Pesto Tech, PakkaProfile, NirogStreet raise fresh funds

Pesto Tech, PakkaProfile, NirogStreet raise fresh funds
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8 Oct, 2020

Pesto Tech India, which owns an eponymous career accelerator platform for software engineers, has raised an undisclosed amount from a clutch of angel investors.

Product Hunt founder Ryan Hoover, angel investor Anand Chandrasekaran, Teachable founder Ankur Nagpal, Gumroad founder Sahil Lavingia, FYI co-founder Hiten Shah, Remote First Capital investor Andreas Klinger, Interact founder Maran Nelson, Startup Grind co-founder Derek Anderson and CapitalX general partner Cindy Bi backed the company in this round.

The startup, in a statement, said that it will use the fresh funds to strengthen its presence in Silicon Valley.

Pesto was founded in March 2017 by Ayush Jaiswal, former country head for Startup Grind India, and Andrew Linfoot, head of technology at VaynerMedia Company in New York. In May this year, Pesto’s angel investor and co-founder of food delivery platform Swiggy, Rahul Jaimini, joined the company as co-founder and COO.

Pesto provides software engineers a 12-week training programme to help them break into international technology careers via full-time remote jobs. It offers students one month of classroom learning opportunity, helps them build an application and work on an open-source apprenticeship with Pesto’s international partners. After completing the training, Pesto helps the students get coding assignments in US technology companies.

There is no upfront fee to be paid for the programme. Instead, the company takes a fixed percentage of the engineer’s salary for the next three years through an income share agreement. 

The startup claims that it has already placed 85% of its graduates in technology firms such as Snorkel, Airmeet and Paypal. On average, graduates have received a three-fold salary increment post the programme, Pesto said.

The startup raised an undisclosed amount in a round led by venture capital firm Matrix Partners India in May 2019. 

Healthtech co NirogStreet scores $2 mn  

Wellbeing Healthtech, which operates NirogStreet, an online platform that connects Ayurveda doctors with patients, has secured $2 million (Rs 14.6 crore) in a fresh funding round, dubbed a pre-Series A round, led by Wavemaker Partners and Amand Ventures. 

Returning investor Spiral Ventures also participated in the round, a statement said.

The startup said it will use the fresh capital to boost its marketing capabilities, strengthen its technology platform and digitise its supply chain.

NirogStreet, founded in 2016 by Ram N Kumar, Aradhna Rai and Shrey Jain, aims to make Ayurveda the first line of treatment.

The company has developed an app, NirogStreet for Ayurveda Doctors, where users can take doctor appointments. The app also aims to build an interactive and information-sharing platform for practitioners, academicians and students. Doctors can also use NirogStreet’s commerce capabilities to dispatch medicines to their patients.

NirogStreet has over 50,000 doctors on its platform and about 200 NirogStreet certified Ayurvedic clinics, which it aims to increase to 5,000 by 2022. The startup also plans to partner with Ayurvedic medicine manufacturers and brands to provide quality medicines to the patients.

Java Capital backs gig economy-focused co PakkaProfile 

Bengaluru-based early stage investment syndicate Java Capital has led an undisclosed amount of funding in PakkaProfile Psychometrics, which runs an eponymous game-based assessment and recruitment platform for workers in the gig economy.

The seed funding round also saw participation from LetsVenture and Notion COO Akshay Kothari. PakkaProfile had previously raised money in a bridge funding round, dubbed a pre-seed funding round, from London headquartered incubator Entrepreneur First.

Launched in May 2019 by Nagmanjunath and Savio Sebastian, the startup helps businesses make unbiased decisions in gig workforce assessment using psychometric games, facial and speech recognition technologies, and deep learning.

Nagmanjunath said the company aims to bridge the gap between employers looking for higher productivity, longer retention and better customer service from their workforce, and gig workers who are typically opportunistic, trying to maximise their earnings over a short period of time, looking at flexible hours and opportunities closer to home.

“Moving away from traditional job sites to an on-demand platform for gig jobs is what we have to offer. Vernacular games are an effective way to build a profile by measuring personality traits, cognitive and language skills of the workforce and help match the right people for jobs,” he said.

The deal marks the second investment for Java Capital, after it infused funds in no-code SaaS personalisation platform CustomFit.ai. The syndicate focuses on sectors such as fintech, healthtech, SaaS and mobile internet startups. They mainly work with companies on their ideation, prototyping and initial product marketing stages.

"PakkaProfile has a unique approach of using games, breaking all barriers of language and education levels, to assess and match gig workforce to the right job. PakkaProfile also builds a skill profile for each candidate evaluated… (and) provides flexibility to employers by offering them to opt for either the evaluation+matching+hiring platform or just the evaluation+matching solution, which helped them to work with giants like Swiggy and Ola...,” Bhargavi V, partner at Java Capital, said.