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Startup news and updates: Daily roundup (May 15, 2024)

YourStory presents the daily news roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Wednesday, May 15, 2024.

Startup news and updates: Daily roundup (May 15, 2024)

Wednesday May 15, 2024 , 10 min Read


Raho Hospitalities raises funding

Hospitality company Raho Hospitalities said it has raised Rs 2 crore in seed funding from Campus Fund.

The startup said it will use the funds to expand to 40 more projects in India by 2025.

"We noticed a gap in the way millennials prefer to holiday and are striving to plug that gap through our unique offerings, tailormade specifically for them," said Gautham Somana, co-founder of Raho Hospitalities.

He adds that the company plans to serve the millennial segment by "focusing on improving supply in the often-overlooked property types including standalone units such as homestays, glamp- tents, and prefab units."

DrinkPrime raises $3M funding

Water purifier rental startup DrinkPrime has raised $3 million in funding from SIDBI Venture Capital and existing investors.

DrinkPrime will use the funds to accelerate its expansion plans, develop its product portfolio and strengthen its Internet of Things (IoT) feature, it said.

"From 2021 to 2023, we have witnessed a remarkable 3X growth. The strategic investment is to set the context for business expansion," said Vijender Reddy Muthyala, Co-founder and CEO of DrinkPrime, adding the company is gearing up for its next Series B funding round.

Sprect raises Rs 50 lakh in angel funding

Sprect, a platform that allows people to connect for knowledge sharing, has raised Rs 50 lakh in angel funding from several industry veterans, including Siddarth (Sid) Shetty, Chief Business Development Officer at ServiceChannel.

Founded by Mohit Khadaria and Vishal Rupani in 2023, Sprect is a startup that helps people connect with other people and professionals from all walks of life for advice, knowledge sharing and inspiration.

"I'm excited to support their vision of empowering people by enabling them to connect with professionals seamlessly while unlocking new monetization opportunities for PROs (professionals) from all backgrounds and walks of life," said ServiceChannel's Shetty in a press note.

Sprect's platform currently has professionals from companies like Airtel, Google, Times Internet, and WarnerBros.Discovery; prestigious educational institutions like IIM, IIT, ISB, and UCLA; and government officials.

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Stupa Sports Analytics raises Rs 28 Cr in pre-Series A funding

Sports tech startup Stupa Sports has raised Rs 28 crore from Centre Court Capital and PeerCapital.

The company will use the funds raised to hire more people, expand the company, and improve its products.

Founded in 2020 by Megha Gambhir and Deepak Malik, Stupa Sports Analytics provides a wide range of AI-powered solutions tailored for in-depth analysis of player performance data, broadcasting functions, and tools for digitalising sports, catering to athletes, sports federations, broadcasters, and fan bases globally.

"Our ambition is to elevate the sporting journey for every Indian athlete and amateur player, fueling their passion and enabling them to realise their true potential in the global space," Gambhir says.

Madras Mandi raises Rs 3 Cr funding

Fresh produce company Madras Mandi has raised Rs 3 crore in funding through revenue based-financing platform, Klub.

The company said it'll use the funds to expand its D2C vertical and enhance delivery services in Chennai, where it plans to set up 20 new stores by 2024-end.

"India's dynamic landscape is witnessing a paradigm shift in the realm of fresh produce where the consumers driven by a pursuit of quality are gravitating towards this sector. In this burgeoning market that is expected to grow ~8% annually from 2024 to 2028, Madras Mandi reigns as the undisputed leader in Chennai," said Sudharshan Venkatakrishnan, Senior Vice President at Klub.

BimaPay raises $2M pre-Series A funding

Insuretech startup BimaPay said it has raised $2 million from investors such as LC Nueva Investment Partners.

The company will use the funding to scale its operations, especially in underserved markets, and upgrade its tech infrastructure.

"This funding not only validates our vision but also fuels our determination to revolutionise the insurance industry through innovation and technology," said Kapil Garg, Managing Director of Mufin Group.

BimaPay, part of the Mufin Group, uses advanced tech to help more people access insurance. It offers digital loans, like paying insurance premiums in instalments, making it easier and cheaper. They also help insurance middlemen manage their money better, so they can reach more people who need insurance.

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Infurnia raises $1.2M funding

Design software startup Infurnia said it has raised $1.2 million from companies such as Coast to Coast, Greenply, Ozone, EyeQ Dezigns, and the promoter group of Livspace.

The round was led by Jaipur Rugs owner and existing investor, Yogesh Chaudhary.

The startup will use the funds to expand into newer geographies, and continue to develop its design product.

Infurnia is a cloud-native design software startup for architecture and interior design, offering integrated tools and solutions for the industry's needs on a subscription basis. It was founded by IIT grads Nikhil Kumar and Lovepreet Mann in 2014, with operations spanning India, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East.

3SC raises $4M funding

Supply chain solutions company 3SC said it has raised $4 million in funding from existing investor GEF Capital's South Asia growth fund.

The company will use a major portion of the investment to expand its product and tech, as well as expand globally.

"The investment will accelerate our growth trajectory and strengthen our offerings while driving greater value for our clients and stakeholders," said Sarita Das, Co-founder of the company.

Founded in 2012, 3SC provides supply chain solutions, catering to industries such as pharmaceuticals, healthcare, industrials, FMCD, FMCG, and ecommerce.

Other news

Cashinvoice names former TATA Motors VP to advisory board

Digital supply chain finance platform Cashinvoice has appointed Ramesh Dorairajan to its advisory board to help shape the company's strategy for auto supply chain financing, drive product innovation, and foster stronger partnerships with banks and NBFCs.

Dorairajan has 30 years of leadership experience, particularly in the automotive sector.

"Cashinvoice's commitment to empowering MSMEs through their innovative supply chain finance solutions is truly exciting, and I am thrilled to be a part of this journey," he said in a press note.

Honeywell Automation India Limited names Atul Pai as MD

NSE-listed Honeywell Automation India Limited has appointed Atul Pai as its Managing Director, effective May 16, 2024.

Pai joined Honeywell Automation in 2011 and has held several leadership roles across the business. He has succeeded Ashish Gaikwad who is taking on a broader responsibility as India Leader for Industrial Automation, the company said.

Pai has spent eight years as Global CFO for Honeywell Building Solution, and served as Operations Controller for the company.

"As an experienced CFO and proven business leader, Atul has the right experience, leadership qualities and business acumen to lead HAIL forward,” commented Ashish Modi, Non-Executive Director of HAIL and President, Honeywell India.

Kinara Capital FY24 PAT up 51%

Kinara Capital said its FY24 after-tax profit rose 51% to Rs 62 crore while revenue grew by 47%.

It reported revenue of Rs 723 crore in the fiscal year.

Its operational expenses as a percentage of the assets under management (AUM) decreased by 32%, further boosting annual profits, the company said, adding that its loan book grew 26% to Rs 3,142 crore in FY24.

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"Looking ahead, we are excited as we set our sights on supporting thousands more MSMEs, doubling our AUM by FY26 and crossing the $100 million mark in revenues in FY25," said Hardika Shah, Founder and CEO of Kinara Capital.

The fintech disbursed over 26,343 new business loans in FY24, leading to a 35% YoY increase in the number of loans disbursed.

Since its inception, Kinara Capital has disbursed over Rs 6,700 crore across 1.2 lakh collateral-free business loans, fostering job creation and income generation in local economies.

Uber's India tech team helps Uber Eats cross a million merchants globally

Uber Eats, the ride-hailing app's food delivery platform powered by engineers in India, has crossed a million merchants on the app, globally, it said.

"Most of our merchant tech is supported out of India, and we take pride in our efforts to positively impact the merchants who are integral to our success," said Jaiteerth Patwari, Director of Engineering, Uber and head of Eats Engineering.

JetSynthesys names Raj Thadani CEO of JV with Japanese company

Digital entertainment and technology firm JetSynthesys has appointed Raj Thadani as the CEO of its Joint Venture (JV) with Digital Hearts Holdings (DHH), a Japanese holding company listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

In his new role, Thadani will drive strategic initiatives to capitalise on DHH's expertise and bolster India's gaming supply chain, the company said.

"Our collaboration signifies a commitment to excellence and innovation in the gaming sector. I look forward to leveraging DHH's strengths and JetSynthesys' vision to drive meaningful impact and deliver exceptional value to our stakeholders," Thadani said in a press statement.

JetSynthesys is a digital entertainment and technology company that operates in gaming and esports, digital entertainment, and wellness and livelihoods sectors.

Fashion company Beyoung to open offline stores

Beyoung, a fashion brand that sees demand mainly from Tier III to Tier IV cities, said it plans to launch 100 offline stores in the ongoing fiscal year.

Over the next three years, it hopes to launch a total of 300 stores across the country, as well as hit a gross merchandise value of Rs 650 crore, up from Rs 200 crore currently.

It'll open at least 30 stores by the end of December 2024 in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu.

"We will also be adding more categories in the year ahead," said Shivan Soni, Founder of Beyoung.

The company's product range currently includes plain t-shirts, joggers, cargo pants, urban shirts, etc.

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Ex-Wells Fargo exec joins Zeron as president, chief growth strategy officer

Cybersecurity startup Zeron has named Santanu Sengupta, a banking veteran, as its President and Chief Growth and Strategy Officer.

Sengupta will focus on leading Zeron's growth by expanding its reach, improving operations, acquiring and retaining clients, and increasing revenue, the company said.

He previously served as Managing Director & Regional Head of Wells Fargo Asia Pacific South.

"Zeron's pioneering approach to cyber risk quantification is fundamentally transforming how businesses manage their security posture," said Sengupta in a press note.

"I am confident that my experience in the financial services industry can significantly contribute to Zeron achieving its ambitious growth goals and solidifying its position as a leader in the industry," he added.

COGOS names new co-founder

Tech logistics startup Cogos Technologies has named Katta Prasad as its new co-founder, and promoted technology Vice President Goutham BV to Chief Technology Officer.

Prasad joined COGOS in 2023 as its COO, and has been instrumental in driving profit across key units in the company.

"COGOS has been at the forefront of integrating technology into intra-city logistics, and we're committed to pushing the boundaries even further," he said.

COGOS is a B2B logistics platform with a 450+ city network of truckers across India. Its investors include EV2 Ventures, Transworld, WorldQuant Ventures etc.

Twid names new senior VP of products

Rewards-based payments network TWID has appointed Vaibhav Srivastava as Senior Vice President of Products, a role where he'll be expected to drive the company's product vision and innovation strategy.

Srivastava has worked at several major Indian fintech companies such as Paytm Payments Bank, JioMoney, Rain Instant Pay, etc.

"I am super excited to join Twid where my passion for payments will fuel the growth of this innovative rewards-based platform, creating a delight for customers and merchants," he said in a press note.

Edited by Kanishk Singh