Startup news and updates: daily roundup (March 16, 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, March 16, 2021.
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Boris Johnson to visit India end of April to unlock Indo-Pacific opportunities

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will visit India at the end of April on his first major international tour following the UK's exit from the European Union, Downing Street has announced, as Britain seeks to "unlock" the opportunities in the strategic Indo-Pacific region.

Accel’s Founder Stack announces 11 startups of its consumer tech cohort

Founder Stack, the new platform launched by Accel, has unveiled the names of its latest consumer cohort. Founder Stack is a community-driven initiative of Accel where individuals get the opportunity to interact with the experts in the field, through masterclasses, guidance, and other tools to help them create a better product-market fit for their businesses. In short, this is a seed-to-scale programme for early-stage founders.

FM Nirmala Sitharaman discusses global economic outlook with US Treasury Secretary

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday discussed the global economic outlook and exchanged notes on issues of mutual interest with US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. In a series of tweets, the finance ministry said both Sitharaman and Yellen agreed to work closely through common economic and strategic collaboration at various multilateral fora, including the G20.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

Major European nations suspend use of AstraZeneca vaccine

Germany, France, Italy, and Spain became the latest countries Monday to suspend use of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine over reports of dangerous blood clots in some recipients, though the company and European regulators have said there is no evidence the shot is to blame. AstraZeneca's is just one of three vaccines in use on the continent. The EU drug regulatory agency called a meeting for Thursday to review experts' findings on the AstraZeneca vaccine and decide whether action needs to be taken.

Ahead of IPO, Kalyan Jewellers mobilises Rs 352 Cr

Kalyan Jewellers India Ltd on Monday raised Rs 352 crore from anchor investors ahead of its initial share-sale, which opens for public subscription on Tuesday. The company IPO committee has decided to allocate 4,04,48,275 shares at Rs 87 per piece to 15 anchor investors. At this price, the firm garnered Rs 351.89 crore, Kalyan Jewellers informed BSE.

ISRO to offload most activities to industry, enhance focus on advanced research

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) intends to offload most of its space-related activities to industry and enhance focus on advanced research, its Chairman K Sivan has said. He said the reforms initiated in the sector by the government in June last year to promote enhanced private participation in the space domain has generated enthusiasm among the industry.

Elon Musk

Elon Musk is now the ‘Technoking of Tesla’

In a regulatory filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Teslasaid that its founder and CEO Elon Musk will now be known as the Technoking of Tesla. The filing also added that Zach Kirkhorn will bear the title of ‘Master of Coin’ — a position made popular by the fantasy series Game of Thrones.

Bimaplan raises $500K from Titan Capital, Y Combinator, others (Funding)

Mumbai-based insurance platform Bimaplan on Tuesday said it raised a $500,000 seed round from Titan Capital and other marquee investors. The startup will use the funds to build its team and develop its product offering, which will help the company achieve $1 million ARR in the next 12 months.

Fiat-to-crypto gateway Transak raises $660K in seed round (Funding)

Fiat-to-crypto payment gateway Transak has announced that it has raised funding of $660,000 (approx Rs 4.8 crore) in a seed round led by Consensys, The Lao, IOSG, Lunex, Koji Capital, and other angel investors. Transak is a fiat-to-crypto payment gateway that streamlines the process of buying and selling cryptocurrency, allowing both mainstream users and businesses to access crypto and blockchain.

YAP raises $10M in Series B round co-led by Flourish Ventures, Omidyar Network (Funding)

YAPhas raised $10 million in a Series B round co-led by Flourish Ventures and Omidyar Network India. YAP counts CRED founder Kunal Shah and PayU India CEO Amrish Rau, among others, as its investors.

Wealthtech firm CashRich acquires WealthApp MF distribution business in an all-cash deal

Wealthtech firm CashRich on Tuesday announced the acquisition of WealthApp mutual fund distribution business in an all-cash deal. According to the official statement, this deal is expected to strengthen CashRich’s position as a prominent investment app in India. However, the company did not disclose the acquisition amount.

Edtech platform Leap Finance raises $17 M in Series B round led by Jungle Ventures (Funding)

Overseas education platform Leap Finance, that runs Leap Finance and Leap Scholar, has raised $17 million in Series B funding led by Jungle Ventures, and the round also saw participation from Sequoia Capital India and Owl Ventures. The startup had raised $5.5 million led by Sequoia Capital India last year. The total funding raised by Leap is now at $22.5 million.

Nivruti Rai, Divya Gokulnath, and Geetha Manjunath recognised as 'Women Who Make India'

Digital and video storytelling platform MAKERS India recognised entrepreneurs Divya Gokulnath and Geetha Manjunath, and country head of Intel India, Nivruti Rai, for their trailblazing work, with the ‘Women Who Make India’ awards. The awards were presented during the MAKERS India conference last week.

Poco to unveil Poco X3 Pro and Poco F3 on March 22: All details here

Chinese smartphone maker Poco is all set to unveil two new devices on March 22, 2021. Posting a teaser on Twitter, the company has confirmed the global unveil. This will be almost a week ahead of the India launch, which is slated for March 30, 2021. While an official confirmation is awaited, the Xiaomi-owned brand is expected to showcase two devices — Poco X3 Pro and Poco F3.

Signal allows wireless account migration in Android

Signal has released a new beta version of the application, which lets its users wirelessly migrate their accounts. The instant messaging app had gained traction after the recent privacy policy outcry involving WhatsApp. Its new wireless account migration, when rolled out to a wider audience, will continue to offer end-to-end encryption for the local WiFi Direct connection it will use to transfer the data.

BlackSoil NBFC raises Rs 22 Cr via NCDs to invest in growth startups, MSMEs (Funding)

Venture debt and alternative credit fund BlackSoilCapital Pvt Ltd (NBFC) on Tuesday said it has raised Rs 22 crore by issuing secured debentures to family offices and high net worth individuals on a private placement basis. With this round, the non-banking financial services firm has managed to raise around Rs 80 crore in the current financial year, the company said.

Zomato forays into dietary supplements, makes its own 'made in India' brand

Gurugram-based foodtech unicorn Zomatohas added its own product line of health and dietary supplements. Zomato's Founder and CEO Deepinder Goyal announced on Twitter the company's entry into nutrition supplements or 'functional food'. The supplements are sold by Zomato's own brands and are made in India. Deepinder said that the 'functional' foods will be soon available on Zomato's app for orders.

Estonia-based VIVEO Health partners with Voll Sante to promote nutritional and physical therapy in India

Estonia-based healthtech startup VIVEO Health announced its partnership with Mumbai-based nutrition startup Voll Sante to promote and provide nutritional and physical therapy in India. According to the official statement, as a part of this deal, 50,000 physiotherapists and 10,000 dieticians will be onboarded who will be accessible through digital clinics, and a virtual office network that will be provided to physiotherapists and nutritionists by VIVEO Health.

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