The startup world this week has innumerable amount of news from all over the world. The global news this week covers about the Apple's WWDC conference, the surge in the stock price of AMC, SoftBank vision fund investing into Flipkart and the most important news where the Anonymous group released a video for Elon Musk. The domestic news covers on the revised ATM charges announced by RBI, notice given to WazirX for money laundering, ISRO's free course, introduction of a new website by the IT department and many more.
Weekly Startup News - 6 June to 11 June
The ED has issued a notice to the largest cryptocurrency exchange in India, WazirX
11 June 2021. The Enforcement Directorate has announced that it has sent a notice towards the largest cryptocurrency exchange of India, WazirX and its directors regarding a money laundering investigation. The notice provided is for going against the law of FEMA 1999 (Foreign Exchange Management Act). The cryptocurrency exchange has been said to be involved in the transactions involving cryptocurrencies which are estimated to be a worth of INR 2,790.74 crores.
Facebook announced to launch a Smartwatch under its brand
11 June 2021. Facebook has conveyed that they would release a smartwatch under their brand during the 2022 summer. They have also conveyed that they would release the second and third generations of the watch in the coming years. The first smartwatch of Facebook is expected to be priced at around USD 400 (around INR 29,000) which could have certain changes in the coming years.
11 June 2021. The Reserve Bank of India has provided the permission for the banks to increase the charges regarding cash and non-cash Automated Teller Machine for exceeding the number of free financial transactions available on a monthly basis from next year i.e., 2022.
10 June 2021. The most recent WWDC was held online due to the ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic. The WWDC 2021 was a free session for all developers. All the developers from worldwide could attend the conference and also get access to the future versions of iPadOS, iOS, macOS, tvOS and watchOS.
10 June 2021. The group of 7 countries that are commonly known as G7 countries has decided on implementing the historical tax system on the global tech and multinational companies which will be a global tax. This proposal and decision are made with the aim to reduce the tax evasions conducted by the companies where they generally shift their operation base to the regions with a lower tax rate.
9 June 2021. The new e-filing website was launched by the Income tax Department where the website packs in several interesting features and details that are expected to make the Income Tax returns process more smoother and faster.
9 June 2021. ISRO has invited applications for a 5-day free online course from interested candidates. The course would cover Machine Learning to Deep Learning: A journey for remote sensing data classification. This is a short course that can be completed within a period of 5 days and also provides a certificate for the participants.
9 June 2021. Nigeria had blocked access to Twitter across the country after it had removed a tweet dated June 1, 2021, from its President, Muhammadu Buhari's account. The Federal Ministry of Information and Culture of Nigeria had conveyed through a series of tweets on 4 June 2021 that the government has suspended the social media app Twitter indefinitely.
8 June 2021. Anonymous group has conveyed through the video that the reputation enjoyed by Elon Musk is not deserved by him and added their viewpoints through the video. They have conveyed that the public image that he had been carefully creating has been removed and people have begun to see him as a narcissistic rich dude who is an attention seeker.
8 June 2021. Zomato has announced that they were planning to adopt to shift their food delivery service to Electric vehicles by the end of 2030. The company had also conveyed through a blog post that they would join the EV-100 which is a global initiative by the companies in order to shift towards Electric Vehicles.
8 June 2021. Zerodha has launched a new feature on their trading platform which will help the traders to learn from their mistakes. The new feature launched by the Zerodha will help traders to maintain a journal through the platform.
7 June 2021. The AMC Entertainment had seen a recent surge in its share price, which touched an all-time high on 2nd June 2021. The stock is considered to be a meme stock as the increase in the stock price was driven because of the hype over the social media channels.
7 June 2021. The audio-chat platform has conveyed that they were soon planning to release a payments service in India. As of now, the clubhouse payment service is available only in the United States. The executive of the company had conveyed that before releasing its payment service on a global level, the company wants to ensure that the experience would be smooth.
6 June 2021. SoftBank has held discussions with the e-commerce giant, Flipkart to invest an amount of around USD 600 – USD 700 million during the funding round. Certain sources have claimed that the funding which is being raised by Flipkart is much more larger which is expected to be around USD 2 billion.
Weekly Startup News - 30 May to 5 June
Maruti Suzuki has seen a decline in the sales for the month of 2021
4 June 2021. Maruti Suzuki has reported a decline of around 71% in their sales during the month of May 2021. The reason for the decline in sales was due to the stoppage of production for reducing the usage of oxygen for industries and supplying it for hospitals.
4 June 2021. Tesla under Elon Musk has recently filed a trademark under its brand in the restaurant industry. This is considered as a sign by the Californian company to venture into the restaurant business. The company has filed an application for three new trademarks with the US Patent and the Trademark office.
3 June 2021. The Government of India through its Emergency credit line Guarantee scheme has announced to provide a INR 2 crore loan to the health care institutions in the country in order to set up oxygen plants.
2 June 2021. Paytm after the success of its virtual debit card has now launched its physical debit card which can be used for both domestic and international payments. It enables the users to upgrade to a contactless payment
June 1, 2021. The economist had predicted Indian economy to have a growth rate of 10% during the year 2021. This was after various economists had cut down predictions on their economy. The predictions on the economy is based on the consumer behavior in the country.
31 May 2021. The silicon six tech companies have been accused by the fair tax foundation for inflating the tax payments by almost USD 100 billion. It was found that during the year 2011 to 2020 the firms have paid less in tax than the national figures mentioned on their annual reports.
Dubai coin had seen a surge of 1000% in 24 hours which was later claimed by the Dubai government to be a phishing scam
30 May 2021. The digital coin saw a surge of more than 1,000 % in the time span of 24 hours. This was because numerous media had reported the digital coin to be the official digital coin of Dubai. The Dubai Government had responded conveying that it was not an official digital coin or cryptocurrency of the country and warned the investors claiming it to be a phishing scam.
30 May 2021. The number of Rs 2000 notes in the Indian economy has been reduced in the year 2021 from its peak in 2017-18. In the FY 21, the RBI has pulled out notes worth 57 crores.
Weekly Startup News - 23 May to 29 May
29 May 2021. The co-founders of Zerodha Nithin Kamath and Nikhil Kamath are set to take home a remuneration of INR 100 crore as shown by the regulatory filing. They are the highest paid co-founders and directors of the Indian startup ecosystem.
29 May 2021. Amazon CEO and the founder Jeff Bezos had announced in the Annual Shareholder Meeting of the company that he would step down as the CEO of the company he had founded around 3 decades ago on 5 July 2021. He added that he would hand over the position of CEO to Andy Jassy who has been a part of Amazon from the year 1997.
28 May 2021. The United Kingdom has been trying to negotiate with India in terms of a free trade agreement between both the counties. The UK has launched a 14-week consultation process in order to seek the opinions from the public as well as businesses before negotiating on the agreement
28 May 2021. Jack Ma has announced that he will step down from the elite business school he had founded back in 2015. This is because of the crackdown on the influence of the billionaire in the Chinese society. The retreat from the academy is because the regulators of China have increased the pressure on Jack Ma.
28 May 2021. Amazon has acquired the legendary MGM studios which is a significantly legendary media company. The deal is said to be around USD 8.45 billion. This is considered to be one of the boldest moves in the entertainment industry.The deal will help Amazon Prime to take a forward step in the streamlined business
Barbeque Nation has recorded a profit for their quarterly results despite lockdown in the major cities
27 May 2021. Barbeque Nation had projected a profit of INR 6.1 crore for the March quarter when compared to a loss of INR 27 crore in the previous year. The company has developed an integrated digital ecosystem which had proved to be beneficial during the pandemic.
27 May 2021. The parent company of Zara, Pull&Bear and Bershka, Inditex has conveyed that in the next few weeks it would close all its shops in Venezuela. The companies Zara, Pull&Bear and Bershka have been operating as franchises in Venezuela since the year 2007 even though it is owned by Inditex SA.
WhatsApp has sued the Indian Government in regards to the new norms to be followed by the social media companies
26 May 2021. On 25 February, the Government of India had passed new norms for the social media firms to operate in India by giving them a deadline. WhatsApp had not accepted to the new IT norms laid down by the government rather the company moved towards the Delhi High Court against the traceability of the IT clause, the company has pointed out that it is unconstitutional.
26 May 2021. The Indian business magnate, Rakesh Jhunjhunwala has conveyed that he expects that the country would have a 10% growth for this fiscal year. Even multiple analysts and financial agencies have downgraded the GDP for the country for the present fiscal year.
25 May 2021. Landomus Group which is a lesser-known US firm has announced that it would like to invest an amount of USD 500 dollars in the form of equity into India’s National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP). The announcement was made in the form of an advertisement in a newspaper where the company made an appeal to the Prime Minister of the country, Narendra Modi.
24 May 2021. The Per Capita Income of Bangladesh have seen an increase of up to USD 2,227 which is considered to be higher than India by USD 280 where India’s per capita income is USD 1,947. The major reason for the growth of the per capita income of Bangladesh is due to the Awami League which took charge in the year 2009 according to Information and Technology minister of Bangladesh, Tarana Halim.
23 May 2021. Evan Spiegel who is the CEO of Snapchat had recently conveyed that the mobile application Snapchat wouldn’t exist without Apple’s iPhone. This was regarding the new policy of Apple where they had conveyed that they would charge 30% fees on any in-app transactions on various platforms.
Weekly Startup News - 16 May to 22 May
22 May 2021. Air India has conveyed that the data of millions of passengers have been compromised due to a cyber attack and it involves the personal data of the passengers registered between 26 August 2011 and 20 February 2021.
21 May 2021. The CEO of the company Masaru Tange has shared the strategy where he says that increasing the pay of his engineers is the secret behind the surge in the stock price of his company. He conveyed that he acquired smaller firms and increased the pay of the workers.
The CEO of ByteDance and the founder of TikTok has announced that he will be stepping down from the CEO position
21 May 2021. Zhang Yiming has announced that he will be stepping down from the post of CEO. He had announced it through a memo sent to the employers citing the reason as he lacks some of the skills required by an ideal manager.
China has banned the financial institutions and payment companies from the transaction of cryptocurrencies
20 May 2021. The three major financial industry Associations of China have directed all the financial institutions and payment companies to not offer any services related to cryptocurrencies to their clients such as currency exchanges, trading, registration, clearing and settlement.
20 May 2021. Indian Cryptocurrency exchange WazirX had announced that it has taken certain measures to compensate the users who have lost their money investing in the Shiba Inu Coin (SHIB) after it was listed on the exchange for a price higher than its actual value. the company will provide WRX Airdrop which is equivalent to the amount of loss incurred by the users. The eligible users will receive the WazirX tokens for the next 4 months
Google Pay has launched a new feature which will let their US users to transfer money to India and Singapore
20 May 2021. Google Pay has announced that it would let users in the United States to send money to their friends, family and relatives in India and Singapore. This is an official mark of the entry of Google Pay into the remittance service market. They have partnered with Western Union and Wise to enable this feature.
20 May 2021. Certain people who have been claiming to be working in Amazon have been posting allegations against the company on various social media forums conveying that the company is involved in a Hire to Fire policy. It is mentioned that the company is hiring people for meeting their annual targets and to fire them later.
19 May 2021. According to a UN expert, India has to heavily invest on its infrastructure if they want to recover from the widespread economic destruction faced by the country due to the coronavirus pandemic. The UN has said that India will have to invest in its digital and health infrastructure.
18 May 2021. There has been a recent filing on the Companies House which is the official business registrar of the United Kingdom. The newly registered company was a sole proprietorship which was registered under the sole director named Elon Musk PhD and the name of the company was Elonspace Ltd.
17 May 2021. The top e-commerce platform of China had recorded a loss of 7.66 billion yuan for its first quarterly results. This is the first time the company has recorded a loss in its history after going public in the year 2014.
16 May 2021. Airtel Payments Bank had announced a new feature that will let the users invest in Digital Gold. They have launched a digital platform called DigiGold for its customers to make an investment in digital gold.
Weekly Startup News - 9 May to 15 May
15 May 2021. Google has been fined by the watchdog of Italy which is estimated to be around USD 123 million for abusing its dominant position in the market. The case is related to the modified version of Google’s OS which is used in cars known as Android Auto.
The United States under Joe Biden's administration has announced to issue startup visa for Entrepreneurs
15 May 2021. The door for the foreign entrepreneurs to enter the United States of America has been reopened under the administration of Joe Biden. The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) had announced that it is withdrawing a proposed rule which was issued under the administration of Trump.
14 May 2021. Tesla has announced that it has suspended the use of bitcoins for the sale of its electric vehicles. Elon Musk had shared a statement on Twitter that conveyed the message saying that the move from the company is suspending bitcoin is due to environmental reasons.
13 May 2021. The exports of India during the month of April have seen a significant rise. The exports of India during the month of April have increased to up to 197 % due to the low base effect. The country has also seen an increase in imports of around 165.99 %.
13 May 2021. Amazon one of the largest based e-commerce giant has removed certain made in china, sold on amazon gadgets from its e-commerce platform. Gadgets of companies such as Aukey and Mpow has been disappeared from the digital platform.
12 May 2021. Flipkart which is owned by Walmart has announced that it will cover insurance for all its platform sellers in India and waive additional fees. It also announced that it would not charge cancellation and storage fees from its sellers that are listed on their platform
12 May 2021. The popular battle royale game PUBG mobile India is said to relaunch in India but with a new game and a new title name called as Battlegrounds Mobile India. The company is expected to have a local office, around 100 employees and is expected to have an investment of USD 100 million.
11 May 2021. The Reserve Bank of India had announced it has reopened the one-time loan restructuring programme for individual borrowers. This programme will let the banks to let their borrowers to reschedule the payments they need to make or to extend the moratorium period to a maximum of two years.
10 May 2021. Google has announced a new working policy for the company’s employees that is a hybrid model. The new working model will allow most of the employees to work out of their office for 3 days in a week and the rest employees to work remotely every day.
10 May 2021. Forbes which is one of the biggest business magazines is said to be acquired soon. There have been exclusive talks between Forbes Magazine LLC and GSV Asset Management in acquiring the former company. The deal will increase the valuation of Forbes Media by more than USD 600 million.
9 May 2021. Ceat Ltd which is a company under the RPG group had announced that it has recorded a profit of around INR 132.34 crores for the Q3 of the financial year. The company said that it is because of the increase demand in the replacement market.
Weekly Startup News - 2 May to 8 May
7 May 2021. The company has said that there has been an increase in the medicines such as Fabiflu and Doxzee which is said to treat the mild cases of Covid-19. The company said that there was an increase of around 40x to 50x in the month of April 2021 compared to March 2021.
7 May 2021. Reliance Industries have announced that it has seen a rise in its profits of up to 35% for the year ended 31 March 2021. The company has also announced a dividend of INR 7 per share.
6 May 2021. Pandola which is one of the world's largest jeweler said that from now on, it would remove mined diamonds from their glass showcases and sell only lab grown diamonds. This is a step taken by the company due to the preferences of the younger consumers and for sustainability.
6 May 2021. Verizon has announced that it sold its Yahoo and AOL properties to Apollo Capital Management for a deal which is said to be for USD 5 billion. The company has sold its properties for almost half the value it paid to acquire them.
5 May 2021. Bill Gates and Melinda Gates had announced through a twitter post that they would be ending 27 years of their marriage but would continue to work together in Bill and Melinda Gates foundation which is one of the largest foundation of the world.
5 May 2021. Twitter has announced that it has acquired Scroll which is a subscription based service that provides news articles without advertisements, pop-ups and other promotions. The company has plans to introduce Scroll to the publishers on Twitter's platform
4 May 2021. Apple has rolled out a new update on its operating system called iOS 14.5. The update will let the users choose to provide data to the mobile app developers.
3 May 2021. Facebook has launched a new finder tool on its mobile application in India. The tool is launched in partnership with the Government of India in order to help the people in order to book and receive their vaccinations.
2 May 2021. The food and drug administration of the United States has announced its plan to ban menthol cigarettes and flavor additive cigars by next year in order to reduce the cigarette consumption in the country.
Weekly Startup News - 25 April to 1 May
May 1, 2021. TATA Group has received the approval from Competition Commission of India to acquire the unicorn grocery delivery startup BigBasket. TATA Group will acquire 64.3 % stake in the startup through its digital arm TATA Digital.
30 April 2021. In the first quarterly results announced by one of the largest automotive and industrial lubricant firm Castrol India, the company has witnessed a huge profit and an increase in the net income of almost double the amount of previous year.
30 April 2021. Nomura Holdings which is a Japanese brokerage firm has recorded a steep loss in the first quarter of 2021. The firm has said that the losses are from the collapse of a U.S investor Archegos Capital Management.
30 April 2021. Tesla wants to make every home a distributed power plant by taking a step in changing their company policy by selling Solar products coupled with energy storage products.
29 April 2021. Elon Musk on World Earth Day had announced a competition which is hosted by XPRIZE. The competition will be based on Carbon Removal and the awards are worth USD 100 million.
29 April 2021. In an interview with Sky News, the billionaire and philanthropist Bill Gates had shared his view that he believes that the world will be completely normal by the end of 2022. He believes that the vaccine drives will be effective by the end of the next year.
28 April 2021. Amazon Web Services has recently made an announcement which said that it would open source one of its device software which is known as AWS DeepRacer. It was introduced to let the developers learn Machine Learning in a fun way. The open sourcing is expected to increase the interest of the developers and will enable them to develop the skills of Machine Learning.
28 April 2021. The Digital Fintech startup has announced the launch of a new platform which will help its users to learn and discuss about various topics such as stock market, IPO, futures and options, mutual funds, personal finance, etc. through live videos from industry experts.
RBI restricted American Express and Diners Club International from adding more customers
28 April 2021. RBI has barred American Express and Diners Club International from onboarding new customers on its payment system in India. The ban will come into effect from 1 May 2021.
27 April 2021. The logistics and supply chain startup's co-founder Sahil Baura had announced that the company had made arrangements to import oxygen concentrators and other essential services from China. The essential services will reach the country through charters by 28 April 2021 and 20 April 2021.
26 April 2021. Earlier in this month Vijay Kumar who was the former Managing Director and the CEO of NCDEX had left the position from the exchange after the completion of his extended term. After the completion of the period of Vijay Kumar SEBI, had appointed Arun Raste who will be the new CEO and MD of NCDEX for the term of 5 years.
26 April 2021. According to a report from PayU Insights, the digital platforms and the digital apps had seen a huge surge in their user base of over more than 100% is due to the coronavirus pandemic and the mass restrictions laid down by the countries. There has been an increase in various sectors which include UPI Sector, OTT segment, Gaming sector, e-commerce segments and the Ed-tech sectors across the country. The North Eastern region of India has seen the major growth during the year 2020.
26 April 2021. Facebook Inc had announced that it is planning to start testing the ads in its Instagram platform in the reels section. In the first stage Facebook said it will concentrate in the countries such as Australia, Germany, Brazil and India. In India, Facebook has plans to test various other features and one among them would be to provide a feature for the content creators to share their Reels videos on their Facebook accounts as well. They also have plans to test a new feature which would be Facebook's sticker Ads for the stories posted on Facebook.
Weekly Startup News - 28 March to 3 April
2 Indian Twitter clone Koo bags investment from Silicon Valley Investors
Apr 2, 2021. The Indian Twitter clone, Koo has bagged investment from prominent Silicon Valley based investors and early Twitter and Clubhouse investor Naval Ravikant along with Balaji Srinivasan, former CTO at Coinbase. While the upcoming funding round is expected to be led by Tiger Global at a valuation of $100 million, the previous funding round was lead by 3one4 capital and raised $4.1 million in February, 2021. This round also saw the participation of Kalaari Capitals and Blume Ventures including others.
1 Fintech startup Easebuzz $4 Mn in Seed funding round led by 8i Ventures and others
Apr 1, 2021. The Mumbai based Fintech startup, Easebuzz has raised about $4 million in seed funding round led by 8i Ventures, Varanium Capital, along with Guild Capital. A software platform designed for B2B companies and startups, Easebuzz endeavors to help them grow their enterprises. According to the corporation, the fresh funds will be deployed to strengthen product teams, enhance marketing efforts, along with increasing number of payment based APIs for SMEs.
India's first Unicorn, InMobi reportedly planning US IPO valued between $12 and $15 Bn
Mar 31, 2021. InMobi Pte, that develops advertisement serving algorithms to help optimize ad rankings that appear on smartphones, is planning to list in the US by the end of this year. InMobi has thus far received a total funding amount of over $320 million from 6 investors, and has also made 9 acquisitions including Aerserv, Metaflows, and Sprout among others. It also raised $25 million in a single venture fund, the InMobi Indie Game Developers, in the July of 2014.
HealthPlix Technologies raised $13.5 Mn as part of Series B funding
Mar 31, 2021. HealthPlix, a digital health platform that helps clinics and medical offices to expand their horizons and retain their patients, has raised $13.5 million as part of its ongoing Series B funding led by Lightspeed. While the funding round also saw the participation of JSW Ventures and Kalaari Capital, the healthcare startup is looking to grow five times by enhancing the number of doctors in concerned geographies, adding new towns and medicinal specialties in its portfolio, along with bolstering its team and product.
RBI's Recurring Payments Rules Change may disrupt subscription based startups
Mar 30, 2021. Beginning this April, auto debit payments for mobile, utility bills, and other subscriptions based services such as Startups and streaming services will be temporarily suspended with the arrival of new regulations pertaining to recurring payments by RBI. The new rules require the banks to send a notification to the customer five days prior to the payment date, and the amount can be debited only once the customer has affirmed. Moreover, for payments over INR 5000, the banks will need to send an OTP to the customer to confirm the payment.
BYJU'S becomes India's second highest valued startup after $460 Mn investment
Mar 29, 2021. BYJU'S, an edtech startup and platform that offers personalized learning programs for K-12 students, has become the second most valued startup in India after a funding of $460 million. While it has thus far raised a mammoth $2.3 billion in funding from about 31 investors and has made 8 acquisitions as of yet, BYJU'S is also looking to acquire US based reading platform, Epic. By the end of this round investors have acquired a 3.53% stake in the company, while its valuation is estimated to reach $15 billion with an investment of over $700 million.
Weekly Startup News - 20 March to 27 March
DotPe raises $27 Mn in Series A funding from Google, PayU, and others
26 Mar, 2021. DotPe, an O2O technology startup that helps and offers an E-commerce and payments platform to offline businesses has raises $27 million in Series A funding from investors like Google, Info Edge, and others, raking up the total funding amount to $35.5 million. The Gurugram based startup is looking to deploy the funds in accelerating product development and expanding its markets, also scaling its technology. While the Google investment came through its $10 billion India Digitization Fund, Info Edge has doubled its stake in the company.
Sequoia Capital closes second seed fund at $195 Mn for Surge Accelerator
25 Mar, 2021. The Silicon Valley based Venture Capital firm Sequoia has closed its second seed fund at $195 million as part of its accelerator program Surge. While the funds will be deployed for venture investment, Sequoia is already one of the leading investors in India, having funded Indian unicorns including BYJU'S, OYO, Zomato and others. Sequoia also closed an India focused seed fund at $200 million and plans to raise a second fund for the same. Sequoia has thus far made 1472 investments, including 139 diversity investment, also having acquired FACES Cosmetics along the way.
Dream11 parent Dream Sports raises $400 Mn ahead of IPL 2021
24 Mar, 2021. Mumbai based sports tech startup Dream Sports has completed a $400 million secondary investment led by TVC, D1 Capital Partners, and Falcon Edge. The funding round closed ahead of this year's IPL season and saw the participation of Tiger Global, Steadview Capital, and TGP Ventures among others. While this is the first investment by TVC in an Indian startup, other investment including Tencent Holdings and Kalaari Capital are looking to sell their shares. With this funding round, Dream Sports also hit $5 billion valuation.
IIFL launches $280 Mn fund for Tech Startups in Pre-IPO Rounds
23 Mar, 2021. The asset management arm of India's leading Financial Services Company IIFL has launched an INR 1500 Cr fund to invest in the pre-IPO and late stage rounds of tech and business startups. The fund also offers a green shoe option worth INR 500 Cr, making a total of $276 million. IIFL has thus far raised a commitment of $55 million, and plans for the final close to take place in June, and is looking to invest in companies with a profitability path. IIFL has also made about 15 investments and 8 lead investments with their latest funding in Policy Bazaar having taken place the previous month.
FinTech company True Balance raises $10 Mn for its NBFC arm
22 Mar, 2021. The Gurugram based digital wallet based startup has raised $10 million in debt financing led by Northern Arc, a Chennai based non Banking Finance Company, taking its total funding amount to $99 million with 17 investors. True Balance is an RBI authorized app, and is managed by Balancehero India Pvt. Ltd, and the funds will be deployed for expansion of its lending business in India. Founded in 2014, True Balance aims to assist with utility financial payment platform for unbanked users to serve in their living requirements.
Chinese Investors Exit KreditBee in Series C Funding Round
22 Mar, 2021. Finnov-owned and a digital lending platform KreditBee has raises $75 million from investors including Premji Investment and Alpine Capital, and is looking to use the funds to offer secure lending services along with other financial services such as insurances. A month after raising the funds, KreditBee has garnered another $70 million funding led by NewQuest Capital Partners and Motilal Oswal Private Equity, which has also led to the exit of its early stage Chinese Investors including Xiaomi Corp, Shnunwei Capital, and Kunlun.
Weekly Startup News - 13 March to 20 March
SaaS AI Startup Detect Technologies, expanding to South America and Europe
19 Mar, 2021. The Chennai based SaaS startup Detect Technologies after bolstering its presence is countries like Canada and Singapore with deep AI capabilities, is now looking to expand in newer markets in South America and Europe. While currently offering its services to over 25 enterprise clients, across various niche such as oil and gas, petrochemicals, steel, metal and pharmaceuticals among others, Detect Technologies is aiming at an enhanced industrial productivity with real-time monitoring and actionable solutions.
SpaceTech Startup Pixxel raises $7.3 Mn in Seed Funding Round
18 Mar, 2021. The Bengaluru based space technology startup, Pixxel has raised $7.3 million is Seed Funding from investors including Techstars and Omnivore VC. With a funding of $5 million in the previous year, Pixxel's current valuation amounts to about $13 million, and while it has announced its foray into hyperspectral imaging, Pixxel looks to provide high resolution images with a constellation of Earth imaging satellites. In contrast to the multispectral satellites used today, the Hyperspectral satellites will project up to 50 times more information in narrower bands.
LivveHomes, a rental space startup raises $5 Mn from Angel Investors
18 Mar, 2021. The Kerala based Rental Space Startup has recently raised $5 million in its second funding round from angel investors, placing its valuation at about $6.5 million. The real estate startup offers online deposit and payment platforms for both, owners and tenants, and has said that the fresh funds will be deployed to stabilizing the organization's operations and offer a uniform set of furniture across its different properties. The funds will also be useful in enhancing organizational efficiency and expanding the property.
Jungle Ventures invest in Overseas Education Platform Leap to enter EdTech Market
17 Mar, 2021. The Venture Capital Firm, Jungle Ventures has invested $17 million in the EdTech platform Leap in its Series B funding round, which looks to deploy the funds into further expanding its portfolio and strengthening its team. Having raised $5.5 million and catering to the needs of 20K students in the previous year, Leap looks to assist over 150K students in the current year with counselling, Visa, and educational loans. With this investment, Jungle Ventures has officially entered the EdTech market.
Fintech Startup Yap raises $10 Mn in Series B funding led by Flourish Ventures
16 Mar, 2021. The FinTech startup and infrastructure provider Yap has raised $10 million in its Series B funding round with investors including Flourish Ventures and Omidyar Network India, along with the existing investors. As per estimations, Yap's valuation post the Series B funding is close to $70 million, with 20 banking partners and over 300 brands seeking to employ its products. Yap's API platform enables digital and fintech platforms to offer customized solutions to their users by connecting with other fintech platforms.
Venture Capital Firm, Endiya Partners launches its first accelerator program
15 Mar, 2021. An early stage venture capital firm, Endiya Partners that works with entrepreneurs in digital and healthcare sectors has launched its first accelerator program. Through this program, the VC firm looks to identify and mentor startups with great potential in different niche including SaaS, Semiconductors, AI and ML, Blockchain, and IOT, among others. Frontier Tech Ignite (X) Program is its first accelerator program through its collaboration with Applied Ventures, the venture arm of Applied Materials.
Weekly Startup News - 5 March to 12 March
Juicy Chemistry, personal care startup raises $6.3 million in Series A funding
12 Mar, 2021. The Coimbatore-based personal care D2C startup Juicy Chemistry raised $6.3 Mn in Series A funding round led by Belgium based Verlinvest. After over five years of being bootstrapped, the startup looks to deploy its fresh funds in expanding in the E-commerce domain along with Omnichannel distribution and reach new geographies. While the company also raised an undisclosed amount in an Angel Funding in 2019, it is expected to close its financial year with a revenue rate of INR 25 Crore, that is over three times larger than the previous year. Now that the demand for self care products has resumed after repeated lockdowns, Juicy Chemistry is all set to compete with big brands including Nykaa and Plum.
Icertis raises $80 million in Series F funding led by B Capital Group
11 Mar, 2021. Icertis, a SaaS startup is now valued at $2.8 Bn after the series F funding round, led by an existing investor B Capital Group along with other participants including Greycroft, Meritech Capital Partners, PSP Growth and others. While the company's valuation jumped to three times of its valuation at the previous funding round, it looks to increase the workforce by 30-40% along with investing in its AI and Blockchain development, and sales and marketing potential. Icertis, a contract life-cycle management company, is now the second most valued SaaS unicorn in the Indian Startup Ecosystem behind Freshworks, and helps clients manage their contracts.
Captain Fresh, Seafood supply chain startup secures $3 million funding
10 Mar, 2021. In a Seed funding round that saw the participation of Matrix and other investors, the Seafood Supply Chain Startup and a B2B Seafood Marketplace, Captain Fresh has raised $3 Mn, and is looking to deploy the funds to bolster its sourcing and distribution networks. Previously in the August of 2020, it had raised $2.3 Mn in a Pre-Series A funding round, and has since registered a revenue growth of over ten times, closing in to about a million dollars per week. Since it was established in 2019, Fresh Captain has been supplying fresh water fish and other seafood to over 500 retailers across different trades, and has bolstered its presence in some major cities like Mumbai, Pune, and Bengaluru.
Ecom Express secures $20 million funding from UK's CDC group in follow-on investment
9 Mar, 2021. The Delhi based logistics solutions provider Ecom Express has recently raised $20 Mn from the UK based impact investor CDC group. While CDC group had previously invested $36 Mn for the logistics startup in the December of 2019, Ecom looks to use the current funds for strategic investments, partnerships, expansions and acquisitions. This investment will also help India to create 8000 new jobs along with the initial target of 15000 roles, prioritizing women empowerment, and contributing to the need of 8.1 million jobs to maintain the employment rate in India. Recently, Ecom also entered Bangladesh's market by investing $11 Mn in their E-commerce logistics firm, Paperfly.
Online InsurTech startup Turtlemint raises $46 million in Series D funding
9 Mar, 2021. Turtlemint, the Mumbai based InsurTech startup founded in 2015, has recently raised $46 Mn in Series D funding round in the aftermath of relaxation of insurance FDI rules. The Series D funding round closed to place Turtlemint to a valuation of $69 Mn, while the company now claims to be working with 100K insurance advisors with a customer base of 1.5 Mn. The startup looks to deploy the funds to extending its network of distributors and further enhancing and developing product capabilities along with marketing. The company now competes with some of the industry giants like PolicyBazaar and BankBazaar, and has recently cut short its expenditures and slashed its employee's salaries owing to the pandemic.
Riskcovry, the insurance tech startup bags $5 million in Series A funding
9 Mar, 2021. Riskcovry, the Mumbai based InsurTech startup that offers an 'Insurance-in-a-box' model has recently raised $5 Mn from Omidyar India, and is expecting to sell over 200K insurance policies in the current financial year. Founded in 2018, Riskcovry is a business-to-business-to-customer (B2B2C) startup, and enables and offers insurance infrastructure for platforms to sell insurance policies and products. In a short span, Riskcovry has garnered various clients including ZestMoney and FuturePay, and offers plug-to-play technology to its 50 partners across different sectors and industries. While the pandemic shut down a lot of business, it sure induced a growth in insurance value chain companies.
Weekly Startup News - First Week of March
Shopclues, the one-time unicorn continues to drift towards declining revenue
5 Mar, 2021. Once a unicorn with a valuation of over a billion dollars, Shopclues' revenue continued to decline until it was acquired by a Singapore based Qoo10 Pte in the December of 2019, at a valuation of $70-$100 million. While the decline in revenue was witnessed since March of 2018 with the operating revenue not even surpassing INR 90 Crore, the expenses have also been cut down drastically by about INR 363 Crore. Founded in 2011, Shopclues was an Indian startup, and witnessed healthy growth and strong revenue until the year 2015, but as soon as the company made efforts to expand its horizons the losses grew by leaps and bounds, and the company reported a loss of INR 101 Crore in the financial year 2015 compared to a revenue of INR 79 Crore.
Blume Ventures announces $48 million fund 1X for follow-on rounds
5 Mar, 2021. The venture capital firm Blume Ventures, founded by Karthik Reddy and Sanjay Nath is close to deploying the cycle of its $102 million fund, and is looking to expand its portfolio. Blume Ventures is an early stage investor with portfolio companies including Dunzo and Instamojo, and expects about 10 of its portfolio companies grow into unicorns in the next decade as startups cling to Initial Public Offerings (IPOs). Blume Ventures closed its INR 350 Crore Fund 1X in January bringing in stakes of 6 portfolio firms, while the secondary sales allowed for the exits of its limited partners in Fund I. The Fund IX will further invest in these firms in upcoming Series funding to increase their stakes.
Singapore based tech insurance platform raises $9.4 million, will divert most to India Entity
4 Mar, 2021. Singapore based tech insurance startup, Symbo raises $9.4 million, and has stated that the majority of the funds will be allocated to its Indian arm. The platform offered by Symbo is used by agents, third party administrators and brokers across the country as well as Southeast Asia to distribute a variety of insurances, both tech and life based. The InsurTech platform stated that the funding round was led by CreditEase Fintech Investment Fund and Think Investment, a San Francisco based investment firm, with other investors including Integra Partners and Insignia Ventures. Symbo said that it is looking to use the funds to in its core technology and leadership team for key areas.
Cashify, the online Gadget selling platform raises $15 million from Olympus Capital
4 Mar, 2021. Cashify is an online platform for selling electronic goods for instant cash and was founded in 2015 by Amit Sethi, Mandeep Manocha and Nakul Kumar. In addition to selling users' products, Cashify also sells its own brand of refurbished smartphones called PhonePro. Prior to the recent funding, Cashify had previously raised $13 million in 4 funding rounds by 8 investors with the last round closing in 2018 at $12 million. In the current funding round, Cashify has raised $15 million from Olympus Capital Asia, a New York based middle-market private equity firm. The firm's co-founder said that they were looking to accelerate investment in electronic reuse and recycling sector to reduce carbon footprint.
Payments Startups Invited by LIC to bid for mega insurance contract
3 Mar, 2021. India's largest insurance company, the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) has invited payment aggregator companies and fintech startups to enable digital payments of insurance premiums for over 250 million customers. The opportunity can be used to catapult any payments processor in the country to success with a preexisting user base, and Indian startups such as PayU and Juspay could be potential candidates and major contenders for this role. LIC rolled out the request for proposal (RFP) in the February of 2021, with a contract valid for 5 years, and an invitation to the Bengaluru based payments processor, Razorpay to bid for the contract.
Retail Tech Primaseller acquired by Gurugram based Logistics Unicorn, Delhivery
3 Mar, 2021. The Gurugram based logistics unicorn Delhivery acquired Primaseller, a SaaS retail tech startup for omnichannel sellers for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition is expected to strengthen technical aspects of the company, and help them bolster their long term vision to be the E-commerce operating system in India. In the February of 2018, Delhivery had also announced the acquisition of the Indian business of Dubai based logistics firm, Aramex. Delhivery was founded in 2011, and possesses a network of 18K pin-codes and 2.5K cities along with trucking terminals in 3 major cities in India including Mumbai, Bangalore, and Delhi.
Weekly Startup News - 20 Feb to 27 Feb
FundVice, the investment banking firm looking to support startups with ₹330 Crore fund
26 Feb, 2021. FundVice, an investment banking private equity firm has announced that it will support the startup ecosystem in India with an investment of about Rs 330 crore, including investment from its new fund Ryoma ventures. While the company aims to close 50 deals worth INR 250 crore by the end of 2021, it has also announced a sector agnostic fund worth INR 80 crore. The Managing Director of FundVice and Ryoma Ventures said that some promising and revenue generating startups in India are in dire need of the right investors, and that the fund was initiated to support such startups. FundVice is soon looking to close this fund with the present investors, while also collaborating with other investors.
Agrotech startup Clover launches Deep Rooted, a D2C app for cultivation and supply chain
25 Feb, 2021. Clover has launched a direct to customer mobile application called Deep Rooted, a demanded backed cultivation and supply chain solution for fruits and vegetables. While Deep Rooted is focused on quality and consistency, Clover is looking to invest in building a farmer-facing input-output technology for supply chain and cold storage facilities. With Deep Rooted, Clover is hoping to be India's largest virtual farmer with an allround agronomy intervention for supply along with an omnichannel presence. Moreover, Clover also stated that its B2B experience in dealing with over 90 customers will help in effortless management of the consumer focused B2C brand.
Infra.Market enters the Unicorn club after raising 100 million in Series C funding
25 Feb, 2021. After raising $100 million in Series C funding round led by Tiger Global, Infra.Market has entered the Unicorn Club with Avendus Capital as its financial advisor. The startup reached the valuation of a billion dollars in less than 20 months since its seed funding round in April 2019, and had earlier raised $20 million in December of 2020 in Series B funding round led by Evolvence India Fund. Infra.Market currently has over 400 clients including some big names like Larsen & Toubro and Tata Projects. Infra.Market is an online marketplace where companies in the infrastructure and real estate business can procure construction material at reasonable prices.
Former Paytm Money CEO's startup Raise Financial raises funds from Unicorn founders
25 Feb, 2021. Raise Financial, a startup focused on wealth management solutions and financial service distribution, has raised seed round capital from some well known unicorn founders. The fintech startup is planning to launch its first product in the second half of this year, and is looking to offer its services in metropolitan and tier 1 cities. Raise Financial has garnered investment from the likes of CRED founder Kunal Shah, Flipkart Chief Executive Kalyan Krishnamoorthy along with PhonePe co-founders Sameer Nigam and Rahul Chari. According to the former Paytm CEO, he has invested in his personal capacity as well, and looks to deploy the funds for hiring employees.
EdTech startup Leverage Edu has raised Rs 47 crore in Series A funding round
24 Feb, 2021. Leverage Edu, the edtech startup has raised Rs 47 crore in its Series A funding round led by Tomorrow Capital, while Blume Ventures and DSG Consumer Partners also participated in the round. The startup announced that it aims to use the funds to strengthen its grasp in tier 3 and 4 cities along with smaller towns. Leverage plans to organize seminars and workshops to help students recognize the courses they need to follow and guide them along the way. Moreover, with a reasonable grasp in the US and UK, Leverage is also planning to expand to Canada and Australia. The startup was launched in 2017 as a University Admissions Company to help students with career guidance, and has stood by the title.
Innovaccer becomes the first Indian Health-tech Unicorn after Series D funding
24 Feb, 2021. Innovaccer, a healthcare Software as a Service startup has raised an undisclosed amount in Series D funding round led by Tiger Global, and has become the first Indian healthcare startup to join the Unicorn club. The Noida and San Francisco based startup was valued at $350 million the previous year after the Series C funding round raising $105 million. Innovaccer was founded by two IIT Kharagpur graduates and an IIM Ahmedabad alumnus, and analyses health reports and data to provide insights to healthcare workers, hospitals, and insurance companies. While the company deals with global clients and hence faces equally intense competition from global brands like eClinicalWorks and Healthecare.
PayPal to shut Domestic Payment Business in India
5 Feb, 2021. PayPal, the online payments solution has announced that it will close down business in India beginning from April 1, and will prioritize international sales for Indian businesses. PayPal is a payments service, that enables users to make online payments on applications for booking tickets and other amenities. Since April however, PayPal will no longer allow domestic transaction services.
Zomato collaborates with MoHUA onboarding 300 street vendors
5 Feb, 2021. In an endeavor to create a more sustainable fast food delivery ecosystem for street vendors, Zomato has signed an agreement with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs to onboard 300 street vendors. The onboarding encompasses 6 major cities including Bhopal, Raipur, Patna, Vadodara, Nagpur, and Ludhiana. While this venture is currently in its first phase, it could expand owing to the popularity of street food and could create better earning opportunities for street vendors.
Newton School Raises Funds in Series A Funding by RTP Global
With its learner base growing exponentially since the fourth quarter of the previous year, the Bengaluru based skill development startup Newton School has raised $5 million in Series A funding lead by RTP Global. Newton School is more focused on graduates and working professionals who aim for top tier companies. With over 700 enrolled students, Newton School has partnered with Zomato, Unacademy, Motorola, and other companies and also made it to the Inc42 30 Startups of 2020, owing to its growth. The funds are to be used to expand the user base further in 2021.
PhonePe allocates Stock Options Worth $200 million to its Employees
5 Feb, 2021. Fintech enterprise PhonePe has recently allotted $200 million worth of stock options among its 2200 employees. Flipkart announced its partial spin-off of PhonePe, a month after which PhonePe announced the Stock Option Plan. The Stock Option Plan is aimed at the company's core value, that is, long term focus and organization-first thinking. The company aims to develop an internal culture and remove internal competition, and through this initiative, it seeks to remove variable pay based on individual performance.
Pepperfry Revenue Grows by 26% Trimming Advertising Costs
5 Feb, 2021. Pepperfry has witnessed a boost in revenue by 26% amounting to over INR 260 crores for the financial year 2020 owing to the reduced advertising costs and more focus on an omnichannel. The biggest expenditure that the company faced was that of Employee Benefit, and while the previous year its losses increased by 72%, Pepperfry managed to lower them to 33% the following year. While the operations revenue comprises mostly of the commission from suppliers, the company also has 10 private label brands including Woodsworth, Mintwud and others.
Ixigo Acquires Train Booking Platform Confirmtkt
5 Feb, 2021. The Gurugram based travel E-commerce platform Ixigo announced its acquisition of Confirmtkt for an undisclosed amount of cash and stocks. The deal dictates that Ixigo founders will now be the Confirmtkt board members, while the current investors will exit and the companies will still function independently. Since both Ixigo and Confirmtkt are online train reservation platforms, this acquisition will enhance the customers' experience a great deal with the combined resources of both corporations.
Internet Startup i2e1 (Information to Everyone) Seeks to Make Internet Extremely Affordable
8 Feb, 2021. With an aim to digitize India, the Delhi based Internet Startup i2e1 endeavors to reduce the cost of internet such that it becomes accessible even at tea stalls. When established in 2015, the startup founders worked on user analytics and advertising solutions, and helped retailers offer free WiFi to customers along with integrated promotional offers. In the later years, it came up with yet another way of providing low cost internet services through the current public WiFi solution after TRAI initiated PM-WANI concept in 2016, and the previous month, i2e1 launched its first public data office.
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