Home healthcare services firm Medwell raises $21 million VC funding

Apr 5, 2017 0

Bengaluru–Nightingales Home Healthcare Services provider Medwell Ventures Ltd on Wednesday announced raising $21 million (Rs 1,362 crore) in second round (Series B) funding from Mahindra Partners, Eight Roads Ventures, US-based F-Prime Capital Partners, early angel investors and founders.

Medwell raised $10 million (Rs 65 crore) in the first round (Series A) in May 2015 to expand Nightingales’ operations to 13 branches in Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Pune, with 1,000 medical, paramedical and healthcare professionals from a single branch here in 2014.

Nightingales have four branches each in Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Mumbai and one at Pune.

“Mahindra Partners, which forayed into the health sector with its first investment in Medwell, intends to have a greater participation going forward,” said the company in a statement here.

The company is promoted by healthcare professionals, including Chairman Vishal Bali, Co-Chairman Ferzaan Engineer, Chief Executive Officer Lalit Pai and Nightingales Chief Financial Officer Himanshu Shah.

“As we are witnessing strong consumer demand for our services, we will accelerate the growth over the next four years with the fresh investment,” said Pai in the statement.

Nightingales provides 25,000 services each month and plans to support over a million patients in the next few years.

“The demand for home delivery of chronic care services is projected to increase. As the healthcare sector has growth potential, we will play a proactive role,” said Mahindra Partners President Zhooben Bhiwandiwala. (IANS)

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Payal Divakaran, Actifio and Constant Therapy Among New England Venture Capital Awards Nominees

Apr 5, 2017 0

BOSTON–New England Venture Capital Association, a non-profit organization that boasts over 700 venture capital professionals who collectively manage more than $50 billion in capital, announced nominees in more than a dozen categories of its 5th annual NEVY Awards, according to media reports.

Ash Ashutosh

Boston Business Journal reported that the awards are sponsored this year by General Electric and winners will be announced May 17 at an event at the House of Blues in Boston.

This year’s nominees include several Indian-American entrepreneurs and companies. They are Payal Divakaran, who has been nominated for Rising Star VC category, Actifio (founded by Ash Ashutosh) in the category of Next Pillar Tech Company, and Constant Therapy (co-founded by Swathi Kiran and Veera Anantha) in Digital Healthcare Company of the Year.

“New England is home to some of the world’s brightest innovators and our new headquarters,” Sue Siegel, CEO of GE Ventures, said in a statement as quoted by Boston Business Journal. “From the area companies solving complex challenges, to the venture capitalists funding the ideas, it’s important to recognize all the great work happening across the ecosystem and we’re happy to support the NEVYs to do just that.”

Payal Divakaran (Photo: Linkedin)

Here are 2017 Tech Nominees:

Rising Star VC (Tech)

▪Juan Luis Leung Li, General Catalyst

▪Sarah Downey, Accomplice

▪Ash Egan, Converge VP

▪Payal Divakaran, .406

Hottest Early Stage Startup



Swathi Kiran


▪Semantic Machines

Next Pillar Tech Company


▪Rethink Robotics




▪Carbon Black

Clean Tech Company of the Year




▪Cadenza Innovations

Angel of the Year

▪Joe Caruso

▪Ty Danco

▪Jean Hammond

▪Jeremy Hitchcock

▪Mike Volpe

Fund of the Year

▪General Catalyst

▪Highland Capital

▪Converge Venture Partners


Entrepreneur of the Year

▪Ric Fulop, Desktop Metal

▪Jon Hirshtick, Onshape

▪Rob Biederman & Pat Pettiti & Peter Maglathlin, Catalant

▪Jeremy Hitchcock, (Dyn)

▪Jason Robbins, DraftKings

Rising Star Entrepreneur

▪Nick Frances, Help Scout

▪Jonah Lopin, Crayon

▪Liz Powers, Art Lifting

▪David Hurley, Mautic


Rising Star VC (Life Sciences)

▪Michael Gladstone, Atlas

▪Dan Gebremedhin, Flare

▪Paulina Hill, Polaris

▪Andrew Hedin, Bessemer

▪Sasha Said, Leerink

Hottest Early Stage Startup Therapeutics (HC/LS)

▪Evelo Biosciences

▪Magenta Therapeutics


Hottest Early Stage Startup Tools & Tech



▪Aldatu Biosciences


▪SQZ Biotech

Deal of the Year


▪Intellia Therapeutics



▪Moderna Therapeutics

Exit of the Year

▪Nimbus Apollo

▪Intellia Therapeutics

▪Delinia Therapeutics

▪Padlock Therapeutics

Digital Health Company of the Year

▪Constant Therapy

▪Rest Devices

▪Pear Therapeutics

▪Herald Health

Fund of the Year

▪Atlas Venture

▪Flagship Pioneering

▪Third Rock Ventures

▪Connecticut Innovations

Entrepreneur of the Year

▪Michael Gilman, Padlock Therapeutics

▪Rosana Kapeller, Nimbus Apollo

▪Kurt Graves, Intarcia

▪Robin Heffernen, Circulation

▪Katrine Bosley, Editas.

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Raising funds major challenge for internet startups: Study

Mar 30, 2017 0

New Delhi–Even though the government has been trying its best to ensure sustained funding for startups, a large number of internet-based startups are yet to get any formal funding in the form of business grants, loans or lines of credit, a survey said here on Thursday.

A dipstick survey of bootstrapping 2,925 internet startups by the Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) suggested that this shortage of funds persists despite nearly 74 per cent of them leveraging mobile technologies to scale up their businesses.

The survey was conducted in the cities of Jaipur, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Pune and New Delhi.

The survey found that while a majority 74 per cent of the respondents are leveraging mobile technologies to boost their businesses, 12 per cent of the respondents had completely mobile-based products.

“Very few of the respondents had any kind of formal funding in the form of business grants, loans or lines of credit, leave alone Angel or VC (venture capital) funding…it is no surprise that funding is considered to be the biggest challenge,” the survey said.

“Thus, it is imperative that the government should start funding the startups through approved incubators, for the startup ecosystem and the apps economy to grow in India,” it added.

Thirty-five per cent of the respondents also mentioned that “manpower” was a major challenge for these startups in their effort to scale up.

“Thus, there should be special focus of skilling and retraining, and the government should create a separate skills development council aimed at skills training particularly for the digital industry,” IAMAI survey suggested.

The survey pointed out that mobile is the key platform for new business generation (customer acquisition) and customer retention and transaction completion, in terms of finalising the deal.

“Digital payment is another major factor for going mobile. Many startups are in the field of mobile-specific services or into Internet of Things (IoT)-based products, like wearables and other gadgets, and hence completely based on the mobile platform for their products,” the survey said.

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Digital sports platform raises funds from Intex

Mar 28, 2017 0

New Delhi– Rooter, the worlds first digital platform that connects, engages and helps sports audiences interact with each other on a real-time basis during sports events, has raised an undisclosed amount of funds from Intex, one of Indias fastest growing consumer electronic goods and accessories manufacturer.

The sports social engagement app earlier successfully raised funds from Dhruv Chitgopekar and Prantik Dasgupta. It also holds the distinction of being the first venture that Bollywood actor Boman Irani has invested in as an angel investor.

The freshly infused capital will be utilized to strengthen the tech team at Rooter, all the while maintaining a lean structure.

It aims to also add more numbers to its Sales and Marketing team as well as to the content division to bolster the vernacular versions of the app. This round of funding will, in addition, help accelerate the platform’s expansion into South East Asian markets and catalyze partnerships with sports teams and leagues all around the world.

Rooter’s ambition to carry out merchandizing activities and possibly fan-player interactions will also get a boost besides allowing it to leverage the superlative tech infrastructure of Intex.

Rooter has been identified as one of the most unique ideas to emerge out of the Indian start-up ecosystem, with no pre-existing business model to follow anywhere in the world. With its user engagement features such as live-match prediction, quizzes, and chat forums becoming extremely popular with users, Rooter’s audience base and the time spent by an average user on the app has increased significantly.

With the approaching sports season, Rooter hopes to far exceed the 50000+ downloads it currently sits on, and aims to cross half a million downloads by the end of the IPL.

Rooter will benefit from the state-of-the-art technological setup of Intex, access to which can help reduce Rooter’s research and development costs. The ready database of Intex will also be a goldmine for Rooter to find new users. (IANS)

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Ankit Mahadevia’s Spero Therapeutics Secures $51.7 Million Venture Funding From Google Ventures

Mar 9, 2017 0
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Celect, founded by MIT professors Vivek Farias and Devavrat Shah, raises $10 million in Series B Funding

Mar 2, 2017 0

BOSTON–Celect, founded by two MIT professors Vivek Farias and Devavrat Shah in 2013, has raised 10 million in Series B funding. Celect is a cloud-based, predictive analytics SaaS platform that helps retailers optimize their overall inventory portfolios in stores and across the supply chain.

Vivek Farias

Farias is an Associate Professor and the Robert N. Noyce Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School, affiliated with the Operations Management group and the ORC.  Shah is Jamieson Associate Professor at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT.

Led by Activant Capital with participation from Fung Capital and August Capital, the funding will be used to extend momentum built in 2016 after closing the year with 2.5x revenue growth, Celect said in a statement.

“For nearly twenty years our industry has been paying lip service to the notion of injecting the ‘art’ of merchandising with more science,” said Bryan Eshelman, COO of Aldo Group. “We have now reached a tipping point with consumers expecting everything available everywhere all the time. Lip service is no longer an option – meeting this expectation while simultaneously reducing inventory is simply impossible without advanced analytics.”

Devavrat Shah

Historically, most merchandising decisions are made using simple spreadsheets and gut instinct, which leaves little room for optimization and in turn limits growth opportunities. With Celect, retailers now have a more precise and granular way to understand how customers choose between products, and how products interact with each other. This unprecedented insight is surfacing significant opportunities for optimization that would otherwise have gone undiscovered.

“Celect’s growth confirms that omnichannel retailers are ready to embrace data-driven decision support solutions,” said Steve Sarracino, Founder and Partner at Activant Capital. “Inventory optimization across the supply chain is on the top of every retail executive’s list of priorities. We are excited to further our relationship with the Celect team as they help retailers solve this critical challenge.”

John Andrews, CEO at Celect, added: “Every retailer we work with is making it a top priority to bring data and analytics into their merchandising, planning and allocation decision making. With this funding, we will be able to support our growing list of customers and expand the scope of product offerings moving through 2017.”

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Demonetisation to spark VC interest in Indian fintech firms

Feb 22, 2017 0

Chennai–The increase in digital payments by Indians following the demonetisation of old notes is expected to interest venture capital funds to invest in firms operating in the payments and mobile wallet sectors, consultancy firm KPMG said.

“Demonetisation efforts resulted in an increase in transactions for both payments companies and mobile wallet providers. This trend will be one to watch in Q1’17 and Q2’17, as it may spark additional interest from investors,” KPMG said in a statement.

Citing its Pulse of Fintech Report Q4’16 edition released on Wednesday, KPMG in its statement said the venture capital investment in India saw a significant decline in 2016, with just $216 million being invested, compared to $1.6 billion the previous year.

“This decrease highlights the impact a lack of mega-deals can have on a country, as actual deal volumes in India remained steady over the same period. Despite the decline, India appears to be a key focus of VC investors in Asia,” KPMG said.

According to KPMG, corporate interest in financial technology (fintech) is also expected to increase in India over the next year. Already, many of India’s banks and insurance companies have created innovation funds to invest in fintechs or set aside funds for collaboration.

“With the demonetisation effort that started in Q4’16 in India, there has been a big increase in the number of transactions managed by both payments companies and wallet providers. As this effort continues, we should see momentum grow for digital platforms and fintech solutions,” Neha Punater, Head of Fintech, KPMG in India, was quoted as saying in the statement. (IANS)

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Shakeel Avadhany-Founded ClearMotion Secures $100 Million Investment to Commercialize World’s First Digital Chassis

Feb 1, 2017 0

BOSTON–ClearMotion, Inc., an automotive technology company developing the world’s first digital chassis and co-founded and led by Shakeel Avadhany , has raised  $100 million Series C preferred stock financing, the company said in a statement.

The investment led by clients advised by J.P. Morgan Asset Management, with participation from New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Qualcomm Ventures, World Innovation Lab (WiL), and Eileses Capital. This round brings the company’s total investment to date to over $130 million.

“Innovation in the car business is ramping dramatically, and we see an opportunity to make our mark upon it,” said Avadhany, CEO and co-founder of ClearMotion. “Self-driving functionality mandates a future in which cars afford not just driving pleasure, but the utility of a mobile office. We are focused about the quality of time in autos and how we transform it by digitizing our relationship to the road, allowing software to control the dynamics of the car. We are excited to work with leading automakers and Tier-1 suppliers in making this a reality.”

Shakeel Avadhany

ClearMotion’s “digital chassis” technology replaces traditional automotive shock absorbers with software-controlled actuators, allowing cars to interpret and react to road conditions in real time. The system combines an unmatched level of comfort with the response and agility of a sports car. ClearMotion’s actuator technology pushes and pulls the wheels at high speed, delivering a calm and relaxing ride experience in what otherwise may be disturbing conditions. Proprietary software algorithms have enabled the commercial viability of the system while maintaining dramatic gains in performance.

Jonathan Ross, Managing Director at J.P. Morgan Asset Management, is joining ClearMotion’s Board of Directors.

“As the world continues to move toward connected, autonomous cars and mobility services, the next frontier of competition will be user-experience,” said Ross. “People spend an average of 1.5 hours per day in their cars. ClearMotion technology transforms the in-cabin experience, keeping passengers productive, safe, comfortable and engaged. This is central to how we envision mobility of the future.”

ClearMotion is a venture-backed automotive technology startup based in the Boston area. The company was founded out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is focused on launching the world’s first digital chassis to usher in next-generation user experience for autos.

Shakeel Avadhany

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LiquiGlide, Co-Founded by Kripa Varanasi at MIT, Closes $16 Million in Venture Funding

Jan 24, 2017 0

CAMBRIDGE, Ma. –LiquiGlide Inc., co-founded by MIT professor Kripa Varanasi, has closed $16 million in new financing. Investors that played a key role in the funding include Structure Capital, Valia Investments, Struck Capital and Pilot Grove, the company said in a statement.

LiquiGlide will use the capital to grow its existing packaging business while also accelerating the commercialization of new coating applications in the industrial and food manufacturing markets.

“What was ground-breaking materials science discovered in a lab at MIT has turned into a commercial technology platform that is revolutionizing the way liquids move,” said LiquiGlide Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board, and MIT Professor Varanasi. “Our investors’ vision and strategic support of our mission for a zero-waste economy will help us bolster the expansion of our technology platform as we develop additional coatings for new markets where we believe we can make a significant impact.”

Kripa Varanasi (Photo: MIT)

As part of the investment, Jillian Manus, managing partner at Structure Capital, a seed and early stage venture fund providing capital and marketing strategy to companies working to eliminate waste, has been named to LiquiGlide’s board of directors. Manus and the team at Structure Capital were early investors in Salesforce.com, Uber and Tesla.

Of the investment in LiquiGlide, Manus said: “Structure Capital’s mission is to be the architects of a zero-waste economy, and LiquiGlide’s slippery coating technology redefines the elimination of waste. As a board member, I look forward to being a strategic advisor for the company as it prepares to make a real impact on waste and inefficiency in industrial markets.”

LiquiGlide’s patented technology platform for permanently wet, slippery surface coatings was developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) by Prof. Varanasi and Dave Smith, who co-founded LiquiGlide Inc. LiquiGlide’s coatings are custom-made for each application by combining a porous solid with a liquid that gets trapped within it via strong capillary forces.

“Our technology has always had applications across a variety of industries,” said LiquiGlide Co- Founder and CEO Smith. “Having developed successful partnerships in packaging, the area of our initial focus, this capital gives us the opportunity to not only continue to grow and support initiatives in packaging, but also accelerate our growth in industrial markets – an area where we see tremendous potential to help companies reduce waste and improve energy efficiency.”

The $16 million infusion adds to the $7 million LiquiGlide received from Roadmap Capital in March 2015, which allowed the company to secure commercial deals in multiple market verticals, build a state-of-the-art laboratory and office space in Cambridge, and attract top scientists.

The first company to create permanently wet, slippery surfaces, LiquiGlide Inc. revolutionizes the way people and businesses move liquids by eliminating friction between liquids and solids. From reducing waste in manufacturing, to better packaging for consumer goods, to improving oil and gas infrastructure, LiquiGlide delivers coatings that work and are safe across a myriad of consumer and industrial applications.

LiquiGlide was founded in 2012 by Smith and Prof. Varanasi to commercialize MIT’s patented liquid-impregnated surface technology. The patents are licensed exclusively to LiquiGlide from MIT and include 13 issued patents with more than 150 applications pending around the world.

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Tata Communications arm invests in Dutch firm

Jan 21, 2017 0

Mumbai– Tata Communications Ltd’s Netherlands subsidiary on Saturday announced that it has invested in Teleena Holding B.V., a mobile virtual network enabler, making it the largest investor in the Dutch firm.

In a regulatory filing to the BSE, the city-based company said the undisclosed amount of investment, made on Friday, was part of its long-term development strategy of its global mobility and IoT (Internet of Things) services.

“As a result of this investment, Tata Communications (Netherlands) B.V., becomes the single largest shareholder of Teleena with a 35 per cent stake,” said the filing.

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