Here are the top headlines from the startup universe:
B2B Manufacturing startup Groyyo bags $4.6M from Alpha Wave Incubation
B2B manufacturing and automation startup Groyyo has raised $4.6 million in a seed funding round led by Alpha Wave Incubation. Early investors Sparrow Capital and venture-debt fund Stride Ventures also participated in this round.
Angel investors like Bain & Co.’s Deepak Jain and Arpan Seth, Oyo’s Maninder Gulati and Bombay Chamber of Commerce’s chairperson Anjali Bansal too pitched in.
The company will use the fresh capital to build its teams across key manufacturing clusters in South Asia, and for expansion into the United States and the Middle East. It will also invest in the technological and physical upgradation of its manufacturing partners, the firm said in a statement.
The company’s real-time production software digitises partner factories by enabling production tracking and intelligent inputs to optimise efficiency and gives them a global outreach to international and national buyers.
The startup is focused on driving efficiency for its factory partners – and estimated they will see revenue grow by 15 percent and profitability increase by 20 percent. Founded in July 2021, Groyyo claims to have partnered with over 200 manufacturers across categories.
Wall.app raises $1M from Woodstockfund and others
Web3 platform Wall.app has raised over $1 million funding from Woodstockfund, Arcanum capital, Lancer capital, Lumos labs and Persistence founder Tushar Agarwal, Biconomy’s Aniket Jindal and Falcon X’s Prabhakar Reddy.
The firm will be using the funds to boost its operations across technology and marketing, besides onboarding more customers, it said in a statement.
Wall.app is a platform where people can look out for the top new non-fungible token (NFT) trading, and also interact with others across various communities.
Former Myntra CEO Amar Nagaram’s new venture in talks to raise funds: Report
Former Myntra CEO Amar Nagaram's fashion tech startup is in advanced talks with investors such as Falcon Edge and Accel Partners to raise its first round of funding of $25-$30 million valuing it at $100 million, sources told the Economic Times.
Myntra’s co-founder Mukesh Bansal, who now runs Cultfit and is a president at Tata Digital, will also invest in his personal capacity in Nagaram's startup, which is yet to be named, the report added.
The startup will look to solve consumer needs in fashion through technology and deploy the Chinese model of manufacturing goods based on the orders being received. Nagaram's venture will target the new-age shoppers aiming to address their fashion needs based on ongoing trends, the report added.
We Founder Circle 2nd largest Angel Investor Network of India
We Founder Circle (WFC), a founders-led early-stage start-up investment platform, have closed their first year with 33 startup investments to emerge as the second-largest early-stage investor of the year. The platform has already facilitated funds worth $20 million across 33 startups, it said in a statement.
“We have invested in 105 startups in the last five years. I understand that, as an investor, you need to go beyond just providing the capital support, and need to mentor a budding startup on the business front too.
Following this, we started WFC with an aim to help new startups connect with strategic angels and founders of renowned startups like Beardo, Zypp Electric, Dineout etc.,” explains Neeraj Tyagi, Co-founder and CEO, We Founder Circle.
With its sector-agnostic approach, WFC has backed startups from over 10 sectors including- Fintech, Healthtech, Agrotech, EV, D2C, among others.
“With WFC, we want to open avenues for startup investments from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities and encourage the burgeoning start-up community.
The local business community & SMEs have a lot of interest to join the mainstream business investment bringing both capital & years of experience as value addition to startups” added Gaurav VK Singhvi, Co-founder, WFC.
9Unicorns backed 101 deals in 2021, aims to invest in 150 startups globally in 2022
Accelerator fund 9Unicorns is charting a much more aggressive investment year after closing 2021 on a high note. In 2021, the fund had a 3x increase in the number of deals at 101 deals as early-stage investments picked up pace in India. It invested in 32 deals in 2020, which was also the fund’s first year of operation. During the year, 9Unicorns invested in 90-odd startups with a total round size of $465 million. On a standalone basis, 9Unicorns invested a total amount of $32 million.
For 2022, the fund intends to invest in 150 startups. The accelerator fund said that it is on track of creating several billion-dollar startups from its stable over the next few years and would be investing in both idea-stage and Series C stage startups. For the idea stage, it looks to invest $.5 million to $1million.
For Series C and above, it plans to infuse up to $3 million in high-growth stage startups. In 2021, the two-year-old fund has already deployed 25% of the capital in high-growth Series C and B startups even as it would continue to develop great idea-stage companies into potential Unicorns.
In 2021 the fund, has invested in 12 Series C startups including Vedantu, Melorra, ShipRocket, FlowBiz, Reshamandi, Biddano, BluSmart, Lido, IGP.com, Faarms, and GoQii. “An overwhelming $144M was raised by 30 portfolio companies within 90 days since the D Day. Now the next one is planned in February & we are thrilled to welcome 1500+ investors in the same,” said Rajesh Mane, Partner, 9Unicorns.
Zomato, Swiggy to collect 5% GST
Food aggregators like Swiggy and Zomato will collect and deposit tax at 5 percent rate, a move which will widen the tax base as food vendors who are currently outside the GST threshold will become liable to GST when provided through these online platforms.
Currently, restaurants registered under GST are collecting and depositing the tax.
Also, cab aggregators like Uber and Ola will have to collect 5 percent Goods and Services Tax (GST) for booking two- and three-wheeler vehicles. Also, footwear irrespective of prices will attract 12 percent tax from Saturday.
The move came into effect on January 1. These are among the many changes in the GST regime that have come into effect in this new year 2022.
Also, to tackle evasion, the GST law has been amended to state that the input tax credit will now be available only once the credit is appearing in GSTR 2B (purchase return) of the taxpayer. Five percent provisional credit, earlier allowed in GST rules, will not be permitted post January 1, 2022.
Edtech unicorn upGrad bullish on non-linear growth: Report
Edtech unicorn upGrad weighs non-linear growth options through acquisitions and looks to step up focus on the outcome and profitability this year.
Co-founder and Managing Director Mayank Kumar told Moneycontrol that he expects a massive growth for the edtech sector, and his startup will nearly quadruple its registered learners base to 7.5 million in the next two years.
“In 2022, there will be a strong emphasis on the outcomes and profitability. We foresee accelerated university partnership expansions, tie-ups with global universities to offer diversified online programmes in regions including India, the Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia and beyond,” Kumar told Moneycontrol.
The company is also upbeat on raising the topline this year. “We are looking at strategic non-linear growth opportunities through key merger and acquisition activities,” Kumar added.
“We aim to achieve 7.5 million registered users by 2024 by partnering with over 1,298 universities and 3,110 corporates, and expanding its network of faculties, mentors, and experts to 11,078,” he said.
CCI orders probe into Apple over alleged abuse of app market
India's competition watchdog has ordered an investigation into Apple business practices in the country, saying it was of the initial view that the iPhone maker had violated certain antitrust laws.
The order from the Competition Commission of India (CCI) comes after a non-profit group alleged this year that Apple was abusing its dominant position in the apps market by forcing developers to use its proprietary in-app purchase system.
The complainant, "Together We Fight Society", argued that Apple's imposition of a 30% in-app fee for distribution of paid digital content and other restrictions hurts competition by raising costs for app developers and customers, while also acting as a barrier to market entry. The CCI said Apple's restrictions prima facie result in denial of market access for potential app developers and distributors. "The Commission at this stage is convinced that a prima facie case is made out against Apple which merits investigation," it said.
The company denied the allegations in a filing to the CCI last month, seen by Reuters, and asked the regulator to throw out the case, stressing that its market share in India was an "insignificant" 0-5%.
CCI however said in the order that Apple's argument on its market share was "completely misdirected" as the allegations were about anti-competitive restrictions on app developers and not end-users.
GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY & STARTUP NEWS
Tesla surmounts supply chain woes with blockbuster Q4 deliveries
Tesla reported record quarterly deliveries that far exceeded Wall Street estimates, riding out global chip shortages as it ramped up China production.
It was the sixth consecutive quarter that the world's most valuable automaker posted record deliveries, as per Reuters.
Tesla, led by billionaire CEO Elon Musk, delivered 308,600 vehicles in the fourth quarter, far higher than analysts' forecasts of 263,026 vehicles.
Tesla's October-December deliveries were up about 70% from a year earlier and nearly 30% higher from record deliveries the preceding quarter.
Musk's electric car company ramped up production in China even though competition rose and regulatory pressure mounted following consumer complaints over product safety. Tesla ships China-made models to Europe and some Asian countries. On an annual basis, the automaker boosted its deliveries by 87% from a year earlier to 936,172 vehicles in 2021.
Musk said in October last year that Tesla will be able to maintain an annual growth rate of more than 50% for "quite a while."
Twitter bans Rep. Marjorie Taylor-Greene’s personal account over COVID-19 misinformation: Report
Twitter has permanently suspended the personal account of Rep. Marjorie Taylor-Greene (R-GA) “for repeated violations of our COVID-19 misinformation policy,” according to the company. Her official government account remains active, as per a TechCrunch report.
Rep. Greene has been prolific in the posting of articles and statistics supposedly pertaining to the pandemic but often are misleading or flat-out wrong. This is one of the topics on which Twitter has drawn a line in the sand, as misinformation on the virus, how it spreads, the efficacy of the vaccines, etc has a serious effect on public health. Twitter’s COVID-19 policy is outlined here; in a statement, the company said “We’ve been clear that, per our strike system for this policy, we will permanently suspend accounts for repeated violations of the policy.”
The permanent ban comes after several shorter account locks and warnings, which occurred and were reported on throughout 2021. Greene complained then of violations of her “freedom of speech,” despite Twitter being a privately owned and operated platform with clearly stated rules, and made a final complaint in a statement this morning: “Twitter is an enemy to America and can’t handle the truth. That’s fine, I’ll show America we don’t need them and it’s time to defeat our enemies.”
China's Tencent builds stake in UK digital bank Monzo
Chinese gaming and social media company Tencent Holdings has taken a small stake in Britain's Monzo as part of a fundraising, the digital bank just weeks after it fetched a valuation of $4.5 billion, Reuters reported.
Monzo did not disclose details of Tencent's stake, but Sky News earlier reported that the Chinese firm was investing a minority of a $100 million capital injection, citing a source close to the process.
Founded in 2015, Monzo is a high-profile neobank with more than 5 million customers but has struggled to turn a profit, with annual losses widening last year as it disclosed it was facing a potential civil and criminal money laundering probe. Earlier this month, Monzo received funding from investors such as Abu Dhabi Growth Fund and Coatue.
Tencent holds stakes in major US tech companies, including electric-car maker Tesla and photo-messaging app maker Snap.
(Edited by : Aditi Gautam)