Aditya Birla Chemicals Thailand Ltd. announced the acquisition of Recyclamine Technology from chemical technology startup Connora Technologies. U.S.-based Connora Technologies is the pioneer of recyclable epoxy resin technology, based on a novel proprietary polyamine synthesis platform called Recyclamine. Recyclable thermoset technology was recognized as one of the Top 10 emerging technologies in 2015 by the World Economic Forum. Aditya Birla Chemicals Limited Thailand, a parent company of CTP Advanced Materials and owns Epotec and CeTePox Brands, is one of the leading manufacturers of epoxy resins and curing agents globally. Aditya Birla Chemicals, part of the $48.3 billion global conglomerate Aditya Birla Group, and Connora Technologies, have been collaborating since 2016 in a Joint Development Agreement to scale-up the manufacturing of Connora's recyclable epoxy thermoset technology. Kalyan Ram Madabhushi, CEO Chemicals, believes that the acquisition of Recyclamine technology is a natural next step for Aditya Birla Chemicals, as it constantly strives to bring innovative and sustainable advanced polymer solutions to its customers. This technology not only enables incremental value creation through zero-waste manufacturing to customers, but also uniquely offers end-of-life recyclability options. Pradip Kumar Dubey, president of Aditya Birla Chemicals Epoxy Division, says, "This acquisition reaffirms our commitment to being an Advanced materials player, offering sustainable and unique solutions that matter to our customers and society in general. Recyclamine® is revolutionary for the epoxy and composites industries, as it will enable the manufacturing of recyclable products. Before this innovation, it was just not possible to do so."

Intelligence Node Raises $5.5 Million in Series B Funding

Retail analytics and pricing intelligence leader Intelligence Node announced the close of its Series B funding round with new participating investment partners Cornerstone Fund and Calibre Ventures. Intelligence Node will use the funding to accelerate its goal of capitalizing on a unique market opportunity. “We find ourselves at an unprecedented inflection point where we have reached the cusp of product maturity and market readiness, and are looking to raise Series C funding shortly,” said Sanjeev Sularia, CEO of Intelligence Node. “With the significant diminishing of competitors, the timing could not be better for us to bring on the right strategic partner and growth capital to set us up for our next phase of steep revenue trajectory.” Added CSVP Fund managing partner Abhishek Prasad: “We are seeing really good momentum in the market for Intelligence Node's AI-enhanced retail pricing solutions. The brand itself has established clear leadership in the retail technology space on a global scale.” In addition to its growth in the U.S., Intelligence Node also plans to use this funding to make new senior leadership hires in sales and marketing to jumpstart its next phase of growth. The company will also be using the funds to expand its presence in the West Coast, targeting San Francisco as a potential location for its next sales and operations home base.

Khosla Ventures Leads Prellis Biologics Series A Round

Prellis Biologics announced that Khosla Ventures has led an $8.7 Series A investment in the company. The announcement comes as Prellis has reached major tissue engineering milestones in its mission to use 3D holographic printing to create 3D tissue and organs for research and transplantation. “Regenerative medicine has made enormous leaps in recent decades. However, to create complete organs, we need to build higher order structures like the vascular system,” said Dr. Alex Morgan, principal at Indian American-founded Khosla Ventures. “Prellis’ optical technology provides the scaffolding necessary to engineer these larger masses of tissues. With our investment in Prellis, we’re supporting an initiative that will ultimately produce a functioning lobe of the lung, or even a kidney, to be used in addressing an enormous unmet global need.” The new funding coincides with Prellis’ recent advancements in tissue engineering. “The holy grail of human tissue engineering is the ability to build complex tissues with working vascular systems,” said Dr. Melanie Matheu, Prellis Biologics’ co-founder and CEO. “The future of regenerative medicine revolves around harnessing the power of our own cells as therapeutics and building the tissues to keep them alive. Khosla Ventures is the perfect investor to support our merging of deep tech and cutting-edge regenerative medicine. With this technology in hand, we can begin to ask questions about real 3D cell biology that have never been asked before.”

Zeta Secures Series C Investment from Sodexo Benefits and Rewards

Zeta, a global fintech company revolutionizing the digital banking and enterprise payments space, has secured a series C investment from Sodexo Benefits and Rewards Services at a valuation of $300 million. With this investment, Sodexo BRS will have a minority stake in the company. With this new capital, Zeta will look at expanding its business in the United States, United Kingdom, Europe and Southeast Asia. Zeta provides its platform to companies and banks in Asia and Latin America. Zeta’s product portfolio includes a full stack cloud native neo-banking platform for issuance of credit, debit and prepaid products that enable legacy banks and new age fintech institutions to launch retail and corporate fintech products. “Fintech has gone through a significant transformation in the past couple of years, as consumers demand more control and a decentralized banking experience,” said Bhavin Turakhia, co-founder and CEO of Zeta. “Zeta continues to be ahead of this curve, with the ultimate goal of making payments invisible and seamless for customers. Today’s banking and fintech ecosystem requires cloud-native, privacy-aware, inherently secure, API first banking and payment solutions. The United States will be one of the most important markets for us, and we have already started hiring a senior leadership team who will drive the business in the country. We will be expanding our operations in over 15 countries in the next two years.” Until now, Zeta has been funded by co-founders Turakhia and Ramki Gaddipati. “At Zeta, we have been creating a robust platform over the last five years to solve for use cases that could not be addressed through legacy approaches,” said Ramki Gaddipati, CTO and co-founder of Zeta. “The platform enables the creation of tailor-made consumer experiences and scales to billions of transactions per day. Zeta’s growth over the last four years is a testament to the capabilities the platform could deliver and the scale of the opportunity at hand.”

By GIOVANNI ALBANESE Jr., India-West Staff Reporter

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