India Funding Roundup: A Matchmaking Startup, a Marketplace for Used Vehicles, and More

India Funding Roundup: A Matchmaking Startup, a Marketplace for Used Vehicles, and More

It was a massive week in terms of funding activity for the Indian startup ecosystem, with many startups securing seed funding rounds. Apart from food delivery, education and healthcare startups, crowdfunding and hybrid vehicle technology startups saw funding rounds come their way.

​Healthtech startup JustDoc has secured an undisclosed sum in seed funding from TracxnLabs, as well as angels such as Mohandas Pai, Mohit Saxena, Co-Founder, InMobi, Raghunandan G, Co-Founder, TaxiForSure, Singapore Angel Network, and others. JustDoc enables patients to do video consultations with doctors via its website and mobile apps, and said that it has completed 2,500 consultations so far. The startup is targeting five specialisations currently – general medicine, psychology, gynaecology, dermatology and paediatrics. JustDoc also provides 24/7 access to over a 100 quality doctors from top hospitals, and is now in the process of partnering with several top government and private hospitals, the company said in an emailed statement.

Crowdfunding platform Bitgiving has raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from angel investors Harminder Sahni, Krishna Mehra, and Sanjay Bakshi, among others. The New Delhi-based startup helps individuals and organisations raise funds for entrepreneurial, creative and social projects, and will use the funds to scale up the team, enhancing the product and marketing. Founder and CEO Ishita Anand said in an emailed statement that the company plans to launch BitGiving 2.0, which will redefine community-driven crowdfunding.

Bengaluru-based matchmaking startup Aisle has raised Rs. 1.25 crores in its pre-series A round from TermSheet and ah! Ventures. The round was led by Anand Vijay, a Bay Area-based angel investor and jointly advised and syndicated with ah! Ventures, with participation from Snapdeal Chief Product Officer Anand Chandrasekaran, as well as Mekin Maheshwari, Akshay Syal, Richard Kim, Jana Pokkalla, and Manish Gautam. Founded in 2014 by Able Joseph, the platform gets 500-800 registrations per day from over 50 countries activated, with over 25 percent of the registered base ‘connected’ on the platform, the company said in an emailed statement.

Jupiter Capital has invested $2 million (roughly Rs. 13 crores) in Altigreen Propulsion Labs, a niche startup providing technology-enabled solutions for electric and hybrid powertrains. Jupiter Capital is looking to invest in game-changing technology ventures focused on Make in India, Design in India, and Smart City, the company said in a statement. Altigreen is engaged in research, design and development of proprietary hybrid vehicle technology for the Indian market. Altigreen has four co-founders and is supported by a strong engineering team and an advisory panel of cross-domain industry experts.

Mumbai-based Truebil, an online marketplace for used vehicles, has reportedly raised $5.15 million (roughly Rs. 35 crores) in Series A funding from Kalaari Capital, Inventus Capital, Tekton Ventures, and existing investor Kae Capital. Founded in March 2015 by former employees, the startup plans to use the funds to expand operations into other metro cities.

FindUrClass, a search and discovery platform for class seekers, has reportedly raised a fresh round of funding from members of VentureNursery. Launched in March 2015, the startup reportedly lists over 20,000 classes in Mumbai, Pune and Bengaluru, and plans to expand to other metro cities.

Hyderabad-based food delivery startup, TinMen, has reportedly raised an undisclosed amount in an angel funding round from Lead Angel Network. Founded in August 2015, the startup reportedly delivers over 8,000 lunches to professionals every month, with a scheduler built into its app that’s available for Android and iOS.

DesignBids, a marketplace for interior design services, has reportedly raised its maiden round of funding from the Indian Angel Network. Currently operational in Delhi, Bengaluru, and Mumbai, the three-month-old startup will use the funds to expand into major metros and increase its headcount.

WiZN Systems
Bengaluru-based WiZN Systems, a maker of home automation solutions, has reportedly raised an undisclosed angel round led by Taiwan’s Foxconn and angel investors.


Blackshades Malware Co-Creator Gets Five Years of Probation

Blackshades Malware Co-Creator Gets Five Years of Probation

An Arizona man who co-created software distributed by an organization called Blackshades that was used to hack into a million computers worldwide was sentenced on Friday to five years of probation.

Michael Hogue, who online was known by the moniker “xVisceral,” was sentenced by US District Judge Kevin Castel in Manhattan after pleading guilty in 2013 to distributing malware and conspiring to commit computer hacking.

He was also ordered to forfeit $40,000 (roughly Rs. 26 lakhs) and perform 500 hours of community service. The sentence is conditional on Hogue’s continued cooperation with prosecutors in related matters.

Hogue, 25, first came to the attention of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2010, when, in an effort to advertise the malware, he contacted an undercover agent running a website established as part of a sting operation targeting the illegal trade in credit card numbers, court papers said.

In 2012, Hogue was arrested in an international takedown stemming from the sting. He subsequently agreed to cooperate with authorities in their investigation of Blackshades.

That investigation culminated in May 2014 with a sweep by US and European authorities that resulted in about 100 people being arrested, including Alex Yucel, a Swedish citizen who ran Blackshades.

Prosecutors said Blackshades’ flagship product was the “Blackshades Remote Access Tool,” which gave hackers remote control of other people’s computers and allowed them to record keystrokes, steal passwords and gain access to personal files.

The software, which Hogue co-created with Yucel, could be bought for $40 and was used to take over computers’ cameras to spy on their owners or to freeze people’s computers in exchange for a ransom, prosecutors said.

Blackshades had more than 6,000 customer accounts in more than 100 countries and generated at least $350,000 in revenue by selling the software from September 2010 to April 2014, prosecutors said.

Castel had harsh words for Hogue as he handed down the sentence Friday, saying he committed a crime of “historic proportions” that spread misery to people around the world.

“But when he was confronted he did something right,” the judge said, “He did what he could to make amends.”

Hogue said before being sentenced: “I feel awful for everything I have done.”

Yucel, 25, pleaded guilty in 2015 to distributing malicious software, and he was sentenced in June to 4-3/4 years in prison.


Pay what you want for the Android Expert’s Coding Bundle of five courses

Android Expert’s Coding Bundle

If you want to make those dreams of coding prowess become realities in 2016, the Android Expert’s Coding Bundle is a good place to start. It offers five high-quality video courses on app development, and you can pay what you like for them via TechnoBuffalo Deals.

The tuition centres around Java, the native programming language of Android, starting from the very basics. The step-by-step nature of the video lessons makes it easy for coding newbies to follow along. After becoming familiar with the Android Studio environment, you learn about loops, arrays, and “if” statements, before taking on the object-oriented side of programming. Design is also covered in depth, with a look at how to follow the modern Material Design style of Android Marshmallow. You get a whole course dedicated to this most recent version of the operating system, plus a track on reskinning templated apps for (profitable) release.

You pay whatever you like for the last two courses mentioned above, but beat the average price paid to unlock the full bundle (worth $503).


Apple TV gets an awesome free news streaming app

Apple’s plans for a live TV streaming service may be on hold, but one company is offering a pretty sweet alternative for watching the news on your Apple TV. Watchup launched its set-top box app this week, offering a customizable mix of news for free.

Watchup pulls its videos from 160 different media firms. That includes big brands like PBS, CNN, CBS and Fox News, along with local news stations across the country. It also offers videos from popular online publishers.

The app’s best feature may be the option to customize what you see. You can pick what kind of news you want to see based on topics, and fine tune the selection by “liking or disliking” specific videos. It almost sounds like Pandora for the news.

“Personalization is the future of TV news, and Watchup for Apple TV fulfills that promise with custom made newscasts, a seamless user experience and an unparalleled breadth of content,” said founder and CEO Adriano Farano.

You can grab Watchup for Apple TV now from the App Store. It also available on iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TV and the Xbox 360, with plans to add Chromecast support next.