Exciting developments kept the Indian startup ecosystem on its toes today -- from Apple launching iPhone 12 to Dropbox becoming the first Virtual First company -- here is all you need to know.
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The top startup stories of the day:
India’s startup ecosystem is recovering faster than expected – ‘COVID-19 and the Antifragility of Indian Startup Ecosystem’ Report
TiE Delhi-NCR has released ‘COVID-19 and the Antifragility of Indian Startup Ecosystem,’ report in partnership with Zinnov, a global management and strategy consulting firm. The report provides an in-depth understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on the Indian startup ecosystem, by assessing multiple dimensions like funding and M&A landscape, sectoral impact, entrepreneur and investor sentiments, and changing market behaviour.
The report highlights how COVID-19 took a toll on Indian startups as 15% have had to halt operations, and 44% have cash runway for less than six months. While the impact has been severe, several sectors have recovered to pre-COVID level. However, as the economy opened, the report suggests that the pace of recovery – both in demand and in investor sentiment – has been faster than expected. Shift to digital consumption has provided the necessary tailwind to sectors such as education, healthcare, and commerce; while several sectors like travel, hospitality, and mobility, that were negatively impacted, are now on a recovery path.
Further, deal activity – both in terms of total investments and the number of unique funded startups – has recovered to pre-COVID levels during the quarter that ended in September 2020. Interestingly, four Indian startups have become unicorns amidst COVID-19, and India is on track to have eight unicorns in 2020 – almost the same number of additions as in 2019.
Anveshan raises Rs 1.12 crore in the pre-seed funding round led by Titan Capital
Foodtech startup and D2C brand, Anveshan has raised Rs 1.12 crore in the pre-seed funding round led by Titan Capital. With this fresh influx of capital, the company will focus on expanding its supply chain and operations across India.
The startup creates food micro-Entrepreneurs in villages across India that make these food products using traditional practices while ensuring quality control through traceability.
EarlySalary launches’ Salary Card’ powered by RuPay
The lending platform, EarlySalary, has launched ‘Salary Card’ in collaboration with NPCI to democratize digital payments system. The ‘Salary Card’ is a zero-touch digital card that will provide instant access for salaried professionals, enabling them to make instant purchases across thousands of merchants across India. Powered by RuPay, the card comes with features that allow consumers the flexibility of setting up a dynamic credit limit to suit their shopping, medical, travel, entertainment and other needs.
Backed by advanced Machine Learning (ML) technologies and risk-oriented decision-making mechanisms, the ‘Salary Card’ is designed to serve as a secure payment mode to help consumers spend responsibly. A customer can activate the card within seconds by accessing the EarlySalary mobile app.
Apple launches new iPhone12
Tech Giant Apple launched four new iPhone 12 phones as part of its 2020 series -- iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12 Pro & a Max variant of the Pro. All new iPhones support 5G technology and are packed with the latest A14 Bionic under the hood. In terms of the India process, these devices start from INR 69,900 iPhone 12 Mini, going all the way up to INR 129,900 for iPhone 12 Pro Max. Apple also unveiled a compact smart speaker called the HomePod mini.
Twitter suspends accounts claiming to be Black Trump supporters over spam, manipulation
Twitter suspends several accounts that claimed to be owned by Black supporters of President Donald Trump and his re-election campaign, saying the accounts broke its rules on spam and platform manipulation.
Dropbox becomes ‘Virtual First’ company
Cloud storage company Dropbox will now allow all its employees to work from home going forward through June 2021. The company in a blog post said ‘Starting today, Dropbox is becoming a Virtual First company. Remote work (outside an office) will be the primary experience for all employees and the day-to-day default for individual work.’
The moves come after the company conducted an internal survey where they found that most employees say they’re able to be productive at home (nearly 90%) and don’t want to return to a rigid five-day in-office workweek.
The company also announced that it would convert its existing real estate properties into flexible co-working spaces called ‘Dropbox studios’ to facilitate collaborative & team building work.
Softbank invests in ed-tech startup Kahoot
Softbank has invested $215 million in ed-tech startup Kahoot. SoftBank took a 9.7% stake in the company, as demand for online learning platforms skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Oslo-based firm plans to use the funding to accelerate the growth through value-creating non-organic opportunities and to build the platform.
Over the last 12 months, the ed-tech startup claims it has witnessed 45% growth in users with over 20 million active accounts and reached 360,000 paying subscriptions in Q3 2020, a 160% year-over-year increase year over year. The company aims to reach 400,000 before the end of the quarter.