufacturing processes. It offers a diverse range of clothing, including chic apparel crafted from earth-friendly, natural fabrics, recycled fabrics, and sustainable alternatives.

ERLYSIGN gets CDSCO approval for large-scale clinical trials of oral cancer detection tech

ErlySign, a biotech startup located in Nagpur, has received approval from the Indian regulatory agency CDSCO (Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation) for its active salivary biomarker study designed for early oral cancer detection.


The kit offers a semi-quantitative approach, allowing for the assessment of pre-cancerous conditions through saliva biomarkers. Results are provided as low, moderate, or high risk, providing individuals with actionable insights into their cancer risk profile.


The patents are secured in both the United States and India for their oral cancer detection kit. The company also has a pending patent for its lung cancer detection kit.


Recently it also launched an automated multi-sample reader for its oral cancer detection kit. This streamlines the testing process, allowing multiple tests to be processed within a span of 15-20 minutes.

ADVIK acquires business assets of UK-based Aceleron Energy

Advik Hi Tech, an automotive component manufacturer, has acquired business assets of Aceleron Energy Ltd., a UK-based advanced Li-ion battery company. 


ADVIK is entering the electric vehicle (EV) and energy storage system (ESS) sectors with this move. The acquisition expands their product range and customer base, aiming to develop next-gen energy storage solutions. Managed through its UK subsidiary, ADVIK Technologies Limited, it integrates cutting-edge Li-Ion battery technology into its portfolio. Additionally, it has added testing and prototyping facilities in the UK, complementing its existing network across 10 plants.


The acquired technology eliminates the need for welding in Li-ion batteries, promoting scalability. Engineered to support a circular economic model, it enhances accessibility to energy storage products by increasing battery life and reducing wastage.

EV loan

KS Viswanathan (KSV) joins Peoplefy as a strategic advisor

Peoplefy, a recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) service provider, has appointed KS Viswanathan, former Vice President of Industry Initiatives at NASSCOM, to its strategic advisory board.


He has over 40 years of extensive experience in the IT/ITES and GCC ecosystem. Peoplefy aims to use KSV's deep industry insights to deliver innovative recruitment solutions tailored to the unique needs of GCCs and other technology-driven enterprises.

SIIC IIT Kanpur, MeitY Startup Hub organise startup-investor connect programme

The MeitY Startup Hub (MSH), in collaboration with the Startup Incubation and Innovation Centre (SIIC) at IIT Kanpur, organised a Startup-Investor Connect Programme. 

This event provided a platform for emerging entrepreneurs supported by the MeitY funding programme to connect with investors and explore potential collaboration opportunities.

Hosted on the IIT Kanpur campus, spearheaded by the SIIC team, the programme has brought together a wide array of startups and prominent investment organisations, including IvyCamp, RTAF, HPCL, SIDBI, Indian Angel Network, Danazir Wealth Management, and more. 

The startups pitched their ideas and business models while the investors shared their insights into market trends, investment opportunities, and scaling strategies.

SGF India acquires Mom's Kitchen 

SGF India (Spice Grill Flame) has acquired Mom's Kitchen, a Chandigarh-based food chain

 

The acquisition has widened Mom's Kitchen's reach to drive more foot traffic, customer engagement, and revenue. 


Mom's Kitchen and SGF India have formed growth strategies that include smart location selection, franchise model development, menu innovation, digital presence, and more to improve their cuisines and strengthen their position in the industry.

ICAI adopts tech for enhancing financial literacy

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), organised a Finfluencers meet in New Delhi to promote financial literacy. In this leading financial influencers came together to educate the masses on financial knowledge. Over 41 prominent social media influencers joined hands for this noble cause.

To reach out to wider audiences, ICAI is using the power of social media to enhance financial literacy across the nation. The collaborative cohort will consist of respected financial influencers whose expertise and reach on social media platforms can significantly contribute to this noble cause. 


ICAI also launched the e-Office for Sustainable Operations.


On April 5, ICAI launched an e-office under the theme "Service with Sustainability," leveraging technology to enhance productivity and streamline operations for better service to members and stakeholders. 


Inaugurated by CA. Ranjeet Kumar Agarwal, President, ICAI, along with CA. Charanjot Singh Nanda, Vice-President, ICAI, and Central Council Members, the e-office platform, developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) and deployed by RailTel, aims to fast-track internal communication processes and increase efficiency of the officials.


With e-office, ICAI transitions to digital, enabling paperless transactions, cost reduction in storage, data preservation, and facilitating remote work. Implementation will start with ICAI committees before extending to regional offices, branches, and chapters abroad.

Jeena & Company acquires JBS Group

Jeena & Company, a freight forwarding and supply chain solutions, has acquired the 67-year-old JBS Group based in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. 

This move aims to provide logistic services, encompassing both international and domestic sectors. J B Shah Logistics will now assume the name JBS JEENA Logistics. Jeena & Company will acquire the customers, team, and assets of the JBS Group and expand its custom clearance footprint in Gujarat. 


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


Edited by Suman Singh