OYO joins the banquet, acquires Weddingz; Paytm's Gamepind raises funds
It is said that about 10 million marriages happen in India annually, offering great market opportunity for all wedding planners. Ritesh Agarwal, founder of Oyo Rooms, whose ambitions are now extending on to international shores, has been eyeing this segment for some time. By acquiring Weddingz, a leading wedding banquet management company, he has closed that loop. More inorganic revelry for Ritesh!
Meanwhile, drug research firm Bugworks has raised $9 million in series A funding and lending startup HappyEMI has raised $1 million. Happiness all around in startup town. Read on.
Gamepind Entertainment Private Limited, Paytm’s recent mobile gaming offering, announced that it had received an investment of $16 million from both One97 Communications and AGTech to expand its operations. Gamepind is a joint venture between AGTech Holdings Limited (AGTech) and One97 Communications. The announcement also marks the appointment of Sudhanshu Gupta as the company's chief operating officer.
Bengaluru-based digital customer lending startup HappyEMI has raised $1 million from AJ Ventures, JAN and Anand Sankeshwar, Managing Director of VRL Logistics. The fund will be used to expand its reach of consumer digital loans at point-of-sale (PoS) across new geographies. HappyEMI provides instant financing to consumers through no-cost based equal monthly instalment at the point-of-sale in stores such as Sangeetha Mobiles, Poorvika, Happi Mobiles, and over 500 independent retail stores.
OYO on Monday announced that it had acquired Weddingz, the wedding banquet management company. This is OYO’s third acquisition this year. In March, it had acquired Chennai-based service apartment Novascotia Boutique Homes. In July, it acquired AblePlus, the Mumbai-based IoT startup.
In a significant development for the Indian startup ecosystem, Bengaluru and Delaware (US)-based drug research company Bugworks has raised $9 million in Series A funding. The company that designs antibiotics has announced that the funding round was led by University of Tokyo Edge Capital (UTEC), Japan, with syndication from Acquipharma Holdings, 3ONE4 Capital, and other prominent biotech-focused global angels.
A Microsoft study on the impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has found that more than one in four business organisations in the developing world have “already incorporated” AI into key processes and services, and nearly half of them have “one or more” AI pilot projects underway. Most businesses expect AI-driven innovation over the next five years to be led by the private sector, Microsoft revealed. The study was conducted in eight markets: France, Germany, Mexico, Poland, South Africa, Thailand, the UK and the US.