There were several important developments in the startup space during the day on Thursday. Here are the top stories from the startup universe.
Zomato shares to list on exchanges on July 23
Online food platform Zomato has advanced its listing date from July 27 to July 23. The company is set to list its shares on stock exchanges this week itself on Friday. Zomato has finalised the IPO share allotment today.
The Rs 9,375-crore initial public offering (IPO) of Zomato saw a high subscription of over 40 times during July 14-16. The offer received bids for 2,751.27 crore equity shares against the IPO size of 71.92 crore equity shares.
Zomato is the first Indian unicorn to go public and will be followed by other startups including PayTm, Policy Bazaar, among others.
BlackBuck turns unicorn with $67 mn Series-E financing
Online trucking platform BlackBuck joins the unicorn club as it closes a $67 Million round of equity financing.
The Series E funding round was led by Tribe Capital, IFC Emerging Asia Fund and VEF. Existing investors Wellington Management, Sands Capital, and International Finance Corporation also participated in the round.
The company said it will use these funds to further penetrate the market and launch new service offerings for its customer base. The company added that it will invest more in product and data sciences capabilities, with of aim of enabling more efficient freight matching for the Indian trucking ecosystem.
Edtech major BYJU'S acquires Epic for $500 million
Edtech giant BYJU’s acquires EPIC - US-based reading platform for children for $500 million.
The acquisition will help expand BYJU’S U.S. footprint by providing access to more than two million teachers and 50 million children in Epic’s existing user base.
The company will invest an additional $1 billion in North America to accelerate its vision of "helping students fall in love with learning", a statement said.
Epic CEO Suren Markosian and co-founder Kevin Donahue will remain in their roles, it added.
Policybazaar to raise Rs 6,500 cr through fresh issue via IPO
Insurance player Policybazaar's parent company PB Fintech is looking to raise up to Rs 6,500 crore via fresh issue of shares in its upcoming IPO, regulatory filings show.
The company received approval for the IPO at its extraordinary general meeting held on July 5. The company will also have an option to retain oversubscription of up to 1 percent of the net offer. The offer could also include an offer for sale, and the company said there could also be a pre-IPO private placement.
Separate filings also show that PB Fintech was converted into the public limited company through a special resolution in June as a precursor to the IPO.
Policybazaar is expected to file its draft red herring prospectus (DRHP) with the regulator very soon.
BT leads $33 million funding round in Safe Security to measure and fight cyber risk
With the number and impact of cyber-attacks continuing to increase rapidly, UK’s leading telecommunications and network provider, British Telecom has led a $33 Million funding round in Safe Security, a cyber risk management firm.
Headquartered in Silicon Valley, Safe Security’s SAFE (Security Assessment Framework for Enterprises) platform allows organisations to take a health check of their existing defences and understand their likelihood of suffering a major cyber attack.
The investment will allow the company to combine the SAFE platform with its world-leading managed security services to provide customers with a real-time view of how safe they are against an incredibly fast-moving cyber threat landscape.
GalaxyCard secures $450,000 in angel funding
Fintech startup GalaxyCard has raised a $450,000 angel funding round led by JITO and other angel investors.
The funding will be used for scaling up the business and expanding its team to provide an enhanced customer experience, the company said.
GalaxyCard focuses on making credit cards accessible to customers with monthly income less than Rs 30,000. The startup claims to have customers from over 700 towns across towns and said it is growing its customer base by 50 percent per month and plans to increase it by 5x within the next four months.
GODI Energy raises funds from Blue Ashva Capital
Godi India, an energy technology startup, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Blue Ashva Capital through its Blue Ashva Sampada Fund.
The funds raised will be used to set up the Supercapacitor and Lithium-Ion Cell manufacturing facilities in India and continue developing materials with cell chemistries, superiorly engineered batteries and supercapacitor cells.
GODI Energy aims to commercially manufacture advanced Lithium-ion cells and supercapacitors.
Industry groups seek major changes in draft ecommerce rules
E-commerce companies and industry associations have called for significant changes to the proposed e-commerce rules.
The entities said that the new rules would be a major deterrent for the industry and will lead to roadblocks for several SMEs & hurt consumers. They also added that the new rules overlap with existing laws.
Several industry bodies, including the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), US India Strategic Partnership Forum, US-India Business Council, along with Amazon India and Walmart-owned Flipkart, sent their representations to the government.
The draft e-commerce rules released by the government on June 21 proposes to ban fraudulent flash sales and mis-selling of goods and services on e-commerce platforms.
VegEase begins 100% EV adoption in last-mile logistics for e-grocery
In a bid to reduce carbon footprint of its logistics operations and achieve sustainable growth, VegEase, cart-at-home e-grocery startup has begun to deploy Electric Vehicles (EV) in its last-mile logistics.
The company said it will move completely to an electric fleet by 2024. VegEase has partnered with electric vehicle OEM, OBA for their three-wheeler eVikas light commercial vehicles under a long term leasing model. The move will contribute to an operating cost reduction of 25 percent.
VegEase will add three wheeler loaders with Li-Ion battery which have a load capacity of 300 kgs.
Tarrakki inks partnership with Smallcase
Tarrakki, a wealth management startup has announced a strategic partnership with fintech company Smallcase, to offer long term equity portfolio to their users.
As per the company, this partnership will enable investors to invest in a well-diversified basket of stocks carefully chosen with a multi cap and multi sector strategy. It will also help Tarrakki’s mission to make investments easy, hassle-free and transparent.
“With this partnership, investors can get an in-depth overview, factsheets and exposure to a professionally researched portfolio. It will enable the investors to make an informed decision while investing in a smallcase basket of stocks,” the company said.
Former Swiggy VP Sandeep Mina joins Dukaan as COO
Dukaan, which helps local stores sell their products online has said that former vice-president of monetization at food delivery unicorn Swiggy, Sandeep Mina, has joined the company as its chief operating officer with effect from July 1.
At Dukaan, Sandeep will lead strategy and operations for optimising the adoption of the platform, building a strong revenue path and elevating the growth of the organization.
Snapdeal, Khan Academy partner to launch digital learning initiative for students
Ecommerce player Snapdeal has partnered with Khan Academy, an educational non-profit organisation, to launch 'The Foundation Program' that will work towards minimising learning gaps in children and building a solid foundation for the next class.
The Foundation Program is a digital learning initiative for students in Classes 1-10 in English, Hindi, and Kannada.
The programme will focus on revising important concepts from the previous year in math and language comprehension, helping children build a strong foundation for the new class, the statement added.
PAG to acquire contact manufacturer Acme Formulation
PAG, a private equity firm, has acquired a controlling stake in Acme Formulation for $145 million.
Acme’s founder Virah Shah will retain a significant minority stake in the company and continue as managing director and CEO of Acme, the company said.
PAG is currently investing out of its $6 billion PAG Asia III buyout fund.
GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY & STARTUP NEWS
Salesforce buys Slack for $27.7 bn
Business software maker Salesforce has closed its $27.7 billion purchase of Slack Technologies, Reuters reported.
US antitrust regulators cleared the deal this week, allowing the creation of a stronger challenger to Microsoft, the top workplace software provider whose Teams app competes with Slack for market dominance.
The merger partners hope the deal will bolster efforts to connect their joint customers to smooth out common business deals, Salesforce President Bret Taylor and Slack Chief Executive Stewart Butterfield told Reuters.
YouTube adds money-making feature to attract content creators
YouTube has launched a new way for content creators to earn money from fans, as the Alphabet-owned streaming company looks to compete better with ByteDance’s TikTok and Facebook’s Instagram.
Called Super Thanks, the new feature is the fourth way for YouTubers to earn money from viewers. Fans can purchase Super Thanks at four price points, from $2 to $50, as a way to express gratitude and support their favourite YouTube channels, the company said in a statement.
Tesla will 'most likely' restart accepting bitcoin as payments: Musk
Electric-car maker Tesla will most likely restart accepting bitcoin as payments once it conducts due diligence on the amount of renewable energy used to mine the currency, CEO Elon Musk said at a conference on Wednesday.
As per Reuters, Bitcoin was up 8% at $32,160.16, while ether surged 11.6% to $1,993.36. Tesla's shares were down 0.8% at $655.30 in extended trading.
Musk's comments at the B Word conference come after Tesla said in May it would stop accepting bitcoin for car purchases, less than two months after the company began accepting the world's biggest digital currency for payment.
Netflix details video game push as it forecasts weak growth
Netflix said it would make a deeper dive into video games as the movie and TV streaming service projected weak subscriber growth amid growing competition and the lifting of pandemic restrictions that had kept people at home.
The company's shares hovered about even at $531.10 in after-hours trading on Tuesday. Earnings for April through June came in at $2.97 per share, below the average forecast of $3.16, according to analysts surveyed by Refinitiv.
As per Reuters, Netflix is weathering a sharp slowdown in new customers after a boom in 2020 fueled by the Covid-19 pandemic. In the United States and Canada, Netflix reported a decline of about 430,000 subscribers in the second quarter.
The streaming video pioneer said it was in the early stages of expanding its video game offerings, which would be available to subscribers at no extra charge. The company will initially focus primarily on mobile games.
First Published: IST