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There were several developments in the startup space during the day. Here are top startup updates of the day:
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Flipkart exploring options to list in India or abroad, say sources
Walmart-owned Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart is exploring options to list either in India or overseas; sources told CNBC-TV18. According to the sources, the Bengaluru-based online retail platform is set to dilute around 10 percent of its shares to raise $ 1 billion and a valuation of approximately $35-40 billion.
“An IPO has always been part of Flipkart’s long-term strategy. However, the focus is on growth and democratizing commerce in India through technology while unlocking customer value. The biggest areas of investment for Flipkart will continue to be in technology, operations, and new capabilities,” said the e-commerce giant.
The development comes amid reports that retail giant Walmart that bought a 77 percent stake in Flipkart back in 2018 for $ 16 billion, is preparing for Flipkart’s initial public offering in the US.
FreshToHome to receive funding from the Abu Dhabi Investment Office
Online brand in fresh fish and meat e-commerce FreshToHome will receive financial and non-financial incentives from the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) to develop cutting-edge projects in Abu Dhabi with the intent to boost the emirate’s Agriculture Technology (AgTech) capabilities. FreshToHome will invest in next-generation aquaculture and agriculture solutions to support food production in arid and desert climates. The ADIO’s incentives will enable research and technology development to expand existing capabilities in Abu Dhabi’s AgTech ecosystem and promote innovation in the AgTech sector to address global food security challenges.
In addition to FreshToHome, ADIO has also partnered individually with two other AgTech companies, Pure Harvest and Nanoracks. Together with FreshtoHome, the three companies will receive financial and non-financial incentives totaling AED 152 million ($41 million) to expand their operations in Abu Dhabi and tap into the emirate’s innovation ecosystem and reliable infrastructure, enabling regulations to drive cutting-edge innovation across the entire agriculture value chain.
9Unicorns leads an undisclosed seed investment in KIKO TV
9Unicorns has led an undisclosed seed investment in live streaming e-commerce platform KIKO TV. The funding round also saw participation from investors like Vinayak Srivastava and Saket Dandotia (Co-founders– Toch), Sunil Kumar Singhvi (Managing Partner at Singhvi Heritage LLP), and Srinivas Kotta (Senior Technical role at Adobe)
Harvard University raises fund from Vijay Shekhar Sharma for Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute
Harvard University raises funding from Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma, which will support the activities and research performed by the Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute (LMSAI).
The fund would every year help two students from India receive a grant to pursue research at Harvard.
LEAD School acquires QuizNext
EdTech startup in India’s K-12 education segment, LEAD School, acquires QuizNext, an AI-powered gamified student assessment, and practice platform.
With this acquisition, LEAD School will further enhance its overall product offerings and help schools maintain their high education standards and deliver a 100% Complete School experience. Integration of QuizNext will bring new features for schools to serve their assessment needs while building students’ practice habits through gamified elements and personalized recommendations.
The acquisition of QuizNext follows LEAD School’s recent completion of a $28-million Series C funding round led by WestBridge Capital and existing investor Elevar Equity.
Byju Raveendran named to Bloomberg Businessweek’s 2020 Bloomberg 50 List
Bloomberg Businessweek has named Byju Raveendran to the 2020 Bloomberg 50, its annual list of innovators, entrepreneurs, and leaders who have changed the global business landscape over the past year.
In 2017, an unranked list, the ‘Bloomberg 50’ represented the most influential thought leaders in business, entertainment, finance, politics, science, and technology whose 2020 accomplishments were particularly noteworthy.
Regulation of Online Fantasy Sports
Niti AayogNiti Aayog has pitched for setting up a single self-regulatory organization for the online fantasy sports industry to be governed by the independent oversight board and suggested restricting online fantasy games to 18 years above. In a draft report titled ‘Guiding Principles for the Uniform National-Level Regulation of Online Fantasy Sports Platforms in India,’ the Aayog said public interest in the fantasy sports industry receiving government recognition industry and having its own identity. The government should recognize a single self-regulatory organization for the fantasy sports industry, it added.
Google Pay ties-up with Qwikcilver to Issue Real-Time Virtual Gift Cards to Users
End-to-end gifting and stored value solutions Qwikcilver has launched its Spot on Google Pay’s Spot Platform, allowing merchants to create branded commercial experiences within its app. Qwikcilver has launched the Woohoo virtual gift card store on Google Pay Spot Platform, enabling Google Pay users to purchase and send gift cards in real-time.
Users will now have the option to choose digital gift cards from over 150 leading brands that can be used at offline stores across 1500 cities and major online portals.
Jumbotail selected to join 11 leading-edge companies focused on solving the world’s greatest challenges at Unreasonable Impact Asia Pacific 2020
Jumbotail has been selected to join 11 other groundbreaking growth stage ventures at the 2020 Unreasonable Impact Asia Pacific program.
Impacting the future of food, energy, sustainable living, and supply chains, each entrepreneur is selected to participate based on their potential to address key social and environmental issues and create at least 500 jobs within the next five years.
The program connects the entrepreneurs to a global community of power-house mentors, and industry specialists, including experts from across Barclays through tried and tested methodologies and approaches.
Airbnb plans to raise the price target range for IPO: source
Airbnb has plans to raise the target price range for its initial public offering (IPO) to between $56 and $60 per share, underscoring demand for new US stocks, a person familiar with the matter said on Sunday.
On Tuesday, the US home rental firm had set a price range for its IPO to sell shares at $44 and $50 apiece.
Airbnb could communicate the upwardly revised price range to investors in a public filing on Monday, the source added, requesting anonymity as the plans are private.