Startup news and updates: daily roundup (March 17, 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, March 17, 2021.
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Govt allows private retirement funds to invest in alternate investment funds

In a big boost to India’s startup ecosystem, which could possibly result in increased flow of domestic capital, the government has issued a notification to allow private retirement funds to park five percent of their investible surplus into Alternate Investment Funds (AIFs). AIFs are vehicles through which venture capital firms and private equity players route their money for investment purposes.

Move over, fitness trackers! Google gets into sleep surveillance with new Nest Hub

Googlenext internet-connected home device will test whether consumers trust the company enough to let it snoop on their sleep. New sleep-sensing technology will be a key feature on Google's latest version of its Nest Hub, a 7-inch smart screen unveiled Tuesday. But the latest Nest Hub can also perform a new trick. If you allow it, the device will also monitor your sleeping patterns from your bedside, negating the need to wear a fitness device or any other potentially bothersome gadget in bed.

SBI, Paytm Payments Bank, and PhonePe lead UPI transactions in February

State Bank of Indiawas the top remitter on the UPI platform in February, while PaytmPayments Bank led the chart in the beneficiary segment, as per data published by the National Payments Corporation of India. PhonePetopped the app category on the UPI platform in terms of volume and amount involved in the transactions that it facilitated.

Service fee for developers on Google Play reduced

Google has announced it will slash the service fee that Google Play receives to 15 percent for the first $1 million of revenue earned by a developer each year. Announcing the "significant change" for those developers that sell in-app digital goods and services on Google Play (say, gems in a game), Google said that the service fee reduction will be effective from July 1, 2021. With this change, 99 percent of developers that sell digital goods and services globally with Play will see a 50 percent reduction in fees, Google said in a blogpost.

OZiva raises $12M Series B investment by Eight Road Ventures, F-Prime Capital, and Matrix Partners (Funding)

Oziva, the plant-based nutrition brand, has raised $12 million Series B funding led by Eight Roads Ventures, with participation from F-Prime Capital and existing investor Matrix Partners India. The funding will be used to build out the team, enter new product categories, and build out its technology platform to provide more value-added services.

Ahead of IPO, Nazara Technologies garners Rs 261 cr from anchor investors

Gaming firm Nazara Technologies on Tuesday said it has mopped up a little over Rs 261 crore from anchor investors ahead of its initial public offer, which opens for subscription on Wednesday. The company's initial public offer (IPO) committee has decided to allocate 23,73,395 shares to 43 anchor investors at Rs 1,101 per piece. At this price, the firm has raised Rs 261.31 crore, Nazara Technologies informed BSE.

Analysts recommend subscribing to Nazara Technology IPO as bids open today

Nazara Technologies has become India’s first pure-play gaming technology company to make its IPO debut on the Indian public markets. As the Rakesh Jhunjhunwala-backed company kicked off its IPO on Wednesday, research analysts are recommending investors subscribe to the offer of 5.29 million shares being sold in the price band of Rs 1,100 to Rs 1,101 per equity share. Broker research houses such as Aditya Birla Capital, Angel Broking, BP Equities, and Kotak Securities, are among others recommending investors subscribe to the Nazara IPO.

EV experience platform Blive raises $1M in pre-Series A round (Funding)

BLive, an EV experience platform, on Wednesday announced a fundraise of $1 million, part of the follow-on capital of a pre-Series A round. The funding, which was a combination of debt and equity, was led by LetsVenture, Mumbai Angels, JITO and Credit Wise Capital. The company had previously raised funds led by a strategic investment from DNA Networks in September 2019.

India gets its first legal sex toy store in Goa

Sex — the very word continues to be a taboo in India. In the land of the Kama Sutra, condoms continue to occupy the corner-most shelves in pharmacy stores and lubricants are kept way out of sight. But not anymore. Earlier last month, the country got its first 'legal' sex toy shop in Calangute, Goa. Goa-based Kama Gizoms opened its doors to the public on February 14, a rather historical day for all things love and passion.

Rajya Sabha passes National Commission for Allied and Healthcare Professions Bill

Rajya Sabha on Tuesday passed a bill, which seeks to provide for regulation and maintenance of standards of education and services by allied and healthcare professionals. Replying to a debate on the Bill, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said that the legislation is aimed at fulfilling long-pending demands for the sector, and will create an institutional structure to enhance employability.

European fintech MODIFI announces $60M debt facility with Silicon Valley Bank; to focus on Indian SMBs

European fintech startup MODIFI — a global digital trade finance company for SMEs — has announced a new $60 million debt facility with Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), bringing its total capital raised to $111 million. SVB’s German branch will help in addressing the increasing demand in India and other existing markets, as well as fuel MODIFI’s continued growth in new geographies, particularly the US, the company said in a statement.

Priyanka Chopra-starrer The White Tiger earns a nod in Oscars 2021 nominations

Directed by Ramin Bahrani, The White Tiger has been nominated in the Best Adapted Screenplay category for the upcoming Academy Awards. The 93rd edition of the Oscars are to be held on April 26.

Service fee for developers on Google Play reduced

Google will slash the service fee that Google Play receives to 15 percent for the first $1 million of revenue earned by a developer each year. With this change, 99 percent of developers that sell digital goods and services globally with Play will see a 50 percent reduction in fees, Google said in a blogpost.

Mayank Bidawatka and Apramaya R

Former cricketer Javagal Srinath, others buy out Shunwei's stake from Vokal, Koo App

Bombinate Technologies Pvt Ltd has announced that existing and new investors including former Indian cricketer Javagal Srinath, BookMyShowFounder Ashish Hemrajani, Udaan Co-founder Sujeet Kumar, FlipkartCEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy, and ZerodhaCo-founder Nikhil Kamath have bought Shunwei Capital's stake.

EV startup Euler Motors raises an additional $2.6M in Series A round

Euler Motors, an OEM focused on electric commercial vehicles (EVs), has closed its Series A funding round at $9.5 million, with additional investments of $2.6 million raised from new investor ADB Ventures.This also marks the first investment by ADB Ventures in an EV company globally.

India had 4.12 lakh dollar-millionaire households in 2020: Report

With 56,000 dollar-millionaire households, Maharashtra leads the country in wealth creation followed by Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Gujarat, says Hurun India Wealth report. These states together account for 46 percent of the 4.12-lakh millionaire households in the country.

Edited by Anju Narayanan

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