There were many developments in the startup space during the day, which include UK-based Compass Group's India unit in talks to acquire food-tech firm SmartQ, Lightspeed Venture Partners expands its operations to Southeast Asia, Walmart Foundation announces two new grants to help India's smallholder farmers, Amazon India sets up all-women delivery station in Gujarat Amazon India, and Shiprocket launches accelerator program Rocket Fuel for Direct to Consumer startups.
Here’re top startup stories of the day:
UK-based Compass Group's India unit in talks to acquire food-tech firm SmartQ
Online food-tech startup SmartQ that provides services in the digital cafeteria segment is in talks to be acquired by UK-based Compass Group's India unit for $6-7 million, a source has told Moneycontrol.
The talks were at an advanced stage and the deal could be announced shortly, the person in know of developments said, without sharing the details.
Dev Amritesh, Managing Director for Compass Group in India, declined to comment. SmartQ did not respond to Moneycontrol's emailed queries on the deal and the status of the talks.
Lightspeed Venture Partners expands its operations to Southeast Asia
Lightspeed Venture Partners launched its Southeast Asia operations. Headquartered in Singapore, Lightspeed will partner and support the region’s entrepreneurs building companies. It will deploy capital for its Southeast Asian investments from its global funds, where it has previously announced having raised $4 billion in 2020.
Lightspeed has been investing in Southeast Asia, with investments such as Grab, Chilibeli, Ula, Shipper and NextBillion, and is looking to accelerate further.
Walmart Foundation announces 2 new grants to help India's smallholder farmers
Walmart Foundation, the philanthropy arm of retail major Walmart, announced two new grants totalling $4.5 million (around Rs 33.16 crore) to help improve farmer livelihoods in India.
The new grants will help two NGOs -- Tanager and PRADAN -- to further scale their efforts to help farmers earn more from the improved output and fair market access. Both grantees will focus on increasing opportunities for women farmers via farmer producer organisations (FPOs), it added.
In the latest round of Walmart Foundation grants, international non-profit organisation Tanager will receive over $2.6 million to extend its Farmer Market Readiness Program and help farmers in Andhra Pradesh. Delhi-based PRADAN will receive $1.9 million to launch its Livelihood Enhancement through Market Access and Women Empowerment (LEAP) program in West Bengal, Odisha and Jharkhand in eastern India.
Amazon India sets up all-women delivery station in Gujarat Amazon India; also launches its first fulfilment center in Bihar
Ecommerce major Amazon India has set up an all-women delivery station in Kadi, Gujarat - its second such facility in the country. The new all-women delivery station, operated by a delivery service partner, is part of the company's efforts towards increasing participation of women in the workforce.
Kadi is located close to 50 kilometers from Gujarat's capital Ahmedabad, with a population of close to 80,000 people. In 2016, the company had launched its first all-women delivery station in India, with its partner in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
Amazon India also announced the launch of its first Fulfilment Centre (FC), in Bihar. With more than a lakh cubic feet of storage space, the new fulfilment center will be located in Patna and help better serve customers within the region and neighboring states.
Shiprocket launches accelerator program Rocket Fuel for Direct to Consumer startups
Tech-enabled D2C logistics aggregator Shiprocket has launched Rocket Fuel, a start-up accelerator program to help D2C start-ups scale their business exponentially.
Shiprocket plans to invest anywhere between $100,000 and $500,000 in each startup selected in Cohort. Funding will be a mix of credits from various companies plus cash from angel and venture capital investors.
The program is designed to help D2C startups scale up without the typical capital required to scale up. In addition, to D2C brands the accelerator program will also include technology startups which are enabling the D2C ecosystem.
Funding of the day:
Zuper raises $1.1 million in seed funding, led by Prime Venture Partners and others
Workforce management startup Zuper raised $1.1 million in seed funding, led by Prime Venture Partners and participation from Gunderson Dettemer & Gemba Capital.
The company is planning to use the fresh funds to aggressively grow and expand in North America, UK & SouthEast Asia. It is also looking to hire across all functions in the US and in India.
Angel platform Inflection Point Ventures invests in AFK Gaming
Esports content platform that focuses on Asian content for a global audience AFK Gaming, raised $200k in a Pre-Series A round from Inflection Point Ventures, an early-stage investing platform. AFK Gaming’s website has scaled its reach 4X since January of this year.
SuperCric raises funds from Nordanvind Gaming for India’s first ‘Cricket Manager’ platform
Sports tech startup of the Kabbadi Adda fame AnalytIQ Sports Technologies raised an angel funding of an undisclosed amount for India’s first ‘Cricket Manager’ simulation game ‘SuperCric’. This funding is raised from Malta based company, Nordanvind Gaming.
The funds raised by SuperCric will be used to invest deeply in product development and customer acquisition. The company plans to launch the game and expand its user base to 10 million by the end of the IPL.