India Dealbook: MarianaIQ, ShopsUp, Pulse and HandyTrain raise funds

AI startup MarianalQ, location-based shopping app ShopUp have raised funding while SAIF Partners has backed social networking app Pulse and SaaS platform HandyTrain has received $1 million.

MarianalQ gets $2m from Exfinity Venture partners

MarianalQ, an Indo-US artificial intelligence startup, has raised $2 million (Rs 13.7 crore) in seed funding led by Exfinity Venture Partners, as per an Economic Times article.

Founded in 2013 by Abhishek Kashyap, Soumyadeb Mitra and Nagaswamy, MarianaIQ helps businesses apply artificial intelligence in business-to-business marketing and aims to help marketers deliver the ‘right content at the right time through the right channel to the right person.

“MarianaIQ’s AI tool is geared towards automating all steps of the account-based marketing process and providing today’s marketer a flexibility to easily find, select, reach and engage the target client base,” said Venkat Nagaswamy, chief executive of MarianaIQ.

ShopsUp receives $961k from VRL Logistics’ MD, others

ShopsUp, a location-based shopping app, has received a Rs 6.6 crore ($961k) in seed funding from VRL Logistics‘ managing director Anand Sankeshwar and Yang Shu, CEO of Taojinjia, The Economic Times reported.

ShopsUp, a Hyderabad-based store and product discovery app, helps brands and stores proactively engage with their customers, keep their patrons up to date on deals and upcoming offers. The app was founded by Suhas Gopinath.

“Indian millennials want to be rewarded for their window shopping as well as actual shopping be haviour and marketers want to capture these moments as and when they happen,” said Gopinath, who set up Globals Inc, an IT multinational company, in his teens.

Hyper-local sharing app Pulse raises $500k from SAIF Partners

Pulse, a social networking app enabling users to stay connected with college/school communities around them, has raised $500,000 from VC firm SAIF Partners, the company said in a release.

Co-founded by IIT Roorkee alumnus Karthik Vaidyanath and Prakhar Khanduja last month, Pulse provides users a full-screen visual experience of streams of colleges around them with customised stickers to make the experience more fun and engaging.

It will use the funding to expand its presence to other cities including Pune, Bangalore, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Manipal, Chennai, Hyderabad, etc and to ramp up its technology team.

“College & school students in India did not have a platform that was built ground-up for them and this had created a white space for a product to emerge. We really like the way the team has gone about building a platform that provides young users relevant content in the form of full-screen multimedia rich stories, which is something they understand the best,” said Mayank Khanduja, SAIF Partners.

HandyTrain gets $1m from Silver Range, Lumina Datamatics, others

HandyTrain, a mobile-based SaaS platform, has got $1 million in funding from Silver Range Investments, Hong Kong, Lumina Datamatics and Shun Yoshida, managing director, Merrill Lynch, Tokyo and other angel investors.

HandyTrain provides accessibility, continuous assessment, engagement with a smartphone-based engine that enables real-time interactive training that is provided in bite-sizes. The startup was founded in 2015.

“Corporate training is a market of staggering size. Training is a universal service and therefore the addressable market for HandyTrain is eye-popping in scale,” said Gourav Jaswal, director, HandyTrain.

The company claims to have crossed more than 20,000 paid users within a year.

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