Startup news and updates: Daily roundup (October 5, 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 Tuesday, October 5, 2021.
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Meet India's first D2C unicorn Licious, raises $52M Series G round (Funding)

D2C fresh meat brand Licious on Tuesday entered the coveted billion-dollar unicorn club. The Bengaluru-based startup raised $52 million in a Series G round led by IIFL AMC's Late-Stage Tech Fund, with a valuation of $1 billion.

Speaking on the development, Vivek Gupta and Abhay Hanjura, Co-founders, Licious, said, "As the category leader, we aim at paving the way for the second wave of young startups that can join hands in fully harnessing the potential that the industry has to offer. We will continue to build the category through investments in technology for supply chain excellence, product innovation, talent, and vendor partner upgrades."

Ola acquires geospatial services startup GeoSpoc

Bengaluru-based ride-hailing unicorn Ola has acquired Pune-based geospatial services startup Geospoc. Post acquisition, the Ola team will be building new geo location technologies.

Bhavish Aggarwal, Co-founder and Group CEO, Ola, made the announcement in the company blog and said: "New mobility will see profound changes in the way people move. New vehicle form factors and modes of transport will transform our day-to-day lives. These fundamental changes will require investments in next-gen technologies, including location and geospatial technologies, and advancements in satellite imagery conversion into real-time maps as well as 3D, HD, and vector maps.

Live video infrastructure startup 100ms raises $4.5M led by Accel (Funding)

Live video infrastructure platform 100ms on Tuesday said it raised a seed round of $4.5 million led by Accel, with participation from Strive VC. 

100ms — founded by the team that built live video infrastructure at Facebook and Disney-Hotstar — provides infrastructure that allows any company to add Zoom-style video conferencing inside their app within hours, the company said in a statement.

Mobility startup Chalo raises $40M in Series C led by Lightrock India and Filter Capital (Funding)

Chalo, a public transport technology company, on Tuesday, announced that it has raised about $40 million in its Series C round led by Lightrock India and Filter Capital.

The round also saw participation from existing investors WaterBridge Ventures, Raine Venture Partners, Neeraj Arora (former Chief Business Officer, WhatsApp) and Amit Singhal (former SVP, Google), all of whom were early investors in the company. The Raine Group was the exclusive advisor for this transaction, the company stated.

Kaar Technologies raises Rs 30 Cr from BlackSoil (Funding)

Kaar Technologies, a pure-play SAP digital transformation consulting and services partner, has raised Rs 30 crore ($4.036 million) in acquisition financing facility from alternative credit platform BlackSoil Capital.

The Chennai-based company said it will use the funding to fuel its inorganic international expansion in the United States of America, thereby strengthening its presence in North America. 

EKKI invests in agritech startup Kissan Pro (Funding)

Pumps and water technologies manufacturer EKKI on Tuesday said it invested an undisclosed amount in Kissan Proa Bengaluru-based agri-tech startup, which offers a crop management platform. UAE-based Manu Midha of Innovacer, White Hill Ventures and Amit Tripathy of Oyo also participated in the round.

Founded in 2020, Kissan Pro — which works on a phygital model — provides an all-in-one platform to empower farmers through technology, design, and data science. While it develops and promotes the effective use of the most advanced technology, it has also help centres in every cluster where farmers can visit and get all necessary support.  

Greg Moran, Co-founder and CEO, Zoomcar

Zoomcar sets up office in San Francisco ahead of US listing next year

Car sharing marketplace Zoomcar on Tuesday said it has opened an office in San Francisco ahead of its US listing next year.

The new office in the US will further bolster Zoomcar's push to create a global car-sharing platform and prepare the company for its broader global marketplace, a statement said.

Dairy.com enters India with the acquisition of Mr Milkman

US-based dairy technology, services, and intelligence provider, Dairy.com, has made its first investment in India with the acquisition of Mr Milkman, a last-mile dairy supply chain SaaS platform. The company has acquired a 100 percent stake in Mr Milkman to strengthen its integrated supply chain solution offerings for dairies worldwide. 

The two companies will use their combined agribusiness technologies, development resources, and industry expertise to enable and innovate last-mile dairy supply chain solutions for markets in India and abroad.

India AI market to reach $7.8B by 2025: IDC

The artificial intelligence (AI) market in India is expected to grow at a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.2 percent and touch $7.8 billion in total revenues by 2025, according to research firm IDC.

Businesses in India will accelerate the adoption of both AI-centric and AI non-centric applications for the next five years, IDC said in a statement.

Myntra is expecting 20 percent growth in their basket size in the coming months as it enters the beauty category

Myntra bullish on beauty and personal care; to compete with Nykaa, others

Fashion ecommerce platform Myntra says it is bullish on beauty and personal care as it looks to expand.

The platform is using over a decade-long experience in apparel to acquire customers for Myntra Beauty.

The Flipkart-owned ecommerce platform plans on adding 1,000 brands by the end of this year — up from 650 brands currently selling on its platform.

Tekion raises $250M as valuation rises to $3.5B (Funding)

Tekion, a SaaS unicorn focused on the automotive sector founded by former Tesla CIO, has raised $250 million in Series D round with its valuation more than trebling to $3.5 billion.

Tekion, which is headquartered in Silicon Valley, US, has offices in Bengaluru and Chennai. It was founded by Jay Vijayan in 2016, and attained unicorn status last October at a valuation of $1 billion.

Govt mulling to broaden PLI scheme to attract gaming device makers: MeitY official

The government is looking to widen the production-linked incentive scheme and provide other possible incentives to attract gaming device manufacturers, a senior IT and electronics ministry official said Tuesday.

Ministry of Electronics and IT joint secretary Saurabh Gaur, in an online IAMAI roundtable discussion, said steps are also being taken with the support of the information and broadcasting ministry and culture ministry to promote the gaming ecosystem in the country.

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