Startup news and updates: daily roundup (Jan 27, 2021)

By Sujata Sangwan & Suman Singh|27th Jan 2021
YourStory presents this daily roundup of the latest startup news and updates from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Wednesday, Jan 27, 2021.
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Piyush Goyal to ensure dedicated startup helpdesk; urges Indian businesspersons to support startups via domestic fund

Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Wednesday said he will ensure that the Ministry and Invest India — the country's investment promotion and facilitation agency — pioneer a dedicated startup helpdesk that can work across ministries and states to sort out any difficulties that they face.

Amazon India Amit Agarwal

Amit Agarwal, Global Senior VP and Country Head, Amazon India

Make in India will become global brand, says Amazon India head

Amazon India Head Amit Agarwal expressed confidence in Make in India, saying it is going to grow on a global scale in line with the Aatmanirbhar vision of the government.

Carl Pei NOTHING brand

OnePlus' Carl Pei launches new consumer tech startup NOTHING; calls it 'a giant reset button' (New Launch)

OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei, who resigned from the Chinese smartphone manufacturer last October, has launched his new venture — NOTHING.

RAVI SHANKAR PRASAD, TECHSPARKS_2020

Union Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad

IT minister to launch 'Work from Anywhere' portal, Tejas Virtual Intelligence tool at NICSI event (Government)

IT and Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad will launch virtual intelligence tool Tejas and 'Work from Anywhere' portal at an event on Thursday, according to an official release.

Flipkart Group CEO, Kalyan Krishnamurthy

Flipkart Group CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy

COVID-19 has bought a positive permanent shift for Indian ecommerce, says Flipkart CEO

Flipkart Group CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy strongly believes the COVID-19 pandemic has bought about a positive permanent shift for the Indian ecommerce industry.


Zouk raises seed funding led by Titan Capital and others (Funding)

Vegan lifestyle brand Zouk has raised an undisclosed seed investment led by Titan Capital, founders of Beardo and Mamaearth. The fresh round of investment will help the company plan to expand its operations across India and abroad.


Companies digitising most are creating maximum jobs, says ManpowerGroup study (Jobs)

The COVID-19 pandemic has led companies to rapidly accelerate their digitisation plans, and the companies that are digitising the most, are creating the maximum jobs, a ManpowerGroup survey showed.


Sentiment in real estate turns optimistic in Oct-Dec; outlook for next 6 months positive (Report)

The sentiment in the real estate industry turned optimistic during October-December 2020 and the outlook for the next six months is positive on the back of revival in demand for both residential and office properties, according to a survey by Knight Frank India-FICCI-Naredco.


Social audio platform Headfone raises Rs 22 Cr led by South Korean VC firm Hashed (Funding)

Bengaluru-based social audio platform Headfone, owned and operated by Diacoustic Labs Pvt Ltd, has raised Rs 22 crore as part of its Series A round led by Hashed, a South Korea-based VC firm and Seung Yoon Lee, founder of Radish Fiction. 


Makers Hive raises $9M from Starfish Growth Partners, Investpad (Funding)

Makers Hive, a Hyderabad-based startup that has developed and built a bionic arm, has raised $9 million from Starfish Growth Partners and Investpad. The freshly raised funding will be used for R&D, to scale production, and go to market strategy.

Gita Gopinath

Gita Gopinath

India's new agri laws have potential to raise farm income, says IMF's Gita Gopinath (Government)

India's new agri laws have the potential to increase farmers' income, but there is a need to provide a social safety net to the vulnerable cultivators, IMF's Chief Economist Gita Gopinath said, adding that Indian agriculture needs reforms.


Govt may announce steps to promote ecommerce exports, imports, say sources (Budget 2021)

The Indian government in the Union Budget next week is expected to announce measures such as extending the facility of bulk clearance for ecommerce imports and exports with a view to promoting the growth of this fast-growing segment in the country, sources said.


ByteDance-owned TikTok to shut down India business (Social Media)

Chinese social media firm ByteDance, which owns TikTok and Helo apps, has announced the closure of its India business following continued restrictions on its services in the country.


Vimeo raises $300 M ahead of its separate spin-off (Funding)

Video software company Vimeo, listed as IAC on NASDAQ, has raised $300 million in primary equity from funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. and Oberndorf Enterprises, LLC at a valuation in excess of $5 billion.


Hospitality startup Vista Rooms raises Rs 10 cr led by DSG Consumer Partners (Funding)

Mumbai-based hospitality brand, Vista Rooms, on Wednesday announced that it has raised Rs 10 crore in funding led by DSG Consumer Partners. Other investors including CA Holdings, Artha India Ventures and Anand Ladsariya also participated in this round.


Industrial B2B services platform VenWiz raises $3M from Accel and Nexus Venture Partners (Funding)

Bengaluru-based industrial services platform VenWiz on Wednesday announced that it has raised $3 million in a seed funding led by Accel India and Nexus Venture Partners.


Fintech startup MPOWER Financing raises $25M from Tilden Park (Funding)

Fintech platform MPOWER Financing, which provides educational loans to international and DACA students, has raised $25 million from Tilden Park Capital Management, a New York-based investment management firm.


Indian startups attract $10.14 bn in funding in 2020 (Report)

Indian startups are estimated to have received $10.14 billion in funding across more than 1,200 deals in 2020 despite the COVID crisis, a report by consulting firm HexGn said.

Harley Finkelstein

Harley Finkelstein, President of Shopify. (Image credit: Harley's Twitter)

The future of retail is everywhere, says Shopify President Harley Finkelstein

Harley Finkelstein, President of Shopify, believes the future of retail is not online or offline or on social media. The future of retail is everywhere, he said, adding that conscious consumerism is here to stay, as the COVID-19 pandemic transformed consumer preferences in a very concrete, permanent way that had not been seen before.


Edited by Tenzin Pema