Ex-HCL honcho floats Rs 100-crore venture fund

Oct 22, 2016 0

New Delhi– HCL Technologies former Chief Executive Anant Gupta on Friday announced a Rs 100-crore venture fund for developing disruptive products and businesses through his new technology investment firm TechCelx.

“As an integrated business acceleration and investment firm, we will focus on developing digital technology products and platforms in enterprises,” said TechClex Founder Chairman and Chief Executive Gupta in a statement here.

Anant Gupta

Anant Gupta

The company will also invest in ventures which will specialise in machine learning, IoT (Internet of Things), AI (Artificial Intelligence), Analytics and Data Science and Automaton across banking, education and healthcare verticals.

“Our vision is to help start-ups develop and apply next-gen technology solutions to disrupt legacy operating models,” asserted Gupta.

Gupta is backed by three industry partners from investment banking and IT sectors in the new venture fund.

“We will invest between Rs 50 lakh and Rs 10 crore in disruptive technology ventures and the shareholding will range between 15-51% per cent,” said Gupta.

An industry veteran, Gupta was also a co-founder of Comnet, a tech start-up. (IANS)

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Gridco Systems Closes $12 Million in New Funding to Grow its Global Footprint

Oct 21, 2016 0

WOBURN, MA- – Gridco Systems, a grid infrastructure solutions provider for electric power distribution system operators, has received a new $12 million round of funding from multiple investors. Gridco has now raised more than $54 million since its founding in 2010, the company said in a statement earlier this month.

“This new funding will enable Gridco to expand the markets for our proven technology solutions in North America and Europe, while providing the capital to support continued commercial growth,” said Naimish Patel, Gridco Systems CEO.

Naimish Patel

Naimish Patel

Patel is the founder of Gridco Systems. Previously, he was an Entrepreneur-in-Residence  at General Catalyst Partners where he focused on investment opportunities in clean technology, advanced materials, and life sciences.  Prior to joining General Catalyst, Patel was one of the four founding team members of Sycamore Networks.

The investor group comprises existing Gridco investors General Catalyst, Lux Capital and North Bridge Venture Partners, as well as one of the world’s largest private family investment offices. It also includes a new strategic investor, the global market leader in power transformer regulation, Maschinenfabrik Reinhausen GmbH (MR).

“Gridco and MR share the vision of enabling utilities to build and operate agile, flexible, efficient grids,” said Michael Rohde, Managing Director of MR. “We are looking forward to jointly exploring synergy potentials for the benefit of our customers in the U.S. and internationally.”

Over the past year, Gridco has launched several new power regulation products, leveraging its expertise in power electronics and distributed controls to address challenges facing distribution system operators worldwide. The new products include the Gridco Systems SVC-20 Static VAR Compensator™; the IPR-150, a 150 kVA three-phase Inline Power Regulator™; and the PRT-50, a 50 kVA integrated Power Regulating Transformer™. The company has also expanded field deployments of its flagship IPR-50 system, with a customer base of more than a dozen utilities.

Gridco won GTM Research’s Grid Edge 20 Award for the third year in a row, and was the supplier of IPRs to Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO), which won Powergrid International’s 2016 Project of the Year Award for Renewable Energy Integration. This month, Dr. Dora Nakafuji, HECO’s Director of Renewable Energy Planning and the architect of the utility’s renewable integration program, received the prestigious 2016 Solar Champion Award from the Smart Electric Power Alliance.

Gridco Systems is a provider of grid infrastructure solutions, enabling utilities to more effectively integrate renewable and distributed generation, increase energy efficiency, manage peak capacity, and improve system reliability.

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Iora Health Raises $75 Million Series D Financing

Oct 14, 2016 0

BOSTON– Iora Health has closed a $75 million Series D financing. Singapore-based Temasek led the round, and was joined by all of Iora Health’s existing institutional investors, including .406 Ventures, Flare Capital Partners, F-Prime Capital, GE Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Polaris Partners, and Rice Management Company, Iora Health said in a statement.

Rushika Fernandopulle

Rushika Fernandopulle

“We are honored to have Temasek join Iora on our journey to transform health care,” said Rushika Fernandopulle, MD, MPP, co-founder and CEO of Iora Health. “Temasek’s investment in Iora will accelerate our vision of fixing health care delivery which is one of the largest business and social problems, not just in the US, but globally.”

Iora Health’s executive team includes Neil Patel, who serves as senior vice president of special projects.

Iora Health has built a different kind of health system that delivers high impact, relationship based care. With 34 primary care practices in 11 U.S. markets, Iora serves diverse populations with an increasing focus on the most under-served and complex patients — including people aged 65 years and older on Medicare. Iora’s innovative model delivers an exceptional patient experience, with coordinated care that drives better clinical outcomes and significantly lower costs than the traditional healthcare system. Iora will use the new capital to drive further expansion and efficiencies in the model, including continued investment in Chirp, Iora’s proprietary collaborative care IT platform.

Neil Patel

Neil Patel

“Iora Health continues to unlock tremendous value through its current partnerships, with a deep pipeline of others on the way,” said Terry McGuire, partner at Polaris Partners and Iora Health board member. “Our integrated care model is delivering world class clinical outcomes, industry-leading patient experience and over 20% lower total cost of care. We are showing very attractive unit economics and the ability to rapidly scale in multiple geographies. We are excited to continue to support Iora in its journey to transform health care.”

GE Ventures’ Leslie Bottorff added, “Iora’s model simultaneously improves patients’ health and reduces the overall costs of health care to the system — an essential need for this country.”

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Zymergen raises $130 million in funding

Oct 12, 2016 0

New Delhi– US-based biotechnology company Zymergen on Wednesday announced that it has raised $130 million in Series B funding led by Japanese telecommunications company SoftBank Group.

Zymergen also announced two additions to its board of directors — former US Secretary of Energy and Nobel laureate Steven Chu, and SoftBank Group International Managing Director Deep Nishar, previously a longtime senior executive at Google and LinkedIn.

Deep Nishar

Deep Nishar

“We are thrilled that SoftBank understands our proven business and supports our long-term growth,” said Joshua Hoffman, Co-founder and CEO, Zymergen, in a statement.

Zymergen has developed a proprietary platform, which uses robots and machine learning to engineer microbes faster and more predictably.

These microbes and the products they produce, have broad applications across industries, such as chemicals and materials, agriculture and healthcare, the company said.

“Zymergen has a revolutionary approach to engineering biology that is already solving business problems for Fortune 500 customers, and a proven ability to impact the economics of these mature, at-scale businesses,” added Nishar.

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Oasis Centre for Reproductive Medicine raises $6.2 million funding

Oct 10, 2016 0

Hyderabad– Oasis Centre for Reproductive Medicine, one of the leading chains of in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) centres, on Monday announced today that it has raised $6.2 million (Rs.40 crore) from India Life Sciences Fund II.

The investment will help the company in establishing more centres in the country and introducing advanced assisted reproductive technology (ART) for infertility treatments, the company said in a statement.

This will also allow the six-year-old company to focus on creating value for all the stakeholders and setting a benchmark for the industry.

Founded in Hyderabad in 2009 by renowned infertility specialist Durga G Rao and seasoned entrepreneur Kiran Gadela, Oasis is recognised as the trusted provider of advanced fertility treatments, providing a unique blend of high-level medical expertise and personalised management to couples seeking fertility treatment, the statement said.

The IVF market is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 10.1 percent in the next five years to reach Rs 5,027.57 crore ($756 million) by 2021, according to a research report by MarketsandMarkets.

“Oasis is poised for a good growth with Dr. Durga Rao bringing in the medical expertise and Kiran Gadela’s entrepreneurial skills. I am pleased to join the Oasis’ board as a director,” said Anula K.Jayasuriya, Managing Director, InvAscent, the investment advisor to EILSF (Evolvence India Life Sciences Fund) and India Life Sciences Fund II.

“Since inception, Oasis’ key focus has been to establish a centre of excellence with transparent, ethical and evidence-based practice to treat infertility,” said Gadela, co-founder and Managing Director at Oasis. (IANS)

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Nykaa raises Rs 82 crore for expansion

Oct 6, 2016 0

Hyderabad–Beauty e-commerce player Nykaa.com said on Thursday that it has raised Rs 82 crore in series C funding for its expansion.

The company said that it has plans to open 30 new physical stores by 2020 in addition to four existing stores here.

According to Falguni Nayar, founder and CEO, Nykaa.com. the company has built a loyal base of “beauty savvy customers through its inventory-led model with genuine product assortment”.

Founded in 2012, by FSN E-Commerce Ventures Pvt. Ltd., the company has a robust content offering with its blog and social media platforms a wide menu of over 450 international and Indian brands. The multi-brand portal has seen four-fold growth over the past year, and is currently on a net revenue run rate in excess of Rs 250 crore.

Nykaa recently executed the exclusive online launch of L’Oreal Group NYX Cosmetics in India, the most successful e-commerce launch for the brand globally.

The company is also exploring options to launch its own private label and working on the business plans.

“The focus for Nykaa has always been to offer our customers the best beauty shopping experience. This has been achieved today through a wide assortment of innovative and performance driven brands, strong technology platforms, efficient logistics and customer engagement through our content offerings,” said Nayar, a former Managing Director of Kotak Investment Banking.

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Nettlinx raises $3 million as part of diversification

Sep 29, 2016 0

Hyderabad– Nettlinx Ltd, the internet infrastructure company, has raised $3 million (Rs 20 crore) from strategic investors as part of its plans to venture into industrial space by acquiring some European firms.

The Netherlands-based EXchange Investors NV and Dubai-based TransGlobal FZC have been allocated share warrants on preferential basis and will work closely with Nettlinx Ltd in its diversification, the Hyderabad-based company said in a statement.

“These two funds will provide strategic support that will enable Nettlinx to identify and acquire companies with experience in the industrial space. These funds will also help Nettlinx raise further capital and debt with lower interest rates from the European banks,” it said.

“We want to give new direction to the company. We are making the right move, at the right time, with the right strategic partners, who have deep understanding of the space we are venturing into,” said Nettlinx’s Managing Director Rohith Lokareddy.

“Both these Funds have chosen Nettlinx because of our strong fundamentals, and will help us emerge into a strong player in this space,” he added.

The company has requested both these Funds to nominate a director each on the board of the company to guide the diversification process.

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Hyderabad-based NewsDistill raises $100,000 seed fund

Sep 16, 2016 0

Hyderabad– NewsDistill, a Hyderabad-based news aggregator app, on Friday said it has raised $100,000 seed fund from noted investors and technology leaders for examsion and product development to meet growing demand and is likely to raise an equal amount in a couple of months.

The investors include Narasimhan Ganesh, Senior Director, Box.com, Ramana Thumu, Vice President, eBay, and Sudhir Mallem of Uber.

Launched in 2015, NewsDistill aggregates news sourced from various Indian newspapers, television channels, RSS feeds, custom feeds and social media in eight major Indian languages besides English, a company release said.

The news is presented through innovative algorithms to the user through a rich user interface application.

“There is a huge demand for personalised news feed on mobile apps especially for those who wish to spend quality time reading similar news from various media channels through multiple languages and quick filters,” said NewsDistill founder Narasimha Reddy.

“NewsDistill is embarking upon expansion and product development to meet the demand. The current round of investment will be used towards product development and talent aquisition. Our short vision is to become the top news aggregator in India in the next few months,” he said.

NewsDistill has recently upgraded its product features by adding world’s first personalised “newsplayer” that auto-reads news on the mobile for the reader.

It has also introduced patented robotic voice besides working on creating hyper-local filters to keep the user connected to their neighbourhood always.

NewsDistill is co-founded by Narasimha Reddy, an engineering graduate from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University Hyderabad (JNTU) who had earlier worked with Yahoo, LinkedIn and Bhaskar Reddy, an aeronautical engineer.

NewsDistill is easy to operate and integrates more than 30 unique features. It is currently available on Android and web platform.

Currently NewsDistill is generating 50 plus million page views per month and aiming to reach 130 plus million page views by the end of November 2016. Around 19-20 minutes is the average daily user engagement time. (IANS)

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Indian tech firm raises $50 mn from Zuckerberg arm, partners

Sep 8, 2016 0

Bengaluru– India’s leading education technology provider Byjus on Thursday announced raising $50 million (Rs 333 crore) from Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) and four venture capital partners to fund its expansion plans.

The four partners are Sequoia, Sofina, Lightspeed and Times Internet.

“We will deploy the fund to fuel international expansion and inspire additional funding from leading companied the world over,” said Byju founder and Chief Executive Byju Raveendran in a statement here.

Byju Raveendran

Byju Raveendran

The investment by CZI, the philanthropic arm of the online social media network Facebook’s co-founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan, is its first in an Asian firm.

The year-old start-up, however, did not disclose the amount of investment made by CZI and each of the four partners to its first round of funding.

“Our application (K-12 app), which has registered 5.5 million downloads, has 250,000 paid annual subscribers across the country,” said Raveendran.

The K-12 app offers learning programmes for students in classes 4-12 and competitive exams like JEE, NEET, CAT, IAS, GRE and GMAT.

“Our K-12 app is reinventing how students learn in the age of mobile devices, as our approach combines teachers, pedagogical methods and data science to deliver personalised learning, feedback and assessments for school students,” said Raveendran.

Noting that Indian families work hard to give their children education for a better future, CZI’s Vivian Wu said Byju’s represented an opportunity to help more students develop love for learning and unlock their potential.

“We support innovative models of learning wherever they are around the world,” said Wu, who will soon join Byju’s board.

With 40-miniute engagement rate per day and 90 percent of users renewing subscription, Byju’s is proving to be effective at improving learning outcomes.

“We are partnering with CZI to usher in the next stage of our growth, as our vision of advancing human potential and promoting equality aligns with it (CZI), added Raveendran.

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Uber co-founder invests in Ravi Ika’s health care startup RxAdvance

Aug 31, 2016 0

SOUTHBOROUGH, MA— RxAdvance, a pharmacy benefits management company, announced that Uber co-founder Oscar Salazar, and Walter Jin, founder of Carlyle Healthcare Group, have invested in Series-A funding round and join the RxAdvance board. The company did not disclose the amount.

Southborough, MA-based RxAdvance was founded by Ravi  Ika, who serves as the company’s President and the Chief Executive Officer. In addition Ika, there are several  Indian-Americans in the top executive positions at the company. They include Anand Tati, Chief Operating Officer;  Prakash Tallabattula, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer; Madu Narahari, Executive Vice President, Implementations;  and Bijendra Malik, Executive Vice President and Chief Security Officer.

Left to right: Ika, Sculley and Kota

Left to right: Ika, Sculley and Kota

Indian-American entrepreneur Subu Kota, president of the Boston Group USA, serves on the board of RxAdvance. Other Indian-American board members include Devaiah Pagidipati and Krishna Ika.

“It is a game-changer for RxAdvance with Uber c0-founder Oscar Salazar joining our team,” Kota told IndUS Business Journal.

“We are honored to have two of the leading minds in disruptive technology and business as our investment partners and board members. We at RxAdvance feel that their high-tech experience and guidance will help to transform the $770 billion PBM and associated avoidable drug-impacted medical spend that is long overdue for innovation,” Ika said in a statement.

Jin was the co-founder of The Healthcare Group at The Carlyle Group. Jin currently serves as the Executive Chairman of Pager and has over 20 years of investment and operational experience in the healthcare sector. He is the co-founder of Three Fields Capital and Pacific Healthcare Management, which manage a portfolio of private equity and venture capital healthcare investments. He is a graduate of Harvard University and currently serves as an Executive in Residence at Johns Hopkins Medicine and an Innovation Fellows Technical Advisor to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“Our goal is to leverage disruptive technology and world-class design to reinvent healthcare and deliver cost savings and efficiencies,” said Salazar and Jin. “We are proud to join the RxAdvance board, as its accountable drug benefit management practice and risk-sharing business models are timely in this antiquated industry and are perfectly aligned with the healthcare investments in which we are involved.”

“In the recent years, several successful Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and blue chip companies have entered the healthcare vertical to disrupt and transform, in vain. This lack of success can be attributed to the absence of substantial business and revenue models, disruptive service offerings, and a proven track record in the complex healthcare eco-system,” says John Sculley, former Apple CEO and Vice Chairman of RxAdvance. “What impressed me about Ravi and his team at RxAdvance is that they have all the essential components for success – a widely proven and successful revenue model, a solid platform and innovative thinking, a proven track record, and deep healthcare domain expertise capable of disrupting traditional paradigms throughout the care continuum. Through its innovative Collaborative PBM Cloud.”

He said RxAdvance is challenging large incumbent PBMs by disrupting their decades-old business and revenue models, and their risk-sharing models are unheard of in the PBM market.

“I believe this model will pave the path for new entrants from Silicon Valley. Oscar and Walter’s participation is a great testament to the proven model established by RxAdvance,” said Sculley.

RxAdvance is a national full-service pharmacy benefit manager that leverages Collaborative PBM Cloud™ to deliver integrated PBM services that reduce overall pharmacy costs, optimize specialty spend by converting from “buy and bill” to “manage and authorize”, and reduce avoidable drug-impacted medical costs while improving patient’s quality of life with unmatched regulatory compliance and transparency. In addition, RxAdvance offers a global pharmacy risk partnership model standing shoulder-to-shoulder with plan sponsors.

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