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    STARTUP DIGEST: Top stories of the day

    STARTUP DIGEST: Top stories of the day

    STARTUP DIGEST: Top stories of the day
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    By Shruti Malhotra   IST (Published)

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    There were several important developments in the startup space during the day on Monday. Here’s a wrap of the top startup stories today.

    There were several important developments in the startup space during the day on Monday. Here’s a wrap of the top startup stories today.
    ImaginXP raises $1.5 million led by Venture Catalysts
    Edtech platform ImaginXP has raised $1.5 million in funding led by Venture Catalysts along with co-investors like Shashank Deshpande, KrishKupathil, Samyakth Capital and others.
    The firm will use the funds to accelerate its B2B higher education model. ImaginXP is aiding universities provide future skills degree programmes and for-credit certification courses with corporate-led curriculum. ImaginXP provides Bachelor of Design, Master of Design, BBA, MBA, BSc and BTech degree programmes in partnership with universities.
    Tiger Global to invest in Groww: Report
    Investment app Groww is looking to raise over $100 million in a fresh round, according to Entrackr, valuing the firm between $850 million to $1 billion.
    Ribbit Capital and Tiger Global are in an advanced stage to lead a $100-125 million worth Series D round in Groww along with significant participation from Sequoia Capital, Entrackr reported quoting sources.
    Uber says India recovery led by low cost products
    Cab sharing platform Uber’s India business is showing strong signs of recovery on the back of increasing rider demand for low cost products ‘Auto’ and ‘Moto’. Some of Uber’s fastest recovering Metro markets after the lockdown are Kolkata, Hyderabad and Mumbai, the company said in a statement.
    Uber Auto’s recovery across India, based on gross bookings, has now exceeded pre-Covid levels with Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Mysore, Bhubaneswar, Jaipur, Nagpur, Indore, Nashik and Kochi recording the strongest growth.
    UPI registers 2.29 billion transactions in February
    Transactions on India’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) stood at 2.29 billion in February compared with 2.30 billion in January, as per National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
    The total value of transactions on the UPI network stood at from Rs 4.25 lakh crore in February compared with Rs 4.31 lakh crore in January.
    SoftBank's internet arm Z Holdings to invest $4.7 billion in tech over five years
    SoftBank’s internet subsidiary Z Holdings will invest 500 billion yen or $4.7 billion in technology over five years with a focus on artificial intelligence, according to a Reuters report.
    The announcement follows the completion of the merger of its internet business Yahoo Japan with chat app operator Line creating a $30 billion internet heavyweight.
    Z Holdings is targeting sales of 2 trillion yen and operating income of 225 billion yen by 2023, the firm said in a statement.
    Payments firm Klarna is now Europe's most valuable startup
    Swedish payments firm Klarna has nearly tripled its valuation to $31 billion in less than six months with a new $1 billion private fundraising round, the company told Reuters.
    The new round, which was oversubscribed four times and will make the “buy now pay later” firm the most valuable European startup, confirms a Reuters story last week that it was finalising another private funding round. It also puts the Swedish fintech on a par with many of Europe’s biggest listed financial houses. At $31 billion, the company’s value is comparable to major financial houses such as Barclays, Credit Suisse and Swiss Re and is larger than Germany’s biggest lender Deutsche Bank. Klarna Chief Executive Sebastian Siemiatkowski told Reuters he believes there was more opportunity ahead.
    “If you look at this valuation and compare it to some of the large retail banks in this whole industry, we are still a fraction of the opportunity that’s out there,” he said in an interview.
    Polaris to launch its first electric vehicle
    Motorcycle and all-terrain vehicle maker Polaris Inc has unveiled plans to launch its first electric vehicle, with an aim to advance the company’s position in the electric vehicle market, as per Reuters.
    Polaris said the full-size Ranger, which it is developing in partnership with Zero Motorcycles, would launch in late December. Deliveries of the vehicle will start in early 2022.
    In 2017, the company had said it planned to launch an electric bike under its marque Indian brand in four to five years. It is yet to provide an update on those plans.
    Google pledges $5 million to address disparities in Covid vaccinations
    Data shows that Covid-19 affects people of colour at much higher rates and Google has doubled down on its efforts to address the compounding racial and social inequities of this pandemic.
    According to Jacquelline Fuller, President, google.org, the company is committing $5 million in grants to organisations addressing racial and geographic disparities in Covid-19 vaccinations.
    “About 71 per cent of Black Americans and 61 per cent of Hispanic Americans know someone who has died or been hospitalised from the virus compared to 48 per cent of white Americans,” Fuller said in a statement on Friday.
    Data also shows that Black Americans are getting vaccinated at lower rates than their peers. “At Google.org, we aim to bring the best of Google to support underserved communities,” she said.
    Google has already made a $100 million grant and 50,000 pro bono hour commitment to support Covid-19 relief.
    Zingbus drives into western India
    Travel platform zingbus has expanded its services into western India and will service cities in Maharashtra, Gujarat and some parts of Madhya Pradesh & Karnataka.
    With this expansion, zingbus will be available in over 100 cities across Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Jammu, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Gujarat via daily connections, according to a company statement.
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