Startup news and updates: daily roundup (April 14, 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, April 14, 2021.
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Why this second time entrepreneur and ex-Accel Partners investor started up in the insurance space (Funding)

Nova Benefits is a B2B health insurance platform, which recently raised $1 million. The round was led by Better Capital, Multiply Ventures and Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal's, Titan Capital. The round also saw participation from Sumit Maniyar, CEO, Rupeek, and Ashish Goyal, Co-founder, EarlySalary.

D2C Footwear brand Solethreads raises Rs 13 Cr (Funding)

Open footwear startup Solethreads has raised Rs 13 crore in series A round funding from DSG Consumer Partners and Saama Capital. The Gurugram based company, focused on youth, is an innovative brand known for its stylish flip-flops.

Gaurav Chopra, Co-founder, Solethreads

Facebook, Instagram users can now appeal to Oversight Board for removal of harmful content

An independent board set up by Facebook to look into hate speech and other undesirable content on the platform on Tuesday said it will now accept cases from Facebook and Instagram users who believe the company wrongfully allowed such content to remain on these social media platforms. Facebook, which has faced flak in many parts of the world over various issues, including data breaches and handling of hate speech, had set up the Oversight Board last year.

B2B ecommerce portal Beldara raises $7.4M from Hindustan Media Ventures (Funding)

The global B2B marketplace Beldara has raised $7.4 million from Hindustan Media Ventures with the first tranche of $4.2 million. The Mumbai-based startup plans to use the raised funds towards accelerating brand awareness and its new venture in agro B2B products “Farm 2 Globe”. 

Over 40 startups selected through screening process for Next Gen Incubation Scheme: STPI DG

As many as 42 startups cutting across multiple domains including edtech, agritech, and fintech, have been selected in 'CHUNAUTI' screening contest and will now be eligible for benefits under the Next Generation Incubation Scheme, a top STPI official said on Tuesday.

COVID 2nd wave: Ecommerce firms step up efforts to protect associates, ensure deliveries

With night curfews and weekend lockdowns driving bigger orders for ecommerce companies, these online platforms are stepping up efforts to protect their associates, including delivery staff, and ensure safe delivery of orders to customers. According to senior executives in the industry, demand in categories like grocery, essential items like sanitisers and masks, books, consumer electronics and appliances has gone up in the past few weeks across various parts of the country.

Route Mobile servers allegedly compromised; company investigating claims

Hackers have allegedly compromised servers of enterprise communications firm Route Mobile, even as the company claimed that data of its customers is safe and its cyber security team is investigating the matter. According to cyber security experts, data of companies like Tata Communications, Bharti Airtel and DBS Bank have been leaked due to the alleged breach in Route Mobile's system.

New BIS licence: Government announces 50 pc rebate for startups, micro-industry, women entrepreneurs

The government on Tuesday slashed the annual marking fee to get a new BIS licence and certification by 50 percent for micro-industry, startups, and women entrepreneurs. It also said the services of BIS are now made available free of cost to everyone and can be downloaded from the standardisation port of e-BIS.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

Government not going for lockdowns in big way, says Sitharaman amid COVID wave

Amid surging coronavirus cases in India, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday made it clear that the government would not go for lockdowns in a big way and only resort to local containment. In a virtual meeting with World Bank Group President David Malpass, Sitharaman appreciated the initiatives of the international financial institution to increase the lending space for India to enhance availability of finance for development.

Lockdowns to shave $1.25B a week off eco; 140 bps from Q1 GDP: Report

Amid surging pandemic cases forcing many states to curb mobility and businesses, a report has said these localised lockdowns in key economic hubs can cost the economy an average of $ 1.25 billion each week, and may shave off 140 bps from the Q1 nominal GDP. If the current restrictions remain in place until May-end, the cumulative loss of economic and commercial activity could be around $ 10.5 billion or around 34 bps of nominal GDP, British brokerage Barclays said.

Visual tech startup Dybo raises Rs 1.2 Cr from US and Singapore investors (Funding)

Bengaluru-based visual tech startup Dybo, which specialises in product visualisation technology for commerce, on Wednesday announced that it has raised Rs 1.2 crore in a seed round of funding. The investment is led by Spanache, a Singapore-based venture capital firm, and saw participation from Manoj Nigam, the CEO of MicroD Inc. The company said it is looking to utilise a significant portion of the funding to refine Dybo360 and DyboAR, the flagship products by Dybo, making them even easier to adopt and integrate.

Vernacular e-learning platform Vidyakul raises $500K led by JITO Angel Network Investors (Funding)

Vidyakul, one of India’s earliest vernacular e-learning platforms on Wednesday announced that it has raised $ 500,000 in seed funding round led by Jain International Trade Organisation (JITO) Angel Network, a worldwide organisation providing opportunities of investment in early stage startups. Other investors including We Founder Circle, and SOSV also participated in the round.

Fundraising through public issues more than doubled in FY21: FinMin

The Finance Ministry on Wednesday said fundraising through public and rights issues surged 115 percent and 15 percent, respectively, in 2020-21 despite the uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In terms of numbers, FY21 witnessed 55 initial public offerings (IPO) and one follow-on public offer (FPO), the ministry said in a statement.

Amazon moves SC against Delhi HC stay order restraining Future Retail deal with Reliance

Future Retail on Wednesday said Amazon has approached the Supreme Court against a Delhi High Court order that 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.

Flipkart likely to acquire Cleartrip in a $40 million deal

India’s leading ecommerce marketplace Flipkart is in advanced stages to acquire Cleartrip, the Mumbai-based online travel aggregator, in a deal valued at around $40 million, according to sources familiar with the development. The transaction, which is expected to close soon, is most likely to be a cash-cum-equity deal. The acquisition brings travel and hospitality services to Flipkart's portfolio, gives the ecommerce giant a wider play in the online consumer.

Fintech startup CredFlow raises $2.1M in seed round; to strengthen tech capabilities

New Delhi-based fintech startup CredFlow on Wednesday said it has raised $2.1 million in its seed round led by Stellaris Venture Partners, Omidyar Network India, and Flourish Ventures. Marquee angel investors such as Nitin Gupta, Founder of Uni, also participated in the round.

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