Startup news and updates: daily roundup (July 13, 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 Tuesday, July 13, 2021.
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Digital payments startup MobiKwik files for Rs 1,900 Cr IPO

Digital payments startup MobiKwik has filed for an initial public offering to raise Rs 1,900 crore, its draft red herring prospectus showed. The Rs 1,900 crore includes a fresh issue worth Rs 1,500 crore, and the remaining component - Rs 400 crore - will be secondary share sales where existing investors can sell their stakes in the startup.

Flipkart to buyback employee stock options worth Rs 600 Cr

Walmart-owned Flipkart will undertake a buyback of employee stock options worth about Rs 600 crore, according to sources. On Monday, Flipkart announced raising $3.6 billion (about Rs 26,805.6 crore) in funding from a clutch of investors that valued the ecommerce major at $37.6 billion (about Rs 2.79 lakh crore).

In an email to employees, Flipkart Group Chief Executive Officer Kalyan Krishnamurthy lauded the critical role played by the staff in reaching this milestone.

MPOWER Financing raises $100M from multiple investors (Funding)

MPOWER Financing, which provides education loans for students to study in North America, has raised $100 million in venture funding.

According to MPOWER, the fresh round of funding will be used to scale its operations and grow the team in Bengaluru besides providing more financial support for the students.

Pankhuri Shrivastava, CEO and Co-founder, Pankhuri

Social community platform for women Pankhuri raises $3.2M led by Sequoia’s Surge (Funding)

Pankhuri, a Bengaluru-based social community platform for women, on Tuesday said it raised $3.2 million in funding led by Surge, a rapid scale-up programme by Sequoia Capital India, alongside India Quotient and Taurus Ventures.

Pankhuri lets women in India network, learn, and shop through live streaming, chat, and cohort-based sessions, enabling them to be active participants in beauty and lifestyle conversations online instead of being passive consumers.

Blockchain startup Arcana raises $375K from Coinbase’s Balaji Srinivasan and others (Funding)

Bengaluru-based Arcana Network, the storage layer of Ethereum, with a privacy stack for DApp developers on EVM compatible chains, has raised a seed round from investors Balaji Srinivasan, former CTO of Coinbase, Sandeep Nailwal and JD Kanani, Founders of Polygon (formerly Matic), Kendrick Nguyen, Founder and CEO of Republic and other top angels in the crypto ecosystem.

The funding will help Arcana accelerate its product development, acquire talent and create a vibrant developer community.

AdmitKard raises Rs 10Cr from a clutch of edtech startup founders (Funding)

Noida-based edtech platform that simplifies accessing higher education abroad AdmitKard on Tuesday said it has raised Rs 10 crore in pre-Series A funding. To date, the startup has raised a total of Rs 17 crore.

 

The round is majorly backed by founders of edtech platforms who participated in their personal capacity, including Vamsi Krishna and Pulkit Jain (Vedantu), Mayank Kumar (upGrad), Gaurav Munjal, Roman Saini, and Sumit Jain (Unacademy), Tanushree Nagori, Aditya Shankar, and Ravi Sekhar (DoubtNut), Akshay Saxena (Avanti).

Image Source: Shutterstock

CCI approves SoftBank’s $450M investment in Swiggy

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has given its nod for a proposed deal involving SoftBank Group entity purchasing a stake in food ordering and delivery platform Swiggy. SVF II Songbird (DE) LLC would acquire certain shareholding percentage in Bundl Technologies Pvt Ltd, according to a notice filed with the regulator.

SVF belongs to the SoftBank Group and is a newly-incorporated entity set up to make mid to long-term financial investments in companies. Bundl is a private limited company incorporated in India and is engaged in operating Swiggy, as per the notice.

Stellar Value Chain Solutions to invest Rs 200 Cr to strengthen e-grocery supply chain

Stellar Value Chain Solutions, a tech-driven consumer supply chain company, has announced that it will invest Rs 200 crore to boost its e-grocery supply chain offerings in FY21-22. The investment will help the company to set up 25 fulfilment and sort centres across the country in the current financial year to strengthen its ecommerce supply chain network.

Hyderabad-based UrbanKisaan raises undisclosed capital from BVC to expand market presence (Funding)

Hyderabad-based agritech startup UrbanKisaan, specialising in hydroponic cultivation, on Tuesday said it raised undisclosed funding from BASF Venture Capital GmbH (BVC). According to an official statement, the startup is looking to expand its market presence in India and deploy its farming technology to work with thousands of farmers. 

Raj, Founder and CEO of Aquaconnect

Aquaculture startup Aquaconnect raises $4M in pre-Series A round (Funding)

Chennai-based aqua farmers’ network Aquaconnect on Tuesday announced it raised $4 million (Rs 29.7 crore) in a pre-Series A round led by Rebright Partners and Flourish Ventures. AgFunder and 6G Capital also participated in this round, along with existing investors Omnivore and HATCH. 

The startup plans to deploy the fresh capital to scale its farm advisory, financial services, and marketplace for seafood exports.

Online beauty training platform Vah Vah! raises seed round led by Sequoia Surge (Funding)

Vah Vah!, a vocational training platform offering makeup and beauty courses, has raised $1.85 million in a seed round led by Sequoia India's Surge accelerator. The Bengaluru-based company is one of the 23 early-stage startups to make it to Surge's fifth cohort — its largest so far — that kicked off on June 30.

Vah Vah! offers live cohort-based courses, and aims to impart vocational skills that can translate into job opportunities for the youth or help them start their own businesses.