Startup news and updates: daily roundup (Feb 10, 2021)
After days of 'withholding' around 250 accounts on government orders and restoring them later, social media giant Twitter on Wednesday issued an official statement stating that they "do not believe" that the actions they have been directed to take by the Indian government are not 'consistent with the Indian law' and would violate the 'fundamental right to free expression'. The microblogging platform said: "We will continue to advocate for the right of free expression on behalf of the people we serve."
Phable, a Bengaluru-based healthtech platform focused on chronic disease management, on Wednesday announced the signing of a $12 million Series A investment round. The new funding has been led by multi-specialty healthcare provider, Manipal Hospitals. SOSV, Phable’s early-stage investor and the global venture capital firm behind accelerators like HAX, MOX, and IndieBio, have also participated in this round. Fresco Capital and Social Starts, both US-based funds and existing investors at Phable, are participating in the round via secondary shares.
Bengaluru-based online coding platform for K-12 kids - Codingal on Wednesday announced that it has raised an undisclosed amount from Y Combinator and has been selected in US-based Y Combinator’s W21 cohort. According to the official statement, Codingal will use the investment to enhance the teachers’ base, curriculum, and integrated product to realise its goal of building a one million-strong community of school students interested in learning coding.
LottieFiles, a global platform in motion graphics, on Wednesday announced it has acquired Surat-based design asset marketplace Iconscout for an undisclosed amount. Post the acquisition, Iconscout will continue to thrive and operate as an independent platform for curated, premium design assets.
Founders Rahul Jacob (L) and Vaibhav Bhandari
Supply6, a Bengaluru-based health food convenience brand, has raised a seed funding of Rs 1 crore from India CXO Fund and Singapore-based MAGEhold. Angel investors including Shiprocket Founders, Prajakt Raut (Co-founder of Applyifi), Vasant Sridhar (Co-founder, OfBusiness), Aniketh Jain (CRO, Kaleyra), Sanjeev Shriya (Founder, Smart Chip Limited), and Rohit Goutamchand also participated in this round. In a statement, the startup said it plans to use the funding for marketing, brand building, and scaling up operations.
Gurugram-based Swajal on Wednesday announced that it has raised its Pre-Series A funding of $1.6 million from Rajasthan Asset Management Company Pvt Ltd (RAMC) through RVCF III - India Growth Fund and a group of investors led by Pramod Agarwal (former CFO P&G, global haircare division). With this funding, the startup now aims to accelerate the adoption of AI-powered sustainable water solutions in India while minimising plastic usage across segments.
Taranjeet Singh Bhamra, Co-founder and CEO, AgNext
Along with the launch of a report identifying the status of Indian agriculture and the resilience of agri startups during COVID-19 and beyond, FICCI announced the winners of the third edition of 'FICCI Summit & Awards for Innovations by Agri Startups'. AgNext Technologies, a Chandigarh-based agritech startup, won the 'Most Innovative Agri Startup Award', with SourceTrace and EF Polymer Pvt Ltd being first and the second runners-up, respectively.
The Karnataka Digital Economy Mission (KDEM) will create ten lakh jobs by 2025 in the state as it will attract more investments in the information technology sector, Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister Dr CN Ashwath Narayan said on Tuesday. "The KDEM will create ten lakh jobs by 2025 and will help Karnataka reach the goal of $150 billion in IT exports, and also become a $300 billion economy by 2025," Narayan, who holds the Electronic and the IT-BT portfolio, said.
Zingbus, an inter-city bus aggregator startup founded by IIT Kharagpur graduates, has raised an undisclosed pre-Series A investment led by Venture Catalysts, Titan Capital, and Better Capital, along with Oyo founder Ritesh Agarwal and People Group founder Anupam Mittal. This funding round also saw participation from 9Unicorns accelerator fund, AdvantEdge Founders, Smile Internet, MG Group, and several other angel investors. Zingbus will use this funding to increase its operational footprint across the country and expand the scale of its fleet operations to 500 buses.