Startup news and updates: daily roundup (Aug 24, 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, August 24, 2021.
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India can become world's second-largest cloud talent hub: Nasscom

India has the potential to become the world's second-largest cloud talent hub with the combined effort of government bodies, education and skilling organisations and technology providers, IT industry body Nasscom said on Monday.

Nasscom, in association with Draup, said in a report that India currently ranks third globally with an installed talent pool of 608,000 (FY2021) cloud professionals.

Hike raises undisclosed round from Tinder co-founders, Binny Bansal, Kunal Shah, others (Funding)

Social gaming startup Hike Tuesday said it raised an undisclosed amount of funding in its latest round from "most iconic product builders and investors". The round was led by Justin Mateen (Co-founder, Tinder).

Hike will use the fresh capital to expand on its innovative product strategy and hire talent across functions. At present, Hike operates a fully remote cross-functional team of over 160 employees, working from across 50 cities.​​

I-T portal glitches: FM sets Sept 15 as deadline for Infosys to resolve issues

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday conveyed to Infosys CEO Salil Parekh in no uncertain terms the government's "deep disappointment and concern" over the continuing glitches in the new income-tax filing portal and set September 15 as the deadline for the software major to resolve all snags.

As glitches continued to mar the functioning of the portal even after over two months of its launch, Sitharaman summoned Infosys MD and CEO Parekh at her office here to know the reasons for not resolving the snags in the portal.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman (Image Source: Facebook)

FM announces Rs 6 Lakh Cr asset monetisation pipeline

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has announced a Rs 6 lakh crore National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP) that will look to unlock value in infrastructure assets across sectors ranging from power to road and railways.

She also said the asset monetisation does not involve selling of land, and it is about monetising brownfield assets. Projects have been identified across sectors, with roads, railways and power being the top segments.

AppsForBharat raises $4M in seed round co-led by Sequoia Capital India and BEENEXT (Funding)

Bengaluru-based AppsForBharat, a product studio focused on building apps for spiritual and devotional needs of Indian users, has raised $4 million in seed funding co-led by Sequoia Capital India and BEENEXT.

The round also saw participation from WEH Ventures. The funds will primarily be used for product development and hiring tech talent.

Imagimake Play Solutions raises undisclosed round from Velocity (Funding)

Imagimake Play Solutions, which makes a range of innovative toys and games under the brand Imagimake, has raised an undisclosed round of financing from revenue-based financier Velocity. This is the second round of financing they have raised from Velocity, having previously raised Rs 4.4 crore in Pre-Series A round from Roha Investment Managers and angel investor Saumil Shah. 

KhataBook team

Khatabook raises $100M in Series C round, announces ESOP buyback worth $10M (Funding)

Bengaluru-based fintech startup KhataBookhas raised $100 million in Series C funding, at a valuation of $600 million. The round was led by Tribe Capital and Moore Strategic Ventures (MSV).

According to a statement, other investors in this oversubscribed series C round were Alkeon Capital, with continued investment participation from internal investors B Capital Group, Sequoia Capital, Tencent, RTP Ventures, Unilever Ventures, and Better Capital. In addition, Balaji Srinivasan and Sriram Krishnan participated as independent investors, among others.

Smytten raises $6M led by Fireside Ventures (Funding)

Sampling and engagement platform for D2C brands Smytten has raised $6 million in Series A led by Fireside Ventures. The round also saw participation from Sharrp Ventures (Mariwala family office), Survam Partners (Suman Kant Munjal family office), and Waao Partners (Pratul Shroff family office). Existing investor Roots Ventures also participated in the round.

The startup said the new investment will primarily be used for building many industry-first tech and data solutions to optimise the marketing funnel for D2C brands supported by a best-in-class servicing infrastructure for consumers to try products on-demand. 

Enterprise tech startup Syook raises $1M in Series A from IPV, ONGC (Funding)

Bengaluru based enterprise tech startup Syook on Tuesday announced that it has raised $1 million from Inflection Point Ventures and ONGC in a Series A round.

The startup aims to use this funding to pursue growth in international markets, especially in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, and also enhance and scale up its engineering team.

Akudo Co-founders

Fin-edtech startup Akudo raises Pre-Seed round from Y Combinator, Incubate Fund India (Funding)

Akudo, a learning-first neobank for teenagers in India, has announced that it raised a Pre-Seed round from Y-Combinator, Incubate Fund India, and other Indian angels investors earlier this year.

Founded in August 2020 by IIT Roorkee and BITS Pilani alumni Lavika Aggarwal, Sajal Khanna, and Jagveer Gandhi, Akudo is a digital bank for teenagers in India. It provides personalised debit cards that can be used by them independently, with the aim to help them save money, and gives them exciting rewards under a gamified set up when they're good at their personal finance.

NOTO raises Rs 4 Cr in pre-Series A round from VC firms, actor John Abraham (Funding)

NOTO , a low-calorie, high-protein ice cream and real fruit popsicles brand, has raised Rs 4 crore in a pre-Series A round, which saw participation from a group of investors, including Titan Capital, Rockstud Capital, actor-producer John Abraham, WEH Ventures, and a few more angel investors.

Lumiq raises $2M in seed round led by Info Edge Ventures (Funding)

Lumiq, a data and analytics company that powers data-driven decision-making for financial enterprises, has raised $2 million in seed funding led by Info Edge Ventures. The round also saw participation from Redstart Labs and angel investor Parampreet Bhasin.

Lumiq plans to utilise the funds for the company’s sales growth, to enhance product offerings, and expand the global footprint.

Ecommerce service startup CommerceUp raises undisclosed seed round from NB Ventures (Funding)

Gurugram-based ecommerce-as-a-service platform CommerceUp Tuesday said it raised an undisclosed seed round led by NB Ventures, an early-stage venture fund founded by Neelesh Bhatnagar in 2016.

The startup will use the funds to expand its team and invest further in technology by providing integrated marketing solutions for user acquisitions.

Breathe Well-being raises $5.5M in Series A round led by Accel (Funding)

Breathe Well-being, a digital therapeutics startup focused on Type 2 diabetes, has raised $5.5 million in Series A round of funding led by Accel Partners, with participation from General Catalyst and Scott Shleifer, Global MD, Tiger Global.

According to a statement from the startup, the funding also witnessed the exit of angel investors where they saw a 30x returns along with ESOP plan for the employees. Breathe Well-being will use this capital for product development and team expansion.

AI startup Synth raises $125,000 from Y-Combinator (Funding)

Synth AI Labs Inc., an AI-based knowledge platform, has raised $125,000 from Y-Combinator, a Silicon Valley-based startup accelerator, according to a release shared by the company.

The Bengaluru-based startup raised this round as part of Y-Combinator's Summer 21 batch, and will use it to expand their team and develop the product further. Synth is also actively hiring deep learning engineers and full stack developers.

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