Startup news and updates: daily roundup (March 22, 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 Monday, March 22, 2021.

GoogleVice President Caesar Sengupta to step down from the company

Caesar Sengupta, the 15-year-old veteran at Google, and the key executive who drove projects of the search giant such as Next Billion Users and online payments, is leaving the company. This announcement was made by Caesar on social media platforms but he has not decided on his future plans.

Caesar Sengupta. Pic credit: Linkedin

World Water Day: PM Modi launches Catch the Rain campaign

World Water Day is celebrated on March 22, globally. This United Nations-backed event highlights the importance of fresh water in our daily lives, and advocates for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. In line with the theme, on Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the ‘Jal Shakti Abhiyan: Catch the Rain’ campaign during a video conference, as per a statement issued by Prime Minister’s Office.

Paytm’s payment gateway business records 750M monthly transactions

Paytmon Monday announced that its payment gateway business registered over 750 million monthly transactions, having already surpassed volumes to pre-COVID levels. According to a statement, its “All-in-One Payment Gateway” saw increased adoption of online payments from segments, including BFSI, retail and D2C ecommerce, utilities, edtech, food delivery, digital entertainment, gaming, etc.

At $36B, FPI inflows into equities at record high since FY13: RBI report

Foreign portfolio investors have pumped in a record $36 billion into equities so far this fiscal up to March 10, which is the highest since FY13, shows the latest data from the Reserve Bank of India. On the other hand, net foreign direct investment inflows jumped to $ 44 billion, till the end of January, up from $ 36.3 billion a year ago, driven by the massive inflows in November and December, with the last month of the year getting a record $6.3 billion.

Jaipur-based NeoDove raises $1.5M seed investment led by India Quotient (Funding)

NeoDove, the Jaipur-based sales and marketing automation platform for SMEs, has raised $1.5 million in seed funding led by India Quotient. In an exclusive release with YourStory, the company said the funding will look at accelerating its product development and international growth expansion, while also expanding its customer base in India. The startup had raised its angel round of funding in August 2020.

Student startup Zaara Biotech gets $10M project from UAE (Funding)

Student biotech startup Zaara Biotech has bagged an investment of $10 million from UAE-based TCN International Commerce L.L.C for its project 'AlgaeSeaweed Technology' under the brand B-lite Cookies. Fostered under the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Centre (IEDC) scheme of Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM), the startup's product was showcased at the GITEX 2020 international conference held in Dubai, a KSUM press release said.

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Real estate startup NoBroker raises $30M from General Atlantic (Funding)

Bengaluru-based online real estate rental startup NoBrokerhas raised $30 million as part of its Series D funding round led by Singapore-based private equity firm General Atlantic. General Atlantic had invested $51 million in NoBroker’s Series C in June 2019 and four months later, it participated in another Series D funding round of $50 million led by Tiger Global Managementin the startup.

Barbeque Nation IPO to open on Wednesday; sets price band at Rs 498-500 per share

Casual dining chain Barbeque Nation Hospitality on Monday fixed a price band of Rs 498-500 per share for its initial share sale, which will open for public subscription on March 24. The three-day public issue will conclude on March 26, the company said.

OnePlus 9 series to be unveiled tomorrow: All you need to know

Chinese smartphone maker OnePlus is all set to unveil its latest range of smartphones tomorrow. The two new phones — OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro — will be taking the fight forward to the likes of Google Pixels and Samsung Galaxy devices.

Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine effective against severe COVID-19 cases, new US trial confirms

A large trial of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in the US and two South American countries has shown 79 percent efficacy rate at preventing symptomatic COVID-19, and 100 percent effectiveness in stopping severe disease and hospitalisation, the biotech firm said on Monday.

RDIF, Virchow Biotech ink pact to produce Sputnik V vaccine in India

Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and Hyderabad-based Virchow Biotech on Monday announced an agreement to produce up to 200 million doses of Sputnik V vaccine in India. The technology transfer is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2021 followed by full-scale commercial production of Sputnik V, RDIF and Virchow Biotech said in a joint statement.

Bengaluru bike rental startup Tilt raises $125,000 from Y Combinator (Funding)

Bengaluru-based Tilt, a startup that provides EV and bicycle bike-share for residential townships and corporate manufacturing plants, has raised $125,000 from Y Combinator and an additional undisclosed round from a set of angels. The startup was founded in 2018 by Deepak V S, Sudhir Metaliya, Daksh Shah, and Rachit Parikh. Most bike-share companies in India are solving mobility within cities, whereas Tilt is focused on solving mobility within campuses.

(L-R): Joachim Ackermann and Mayank Parekh

M Capital Management closes first $31M VC fund to invest in early-stage startups

Singapore-based venture capital firm M Capital Management has closed its maiden M Venture Partners (MVP) fund at $30.85 million. The fund is sector-agnostic and invests primarily in Southeast Asia and selectively, in India. It plans to invest mainly in seed and pre-Series A companies focused on technology-enabled B2B or B2B2C business models. The fund anticipates investing in about 40 early-stage ventures with an average initial cheque size of about $500,000.

Fintech app True Balance raises $10M in debt funding led by Northern Arc Capital (Funding)

True Balance — an RBI authorised fintech app — on Monday said it raised $10 million in debt funding from a group of investors. Headquartered in Seoul and Gurugram, True Balance is operated by Balancehero India — the wholly-owned subsidiary of Balancehero Korea. Northern Arc, along with investors from India and Korea, have invested in the fintech startup's lending arm — True Credits — to support the NBFC's growth in India, and the launch of newer loan products.

HC stays order restraining FRL to go ahead with Reliance deal

The Delhi High Court on Monday stayed a single judge's order restraining Future Retail Ltd 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. A division bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jasmeet Singh also issued notice to Amazon on Future Group's appeal challenging the single judge's March 18 judgment on the deal.

67th National Film Awards: Complete list of winners

The 67th National Film Awards was announced today, March 22. The awards were presented at the National Media Centre, New Delhi, and were streamed online on the Press Information Bureau's (PIB) Facebook page, as well as its YouTube channel.


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