Startup news and updates: daily roundup (Aug 10, 2021)
Digital transactions have continued to grow at a strong pace in the country with increasing acceptance in Tier II and III towns, a report by fintech firm Razorpay said. Digital transactions have grown by 80 percent during November 30, 2020-August 6, 2021 as against the previous 250 day-period, indicating the strong acceptance and adoption of digital payments in the country, the report said.
India witnessed an addition of 16 million jobs in July mainly in the agriculture and construction sectors. However, the number of salaried jobs fell by 3.2 million in the same month, according to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE). “India saw an addition of a massive 16 million jobs in July 2021. But, all the additional employment provided by India in July was of poor quality. 18.6 million additional people were employed as small traders and daily wage labourers,” CMIE's MD and CEO Mahesh Vyas said.
Hours after the Supreme Court rejected the pleas of Amazon and Flipkart against a CCI probe, Union Minister Piyush Goyal on Monday asked the traders' community to "prepare themselves" and present all their complaints against big online retailers before the regulator to get "justice". The Commerce and Industry Minister also said large companies, which were spending crores on lawyers to ensure that nothing happens on retailers' complaints, have failed.
Digital payments and finance company Paytm will seek shareholders' nod to more than double the share pool of its employees' stock option scheme to over 6.1 crore from 2.4 crore under the existing scheme, according to an EGM notice issued by the company on Monday. One97 Communications, the parent firm of Paytm, will seek approval of shareholders at the extraordinary general meeting (EGM) on September 2 to give additional charge of chief executive officer to the company's Managing Director Vijay Shekhar Sharma.
Raise Financial Services on Tuesday announced 100 pc acquisition of Moneylicious Securities, a Mumbai-based stock broker with membership of NSE, BSE, MCX, and CDSL. The acquisition has received all required approvals from capital markets regulator SEBI, all stock exchanges (BSE, NSE, and MCX) and CDSL. Jayprakash Gupta, Founder of Moneylicious Securities, will join Raise as Co-founder.
CoinDCX, the crypto exchange, has closed a $90 million Series C funding round, led by Facebook Co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s B Capital Group. The Series C funding round raises CoinDCX’s valuation to $1.1 billion, making it the first Indian cryptocurrency exchange to reach unicorn status. The round also saw participation from existing investors such as Coinbase Ventures, Polychain Capital, Block.one, Jump Capital, among others, alongside other veteran investors.
Bengaluru and San Francisco-based crypto asset management platform Mudrex on Tuesday raised $2.5 million in a seed round led by Nexus Venture Partners with participation from Village Global, Kunal Shah, Anand Chandrashekharan, and Anjali Bansal. The funds raised will help Mudrex in scaling up the team and operations, acquiring global regulatory compliances, and creating innovative products.
Wiz Freight, a full-stack digital freight management platform for emerging markets, on Tuesday announced that it has raised $3.5 million fund in its seed round led by Axilor. The round also saw participation from Arali Ventures and Foundamental, along with angel investors Ramakant Sharma, Co-founder of LivSpace, and Daniel Richner, Chairman of M+R Spedag Group, a Swiss-based logistics conglomerate. Founded by logistics veterans Ramkumar Govindarajan and Ramkumar Ramachandran, Wiz’s full-stack platform allows enterprises and SMBs to automate their cross-border logistics operations.
FlashPrep, a Bengaluru-based exam preparation companion that allows aspirants to study, practise and self-evaluate by taking tests and challenges on their study material, has raised $500,000 in a pre-seed round led by Venture Highway. The funding round also witnessed additional participation from Better Capital, First Cheque, and a few angel investors. The startup plans to use the fresh funds to strengthen and amplify the company's user base and expand product offerings.
India outranked countries like the US, Brazil, and Philippines in terms of highest engagement on Facebook during the Tokyo Olympics 2020, with gold medalist Neeraj Chopra being the second most mentioned athlete on the global social networking platform. Facebook shared data from July 23-August 8, 2021 reflecting trends on Facebook and Instagram.
Kenko Health, a Mumbai-based health insurtech startup, has raised $1.7 million as a part of its pre-Series A round from BEENEXT and Orios as co-lead investors. This round also saw participation from Accelerator VC, 9Unicorns, and Waveform Ventures. The startup said the investment will primarily be used for product development, specifically in the OPD space, and to expand the core team.
Reliance Industries Ltd’s wholly-owned subsidiary Reliance New Energy Solar Ltd (RNESL), Bill Gates, Fortistar, Goehring & Rozencwajg Associates, Japan Energy Fund, and others have invested a total of $144 million in Massachusetts-based energy company, Ambri Inc. According to an official statement, RNESL will invest $ 50 million to acquire 42.3 million shares of preferred stock in Ambri. Both parties are in talks for an exclusive collaboration to set up a large scale battery manufacturing facility in India to help add scale and bring down costs for Reliance’s green energy initiative.
Credgenics, a SaaS-based end-to-end debt resolution and legal automation platform, has received $25 million in a Series A round, and multiplied its valuation by 5.5 times to $100 million within just six months from its last fundraise. The financing round is led by investors Westbridge Capital and Tanglin Venture Partners, along with the participation of investors Ashneer Grover, Founder and CEO – BharatPe, Abhimanyu Munjal, MD and CEO – Hero Fincorp Group, Karthik Bhat, Founder – Force Ventures, Kushal and Gautam, Founders – Fareye.