Here are the top headlines from the startup space.
Here are the top headlines from the startup space.
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IPO-bound Oyo gets in-principle listing approval from BSE, NSE
Oravel Stays Limited, the parent company of travel-tech firm Oyo, has received in-principle approval from BSE and NSE to list on the respective bourses, sources said.
Oyo has filed preliminary documents for a Rs 8,430 crore initial public offering (IPO). The offering will consist of a fresh issue of shares of up to Rs 7,000 crore and an offer-for-sale of as much as Rs 1,430 crore.
As per documents reviewed by PTI, the company recently received the go-ahead for listing from the National Stock Exchange and BSE.
Delhivery may delay planned IPO amid volatile market conditions: Report
Due to the recent stock market volatility, E-commerce logistics startup Delhivery may delay its initial public offering (IPO) by a few weeks, sources told Moneycontrol, adding that it is still aiming to list before the end of the current financial year, in March 2022.
"Merchant bankers have advised the company to wait for a month or two due to the current market conditions. They also want to avoid a clash with the LIC IPO, which is expected in the first week of March," one of the persons cited above said.
A second source said, "Considering the beating that loss-making tech and internet companies have taken in the current market, they wouldn't want to list with a downside, like what happened with Paytm."
Earlier this month, Delhivery received approval from market regulator Sebi to raise a billion dollars in an IPO, at a valuation of around $6 billion.
Teachmint marks 4th acquisition with MyClassCampus; to expand its offerings for schools & institutes globally
Education infrastructure startup Teachmint has acquired MyClassCampus, an educational ERP player which enables campuses with end-to-end digitisation of their operations, management and communication.
While the details of the deal remain undisclosed, it marks the fourth acquisition by the edtech firm. In December 2021, the company had acquired Teachmore, Teachee India team and Airlearn.
With this acquisition, Teachmint will expand its offerings for schools and institutes by combining a deep ERP software with its own state-of-the-art Learning Management System, the company said in a statement.
Zomato sets up non-banking finance company; acquires stake in UrbanPiper, AdOnMo
Food delivery company Zomato has set up a wholly-owned subsidiary of the company as a non-banking finance company and bought a minor stake in AdOnMo, the advertising-tech firm and UrbanPiper Tech, a B2B software platform.
The company has invested $5 million in UrbanPiper for a 5 percent stake as part of a larger $24 million funding round, it said in a press release. Zomato has invested $15 million in AdOnMo for a 19 percent stake.
"Both UrbanPiper and AdOnMo investments are synergistic to our core business and will help accelerate the growth of these companies which will help in filling important gaps in the food ordering and delivery ecosystem in India," Zomato said in an exchange release.
The proposed paid-up capital for the NBFC is Rs 3 crore and the authorised paid-up capital is pegged at Rs 10 crore. The subsidiary will also need the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI's) approval to carry out the NBFC business.
The MD and CEO of Zomato, Deepinder Goyal has an investment in Bace Fund LP, which had also invested in AdOnMo in December 2019. Base Fund currently owns 13 percent of the company. However, in the exchange release, Zomato said, Goyal's holding of $100,000 is an insignificant portion of the fund.
Good Glamm Group picks up majority stake in Organic Harvest, to invest additional Rs 75 Cr
Content to commerce firm Good Glamm has acquired a majority stake in organic beauty and personal care brand Organic Harvest for an undisclosed amount.
Good Glamm will invest an additional Rs 75 crore in growing the brand. The transaction marks the foray of Good Glamm Group in the organic BPC category, according to a statement.
Organic Harvest has a current revenue run rate of Rs 75 crore and is targeting a revenue run rate of Rs 250 crore by March 2023.
Cloud kitchen company Curefoods merges with Maverix
Cloud kitchen aggregator Curefood has announced its merger with Maverix,a foodtech player. Following the merger, Curefoods’ market presence will increase to 125 kitchens across 12 cities catering to over 10 cuisines.
It will also get brand from Maverix such as the Great Indian Khichdi – one of India’s largest khichdi brands, Canteen Central – a multi-cuisine quick snack brand and Home Plate – an affordable home food offering, the firm said in a statement.
Maverix operates over 50 outlets across Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru. This merger is a significant step for Curefoods in continuation of its mission to build a powerhouse of food brands in India that will cater to varying consumer demands across geographies, said the company in a statement.
Mensa Brands forays into home gardening space with acquisition of TrustBasket
Roll-up ecommerce unicorn Mensa Brands has acquired TrustBasket after investing an undisclosed sum in the online gardening solutions brand.
TrustBasket offers a range of gardening solutions catering to different consumer segments - from gardening kits for hobbyists to compost makers and specialized soils for professionals. Since its inception, the startup has served over 1.2 million customers, the company said in a statement.
This is the third acquisition Mensa has made in 2022 after leather brand Estalon and aromatherapy D2C brand Florona.
Co-living startup Isthara acquires Letsmobility
Isthara Co-Living, a co-living brand has acquired Letsmobility, a software product engineering company.
Through this acquisition, Isthara aims to leverage Letsmobility’s private cloud-based microapps platform, Livet, to digitise operations and introduce advanced tech solutions in the fragmented co-living and institutional cafeteria sectors, the company said in a statement.
The acquisition of Letsmobility will enable Isthara to enhance their core technology by merging it with the proprietary machine learning framework developed by Letsmobility. The acquisition will also further enhance the discovery, safety, and service standards maintained by these smart food courts.
Japan’s home medical care platform HLM acquires Care24
Japanese home medical support company Human Life Management has acquired 100 percent stake in home healthcare platform Care24.
HLM has been a prime investor in Care24 for the past two years and claims to hold multiple businesses in healthcare and other sectors.
Care24 will extend its robust service delivery and agile technology platform for HLM and will cater to the evolving healthcare needs of the customers, the company said in a statement.
ReadyAssist plans to invest $8M to set up EV stores
ReadyAssist plans to invest $8 million (around Rs 60 crore) in one year to augment electric vehicles infrastructure in the country.
As part of the initiative, the company plans to set up phygital stores (physical stores augmented by digital capabilities) under brand name GRID in 200 prime locations across top ten cities in the country, it said in a statement.
The company noted that GRID will have in-house quick service kiosk, battery swap facilities, EV charging infrastructure for both two and four-wheelers. The company already has thousands of mechanics upskilled on EV capabilities to service its road-side assistance (RSA) and annual maintenance contract (AMC) customers across India.
Ola targets 20 cities, 500 dark stores in 6 months via grocery business – Ola Dash
After rebranding the grocery vertical as Ola Dash, the ride-hailing giant has announced its plans to deliver groceries across 20 cities and set up at least 500 dark stores in the next six months.
Currently, Ola Dash services 9 cities through its ‘Store to Door’ service in 10 minutes, spread across 200 dark stores, offering an assortment of 2500+ SKUs. Ola now aims to grow the business, taking the order size to more than 500,000 per day by the year end, it said in a statement.
“Our quick commerce service is an essential part of our connect with customers as they rely on technology and online service to fulfill their daily needs. Over the next few months, we will be expanding our reach and presence to more cities and customers,” said Anshul Khandelwal, Chief Marketing Officer, Ola.
Ola to infuse $100M in setting up a global automotive design, engineering centre in UK
Mobility giant Ola has announced setting up of a global centre for advanced engineering and vehicle design in Coventry, UK with an investment of $100 million. The development comes just two days after the company teased an image of an electric concept car.
According to the company, Ola Electric will invest more than $100 million over the next 5 years into the state-of-the-art centre and will employ over 200 designers and automotive engineers. The centre will also partner with world class education and research institutions in the UK to collaborate on technology research and development, the company added.
Ola Electric recently raised over $200 million (about Rs 1,490.5 crore) from Tekne Private Ventures, Alpine Opportunity Fund, Edelweiss and others, valuing the electric vehicle maker at $5 billion.
BharatPe to overhaul governance after co-founder row, sources tell Reuters
IPO-hopeful BharatPe is aiming to quell investor disquiet over a public row involving personal investments by one of its co-founders with an independent audit to bolster internal governance rules, sources told Reuters.
The audit will assess if BharatPe's senior executives are making proper internal disclosures about personal investments and check for conflicts, leading to a new code of conduct.
BharatPe has come under intense investor scrutiny after co-founder Ashneer Grover sought damages from Uday Kotak, head of Kotak Mahindra Bank, alleging that the bank declined financing for a personal investment.
Kotak Mahindra Bank has in turn alleged that Grover has used "foul" and threatening language towards its employees and reserved the right to take appropriate legal action against him.
The report claimed that investors have expressed concerns about the damage to BharatPe's image, adding that it was in talks with consultants including PwC and Alvarez & Marsal to carry out an independent governance audit.
Grover has taken leave from BharatPe until the end of March as a result of the furore generated by his dispute with Kotak, both the sources said.
Sequoia Surge picks 20 startups for its sixth cohort; raise $60M from investors
Sequoia Capital India’s rapid scale-up program in India and Southeast Asia - Surge today launched its sixth cohort with 20 early-stage startups who have raised $60 million from Surge and its co-investors.
Surge has evaluated 10,000 companies over the last three years. With the sixth cohort, the Surge community now includes 246 founders from 112 startups across more than 15 sectors.
45 companies from the first four cohorts comprising 69 companies have raised follow-on funding. The sixth edition kicks off on 27 January, where founders will go through a 16-week bootcamp led by the VC firm. These startups can raise anything between $1-$2 million of seed capital during the program.
Google Cloud to open new India office later this year
Google on Monday announced plans to open a new office in Pune this year, that will hire professionals for building advanced enterprise cloud technologies.
Expected to open in the second half this year, the facility will hire people for Cloud product engineering, technical support and global delivery centre organisations.
The company said it has kicked off recruitments, alongside rapidly growing teams in Gurugram, Hyderabad and Bengaluru.
Flipkart signs pact with FITT for joint research in social commerce
Walmart-owned Flipkart has inked an agreement with Foundation for Innovation and Technology Transfer to collaborate in the areas of social commerce, product recommendation to resellers and consumer product exploration journey.
Foundation for Innovation and Technology Transfer (FITT) is a part of the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IIT-D).
As part of the memorandum of understanding, Flipkart will offer research grants and market insights to FITT to develop hands-on prototypes and publish research papers in collaboration with the teams at the e-commerce firm in the areas of social commerce, product recommendation to resellers and the consumer product exploration journey, a statement said.
Social Commerce platform Trell concludes ESOP buyback worth Rs 12 Cr
Social commerce startup Trell has concluded an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) buyback worth Rs 12 Crore.
The initiative demonstrates the company's dedication to the concept of inclusive growth, in which every employee feels valued and motivated to excel in their area of expertise and empower them to play an important role in the company’s shared future, Trell said in a statement.
The team has grown from 50 to more than 700 members since the pandemic began, witnessed growth and scale on its influencer-led social commerce platform in 2021.
US based CommerceIQ forays into India to drive & support e-commerce growth for global partner brands
US-based CommerceIQ, an e-commerce management platform has announced its foray into India in a bid to capitalize on the growing $5 trillion global e-commerce boom.
To service the Indian market, CommerceIQ has tweaked its algorithmic components to optimally respond to shoppers’ behavior on local retailers like Amazon and added support for local websites like Flipkart. The company is also building out its customer success, sales and marketing team in-country to support the expansion, it said in a statement.
As per the company, augmented by the pandemic, the Indian e-commerce industry is set to expand by 84% to reach $111 billion by 2024.
POS business grew to $4Bn annualised transaction value, says BharatPe
Fintech company for merchants BharatPe said it has witnessed 200 percent growth in annualised transaction value to $4 billion (about Rs 30,078 crore) from its POS business over the last 12 months.
The Point of Sale (POS) business - BharatSwipe - now contributes about 25 percent to the overall payments Transaction Processed Value (TPV) of the company, a statement said.
BharatPe has ramped up the reach of its POS business by 25X to over 250 cities in the last 12 months and since the launch in the second half of 2020, the company has deployed more than 1.25 lakh BharatSwipe machines across offline shops, it added.
CRED launches zero commission model for its store
Kunal Shah-led fintech platform CRED app has introduced CRED Store, which will be a zero commission platform.
The listing fees for onboarding and commissions from any sale will be waived off for all brand partners in the platform, said the company in a statement.
In addition, the CRED Store will offer features like exclusive bank offers and benefits for members, engaging fun and social formats. For instance, auctions, leaderboards will also be introduced to help brands create better engagement, the firm added.
Ample partners with Capillary Technologies
B2B SaaS platform Capillary has announced its collaboration with Ample, an enterprise and retail technology solutions company to strategically revamp the company’s Customer Relations Management systems across India.
In this partnership, Ample will leverage Capillary’s core CRM solution, the firm said in a statement.
With an aim to boost its existing omnichannel commerce and to build on customer engagement, the company, this partnership with Capillary Technologies will help Ample integrate their existing offline business into a blended offline and online retail model.
BNPL grew by 637% in 2021: Razorpay’s Report
Online payments more than doubled in 2021 growing by 104 percent. Virtually every sector witnessed growth with food and beverages being the top contributing sector with 18.08 percent, according to a report by fintech firm Razorpay.
The report titled ‘The (Covid) Era of Rising Fintech (ERF)’, highlighted that Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) has grown to become among the favourite payment methods, having grown by 637.27 percent in 2021, as compared to the 569 percent growth observed in 2020.
Lifestyle and Fashion were the highest contributors of e-commerce transactions in 2020, however, it has been overtaken by Groceries in 2021 which saw a growth of 233 percent. More and more people became health conscious in 2021 as fitness related transactions saw growth of 611 percent, the report showed.
The food and beverages and financial services sectors were top contributors of the total transactions, followed by games, utilities, and e-commerce.
With more people opting for freelancing, Services saw the highest growth of 769.86 percent in transaction volumes as compared to 2020. Housing and real estate was the second-fastest-growing sector in 2021. It saw a whopping growth of 315.65 percent and had 4 times the transactions it did in 2020, it added.
With an increased demand for games among consumers, game developer tools were in demand, with transaction volume for the sub-sector growing by 365.83 per cent in 2021. Interestingly, tier-3 cities saw the highest growth in online gaming with transaction volumes growing by 45.56 percent.
RateGain, Razorpay, and Zoho are the Top SaaS Companies in India: Wizikey Report
Software-as-a-Service continued to thrive in India, with 26.45 % Y-O-Y growth.
As per the Wizikey report, RateGain, Razorpay, Zoho, ShipRocket, Freshworks, Innovacer, BharatPe, Gupshup, Zeta, and Capillary Technologies emerged as the top 10 SaaS companies of December 2021.
Others on the list included Innovacer (6), BharatPe (7), Gupshup (8), Zeta (9), and Capillary Technologies (10).
Ola, Uber among most data-hungry ride-hailing apps: Surfshark Report
Ride-hailing apps like Uber, Ola and Rapido collect extensive information about their users. On an average, these apps collect 14 data points per user and 30 percent of them use it for "Third-Party advertising", according to a study conducted by cybersecurity company Surfshark.
The report highlighted that while, SoftBank-backed Ola is at the sixth position in the global data-hungriness ranking with a total of 18 data points collected, Indian bike-taxi aggregator Rapido collects the least amount of data in the ranking.
The data showed GrabTaxi, Yandex Go, and Uber as the most data-hungry carpooling apps in the world. GrabTaxi ranks 1st on the list and collects 27 out of 32 possible data points listed by Apple, including contact, financial, location information, and user content (photos, video, audio, etc.).
GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY & STARTUP NEWS
Apple posts record earnings of $123.9 Bn
Tech giant Apple has announced an all-time high revenue record of $123.9 billion, up by 11 percent year-on-year for Q1 2022.
Apple's services revenue jumped by 24% to $19.5 billion in the just-ended holiday quarter, topping analysts' estimates of $18.6 billion. The company added 785 million subscribers to its handful of paid services such as for streaming music and playing games, an increase from 620 million a year ago and 745 million last quarters, as per Reuters.
In earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that the company’s record-breaking results were made possible by its innovative product and services lineup. Cook also told investors that the company set all-time records for both developed and emerging markets and saw revenue growth across all product categories, except for the iPad.
Dozens of US states say Apple stifles competition; back 'Fortnite' maker
Apple is stifling competition through its mobile app store, attorneys general for 34 U.S. states and the District of Columbia said, as they appealed against a ruling that let the iPhone maker continue some restrictive practices.
As per Reuters, the remarks led by the state of Utah and joined by Colorado, Indiana, Texas and others, came in a lawsuit in an appeals court against app store fees and payment tools between "Fortnite" video game maker Epic Games and Apple.
The action comes after a U.S. district judge in Oakland, California, mostly ruled against Epic last year. That decision found that commissions of 15% to 30% which Apple charges some app makers for use of an in-app payment system the company forced on them did not violate antitrust law.
Epic challenged the ruling in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Apple's reply is expected in March. On Thursday, the company said it was optimistic that Epic's challenge would fail.
Three US states, D.C. sue Google over location-tracking
Texas, Indiana, Washington State and the District of Columbia sued Google over what they called deceptive location-tracking practices that invade users’ privacy, Reuters reported.
"Google falsely led consumers to believe that changing their account and device settings would allow customers to protect their privacy and control what personal data the company could access," Washington, D.C., Attorney General Karl Racine's office said in a statement.
Yet Google "continues to systematically surveil customers and profit from customer data," the statement said, calling the practice "a clear violation of consumers’ privacy."
SoftBank COO Marcelo Claure exits over pay dispute, sources tell Reuters
Japan's SoftBank Groupon said its chief operating officer, Marcelo Claure, is leaving the technology investor, in the latest blow after a string of high-profile departures.
The exit comes after a fallout with founder and Chief Executive Masayoshi Son over his pay, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters. Claure's deputy, Michel Combes - a French former telecoms executive - has been appointed chief executive of SoftBank Group International, SoftBank said.
Claure, who was already one of the highest-paid executives at the tech giant after earning a pay package of $17 million in 2020, has been in talks to leave SoftBank for several months and may soon launch his own investment firm, earlier media reports indicated.
The departure of Claure, one of the SoftBank's top decision makers along with Vision Fund head Rajeev Misra, underscores the uncertainty over who might succeed the 64-year-old Son.
Formula One star Lewis Hamilton invests in Zapp: Report
British Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton has backed rapid grocery delivery start-up Zapp as part of a larger $200 million investment in the company.
The London-based firm has raised the fresh cash in a Series B funding round led by venture capital firms Lightspeed Venture Partners, 468 Capital and BroadLight Capital. Existing investors Atomico, Burda and Vorwerk Ventures also took part, according to CNBC.
“With this new capital we will focus on achieving profitability in our existing markets as well as bringing Zapp to new customers globally,” Zapp co-founder Joe Falter said in a statement. The company said it also plans to spend the new capital on improving its customer experience and supply chain.
Elon Musk says US Prez Biden treats Americans 'like fools'
American billionaire Elon Musk slammed US President Joe Biden after the latter left out the name of Tesla in a post that talked about the future of electric vehicles in America.
Tesla CEO, Musk, apparently was miffed after the US President excluded the name of the electric vehicle manufacturer in a Twitter post where he said, "Companies like GM and Ford are building more electric vehicles here at home than ever before."
Replying to Biden's Twitter post on the future electric vehicles in America, Musk wrote the name of "Tesla" in all caps. In another tweet, he said, "Biden is a damp Socks puppet in human form." Musk also said that "Biden is treating the American public like fools".
He made these remarks after the US President met with executives from rival car companies General Motors and Ford Motor earlier this week.
The swipe comes after Biden invited CEOs of General Motors and Ford to the White House along with other business leaders to discuss his administration's Build Back Better legislation. Interestingly, Biden invited executives from these companies last year when signed an executive order with the goal of making all vehicles sold in the US electric by 2030. However, Musk, who is critical of the Biden administration, was omitted from the list.
Renault-Nissan to do more together in $26Bn electric bet
Renault and Nissan will work more closely together to make electric cars, they said on Thursday, as they detailed a $26 billion investment plan over the next five years to stay competitive in the switch to cleaner driving.
As per Reuters, the two-decade old alliance, which also includes Mitsubishi Motors, said it would increase the number of common platforms for electric vehicles (EV) to five from four.
They will build a combined EV line-up of 35 vehicles by 2030, the companies said, adding that by 2026 four fifths of their models would share common platforms, up from 60% now.
Temasek to acquire Bridgepoint's UK-based testing firm for $7Bn, sources tell Reuters
Singapore's Temasek Holdings has agreed to buy Element Materials Technology for about $7 billion, as it sees an opportunity to boost growth at the testing and inspection services provider, sources told Reuters.
State investor Temasek, which acquired a significant minority stake in Element in 2019, is buying the company from London-listed buyout firm Bridgepoint Group, one of the sources said.
The buyout will be one of the biggest ever deals by Temasek and a rare controlling-stake transaction by the investor, which reported a 25% rise in its portfolio value to a record S$381 billion ($283 billion) in the year ended March 2021.
China's Tencent fires 70 staff, blacklists 13 firms in anti-graft campaign
Tencent Holdings, China's biggest social media and video games company has fired nearly 70 staff over bribery and embezzlement incidents last year and named 13 companies it had blacklisted from future contracts.
Tencent said in a social media post that it had also reported more than 10 people to authorities over their actions.
As the Chinese government has intensified a crackdown on corruption in recent years, tech companies have doubled down on their own investigations into irregularities as their valuations and profiles have soared following the country's tech boom.
SHEIN revives plan for New York listing in 2022, sources tell Reuters
Chinese fashion retailer SHEIN is reviving plans to list in New York this year and its founder is considering a citizenship change to bypass proposed tougher rules for offshore IPOs in China, sources told Reuters.
It was not immediately clear how much the company was looking to raise from its New York debut.
The initial public offering (IPO), if finalised, would be the first major equity deal by a Chinese company in the United States since regulators in the world's second-largest economy stepped in to tighten oversight of such listings in July.
WeTransfer owner cancels IPO, citing market volatility
The company that owns the WeTransfer file service is cancelling its initial public offering (IPO), Europe's first prominent tech flotation of the year, citing volatile market conditions, Reuters reported.
WeRock, best known for the WeTransfer file transfer service, had planned a Jan. 28 flotation on Amsterdam's Euronext that would have valued the company at between 629 million and 716 million euros ($714 million-813 million).
It said in a statement that it had made the decision to cancel the listing "despite substantial investor interest". It will continue "pursuing our strategy and continuing our growth trajectory", Chief Executive Gordon Willoughby added.
EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders said he shared the worries and has asked WhatsApp to clarify the policy and if it complies with EU consumer protection law.
Facebook parent Meta says its new AI supercomputer will be world's fastest
Facebook parent Meta Platforms said that its research team has built a new artificial intelligence supercomputer that it thinks will be the fastest in the world when completed in mid-2022.
Meta said in a blog post that its new AI Research SuperCluster (RSC) would help the company build better AI models that can learn from trillions of examples, work across hundreds of languages, and analyze text, images and video together to determine if content was harmful.
"This research will not only help keep people safe on our services today, but also in the future, as we build for the metaverse," the company said in a blog post.
The social media company changed its name in October to Meta to reflect its focus on the metaverse, which it thinks will be the successor to the mobile internet.
Twitter's upcoming feature could share tweets with up to 150 select users
Microblogging site Twitter is reportedly developing a feature that will allow users to curate a list of people -- up to 150 users -- to send certain tweets out to.
If this sounds familiar, it is because Instagram's Close Friends feature lets you do the same thing; but in Twitter's case, you will be limiting your tweets to your "Flock," The Verge reported.
Twitter first gave us a glimpse of the feature last July, which it called "Trusted Friends" at the time. Since then, mobile developer Alessandro Paluzzi has been keeping track of Twitter's progress.
According to the report, Twitter seems to be working on a page that shows more information on Flock, which explains you can add up to 150 members.
(Edited by : Priyanka Deshpande)
First Published: Jan 28, 2022 7:53 PM IST
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