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Startup news and updates: Daily roundup (May 2, 2024)

YourStory presents the daily news roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Thursday, May 2, 2024.

Startup news and updates: Daily roundup (May 2, 2024)

Thursday May 02, 2024 , 7 min Read

Funding news

Fresh From Farm raises $2M in Pre-Series A

Fresh From Farm, a B2B2C platform for consolidating fresh fruit demand, has raised $2 million in a Pre-Series A round with participation from Inflection Point Ventures. Spearheading this investment is Ashish Kacholia, a seasoned investor in the public markets.

Fresh From Farm assumes responsibility for retailers' operations, managing procurement, handling, sorting, and distribution, allowing them to concentrate exclusively on boosting sales.

The allocated funds will be utilised for team expansion, tech enhancement, and to introduce new product lines. This collectively aligns with Fresh From Farm’s growth strategy, positioning them for continued success and expansion in the marketplace.

TalkEsport raises $1M In Pre-Series A funding round

One of India’s leading esports media platforms TalkEsport has closed its pre-series A funding round securing a significant investment of $1 million from Saswat Ventures. The investment highlights TalkEsport's strong growth trajectory and reaffirms its status as a pioneering force within the esports industry.

Established in 2011, TalkEsport was founded with a vision to deliver timely news and updates to gaming communities globally. As one of India's longest-standing esports media platforms, the company currently serves millions of gamers worldwide through its website and social media channels.

With the recent investment, TalkEsport aims to expand its core website, introduce a highly interactive application for its audience, and establish a cutting-edge production studio in Mumbai. Through these initiatives, the company will launch exclusive content IPs focusing on gaming and esports.

Kyari raises Rs 6.5 Cr funding

Indore-based Kyari has announced the closure of a funding round totaling INR 6.5 crore in Pre-Series A. 

Spearheaded by lead investor Agra Gwalior Pathways and Airen Holdings, with participation from Amit Kumat from Prataap Snacks, Rajesh Patel from Apricot Foods, Sawan Laddha from Workie, We founder circle (WFC), IVY League Ventures and JITO, with financial assistance facilitated by Colonel Consultancy.

Established in 2022 by Agam Choudhary and Saksham Jain, Kyari is one of the leading players in the direct-to-consumer (D2C) sector. It offers a wide range of locally cultivated plants and planters through its D2C platform.

The strategic infusion of capital will be instrumental in propelling Kyari towards its vision of brand expansion and category diversification under its umbrella brand, Select Brands.

Hype & Luxury Platform Culture Circle raises pre-seed funding

Culture Circle, a comprehensive platform focusing on luxury and hype, has secured an undisclosed amount in pre-seed funding from IIMA Ventures (formerly IIMA-CIIE).

The fresh capital will fuel the expansion into additional categories such as luxury fashion, watches, designer handbags, and collectibles. Additionally, it plans to broaden its offline presence by establishing experience centres in Delhi, Hyderabad, and Mumbai. Furthermore, Culture Circle aims to launch its platform in key international markets like the UAE, Singapore, and Thailand.

With this investment, Culture Circle continues its growth trajectory, targeting annualised sales of $25 million (Rs 200 crore) within the next 12 months. Currently, the platform boasts over 1900 verified sellers, offering a diverse range of streetwear at competitive prices to its monthly user base exceeding 300,000.

Plotline raises $2.6m to boost AI adoption in the super app era

Plotline, a startup enabling consumer app companies to rapidly and effortlessly customise their apps, has raised $2.6 million from Elevation Capital to improve user adoption and loyalty in the super app era. 

Established in 2022 by Shubham Jindal and Adarsh Tadimari, Plotline now empowers consumer brands to infuse dynamism into their apps by leveraging individual user behaviour analysis. Through scrutinising billions of data points, Plotline crafts personalised experiences, leading to substantial enhancements in app usage. This breakthrough enables product marketers to transcend the limitations of existing customer engagement platforms. While conventional platforms excel in re-engaging users via channels such as push notifications, SMS, and emails, they lack the capability to directly influence user interaction within the app.

Other news

Footprints Childcare launches AI assistant at their centers

One of India's renowned preschool and daycare brands Footprints Childcare has announced the launch of its revolutionary AI assistant, boasting an impressive 98% accuracy rate. This cutting-edge technology represents a substantial advancement in early childhood education, enabling Footprints to provide care and transparency to parents more effectively.

Footprints’ new AI assistant offers a multitude of benefits for parents. The system can automatically detect situations where adult supervision is lacking in a classroom, triggering immediate alerts for teachers.

Additionally, the AI can monitor cleaning schedules, ensuring a hygienic environment for all students. Parents will have access to real-time data on their child’s activities, including meals consumed, nap times, and bathroom breaks.

Agilitas Sports appoints Nirdosh Chouhan as Chief Technology and Product Officer

Agilitas Sports, an innovation-led Sportswear and Athleisure solutions platform has announced the appointment of Nirdosh Chouhan as the Chief Technology and Product Officer. Being part of the founding team at Agilitas Sports, Chouhan will spearhead the technological revolution within the company, driving innovation in athleisure and sports footwear through state-of-the-art technology.

With over two decades of expertise in technology and product development, Chouhan is a seasoned leader known for driving cutting-edge innovations at industry giants like Apple, OYO and Oracle. 

Ayodhya based CHUK turns profitable in 2023

The flagship brand of Pakka, CHUK has turned profitable during the third quarter of the fiscal year 2023–24. Underlining its dedication to compostability and innovation, CHUK has positioned itself as one of the leaders in providing eco-friendly alternatives to conventional tableware. During Q3 of the current fiscal year, CHUK recorded a noteworthy profit before tax (PBT) of Rs 174.24 lakhs.

Established in 2017, CHUK specialises in compostable tableware crafted from sugarcane residue, commonly known as bagasse. Additionally, it offers compostable alternatives to styrofoam and single-use plastic.

CCAvenue partners with Shivalik Small Finance Bank to boost payment options 

Infibeam Avenues Ltd, a payment solutions provider, announced a strategic partnership between its flagship payment brand, CCAvenue, and Shivalik Small Finance Bank. This collaboration marks a significant milestone in expanding payment options for merchants and customers alike.

According to the agreement, CCAvenue will incorporate Shivalik Small Finance Bank's internet banking option into its extensive payment platform. This integration introduces a fresh opportunity for the numerous merchants utilising CCAvenue's services. They will soon gain access to a large customer base from Shivalik Small Finance Bank, thus substantially enhancing their business potential.

The partnership benefits not only merchants but also Shivalik Small Finance Bank's account holders. With this integration, account holders will be able to make seamless payments on numerous websites powered by CCAvenue.

Kia India Joins hands with MapMyIndia

Kia, one of India’s leading premium mobility solutions providers has announced its collaboration with MapmyIndia for offering high-tech, smart navigation solutions to Kia customers nationwide. 

Incorporated within My Kia and Kia Connect platforms, this strategic partnership reshapes the user driving experience by providing precise location services and an extensive place search function. This empowers users to navigate their journeys confidently. The platform's Points of Interest (POIs) search, tailored for 4-wheelers and spanning over 450 categories, facilitates the effortless discovery of essential services such as dealerships, service centres, fuel stations, hospitals, hotels, restaurants, and more.

Additionally, drivers will benefit from speed limit alerts, real-time incident updates (such as water logging, road works, and traffic jams), and voice-guided navigation support during driving. These features, along with dynamic real-time safety alerts, underscore Kia's commitment to customer safety and providing a technologically enhanced driving experience.

Nodle partners with Watu to support urban mobility and asset-financing

Watu, an asset financing company empowering entrepreneurs throughout Africa, has forged a strategic alliance with Nodle (NODL), a prominent figure in blockchain innovation worldwide, to pioneer groundbreaking Internet of Things (IoT) solutions utilizing Nodle’s Decentralized Physical Infrastructure Network (DePIN). Initially, Nodle will harness its DePIN, comprising hundreds of thousands of smartphones, to enhance the asset tracking of Watu’s motorbike fleet.

The collaboration is set to kick off in Uganda this month and then extend to Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, DR Congo, and beyond. Through this partnership, Watu gains access to Nodle's strengths in cryptography, mobility, device authentication, and blockchain technology. Meanwhile, Nodle can utilize Watu's expertise to offer extensive services across Africa and other emerging markets.

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

Edited by Affirunisa Kankudti