Startup news and updates: daily roundup (Feb 2, 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 Tuesday, February 2, 2021.
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Budget 2021: Government allocates Rs 830 Cr for Fund of Funds for Startups

The government has allocated Rs 830 crore for the Fund of Funds for Startups in the Budget 2021-22, which is higher than the revised estimate of about Rs 430 crore.

The government has set up a Fund of Funds for Startups (FFS) with a corpus of Rs 10,000 crore. The Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) is the operating agency for the FFS. The allocation for the fund of funds in Budget 2020-21 was Rs 1,054.97 core, but it was revised to Rs 429.99 crore.

Ind-Ra sees Budget numbers more credible, achievable

India Ratings on Monday said the Budget numbers are more credible and achievable than in the past many years, and the government may even exceed the revenue targets if the current tax buoyancy level is maintained.

The fiscal arithmetic in Budget 2021-22 is more convincing than earlier years. At the core of the Budget is the nominal GDP growth of 14.4 percent, which looks plausible with 10 percent real GDP growth, India Ratings Chief Economist Devendra Pant and Principal Economist Sunil Kumar Sinha said in a note.

Budget 2021: Government proposes single securities market code

The government on Monday proposed introducing a unified securities markets code, a move that will help in boosting the ease of doing business in the country's financial markets. The proposed move would help in cutting down compliance costs and reducing the friction between rules enacted by capital markets watchdog SEBI, depositories, and the government, experts said.

Twitter restores accounts hours after withholding them in view of the ongoing farmer protests

On Monday, Twitter withheld Kisan Ekta Morcha and 250 other accounts on the government's notice in view of the ongoing farmers' agitation. The accounts have now been restored by Twitter after hours of withholding them.

A government source had earlier told YourStory that the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MEITY) had directed Twitter to 'withhold' or block around 250 Twitter accounts that were using "ModiPlanningFarmerGenocide" hashtag and making fake, intimidatory, and provocative tweets on January 30, 2021.

Government to strengthen the framework of NCLT: Finance Minister

The government will strengthen the framework of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) and implement systems such as e-courts along with alternate methods of debt resolution, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Monday. 

Besides, the government will also introduce special framework for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), which have been facing stress since the coronavirus pandemic.

BEENEXT promotes Hero Choudhary to Managing Partner, Faiz Rahman appointed new Partner

Singapore-based early-stage venture capital firm, BEENEXT, on Tuesday announced that it has appointed Hero Choudhary as Managing Partner. 

In a release, the firm said that Hero’s promotion from Partner to Managing Partner is part of BEENEXT’s regional plan aimed to enhance support to its portfolio and help them scale their business toward the growth stage of the startup journey, including potential IPOs in the future. BEENEXT also appointed Faiz Rahman as its new partner for Indonesia Investments, the release added.

Government depts to add over 1.4 lakh jobs between 2019 and March 1, 2021: Budget

Over 1.4 lakh jobs are estimated to be created between March 2019 and March 2021 in various central government departments, according to the Union Budget presented on Monday.

The strength of government establishments was 32,71,113 as on March 1, 2019, which is estimated to increase to 34,14,226 by the first day of next month, an increase of 1,43,113, it said.

Digital healthcare startup MediBuddy closes $40M in Series B round

Bengaluru-based digital healthcare platform MediBuddy on Tuesday announced the closure of its $40 million Series B funding round. In June 2020, the startup had raised $20 million (Rs 150 crore) led by India Life Sciences Fund III, LLC, with participation from other investors.

It had also announced the acquisition of online doctor consultation platform DocsApp, which would help MediBuddy to create market leadership in the digital healthcare industry.

'Aatmanirbharta' named Oxford Hindi word of the year for 2020

'Aatmanirbharta' — implying 'self-reliance' has been named by Oxford Languages as its Hindi word of the year for 2020 as it "validated the day-to-day achievements of the countless Indians who dealt with and survived the perils of a pandemic."

The Oxford Hindi word of the year is a word or expression that is chosen to reflect the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of the passing year, and have lasting potential as a term of cultural significance.

Budget 2021 positions India towards its target of $5T economy: USISPF

Applauding the annual budgetary presentation by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, the US-India Strategic and Partnership Forum (USISPF) described it as bold and visionary, which would launch India's economy into a growth trajectory.

"We applaud India's budget. It is bold and visionary, launching the economy into a growth trajectory. The budget positions India towards its target of a $5 trillion economy," USISPF President Mukesh Aghi said.

Free-to-play gaming studio Stillfront Group acquires Tech 30 startup Moonfrog

Leading free-to-play powerhouse of gaming studios Stillfront Group on Tuesday announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire 100 percent of the shares of Moonfrog Labs Private Limited for an initial consideration of about $90 million on a cash and debt-free basis.

With the acquisition, Stillfront will establish a strong platform to expand organically and through M&A into the fast-growing Indian subcontinent.

Indian-American Bhavya Lal to be NASA’s acting chief of staff

NASA on Monday named Indian-American, Bhavya Lal as the space agency’s acting chief of staff, stating Bhavya brings “extensive experience in engineering and space technology.” She will also assume responsibility as the senior adviser for budget and finance at NASA. 

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