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Startup news and updates: daily roundup (April 25, 2023)

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InspeCity raises $1.5 million from Speciale Invest

InspeCity, a spacetech startup, said it has raised $1.5 million in a pre-seed funding round led by early-stage venture capital firm Speciale Invest. Antler India and Veda VC co-led the round while Anicut Capital, DeVC India and others participated in the round.

The startup will use the funds to develop its tech stack and hiring talent. 

Founded in mid 2022, InspeCity is trying to build the first city in a suitable orbit between the earth and the moon to address “the problem of resource scarcity on earth”.

“Our vision is to create a new economy in space and build human habitats that transcend the limitations of our current planetary systems,” said Arindrajit Chowdhury, CEO, Inspecity, in a statement.

In the past, it received a Rs 15 million grant from the iDEX platform “for the development of micropropulsion systems for CubeSats”, a type of nanosatellites. In addition, it has also received a Rs 1 million grant from the TIH Foundation, a not-for-profit company set up by IIT-Bombay, for “technological support to develop an inter-satellite link”.

Menhood raises Rs 2.35 crore from Velocity

Men’s grooming brand Menhood said it has raised Rs 2.35 crore in multiple tranches from Velocity, a revenue-based financier. The funds would help the company expand its product lines and enter new markets besides allowing it to budget more for inventory and marketing purposes.

Menhood claims it has a 15% repeat customer rate every month while three-fourths of its customers opt for prepaid orders. The company is looking to expand its presence on major e-commerce platforms such as Amazon, Nykaa, TataCliq, Myntra and Flipkart, besides strenghtening its own website.

Haqdarshak Empowerment Solutions raises undisclosed funding in pre-Series A1 round

Haqdarshak Empowerment Solutions, a welfare delivery service provider, said it has raised an undisclosed amount in pre-Series A1 round on Tuesday. Innovating Justice Fund and Village Capital-managed Financial Health Innovation Fund are some of the new institutional investors it has onboarded, besides other new investors like Abhishek Rungta, Founder and CEO of Indus Net Technologies, Deep Bajaj, Co-founder of Sirona Hygiene, Bhavin Pandya, Co-founder and CEO of Games 24X7 and independent investors such as Girish Kulkarni and Mohit Bajaj. 

The current Shark Tank India panel members–Namita Thapar, Executive Director of Emcure Pharmaceuticals, Peyush Bansal, Co-founder and CEO of Lenskart and Aman Gupta, Co-founder and CMO of boAt–were also part of the new cohort of investors in the company.

Existing investors such as The Deepak Group, Acumen Fund, Beyond Capital Fund  and 3i Partners also participated in the round.

Other news

Nruthya Madappa now Partner at 3one4 Capital

Venture capital firm 3one4 Capital has elevated Nruthya Madappa, who leads growth and capital development team, as Partner. The company said she has been “instrumental in driving the consistent success of 3one4 Capital’s impressive portfolio of startups”.

Madappa, who joined the Bengaluru-based firm in 2020, has helped portfolio companies in raising capital, driving revenue growth and making successful exits. “Her expertise in technology, finance, and economic policy has helped her identify and support some of the most promising companies that include Open, BetterPlace, and Kapiva in India’s dynamic startup ecosystem,” 3one4 said in a statement. 

Klay Preschool to expand to 400 centres in 2023

Klay, a preschool and daycare chain, will set up around 250 new daycare centres in 2023, marking an annual growth of 33%. This would include expansion in tier-II towns as well. Currently, it has over 2,000 educators in more than 150 centres in India.

In 2022, the company increased the number of centres under its fold by 15% in major cities such as Bengaluru, Mumbai, Hyderabad and the National Capital Region. It has partnered with 430 companies such as HCL, Visa and Godrej and expects a 20% increase in onboarding more such firms in 2023-24.

RenewBuy to increase headcount by 10% by next quarter

Insurtech firm RenewBuy said it will increase its workforce by 10% by August across tech, product development, sales and insurance advisory functions. It is looking to hire sales experts, tech developers, product managers and application support developers.

The Gurugram-based company is looking to add to its headcount at its head office as well as its key branches in metro cities. Founded in 2015 by Balachander Sekhar and Indraneel Chatterjee, the company offers health, life and motor insurance products through a network of over 100,000 insurance advisors.

(This story has been updated to correct a typo)

Edited by Akanksha Sarma

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