#Asia 4 startups scaling up in India

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Photo: credit NASA http://ift.tt/1j4HIZq

Photo: credit NASA
http://ift.tt/1j4HIZq

As more youngsters opt for weekend travel in India, a lot of which happens at the last minute, people are taking a shine to a hotel booking app. Travel, food, style, and beauty – all reflective of changing lifestyles – are the startup categories that attracted investors in India today. Here’s our list to watch for the day.

Kaaryah

Kaaryah, a technology-enabled apparel brand for Indian women, today announced pre-series A funding from Infosys veteran Mohandas Pai and The Saha Fund.

It was launched in 2014 and caters to the largely undeserved women’s western wear category in India. Kaaryah sells its products online as well as through marketplaces.

The company plans to use the funds for recruitment, digitization and automation, raw material sourcing, marketing, and building a formidable women’s brand.

“Women with busy lifestyles look for a good fit and the latest fashion, but not at the cost of comfort. We will deploy the funds to scale our operations and reach out to as many women as possible,” said CEO and founder Nidhi Agarwal says.

See: 113 rejections, sexism, armed extortionists. That wasn’t all she braved as an entrepreneur

RoomsTonite

RoomsTonite, a hotel room booking app, has snapped up angel funding worth US$1.5 million from a clutch of investors.

The round was led by Lashit Sanghvi, co-founder of Alchemy Capital; Nikhil Vora, founder of Sixth Sense Ventures; Venkat Vardhan, promoter of DNA Networks; Mohammed Bin Abdul Rehman Al Khalifa, chairman of the Caravan Group; and Ralph Berezan of Berezan Group of Canada. Vissal Mathew and Balamurali Krishna of IDS Software also contributed to it.

The funds will be used to expand in India and other countries, and to strengthen its team, the company says. The Bangalore-based startup promises to take last minute hotel bookings at discounted rates and claims to operate in 275 cities.

The one-and-a-half-year old startup was founded by hospitality and travel industry veteran Suresh John. It has seen over 200,000 downloads, with a high percentage of repeat users, says the company.

Bite Club

Bite Club, a marketplace for chef prepared meals, has bitten off an undisclosed amount in pre-series A funding from investment firm GrowX ventures. The Phoenix Fund – via Enablers – and existing investors Powai Lake Ventures also took part in the round.

The Gurgaon-based startup plans to utilize the fresh round to expand its footprint in Delhi-NCR and introduce more product categories.

Bite Club connects chefs to foodies. It offers a menu that changes every day and can be ordered via its mobile or web app. The food is rustled up by a curated community of home chefs, amateur chefs, and professional chefs.

Started a year back by Prateek Agarwal, Aushim Krishan, and Siddharth Sharma, alumni of IIT Kharagpur and NTU Singapore, the startup already churns out almost 1,000 meals a day.

“At Bite Club, we are chasing a vision of replacing home cooking. We have had a fabulous first year of operations and recently hit the milestone of serving 100,000 meals in the city,” Prateek said in a statement.

ZapForce

Hyderabad-based ZapForce Technologies, which runs the beauty and fitness app Zapluk, has secured an undisclosed amount in an angel round from angel investors, including Alok Sharma, former CEO of Apple India, VCCircle reported today.

Customers can order beauty services at home through ZapLuk after viewing the profiles of stylists listed on the app. It currently provides services to select areas in Hyderabad. It was founded in August this year by Manan Maheshwari, Mahesh Teja Gogineni, and Chakradhar Dandu, all BITS Pilani alumni.

The company said the funding will be used to scale up operations and marketing, and expand Zapluk’s backend team.

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