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Startup Digest: Nykaa and Dubai's Apparel Group form Gulf alliance, HROne secures $4M in Series A round & Flipkart tops order volume in festive season sale: Redseer Report

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Startup Digest: Nykaa and Dubai's Apparel Group form Gulf alliance, HROne secures $4M in Series A round & Flipkart tops order volume in festive season sale: Redseer Report

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Here are the top headlines from the startup space.

Nykaa forms strategic alliance with Apparel Group to foray into GCC market

Cosmetics and fashion retailer Nykaa has signed an alliance with Dubai-based fashion and lifestyle retail conglomerate, Apparel Group.
The companies said that the alliance between Nykaa and Apparel Group has been forged to expand businesses in the Gulf countries - Bahrain, the Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
While Nykaa will hold a 55 percent stake in the entity, Apparel Group will hold the rest of the 45 percent, Falguni Nayar, Founder and CEO of Nykaa, said. The new omnichannel entity will be focussed on beauty brands for now and will have a new brand name. It will be incorporated in the Abu Dhabi Global Market in which FSN International.
The companies, however, did not disclose the financial details of the agreement.
HROne secures $4M in Series A round from Insitor Partners
HRtech startup HROne has raised $4 million in a Series A funding round led by Insitor Partners. Prudent Investment Managers has also participated in the funding round. Investment bank Radix Capital Advisors was the financial advisor to HROne.
The firm intends to use the funds to build its tech platform and expand into new as well as existing markets. It will also deploy capital to introduce new offerings, hire talent and improve customer experience. According to the startup, HROne will use the funds to scale its revenue by 10x in the next three years.
“We aim to use this capital to grow our product capabilities, expand into newer markets, invest in our talent pool and drive a superior customer experience. We are in the hyper-growth phase in the Indian HRTech market, and we will expand into international markets in the near future,” said Karan Jain, Founder, HROne.
Falca raises over $3M in Pre-Series A round led by IPV
Agritech platform Falca has raised over $3 million in Pre-Series A funding round led by Inflection Point Ventures in a combination of debt and equity.  The round also saw a participation from LetsVenture, Mumbai Angels among other HNIs.
The funds raised will be utilized in scaling the services beyond the current geographies, acquiring talent for growth, and focusing on building tech infrastructure for the platform, a statement said.
Falca is currently working with over one lakh farmers and claims to be helping them at every stage from testing the soil to selecting the right fertilizer for highest yield.
"We directly work with farmers and offer them end-to-end farming solutions through a tech based Phygital platform. Our rural presence and technology platform connects the small holder farmers with the end markets for quality inputs, marketing produce, renting machinery, farm advisory and storage services. We are working with 1,00,000 + farmers currenly along with 60+ Input manufacturers & 65+ corporate buyers enabling transactions worth INR  1400 Mn,” said Santosh Danegoudar, Founder and CEO, Falca.
BimaKavach gets $2M in seed round from WaterBridge
Insurtech startup BimaKavach has raised $2 million in a seed funding round led by WaterBridge Ventures. The round also saw participation from Blume Ventures, Arali Ventures and Eximius Ventures.
As per a statement, the fresh capital will be used for designing new-age business risk covers, investing in its proprietary risk management technology and scaling business and teams.
“In India, nearly 95 percent startups/MSMEs are uninsured," said Tejas Jain, Founder of Bimakavach. "We want to fix commercial insurance from scratch by building suitable startup and SME-focused insurance products, automating risk assessment and pricing tools for commercial risks in order to reach a large number of businesses."
TurboHire raises $2M from Chennai Angels and Pentathlon VC
Intelligent recruitment automation platform TurboHire has received $2 million in a Pre-Series A funding round led by the Chennai Angels and Pentathlon VC. 
T-Fund, Purvansh Holdings, Mumbai Angels, and Hyderabad Angels, as well as global strategic investors Samir Khosla and Francisco Arcilla, also participated in the round.
As per the firm, it will deploy the fresh capital to further improve its product automation, while focusing on increased revenues from foreign markets. The firm is aiming to maintain a 20 percent CMGR graph while also growing its international presence to 25 percent of its total revenue.
We Founder Circle invests $70,000 in Humors Tech
Humors Tech, a startup into innovative products in home healthcare, has bagged $70,000 from We Founder Circle’s global accelerator programme EvolveX.
The firm said the primary aim is to combine its expertise in Artificial Intelligence, Deep Tech, and IoT with clinical research to create innovative yet simple-to-use healthcare platforms.
"We want to thank WFC and all other investors for their faith in our prototype and idea. The investment has boosted the confidence of our team and it definitely will make a meaningful contribution to our company's hypergrowth, allowing us to build our business more quickly. We thank WFC's experienced angel investors to provide guidance in fundraising, from creating the pitch deck to presentation. Furthermore, we will look forward to their expertise in elevating our business model and target market segment to make it a success," said Ankur Jaiswal, CEO and co-founder, Humors Tech.
Flipkart tops order volume in festive season sale: Redseer Report
E-commerce firms are estimated to have registered a 27 percent growth, clocking sales worth Rs 40,000 crore, during the recently concluded seven-day festive season sale, a report said.
Flipkart Group, including Myntra, Shopsy etc, maintains its leadership position, while Meesho is the second-largest contributor in order volume, the report by Redseer Strategy Consulting said.
"With the conclusion of Festive Sale 1, the online retail platforms have seen a robust 27 percent year-on-year growth, clocking a sale of $5.7 billion or Rs 40,000 crore," the report said.
Flipkart Group maintains its leadership position, while Meesho is the second largest contributor in order volume, according to Redseer.
"Flipkart Group (Flipkart, Myntra and Shopsy) continues to maintain its leadership position with 62 percent market share in GMV during the Festive Sale Week 1. In terms of order volumes, Meesho, with its low average order value and high penetration in Tier-2 cities, emerged as the second largest player capturing around 21 percent of the market share while Flipkart Group leads here as well,” said Redseer Strategy Consultants, Associate Partner, Sanjay Kothari.
Magna to invest $120M+ for setting up new engineering centre in Bengaluru
Canadian auto parts maker Magna has announced its plan to invest over $120 million (about Rs 984 crore) for setting up a new engineering centre in Bengaluru.
The 2,40,000 square feet facility is expected to open in the first quarter of next year and will serve as a key centre for the company in powertrain electrification, electronics and software defined vehicle development, Magna said.
The announcement came weeks after the firm said it was investing USD 77 million for acquiring a stake in the Bengaluru-based bike sharing platform Yulu and setting up a battery swapping company.
Magna said that some 1,000 engineers and technical experts, working on software and system development, simulation, testing and vehicle integration, as well as digital, data and cloud solutions for electric vehicle programmes, are expected to be hired by the end of next year, with the capacity to add up to 250 more as needed.
Shipsy launches plug-and-play export-import logistics management platform for Indian SMEs
Shipsy, a SaaS-based smart logistics management platform, has launched a self-serve, plug-and-play version of its international logistics management solution for growing global businesses based in India.
As per the company, this will enable small and mid-sized exporters-importers, manufacturers, shippers, and freight forwarders to manage the cross-border movement of their goods at scale using Shipsy's platform per their requirements.
“Growing global commerce presents a fantastic potential for business growth. However, the lack of technological infrastructure challenges SMEs in realising optimisation and improving business outcomes. Our latest solution is a step towards empowering manufacturers and shippers to save costs and boost operational efficiencies so they can tap into the market’s growth and bolster their endeavors to expand into newer geographies,” said Soham Chokshi, CEO and Co-Founder, Shipsy.
Cogo partners with Maruti Suzuki to promote 'Driver-Cum-Owner' model
COGOS, a tech-logistics startup has partnered with Maruti Suzuki to provide huge redemption to their driver partners on purchasing commercial CNG vehicles.
The partnership can be availed by the driver network of COGOS, spread across 350+ cities in India. The offer has been put to action with the help of Kalyani Motors of Maruti Udyog and will help promote the DCO model throughout the nation, a statement said.
Earlier COGOS also tied up with multiple financial institutions in order to enable easy financing for driver-partners when they buy EVs (Electric Vehicle).
GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY & STARTUP NEWS
Apollo, Sixth Street no longer in talks to finance Twitter deal: Report
Apollo Global Management and Sixth Street Partners, which had been looking to provide financing for Elon Musk's proposed $44 billion buyout of Twitter, are no longer in talks with the billionaire entrepreneur, sources told Reuters.
Apollo had been in talks to provide preferred equity financing for the deal, alongside Sixth Street, sources previously told Reuters. Apollo, Sixth Street and other investors were looking to commit more than $1 billion in financing for the deal at the time.
In reply to tweets saying that neither entities were part of the $7.1 billion of third-party equity financing announced in early May, nor part of the debt financing, Musk said: "correct".
These talks ended months ago around the time Musk started having second thoughts about the deal, the sources cited above said. Musk initially proposed the buyout in April before backtracking in July and then changing course again this week.
French court cuts antitrust fine against Apple to 372M euros from 1.1Bn: Report
A French court has substantially lowered a fine against iPhone maker Apple for alleged anti-competitive behaviour to 372 million euros ($366.31 million) from 1.1 billion euros previously, a source told Reuters.
The original fine had been imposed by France's antitrust watchdog in 2020 for what it described as Apple's anti-competitive behaviour towards its distribution and retail network.
The Paris appeals court lowered the fine because it decided to drop one of the three main charges, related to allegations of price-fixing, the source said. The court also decided to significantly lower the rate applied to calculate the overall fine, the source added.
Jury finds former Uber security chief guilty of concealing data breach
A San Francisco jury has found Uber’s former chief security officer Joseph Sullivan guilty of criminal obstruction for failing to report a 2016 cybersecurity incident to the authorities, a spokesperson from the Department of Justice confirmed said.
Sullivan, who was fired from Uber in 2017, was found guilty on two counts, namely obstruction of justice and deliberate concealment of felony.
"Sullivan affirmatively worked to hide the data breach from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and took steps to prevent the hackers from being caught," said Stephanie Hinds, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California.
The case pertains to a breach at Uber's systems that affected data of 57 million passengers and drivers. The company did not disclose the incident for a year.
In July, Uber accepted responsibility for covering up the breach and agreed to cooperate with the prosecution of Sullivan over his alleged role in concealing the hacking, as part of a settlement with U.S. prosecutors to avoid criminal charges.
Roblox enabled girl's sexual exploitation, lawsuit claims
A lawsuit filed in San Francisco accuses online gaming firm Roblox of enabling a California girl's sexual and financial exploitation by adult men.
The lawsuit, filed in San Francisco Superior Court, also targets online chat company Discord, Snapchat parent Snap and Instagram parent Meta Platforms. Snap and Meta are already facing dozens of similar lawsuits.
A Discord spokesperson said that the company has a “zero-tolerance policy for anyone who endangers or sexualizes children” but declined to comment directly on the lawsuit.
According to the lawsuit, which was seen by Reuters, the girl, S.U., was born in 2009 and began using Roblox when she was nine or ten years old. Roblox is popular with children under 13 but also has adult users.
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