The Week that Was: Indian Startup News Overview (4th September - 8th September)
India's start-up landscape has surged with entrepreneurs, backed by government initiatives like Start-up India offering tax benefits. Incubators and accelerators have also bolstered the ecosystem. Sectors like e-commerce, fintech, health tech, and edtech have flourished. This growth fosters innovation, job creation, and economic expansion. India's start-up prowess is globally acknowledged, reflecting its potential for transformative innovation. The ecosystem's trajectory showcases a nation embracing entrepreneurship and innovation, poised to shape its future through technology and innovation.
This week, we observed Silicon Valley-based startup d-Matrix, specializing in artificial intelligence chips successfully raised $110 million in funding, with notable support from tech giant Microsoft and Delhi-based pet-parenting mobile app Sploot has successfully secured $800,000 in its second round of initial funding. These are just two examples of the top ten startups that raised million-dollar funds this week.
Silicon Valley-based startup d-Matrix, specializing in artificial intelligence chips, has successfully raised $110 million in funding, with notable support from tech giant Microsoft. This achievement comes at a time when many chip companies face challenges in securing funding. Nvidia’s dominant position in the AI chip market, owing to its powerful hardware and software combination, has deterred potential investors from supporting some startups, according to sources.
The Series B funding round was spearheaded by Singapore-based Temasek and saw participation from Playground Global, a venture firm based in Palo Alto, California, and Microsoft. d-Matrix CEO Sid Sheth emphasized the significance of the funding, stating, “This is capital that understands what it takes to build a semiconductor business. They’ve done it in the past. This is capital that can stay with us for the long term.”
Mumbai-based healthy food startup, Madmix (previously known as Daily Staple), owned & operated by Mel Sante Food Production Pvt. Ltd., has achieved a remarkable milestone by securing a substantial investment in its pre-seed funding round at the valuation of approx. INR 12 cr. The funding is spearheaded by Prime Securities and features prominent investors like Authum Investments and Team India Managers. The funds raised will be utilised towards marketing efforts, sales team expansion and future product development.
This strategic injection of capital is set to boost Madmix into a new era of growth and opportunity after two years of bootstrapping. Despite limited financial resources, the company managed to expand its presence globally, reaching markets in Nepal, Hong Kong, New Zealand, and the USA. Additionally, it has made a significant impact in India, with its products available in over 650 stores nationwide. Further, with Madmix's recent rebranding and forward-thinking approach, the company is poised to achieve new heights in the healthy and innovative foods space.
Biomaterials startup altM has secured a $3.5 Mn seed funding round led by Omnivore, with participation from Theia Ventures, Thai Wah Ventures, Sanjiv Rangrass, Neha Mudaliar, Maninder Gulati (OYO), Mirik Gogri (Spectrum Impact) and Paula Mariwala (Aureolis Ventures). altM is Omnivore’s fourth investment under its OmniX Bio initiative, which was set up in 2021 to back early stage agrifood life science startups. The startup, founded in 2022 by Apoorv Garg and Yugal Raj Jain, both ex-Tesla employees, aims to develop and manufacture sustainable materials from agricultural residue to help companies reduce their carbon footprints and increase circularity in their supply chains.
Apoorv Garg, CEO and cofounder at altM, said, “The scale-up of technology from a laboratory bench to commercial production is not a trivial undertaking. Production scale-up is often the death valley for biotech startups. Our focus on go-to-market strategy, execution, and production scale-up will be the differentiator to most endeavours we see in the world of biomaterials today.” altM uses lignocellulosic agricultural residues as their raw material to produce advanced materials as alternatives to unsustainable incumbents. Lignocellulosic residue refers to dry plant residue and includes wheat, rice, barley straw, corn stover, sorghum stalks, coconut husks, sugarcane bagasse and banana leaves, among others.
Ellipsol, a next-generation solar company developing path-breaking solar energy solutions, has raised rupees 2.5 crore in a seed funding round led by Capital A. The funding round also saw the participation of the Grand Anicut Fund. Other individuals also contributed to the funding round. Ellipsol’s site, that is yet to open formally, promises 2X the solar power at just 10% extra cost for now, with details to follow after formal launch.
The investment raised would be utilized to take the prototype developed by Ellipsol to the production level. It would also be used for some of the pilot projects in the initial stages. The company will also focus on expanding capacities and is set to raise more funds during the expansion stage. India has solar energy potential with approx. 5,000 trillion kWh of annual energy incident on its total land area. This averages to 4-7 kWh of solar power per square metre per day in most parts of the country. This is where startups like Ellipsol are innovating and developing path-breaking solutions.
B2B fish and seafood startup Captain Fresh said it has raised $20 million as part of an extended Series C round led by Japan-based SBI Investment and Evolvence Capital. Existing investors such as Accel, Matrix Partners India, Prosus Ventures, and Tiger Global also participated in the round, the company said in a statement. The startup will use the fresh capital to fuel its global ambitions, with expansion plans in Europe and the US. Captain Fresh says it has already initiated discussions with potential partners in these markets. Elluminate Capital was the financial advisor for Captain Fresh in this transaction.
To further accelerate its expansion efforts in the European market, Captain Fresh has appointed Basola Valles as CEO Europe. "We will bring Captain Fresh’s improved and still improving tech-enabled sourcing capabilities to Europe, delivering a multi-species, multi-origin approach to distribution. We aim to reduce turnaround times, invest in product innovation, and deliver on transparency and traceability needs." Valles said.
Mappls KOGO, India’s exclusive AI travel expert app, received a second-round funding infusion of INR 9 Crores from MapMyIndia, a global leader in digital maps, geospatial software, and location-based IoT technologies. Building upon a prior investment of INR 10 Crores from MapMyIndia, this new funding reaffirms their confidence in Mappls KOGO’s potential.
Co-founded by Raj K. Gopalakrishnan and Praveer Kochhar, Mappls KOGO leverages AI to enable users to plan their travel quickly with expert recommendations and cost savings. The company aims to transform travel and hyper-local experiences through its proprietary AI technology, geospatial intelligence, and real-time travel data. MapMyIndia’s expertise in mapping will further enhance KOGO’s AI travel offerings. Raj K Gopalakrishnan, CEO and Co-founder of Mappls KOGO, remarks, “We thank MapMyIndia for their continued support. Their industry leadership will continue to strengthen the real-time locational intelligence of our data. This funding reaffirms MapmyIndia’s trust in our AI stack’s potential to disrupt the travel sector.
Space-tech startup Manastu Space has raised $3 million in a pre-Series A funding round. The round was led by Capital 2B, BIG Capital, and E2MC. The investment round also saw participation from Baring India through Sanchi Connect as well as Wealthy via Ventures, Roots Ventures, Riceberg Ventures, the founders of Atomberg, Spectrum Impact, and the family office of Aarti Industries.
Additionally, several other institutional investors, promoters, and select angel investors also invested in the round. Mansatu Space will use the funding for the development and deployment of its Green Propulsion and Debris Collision Avoidance System, and in-space services. The technology helps satellites to navigate through space and avoid any debris that might collide with them.
HRtech startup Atomicwork has raised $11 Mn in its seed funding round and officially launched its platform after emerging from stealth mode. The funding round was led by Blume Ventures and Matrix Partners and also saw participation from Storm Ventures, Neon Fund, and prominent angel investors, the startup said in a statement.
“Employees are still far away from being considered internal customers by service teams because of arbitrary boundaries between the back office and the rest of the company. They implement too many point solutions and complex processes, leading to productivity loss and unnecessary friction. Our goal with Atomicwork is to help companies offer a great experience with good efficiency,” Vijay Rayapati, CEO and cofounder of Atomicwork, said.
Delhi-based pet-parenting mobile app Sploot has successfully secured $800,000 in its second round of initial funding. This achievement comes as a result of collaboration with Info Edge’s subsidiary, Redstart Labs, and contributions from angel investors. With this fresh injection of capital, Sploot is set to expand its suite of services, including offerings related to dog walking, grooming, and high-quality ready-to-feed dog food. The company is also planning territorial expansion to reach a wider audience of pet parents. Sploot, often considered a trusted companion for pet owners, simplifies various aspects of pet care and addresses common challenges through its community and services.
Currently boasting over 100,000 downloads across the Play Store and App Store, Sport has delivered more than 80,000 meals and facilitated over 100,000 dog walks in the Delhi-NCR region alone. The platform’s community-led approach has garnered a significant following, with over 82,000 followers on Instagram. Garima Kaushal, Co-founder and CEO of Sploot shared her thoughts on the company’s mission, saying, “The idea for Sploot came from seeing generations of pet parents learn by making the same mistakes. Sploot was our effort to help pet parents be better by learning collectively from each other and the experts. We believe that education about pet parenting is the first step towards influencing purchase decisions.
Mental health platform LISSUN has successfully raised $1.3 million in a seed funding round led by Inflection Point Ventures (IPV) and Rainmatter Capital (Zerodha Group). The round also included participation from existing investors, including IvyCap Ventures, WFC, Growx Ventures, and prominent angel investors, bringing LISSUN’s total funding to over $2.3 million. The newly acquired funds will be strategically allocated to further enhance their technology and product offerings, expand the scope of their services, and foster partnerships with healthcare institutions and other organizations.
“This investment signifies the validity of our approach to delivering scalable solutions within the mental health landscape. Our investors’ expertise and backing will empower us to improve our offerings and extend our reach. With this injection of capital, we take a step forward in realizing our vision of solving mental health at scale,” said Dr. Krishna Veer Singh, director and co-founder of LISSUN. LISSUN operates with a unique B2H2C (Business to Healthcare to Consumer) strategy, collaborating with healthcare institutions to tackle high-stress use cases across various domains, such as infertility, rehabilitation, nephrology, and oncology. They also extend their services to the education sector, aiming to make mental health solutions accessible and affordable to a broader demographic. LISSUN boasts over 150 partnerships with industry players in both healthcare and education.
Read More News :