The Week That Was: Indian Startup News Overview (8th January -12th January)

The Week That Was: Indian Startup News Overview (8th January -12th January)
The startup landscape in India is witnessing a substantial upswing propelled by entrepreneurs who benefit from government initiatives like Start-up India, offering tax incentives. The robust ecosystem is reinforced by the existence of incubators and accelerators. Remarkably, industries such as e-commerce, fintech, health tech, and edtech have flourished, playing a pivotal role in fostering innovation, generating employment opportunities, and driving economic growth. The global recognition of India's startup capabilities underscores its potential for groundbreaking innovation. The trajectory of this ecosystem reflects a nation actively embracing entrepreneurship and innovation, strategically positioning itself to shape its future through technology and inventive solutions.
This week, we observed that Bengaluru-based organic dairy startup Akshayakalpa Organic has secured Rs 100 crore in its Series C funding round and Riskcovry, an Insurtech startup secured approximately $4.5 million in a bridge funding round spearheaded by Dubai's Morphosis Venture Capital a B2B fund with participation from Indian financial services entity IIFL. These are just two examples of the top ten startups that raised million-dollar funds this week.
Akshayakalpa Organic 
Bengaluru-based organic dairy startup Akshayakalpa Organic has secured Rs 100 crore (approximately $12 million) in its Series C funding round. A91 Partners led the investment, marking a significant milestone for the company after a 16-month gap since its last major funding round. Existing investors, including Rainmatter Capital and British International Investment, played a significant role, contributing Rs 18.6 crore and Rs 16.6 crore, respectively, according to Entrackr. To raise the total amount, the company's board approved the issuance of 41,35,010 Series C Compulsorily Convertible Preference Shares (CCPS) at an issue price of Rs 241.84 each.
Co-Founded by GNS Reddy and Shashi Kumar, Akshayakalpa Organic has established itself as a prominent player in the organic dairy market. The company delivers high-quality organic milk and related products to over 60,000 consumers daily in Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Chennai through its direct delivery platform. Its products are also available at 2,000 retail outlets and major e-commerce and quick commerce platforms. Post-allotment, the company's valuation is estimated to be approximately Rs 590 crore (around $72 million), as per TheKredible estimates. It's crucial to note that this tranche is part of a larger round, and the shareholding pattern may change upon the completion of the Series C funding.
FlexifyMe, a trailblazing Chronic Pain Management Platform, has concluded its Seed funding round, securing Rs 10 Crore from prominent investors IvyCap Ventures and Flipkart Ventures. The funding round witnessed enthusiastic participation from esteemed investors including GSF, Chandigarh Angels, Venture Catalyst, and Ah Ventures. With these funds, the company aims to transform chronic pain management by incorporating advanced technology and progressive exercises. The key objective is to deliver enduring relief and enhance workplace wellness significantly.
As per a statement, the global prevalence of chronic pain impacting over 2 billion individuals is exacerbated by sedentary lifestyles and postural misalignments. FlexifyMe, positioned as India’s premier chronic pain management solution, plans to utilize the funds to enhance its technology and introduce progressive exercises. The company's overarching goal is to assist corporations in comprehending ergonomic challenges, rectifying postural misalignments, boosting employee productivity, and ensuring continuous health monitoring. This initiative is anticipated to contribute to stress reduction and an overall improvement in lifestyle disorders.
Mumbai's clinical makeover platform makeO has secured $16 million in a bridge round, led by 360 ONE Asset and Ashish Kacholia's investment office. The funding reaffirms investor confidence in makeO, the umbrella company overseeing clear aligner and dental care brand Toothsi, along with skincare and hair care brand Skinnsi.
Returning backers, such as Eight Roads Ventures, Paramark Ventures from South Korea, and the family office of Medlife founders Prashant Singh and Tushar Kumar, joined the latest funding round. The capital raised will play a crucial role in supporting the startup's expansion into new geographical regions and the scaling of its experience centers. Operating as a digital-first brand, makeO offers services both at home and through its physical centers.
Glamplus, a SaaS-enabled B2B Beauty Marketplace, has secured approximately Rs 16.5 Crores in a pre-Series A funding round, with leading investors such as Upsparks Capital, Eagle10 Ventures, ITI Growth Opportunities Fund and Inflection Point Ventures. Other notable participants include Kube VC, Gopal Krishna Varshney, IR Capital Partners, and other esteemed investors. Specializing in delivering innovative technology solutions to salons, spas, and retail beauty chains, Glamplus aims to improve operational efficiency. The raised capital will be allocated for expanding B2B operations in Tier I and Tier II cities, along with plans to enter international markets.
Rohan Singh, the Chief Operating Officer at Glamplus, conveyed optimism about the company's journey towards profitability, asserting, "We anticipate achieving profitability by Q1 2024 through impactful outreach to small businesses like salons and beauty stores. Our aim is to offer improved fulfillment, faster deliveries and competitive pricing by optimizing the supply chain and eliminating intermediaries. We are dedicated to delivering quality, authentic professional products and refining the overall product supply and delivery experience".
Mumbai-based mental health startup Amaha, previously known as InnerHour, recently secured $4.4 million in funding from Fireside Ventures, marking its first fundraising endeavor in the last two years. In an extended Series A round, Amaha received a substantial investment from Fireside Ventures, as indicated by the company's regulatory filings sourced from the Registrar of Companies. According to the company's regulatory filings, the Amaha board passed a special resolution to issue 29,71,483 Series A4 compulsory convertible preference shares at an issue price of Rs 122.63 each, totaling Rs 36.44 crore ($4.39 million).
According to TheKredible's estimation, following this funding round, Amaha has been valued at roughly Rs 177.2 crore or $21.35 million. Over time, the company has gathered approximately $10 million in total funding from diverse investors like Lightbox Ventures, Capricorn Partners, Pankaj Sahni, Hitesh Oberoi, and Ashish Bhargava. As per the filings, "Fireside Ventures has acquired a 20.6% stake in the company", while "Lightbox Ventures remains the primary shareholder". Co-Founders Amit Malik and Neha Kirpal have reduced their ownership stakes and now collectively hold a 33.7% share in the company., a custom manufacturing platform, has secured $6.3 million in Series A funding led by Arkam Ventures and Susquehanna Asia Venture Capital, with support from existing investor Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India. The funding infusion aims to enhance the company's supplier network, build an electronics supply chain, and facilitate expansion across the United States and Europe.
"Our investors' confidence validates our dedication to transforming manufacturing through technology, offering adaptable and scalable solutions. We aim to make a substantial impact in high-growth sectors, meeting increasing demands and propelling to redefine India's manufacturing industry landscape", highlighted Sonam Motwani, CEO, and Founder of
PrabhuBhakti, a direct-to-customer (D2C) startup merging spirituality and style, has secured an undisclosed seed funding amount from Prajay Advisors. Founded in 2021 by Samast Ahlawat and Raju Kumar, the platform focuses on three primary categories: Apparel, Silver Jewelry, and Puja Items, specifically targeting the burgeoning demand among younger consumers. Recognizing the thriving spiritual market valued at USD 50 billion and boasting a 10% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR), PrabhuBhakti aims to utilize this investment to diversify its product range, explore fresh markets, and fortify its position in the D2C religious products sector. Samast Ahlawat, Co-Founder of PrabhuBhakti, remarked, “This infusion of capital will facilitate the expansion of our product offerings, entry into new markets, and further cement our pioneering stance”.
"Prajay Advisors LLP, led by Founder Prakash Mody, expressed keen interest in collaborating with PrabhuBhakti. Mody praised the company's innovative fusion of faith and fashion, offering a diverse range of religious products tailored to resonate with today's youth. He highlighted, 'Their dedication to providing distinctive and trendy items ensures that young individuals can express their spirituality in a manner aligned with their contemporary lifestyle".
The HR-tech startup, InCruiter, obtained Rs 11 million through undiluted Revenue-Based Funding from GetVantage. The aim is to leverage these funds to evolve into a comprehensive solution for companies seeking faster and superior talent recruitment, as per the company's statement. The Bengaluru-headquartered firm received financial backing from the Start-Up India Scheme, securing Rs 20 lakh in debt funding. Furthermore, in January 2023, it raised Rs 1 crore from Recur Club in a revenue-based funding round.
InCruiter utilizes AI-driven processes to expedite interviews, claiming to have saved over 10,000 HR minutes in three months and conducted more than 4 million total interview minutes. Recently, the startup launched a new product called "IncBot", established a new office in the USA, and successfully onboarded 87 new clients in the previous year.
CureBay, a healthcare startup, has secured approximately Rs 62 crore in a funding round, primarily backed by its existing investor, Elevar Equity. The company outlined its plans to utilize the funds towards enhancing healthcare accessibility in underserved areas, developing a robust data platform, and expanding its team by hiring skilled professionals in technology and healthcare. Previously, in November 2022, CureBay had obtained Rs 50 crore in funding from Elevar Equity. Emphasizing its focus on achieving profitability and capitalizing on data assets, the company aims to invest in revenue-generating avenues like its membership program and bolstering its data expertise both in technology and market outreach, as stated in their official communication.
CureBay intends to utilize the funding to recruit over 200 professionals, encompassing data scientists and healthcare experts across diagnostics and pharmacy. The company's strategy involves expanding its clinics, aiming to elevate the count from 90 to more than 200 in regions spanning Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. Priyadarshi Mohapatra, CureBay's founder and CEO, highlighted their innovative approach, combining data and technology to enhance affordability and provide distinctive solutions for healthcare challenges at the grassroots level.
Riskcovry, an Insurtech startup, secures approximately $4.5 million in a bridge funding round spearheaded by Dubai's Morphosis Venture Capital, a B2B fund, with participation from the Indian financial services entity IIFL. This funding includes a minor secondary segment that facilitated liquidity for select employees and provided an exit opportunity for initial investors. In venture capital terms, a bridge round signifies a smaller investment phase positioned between two significant funding rounds, assisting the company in progressing toward its predetermined financial objective.
Riskcovry plans to utilize recent funding to advance towards profitability and eventually conclude its series B fundraising round. Chiranth Patil, Co-Founder of Riskcovry, states, "With this interim funding, our goal is to achieve cash profitability, targeting a base of $25 million (approximately Rs 200 crore) in processed gross written premium per month. Upon reaching this milestone, we aim to pursue a robust Series B round". The startup aims to conclude the current fiscal year with revenues of Rs 30 crore, marking a fivefold increase from the previous year. In 2021, Riskcovry processed around Rs 1,500 crore in written premiums, a significant surge from the approximately Rs 100 crore processed in 2021.