Early stage capital for global innovation
Focused on tech startups in the US and in India
NEWSLETTER - October, 2020
SRI CAPITAL UPDATES
 
 

SRI's take on Jio and the Indian startup ecosystem

Reliance Industries is India’s most valued company and now its subsidiary, Jio Platforms, has the distinction of being India’s most valuable “startup”. While the world was locked down by COVID, Jio raised a whopping $20.2 Billion in less than 4 months from some of the best-known names in the world including Facebook, Google, General Atlantic, and Silver Lake.

 

SRI Capital team put together our view on what all this means for the Indian startup ecosystem. As expected, some sectors of B2C will be dominated by Jio with no room for startups. We believe that B2B, especially enterprise SaaS, will continue to thrive.

 
 
 
 

Spoonshot raises seed investment of $1M led by SRI Capital

Spoonshot, a food science company using AI to predict consumer taste and food trends announced a seed investment of $1M led by SRI Capital. As the company stated, they will use the funding amount to fuel growth plan and further grow its proprietary technology and team.

 

Since publicly launching its product in October 2019, Spoonshot has signed a wide range of global food and beverage giants as well as category leaders across the US, UK, and Australia, which are Spoonshot’s key markets.

 
 
 
PORTFOLIO UPDATES

Yellowdig raises $1.5 million in funding to elevate remote learning collaboration platform

Yellowdig has successfully raised $1.5 million from SustainVC, Spring Point Capital, Musketeer Capital, and Ben Franklin Technology Partners. This brings Yellowdig’s total funding to $4.6 million to date. Yellowdig is a community building platform that enables an institution’s entire ecosystem—from students and faculty to administrators and alumni—to connect, learn and engage. Built from the ground up, the platform powers lifelong learning throughout the entire student lifecycle, in and out of the classroom.

 

The investment will be used to scale the company’s Engage platform in response to the uptick of inbound inquiries due to all schools moving online in light of COVID-19 this spring.

Visa selects Payswiff as winner of Visa Everywhere Initiative 2020 in India

Visa, the global leader in payments technology, announced Payswiff as the grand winner of the first Visa Everywhere Initiative (VEI) challenge in India. With participation from more than 260 fintechs and 400+ applications, a record number for any VEI program outside the US, the Initiative had challenges focused on digital issuance for driving access to payments and credit, increasing small merchants’ acceptance and digitally transforming B2B payments.

RAAD Systems selects DreamVu omnidirectional 3D vision system

DreamVu, the leader in omnidirectional 3D vision systems, announced that RAAD Systems has selected DreamVu's PAL 360° 3D Vision System to be used for obstacle detection and avoidance in its next-generation AMP series autonomous mobile robot (AMR) platforms. RAAD Systems, an emerging leader in robotic automation and system design services, plans to begin shipping the AMP platform by the end of 2020.

BSNL partners with IIT Bombay, Yupp Masters to improve the reach of digital education

State-run telco Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has launched a DRONE (Digitally Rich Online Nationwide Education) Education Initiative in partnership with IIT Bombay and Yupp Masters, in efforts to improve the reach of digital education program in India. Yupp Masters will provide its e-platform live classes anytime, anywhere, and on any device. It has additionally developed curated study material, in-depth tests, and grading modules to ensure the methodical training of students. It is also providing an ‘Ask a Doubt 24/7’--a dedicated live session with teachers to clarify queries of students.

How WorkApps’ VideoKYC platform is onboarding 1 million new customers a month for India’s top banks leveraging AWS

WorkApps’ video platform enables banks in the sector to migrate business processes and customer interaction to video channels. As the WorkApps’ video banking solution gained momentum, one use case in particular, began gaining increased traction - the VideoKYC. While the environmental factors provided the nudge for accelerated adoption, the key growth drivers for VideoKYC have been its depth of features, smooth user journey, security and data ownership. And AWS has played a key role in enabling this. The breadth of AWS services, its ability to facilitate scale, and the quick turnaround time to setup infrastructure were critical aspects that led VideoKYC to choose AWS.

Digital wellness startup HealthifyMe sees growth amid pandemic; eyes Rs 150 Cr ARR by January 2021

With COVID-19 being increasingly associated with comorbidities and social distancing becoming the new norm, people have turned to digital wellness platforms to keep fit and stay healthy. In this scenario, digital wellness startup HealthifyMe, which offers coaching and AI-based nutrition plans to customers, has reported a rise in revenues and paying customers in the past few months. The startup is now looking to cross an annual recurring revenue (ARR) of $20 million (Rs 148 crore approximately) by January 2021. It already crossed $15 million (Rs 111 crore approximately) in August this year.

 

HealthifyMe has also been operationally profitable since April this year with positive contribution margins, and is aiming to become earnings before interest tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) profitable in the next 12-18 months.

Blaize AI unveils new AI Edge Computing hardware and software

Blaize has announced the launch of new hardware and software specifically designed for AI Edge Computing applications. With multiple feature advancements vs. legacy GPU/CPU solutions, the Blaize Pathfinder and Xplorer platforms coupled with the Blaize AI Software Suite enable developers to usher in a new era of more practical and commercially viable edge AI products across a wide range of edge use cases and industries.

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