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Nalanda Learning, Powerhouse91, Chargeup raise early-stage capital

Nalanda Learning, Powerhouse91, Chargeup raise early-stage capital
Photo Credit: 123RF.com
30 Jun, 2021

Kolkata based Nalanda Learning Systems, which operates a preschool chain under the brand “Little Laureates”, has raised Rs 40 crore ($5.3 million) from returning investor Aavishkaar Capital. 

Nalanda plans to expand Little Laureates nationally through an integrated platform of digital content, curriculum and pedagogy, targeting children in early years. The Little Laureates digital early learning platform offers digital content, live classes and interactive games for early learners, according to a statement. 

“This capital raise will help us in further enhancing our technology capabilities and improving our geographic reach to early learners and preschools across India,” Tamal Mukherjee, CEO of Nalanda said. 

Avishkaar Capital is the impact investing arm of the Aavishkaar Group, which focuses on microfinance, MSME lending and ecosystem building across India, Emerging Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Aavishkaar Capital invests in sectors such as sustainable agriculture, financial inclusion and essential services. It has raised six funds so far with about $400 million in assets under management. 
 
Powerhouse91 

Ecommerce roll-up platform Powerhouse91 has bagged an undisclosed amount of seed capital from U.S.-based venture capital firm Crossbeam Venture Partners. 

Powerhouse91 was launched in early 2021 by Shashwat Diesh and Aqib Mohammed. The company's business model relies on identifying high-potential consumer brands, acquiring, and scaling them through growth capital, shared resources and e-commerce focused optimizations. 

Diesh said the fresh funding will be utilized to acquire consumer brands and build the platform’s technical capabilities. 

"We see great potential in Powerhouse91 and the brand they are building. With their overall approach stemming beyond only acquiring brands to also growing them, Powerhouse91 is building a strong playbook to scale the Indian e-commerce ecosystem and we are excited to be part of the process,” Ali Hamed, general partner at Crossbeam said in a statement.

Chargeup  

Battery swapping network for e-rickshaws Chargeup has landed an undisclosed amount in its ongoing pre-Series A funding led by MapmyIndia with participation from a group of HNIs. 

The funding will be used for customer acquisition and building the tech stack, according to a statement. 

Founded by Varun Goenka and Akshay Kashyap in 2019, Chargeup offers battery as a service (BaaS) solutions to e-rickshaw drivers.  

It enables the e –rickshaw drivers to join the service without any upfront costs by subscribing to a daily battery rental plan. Drivers can visit the swapping station as many as 2-3 times a day to swap the discharged batteries with fully–charged batteries. The Lithium-ion batteries weigh less than 30 kg. 

The company claims its standardized battery technology and execution capabilities offers a 2-minute battery swap within a radius of 2 km to ensure twice the revenue for drivers and dealer partners. 
 
Chargeup currently operates 18 stations catering to over 500 drivers daily. The company is clocking 9,000 swaps per month and has covered 3.5 million km on its platform since inception, the statement added. 

“With MapmyIndia’s commitment, our synergy to build the right tech stack for the drivers will strengthen and give us a lead. We hope to leverage their best-in-class stack of maps and location technologies as well. The funding support from HNIs is also a major boost to our offerings,” Goenka, CEO and co-founder, Chargeup, said. 

Flipkart-backed MapmyIndia is a GPS navigation and location-based services provider which uses makes GPS-based Internet of Things (IoT) devices for use in vehicles in addition to maps and hyper-local mobile and web consumer apps. 

TABLT  

INYT Technologies, which operates Tier-II cities and beyond focused online pharmacy TABLT (formerly known as Sabse Sasta Dukaan) has secured $3 million in a fresh funding from Siti Cable. 

The capital will be used to strengthen its business development and marketing strategies, the company said in a statement. 

The investment was done via Indian Cable Net Company, a subsidiary of Siti Cable.  

Established in 2018, TABLT offers medicines, over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, and other healthcare products. It claims to have served over one lakh customers. The company concentrates on market penetration and acquisition in non-Tier-I locations in four states -- West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, and Odisha. 

“Siti Group as a brand has been a pioneer in the Indian media industry and has a good presence in semi-urban and rural markets which is our key targeted area. Apart from the monetary terms, we are also aiming at having powerful synergies with the group in the times ahead,” Anish Agarwal, CEO, TABLT, said. 

In January, the company raised a pre-Series A round from a clutch of investment firms and angel backers.

Prabhuji Online 

Prabhuji Online, a daily hyper local delivery platform for fresh flowers and Pooja items, has raised pre-series A round of funding from a bunch of Singapore and India-based angel investors. 

Rahul Tayal, ex-director, LG India and Croma; Saahil Mohta, former director of ANZ Grindlays Bank Australia; Prashant Tayal, director of Deutsche Bank Singapore; Saumya Bajaj of World Bank; Jaspreet Bhatia, managing director of Ice Cube Holidays and Sumit Keshav, former Microsoft and Wipro executive have backed the company in this round. 

It plans to expand into providing religious services such as booking services for priests and devotional singers as well as religious and spiritual tourism. 

“Our ethos is to reach out to every household of Bharat. We will now expand our footprint to different cities like Raipur, Delhi & Jaipur in 2021 as our immediate plan of execution,” Manishpal Singh, Co-founder and CEO, Prabhuji Online said.

 The company claims to have completed over 3 million successful deliveries in Kolkata.