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

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

STARTUP DIGEST: Here’re top startup stories of the day
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By Shruti Malhotra  Aug 20, 2020 8:05:02 PM IST (Published)

There were several development in the startup space during on Thursday, which include CCI dismisses anti-trust case against WhatsApp, Habbit Health raises Pre-seed funding, Maruti Suzuki-IIM-Bangalore to incubate mobility startups, Hike goes remote for 2020, Airbnb’s IPO is coming soon as rentals rebound.

There were several development in the startup space during on Thursday, which include CCI dismisses anti-trust case against WhatsApp, Habbit Health raises Pre-seed funding, Maruti Suzuki-IIM-Bangalore to incubate mobility startups, Hike goes remote for 2020, Airbnb’s IPO is coming soon as rentals rebound.

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Here’s a quick round-up of all that made news in the startup universe today:
Habbit Health raises pre-seed funding from 3one4 Capital and others
Nutrition tech startup Habbit Health has raised an undisclosed amount as a pre-seed funding led by 3One4 Capital and crowdfunding platform AngelList India’s Utsav Somani. Singapore-based RB Investments, Better Capital and FirstCheque also participated in the round. The FMCG startup, founded in 2019, is seeking building a portfolio healthy products like natural proteins, beverages, and ice creams, etc.
CCI dismisses anti-trust case against WhatsApp
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has dismissed a case against WhatsApp, saying the company has not abused its dominant position to expand in the country’s digital payments market, according to an official order.
A case filed in March alleged that WhatsApp was bundling its digital payment facility - WhatsApp Pay - within its messaging app for which it already has a large user base in the country. The case alleged WhatsApp was abusing its position by forcing its payments feature on to its existing users, according to a Reuters report.
In an official order, India’s competition watchdog said it did not find any contravention of antitrust laws, adding the company’s “actual conduct is yet to manifest in the market” as it has not fully launched the service yet.
“As stated by WhatsApp, the number of users being served under the beta version is limited to less than 1% of its users in India,” said the order.
In its defence, the company had told the CCI its users are not required to register for or use WhatsApp’s payment feature in order to use the messaging service, the order said.
The order will come as a relief for WhatsApp, which is seen close to a full launch of its payments service in its biggest market by users but one where it has for months struggled to get required clearances. The Supreme Court is separately hearing cases challenging the expansion of its payment service, as reported by Reuters.
Maruti Suzuki-IIM Bangalore to incubate mobility startups
Maruti Suzuki has collaborated with the Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore to set up a startup incubation centre. The partnership will aid startups working on innovations that could be applied in the mobility sector.
The alliance marks first-of-its kind initiative by an automobile manufacturing company to help early-stage startups become large scale businesses.
The project will be a 3-month (pre-incubation) and 6-month (incubation) engagement. Under this program, early stage startups will get incubation support and a chance for potential partnership with Maruti Suzuki to fast-track the growth of their venture. Startups will get Maruti Suzuki’s support for need assessment, access to domain expert, investor connect, mentoring, guidance to regulations and demos to catalyse growth.
The program will select entrepreneurs using digital, data and AI/ML technology in the fields of autonomous mobility, shared mobility, mobility solution for rural, connected cars, vehicle diagnostic, vehicle safety and advanced driver assist system, supply chain management, block chain, data security, warehousing, finance, advertisement and loyalty program.
Hike goes remote for 2020
Social products & internet company Hike will adopt a ‘Remote-first’ approach for the rest of 2020, making working remotely the default mode of operation for its workforce.
According to a statement, to facilitate a seamless transition to ‘Remote-First’, the company has made multiple arrangements to help employees create a workspace at home. Hike will deliver an ergonomic office chair & a new compact office table to its employees residing in Delhi/NCR. For employees outside of Delhi/NCR Hike has announced a reimbursement of up to RS 10,000 to set up their workstation at home. Employees will also get support for internet and IT accessories requirements, if any.
Airbnb’s IPO is coming soon as rentals rebound
Travel rental platform Airbnb has announced that it has submitted a draft registration to the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering.
While the company did not give details of the draft filing, size or timeline, it comes in what has been a rough year Airbnb and the travel industry worldwide.
Earlier in May, the company had laid off nearly 1900 employees or 25 percent of its workforce as the business was hit due lockdowns and travel bans across the world. However, the last few months have seen a steady improvement in rentals for Airbnb.
Airbnb was valued at $18 billion in April after it raised funds to help it navigate the pandemic. The valuation was nearly half, of what the company was worth in 2017.
Apple becomes first US company to reach the $2 trillion market cap
Apple is the first American company to reach the 2 trillion dollars market cap, making it the first publicly traded U.S. Company to achieve this milestone. The tech giant has doubled in valuation in just over two years.
The iphone maker was also the first company to reach a market cap of a trillion dollars, it achieved the milestone in August 2018 . The company also surpassed oil giant Saudi Aramco to become the world's most valuable publicly traded company after reporting blowout quarterly results last month.
Apple’s stock is up over 55% so far this year and its market value is now higher than the GDP of numerous countries, including Italy, Brazil, Canada, Russia and South Korea among others.
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