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    STARTUP DIGEST: Here’re top 10 startup stories of the day

    STARTUP DIGEST: Here’re top 10 startup stories of the day

    STARTUP DIGEST: Here’re top 10 startup stories of the day
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    By Palak Agarwal   IST (Updated)

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    There were some important development in the startup space on Thursday. These include online LIVE tutoring company Vedantu raised $100 million, Flipkart introduced ‘Part Payment’ to reduce product returns, Kunal Bahl said ecommerce saw V-shaped recovery post lockdown, and FamPay launched India’s first numberless card, among others.

    There were some important development in the startup space on Thursday. These include online LIVE tutoring company Vedantu raised $100 million, Flipkart introduced ‘Part Payment’ to reduce product returns, Kunal Bahl said ecommerce saw V-shaped recovery post lockdown, and FamPay launched India’s first numberless card, among others.
    Here are the today’s developments in the startup space:
    1. Vedantu raises $100 million in Series D funding led by US-based Coatue
    Online LIVE tutoring company Vedantu has raised $100 million as part of its Series D funding round. The funding was led by US-based investment firm Coatue with participation from existing investors - GGV Capital, Tiger Global, Omidyar Network and WestBridge Capital. Rahul Kishore, Managing Director, Coatue will also join Vedantu's board.
    With this round, Vedantu’s valuation jumps to $600 million making it the second most valued company in the Indian edtech space.
    2. Flipkart introduces ‘Part Payment’ to reduce product returns, but cash may still be king
    Flipkart has introduced a new payment method called ‘Part Payment’ to allow customers to make partial payment at the time of placing the order and the rest at the time of delivery.
    In a letter sent to sellers, Flipkart said the move will help reduce order cancellations and returns by customers.
    “Although prepaid transactions lead to fewer customer cancellations and returns, most buyers will choose to go for Cash on Delivery. This sometimes results in cancellations and return of products,” the e-commerce company said in the mail to sellers, which CNBC TV 18 has seen.
    Flipkart said it has launched the new payment feature for a few categories to begin with.
    The new payment method will let customers either pay a pre-paid amount and pay the rest on delivery, or pay the total amount in two prepaid transactions in a staggered manner.
    3. Ecommerce saw V-shaped recovery post lockdown: Kunal Bahl
    Snapdeal co-founder and CEO Kunal Bahl said that the ecommerce sector saw a V-shaped recovery post the lockdown, with categories such as fashion also seeing increased demand despite the pandemic. Bahl also added the company turned a profit at the company level during the pandemic.
    Ecommerce companies were allowed to sell only essential items in the first two phases of the lockdown.
    “The April-May period was challenging. As an industry and company we did not know when the recovery will happen. But the industry was surprised with a V-shaped recovery,” Bahl told CNBC TV 18.
    4. FamPay launches India’s first numberless card
    FamPay, a mobile bank for teenagers that brings cashless convenience to millions of teens and their parents, has announced the launch of India’s first numberless card - FamCard.
    It claims FamCard is just like a debit card that teenagers can use to make payments independently, relieving parents of the trouble of giving them physical cash or their debit/credit card.
    With FamPay and its numberless card, minors can now make online (UPI & P2P) and offline payments without the need to set up a bank account. Every transaction is protected with device locks like fingerprint, Face ID, pattern lock or PIN claims the venture.
    5. Milagrow launches 4 humanoid robots to cater to increased demand for automated solutions
    As the novel coronavirus continues to wreak havoc across India, the demand for automated solutions across sectors is high.
    Keeping this in mind, the consumer robotics brand, Milagrow Robots has launched 4 new humanoid robots – RoboDiCaprio, RoboJulia, RoboNano and RoboElf.
    These humanoids can interact with customers, perform tasks and navigate independently and are specially designed to cater to hotels, hospitals, restaurants and corporate offices.
    While RoboDiCaprio, the Guest Relations Robot is priced at Rs 12 lakh, RoboJulia, the Serving Robot is for Rs 10 lakh, RoboElf - the Doctor Robot for Rs 6.5 lakh and the RoboNano - Personal Companion Robot priced at Rs 4 lakh is the lowest priced full blown humanoid in the Indian market, claims the venture.
    6. Nazara completes majority stake acquisition in Kiddopia
    Nazara Technologies, a leading global gaming and sports media company, has completed its majority stake acquisition of 51 percent in Paper Boat Apps by issuing Nazara shares worth Rs 43 crore as part of its final tranche of the transaction.
    Paper Boat Apps are developers of the popular ‘Made in India’ app Kiddopia catering to young children in the age bracket of 2 to 7 years old.
    This is Nazara’s second transaction in the year 2020 after undertaking a majority stake-holding in fantasy platform, Halaplay Technologies last month. This transaction is part of the Rs 83 crore stake deal to acquire majority in Paper Boat Apps valuing the company in excess of Rs 150 crore.
    7. ClubFactory gets legal notice from seller body over payment default
    Ecommerce platform ClubFactory, which was among the 59 Chinese apps that were banned in India, has allegedly stopped payments to sellers on its platforms. This comes after the company is said to have suspended its India operations.
    Seller body All India Online Vendors Association (AIOVA), which represents over 2,000 online sellers, has filed a legal notice against the company, calling the force majeure clause invoked by the latter illegal.
    ClubFactory did not respond to CNBC TV 18’s queries.
    8. Prabhjeet Singh is Uber’s new India chief, former head gets expanded APAC role
    Uber has announced the appointment of Prabhjeet Singh as President Uber India and South Asia, who will take over from former India head Pradeep Parameswaran.
    The latter has taken an expanded APAC role and will serve as the regional general manager for APAC for Uber.
    This is the second change in the top guard at Uber India in as many years. Pradeep Parameswaran had taken over as India and South Asia President for Uber in June 2018 from former India head Amit Jain.
    9. Twitter silences some verified accounts after wave of hacks
    A series of high-profile Twitter accounts were hijacked on Wednesday, with some of the platform's top voices - including US presidential candidate Joe Biden, reality television show star Kim Kardashian, former US President Barack Obama, billionaire Elon Musk, and rapper Kanye West, among many others - used to solicit digital currency.
    Nearly two hours after the first wave of hacks, the cause of the breach had not yet been made public. In a sign of the seriousness of the problem, Twitter took the extraordinary step of preventing at least some verified accounts from publishing messages altogether.
    It was not clear whether all verified users were affected but, if they were, it would have a huge impact on the platform and its users. Verified users include celebrities, journalists, and news agencies as well as governments, politicians, heads of state, and emergency services.
    Twitter did not offer clarification but said in a statement that users "may be unable to tweet or reset your password while we review and address this incident."
    10. Amazon to let employees work from home until January
    Amazon is extending its work from home policy up to January 8, 2021, as the Covid-19 pandemic shows no sign of retracting. The company had previously announced that its corporate employees could work from home until early October.
    ‘As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we are extending the time frame for those who can do their job effectively from home to January 8, 2021.
    Meanwhile, Amazon’s corporate buildings are open and available to all employees. We continue to do everything we can to ensure a safe office environment including temperature screenings upon entry, physical distancing guidelines, providing face coverings, and enhanced cleaning protocols.’ Amazon said in a Blog post.
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