Startup news and updates: Daily roundup (October 8, 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 Friday, October 8, 2021.
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28 unicorns created in India this year: FM Nirmala Sitharaman

The Indian economy has witnessed the creation of 28 unicorns, or startups valued over $ 1 billion, this year on the back of a series of reforms unleashed by the government, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Thursday.

Addressing a virtual conference organised by the Indian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (IVCA), the minister said the Indian economy has witnessed a spurt of unprecedented growth in the form of startups in the last two decades.

RBI retains India's GDP growth forecast at 9.5 pc for FY22

The Reserve Bank on Friday retained the GDP forecast for the current financial year at 9.5 percent and flagged global semiconductor shortages, elevated commodity prices, and potential global financial market volatility as downside risks to economic growth.

In his address after the three-day meeting of the rate-setting panel, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said the recovery in aggregate demand gathered pace in August-September, and it is reflected in high-frequency indicators like railway freight traffic, port cargo, cement production, electricity demand, e-way bills, GST, and toll collections.

Shaktikanta Das , RBI Governor

Have asked Tesla to make electric cars in India; govt will give all support: Nitin Gadkari

Union minister Nitin Gadkari on Friday said he has asked US-based Tesla several times to manufacture its iconic electric vehicles in India, while assuring that all support will be provided by the government to the company.

Addressing 'India Today Conclave 2021', Gadkari further said electric cars manufactured by Tata Motors are not less good than electric cars manufactured by Tesla.

Log 9 Materials raises $2M from Petronas Ventures (Funding)

Advanced battery-tech startup Log 9 Materials said it raised $2 million (around Rs 14 crore) in a funding round from Malaysia-based global energy and solutions company Petronas' venture capital arm Petronas Ventures.

In August, the platform had raised $8.5 million (Rs 63 crore) in a Series A+ round led by Amara Raja Batteries. With the fresh capital raise, Log 9 Materials said it has concluded its Series A+ round of $10 million, where investors, including Exfinity Ventures, Sequoia Capital India's Surge Programme, and a clutch of strategic angel investors, also participated.

Social platform Chingari taps into Solana’s blockchain with $19M financing round (Funding)

Chingari, a social media platform for sharing short-form videos with over 78 million downloads, has completed a funding round of over $19 million from more than 30 venture funds and individual investors. 

The funding will help the startup to build its token called ‘$GARI’ with Solana, the fastest-growing ecosystem in crypto technology.

Microsoft acquires SaaS startup Ally.io to help employees embrace 'new normal'

Microsoft has acquired Ally.io, a SaaS startup headquartered in Seattle with a centre in Chennai, and founded by Vetri Vellore for an undisclosed value.

A blog post by Microsoft quoting Kirk Koenigbauer, COO and Corporate VP, Experiences + Devices, said, “Ally.io, a leading OKR (objectives and key results) company, will join the Microsoft Viva family as part of our employee experience platform (EXP) designed to help companies embrace the new digital work life.”

Office furniture brand Transteel raises Rs 4 Cr through Klub (Funding)

Transteel, a D2C brand for office furniture targeted at SMEs and middle-market companies, has received growth capital of Rs 4 crore from investors, including a revenue-based financing player, Klub.

Launched in May 2020, Transteel offers premium office furniture built for startups, small- and medium-sized business owners. With pan India delivery, the startup is engaging directly with the consumers which helped them achieve numbers of 40,000 online orders since May 2020.

RBI raises IMPS limit from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 5 lakh to promote digital transactions

In a bid to promote digital transactions, the Reserve Bank of India on Friday proposed to increase the per transaction limit from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 5 lakh through Immediate Payment Service (IMPS).

IMPS managed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) is an important payment system providing 24x7 instant domestic funds transfer facility and is accessible through various channels like internet banking, mobile banking apps, bank branches, ATMs, SMS, and IVRS.

CoinSwitch Kuber onboards Ranveer Singh as brand ambassador

Indian crypto exchange CoinSwitch Kuber today announced it has onboarded Bollywood star Ranveer Singh as its first-ever brand ambassador.

Through the association, CoinSwitch Kuber aims to leverage Ranveer Singh’s mass appeal, along with his popularity among Gen Z and millennial customers, to highlight the growing acceptance of crypto in India and build awareness and trust around it.