There were several developments in the startup space during the day. Here are top stories of the day:
Amazon fined over ‘Country of Origin’ rules violation, Flipkart spared
Amazon has been fined by the Consumer Affairs Department over noncompliance with the display of 'Country of Origin' on packaged products sold on its platform, government sources said. As a first offence, Amazon has to pay a fine of Rs 25,000 within a week of receiving the notice, which was issued on Friday, as per sources. Under the Legal Metrology Act, the fine for a second offence is Rs 50,000, while subsequent offences could lead to jail term.
The Consumer Affairs Ministry had in October sent notices to Amazon and Flipkart on complaints of not displaying 'Country of Origin' of products on their platforms. Officials said that Amazon was not able to show evidence of display of ‘country of origin’ on several products. Flipkart has been able to show evidence, and hence has not been fined, the officials said.
Amazon and Flipkart had informed the government that they have removed many sellers due to noncompliance with Country of Origin issue in recent months. However, it was not clear how many sellers have seen delisted from the platforms.
Amazon and Flipkart did not respond to queries.
The Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodity) rules, 2011, mandate displaying country of origin of packaged products, and since January 2018, this rule became effective for ecommerce companies as well.
In the letter sent to both companies last month, the ministry has asked them to give 'explanation' and furnish details on the nature of ownership of the firms, the GST registration certificate and other such details.
Funding of the day
Unacademy raises a new investment round from Tiger Global Management and Dragoneer Investment Group
Edtech startup Unacademy Group has raised a new investment round from Tiger Global Management and Dragoneer Investment Group. The funding round values Unacademy Group at $2 billion.
Cityflo raises Rs 57 crore led by Lightbox Ventures
Cityflo, an app-based bus service has raised INR 57 crore in Series A funding led by Lightbox Ventures. India Quotient who had infused a seed amount of INR 3 crore into Cityflo in 2019 along with other angel investors has also participated in the round.
The company will utilize the funds to expand services.
Shipsy secures $6 million in Series A funding co-led by Sequoia Capital India’s Surge and existing investor Info Edge
SaaS based venture empowering shippers and logistics companies to digitize and automate their operations, Shipsy has raised $6m in Series A funding co-led by Sequoia Capital India’s rapid-scale up program Surge, and existing investor Info Edge. The money raised will help fuel growth and will focus on geographical expansion, besides investing in product innovation.
Accel Partners leads Rs 27 crore pre-series A round in Credgenics
Debt resolution startup Credgenics has raised Rs 27 crore (US$3.5 Million) in a pre-Series A round led by Accel Partners, DMI Alternatives fund with participation from existing investors Titan Capital besides angel investors like Kunal Shah (Founder, CRED), Dilip Khandelwal (MD & Global CIO, Deutsche Bank), Sumit Maniyar (Founder, Rupeek), Ramakanth Sharma (Co-founder, Livspace), Gaurav Agarwal (Co-founder, 1mg), Vivek (Founder, Bounce), Akhil Paul (MD, Caparo Group), Nitin Gupta (ex-Founder, PayU) and Karthik (Ubiquity Capital). The company will use the funds to enhance product development, strengthen R&D and scale the operations across India
Sequoia’s Surge picks 17 startups for its fourth batch
Venture Capital firm Sequoia Capital India’s rapid scale-up program for startups in India and Southeast Asia Surge has selected 17 early-stage startups for its fourth cohort. Surge 04 startups have collectively raised $45.35 million in their Surge round from both Surge and co-investors. As with prior cohorts, a majority of companies are coming into the program with institutional and angel co-investors.
Surge 04, which kicked off on November 19, comprises startups across a range of sectors including EdTech, FinTech, SME Tech, DevTools, Consumer, HealthTech and B2B marketplaces. Interestingly, half of the startups are SaaS companies and 11 of the 17 companies are building for global or regional markets.
Headquartered in India, Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Australia, the fourth cohort has founders based in seven countries – USA, Belgium, India, Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Australia. Of the 17 startups, three are in stealth mode: A digital health startup, a social networking app for ‘Bharat’ users & a sales engagement SaaS platform.
Like Surge 03, Surge 04 will run entirely online through to mid-March 2021.
Govt ban on apps
Sources tell CNBC-TV18 that Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has identified 47 more Chinese-origin mobile applications for blocking, including #MiVideo, Clash Of Queens, among others.
Earlier this week, The Narendra Modi government had blocked 43 mobile apps under section 69A of the Information Technology Act for engaging in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India.
Twitter to bring blue-tick back
Twitter to relaunch its account verification process in early 2021. The company has released a set of guidelines that will be used in determining whether the user is eligible to get verified on Twitter with a blue tick-mark.Twitter is bringing back its verification process after three years. The six types of accounts that would be eligible for the verification program would include Government, Companies, brands, and non-profit organisations, News, Entertainment, Sports, Activists, organisers, and other influential individuals.
Elon Musk becomes world's second richest person
Tech entrepreneur Elon Musk has topped Microsoft founder Bill Gates to become the world's second richest man after a meteoric rise in his personal fortune. Musk's net worth jumped by $7.2bn to $128bn after shares in his car firm Tesla.