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    Startup Digest: BharatPe plans to list in 18-24 months, Uber’s seatbelt advisory to Indian drivers: Report & Zopper raises $75M in Series C round

    Startup Digest: BharatPe plans to list in 18-24 months, Uber’s seatbelt advisory to Indian drivers: Report & Zopper raises $75M in Series C round

    Startup Digest: BharatPe plans to list in 18-24 months, Uber’s seatbelt advisory to Indian drivers: Report & Zopper raises $75M in Series C round
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    By Aishwarya Anand   IST (Updated)


    Here are the top headlines from the startup space.

    Hoping to take BharatPe public in 18-24 months, says Chairman Rajnish Kumar
    Fintech startup BharatPe is aiming to list on the stock exchanges in the less than two years, Chairman Rajnish Kumar said in a recent interaction with CNBC-TV18. “18-24 months is the time period by which we can aim to list BharatPe,” he said. The company having a plan and working on a plan gives confidence to the investors.
    “There is a potential for growth and profit both,” he added. “There should be a consistent record of a few quarters as far as the growth and profit is concerned,” he said. Growth is under focus but the emphasis is more on earning the profit and improving the bottomline.
    “In the last several months, the company has worked on a strategy to make it profitable. Cash burn used to be $11 million per month, which is now down to little above $2 million per month. This is a big improvement and within the next two-three months we will be EBITDA positive,” he told CNBC-TV18.
    The firm has recently appointed two new independent directors on the board and a new CFO.
    After ‘Brahmastra’, BYJU’s is the second blockbuster of the year, says Co-founder Divya Gokulnath
    After Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt starrer Brahmastra, BYJU's recently announced financial results for FY21 is the second blockbuster of the year, the $22 billion edtech major's director and co-founder Divya Gokulnath wrote in a LinkedIn post.
    "I have not seen Brahmastra yet, but I do happen to know BYJU’S results. Because, as its Director, I was involved in its making," said Gokulnath.
    Claiming that media outlets sensationalised BYJU's FY21 results, which were delayed by 18 months, Gokulnath posed the question, "Have you seen the complete picture?"
    For FY21, BYJU's reported a 3.3 percent decline in revenue to Rs 2,428 crore. The loss, however, widened nearly 20 times to Rs 4,559 crore, which translates to a loss of of Rs 12.5 crore every day.
    Gokulnath, as the company clarified at the time of releasing the annual report, once again attributed the loss to the accounting change with a new revenue recognition mechanism, where almost 40 percent of the revenue was deferred to subsequent years.
    Claiming that BYJU's made Rs 27 crore in revenue per day in FY22, Gokulnath said, "It’s easy (to) forget that we are 18 months post FY21, and that BYJU’S has grown more than 4 times in this span. Or that our ‘widening losses’ in FY21 have been cut to half in FY22."
    The co-founder of India’s most-valuable startup also claimed that the company has clocked more than Rs 1,000 crore in revenue every month this year.
    Mohandas Pai slams OYO over 'fake accounting', hospitality giant responds
    Former Infosys Director TV Mohandas Pai slammed Ritesh Agarwal-run Oyo for allegedly misleading investors via 'fake accounting' as the hospitality major reported its maiden positive EBITDA during the first quarter of the current fiscal.
    Softbank-backed Oyo claimed (adjusted) EBITDA-level profitability of Rs 10.6 crore for the June quarter.
    In a tweet, Pai who is currently Chairman of Manipal Global Education (Manipal University), said: "This is fake accounting! There is nothing like an adjusted ebitda. They are trying to mislead investors by such fake accounting. Regulators and stock exchanges should stop such misreporting in india."
    The allegations came after Oyo filed an addendum to its earlier submitted draft red herring prospectus (DRHP), filed in October 2021 for its IPO, to the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). The company is now eyeing early 2023 for its IPO amid volatile global market conditions.
    Abhishek Gupta, Oyo's Group Chief Financial Officer (CFO), replied to Pai, saying that the EBITDA is "clearly reported". "EBITDA is clearly reported and is higher Rs 10.57 cr for Q1FY23 than Adj EBITDA of Rs 7.26 cr. Other Income not included in EBITDA & Adj EBITDA. All numbers are from audited signed financial statements. Global non-GAAP metrics are defined transparently," Gupta tweeted.
    Uber asks its India drivers to ensure rear seatbelts in their cars work: Report
    Ride-hailing company Uber has asked its drivers in India to ensure backseat seatbelts in their vehicles are accessible to passengers and they work, days after a local business tycoon died in a crash involving his private car.
    The move comes amid a growing road-safety push in India, the world's fourth-largest car market. Earlier in September, Cyrus Mistry, the former chairman of India's Tata Sons, died in a crash involving his Mercedes, and local media reported he was not wearing a seatbelt while seated at the back.
    "To avoid any fines or complaints by riders, please ensure the seatbelts on the back seats are accessible and functional," Uber said in an advisory to its drivers on Tuesday which was seen by Reuters.
    Uber was conducting checks at airports to ensure its drivers were complying with seatbelt norms, the report added. Its competitor Ola, which is backed by SoftBank Group, also sent an advisory to drivers in recent weeks to enforce seatbelt rules, a company representative told Reuters.
    Zopper raises $75M in Series C round for global expansion
    Insurtech platform Zopper has raised $75 million in its Series C funding round led by Creaegis with participation from ICICI Venture and Bessemer Venture Partners.
    Existing investor, Blume Ventures also participated in the round. Tiger Global, currently invested in the company, will continue to extend its support for future growth, said the platform.
    The startup aims to utilise fresh funds in cutting-edge technology, business development initiatives, inorganic growth through merger and acquisition (M&A) and global expansion. Zooper said it aims to achieve an annualised Gross Written Premium (GWP) of $500 million by March 2024.
    The fresh capital will allow Zopper to further bolster its software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform and data analytics capabilities, build a next generation data engineering team and fuel business development initiatives.
    #dltledgers raises $8.5M in Series B funding round.
    Blockchain-focused Multi Enterprise Supply-Chain Business Network (MESCBN) platform #dltledgers has reportedly raised $8.5 million in a Series B round at a valuation of over $100 million. The round was led by the family office of the Tata Group and Centrum.
    The fresh capital will be used for expansion into North American market while scaling its engineering teams and growth teams further. This includes further platform innovation with Corda, Accenture, SAP, Microsoft and several other partnerships, a statement said.
    “The global appetite for connected supply-chains is growing and with the recent pandemic, its being deployed by most of the fortune 500 enterprises and banks. It is a tough climate for fund raising as the world market is going through flux, and investors are very selective. It’s a real testament to our platform and its multiplier effect; we got over subscribed for our series,” said Samir Neji, founder of #dltledgers.
    TrueFoundry nets $2.3M in seed round from Sequoia India's Surge and others
    TrueFoundry, a machine learning (ML) developer platform has raised $2.3 million in its seed funding round led by Sequoia India and Southeast Asia’s Surge programme.
    Other investors including Eniac Ventures and prominent angels like AngelList co-founder Naval Ravikant, also participated in the funding round.
    The fresh capital will be used to expand its specialized technology team and further product development, the firm said. TrueFoundry also aims to automate repetitive tasks in the ML pipeline such as infrastructure and deployments so data scientists and ML engineers can focus on higher-value, more creative tasks.
    “With our automated platform, data scientists and engineers are able to deploy machine learning models at the speed and maturity of big tech, cutting their production timelines from several weeks to a few hours. Data is the new oil, and we want to enable companies to use machine learning faster and generate greater business value. Our investors and team share the belief that TrueFoundry is paving the way for innovation that will propel businesses for the future ahead, and their participation in our pre-launch funding is a great testament to that,” said Nikunj Bajaj, Co-Founder and CEO, TrueFoundry.
    TurboHire bags $2M in Pre-Series A round from Pentathlon and The Chennai Angels
    TurboHire, an AI-powered recruitment automation platform, has bagged $2 Million in a Pre-Series A round co-led by Pentathlon Venture Capital and The Chennai Angels.
    The round also saw participation from Telangana Fund, Purvansh Holdings, and the Mumbai Angels and Hyderabad Angels, with Samir Khosla and Francisco Arcilla as global strategic investors.
    Apart from the funding, TurboHire will also receive mentorship from industry stalwarts such as Jayesh Ranjan (Principal Secretary Industries and Commerce, IT - Telangana Government), BVR Mohan Reddy (Founder and CEO, CYIENT), Taj Haslani (Founder, ApTask), Leela Kaza (Founder and CEO, Accolite), and N Maran (CEO, KaarTech) for the company’s global go-to-market strategies, a statement said.
    The firm aims to maintain a 20% CMGR graph while also growing its international presence to 25% of its total revenue.
    Holiday home startup Alyf raises $1.5M in seed round
    Alyf, a technology-enabled holiday home marketplace has raised $1.5 million in a seed funding round led by 9Unicorns and Venture Catalysts.
    The startup will use the funds for business expansion, brand marketing and enhancing technology to democratise the space, a statement said.
    “We want to empower everyone to own their holiday homes. Through our innovatively designed business model, we have tried solving the problems associated with owning a holiday home. Including the ticket size, you can now legally own a holiday home starting at Rs 25 lakhs in the best holiday destinations.” said Saurabh Vohara, Founder and CEO of ALYF.
    Flipkart adds medicines and other health-related products on its app
    Ecommerce major Flipkart has announced that it would deliver drugs and wellness products via its primary app. As per the company, customers would be able to access Health+, Flipkart's one-stop place to buy products related to healthcare, through the main app.
    Customers, through this arrangement, can now access a wide range of medicines and healthcare products through this new 'App-in-App experience'. Customers can also avail of attractive offers on 83,000+ medicines and healthcare products that will cover over 20,000 pin codes across India, including remote areas, the statement added.
    Through disruptive technology and innovative solutions, we are working closely with pharmacies, healthcare and pharmaceutical companies, and policymakers to digitize the healthcare ecosystem for a better tomorrow,” said Prashant Jhaveri, CEO of Flipkart Health+. “In addition to the existing affordable prices, customers will get the best attractive deals and access to genuine medicines and healthcare products this Big Billion Day,” he added.
    Ninjacart launches agri export-import platform for UAE and GCC
    Walmart and Tiger Global-backed agritech startup Ninjacart, has expanded its footprint globally by launching ‘Ninja Global’ platform for agri export-import businesses in the UAE and GCC countries.
    Ninja Global is an agri export-import commerce platform that allows exporters and importers to build their networks with credible businesses, gain access to new markets, and expand their businesses efficiently on an international scale, a statement said.
    The platform is curated to solve the global problem of finding and trading with authentic, trusted and credible exporters and importers of agri-commodities. The platform will assist users in developing a digital identity by easily registering their company on the platform and showcasing their business to potential customers and suppliers, the firm added.
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