Startup news and updates: daily roundup (June 3, 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 Thursday, June 3, 2021.

Reliance submits proposal for potential COVID-19 drug

Reliance Industries' R&D arm has submitted a proposal for the application of Niclosamide as a potential drug against COVID-19. Niclosamide, which is on the World Health Organisation's list of essential medicines, has been used to treat tapeworm infestation around the world for more than 50 years.

Interestingly, the oral anti-viral drug was also used to treat patients during the SARS outbreak of 2003-04. The Indian government has already given clearance for the Phase 2 clinical trials of Niclosamide in COVID-19 treatment in adult patients.

Google claims new IT rules not applicable to its search engine, HC seeks Centre's stand

Google has contended that India's new IT rules for digital media do not apply to its search engine, urging the Delhi High Court to set aside its single judge order, which was applied on the company while dealing with an issue related to the removal of offending content from the internet.

The decision had come while dealing with a matter, where a woman's photographs were uploaded on a pornographic website by some miscreants, and despite court orders, the content could not be removed in entirety from the World Wide Web, and "errant parties merrily continued" to re-post and redirect it to other sites.

Crejo.Fun raises $3M led by Matrix Partners India, Binny Bansal's 021 Capital (Funding)

Crejo.Fun, an edtech platform focused on extracurricular activities for children has raised seed funding of $3 million led by Matrix Partners India and Binny Bansal's 021 Capital. The funds will be used for team expansion, product and content development, as well as to drive growth.

Edtech platform raises $500K in seed round from HNIs and Angels (Funding)

Digital academy for extracurricular activities on Thursday announced that it has raised $500,000 in its seed round from HNIs and angels, including Ankit Nagori, Co-founder of Cure.Fit and CEO of Eat.Fit; Neeraj Aggarwal, Co-founder and COO Xto10x; Abhishek Nag (Angel List), Director of Business Development, Netflix India, and family fund of MEL.

KreditBee Co-founder and CEO Madhusudan E

Fintech lending startup KreditBee raises Rs 60 Cr from SIDBI's India SME (Funding)

India SME Investments has recently expanded its portfolio in the BFSI segment by infusing a capital of Rs 60 crore into the holding entity of fintech lending startup KreditBee. 

The investment comes in the form of both equity and debt. This round is a follow-up tranche of investment from India SME after having invested Rs 28.4 crore in September 2019 as debt in Krazybee Services Private Limited, the RBI-backed NBFC-ND-SI which is a part of the holding company of KreditBee.

Jio accelerating rollout of digital platforms, indigenously-developed 5G stack

Jio is accelerating the rollout of digital platforms and indigenously-developed next-generation 5G stack, Reliance Industries' annual report said, highlighting that India is at the forefront of the global digital revolution.

Reliance Jio has built sufficient network capacity for the next 300 million mobile broadband subscribers, over 50 million fibre homes, and 50 million micro, small and medium businesses, it said.

Indian envoy holds meetings with CEOs of top US companies on COVID-19 crisis

The Indian envoy in the US is having an intense engagement with the CEOs of top American companies, particularly from the pharma sector, to help India get the necessary medical equipment and drugs to successfully combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Wednesday, India's Ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, tweeted: "Spoke today afternoon with Medtronic CEO Geoff Martha on their support in India's fight against the pandemic, including through supply of ventilators along with other partners."

Digital platform Spardha raises Rs 3Cr in pre-Series A1 round led by IPV (Funding)

Spardha, a digital platform for learning music and performing arts, on Thursday said it has raised Rs 3 crore in a pre-Series A1 round led by Inflection Point Ventures (IPV), along with a few US-based HNIs.

According to an official statement, the platform will utilise the funds in branding and marketing, expansion of sales and products team, curriculum development and enhancement, digital platform enhancement, and expanding presence in four new international markets, including the UK, Singapore, Canada, and Australia.

Healthcare startup Onelife Nutriscience raises undisclosed sum from Lasons India (Funding)

Mumbai-based nutraceutical healthcare company Onelife Nutriscience Pvt Ltd has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from pharmaceutical manufacturer Lasons India.

The healthcare startup produces Vitamin B3 (Niacin and Niacinamide) and specialty chemicals from India, with exports to more than 100 countries, including China.

Gaurav Aggarwal, Founder, Onelife

Enabling Qapital, Vivriti Asset Management partner to invest Rs 375Cr in underserved Indian businesses

Enabling Qapital (EQ) — a Swiss impact investment firm — on Thursday announced its partnership with Indian asset manager Vivriti Asset Management (VAM) to invest up to Rs 375 crore over time towards fostering UN sustainable development goals (SDGs) and supporting businesses that are expected to lead economic recovery post the COVID-19 pandemic.

The partnership aims to provide debt finance to support small enterprises and fintechs, empower women entrepreneurs, and strengthen agriculture supply chains.

D2C brand Flatheads raises growth capital from GetVantage (Funding)

Online footwear brand Flatheads has raised an undisclosed amount in growth funding from ecommerce investment marketplace GetVantage.

Launched just before the pandemic, the brand claims to have grown 5X in the past year. It will use this capital infusion to fuel expansion and grow revenues.

BYJU'S, Google team up to offer 'learning solution' for schools

Edtech firm BYJU'S has announced a partnership with tech giant Google to offer a learning solution for schools. BYJU's teamed up with Google Workspace for Education to offer 'Vidyartha' platform to aid effective learning at school, according to a statement.

This integration of Google Workspace for Education with BYJU'S would offer a collaborative and personalised digital platform for classroom organisation, available for free to participating educational institutions, the statement added.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai

This fintech startup is making equity markets and investor relations simpler

Mumbai-based fintech startup S-Ancial has raised $1.4 million in Pre-Series A round of funding led by JITO Angel Network. The round also saw participation from Rahul Mehta of DST Global, Suresh Jain of Sun Capital, Rank Group, and other marquee angels. The startup aims to use this funding to expand its India and MENA footprint and strengthen its technology platform.

SEBI gives more time to implement SMS alerts for IPO process through UPI

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on Wednesday gave more time for the implementation of guidelines pertaining to SMS alerts under the Unified Payment Interface (UPI) system for shares applied and allotted during an IPO.

The deadline for putting in place an automated web portal with respect to Initial Public Offers (IPOs) through UPI system has also been extended.

WhatsApp says won't limit functionality, will continue to send reminders to users to accept privacy policy

WhatsApp on Thursday said it will not limit the functionality of the messaging app for users not agreeing to its new privacy policy, but will continue to send reminders about the update. WhatsApp said its recent policy update does not change the privacy of people's personal messages, and it has already written to the government seeking to assure them that the privacy of users remains its highest priority.

Paytm-backed Fable Fintech raises undisclosed amount in Series A round (Funding)

Fable Fintech, a B2B provider of cross-border payment processing platforms, said it has raised an undisclosed amount in Series-A funding round.

The round was led by India-based investors that include venture capital fund Pentathlon Ventures, stock market investors Ashish Kacholia and Lashit Sanghvi, and former Wall Street banker Sumeet Kanwar, Mumbai-based Fable Fintech said in a statement. Existing investors Paytm and Infibeam Avenues also participated in this round.