Deals RoundUp: Oracle, Flipkart, Mark Zuckerberg, Shopclues, KKR India, Unicorn India Ventures, UCWeb, Gujarat Government, VisionLabs, YepMe, Ivycap Ventures & More
Paris-based Numa seeks to bring on board ten young firms for the first batch of its startup accelerator programme in Bangalore.
Oracle Selects 5 Startups For Its Accelerator Programme
Computer technology giant Oracle selects a fin-tech company, an augmented reality solutions company and a mobile-first automated employee on-boarding platform among 2 other startups for the maiden edition of its startup accelerator programme.Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator Programme is a global startup accelerator initiative by Oracle with the Indian arm leading the programme which besides targeting startups, also looks at midsize firms including micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) for this initiative.The five startups that have been chosen for the accelerator programme are ExpertRec (a plug-n-play search and recommendation engine for online marketplaces), Niyo Solutions (A fin-tech startup focused on alternate payment mechanisms), Ray iCare (an Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) solutions company) and Tydy (a mobile-first, automated employee on-boarding platform).
FlipKart Revises Its Return Policy For Most Top-Selling Products
Flipkart has reduced the number of days within which customers can send back a product to 10 from the earlier 30 by revising its return policy for most top-selling products including electronics, books and mobile phones. However, the 30-day return policy will continue to apply for clothing, footwear, watches and eyewear, jewellery and fashion accessories. Also Flipkart has hiked its marketplace fees which will increase product prices on the e-commerce platform by 9%.
Mark Zuckerberg’s Twitter And Pinterest Accounts Hacked
A hacker or hacking group going by the name of "OurMine Team" briefly took control of Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg's Twitter and Pinterest accounts, apparently using information from a major LinkedIn security breach that occurred in 2012. Accounts were taken over in recent days because Zuckerberg reused a password: “dadada”. For a time on Sunday, Mr. Zuckerberg’s Pinterest page said “Hacked by OurMine Team.” The group said it was “just testing” Mr. Zuckerberg’s security.
The age-old advice to not reuse passwords is particularly timely at the moment. Beyond the LinkedIn theft, there were also recent leaks of 360 million email addresses and passwords belonging to users of MySpace.com.
Shopclues Says It’s On Track To Turn Profitable Next Year
Shopclues, an online marketplace founded in 2011 by Sandeep Aggarwal, Radhika Aggarwal and Sanjay Sethi, hits the $1-billion valuation mark in January, when it raised close to $100 million—largely from sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte Ltd of Singapore.
At this time when other similar online marketplace are facing the heat of downgrade in valuations, the latest unicorn in the country. Shop Clues, says it’s on track to turn profitable next year, after which it will look at a public listing.
KKR To Invest Rs 600 Cr In Kwality Ltd.
The largest dairy firm in India outside government control may receive an investment of Rs 600 crore from KKR India. KKR India, the local arm of the New York-based buyout firm, will invest through a structured debt transaction, one of the two people said, declining to be identified. The funds will help the Delhi-based Kwality, which gets more than 70% of its revenue by selling its products to companies such as Hindustan Unilever Ltd, ITC Ltd and Britannia Industries Ltd, strengthen its own brand and expand its more profitable retail business.
Unicorn India Ventures TO Achieve A Second Close Of Its Maiden Fund By July
A Mumbai-based early stage investment fund, Unicorn India Ventures, is in the process of raising Rs.30-40 crore to achieve a second close of its maiden fund by July. It raised its first tranche of Rs 40 crore in January. The firm was founded in 2015 and has invested in four companies so far including Roder.in, a technology platform and cab aggregator; Vanity Cube, an online marketplace for beauty salon and spa; Inc42, a media company, and most recently in Pharmarack Technologies.
UCWeb Launches A New UC News Platform Along With An Updated Version Of Its Mobile Browser
UCWeb, Alibaba-owned mobile browser maker, has launched a new UC News platform along with an updated version of its mobile browser UC Browser. It claims that UC News will be a one-stop source of trending and curated news content from both traditional and new media content creators across more than 20 categories including news, cricket, technology, entertainment, movies, lifestyle, health and humour among others.
The company tracks and matches the trending keywords on Facebook and Twitter to decide on the trending topics. It also allows users to customize the content based on their reading preferences.In future, It plans to partner with "self-publishers and key opinion leaders" to develop original content
Gujarat Government Announces Its First-Ever 'IT and Electronics Startup Policy'
Gujarat government on Sunday announced its first-ever 'IT and Electronics Startup Policy', with a special focus on encouraging startups by providing a slew of incentives and subsidies. The policy announced on Sunday will be a different policy with specific focus on technology-based startups only.
"Under the policy, the state government would develop 50 incubators to mentor and guide 2,000 startups in the next five years. It’s aim is to attract an investment of Rs7,000 crore through this policy. The state government had earlier announced a policy in January 2015 for startups with an emphasis on manufacturing and services sector. The 2015 policy was launched by industries department and was focused on manufacturing sector.
VisionLabs Creats An Open Source Scientific Computing Framework In Collaboration With Google and Facebook
VisionLabs, a russian solutions developer in the field of computer vision, data analysis and robotics, has created an open source computer vision platform, in collaboration with Facebook and Google, that acts as a teaching machine and enables them "see".
The most popular tools for developers in this field are the OpenCV Open Source Computer Vision Library and the Torch Open Source Scientific Computing Framework with wide support for Machine Learning Algorithms. Each of them has thousands of users.
Online Fashion Retailer Yepme Forays Into The Brick-and-Mortar Format
Online fashion retailer Yepme has forayed into the brick-and-mortar format and is aiming to have 400 outlets by the end of this fiscal. The company, which has opted for omni channel growth by recently opening four stores in Gurgaon, is aiming to have its presence in around 550 district of the country in the next 4-5 years.
"By the end of this year (FY 2016-17), number of retail stores will be 400, which would be around 600,000 sq ft," Yepme CEO and Co-founder Vivek Gaur said to ETtech. He further said, "out of this 400 outlet, 20% will be metro and rest all in small scale town." Yepme had a Gross merchandise volume (GMV) of $65 million in FY 2015-16 and is growing rapidly.
South Korea’s NIPA Invites Applications From Indian Startups
The National IT Industry Promoting Agency (NIPA) of South Korea’s Ministry of ICT and Future Planning has invited applications from startups in the city for its K-Startup Grand Challenge as a part of its efforts to encourage new and early-stage ventures around the world.
Startups from around the world are eligible to take part in the K-Startup Grand Challenge. Top 80 startups selected from applicants will be taken to South Korea for one-week long intensive pitching, networking and meeting with accelerators.
Ivycap Ventures Plans To Double The Size Of Second Fund
The IIT Alumni Trust-sponsored venture capital firm, IvyCap Ventures, is looking to increase the size of its second fund, IvyCap Trust Fund II, and make it double. This announcement comes as a sigh of relief during the ongoing fund crunch in the startup ecosystem. Based out of Mumbai, the fund is currently focused on early-to-mid-stage startups. It is in the process of raising its second investment vehicle of Rs 600 crore, and also looking to double that.
Adobe’s Umang Bedi is Joining Facebook As Managing Director For India Region
While Facebook is being searched upon online for plenty of other reasons these days, the social network’s India operation has now appointed Umang Bedi as its Managing Director. Bedi comes with close to two decades of experience in sales, marketing and partnership and has been building teams for multinational companies. Umang Bedi will be taking over from Kirthiga Reddy who recently stepped down from the same role in India, only to take up a new role at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park. Umang will officially start at Facebook in July and Kirthiga will commence her new role from August.
Dell India’s New Initiative Aarambh Aims At Spreading The Use Of PCs For Education
Dell India has announced the launch of Aarambh, a pan India initiative that is aimed at spearheading the use of PCs for education. Through this initiative, the company aims to engage students, teachers and parents in a series of activities meant to build confidence and familiarity with using a PC. The year long project aims to reach a million students and 1,00,000 teachers across 5,000 schools. The project is founded on the understanding that exposure to interactive methods of learning in the developmental years, most easily delivered by using a PC, contributes to the well-rounded growth of a student.
Digital Gifting Startup Bouxtie To Enter India
Serial entrepreneur Renato Libric is on a 40day mission. Touching 12 cities across 3 continents, his digital gifting startup Bouxtie (pronounced as Bowtie) based in San Francisco is out to explore thriving markets and seek strategic investors. Stopping at Chennai and Bangalore in India, Libric is positive his idea will find liking amongst investors in India who understand the power of the digital world. Bouxtie is an easy to use app where one can send thoughtful video and personalised gift card instantly using their smartphone which can be shared through social media.
IndiaMART.com in Talks to Raise Rs 500 Cr through Primary Market
IndiaMART.com could become the second ecommerce company in the country to come out with an initial public offering (IPO) after Ahmedabad-based Infibeam Incorporation raised Rs 450 crore. It offers a platform and tools to over 2.6 crore buyers to search from over 3.3 crore products and get connected with over 22 lakh competitive suppliers.
The Noida-based company is in early talks with investment bankers to raise as much as Rs 500 crore via the share sale, two people with direct knowledge of the matter told ET. A spokesperson from IndiaMART.com confirmed the plan. The final details are yet to be worked out.
Facebook To Get Into Esports Game
Facebook on Monday announced that it is getting into the eSports game, jumping into the field of video games as spectator sports against Amazon-owned Twitch and Google's YouTube Gaming.Later this month, people will be able to use Facebook accounts to log in to Blizzard Entertainment computer games such as "World of Warcraft."
The move will pave the way for Blizzard game fans to use the leading social network's Live video service to broadcast play in real time, the companies said in a joint release.
Ailababa Sets Up Its Core India Team By Getting On Board Bharati Balakrishnan Of LocalOye
Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba has begun setting up its core India team by getting on board Bharati Balakrishnan, who was earlier the chief business officer at local services marketplace LocalOye. According to sources, Balakrishnan, an ex-consultant with stints at Bain & Company and startups like Healthspring, is the first senior-level hire who would be part of the local team for Alibaba's soon-to-be-launched Indian unit. Alibaba, which has been a strategic investor in India so far, has a B2B presence, but company executives have expressed keen interest in building a prominent consumer facing online commerce business in the country.
Cuemath Raises $4 million From Venture Capital Firm Sequoia capital India
Education start-up Cuemath, run by Cuelearn Pvt Ltd, has raised $4 million from venture capital firm Sequoia Capital India with participation from existing investor Unitus Seed Fund. It aims to expand to international markets and increase the number of teachers that use its platform from 1,200 to 5,000.
Cuemath has developed a learning-by-doing math curriculum for children, starting at kindergarten to class 8, with the help of mathematicians from India’s IITs and IIMs to Cambridge and Stanford University. Their syllabus isn’t just about math but also logical thinking. A child’s mathematical aptitude and her ability to reason creatively are entwined, Cuemath believes.
Greenko Raises $230M from Abu Dhabi State Fund
Clean energy company Greenko Energy Holdings, an affiliate of the Singapore government’s sovereign wealth fund GIC, has raised $230 million in fresh funding from Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and the parent firm. Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, the government of Abu Dhabi’s investment arm, is investing the remaining $150 million.
Greenko, which has a diversified portfolio of more than 1,000 MW of wind and small hydro assets, also appointed former State Bank of India chairman Om Prakash Bhatt as the company’s non-executive chairman.
Microsoft and Temasek Collaborates To Help Startups Grow
Tech giant Microsoft and state investment firm Temasek have entered a global partnership to help support and scale startups across the world.The collaboration sees Temasek, together with six of its portfolio companies, join the Microsoft Accelerator programme as official global network partners in Seattle, Berlin, Tel Aviv and Bangalore.
The six portfolio companies involved include real estate developers Ascendas and CapitaLand, venture lending platform InnoVen Capital, cyber-security provider Quann, engineering group ST Engineering and investment company Fullerton Financial.
French Accelerator NUMA Opens Application for Second Batch
Paris-based Numa seeks to bring on board ten young firms for the first batch of its startup accelerator programme in Bangalore. The Bangalore base is the French startup accelerators’ second international centre after Moscow. The sector agnostic accelerator has an ambitious plan of opening 15 worldwide centres in three years.
Numa received 122 applications since it opened the application process a fortnight ago for the India programme. The final selection for the first batch will be completed by October-end..
YC’s Instabug Raises $1.7M Seed Round Led by Accel Partners
Instabug has gone on to raise $1.7M in a Seed round led by Accel Partners to expand beyond their original aim of mobile app bug reporting. Other prominent angel investors in the team include Amr Awadallah, co-founder of Cloudera, and Jim Payne, founder and CEO of MoPub. Given that the startup still has most of its team back in Egypt, this is one of bigger rounds in the MENA region. It also plans to grow its new San Francisco office. Instabug intends now to expand its suite of bug reporting tools to create a broader kit supporting mobile apps.
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