Early-stage startups Aerem, Zouk, others raise funding

By K Amoghavarsha

  • 16 Mar 2023
Early-stage startups Aerem, Zouk, others raise funding
Zouk founders Disha Singh and Pradeep Krishnakumar

Climatetech startup Aerem, direct to consumer (D2C) lifestyle brand Zouk, ice cream firm Noto, fintech marketplace Finsire and augmented reality-based platform peAR have raised early-stage funding, the companies said on Thursday. 

Climatetech startup Aerem has raised $5 million (around Rs 41 crore) in pre-Series A funding round led by Avaana Capital, with participation from Blume Ventures.


Founded in 2021 by Anand Jain, Aerem helps micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to set up solar ecosystems. Additionally, it also offers loans through its in-house non-banking financial company (NBFC) or partner banks.

“The solar industry in India has been growing in recent years. India has set a target of 300 gigawatts (GW) of solar energy capacity by 2030, requiring both rooftop and utility-scale to fire. Aerem's solutions are well-positioned to capitalize on this and aid the transition to a more sustainable future,” said Jain.



Direct-to-consumer (D2C) lifestyle brand Zouk has raised $3 million (around Rs 24.79 crore) in a Series A funding round led by existing investor Stellaris Venture Partners.

The round also saw participation from Sharrp Ventures, JJ Family Office, Dilip Khandelwal (Deutsche Bank India), Manoj Meena (Atomberg), Vineeta Singh and Kaushik Mukherjee (Sugar Cosmetics) among others.

Founded in 2016 by Disha Singh and Pradeep Krishnakumar, Zouk operates in the bags, wallets and footwear categories. The brand claims to have recorded a 10x growth since its pre Series A funding round in 2021, wherein it had raised $1.5 million.


“We are expanding our collection on the bags and footwear side. On the distribution front, we are now available in over 50 offline retail touchpoints,” said Singh.

Ice cream brand Noto has raised $2 million (around Rs 16.5 crore) in a pre-series A funding from White Whale Ventures and Rainmatter


The Mumbai-based ice cream maker will use the fresh funds for product development, market capitalization, hiring and geographical expansion in tier 1 and 2 cities.

Founded in 2019 by Ashni and Varun Sheth, Noto is a health-focused ice cream brand with six categories of offerings like popsicles and vegan frozen desserts among others.  Currently, its products are available in food delivery platforms like Swiggy, Zomato, Zepto and BigBasket.

The company claims to have clocked Rs 35 crore in annualized recurring revenue (ARR) and targets to achieve profitability by FY24.


Fintech firm Finsire has raised seed funding of $1.3 million (around Rs 10.4 crore) led by DevX Venture fund.   

The round also saw participation from iSeed, Spark Capital, 1947 Rise, Adept ventures and Portal Angel Investors, among others.  

Finsire builds lending enablement services by permitting digital assets to be taken as collateral. The platform allows banks, NBFCs, fintechs, credit requirement distribution and depositaries to maximise their lending capabilities.    

“Indian households hold over 14 trillion dollars in assets, and global households' assets are over 400 trillion dollars. Today these assets are extremely hard to pledge. The idea is to allow the asset holder to do what they wish to do with these assets,” said Shreyans Nahar, co-founder and chief executive at Finsire.  


Augmented-reality based in-restaurant ordering app peAR raised $507,943 (Rs 4.2 crore) in a pre Series A funding round co-led by 1crowd, Chennai Angels and Inflection Point Ventures (IPV).    

The Mumbai-based startup will use the capital for development of its technology stack and expanding its presence across geographies.    

Founded in 2019 by Dharmin Vora, Dhruvesh Mehta and Parth Vora, peAR provides an AR-based platform for ordering food in restaurants. It also allows customers to pay bills and earn rewards via the same.

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