Startup news and updates: daily roundup (August 2, 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 2, 2021.
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Unacademy raises $440M led by Temasek at $3.4B valuation (Funding)

Edtech unicorn Unacademy has raised $440 million in a new round of funding led by Singapore's Temasek along with other existing backers like Softbank Vision Fund, General Atlantic, and Tiger Global Management.

The new round will increase the valuation of the startup to $3.44 billion, an increase of 70 percent from $2 billion in December last year.

MS Dhoni invests in HomeLane, to endorse brand

Home interiors company HomeLane on Monday said it has entered into a three-year strategic partnership with ace cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni as an equity partner and brand ambassador. As part of the partnership, Dhoni will own equity in HomeLane and will be its first brand ambassador, a statement said.

B2B FMCG wholesale platform Apnaklub raises $3.5M from Sequoia’s Surge (Funding)

Apnaklub, a Bengaluru-based B2B wholesale platform for consumer goods (FMCG), has announced that it has raised $3.5 million in a seed round from Sequoia Capital India’s Surge, bringing the total funds raised so far to $5 million. 

Co-founder and COO Manish Kumar said the funding will enable the startup to expand across more rural areas in India as well as increase its range of services and products for its partners.

Fintech unicorn Pine Labs to train and recruit Olympics, Asian Games athletes every year

In a first of its kind move, fintech unicorn Pine Labs plans to annually "recruit, train, and employ" at least three Asian games athletes and/or Olympians from the past.

Pine Labs plans to "provide a safe landing" to athletes in their post-sports careers. This is the first time that a startup would be offering jobs to sportspeople.

PM Modi to launch digital payment solution e-RUPI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch e-RUPI, a person and purpose-specific digital payment solution, on Monday via video conferencing, his office said.

e-RUPI is a QR code or SMS string-based e-voucher, which is delivered to the mobile of the beneficiaries, a statement said.

Image credit: The official Twitter handle of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 for India

Tokyo Olympics: India women's team reach hockey semifinals

A brave and determined Indian women's hockey team etched its name in the history books by entering the Olympic Games semifinals for the first time, stunning three-time champions and world no. 2 Australia 1-0 in an intense last-eight tie here on Monday.

A day after the Indian men's team entered the Olympic semifinals following a 49-year gap, the world no. 9 women's side also produced a phenomenally gritty performance to make their way into the last four.

[Funding alert] MoEngage raises $32.5M from Multiples Alternate Asset Management, others

Moengage, an insights-led customer engagement platform on Saturday said it has raised $32.5 million (Rs 241.7 crore) in a funding round, led by Multiples Alternate Asset Management. Existing investors Eight Roads Ventures, F-Prime Capital and Matrix Partners, also participated, while Exfinity Venture Partners made a healthy exit in this round, a statement said.

Zomato rolls out invite-only Pro Plus membership for unlimited free deliveries

Foodtech major Zomato is rolling out an invite-only Zomato Pro Plus membership, which will let its members get unlimited free deliveries without surcharges and distance fee along with all pro benefits, CEO Deepinder Goyal announced on social media. In a tweet, he announced that Zomato has 1.8 million Zomato Pro members as of today, and that Zomato is launching a "Limited Edition Pro Plus" membership for select customers, which is "something like Amazon Prime".

Ahead of listing, Policybazaar files DRHP for Rs 6017.50 crore IPO

PB Fintech, which operates online insurance platform Policybazaar and credit comparison portal Paisabazaar, has filed preliminary papers with market regulator Sebi to raise Rs 6,017.50 crore through an initial public offer (IPO). The IPO comprises a fresh issue of Rs 3,750 crore worth of equity shares and an offer for sale (OFS) of Rs 2,267.50 crore by existing shareholders, according to the draft red herring prospectus (DRHP).

[Funding alert] ChefKart raises $300K from Titan Capital, Pravega Ventures, others

Gurugram-based ChefKart on Monday said it raised $300,000 in a pre-seed round from Titan Capital, Lead Angels, Pravega Ventures, Manyavar Family Office (Ravi Modi), Vipul Allawadhi (Co-founder, Kutumbh) and Puja Vijayvargiya.  ChefKart will use the funds to develop a product that can help users manage end-to-end kitchen needs, upskilling, training of cooks, acquiring more customers and chefs on the platform, and scaling up the business in Noida, Delhi.

[Funding alert] B2B startup Fashinza raises $20M in Series A round co-led by Accel Partners, Elevation Capital

Fashinza, a B2B manufacturing marketplace that solves apparel/fashion supply chain challenges by connecting fashion brands to experienced manufacturers, on Monday announced that it has raised $20 million in a mix of equity and debt as part of Series A round. The funds raised will be used by the Gurugram-based startup to invest in supply chain technology and expand the company’s presence and manufacturers' base globally, especially in the US and the Middle East.

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