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News roundup: Startup stories of the week

News roundup: Startup stories of the week

News roundup: Startup stories of the week
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By Palak Agarwal  Sept 5, 2020 6:40:26 PM IST (Published)

Here's a recap of what made headlines in the world of startups.

From 117 apps ban by the government, Unacademy entering the unicorn club to Akshay Kumar launching FauG, Eruditius raising fund from Chan Zuckerberg Fund, this week the startup was buzzing with funding news and new developments.

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Here's a recap of what made headlines in the world of startups:
Government bans PUBG, 117 other apps citing security concerns
The central government on Wednesday banned 118 mobile apps including the famous gaming app PUBG saying that these were engaged in activities which is prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order.
Some of these banned apps include PUBG MOBILE Nordic Map: Livik, PUBG MOBILE LITE, VPN for TikTok, Baidu, LivU Meet, Carrom Friends, Ludo All Star among others.
PUBG ban: Akshay Kumar, nCore Games to launch FAU-
Days after government banned PUBG and 117 other apps, actor Akshay Kumar partners with Vishal Gondal’s nCore Games to launch an action game called FAU-G. The game is based on real scenarios encountered by the Indian security forces to deal with both domestic and foreign threats. The game is expected to launch at the end of October with its first level set in the Galwan Valley backdrop followed by third person shooting game play in the subsequent releases.
RBI expands priority sector lending categories; includes startups
The RBI has expanded the scope of priority sector lending to include start-ups funding up to Rs 50 crore, and loans to farmers for installation of solar plants and compressed biogas plants. The Priority Sector Lending (PSL) guidelines have been comprehensively reviewed and revised to align it with emerging national priorities and bring sharper focus on inclusive development, after having wide ranging discussions with all stakeholders, the RBI said on Friday.
Unacademy zooms into unicorn club
Ed-tech platform Unacademy has raised an investment of $150 million in a round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2i. Existing investors General Atlantic, Sequoia Capital, Nexus Venture Partners, Facebook, and Blume Ventures also participated in the round. This latest funding round values Unacademy at $1.45 billion. Unacademy plans to utilise the funds to launch new products and build a world-class team and organisation.
Paytm's FY20 revenue rises to Rs 3,629 crore as losses decline by 40%
Homegrown financial services platform Paytm announced that its FY20 revenue increased to Rs 3,629 crore with a 40 percent decline in losses at Rs 2597.46 crore. The company said it has expanded its financial services with lending, wealth management and insurance offerings that have opened up new revenue streams. Paytm's Android-based POS devices have gained traction among SMEs, and kirana stores are adopting it rapidly.
WeWork India worth $500 million, global CEO Sandeep Mathrani joins board
WeWork India is now valued at $500 million after raising a $100 million funding from WeWork's parent company in June. With the funding, Sandeep Mathrani, global chief executive officer of WeWork, is now also part of WeWork India's board. The investment, which has been made through convertible debt instruments, will see The We Company taking an equity stake of 20 percent in WeWork India by the end of the next year, according to the coworking company's head Karan Virwani.
IT minister to Zuckerberg: Facebook India team dominated by people of certain 'political belief'
Union IT and law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has shot off a scathing letter to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, alleging that the Facebook India senior management, including the managing director, belong to a 'political belief' that has been 'defeated' in successive elections. Stating "serious concerns", Prasad has called on the Facebook CEO to put in place country-specific community guidelines, and stated that the company's outsourcing of fact checking to third party fact checkers is a "major issue" .
Twitter confirms account of India PM Modi's personal website hacked
Twitter confirmed on Thursday that an account of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's personal website was hacked with a series of tweets asking its followers to donate to a relief fund through cryptocurrency. The incident comes after several Twitter accounts of prominent personalities were hacked in July. Twitter said it was aware of the activity with Modi's website account and has taken steps to secure it
SoftBank bets on TikTok in India: Reports
As per reports, SoftBank Group Corp is exploring assembling a group of bidders for TikTok’s India assets and has been actively looking for local partners, according to people familiar with the matter. The Japanese conglomerate, which owns a stake in TikTok’s Chinese parent ByteDance, has also held talks with the heads of Reliance Jio Infocomm and Bharti Airtel over the past few months, people said, asking not to be identified because the details are private .
Zoom benefits from work from home boost; Earnings witnesses surge
One of the biggest beneficiaries of the pandemic - video conferencing company Zoom’s revenue rose 355% to $663.5 million in the quarter ended July 31. The company has also raised its annual revenue target for fiscal year 2021 to a range of $2.37 billion to $2.39 billion, from $1.78 billion to $1.80 billion previously.
At the end of the second quarter of fiscal year 2021, Zoom had approximately 370,200 customers with more than 10 employees, up approximately 458% from the same quarter last fiscal year. About 988 customers contribute more than $100,000 in trailing 12 months revenue, up approximately 112% from the same quarter last fiscal year.
Funding this week
Eruditus raises $113 million from Chan Zuckerberg fund, others; valuation doubles
The Eruditus Group, consisting of Eruditus Executive Education and its online division EMERITUS, announced its Series D fundraising of $113 million (including secondary sales) led by Leeds Illuminate and Prosus Ventures (formerly Naspers Ventures) with participation from Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and existing investors Sequoia India and Ved Capital.
Zomato raises Rs 456 crore from Temasek
Foodtech company Zomato has raised Rs 456 crore from a subsidiary of existing investor Temasek Holdings, a Singapore government-owned investment firm, as per data sourced from Tofler. MacRitchie Investments, the subsidiary of Tamasek has invested Rs 455.99 crore for 15,188 shares in the company. As per reports new investors Tiger Global and Kora Capital also participated in the round.
In other funding news
Home interiors and renovation platform Livspace has raised $90 million in an oversubscribed round led by Kharis Capital and Venturi Partners.
WL & RAC protection startup Railofy has raised Rs 70 million in seed round from Chiratae Ventures to solve the Waitlist problem in India.
Home interiors company, HomeLane, raised Rs 60 crore in a bridge funding round from Stride Ventures and existing investors.
Vertical professional network of grey and blue-collar workers- Apna.co raised $8 million in series A funding from existing investors – Lightspeed India and Sequoia Capital India.
YCombinator-backed Bikayi raised a seed round of $2 million from a clutch of international investors including Mantis ventures, a VC fund promoted by the popular band Chainsmokers.
Dating app TrulyMadly 2.0 raised a pre-series A funding round of Rs 8.1 crore via Angelist, Inflection Point Ventures and The Chennai Angels. Entrepreneurs and CXOs from startups like Unacademy, Haptik, Innov8, AirBnB, among others invested in this round.
Vernacular entertainment, WinZO raised $ 18 million Series B investment round led by global interactive entertainment fund, Makers Fund based in Singapore, and New York based Courtside Ventures.
Consumer electronics start-up boAt has raised Rs 25 crore from venture debt and specialty firm – InnoVen Capital.
Early stage Venture Capital firm 3one4Capital launches $100 million fund to invest in technology-led startups. The Fund III will increase 3one4 Capital’s assets under management to over Rs 1,550 crore or $ 210 million.
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