Startup news and updates: daily roundup (April 13, 2021)
Paytm Payments Bank on Tuesday said it registered 970 million digital transactions in March 2021 with growth reported across its various services, including UPI, Wallet, and internet banking, among others. The Noida-based fintech's banking arm said it is opening an average of one million savings and current accounts per month. Paytm's Wallet services saw a growth of 15 percent in transactions month-on-month, the startup said, adding over 78 percent of its 325 million account holders use the service on a daily basis.
Microsoft Corp said it will acquire Nuance Communications in a $19.7 billion deal — a move that will double Microsoft's total addressable market (TAM) in the healthcare provider space to nearly $500 billion. Microsoft will acquire Nuance for $56.00 per share, implying a 23 percent premium to the closing price of Nuance on April 9 in an all-cash transaction, valued at $ 19.7 billion, inclusive of Nuance's net debt, a statement said.
According to a survey conducted by online social platform LocalCircles, as many as 50 percent of respondents in India plan to travel during the April-June period. The survey adds that even if a quarter of them actually travels, it will be difficult to curb the spread of COVID-19, at a time when the country is seeing a second wave of the pandemic.
Venture debt and alternative credit fund BlackSoil Capital on Tuesday said it has invested over Rs 12 crore in three startups — Freightwalla, UpMoney, and Rapidbox. While Freightwalla is a freight forwarding and logistics portal, UpMoney is an NBFC that provides small ticket size business loans (both secured and unsecured) to MSMEs and two-wheeler financing solutions through a traditional branch model. While Rapidbox is an online direct from the factory to consumer fashion brand under the affordable segment that operates in categories like footwear, apparel, and accessories.
Creation Investments Capital Management LLC, a leading private capital investor in developing markets financial services, has recently announced that it has provided $12 million in debt capital to three non-bank financial companies in India — Berar Finance, Sindhuja Microcredit, and Shri Ram Finance Corporation (SRFC). These investments are from the first tranche of a $100 million India-focused debt fund launched by Creation earlier this year.
Noida-based merchant fintech platform Pine Labs has acquired its investee consumer fintech platform Fave, in a deal valued over $45 million (SG $60 million). With this acquisition, Indian consumers will be able to use Fave app later this year across major cities to save across 500,000 merchant network points powered by Pine Labs across 3,700 cities in India.
B.Amrish Rau, Chief Executive Officer, Pine Labs
AI-based chatbot platform LimeChat on Tuesday said it raised $750,000 in its seed round led by pi Ventures and Stellaris Venture Partners. Angel investors, including Kalyan Krishnamurthy, Sujeet Kumar, Ramakant Sharma, and Dilip Khandelwal, among others also participated in this round. According to a statement, LimeChat will use the funds to develop its product, strengthen its team, and scale its go-to-market operations.
India's drug regulator has granted permission for restricted emergency use of the Russian COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V with certain conditions, the Union Health Ministry announced on Tuesday, while stating that Dr Reddy's Laboratories will import the vaccine for use in the country. The approval by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) paves the way for a third vaccine to be available in the country.