Startup news and updates: daily roundup (Aug 30, 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 Monday, August 30, 2021.
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Accel announces Atoms, a pre-seed funding programme for early-stage startups

Global venture capital firm Accel on Monday said it launched Accel Atoms — the VC firm's pre-seed funding programme — where it will invest $250,000 in startups with an uncapped convertible.

Speaking on the development, Prayank Swaroop, Partner at Accel, said,

"Basically, we do not take any stake in the company in this round, but the startup gets the money now. And this $250,000 will convert into equity in the next round valuation of the startup."

Scaler Academy acquires Coding Elements to strengthen its upskilling offerings

Scaler, an edtech upskilling startup backed by Sequoia Capital and Tiger Global, has announced the acquisition of Delhi-based online learning platform Coding Elements in an all-cash deal. This marks the edtech startup's first acquisition to accelerate business growth. Scaler has also set aside a sizeable fund of Rs 50 crore to explore other avenues of M&As.

[Funding alert] Y Combinator backs extracurricular learning startup Spark Studio

Bengaluru-based extracurricular learning startup, Spark Studio has secured an investment from Y Combinator as part of the latter's S21 batch.

Launched in February 2021 by Anushree Goenka, Kaustubh Khade and Namita Goel, Spark Studio has already scaled to 7,000 users across nine different countries. With Y Combinator’s investment, Spark Studio will invest in building an engaging platform with superlative content and curriculum.

FinMin extends last date for availing GST amnesty scheme till Nov 30

The Finance Ministry on Sunday extended the last date to avail the GST amnesty scheme, under which taxpayers have to pay a reduced fee for delayed filing of monthly returns by three months till November 30.

The GST council, chaired by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and comprising state ministers, had in May decided to come out with an Amnesty Scheme to provide relief to taxpayers in late fee for pending returns.

Fintech startup Karbon Card raises capital from Y Combinator (Funding)

Fintech startup KarbonCard has raised an undisclosed amount in growth capital from accelerator Y Combinator, the startup said in a press release on Monday.

It plans to use the funds to step up its product development, hiring plans, and operations, the Bengaluru-headquartered company added.

Factors.AI raises $2M co-led by Elevation Partners, Emergent Ventures (Funding)

US and Bengaluru-based B2B SaaS startup Factors.AI Monday said it raised $2 million in seed funding co-led by Elevation Partners and Emergent Ventures.

The round also saw participation from angel investors, including Naveen Tiwari, Abhay Singhal, Piyush Shah, Mohit Saxena, Amit Gupta (Founders, InMobi), Girish Mathrubootham (Founder, Freshworks), Krish Subramanian and Rajaraman Santhanam (Co-founders, Chargebee), and Ramakant Sharma (Founder, LivSpace).

Shooter Avani Lekhara becomes first Indian woman to win gold at Paralympics

Shooter Avani Lekhara scripted history on Monday as she became the first Indian woman to win a gold medal at the Paralympics, firing her way to the top of the podium in the R-2 women's 10m Air Rifle Standing SH1 event here.

The 19-year-old from Jaipur, who sustained spinal cord injuries in a car accident in 2012, finished with a world record equalling total of 249.6, which is also a new Paralympic record.

Hiring activity has reached pre-pandemic level, says jobs site Indeed

Hiring across sectors seems to have picked up pace in India, reaching the pre-pandemic level of February 2020, according to global jobs site Indeed.

The platform noted that jobs growth continues to accelerate, and more workers are finding jobs or starting to pick up their search. Hopefully, the hiring momentum would sustain in the months ahead, the platform said in a press note.

Zomato takes another environmentally-conscious step; users will now have to ask for cutlery

In a bid to reduce its carbon footprint, Zomato's Co-founder and CEO Deepinder Goyal announced in a blog that customers will now have to ask for cutlery, if they need it.

Deepinder wrote in the blog that the company has decided to change the default mode for cutlery — customers will now have to explicitly request for cutlery, tissues, and straws, if they need it. This is now an ‘opt-in’ feature instead of being an ‘opt-out’. 

PhonePe gets IRDAI nod to distribute insurance products from multiple players

Fintech major PhonePe said on Monday it has received an insurance broking license from the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), which will enable it to sell insurance products from all insurance companies in India.

Earlier, the startup had a limited insurance 'corporate agent' license, which allowed PhonePe to partner with only three insurance companies, per category. With the general broking license, it will be able to offer more insurance products to its users.

D2C sports brand Elevar raises Rs 19 Cr in Series A from Kalaari Capital and Dream Capital (Funding)

Mumbai-based D2C sports brand Elevar has raised Rs 19 crore in a Series A round of funding, led by Kalaari Capital, with participation from Dream Capital (DreamCap), the corporate venture capital and M&A arm of Dream Sports. 

Elevar will utilise the funds towards expanding its product portfolio, increasing its marketing efforts, and building its team.


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Edited by Anju Narayanan

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