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Deals RoundUp: Jiyo Natural; NexPCB; Little Black Book (LBB); Helpchat, Snapdeal; Torrent Pharma; SkillTrain; eBay; Intel; Amazon and Microsoft

Chinese hardware company NexPCB which was founded by Thunder Zhang, is entering India in partnership with Bangalore-based hardware accelerator Revvx to back Indian startups.

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Health Food Company Jiyo Natural Acquires Food Delivery Firm Sangeetha Aahar

Health food company Jiyo Natural has acquired Bangalore-based food delivery company Sangeetha Aahar for an undisclosed amount.

With this acquisition, the four-year-old company, Jiyo Natural now aims at growing its revenue by 30%. Besides the growth in revenue, Jiyo Natural will increase its capacity by 140%.

After the acquisition, Jiyo will be delivering around 2,700 meals a day and aim to reach close to 4000 in three months.

Going forward. Indian Angel Network-backed Jiyo Natural, which competes with Freshmenu and Cookaroo, also have plans to introduce ready-to-cook meals from the next quarter.

Chinese Hardware Firm NexPCB Ties Up With Revvx to Explore Investment Opportunities

Chinese hardware company NexPCB which was founded by Thunder Zhang, is entering India in partnership with Bangalore-based hardware accelerator Revvx to back Indian startups. The partnership will help Revvx’s startups save a lot of time in their process to go to the mass production stage. In addition, NexPCB’s manufacturing expertise and capabilities will help them launch products at a much lesser cost.

NexPCB provides electronics assembly services, hardware, contract manufacturing and turnkey manufacturing services to small to mid-sized companies.

Zhang is also the founder and a board member of China-based startup, Big Bang Café. Zhang has invested about $6 million in 11 startups so far.

Little Black Book (LBB) Gets $1.2M from IDG Ventures India and Indian Angel Network


Delhi-based Little Black Book (LBB), a local discovery platform that was founded in 2012 by Suchita Salwan and Dhruv Mathur, has raised raised $1.2 million from IDG Ventures India and Indian Angel Network.

The startup gives curated cultural and lifestyle guide to places in Delhi, Gurgaon and Bangalore. It covers a wide spectrum of interests from consumers that includes food, events, travel, adventure, lifestyle and shopping, among others. The company claims to currently have 600,000 monthly users via their website and plans to reach out to over 1 million users every month.

Helpchat Closes Chat Service, Lays Off Staff


Personal assistant app Helpchat, operated by Coraza Technologies Pvt Ltd, has closed its chat services and laid off most employees working in those operations.

“The only problem with chat was that customers who tried it weren’t coming back. So we tried harder, optimised first response times, average response times, our knowledge base, canned responses and built better dashboards for monitoring all of these (all the while scaling the backend for the chat volume),” said founder and CEO, Ankur Singla, Helpchat. “That still didn’t work.”

Ankur further further added in a blog post that a lot of its users found chat a “cumbersome” way of doing things and that it had realised as far back as in September 2015 that using chat to provide personal assistance was a problem.

Snapdeal To Close Operations in Its Regional Offices in Bangalore, Mumbai, Kolkata and Hyderabad

Snapdeal plans to close operations in its regional offices in Bangalore, Mumbai, Kolkata and Hyderabad. Indian eCommerce marketplace has even asked few employees to relocate to its head office in Delhi and has already decreased the team size to 45 people in the departments of accounts and vendor management in Bangalore from 85 employees a year ago.

Apart from eCommerce, food-tech and logistics startups are also scaling down their operations.

Ahmedabad Based Torrent Pharma in Talks to Acquire Glochem Industries for $45M

Ahmedabad-based Torrent Pharma is in advanced talks to buy bulk drugs supplier Glochem Industries for about $45 million. Glochem is a medium-sized firm that manufactures bulk drugs, or active ingredients, which are used as raw material for medicines. Torrent Pharma was also interested in acquiring Hyderabad-based injectables maker Gland Pharma, however the deal withdrew as the valuations rose to above a billion dollars.

Skills Training Platform SkillTrain Bags Funding from Mphasis


Mobile based skills training platform SkillTrain has raised funding from the corporate social responsibility programme of IT services company Mphasis.

Incubated by social enterprise platform Villgro, SkillTrain will use the money to set up a skill training centre in Indore.

"We currently have five blended learning centres including three centres with NGO partners. We are planning to scale in additional five cities over the next quarter before we look for equity investment," said B Ganesh, founder of SkillTrain.

eBay Acquires International Ticket Marketplace Ticketbis For $165M

eBay Inc. has announced an agreement to acquire Ticketbis, an international ticket marketplace with a presence in 47 countries. Ticketbis will become part of eBay Inc.’s StubHub business, the largest ticket marketplace in the U.S. With this acquisition, StubHub will grow its presence across Latin America and Europe and expand into Asia Pacific, becoming the global ticket marketplace leader, as measured by volume of transactions and international reach.

Intel Acquires Computer Vision Startup Itseez for IoT and Automotive

Intel signed a definitive agreement to acquire Itseez Inc., an expert in Computer Vision (CV) algorithms and implementations for embedded and specialized hardware. Itseez contributes software tuning and integration in many market-leading products shipping today from cars to security systems and more. This acquisition furthers Intel’s efforts to win in IoT market segments like automotive and video, where the ability to electronically perceive and understand images paves the way for innovation and opportunity.

Itseez will become a key ingredient for Intel’s Internet of Things Group (IOTG) roadmap, and will help Intel’s customers create innovative deep-learning-based CV applications like autonomous driving, digital security and surveillance, and industrial inspection. Itseez is also a key contributor to computer vision standards initiatives including OpenCV and OpenVX. Together, we’ll step up our contribution to these standards bodies – defining a technology bridge that helps the industry move more quickly to OpenVX-based products.

Amazon Cloud Service Inks $400M Deal With Salesforce to Expand Service Internationally

Amazon’s AWS cloud division has signed a deal with Salesforce to expand services internationally.

"We are excited to expand our strategic relationship with Amazon as our preferred public cloud infrastructure provider," Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO, Salesforce, said in a statement.

The four-year deal appears to be valued at $400 million, based on a Salesforce filings with the SEC about a deal with an unnamed infrastructure services company.

Microsoft to Lay Off 1850 Employees to Streamline Smartphone Hardware Business


Microsoft has announced plans to streamline the company’s smartphone hardware business, which will impact up to 1,850 jobs. As a result, the company will record an impairment and restructuring charge of approximately $950 million, of which approximately $200 million will relate to severance payments.

“We are focusing our phone efforts where we have differentiation — with enterprises that value security, manageability and our Continuum capability, and consumers who value the same,” said Satya Nadella, chief executive officer of Microsoft. “We will continue to innovate across devices and on our cloud services across all mobile platforms.”



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