Agriculture-focused robotics startup TartanSense on Wednesday said it has raised $5 million (Rs 37 crore) in a Series A round of funding.
The investment was led by FMC Ventures and Omnivore, with participation from existing investor Blume Ventures.
It will be utilised by the company to expand its portfolio of robots designed to help farmers reduce their cultivation costs and improve yields.
“Our mission is to make smallholder farmers wealthier by shipping monetisable robots. TartanSense will have the world’s largest fleet of agriculture robots in the next 18 months,” Jaisimha Rao, the founder of the startup, said in a statement.
Rao started the Bengaluru-based company about six years ago and raised a seed round of $2 million in 2019.
The robots from TartanSense serve as an affordable precision agriculture solution for all major farming activities -- from plant-level sowing and spraying to weeding and harvesting.
According to the company, its latest robot BladeRunner can identify, precisely locate, and mechanically uproot undesirable weeds as well as spot spray on the desired crop, reducing chemical usage by 45% as well as increasing weeding efficiency by 7 times.
Bengaluru and Singapore-based food-tech platform Ai Palette has raised $4.4 million (Rs 32.6 crore) in a Series A round of funding.
The investment was led by Pi Ventures and Exfinity Ventures, with participation from Anthill, Agfunder and Decacorn.
Other angels also participated in the round, although their names were not disclosed. Ai Palette said it will use the fresh capital to expand the capabilities of its platform as well as to scale up and expand the company’s existing customer base.
Founded in 2018 by Somsubhra GanChoudhuri and Himanshu Upreti, the startup uses artificial intelligence, natural language processing (NLP) algorithms, and image recognition tools to understand conversations/visual cues in real-time and predict emerging trends for F&B companies around the world.
It uncovers consumer drivers and motivations and helps companies create winning product concepts that meet unmet consumer needs.
Ai Palette offers support for 15 different languages and works with some of the world’s largest food companies, including Danone, Kellogg’s, Cargill and Dole.
“From day one, we designed our technology to be relevant globally, and this puts us in a strong position to revolutionize the CPG product development space, where AI can create a $53 billion impact,” GanChoudhuri said in a statement
“With backing from our investors, we’re looking forward to accelerating product innovation for more FMCG brands in their fastest-growing markets -- wherever that is in the world,” he added.
The/Nudge Foundation, a non-profit organisation working to catalyse social transformation in India, said it has received a core grant worth $2 million (Rs 15 crore) from Omidyar Network India (ONI).
The funds will support the organisation in its effort to drive large scale transformation through three impact streams -- Centre for Rural Development, Centre for Social Innovation, and Centre for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.
The ultimate goal of the organisation is to alleviate poverty, sustainably and scalably.
“We are happy to welcome Shilpa Kumar (partner at Omidyar) and ONI on board, to support us,” Atul Satija, founder and CEO of The/Nudge Foundation, said.
“The strategic counsel, capital and capabilities that they bring will be invaluable in the design and implementation of our most ambitious programs,” he added.
Under its impact streams, The/Nudge has reached over 15 million people as of 2020, with 70+ corporate and philanthropic foundation partners and 2000+ individual donors, including notable names like The Rockefeller Foundation, Tata Trusts, Skoll Foundation, Facebook, HDFC Bank, Mphasis, Nandan Nilekani. It also runs a forum to enable meaningful conversations to advance India's developmental journey.
Gurugram and US-based deep-tech startup Tooliqa has raised $1.5 million (Rs 11 crore) in pre-seed funding from Schlesinger Group executives Aditya Raj and Dipak Singh and multiple other angels.
The research and development startup, founded in 2021, works in niche areas such as AI, ML, computer vision, and IoT to develop fit-to-market solutions for education tech, creative designing, automobile and virtual reality business.
“Most of the companies in computer vision today are piggybacking on existing off the shelf hardware, which leads to inaccuracies and heavy dependencies for optimization and performance on the software.
Our approach is built on R&D and investing heavily on engineering a custom camera and driving accuracies through multi-sensors and LiDAR fusion,” Raj said in a statement.
Currently, the company is focusing on building products in B2B and edtech space.
“Having in-house capability from Industrial Design, Embedded Computer Vision and Deep Learning, to Back and Front-End Development, gives us a lot of freedom to play around and pivot as we need. We are a young and ambitious team which thrives on pure engineering challenges and found the perfect business case to deploy our learnings, Raj Gupta, partner and VP at the company, said.
Delhi-based creator-led real money gaming startup FanPlay has raised $1.2 million (Rs 9 crore) in a fresh round, dubbed pre-Series A.
The investment was led by venture capital firm Upsparks, with participation from CRED founder Kunal Shah, Goodwater Capital, LetsVenture, Atrium Angels, IIM-Indore Angel Fund, and multiple existing investors based in India, USA, UK, Japan and Singapore.
FanPlay said it will use the capital to further expand its product offerings and include more game formats on its platform.
Founded by an IIT-ISB team, Bharat Gupta and Pritesh Kumar, the startup is looking to create a unique business model in real money games by focusing on the social element of mobile games. Since its launch in 2020, the startup has been able to retain more than 60% creators on its platform.
It aims to double the number of creators and users by the end of FY 2022.
“The potential for creator monetization is massive, and the products available currently are at a very nascent stage,” Gupta said. “We intend to build world-class products for creators to monetize in multiple ways. We have been able to do it well through gaming and want to augment our product offering with monetization through gifting, skill-based mini-classes and other game formats.
Kochi-based IsGoingOnline (IGO), a digital catalogue and online marketplace that enables SMEs to list their offerings online, said it has raised $200,000 (Rs 1.5 crore) in a pre-Series A round of funding.
The investment was led by Artha Venture Fund, with participation from Unicorn India Ventures, SEA Fund, and Brookfield Asset Management’s former managing partner Devdatt Shah.
IGO, founded in 2020 by Eobin George, said it plans to use the funds to expand its product and scale up internationally to support SMEs.
The company is taking its operations to the US, Canada and the Middle East, and looking at a market share of 18% by FY 2023-24.
Initially, IsGoingOnline operated a 3D scanning product under the name of PerfectFit. However, the company pivoted its business from that area to offer digital cataloguing and online listing. It now offers a holistic services stack, powered by new technologies like AI, for setting up online operations of small and medium businesses.
At present, IGO connects 400+ businesses with 120,000+ buyers across the country.
Mumbai-based health-tech startup NeoDocs has raised an undisclosed sum in pre-seed funding from 9Unicorns, Y Combinator, and Titan Capital.
The round also saw participation from Gemba Capital, Prophetic Ventures, Cloudnine Hospitals founder Rohit MA, LivSpace founder Ramakant Sharma, Tracxn founder Abhishek Goyal, LikeMinds founder Nipun Goyal, Oto Capital founder Sumit Chhazed, IIT Bombay Biosciences HOD Dr. Rohit Srivastava, and Bain & Co. partners Arpan Sheth and Prashant Sarin.
NeoDocs said it plans to use the funding to strengthen its core technology framework and expand its team.
The company, set up earlier this year by IIT-Bombay alumni Nikunj Malpani, Anurag Meena and Pratik Lodha, offers a platform that uses test cards and AI to let a person generate their test report on their phone itself.
Currently, it has tests covering panels such as hydration, pH levels, sleep, energy, mood, skin, liver health, kidney health, ketones, UTI, immunity, etc.
“Testing is shifting to an at-home, instant and high frequency model. And this shift has been further catalyzed by the pandemic. NeoDocs lets people take control of their health into their own hands, quite literally,” Malpani said in a statement.
UK-based wealth-tech startup Winvesta said it has raised an undisclosed sum from Speciale Invest, Blume Founders Fund, and Kunal Shah as part of its seed round of funding.
The investment will be used by the company to scale its operations including hiring fresh talent to build a world-class team as well as bolstering technology.
Founded in 2019 by Swastik Nigam and Prateek Jain, Winvesta allows Indians to open multi-currency accounts and invest in global brands such as Tesla and Apple.
“International banking and investing has been complicated and expensive for Indians. With a vision to make this seamless and convenient, we have brought global banking and investing to the fingertips of every Indian investor with an easy and hassle-free process,” Swastik Nigam, founder and CEO at Winvesta, said.
“...Winvesta recently received its neo banking license in the UK to continue building numerous products to serve India and the world. Our client set is swiftly increasing as we’ve started serving not just individuals, but businesses, wealth managers and institutions as well. This helps us lay the foundation for targeting the cross-border flow opportunity of over USD 700bn for India and beyond,” he added.