Startup news and updates: daily roundup (July 20, 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 20, 2021.
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Zoom to acquire cloud-based call centre platform Five9 in $14.7B deal

Video communications giant Zoom has made a $14.7 billion buyout offer to NASDAQ-listed Five9, a cloud-based call centre platform.

The all-stock transaction will combine Five9’s Contact Centre as a Service (CCaaS) solution with Zoom’s diversified communications platform and help businesses improve their customer engagement.

Former WhatsApp CBO Neeraj Arora launches HalloApp, a relationship-based social network

Neeraj Arora, former Chief Business Officer of WhatsApp, has announced the launch of his new startup, HalloApp.

Announcing about the launch on Twitter, he said - "Our vision at HalloApp is to build a simple, safe, private place for people to connect and share what matters — with the people who matter most."

Neeraj Arora, source First Post

Uvi Health raises $330K led by Titan Capital and others (Funding)

Uvi Health, a digital health startup for women, has raised $330,000 in a pre-Seed round of funding led by Titan Capital and other marquee groups of investors. The funding round saw participation from 9Unicorns, AngelList, and a clutch of angels, including Ghazal Alagh, Co-founder of Mamaearth, Aarti Gill and Mihir Gadani, Founders of Oziva. 

People management platform Mesh raises $5M led by Sequoia’s Surge (Funding)

Mesh, a Gurugram and San Jose-based people management platform built for the future of work, on Tuesday said it raised $5 million in funding led by Sequoia Capital India’s Surge, with participation from co-investors RTP Global, Y Combinator Continuity, and Emles Venture Partners

Agritech startup Vegrow raises $13M from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Elevation Capital, others (Funding)

Agritech startup Vegrow has raised $13 million from investors including Lightspeed Venture Partners and Elevation Capital to invest in technology, new products, and to expand in 100 cities. The startup is a B2B platform for fruits and vegetables.

The Series A funding round also saw participation from existing investors Matrix Partners India, Ankur Capital, Better Capital and Titan Capital, Vegrow said in a statement.

YouTube to acquire Delhi-based social commerce platform simsim

YouTube has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Delhi-based social commerce startup Simsimand expects to complete the transaction in the coming weeks.

Delhi-based simsim is helping small businesses in India transition to ecommerce by using the power of video and creators to reach new customers. The simsim app serves as a platform to connect local businesses, influencers, and customers.

[Funding Alert] Bengaluru full-stack mobility startup Automovill raises $500K in bridge round

Bengaluru-based full-stack mobility startup Automovill on Tuesday said it raised $500,000 in a bridge round from Mumbai Angels Network. The round was led by Jay Nagrecha and Sandeep Daga who participated through Mumbai Angels Network. Existing investor NEDFi Venture Capital also participated in the round. With this round, Automovill has now raised a total of $1.2 million since its inception.

[Funding Alert] Swiggy mops up $1.25B from Softbank, others a week before Zomato listing

Bengaluru-based foodtech unicorn Swiggyannounced that it has closed $1.25 billion in fundraise by Softbank Vision Fund and existing investor Prosus. This funding is the first investment by Softbank Vision Fund 2 in the Indian foodtech space. The round also saw participation from existing investors Accel Partners and Wellington Management.

[Funding alert] pinBox raises $1M in seed round from Venture Catalysts

pinBox, a global pensiontech platform committed exclusively to digital micro-pension and social security inclusion, has raised $1 million in seed funding led by Venture Catalysts (Vcats). Vcats’ accelerator fund 9unicorns also participated in the round. Founded in 2016 by industry veterans Parul Seth Khanna and Gautam Bhardwaj, pinBox uses technology, process innovation, and a simple, intuitive user interface to address friction and access challenges in delivering micro-pension and insurance solutions to underserved informal sector workers.

[Funding alert] NFTically raises seed round from Polygon Matic CEO and others

NFTically, a global NFT (non-fungible tokens) marketplace to mint, buy or sell NFTs and B2B SaaS to launch a white-label NFT store/marketplace, has raised seed funding from Polygon Matic CEO Jayanti Kanani and others. NFTically claims to enable content creators to launch their own NFT store or marketplace under their domain name. 

[Funding alert] HealthifyMe raises $75M in Series C round led by LeapFrog and Khosla Ventures

HealthifyMe an AI driven health and fitness app startup, has raised $75 million in a Series C round led by LeapFrog and Khosla Ventures. HealthQuad, Unilever Ventures, and Elm (Saudi Arabia PIF entity) also participated in the round, along with existing investors Chiratae Ventures, Inventus Capital and Sistema Asia Capital. It had raised $18 million in Series B round in 2018.

[Funding alert] Fintech startup GalaxyCard secures $450K in angel funding round led by JITO, others

GalaxyCard, a fintech platform offering instantly approved credit cards, has raised $4,50,000 in angel funding led by JITO Angel Network and other marquee angel investors including Gopi Latpate, Samyakth Capital, and Anant Agarwal. The fresh funding will be used for scaling up the business and expanding its team to provide an enhanced customer experience. GalaxyCard also plans to add more types of cards and for a wider audience.

[Funding alert] Gurugram-based Bella Vita Organic raises $10M from Ananta Capital

Gurugram-based online D2C personal care brand Bella Vita Organic has raised $10 million from Ananta Capital. According to the official statement, the startup is looking to deploy the fund for scaling up its brand and product offerings. Founded in 2018 by Aakash Anand, Bella Vita Organic focuses on personal care solutions and manufactures and sells natural skincare, haircare, and wellness products.   

MSME Minister Narayan Tatu Rane lists 5 govt initiatives to support MSMEs amidst COVID-19

MSME Minister Narayan Tatu Rane — who recently succeeded Nitin Gadkari — has listed several government initiatives to encourage Indian micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). In a written reply to Rajya Sabha on July 19, Rane outlined the various schemes, initiatives, and relief packages offered by the government to support MSMEs and help survive the COVID-19 pandemic. 

[Funding alert] SmartCoin raises Rs 80 Cr in debt from Northern Arc, Vivriti Capital, others

Fintech platform SmartCoin Financials on Tuesday announced that it has secured debt funding worth Rs 80 crore from multiple financial institutions including Northern Arc, Vivriti Capital, MAS, India SME, and others. SmartCoin has raised this capital to further its portfolio 10x with expansion in customised products and services, a statement said.

Jeff Bezos and 3 others take maiden flight to space on Blue Origin’s New Shepard

Jeff Bezos took his maiden spaceflight to space marking a historic event in the space industry. Blue Origin's launch vehicle New Shepard took the human crew up to space and successfully brought them back to Earth in a 10 minutes mission.

"Best day ever," said Jeff Bezos upon touchdown.

[Funding alert] CareerNinja raises undisclosed pre-seed round from Unitus Ventures

Edtech startup CareerNinja on Tuesday said it raised an undisclosed pre-seed round from Unitus Ventures. Founded by Shronit Ladhani in 2017, CareerNinja provides upskilling and job-oriented courses for college graduates. The startup claims that its AI-powered edtech platform allows for segmentation and makes it personalised.

[Funding alert] Solar startup MYSUN raises Rs 15 Cr in debt from TATA Cleantech Capital

MYSUN, a rooftop solar startup has raised Rs 15 crore in debt funding from TATA Cleantech Capital Ltd (TCCL), a joint venture between Tata Capital and International Finance Corporation (IFC). The startup had recently launched its solar asset vehicle MYSUN+ to develop solar projects under the distributed and open access models with an investment of Rs 600 crore in the first phase.

[Funding alert] Flow Club raises pre-seed round from Antler India

Flow Club — a platform that allows building a social-first experience to investing and financial management — on Tuesday said it raised an undisclosed pre-seed round from Antler India. Founded by Gopikrishnan Mohan, Gokul Harikumar, and George ShantiKerala-based Flow Club is working on its first product — a personal savings management platform called Savemo — currently in beta testing with a set of early users.

Sanjeev Kapoor co-founded Tinychef acquires foodtech startup Zelish

Tinychef, which counts celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor among its co-founders, on Tuesday said it has acquired Indian foodtech startup Zelish for an undisclosed amount. Tinychef, which is looking at aggressively expanding in the US and European markets over the next few years, is targeting $40-50 million in annual recurring revenue (ARR) by December 2025, its co-founder Bahubali Shete told PTI.