Startup news and updates: daily roundup (May 24, 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, May 24, 2021.

Edtech startup upGrad acquires Impartus, commits Rs 150 Cr for growth

Mumbai-based edtech startup upGrad has acquired Impartus, a video-enabled learning solutions provider. As part of the deal, upGrad has committed over Rs 150 crore for the buyout and to invest in Impartus’ growth. The institutional investor to partner with Impartus for the deal was Kaizenvest.

With this acquisition, upGrad, which predominantly focuses on working professionals, will now be able to strengthen its presence among HigherEd institutions & learners, which is a Rs 560 billion market, as stated in a company statement. 

Indian tech cos join hands to make open source-based oxygen concentrators; to be priced at around Rs 40k

A group of small and medium Indian technology companies and a defence PSU have joined hands to manufacture oxygen concentrators based on an open-source design project Marut, initiated by robotic and automation startup Technido to meet the immediate need of patients and reduce dependency on imports.

Fintech platform FlexiLoans partners with Vivriti Capital to disburse loans to MSMEs worth Rs 300Cr

Fintech lender has partnered with financial services company Vivriti Capital to provide working capital financing to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) by disbursing loans worth Rs 300 crore.

The MSMEs will be able to apply for these loans online and will also receive in-principal approval within 24- 48 hours digitally without any manual intervention.

Kundan Shahi, CEO, LegalPay

9Unicorns leads seed round in litigation financier LegalPay (Funding)

Tech-based litigation financier LegalPay announced it has secured an undisclosed seed funding round led by accelerator VC, 9Unicorns to tap an estimated $20 billion legal expense market in the country.

Early-stage investment platform LetsVenture also participated in the round along with some marquee angel investors including Ambarish Gupta, Founder of New York-based PE-fund Basis Vectors, and Founder of Knowlarity.

Sebi doubles overseas investment limit of AIF, VCF

Markets regulator Sebi on Friday doubled the overseas investment limit of alternative investment funds and venture capital funds to $1,500 million.

This move will allow greater Indian participation in global companies and accelerate the growth of the Indian AIF industry overall, said 3one4 Capital founding partner Siddarth Pai.

Glamplus raises Rs 2Cr in pre-Series-A led by Inflection Point Ventures (Funding)

Salon-focused SaaS platform Glamplus on Monday said it has raised Rs 2 crore in a pre-Series A round led by Inflection Point Ventures.

Other investors, including Anil G (Co-Founder and COO, Bounce), Sachin Khandelwal (MD and CEO, Sadhan Enterprise), Sravan Kumar (CEO, Transin), Abhishek Daiya (AVP, Byju's), and Anudeep Nagalia (VP, Shadowfax) have invested in their personal capacity, a press statement read.

Slice eyes gross transaction volume run rate of $1B in FY22

Credit and payment startup Slice on Monday said it aimed to clock a gross transaction volume (GTV) run rate of $ 1 billion in FY22.

The company also raised a cumulative debt of Rs 165 crore in FY21 from 18 financial institutions. This includes Northern Arc Capital, Vivriti Capital, AU Small Finance Bank, Incred Financial Services, Pace Fincap, Western Capital Advisors, and Innoven Capital India, among others, a statement said.

Diageo pledges Rs 45 Cr to support India's public health infrastructure for COVID-19

Global alcoholic beverage major Diageo on Monday said it has pledged Rs 45 crore to support India's public health infrastructure for COVID-19 during the second wave of the pandemic.

Under the initiative, the company will help nodal government hospitals in 21 districts to set up Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) oxygen plants to create long-term oxygen capacity, Diageo said in a statement.

On-site registration for 18-44 years age group now enabled on CoWin

On-site registration and appointment has now been enabled for the 18-44 years age group on the CoWin platform for COVID-19 vaccination, the Union Health Ministry said on Monday.

However, this feature is being enabled only for government COVID Vaccination Centres (CVCs) at present, it said.

Edtech startup Tekie raises $1.5M in seed round

Bengaluru-based edtech startup Tekie, on Monday announced that it has raised $1.5 million in seed round co-led by Silicon Valley-based GSV Ventures and Multiply Ventures, an early-to-growth stage fund by former ecommerce executives from Myntra, Paytm, Flipkart, and Alibaba. Better Capital has also participated in the round.

Krish Ramineni, CEO and Co-founder, Fireflies

Fireflies raises Rs 100Cr in Series A led by Khosla Ventures (Funding)

Voice intelligence and AI assistant provider Fireflies on Monday said it has raised Rs 100 crore ($14 million) in Series A funding led by Khosla Ventures and its seed investor Canaan Partners. 

Sandhya Venkatachalam, Partner at Khosla Ventures, joins Rayfe Gaspar-Asaoka, Partner at Cannan, on the Board of Directors. Angel investors — who are current or previous executives at Slack, Salesforce, Dropbox, Hopin, and Facebook — also supported the startup.

Diaspora doctors, professionals launch 'Project Madad' to combat COVID-19 spread

A voluntary group of doctors and professionals from the diaspora in the US and from India has launched a unique initiative that will provide virtual time-sensitive information to healthcare workers in rural areas on treating COVID-19 patients, real-time details on hospital bed availability and counter vaccine misinformation.

Project Madad has been created with a mission that proper education and training of local healthcare workers and Registered Medical Practitioners (RMPs) will be fundamental in controlling COVID-19 spread in rural India.

Amazon India to offer COVID-19 financial support for frontline teams, eligible staff

Amazon India said it has launched a COVID-19 Relief Scheme (CRS) under which it will provide financial assistance to frontline teams of associates hired through staffing agencies and other eligible employees with a COVID-19 allowance and additional hospital reimbursement.

The COVID-19 allowance is a one-time grant per employee of Rs 30,600 for in-house COVID care, medical equipment, or medication related expenses.

RDIF, Panacea Biotec launch production of Sputnik V vaccine in India

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and Indian drug firm Panacea Biotec on Monday announced the launch of the production of Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine in India.

The first batch of the COVID-19 vaccine produced at Panacea Biotec's facilities at Baddi in Himachal Pradesh will be shipped to the Russia's Gamaleya Center for quality control.