Startup news and updates: daily roundup (September 1, 2021)

YourStory presents daily roundup of the latest startup news and updates from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Wednesday, September 1, 2021.

Startup news and updates: daily roundup (September 1, 2021)

Wednesday September 01, 2021,

8 min Read

3M Indian accounts banned by WhatsApp between June 16-July 31

Over three million Indian accounts were banned by WhatsApp while 594 grievance reports were received by the messaging platform between June 16-July 31, according to its compliance report.

In its latest report released on Tuesday, WhatsApp said 3,027,000 Indian accounts were banned on WhatsApp during the said period. An Indian account is identified via a +91 phone number, it added.

Trifecta Capital announces launch of Debt Fund — III with a target corpus of Rs 1,000 Cr

Trifecta Capital has announced the launch of its third venture debt fund, Trifecta Venture Debt Fund – III. The Fund — with a target corpus of Rs 1,000 crore ($133 million) and a greenshoe option of Rs 500 crore ($67 million) — will be the largest in the series of venture debt funds managed by the firm.

It aims to serve the rapidly growing financing opportunities for Indian startups, with a focus on investing in B2B marketplaces, D2C brands, and SaaS startups. In 2021 alone, the Indian startup ecosystem has seen 24 new entrants to the unicorn club, and has attracted $26 billion in equity financing in the first eight months of 2021.

Around 18 unicorns to hit street with $11-12 billion IPOs in 2 years: Bofa

The fast swelling unicorn universe in the startup ecosystem is set to witness a flurry of share sales as around 18 large startups are set to hit primary markets to raise $ 11-12 billion over the next 24 months, according to a Wall Street brokerage.

The domestic startups have created around 60 unicorns, having $1 billion valuations or more, and 20 of them this year alone. Many reports predict that the number will cross the 100-mark this year, going by the massive fund inflows into startups.


Amazon Retail launches agronomy services for farmers

Amazon Retail has announced the launch of its agronomy services for farmers that will provide timely advice and enable them to make accurate decisions on actions required for their crops.

The initiative will also introduce machine learning technology for better produce and build a robust supply chain infrastructure, a statement said.

Amazon Retail is engaged in the business of manufacturing and retailing of food products produced and/or manufactured in India.

South Korea bans Google, Apple payment monopolies

South Korea's National Assembly on Tuesday approved legislation that bans app store operators such as Google and Apple from forcing developers to use their in-app payment systems.

South Korea is reportedly the first country in the world to pass such a bill, which becomes law when it is signed by the president, whose party has backed the legislation.


Representational Image

Kerala government to promote entrepreneurship, provide assistance to startups

The Kerala government will take all possible steps to promote entrepreneurship and is committed to provide all possible assistance to startups, Director of State Industries and Commerce Department S Harikishore has said.

He said more change is expected in the MSME sector as small and medium enterprises do not need a licence for three years.

India poised for stronger growth on structural reforms, government capex push: CEA

India's macroeconomic fundamentals are much stronger, and the country is all set for robust growth on the back of structural reforms, the government's capex push, and rapid vaccination, Chief Economic Adviser KV Subramanian said on Tuesday.

Briefing media on the growth number, he said the GDP data for the first quarter reaffirms the government's prediction of an imminent V-shaped recovery made last year.

Q1 GDP growth to set tone for economic revival in coming quarters, says Niti Aayog VC

India's growth rebound in the first quarter of this fiscal will be the foundation of sustained expansion in successive quarters, Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar said on Tuesday, adding that the country's GDP growth estimates may get revised upwards in the coming weeks.

Women in mining

Akanksha Kumari 

Akanksha becomes Coal India's first woman engineer to work in underground mine

Akanksha Kumari has become Coal India's first woman mining engineer to work in an underground mine, Coal India Ltd’s (CIL) arm Central Coalfields Ltd (CCL) said on Tuesday.

She is the second woman mining engineer in the Maharatna conglomerate CIL, and the first one to join CCL at its Churi underground mines in North Karanpura area in Jharkhand.

Venture Catalysts and IAN lead Rs 5 Cr funding round in industrial robotics startup Peppermint (Funding)

Venture Catalysts and Indian Angel Network have led a funding of Rs 5 crore in Peppermint, an industrial robot manufacturing company that makes and deploys commercial housekeeping and service robots. The round also saw participation from Vinners Group and a group of angel investors led by Naveen Kumar Kshatriya.

The startup will utilise the fresh capital infusion to enhance the current production facility and ramp up its production capacity. A part of the funding will be dedicated towards R&D as the company aims to spur innovation in India’s robotics sector through the implementation of advanced, cutting-edge technology offerings. Peppermint will also allocate the investment in scaling its business across India and the Middle East.

World's 2nd largest crypto exchange Coinbase to integrate Indian startup Polygon's scaling solution

In a blog last weekCoinbase - the world's second-largest crypto exchange by daily volume - said it is planning to integrate Indian startup Polygon's Layer 2 (L2) solution as its first scaling solution.

Just as it announced support for the Polygon network for both Coinbase Wallet and extension, it now plans to integrate the scaling solution to reduce prices and settlement times.

Neobank platform moneyHOP raises $1.25M in seed round (Funding)

moneyHOP, a UK-based company with an Indian subsidiary that provides seamless and cost-effective payments and remittance solutions, has raised $1.25 million in a seed round. The funding was led by UK-based investors and managing directors from various multinational investment banks with experience in financial services.

This capital infusion will help moneyHOP strengthen its team at all levels, pursue aggressive growth targets, venture into the cross-border MSME payment space, and expand its international presence. Some of the investors from the previous round held in 2020 also participated in the round.

YC-backed edtech startup Codingal raises $1.2M in seed round (Funding)

Edtech startup and a coding platform for K-12 students Codingal Education on Wednesday announced that it has raised $1.2 million in its seed funding round, led by Y Combinator, Summer Capital, Day One Syndicate, and Rebright Partners. Prominent angel investors Nate Lipscomb (Senior Product Counsel, Youtube), Ganesh Rengaswamy (Managing Partner, Quona Capital), and Peter Weck (Co-founder, Simply Hired and StoryJumper) also participated in the round.

Voice AI startup Skit raises $23M in Series B round from WestBridge Capital (Funding)

AI-first SaaS voice automation startup Skit (formerly known as has secured $23 million as part of its Series B funding to fuel the next level of growth and product evolution.

The investment was led by WestBridge Capital with participation from Kalaari Capital and Exfinity Ventures, Angelist syndicate led by Aaryaman Vir Shah from Prophetic Ventures, and LetsVenture syndicate led by Sense AI.


OYO launches digital self-onboarding tool to shorten onboarding process

Zooming its focus on technology, Oyo has launched a self-onboarding tool — OYO 360 — which will enable hotels to turn into an OYO in under 30 minutes, according to the hospitality unicorn.

The company said that the fully digital OYO 360 tool will simplify the onboarding process, and will fast-track onboarding in 30 minutes, as against a typical 15-day process.

Majority of two-wheeler dealers yet to register themselves as MSMEs: Survey

While a large number of commercial and passenger vehicles have registered themselves as micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), the two-wheeler segment is yet to report a breakthrough in this direction, according to a survey released by CRISIL.

The survey titled 'Auto dealers upbeat despite second wave,' further stated that most of the dealers (76 percent) are not aware of the various credit schemes available for MSMEs and have only availed moratorium extension till now.

Google Search, Maps, and Assistant to now offer detailed info on COVID-19 vaccine availability

Google on Wednesday said users will be able to get more information about vaccine availability and appointments for over 13,000 locations in the country across its three products — Search, Maps, and Assistant — starting this week.

The information is powered by real-time data from the CoWIN APIs and includes details like availability of appointment slots at each centre, vaccines, and doses offered (Dose 1 or Dose 2), pricing (paid or free), and link to the CoWIN website for booking, a statement said.