Startup news and updates: daily roundup (March 18, 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 Thursday, March 18, 2021.
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Delhi HC restrains Future Group from moving ahead with deal on Amazon's plea

The Delhi High Court on Thursday upheld Singapore's Emergency Arbitrator's (EA) order, restraining Future Retail Ltd (FRL) from going ahead with its Rs 24,713 crore deal with Reliance Retail to sell its business, which was objected to by US-based ecommerce giant Amazon. Justice J R Midha directed Kishore Biyani-led FRL not to take further action on the deal and held that the group wilfully violated Singapore Arbitrator's order.

Oyo India business EBITDA positive; company on path of resurgence: Ritesh Agarwal

Hospitality firm OYO's India business is now EBITDA positive and the company is earning the same gross profits globally in dollars since January 2021 as it did in the pre-COVID period, Founder and Group CEO Ritesh Agarwal told employees in an e-mail on Wednesday. OYO earned the same money since January 2021 as it did in the pre-COVID period. This is a very big achievement and demonstrates demand recovery and results of a revenue-share-only-network, Ritesh said.

Ola to cover COVID-19 vaccination cost for employees, immediate dependents

Mobility service provider Ola on Wednesday said it will cover the COVID-19 vaccination cost for all its employees and their dependents. The vaccination drive will also be extended to all the direct contractual employees, consultants, advisors of the company and their immediate dependents, including spouses, kids , and parents, comprising more than 24,000 people, the company said.

Real estate startup Square Yards acquires AI-based 3D visualisation platform PropVR

Integrated real estate platform Square Yards on Wednesday announced the acquisition of PropVR, an AI-based platform that specialises in creating digital property experiences using 3D technologies, virtual reality, and augmented reality. This is Square Yards' third acquisition in recent times. Last year, it had acquired Azuro, one of the largest rentals and property management platforms in India followed by acquisition of PropsAMC.

Biden called upon to support India, South Africa at WTO on COVID-19 vaccines

A group of American lawmakers has urged President Joe Biden to support the move by India and South Africa before the World Trade Organization for an emergency temporary waiver of some Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) rules to enable greater production and supply of COVID-19 vaccines, treatments, and diagnostic tests.

Source: CNN

Nazara Technologies subscribed 4 times on first day of subscription 

The initial public offer of gaming firm Nazara Technologies Limited was subscribed four times on the first day of subscription as retail investors latched on to India’s first gaming IPO. As the Rakesh Jhunjhunwala-backed company kicked off its IPO on Wednesday, the offer of 5.29 million shares were being sold in the price band of Rs 1,100 to Rs 1,101 per equity share.

In 2020, India saw worth $10 Billion: Report

Venture capital investments in India touched $ 10 billion during the pandemic-hit 2020 and as many as 7,000 new startups were founded during the same period, according to a report. Bain & Company's latest India Venture Capital Report, released on Wednesday, also said that consumer tech, SaaS, and fintech accounted for nearly 75 percent of the VC (Venture Capital) investments by value, with consumer tech attracting the maximum funding.

Spacetech startup Pixxelraises $7.3M seed funding from omnivore ,Techstars (Funding)

Bengaluru-based spacetech startup Pixxel raises $7.3 million in a seed funding round from Omnivore and Techstars. The round also saw participation from existing investors, including Lightspeed Ventures, Blume Ventures, growX ventures, Ryan Johnson, and others. This follows-up Pixxel’s $5 million seed funding round raised in August 2020.

Prescinto raises $3.5 M in seed round led by Venture Catalyts and Inflection Point Ventures (Funding)

Prescinto, the artificial intelligence-enabled tech startup that provides solutions for the solar industry under a software as a service (SaaS) model has raised $3.5 million in a seed round led by Venture Catalysts. The round also saw participation from Inflection Point Ventures (IPV), Mumbai Angels and Lets Venture. Prescinto will use the funds raised for international expansion, primarily in the US market, and for IP development. 

Video-integrated social gaming platform Chirrup raises $300K led by Titan Capital (Funding)

Chirrup, a Bengaluru-based video-integrated social gaming platform, has raised a pre-seed round of $300,000 from Titan Capital, iSeed, First Cheque, and 3.0 Fund. The startup said it will utilise the funding to further strengthen the product and provide a world-class user experience.

Source: The Direct

Zack Snyder's Justice League sold 31k streams pre-release on BookMyShow

Warner Brothers' Zack Snyder's Justice League released globally today, March 18. The film premiered on BookMyShow Stream for fans in India, at 12 31 PM IST. Online movie ticketing platform BookMyShow offered a pre-booking window for fans of the superhero film, allowing them to rent or buy the movie, before its release on the platform. In a press statement, BookMyShow revealed that the platform has already sold over 31,000 streams for the film.

Mumbai-based D2C brand MyGlamm raises Rs 175Cr in Series C round led by Ascent Capital, Amazon Alexa Fund (Funding)

Mumbai-based D2C beauty startup MyGlamm on Thursday said it raised Rs 175 crore in Series C funding with investments from Ascent Capital, Amazon, and Wipro Consumer - Ventures. With this funding, MyGlamm crossed the $100 million valuation milestone within three years of its launch. In fact, this also marks one of the first investments made by Amazon in a beauty brand in the country.  

Govt says about 16.5 lakh Indians benefited under Aatmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana

Around 16.5 lakh Indians have benefited from the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana (ABRY) that was launched in October to encourage hiring in the country amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Minister of Labour Santosh Gangwar said on Wednesday. "As of March 9, 2021, 16.49 lakh employees were registered for availing the benefits (under ABRY)," Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.

Facebook to stop recommending groups, users violating community guidelines

Facebook, in a blog post on Wednesday, announced that it will be cracking down on Facebook groups to keep harmful content at bay. The social media giant has confirmed that it will restrict the reach of groups that contain harmful or potentially harmful contents. It will also take down groups who repeatedly make such offences. Besides, Facebook will also apply these rules to group members.

PolicyBazaarraises $75M led by Falcon Edge Capital ahead of IPO (Funding)

Gurugram-based Policybazaar's UAE arm has raised funding of $75 million in a round led by Falcon Edge Capital to expand its business in UAE and the Middle East. YourStory's sources have confirmed the development. The funding comes ahead of the company's IPO plans this year, and according to media reports, PB Fintech Pvt Ltd, the parent company of Policybazaar and Paisabazaar, will go public through a Rs 4,000-crore share sale.

Rental space startup Livve Homes raises $5M from angel investors (Funding)

Livve Homes, a Kerala-based startup offering online deposit and payment platforms for owners as well as tenants, on Thursday announced it has raised $5 million in a second funding round from angel investors. The startup had previously raised $1.5 million. With this round, Livve Homes has received a total of $6.5 million so far.

Govt keen to develop, strengthen own mobile app store: IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad

The government, while encouraging private players to host apps, is equally keen to develop and strengthen its own mobile app store, the Parliament was informed on Thursday. India's first indigenously developed app store, Mobile Seva Appstore, hosts more than 965 live apps from various domains and categories of public services, Minister for Electronics and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.

Entrepreneur First announces pre-seed investment in 8 Indian tech startups (Funding)

Global talent investor Entrepreneur First (EF), on Thursday, announced a pre-seed investment of $440,000 in eight tech startups from its fourth cohort in India. As part of the company’s Demo Day, EF introduced these eight innovative startups which employ new-age technologies such as machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and virtual reality (VR) to top early-stage investors in the country for their next round of funding.

Aatmanirbhar Digital India Foundation seeks framework for regulating of online search adwords

The Aatmanirbhar Digital India Foundation (ADIF), an industry body representing the country’s digital and technology startups, has called for regulation of online advertisement as well as app aggregator platforms. During a recent panel discussion, the industry body said any search or advertisement bias needs to be restricted on app store and related platforms, and deliberated on the need for India specific policy framework of IT intermediaries like Playstore, search and rankings.

TPG Growth's Rise Fund to invest $200M in Airtel Africa mobile money biz

Investment firm TPG's Rise Fund will invest $ 200 million (around Rs 1,450 crore) in Airtel Africa's mobile money business, Airtel Mobile Commerce BV, at a valuation of $ 2.65 billion, Airtel said on Thursday. With this transaction, Rise Fund is estimated to get 7.5 percent stake in Airtel Mobile Commerce (AMC) BV which is currently the holding company for several of Airtel Africa's mobile money operations.

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