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Startup news and updates: Daily roundup (May 16, 2024)

YourStory presents the daily news roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Thursday, May 16, 2024.

Startup news and updates: Daily roundup (May 16, 2024)

Thursday May 16, 2024 , 9 min Read

Funding

Matel secures $4M in Series A funding

Matel, a homegrown mobility and energy solutions company, has raised $4 million in a Series A funding round led by Transition VC. The round also saw participation from Gruhas and Haresh Abichandani (Founder, Millenium Semiconductor), with Steer Advisors as the sole transaction advisor for this round.

Sunil Patel, Mahesh Toraskar, Netaji C Patro, Founders, Matel

Sunil Patel, Mahesh Toraskar, Netaji C Patro, Founders, Matel

Founded in 2017, Matel manufactures synchronous machines and motor controllers for e-mobility, industrial applications, agricultural pumping, and HVAC sector. Specialised in designing and manufacturing high-efficiency electric motors and controllers, it offers a full-stack powertrain solution to OEMs of EVs and the industrial sector.

“We plan to allocate the raised capital for scaling up production, new product development, and expanding our R&D team and required equipment over the next three years,” said Mahesh Toraskar, Flounder, Matel.

InstaAstro raises $2.2M in pre-Series A funding led by Artha Venture Fund

InstaAstro, an online astrology platform, has raised Rs 18.50 crore ($2.2 million) in a pre-Series A round led by Artha Venture Fund. The round also saw participation from a consortium of investors, including LogX Ventures, Singularity Ventures, IR Capital Partners, Blume Founders Fund, and Aloke Bajpai, MD and CEO of Ixigo.


InstaAstro, founded by IIT graduate Nitin Verma, boasts over 200,000 monthly app installs, 50,000+ minutes per day in consultations, and an ARR of $5 million. It offers horoscopes, tarot readings, and numerology in English, Hindi, and various regional languages.


"The online astrology market is ready for disruption, and InstaAstro’s differentiated offerings are reflected in the rapid yet sustainable growth of its revenues,” said Anirudh A Damani, Managing Partner, Artha Venture Fund.

Betel Leaf raises $1.2M in bridge round led by Inflection Point Ventures

FSSAI-certified online paan company Betel Leaf has raised $1.2 million in a bridge round led by Inflection Point Ventures and Venture Catalysts.

Prem Raheja, Founder, Betel Leaf

Prem Raheja, Founder, Betel Leaf

The funds raised will be utilised to expand the current retail and online presence from 45 kitchens to 100 kitchens in India and overseas within the next two years, while also enabling the development of new automation technology to enhance consistency and increase production volume and range.

The Betel Leaf Co was founded in July 2019 by Prem Rheja and Payal Raheja. 

After delivering across 20 cities in 12 states and over 45 kitchens, The Betel Leaf Co is looking towards key account sign-ups with Reliance Retail, Spar, and many more retail chains. To enhance retail options, it will also open brick-and-mortar retail experiences. Currently, The Betel Leaf Co also exports across Singapore, Malaysia, Nairobi, the UK, and the US.

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Vivriti Asset Management announces maturity and exit of Samarth Bond Fund

Vivriti Asset Management (VAM), a debt asset manager in the Performing Credit space, has announced the successful maturity and exit of its Vivriti Samarth Bond Fund (SBF), the company's maiden private credit Alternative Investment Fund (AIF).

Launched at the end of 2019, SBF was a close-ended fund category-II AIF that garnered Rs 265 crore in capital from diverse investors, including institutional investors, UHNIs, and family offices. Through the fund’s life, SBF made 20 investments, amounting to Rs 449 crore.

“Staying true to our investment thesis, staying focused on risk control amidst all that was happening around us, and taking a counter-cyclical approach to asset selection, held SBF in good stead,” said Soumendra Ghosh, Chief Investment Officer, Vivriti Asset Management.

BizDateUp Technologies invests $120,000 in Stylework’s extended Series A2 round

BizDateUp Technologies has invested in Stylework, a premier flex-space aggregator.

With an investment of approximately $120,000 in Stylework’s extended Series A2 round in Q3-Q4 FY23-24, BizDateUp Technologies aims to propel Stylework's growth trajectory and solidify its position in flexible workspace solutions.

Stylework has over 3,000+ spaces across India and more than 400+ coworking brand partners.

"This investment will not only accelerate our deeper RTI integrations and expansion plans but also empower us to enhance our offerings and reach a broader audience of entrepreneurs,” said Sparsh Khandelwal, Founder and CEO of Stylework.

Other news

PhonePe collaborates with LankaPay to promote UPI payment in Sri Lanka

PhonePe has enabled UPI payment acceptance in collaboration with LankaPayd across LankaQR merchant points.

PhonePe's app users travelling to Sri Lanka can now make payments using UPI across LankaPayQR merchants nationwide. Their account will be debited in INR, showing the currency exchange rate. These transactions are facilitated by the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and LankaPay National Payment Network.

“The UPI launch is an important part of a larger goal for both countries to collaborate through a digital partnership. India is also supporting Sri Lanka in the development of its Unique Digital Identity Program and other components of the Digital Stack that has immense transformative potential for Sri Lanka and the bilateral economic partnership," said Santosh Jha, the High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka.

Niyogin Fintech Limited acquires “Superscan” from Orbo.ai

Niyogin Fintech Ltd. has acquired Superscan, an AI-powered document imaging, automation, and fraud detection platform, from Orbo.in.


SuperScan's core IPs allow for intelligent document processing, automation agents, and fraud detection tools. It automates traditionally manual processes to boost efficiency and accuracy. Its AI-driven Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology operates entirely on the device, eliminating the need for heavy-duty Graphics Processing Units (GPUs).

"While SuperScan will help streamline our internal processes, the real opportunity lies in creating AI-based assisted and unassisted tools for our partners. This opens up a number of possibilities, empowering a network of players enabling faster onboarding, seamless document verification, and robust fraud protection—all accessible through an AI-powered umbrella," said Tashwinder Singh, Niyogin's MD and CEO.

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Emoha partners with Aditya Birla Health Insurance to provide holistic eldercare solutions

Eldercare brand Emoha has partnered with Aditya Birla Health Insurance Co Limited, the health insurance joint venture of Aditya Birla Capital, to offer personalised senior care solutions to its corporate clients and group Mediclaim policyholders.


The company recently raised $11 million in a pre-Series B round at the platform level.


"Our new strategic partnerships with ABHICL will allow us to significantly expand our reach and offerings for the elderly across India. Group Mediclaim policies typically cover the employee, their spouse, and children, but often exclude the parents of the employee. Emoha bridges this gap by offering care to the employee's parents," said Soumyajit Roy, Co-founder and CEO of Emoha.

"This investment will fuel our expansion plans, enabling us to forge more strategic partnerships and introduce innovative service offerings," he added.

Angel One launches Fin One to boost financial awareness

Angel One Limited, a fintech brokerage, has launched Fin One, a digital-first initiative to transform financial literacy for Indians. Fin One integrates engagement and entertainment to empower young Indians to make informed financial decisions and develop resilient investing habits.


Founded in 1996 by entrepreneur Dinesh Thakkar, Angel One is one of India’s largest listed retail stock broking companies in terms of NSE active clients. Angel One's client base expanded significantly, from nearly 1.3 million in FY19 to nearly 23 million as of April 2024. The average age of clients on Angel One's platform is around 29, with strong traction from the Tier II and beyond markets.


Fin One will have content specifically in Hindi and target users in Tier III, IV and beyond cities across India. This alignment is anticipated to improve client understanding and financial management.

Early Skills partners with NIILM University

Early Skills, an employability tech startup, has partnered with NIILM University to empower students with industry-specific skills that can help them find relevant employment opportunities.

Through this collaboration, NIILM University and Early Skills will enable enrolled students at the university to get professional training through employment-oriented courses across BFSI, hospitality, logistics and supply chain verticals. These courses follow an industry-vetted curriculum that will be integrated with the NIILM university syllabus and be conducted online by a team of expert trainers.

Guest sessions by industry experts, experiential learning through live projects and counselling services for students looking for placements will be some of the value additions to this partnership.

Aurionpro, Google partner to bring wallet solutions for public transportation

Aurionpro Transit, a subsidiary of Aurionpro, has announced the integration of its app-based and ORS ticketing solution with Google Wallet.

After purchasing a ticket, commuters can now store it in Google Wallet as a co-branded card or or QR code pass/ticket. Within the app, a customer can plan the journey or select one using Google Maps, and directly purchase the ticket for interoperable, hassle-free travel.

They can also have a single, organised destination for fast, secure access to boarding passes, loyalty cards, event tickets, and public transport tickets.

"Being able to communicate in real-time with passengers as part of the pay-as-you-go (PAYG) experience is a huge leap forward. This project will benefit riders, giving them visibility into the savings made through PAYG. Using Google Pay for transit payments ensures a quick, seamless, and secure process,” said Sanjay Bali, CEO of Aurionpro Transit.

Outbrain expands its presence in India with a new Global Talent Center

Outbrain, an adtech platform, has opened its first Global Talent Center (GTC) in India.

Headquartered in New York, Outbrain helps connect users with content they might be interested in, while also working as an advertising platform for businesses. The establishment of its GTC in India comes as a part of its global expansion plans.

Focused on hiring top talent for various functions, including IT, finance, data and analytics, the GTC is poised to create substantial job opportunities, boosting the Indian job market and providing a significant impetus to the country's burgeoning IT and GCC sectors.

Go Digit IPO subscribed 79% on second day

Investment provider Go Digit's initial public offering (IPO) was subscribed by 79% on the second day of bidding with retail investors, a statement from the company said.

The IPO, which opened on May 15 and will close on May 17, saw the retail segment subscription 2.54 times its allotment limit on the second day. The non-institutional investors' bid was 73% of the allotment while the QIB segment was 24%.

Go Digit aims to raise Rs 2,614.65 crore through the IPO and has priced its share in the range of Rs 258-272 per share. The company has already raised Rs 1,176 crore from anchor investors which included the likes of Fidelity, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, and Bay Pond Partners, among others.

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


Edited by Kanishk Singh