Startup news and updates: daily roundup (July 21, 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 Wednesday, July 21, 2021.

[YS Exclusive] Zouk raises $1.5M from Stellaris Venture Partners, Titan Capital, and others

Zouk, a Mumbai-based D2C lifestyle brand, has raised $1.5 million (Rs 11.75 crore) in funding in a pre-Series A round. The round was led by Stellaris Venture Partners while Manish Chowdhary and Karan Chowdhary, Founders of Wow Skin Science, and existing investor Titan Capital participated.

D2C lifestyle brand Zouk has big plans after its pre-Series A fundraise of $1.5 million. It aims to scale to Rs 100 crore by FY23, expand in India, and start operations in the US, Europe, and the Middle East.

Founders of Zouk

Online insurance marketplace Policybazaar to raise Rs 6,500 Cr in IPO

Online insurance marketplace Policybazaar is aiming to raise around Rs 6,500 crore in its initial public offering (IPO), a few media reports said on Wednesday, citing RoC filings by the startup's parent company, PB Fintech.

The Gurgaon, Harayana-based startup's IPO could come by November-December, and will value Policybazaar at $4 billion to $5 billion, reports said. The valuation is higher than what the startup had previously planned for, the story added.

IIT grads founded Open Secret raises Series A investment led by Sixth Sense Ventures (Funding)

Mumbai-based healthy snack brand Open Secret has raised Series A investment led by led by Sixth Sense Ventures. The round also saw participation from existing investor Matrix Partners India.

The freshly infused capital will be used to launch more products, build capacity, strengthen the team, scale up the capabilities in tech and expand omnichannel distribution presence.

Netflix confirms move into video games as its growth slows

Netflix reported its worst slowdown in subscriber growth in eight years as people emerge from their pandemic cocoons. So it's adding a new attraction to its marquee: Video games.

U Gro Capital launches Rs 1,000 Cr co-lending initiative with Bank of Baroda for MSMEs

U GRO Capital, the BSE-listed technology-focused small business lending platform, on Wednesday said it has launched a co-lending partnership with the Bank of Baroda for the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

The Rs 1,000 crore co-lending programme, Pratham, will allow MSMEs to avail customised lending solutions at a competitive rate of interest, with a significant reduction in turnaround time.

D2C startup Beco raises Rs 4 Cr in seed round led by Climate Angels Fund (Funding)

Mumbai-based home and personal care D2C brand, Beco on Wednesday raised Rs 4 crore in a seed round led by Climate Angels Fund and other investors, including Titan Capital, Better Capital, Rukam Capital, Sequoia Sprout, and Richa Kar (Founder of Zivame).

Beco will use the funds to quadruple its sales and encourage consumers to switch to sustainable living through its eco-friendly product range.

Co-founders of Beco

Percentage of STEM women graduates in India higher compared to developed nations: Government

The percentage of women graduates in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) at tertiary level in India is higher compared to developed nations like the US, UK, Germany, and France, the Lok Sabha was informed on Monday.

The information was shared by Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan in response to a written question.

Bengaluru startup Sea6 Energy raises $9M in Series B led by Aqua-Spark (Funding)

Sea6 Energy, a sustainable, large-scale, and mechanised ocean farming startup, on Wednesday said it raised $9 million in a Series B round led by the Netherlands-based Aqua-Spark — an investment fund focused on sustainable aquaculture — and co-investor Singapore-based Silverstrand Capital. In 2015, Sea6 had received Series A funding from Tata Capital Innovation Fund.

Anaxee receives $1M to solve vaccine hesitancy in rural India, aims to generate 50,000 jobs

With its network of 20,000+ on-field Digital Runners, Anaxee Digital Runners is a tech-based platform that helps businesses, corporates to scale in Tier-II, III, and IV towns by using its vast network of Digital Runners.

It is also providing digital assistance to rural citizens helping them with the CoWIN portal, downloading vaccination certificates, booking appointments, etc. This project will employ 50,000 Digital Runners and aims to reach one crore rural citizens.