Startup news and updates: daily roundup (July 22, 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, July 22, 2021.
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Airtel, Intel announce collaboration for 5G technology in India

Telecom operator Bharti Airtel on Wednesday announced a collaboration with Intel for 5G network development by leveraging virtual and open radio access network technologies and making indigenous solutions. Bharti Airtel and other telecom operators are at present conducting 5G trials in select cities across India.

Dozee raises Rs 44 Cr Series A investment led by Prime VP, others (Funding)

Healthtech startup Dozee has raised Rs 44 crore Series A funding led by existing investor Prime Venture Partners. The round also participation from YourNest Venture Capital and 3one4 Capital. The funding will be used towards R&D to launch new products and enhance its platform capabilities.

BlackBuck joins the unicorn club with $67M Series E investment (Funding)

Online trucking startup BlackBuck has raised Series E funding of $67 million. With this funding, the startup's valuation is now over $1 billion. The round was led by Tribe Capital, IFC Emerging Asia Fund, and VEF. Existing investors Wellington Management, Sands Capital, and International Finance Corporation also participated in this round of funding.

Rajesh Yabaji

Zomato IPO allotment: Here's how you can check share application status

After getting a strong response to its initial public offering (IPO) from investors last week, food delivery company Zomato will finalise share allocation today. The Zomato IPO was opened for subscription from July 14-16, and is likely to be listed on the stock exchange much before the planned date of July 27.

Snapdeal, Khan Academy join hands to launch digital learning initiative for students

Ecommerce player Snapdeal on Wednesday said it had partnered with Khan Academy, an educational non-profit organisation, to launch 'The Foundation Program' that will work towards minimising learning gaps in children and building a solid foundation for the next class.

Proposed ecommerce norms can hit consumer interest, increase compliance burden for firms: IAMAI

The proposed ecommerce regulations could negatively impact consumer interest, while creating a high level of uncertainty and increase compliance burden for not just ecommerce companies, but MSMEs providing services to online retailers, according to industry body IAMAI.

Instagram is testing new Collab feature for Posts and Reels in India and the UK

Instagram on Wednesday said it was testing a new Collab feature in India and the UK that will allow users to collaborate with others on Feed Posts and Reels. "Collaborating is a huge part of how people connect on Instagram. With 'Collab', you can invite a collaborator to your Feed Post and Reels and so they can share the content with their followers," a statement said.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 

Users won't need invites to join platform anymore; added 10M users since mid-May: Clubhouse

Clubhouse, an invite-only social audio app, on Wednesday said it was opening its platform to everyone and new users will now be able to join the service without an invite. The number of daily rooms on the platform have grown to half a million, and the company has added 10 million users since mid-May, it said in a blogpost.

Unacademy signs MoU with Government of Karnataka

Edtech unicorn Unacademy has signed an MoU with the Government of Karnataka to provide free training to 4,500 students aspiring for competitive examinations.

The three-year programme will be a part of its CSR initiatives, during which eligible students would be chosen through online tests, and offered free tuition, scholarships, and complimentary Unacademy Plus memberships.

"I urge students to make use of this opportunity and realise their dreams," Dr Ashwathnarayan CN, Deputy CM of Karnataka, said in a tweet.

Gaurav Munjal, Founder and CEO, Unacademy, added, "We’re honoured to collaborate with the Government of Karnataka and work towards fulfilling the vision of Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa by democratising access to quality education for lakhs of learners from Karnataka. We look forward to a long and successful partnership."

'Nearly 80 pc VCs I wrote to rejected me' tweets OYO Founder Ritesh Agarwal

Hospitality unicorn Oyo, which has so far has raised more than $4.1 billion from the likes of SoftBank, was rejected by 80 percent VCs initially, said OYO Founder and Group CEO, Ritesh Agarwal.

In a tweet, he advised entrepreneurs that they are going to face rejection most of the time, and they should get used to it. He recalled that during his early days at OYO, nearly 80 percent of the VCs rejected him.

OYO launches COVID-19 hotel partner bereavement support ‘Samarthan by OYO’

Oyo has today announced ‘Samarthan by OYO’, which includes several welfare benefits for the families of hotel partners and homeowners who succumbed to COVID-19, as part of its bereavement support.

Email marketing startup Mailmodo raises $2M from Sequoia’s Surge, Y Combinator, others (Funding)

Bengaluru-headquartered no-code email marketing startup Mailmodo has raised $2 million in seed funding, led by Sequoia Capital India’s Surge, Y Combinator, and existing investors.

Founded in 2020 by Aquibur Rahman, Apurv Gupta and Devyesh Tandon, Mailmodo, which operates on a SaaS model, brings rich functionality to email marketing to help businesses get better conversions on communications.

SuperBeings raises seed round led by Endiya Partners (Funding)

Bengaluru-based integrated leadership success platform SuperBeings on Thursday said it raised an undisclosed seed round led by Endiya Partners. The round also saw participation from existing investor Axilor VenturesCloud Capital, and prominent angels, including Rajaraman Santhanam (Founder, Chargebee), Shanmugam Krishnasamy (Founder and CTO, Freshworks), Sanjoe Tom Jose (Founder, Talview), and Piyush Shah (Co-founder, InMobi Group).

B2B2C Ayurveda tech platform NirogStreet raises $2.5M in Series A round (Funding)

Gurugram-based technology-led Ayurveda doctor platform, NirogStreet on Thursday raised $2.5 million in Series A funding from Gokul Rajaram, Pureland Venture, and Wavemaker Partners.

NirogStreet plans to use the fund to invest in new product development, enter new geographies, strengthen the B2B2C community, and social commerce offerings.

HRtech and AI startup Hyreo raises Pre-Series A round (Funding)

Kerala-based HRtech and AI startup Hyreo on Thursday announced the closing of its Pre-Series A funding from investors led by Callapina Capital with participation from Anas Rahman Junaid, Konglo Ventures, Raveendranath Kamath, Nat Natraj and other investors from Silicon Valley. 

The company will use the proceeds to fuel its international expansion as well as beefing up its product development teams.

Hyderabad-based GODI Energy raises funds from Blue Ashva Capital (Funding)

Godi India Pvt Ltd, a Hyderabad-based energy technology startup, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Blue Ashva Capital through its Blue Ashva Sampada Fund.

The funds raised will be used to set up the Supercapacitor and Lithium-Ion Cell manufacturing facilities in India and continue developing materials with cell chemistries, superiorly engineered batteries and supercapacitor cells.

Flipkart, Myntra partner with Canopy to advance sustainability efforts, conserve forests

Ecommerce major Flipkart Group and fashion e-tailer Myntra on Thursday said they have partnered with not-for-profit environmental organisation Canopy to extend their sustainability commitment to move towards sustainable packaging and material sourcing.

Microsoft in talks with Telangana for setting up $2B data centre

Global tech giant Microsoft is in discussions with the Telangana government on a proposal for setting up one of its largest data centres with an investment outlay of about $ 2 to 2.25 billion here, sources close to the development said on Thursday. If the discussions fructify, this would be one of the major investments of Microsoft outside the US.

Infopark at Kochi developing infrastructure to create 12K job opportunities

Banking on the CRISIL and Nasscom prediction that the IT sector in India will make a vigorous resurgence, the Infopark at Kochi is developing infrastructure aimed at creating 12,000 job opportunities and welcoming more IT companies.

India's smartphone market falls 13 pc sequentially in Q2 amid second COVID-19 wave

Smartphone shipments in India fell 13 percent to 32.4 million units in the April-June 2021 period over the previous quarter as the second wave of COVID-19 stifled demand, according to research firm Canalys.

Edited by Anju Narayanan

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