There were many developments in the startup space today, which include automation platform Verloop.io raises series A funding, Vy Capital buys ESOPs from the Urban Company, Triller & JioSaavn ink a strategic partnership, Ant Financial files papers for a dual IPO and Flipkart is all set to commit to an electric future.
Here’s the news from the startup universe:
Verloopio.io raises $5 million in Series-A funding
Customer support automation platform Verloop.io has raised $5 million as a part of its Series-A. The round was led by Alpha Wave Incubation (backed by ADQ and managed by Falcon Edge Capital) along with existing investors IDFC Parampara & Kris Gopalakrishnan. Verloop.io is the first startup to get investment from Falcon Edge backed by Abu Dhabi's ADQ, a fund that recently announced a new $300M VC fund to invest in Indian startups.
Verloop.io enables businesses to automate customer support across channels and has processed over 2 billion queries from customers across its clien ts. With over 100 million unique users the venture claims it has a 92 percent support query deflection and can automate up to 60 percent within 30 days.
Vy Capital buys $5million worth ESOPS from Urban Company
Vy Capital buys Urban Company’s employee stock sale programme worth $5 million. Under the plan, employees will get the option to liquidate their vested ESOPs, to be purchased through a secondary transaction. More than 180 employees are eligible to participate in this programme.
The latest ESOP sale values each ESOP at Rs 110,000, which is the same price as the Series-E secondary transaction that took place in June 2019.
Healthcare training platform Virohan raises $2.8 million
Healthcare vocational platform Virohan has raised $2.8 million across seed and series-A funding. As part of the total fund raise, the seed round was led by Keiretsu Forum and Series-A round was led by the elea Foundation for Ethics in Globalization and by the Singh Family Trusts, advised by Artha Impact with participation from founders and National Skill Development Corporation.
A training partner of NSDC and a Yunus Social business Investee company, Virohan works with GE Healthcare and the Indian Medical Association (IMA) among others across India to provide youth with a career in the healthcare sector and make available trained workforce to the industry.
US-based photo & video sharing app Triller and Jiosaavn enter global partnership
Triller, a US-based photo and video sharing app and JioSaavn, a streaming platform for South Asian music and audio entertainment, enter a long-term exclusive partnership.
Earlier this year, JioSaavn announced a New "Living Search" with recommendations and Shorties - 15 second looping visuals to accompany select tracks. Over the next few months, JioSaavn will integrate with TRILLER, giving users access to exclusive TRILLER’s video content from top artists and songs.
The long-term model is to create a collaborative and cross-channel stream. Modules and Artist Pages on JioSaavn and TRILLER Shorties in the player will include artist callouts and branding for Triller. Users will also have an opportunity to record their own videos for a chance to have it appear on JioSaavn.
Flipkart commits for 100% transition to electric vehicles
Ecommerce platform Flipkart commits to a 100 percent transition to electric vehicles (EVs) by 2030. Flipkart has joined the Climate Group's EV100 Initiative. As part of the initiative, Flipkart will electrify its entire logistics fleet, integrate charging infrastructure and encourage adoption by staff.
EV100 brings together forward-looking companies committed to accelerating the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) and making electric transport the new normal by 2030, the company said.
Happiest Minds gets Sebi nod to launch IPO
IT services firm Happiest Minds gets Sebi's approval for IPO. The public offer comprises a fresh issue of shares worth Rs 110 crore and offer for sale of around Rs 3.56 crore by promoter Ashok Soota and PE investor JP Morgan CMDB II.
Facebook News to expand to UK, Germany, France, India and Brazil
Facebook will expand Facebook News internationally, to launch in multiple countries within the next six months to a year. The social network will be taking the product outside the US to countries like the UK, Germany, France, India and Brazil.
The company will pay news publishers to ensure their content is available in the new product.
"Consumer habits and news inventory vary by country, so we’ll work closely with news partners in each country to tailor the experience and test ways to deliver a valuable experience for people while also honoring publishers’ business models", said a company statement.
Peter Thiel-backed Luminar to go public at $2.9 billion valuation
Automotive sensor startup Luminar Technologies will go public through a merger with special purpose acquisition company Gores Metropoulos with an enterprise value of about $2.9 billion (2.2 billion pounds), according to Reuters.
The deal includes $400 million of cash from Gores Metropoulos and $170 million financing by investors including tech billionaire Peter Thiel, GoPro Inc founder Nick Woodman, Volvo Cars Tech Fund and VectoIQ, the firm that helped Nikola Corp go public through a SPAC, also known as a blank-check firm. That gives the Luminar deal a total equity value of $3.4 billion.
Luminar makes lidar sensors and software for vehicles. Lidar sensors, which use laser light pulses to render precise images of the environment around the car, are seen as essential by many automakers to allow higher levels of driver assistance right up to making them capable of self-driving.
Ant Group files plans for dual listing in Hong Kong and Shanghai
Jack Ma’s Ant Group, China’s largest digital payments provider and digital finance platform, has filed applications to sell shares simultaneously in Hong Kong and Shanghai, kicking off the process for what’s likely to be the largest fundraising in the history of global finance, according to the South China Post.
The fintech unicorn will sell not less than 10 percent of its total capital post-issuance, split between Hong Kong and Shanghai’s Star Market, as the Science and Technology Innovation Board is also called, according to its mainland filing on Tuesday on the two exchanges.
While the size of the initial public offering is still subject to market conditions, the dual listing is widely expected to surpass Saudi Aramco’s $29.4 billion listing in 2019, the current record holder for the world’s largest fundraising, according to the report.