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Google Acquires Halli Labs, Fintech Startup Open Raises $250K, Warburg Pincus Invests Rs 700 Cr in CleanMax & More

Y Combinator-backed self-drive car rental service JustRide has rebranded itself as Drivezy, as part of the company’s strategy to make the transition from an aggregator model to a marketplace platform.

Here is a list of deals that happened in Indian Startup Ecosystem today. Read a brief description about all of them:

1. Tech giant Google has acquired Halli Labs, an Indian startup working on solutions based on artificial intelligence and machine learning. Bengaluru-based Halli Labs was founded just four-months back by former Stayzilla employees.

Post acquisition, Halli Labs will be joining Google’s Next Billion Users team, the Mountain View-based company’s initiative that is working to bring the next billion users online from emerging markets like India. Halli Labs has a small team which include its core team members — Pankaj Gupta and Pradhuman Jhala — who were previously at marketplace Stayzilla. Gupta, who founded Halli Labs and assumes CEO position, was the chief product officer and chief technology officer at Stayzilla, while Jhala was the chief architect.

2. Bengaluru-based fintech startup Open has raised $250k in a seed funding round led by PayU India CEO Amrish Rau and managing director Jitendra Gupta. The firm plans to utilise newly raised funds for branding and expansion of the 12-member team.

Co-founded by Anish Achuthan and his wife, Mabel Chacko in May 2017, Open is set to launch in August. It will offer digital banking, bookkeeping, invoicing and other services to micro-entrepreneurs. Earlier in 2015, Achuthan and Chacko had founded Zwitch, a payment startup which was acquired by Citrus Pay. 

3. Supported by Blockchain development company BlockPool, music sharing platform Aurovine has launched in India yesterday.

With the support of Indian development company Appliconsultants, Aurovine and cryptocurrency AudioCoin are set to provide Indian artists and listeners with a more transparent music sharing environment.

Aurovine originally took birth five years ago in 2012 as a music discovery platform built on Blockchain technology, it ensures, artists, writers and anyone involved in the production of a piece of music can share in the revenue.

AudioCoin is also recognised as a highly stable Blockchain, and recently passed the 1 million block milestone.

4. Facebook has rolled out Messenger Lite, the standalone 'lite' version of its messenger app in India, nearly nine months after its global debut.

Messenger Lite which was first rolled out in countries like Kenya, Tunisia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Venezuela in October last year, is a lightweight, fast and simpler version that includes Messenger's core experiences such as messaging, sending and receiving photos and links and receiving stickers.

The app also has voice calling, active now indicator feature, has the ability to view and remove group members and add members to groups. The app is targeted at markets with slower than average Internet speeds and is under 10MB. 

5. Amazon has pumped an additional Rs 130 crore into its payments entity, Amazon Pay India, according to regulatory filings made with the Registrar of Companies (RoC).

Amazon Corporate Holdings Singapore and, Mauritius have invested the fresh capital in the firm, according to the documents. The resolution to put the funds was approved on June 28. Prior to this infusion, the payments arm had shored up close to Rs 220 crore. 

6. CleanMax Solar, a rooftop solar developer for the corporate sector, has raised Rs 700 crore from global private equity fund Warburg Pincus. Warburg pincus has acquired a significant minority stake in the company.

“CleanMax will use funds to continue rapid growth in the rooftop and open access solar power markets in India, while pursuing growth in select international markets (Middle East and South-East Asia), and growing the nascent, yet promising energy storage solutions business,” said Kuldeep Jain, founder, CleanMax Solar, in an exclusive interview with ET.

7. Intellecap Group-promoted IntelleGrow which operates as a non-banking finance company (NBFC), is looking to launch a Rs 200-crore debt fund by the end of this year.

IntelleGrow provides debt for working capital needs of early-stage, high-risk small and medium enterprises, typically, in the social impact sector.

The fund, which will operate as another business under IntelleGrow, will function as a category-II alternative investment fund unlike the firm which is an NBFC.

8. Y Combinator-backed self-drive car rental service JustRide has rebranded itself as Drivezy, as part of the company’s strategy to make the transition from an aggregator model to a marketplace platform. It now aims to become a peer-to-peer car sharing platform. Drivezy will allow individual car owners to list their cars on the app when they are not in use, which is then micro-leased by Drivezy.

9. California-headquartered chatbot creation tool, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from 500 Startups; Purvi Capital; Rajan Anandan, vice-president, Southeast Asia and India, Google; and Abhishek Gupta from TLabs. The startup will use the proceeds for expanding its team and product development, as reported by Inc42. It was founded by Abhimanyu Godara, Mayank Agarwal, Arjun S Kumar and Uday Krishan.

Read more deals here

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google Halli Labs Open warburg pincus CleanMax Startup Updates

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