Startup news and updates: daily roundup (Dec 24, 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, December 24, 2021.
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Actor Varun Dhawan backs sports nutrition brand Fast&Up

Mumbai-headquartered sports nutrition and supplement brand Fast&Up has raised an undisclosed amount in funding from actor Varun Dhawan. The round comes soon after Morgan Stanley Private Equity Asia invested $22 million in the company as part of its Series C round. 

Founded in 2015 by Vijayaraghavan Venugopal, Snehal Champaklal, Shilpa Khanna and Varun Khanna, Fullife Healthcare which owns and operates Fast&Up sells its products online through marketplaces, direct-to-consumer and retail channels.

With the capital infusion, the company plans to enhance manufacturing capabilities and expand globally, apart from investing in product research to add new categories. The brand claims to serve over 100 million people a month and has launched 20 new products in 2020 as a result of a spike in demand.

Mamaearth acquires Momspresso

Honasa Consumer Private Limited (HPCL), the parent company of beauty brands Mamaearth and The Derma Co. has announced the acquisition of parenting content platform Momspresso and associated influencer marketing platform, Momspresso MyMoney for an undisclosed amount.

The acquisition will add content, influencer marketing and engagement to HPCL’s platform. 

Following the acquisition, Momspresso will continue to function as an independent brand and its founding team of Vishal Gupta, Asif Mohamed and Prashant Sinha will continue to run the operations. Founded in 2010, Momspresso has 60,000 content creators on its platform across 10 languages. 

The acquisition is part of HPCL’s house-of-brands strategy through which it wants to go deeper in the direct-to-consumer beauty and personal care segment. The company was valued at $730 million in a round led by Sofina Ventures in July. 

Salesforce launches startup programme in India

San Francisco, US-headquartered cloud-based software company Salesforce has announced the launch of Salesforce Startup Program in India. Salesforce will help startups selected under the programme with access to Salesforce technology, experts, ecosystems, and business mentorship. This is the first global programme announced by the company for mentoring startups.

The programme will give startups access to Salesforce Services such as CRM platform, Slack, Tableau and others. It will also give startups access to the AppExchange Partner Program helping them sell to leading enterprises.

This will also open up the startups to potential investment opportunities through Salesforce Ventures, said Sanket Atal, Senior Vice President and Managing Director - Sites at Salesforce India. He further added that the programme is not restricted by cohort size or stage of companies that can apply.

D2C focused fund Fluid Ventures invest in sustainable wooden toys brand Shumee Toys

Fluid ventures, D2C-focused VC fund backs Shumee, a Bangalore-based toy brand that makes sustainable and development-friendly wooden toys and games for ages 0 to 7 using natural materials and non-toxic colours.

Founded by Harvard and IIT Delhi alumna Meeta Sharma Gupta in 2016, Shumee claims to have sold over 200,000 toys both in India and internationally through its own website and Amazon.

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