Here are the top stories from the startup universe.
Zomato IPO opens; raises over Rs 4,196 crore from anchor investors
Online food delivery platform Zomato’s initial public offering (IPO) opened on July 14 and will close on July 16. The price band of the issue has been set at Rs 72-76 and it is a combination of both fresh issue and offer for sale by existing promoters and shareholders.
The IPO comprises a fresh issue of equity shares worth Rs 9,000 crore and an offer for sale (OFS) worth Rs 375 crore by existing investor Info Edge India.
Ahead of the IPO, the anchor portion of the offer was open on July 13. Zomato raised over Rs 4,196 crore from 186 anchor investors in lieu of 55,21,73,505 equity shares at Rs 76 each, according to a circular uploaded on the BSE website.
While speaking to CNBC-TV18, Gaurav Gupta, Zomato co-founder said “Responses from global investors have been strong. Have over 150+ highly qualified investors.”
The company is planning to launch a marketplace model for grocery delivery on the app soon. “Foray into the grocery segment is an experiment for us as of now. We believe grocery delivery is an important hyperlocal service,” Gupta claimed.
Zomato will also use proceeds to fund organic and inorganic growth post its IPO.
Temasek, IFC buy out Upgrad Esops
Investment giant Temasek and the World Bank arm IFC have invested an additional $29.5 million into the online education platform UpGrad by buying out the Esops from 37 employees.
Upgrad, in the last week of April, got $120 million from Temasek and $40 million from IFC, wherein the promoters divested 25 percent of their equity.
The founder group still owns over 70 percent in the company and has created a large Esop pool of close to 13 percent of the enlarged equity base, Upgrad co-founder and chairman Ronnie Screwvala said.
The two quick rounds of equity infusion of $160 million had valued the startup to over $850 million.
PayMate to list?
B2B payments platform for SMEs PayMate is evaluating an initial public offering, as per Moneycontrol.
The startup backed by digital payment giant Visa and Lightbox is looking at a FY22 listing.
The IPO will unlock value for the firm, help raise growth capital and also facilitate a partial exit for its multiple investors, sources told Moneycontrol.
WOW! Momo forays into FMCG with Ready-To-Eat Momos
Homegrown QSR Momo chain, ‘WOW! MOMO’ has announced its entry into the ready-to-use food category. The company has unveiled a variety of authentic flavours in the frozen ready-to-eat Momo category, such as Veg Darjeeling Momos, Chicken Darjeeling Momos, Masala Chicken Momos, Corn & Cheese Momos and Chicken Cheese Momos.
With the growing acceptance for ready-to-eat food and the latent need that has been created due to digitisation and the work from home scene, WOW! Momo’s new avatar is set to revamp “Home Made Food” to the brand's promise of “Made for Home. Make At Home”.
The five launch flavours in veg and non veg are available in packs of 10s and 20s and range from Rs 140 to Rs 305. The venture claims its momos have no MSG (Monosodium Glutamate), no preservatives and have a healthy shelf life of nine months.
WOW! Momo Instant aims to become the go-to home snack that one can make in less than 2 mins.
The all-new category of ready-to-make frozen momos by WOW! Momos will be exclusively available online on Bigbasket in Delhi, Gurugram, Noida, Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad.
Pratilipi raises $48 million funding from Krafton
Online storytelling platform Pratilipi has raised $48 million in a series D funding led by South Korean gaming giant Krafton.
Existing investor, Omidyar Network India also participated in the round along with a number of startup founders including Hemesh Singh and Gaurav Munjal (Unacademy), Nishith Rastogi (Locus), Sahil Barua (Delhivery), Vidit Aatrey (Meesho), Mekin Maheshwari (Udhyam) and Amit Agarwal (NoBroker).
Pratilipi co-founder and CEO Ranjeet Pratap Singh also invested in this round that has taken the total amount raised till date to $78.8 million. The company’s valuation has now grown to about $265 million.
The firm will use fresh funding to strengthen its intellectual property acquisition and development across various formats including audio books, podcasts, comics, web series, movies and games.
Ennoventure raises $5 M in Series A
Software as a service (SaaS) company Ennoventure has raised $5 million as part of its Series A funding from US-based Fenice Investment Group.
Ennoventure said it will utilise the fresh capital for scaling up the team and to expand to Europe and the US. As part of its growth strategy, the company also plans to focus on India as it is a key market for the export of generic drugs.
In April 2018, the company had raised $1 million in a seed fund round. Ennoventure uses AI, Cryptography, Blockchain and embedded solutions in its product offerings.
Autonomous industrial vehicle maker Ati Motors raises $3.5M
All-electric autonomous industrial vehicle maker Ati Motors has raised $3.5 million in a pre-Series A funding round led by Blume Ventures and Exfinity Venture Partners, among others.
The funds will be deployed for manufacturing and deployment of a large fleet of autonomous vehicles in factories and warehouses, in both domestic and global markets, the company said.
The company also claims to have raised a seed fund earlier from Village Global, a Bay Area based-early stage fund backed by the likes of Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Jeff Bezos, among others.
BurnCal raises $330,000
Fitness solution provider BurnCal has raised $330,000 in its pre-seed round funding from Titan Capital, SenseAI Ventures and a slew of angel investors,
The startup will use fresh funds to build the core technology, scale up the product and strengthen the founding team.
BurnCal's proprietary computer vision-based technology tracks the posture and counts repetitions in real-time during workouts ensuring their members get complete attention even while working out from home.
Mumbai Angels Network invests in Indi Energy
Energy storage startup India Energy has raised an undisclosed amount in startup investment platform Mumbai Angels Network as a part of its seed round.
Indi Energy will be utilising the funds in bolstering its R&D, and scaling up its proprietary sodium-ion battery technology, the company said.
The company claims to have made breakthroughs in sodium-ion batteries with its energy density three to four times better than the commercialised lead-acid batteries that are currently available in the market. The firm has also filed patents for sodium-ion batteries, having invented a high-performance sodium-ion negative electrode material from rice/paddy straw and cattle manure.
Shyplite launches Shypmax supply chain solution
AI-powered logistics platform Shyplite has launched Shypmax, a cross border LPaaS (Logistics Platform as a service), which also has asset light carrier capabilities and an asset light supply chain solution, backed by a contemporary product and stellar service.
Shypmax is now live for deliveries to 40+ countries and will be covering delivery to 220 countries progressively with over 70 carrier and network partnerships in place globally. It is also one of the first IOSS ready services in India, with focus on compliance for new regulations in the European Union, the company claimed.
Shypmax aims to eliminate all the problems like delays, compliance issues, surprise penalties and shocks out of cross border shipping faced by businesses and their customers’ shopping experience, the firm added.
The company will cater to businesses which want to get their goods moved out of India by air such as D2C ecommerce, offline and B2B companies.
T-Hub, AIM launch second healthtech cohort
T-Hub, a start-up ecosystem enabler, has entered into an agreement with the Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in the healthcare sector.
Ten deep tech startups have been handpicked by T-Hub, AIM and external industry experts. They were selected based on their innovation, go-to market readiness, scalability and team composition, the company said.
The programme will provide startups with experts, resources to sharpen their markets, refine their business and product commercialisation plans.
Global technology and startup news
EBay sells $2.25 Bn Adevinta stake to secure classified ads tie-up
EBay has agreed to sell part of its stake in Norway's Adevinta to private equity firm Permira for $2.25 billion in cash, clearing the way for a tie-up between eBay and Adevinta's classified ads businesses.
As per Reuters, the deal comes after Austria's Federal Competition Authority demanded eBay cut its holding in Adevinta to no more than 33 percent to approve their plan to create a world leader in classified ads.
Approval in Austria, which had raised concerns about the impact on competition in its market, was the last regulatory hurdle for the tie-up.
EBay will sell 125 million Adevinta shares, or a 10.2 percent stake, to Permira, leaving the US firm with a 34 percent holding.
Permira has a 30-day option to buy an additional 10 million shares at the same price, reducing eBay's stake to 33%.
The deal between eBay and Permira is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year, Adevinta said.
Anhui becomes latest Chinese province to root out cryptocurrency mining
Anhui, in eastern China, has become the latest province to announce a sweeping ban on cryptocurrency mining, saying the move will help ease an acute power shortage over the next three years.
Anhui will shut down all crypto mining projects in a cleanup aimed at reducing power consumption, as the province faces a "grave" supply shortage of electricity, Reuters reported.
China's state council had vowed to crack down on bitcoin mining and trading in late May, citing underlying financial risks.
Apple's potential 'buy now, pay later' plan sends sector shares tumbling
A report that Apple is working on a service to let users pay for purchases in installments dragged down shares in the 'buy now, pay later' sector, according to Reuters.
The US tech giant will use Goldman Sachs, its partner since 2019 for the Apple Card credit card, as the lender for the loans, Bloomberg News reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
The prospect of going up against a behemoth like Apple, as well as other entrants including PayPal, was likely to test Australian pure-play BNPL firms that have so far gone unchallenged in a fertile U.S. market.
Shares of Australia-listed Afterpay, the country's biggest BNPL provider which derives a big chunk of its revenue from the United States, dived nearly 10% on Wednesday.
Twitter suspends some fake accounts it verified by mistake
Twitter said, on July 13, it mistakenly verified some fake accounts that the social media company has now permanently suspended, months after restarting its verification program.
The company in May relaunched verifications after a years-long freeze on public submissions for the site's blue check marks, saying only "notable" users would be awarded the badge.
"We mistakenly approved the verification applications of a small number of inauthentic (fake) accounts," a Twitter spokesperson said in a statement. "We have now permanently suspended the accounts in question, and removed their verified badge, under our platform manipulation and spam policy."
The social media company had paused the verification program in 2017 amid criticism that it was arbitrary and confusing. It said at the time the check mark was being confused with "an endorsement or an indicator of importance".
Under Twitter's new verification rules, accounts must have been active in the last six months and fit one of several criteria: government, companies, brands and organizations, news outlets and journalists, entertainment, sports and gaming, activists, organizers and other influential individuals.
(Edited by : Kanishka Sarkar)