Startup news and updates: Daily roundup (September 23, 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 Thursday, September 23, 2021.
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Over 500 Freshworks employees in India turn crorepatis; ‘great sense of fulfilment,’ says CEO Girish Mathrubootham

Freshworks on Wednesday became the first Indian unicorn to go public in the US and with that, more than 500 of the B2B SaaS company’s employees in India have become crorepatis (a person whose assets are worth at least one crore or Rs 10 million), said Co-founder and CEO Girish Mathrubootham.

The 46-year-old entrepreneur who grew up in the ancient city of Trichy in Tamil Nadu now feels a “great sense of fulfilment” for ensuring wealth creation for his employees, thanks to the Freshworks initial public offering (IPO).

“Dream come true,” says Girish Mathrubootham as Freshworks becomes first Indian SaaS unicorn to list in the US

“Today is a dream come true for me -- from humble beginnings in Trichy to ringing the bell at Nasdaq for the FreshWorks IPO. Thank you to our employees, customers, partners, and investors for believing in this dream,” said Girish Mathrubootham, Co-founder and CEO of Freshworks, after the Indian-origin unicorn became the first Indian B2B SaaS company to list on the US stock markets.

Telehealth startup Practo forays into secondary healthcare with the launch of surgery experience centres

Bengaluru-based telemedicine and mobile health startup Practo has forayed into the secondary care market and unveiled over 50 Practo Care Surgery Experience Centers in six cities, including Bengaluru, Mumbai, Pune, Delhi-NCR, Hyderabad, and Ahmedabad. 

According to the official statement, Practo has also roped in Rahul Dravid as the brand ambassador.

Fintech startup Chqbook raises Rs 40 Cr in pre-Series B round (Funding)

Gurugram and Bengaluru-based fintech startup Chqbook on Thursday said it has raised Rs 40 crore in a pre-Series B investment round led by existing investors Aavishkaar Capital and the Rajiv Dadlani Group, among others.

The startup said it will use funds from the latest round to ramp up its user acquisition and bolster its technology.

Mphasis acquires US-based Blink for $94M

IT services firm Mphasis on Wednesday announced the acquisition of US-based Blink for up to $94 million (about Rs 694.3 crore).

Founded in 2000, Seattle-headquartered Blink provides design consultancy services around user experience (UX), user research-based software product design and strategy, and customer experience (CX) design for marquee brands. With over 130 employees, Blink has additional studios in Austin, Boston, San Diego, and San Francisco.

Home construction marketplace Kolo raises $550K from Better Capital (Funding)

Bengaluru-based home construction marketplace Kolo has raised $550,000 in a pre-seed funding round led by Better Capital. Home construction VC Singularity Ventures, and other marquee angel investors, including Ex-GoPay CEO Aldi Haryopratomo, Jiva.ag CPO Aakash, Shopup CEO Sujayath, GSF Founder Rajesh Sawhney, and Ex-Babajobs Founder Vir Kasyap.

 

Kolo will use the funds for building the initial team, product development, and establishing a dominant position in the first few markets in India.

Tata Group to invest Rs 110 Cr in healthtech firm Karkinos

Comprehensive oncology platform Karkinos has closed a funding round with the Tatas with an investment commitment of Rs 110 crore, according to industry sources.

Tata group plans to invest about Rs 35 crore immediately and put in the rest of the capital in tranches, to take a minority stake in Karkinos Healthcare.

Invested over $13B in teams, tech since 2016 on prioritising user safety and security: Facebook

Facebook has said it has been working on ensuring safety and security of users and has invested more than $13 billion in teams and technology in this area since 2016. The social media giant noted that its "advanced AI" has helped block 3 billion fake accounts in the first half of this year.

The comments come after reports stated that the US-based company had failed to fix the platform's flaws despite being flagged on numerous occasions.

India committed to clean energy-based economy: Union Minister Nitin Gadkari

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday said India is committed to an eminently achievable clean energy-based economy, and added that the country will soon have a policy for flex-fuel engines.

The road transport and highways minister further said India is shifting its public transport fleet to green fuels like bio-CNG, ethanol, methanol, electricity, and green hydrogen, which will also provide citizens some respite from surging petrol prices.

Big push to infra, education, healthcare needed for sustainable growth: Das

Reserve Bank Governor Shaktikanta Das on Wednesday underlined the need for a big push to infrastructure investment, education, and digital economy to achieve sustainable growth and generate jobs in smaller cities.