Startup news and updates: daily roundup (April 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 Friday, April 16, 2021.
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Google pledges funds for 250k vaccinations in low, middle-income countries

Google on Thursday pledged funds for 250,000 COVID-19 vaccinations and technical assistance towards vaccine delivery in low- and middle-income countries amidst a surge in infections across the world. The internet search giant also announced that it is helping to fund pop-up vaccine sites in the US and committing an additional $250 million in Ad Grants to connect people to accurate vaccine information.

Lo! Foods raises $1M in pre-series A round led by Chona Family Office (Funding)

Bengaluru-based FMCG startup Lo! Foods on Friday announced that it has raised $1 million in pre-series A round led by the Chona Family Office, erstwhile promoters of Havmor Ice Cream. Other investors including Ecosystem Ventures, Raveen Sastry (Co-founder, Multiply Ventures), KRS Jamwal, Pratyush Prasanna (Gojek) also participated in this round.

Fuel delivery platform Fuel Buddy raises Rs 12.5 Cr from investors (Funding)

SK Narvar promoted Fuel Buddy on Thursday announced raising Rs 12.5 crore from investors, including the Jaipuria Family Office. Established in 2016, Fuel Buddy is a pioneer in the fuel delivery industry in India. The Delhi-based company is an app-based, IoT and cloud-enabled fuel delivery service.

9Unicorns announces third close at $40M, commits investments in 40 startups

9Unicorns has announced the third close of its first accelerator fund at $40 million to fund idea-stage startups in India. The third close witnessed participation from global and Indian industrialists and businesses who are bullish on the high growth potential of early-stage Indian startups. Some of the key LPs include snack maker Haldiram's, Indian Bank, Ahmedabad-based Chona Family Office, among other prominent ones. 

TReDS platform M1xchange raises $10M funding from Amazon, others (Funding)

TReDS platform M1xchange on Thursday said it has raised $10 million in funding, led by ecommerce major Amazon. The funding round also saw participation from BEENEXT and existing investor, Mayfield, a statement said. Last year, M1xchange had raised $4.5 million in funding from Beenext Asia, Singapore and Mayfield.

Security startup Spintly raises Rs 4.6Cr from Riso Capital, others (Funding)

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)-based physical security startup Spintly on Thursday said it raised Rs 4.6 crore in an extended seed funding round led by Silicon Valley-based Riso Capital, along with SucSEED Indovation Fund from Hyderabad, Chicago-based Nikhand Investments LLC, and Keiretsu Forum Angel Network, a statement said.

Goyal chairs first meeting of National Startup Advisory Council

Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday chaired the first meeting of the National Startup Advisory Council and called upon successful entrepreneurs to share their knowledge, experience and ideas with students and youth. The council was constituted to advise the government on measures needed to build a strong ecosystem for nurturing innovation and startups in the country to drive sustainable economic growth and generate large scale employment opportunities.

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Apple, partners launch $200M 'Restore Fund' to accelerate adoption of climate change solution

iPhone maker Apple recently announced a carbon removal initiative Restore Fund that will make investments in forestry projects to remove carbon from the atmosphere while generating a financial return for investors. Launched with Conservation International and Goldman Sachs, Apple's $200 million fund aims to remove at least one million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually from the atmosphere, equivalent to the amount of fuel used by over two lakh passenger vehicles while demonstrating a viable financial model that can help scale up investment in forest restoration, a statement said.

Google introduces Timelapse in Google Earth's biggest update since 2017

Google CEO Sundar Pichai has announced that a 'Timelapse' feature has been introduced in Google Earth, the biggest update since 2017, which will make anyone watch time unfold and witness nearly four decades of planetary change. For this, Google has compiled 24 million satellite photos from the past 37 years into an interactive, explorable 4D experience. Our planet has seen rapid environmental change in the past half-century -- more than any other point in human history. The new Timelapse feature in Google Earth compiles 24 million satellite photos from the past 37 years into an interactive 4D experience, Pichai said on Thursday.

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