The Walmart-Flipkart deal, the biggest in India’s ecommerce sector so far, has thrown up a few pertinent questions on data and the privacy of around 100 million Indian online shoppers. With the two large e-tailers Amazon and Flipkart controlling a whopping 75 percent of the market, the data of a significant number of shoppers will now be subject to cross-border flow. With the acquisition, according to Flipkart’s policy, the ecommerce firm relinquishes all consumer data to Walmart, thus opening up the whole data privacy debate once again in recent times.
One97 Communications Limited, which owns Paytm, said it plans to unify bank transfers through the launch of the ‘My Payments’ feature on the Paytm application. This feature aims to make recurring, high-value payments and other monthly expenses in an instant.
Online beauty retailer Nykaa announced it had raised Rs 165 crore ($24 million) in a Series D round of funding from existing investors. This brings the total funding for Nykaa to $60 million. A few weeks ago, Nykaa had raised Rs 75 crore ($11 million) at a valuation of Rs 3,00o crore. Nykaa’s early-stage investors - Sunil Kant Munjal, Chairman, Hero Corporate Service P Ltd, Family Offices of Harsh Mariwala, and Dalip Pathak, private equity veteran – also participated in this round.
Singapore-based transport management startup VersaFleet announced it has raised $2.8 million in a Pre-Series A round from Prestellar Ventures. The round was led by Prestellar Ventures and included investments from angel investors. The funds will be used to expand operations across Asia, as well as enhance capabilities of the company’s transport management SaaS offering.
Digital lender Aye Finance on Monday announced it has raised over Rs 30 crore in debt from SBI. The debt facility will be used by Aye to offer an affordable line of credit to micro enterprises, and enable their inclusion in the mainstream economy. This is the second time SBI has extended a debt facility to Aye. In May last year, the micro-lending platform said it had raised Rs 20 crore in debt funding from the PSU bank.
Science Blockchain portfolio company SpringRole has closed a $1.3-million private funding round from its early investors, including AlphaBlock Investments, DNA (Brock Pierce and Scott Walker’s blockchain investment and consulting firm), Isaac Lee’s BlockWater, and Wavemaker Genesis.
In a development that has big potential for the larger world of finance, London’s HSBC and Dutch bank ING successfully completed the first trade finance transaction powered by blockchain. The deal, for food and agricultural group Cargill, was completed in 24 hours, as compared to the 5-10 working days it normally takes and “was a major step in demonstrating the capability to boost efficiency and reduce errors in the multi-trillion-dollar international trade funding industry," according to HSBC.
Carousell, the Singapore-based online listings startup and customer-to-customer marketplace, has announced the close of its Series-C funding round. Started in October, the round raised $85 million for the company from existing investors Rakuten Ventures, 500 Startups, Golden Gate Ventures, and Sequoia India as well as new investors EDBI (the corporate investment arm of Singapore’s Economic Development Board) and DBS, Southeast Asia’s largest bank that has over $330 billion in assets.