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The Tech Panda takes a look at recent funding events in the tech ecosystem, seeking to know where the cash is flowing.

Startup: Cognecto

Sector: AI

Amount: INR4 crore

Led by: Inflection Point Ventures

AI solution Cognecto raised INR4 Cr in a Seed Round led by Inflection Point Ventures. The funds will be used to develop Regenerative Artificial Intelligence technology that is aimed at providing valuable business and operational insights for the mining and construction sectors. This will involve integrating data from existing and highly distributed telematics systems, along with operator inputs through mobile apps and wearable devices, and combining AI to drive smart allocation, routing, and operational and maintenance effectiveness.

Vikram Ramasubramanian, Partner, Inflection Point Ventures, says, “The utilization of AI technology in the mining and construction sector is a significant advantage. These industries require real-time data to optimize time and resources effectively. Cognecto, with its state-of-the-art technology, offers solutions for infrastructural development, making it easier for even the most complex workforce to improve productivity on a large scale. IPV has always been at the forefront of extending support to innovative ideas that enhance productivity and optimize resources to their fullest potential.”.

Rohet Sareen, Head of Business Development, Cognecto, says, “I am thrilled to have IPV Ventures as partner in our journey to revolutionize the mining industry through cutting-edge technology. Their vast experience and guidance have been invaluable in raising this seed round, and we look forward to a successful collaboration. With this funding, we are excited to accelerate the development of our product and bring real-time data analytics to the forefront of mining and construction operations.”

Startup: Aksum

Sector: B2B SCaaS

Amount: US$1 million

Led by: Inflection Point Ventures

Aksum, a B2B SCaaS platform has raised US$1 million in a mix of equity & debt in its Pre-Series A round led by Inflection Point Ventures. The funds will be used to enhance and reinforce the technology framework of the company and also expand its reach to new geographic locations.

Vikram Ramasubramanian, Partner, Inflection Point Ventures, says, “To streamline the supply chain operation, usually SME’s and corporates require adequate amounts of capital & human resources which can be time consuming and costly. Aksum with its digitised platform will not only enhance the entire supply chain process but also provide a complete transparency in the end to end supply chain. Thus enabling manufacturing and infrastructure sectors to focus on their business and grow with ease.  IPV is confident that their expertise coupled with Aksum’s unique business model will further help them to grow strategically in the coming months.

Sumit Bhatia, Co-Founder, Aksum, says, “We would like to thank IPV for believing in our vision to build India’s 1st ScaaS B2B platform. The fund raised will help us in expanding our product category portfolio & bring transparency & efficiencies in the supply chain function.”

Startup: HerKey

Sector: Jobs platform for women

Amount: US$4 million

Led by: Kalaari & 360 ONE Asset

HerKey, a career engagement platform for women in India, has announced a $4 million funding round from Kalaari, 360 ONE Asset, earlier known as IIFL Asset Management (IIFL AMC), and angel investors including Zia Mody, Puneet Dalmia, Pramit Jhaveri, Aditi & Shuchi Kothari, KP Balaraj, Ranjan Pai, Neeraj Bajaj, Akash Bhansali and others.

Neha Bagaria, the Founder and CEO of HerKey, expressed her excitement at the funding round, stating that “We are grateful to our esteemed investors for their support in helping us create a more inclusive workforce for women in India.”

“A crucial aspect of India’s economic ascent in the coming decade will be increasing participation of women in the workforce. A digital platform like Herkey is the need of the hour to make progress towards this goal. HerKey helps women exchange diverse knowledge, perspectives and enables them to interact without being constrained by time and location. Neha, as founder and CEO, has done a stellar job in creating pathways for many women to come back into the workforce after a break. We have been impressed by HerKey’s growth trajectory and look forward to partnering with them as they redefine the landscape of women’s careers in India,” said, Vani Kola, Founder and Managing Director of Kalaari Capital.

The investment was backed by Kalaari Capital through its CXXO programme that seeks to build a vibrant community of women leaders to champion the next generation of women founder-CEOs for inclusive growth and opportunities to reach the top.

Startup: Deciml

Sector: Micro-investing mobile app

Amount: Undisclosed

Led by: Notable investors

Deciml, a micro-investing mobile application that allows young Indians to automatically invest their spare change has secured a bridge round of funding from a diverse group of well-known influencers, personalities, and companies across various industries. Notable investors include Zakir Khan, Viraj Sawant, Saurabh Abbi, Abhishek Oswal, Chirag Chetan Gandhi, Hemant Ruprell, Shashank Deshpande, Sandeep Kumar Chawda, Rasiklal R. Thakker, Vinit Pardeshi, and Blaze Management Labs LLP.

This round is an addendum to the pre-seed round raised in June 2022 of $1 million from strategic investors that includes venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and innovators such as Unnati Labs, Agility Ventures, and MyAsia VC, and noted names such as Gaurav Munjal, Co-Founder & CEO of Unacademy; Entrepreneur and Investor Dr. Ritesh Malik; CTO of Dunzo, Mukund Jha; Raunak Munot, Co-founder of Bombay Shaving Company, and Bhuvan Bam. Other noted names such as Ranveer Allahbadia, Raj Shamani, Suhani Shah, Praful Billore, Varun Thakur, Viraj Sheth, and Rohit Raj, as well as startup advisors like Abhishek Ponia had also participated in the pre-seed round.

Satyajeet Kunjeer, Founder, Deciml said, “We are thrilled to have the support and expertise of such a diverse group of investors and companies in our bridge funding round. Each of our investors brings valuable experience and strategic insight to the table, which will be instrumental as we continue to grow and expand.”

Startup: Janitri

Sector: MedTech

Amount: US$1.1 million

Led by: India Accelerator

Janitri – a MedTech startup focused on pregnancy monitoring has recently secured US$1.1 million in pre-Series A led by iAngels-backed by India Accelerator. The investment round also witnessed the participation of other marquee investors including C-camp, Namita Thapar, O2 angels, Ashish Kacholia, IKP and others. In their last round Janitri was funded by Singapore based Pureland Venture group.

Arun Agarwal, Founder, Janitri said, “I would like to thank everyone for this support and for joining this journey with us. This space (maternal & child healthcare, medical device) needs a lot of attention, funding, awareness to make sure no mother or newborn dies or gets life-long complications during pregnancy, labor or post-delivery.”

Mona Singh, Co-Founder, India Accelerator said, “Pregnancy is exciting but the journey is also filled with anxieties and several critical aspects. Janitri’s devices are compact and portable, making it much easier for expecting mothers to manage their pregnancy through these devices. We are confident that Janitri’s product offerings are going to be a game-changer in the market as it strives to ensure healthy pregnancy and delivery, a suitable candidate for acquisition for big players of the industry like Philips/GE/Siemens.’’

Renowned investor of Janitri from its Shark Tank, Season 2 journey, Namita Thapar said, “Mother and newborn deaths and complications during and after pregnancy are still a big concern and it impacts the whole society. Janitri is solving one part of the problem using wearable and AI-enabled fetal-maternal vitals monitoring solutions to prevent this mortality and morbidity. Even if it saves 1 life, it is worth the investment. Arun is a fantastic entrepreneur, smart, driven & with a strong sense of purpose. I’m excited to be part of his journey.”

Startup: Solar Ladder

Sector: Supply chain

Amount: INR11 crores

Led by: Axilor Ventures, Titan Capital, DeVC, Stride Ventures & others

Solar Ladder, a supply chain platform for Solar Installation companies raised INR11 crores in seed funding from Axilor Ventures, Titan Capital, DeVC, Stride Ventures, and angels from Atha Group, NIPHA group, Varun Alagh (Founder, Mamaearth), Subin Mitra and Aditya Bandi of Groyyo, Deepak Jain (Partner, Bain and Co.) among others. 

The recently acquired funds will be utilized to distribute software that automates processes for solar installers, allowing them to expand their business tenfold and aims to become the go-to ecosystem for solar installation companies.

Manan Mehta, Co-Founder, Solar Ladder said, “India’s per capita electricity consumption is significantly lower than the global average, and rooftop solar energy is the most cost-effective means of generating electricity. By adopting rooftop solar energy India has a unique chance to decentralize its power supply and enhance the quality of life for all citizens. The key to seizing this opportunity lies with the solar installers who are striving to implement rooftop solar on a large scale. Solar Ladder aims to facilitate faster scaling for these installers by providing them with appropriate financial, procurement, and software tools.”

“We at Solar Ladder are committed to helping solar installers grow their business 10x. In the fiercely competitive domain of rooftop solar installation companies, Solar Ladder aspires to equip local installers in every city with state-of-the-art technologies and services to enhance their capabilities”, added Abhishek Pillai, Co-founder, Solar Ladder.

Startup: Pando

Sector: Supply chain software

Amount: US$30 million

Led by: Iron Pillar & Uncorrelated Ventures

Supply chain software company, Pando, raised Series B funding of $30 million, bringing total capital raised so far, to $45 million. The round was led by marquee Silicon Valley investors Iron Pillar and Uncorrelated Ventures, with participation from existing investors Nexus Venture Partners, Chiratae Ventures and Next47. Several prominent American CEOs and angel investors also participated in this round including David Dorman, Chairman of CVS Health and Director on the Boards of Dell and Paypal, Tom Noonan, Director on the Boards of New York Stock Exchange and SalesLoft, Scott Kirk of Bain Capital, Paul Brown of Dunkin’, Baskin-Robbins and Neiman Marcus, Nick Mehta of Gainsight, and Amar Goel of Pubmatic. The fresh funds will be used to drive Pando’s growth across geographies and industries.

Mohanjit Jolly, Partner at Iron Pillar who led the Series B, believes that Pando is uniquely positioned to be a global leader in this growing category. “The Logistics Tech market is ripe for disruption – there is high demand caused by volatility, legacy competition that is trying to catch up and a trend towards bundling point solutions. Pando addresses the problem holistically and, with its world-class talent in India and the US, takes a global view to IP-led product development. Their growth with multiple Fortune 500 companies is testimony to the quality of the product and management team, but their focus on building a large long-term business is what got us excited to partner with Abhijeet and Nitin. Iron Pillar is eager to leverage its global network of customers, partners, strategic capital and more to help accelerate Pando’s journey.”

“Pando’s Fulfillment Cloud has been proven across several industries in the last few years, with strong revenue growth, marquee customer logos, high CSATs, and a fully built-out enterprise-grade platform. Pando is now expanding into new industries and geographies, especially the US.” said Abhishek Sharma, Managing Director at Nexus Venture Partners who seeded the company in 2018.

Startup: GenWorks Health Private Limited

Sector: MedTech

Amount: US$4 million

Led by: BlackSoil

Mumbai-based alternative credit platform BlackSoil has announced an investment of $4M in GenWorks Health Private Limited, a leading medical technology company based in India. The investment is part of BlackSoil’s commitment to investing in the healthcare sector. It is expected to support GenWorks Health’s growth and development while contributing to the advancement of innovative healthcare solutions.

“We are pleased to tie up with Blacksoil and have them as our partner. Their funding will aid our expansion activities, grow the customer base, as well as help us maintain a robust infrastructure, such as equipment, software, technology, and staffing, to support the delivery of our healthcare services” said S Ganeshprasad, Founder, Managing Director, and CEO, Genworks.

“Our investment in Genwork Healthcare is not only a testament to their potential for growth, but also to our belief in the transformative power of healthcare technology. By leveraging our expertise and resources, we are confident that together we can make a positive impact on the healthcare industry and improve the lives of countless individuals”, said Ankur Bansal, Co-founder of BlackSoil Capital.

The investment will support GenWorks Health’s efforts to provide high-quality healthcare to underserved areas and contribute to making healthcare more affordable and accessible in tier-II/III cities across the country.

Startup: Zyngo EV Mobility Pvt. Ltd

Sector: EV

Amount: US$5 million

Led by: Delta Corp Holdings

Zyngo EV Mobility Pvt. Ltd, a Gurugram-based tech-enabled third-party logistics service provider, has raised $5 Million in Pre-Series A funding led by Delta Corp Holdings (“Delta Corp”) with participation from existing investors LC Nueva Investment Partners LLP. The funds will be used towards increasing fleet size, expanding to new geographies and to enhance technology.

Prateek Rao, CEO and Founder, Zyngo, said, “We founded Zyngo with a vision to champion the cause of clean mobility solutions in the logistics sector which has traditionally been dominated by large polluting trucks and vans. Our efforts to deploy cutting-edge technology and electric vehicles for last-mile delivery have already garnered an overwhelming response from our customers. With this latest investment, we are excited to accelerate our growth and expand our reach, while staying true to our commitment to provide eco-friendly and affordable logistics solutions. We are thrilled with the further validation of our business model from our existing and new investors. We look forward to creating a greener tomorrow together.”

Mudit Paliwal, the CEO & Founder of Delta Corp – “We are very excited to support Zyngo and extend our footprint in last-mile logistics in the EV space. What better place than India with its large population and growth potential. We have identified some of the key infrastructural barriers towards mass adoption and are now actively addressing each obstacle through targeted investments. These range from empowering drivers, financing vehicles to creating EV infrastructure hubs, our goal is to create a comprehensive EV ecosystem that will accelerate adoption of EVs throughout India particularly in logistics.” 

Startup: Soptle

Sector: FMCG

Amount: US$1 million

Led by: Kube VC & We Founder Circle

Soptle, an Indian SaaS-led B2B marketplace for FMCG manufacturers and retailers, today announced it has closed a $1 million pre-seed investment in its latest funding round. The round is led by Kube VC along with We Founder Circle. This round also saw participation from Iceland Venture Studio (IVS), Nyra Ventures and founders of Dunzo, Jar, Bijak, and Managing partner of Existing investors – Kube VC and Dunzo founder Ankur Agarwal – are also participating in the funding round.        

The pre-seed funding will power Soptle’s expansion of the retailer-network reach and manufacturing-partner footprint across India, with new product offerings and technology enhancement. 

According to Pravas Chandragiri, the 20-year-old CEO & Founder of Soptle, “When I started Soptle, my aim was to help the humble kirana store owner in small towns and cities. I never had any doubt about both the idea behind Soptle and India’s untapped potential. Our team has worked hard to make this idea grow, and the pre-seed round is a validation of our efforts. The pre-seed round is another step towards many new milestones. I am thankful to both the Soptle team and the investors for their partnership and passion.”

“Pravas, at such a young age, has created a business model that encapsulates our view on how technology can connect various manufacturers to improve the distribution while also building scalable, defensible and profitable business models. We are encouraged by the traction achieved for their manufacturers-led market linkage,” said Neeraj Tyagi, Founder, We Founder Circle.

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