The best stories of the day


There were several significant developments in the boot space during the day Monday. Here’s a roundup of today’s top startup stories.

There were several significant developments in the boot space during the day Monday. Here’s a roundup of today’s top startup stories.

Kreditbee raises $70m from TPG arm, Motilal Oswal PE; Exit of Chinese investors Xiaomi & Shunwei Capital

Fintech lending platform KreditBee’s holding entity Finnov has raised an additional $70m in a follow-on Series C round from NewQuest Capital Partners and Motilal Oswal Private Equity, backed by GPT. The conclusion of this round led to the exit of most early-stage investors, including Chinese investors, Xiaomi and Shunwei Capital.

The holding entity had very recently raised $75 million from branded investors Premji Invest, Mirae Asset Ventures, Alpine Capital and Arkam Ventures.

With the new influx of capital, the entity is looking to expand its loan portfolio beyond personal loans into other loan products, value-added services, deeper channel integrations and partnerships. Solutions being evaluated include secured loan products, as well as the democratization of other ancillary loan products and services, such as insurance and cards.

Finnov, registered in March 2016, also owns Krazybee Services, a systemically important non-bank financial company (NBFC-ND-SI) registered with the Reserve Bank of India. The group launched KreditBee in May 2018, focusing on comprehensive digital loans for young professionals. The platform has acquired over five million unique credit customers and currently has over 1200 employees and a registered user base of over 25 million.

SPAC files focused on Indian tech listings for US IPO

In what is likely to spur a wave of Indian tech listings in the US, two major Indian venture capitalists have come together to launch a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC).

Think Elevation Capital, a newly formed entity launched by Ravi Adusumalli of Elevation Capital and Shashin Shah of Think Investments, has filed a $225 million IPO with the SEC, according to filings March 19. .

SPAC also has prominent members of India’s startup ecosystem on its board, including Paytm’s Vijay Shekhar Sharma, former WhatsApp Global Chief Commercial Officer Neeraj Arora, former SoftBank executive Kabir Misra and Dream11 founder Harsh Jain.

While Adusumalli and Shah will serve as co-CEOs, Tom Glaser will serve as CFO and Vivek Mathur as COO. They will be backed by the global investment teams of Think Investments and Elevation Capital, according to the filing.

“Think Elevation Capital Growth Opportunities is a newly incorporated blank check company incorporated as a Cayman Islands Exempt Company for the purpose of effecting a merger, share exchange, asset acquisition, share purchase , reorganization or similar business combination with one or more businesses, which we refer to as our initial business combination,” the company said in the filing.

“Our main focus will be the Indian tech ecosystem. The Indian technology sector is a large and growing market which we believe will provide us with attractive target opportunities. We believe that the experience and track record of our management, board and sponsor in investing in Indian technology companies positions us very well to capitalize on this opportunity,” the filing states.

Think Investments and Elevation Capital have combined private investments of $1.3 billion in 104 companies as of December 31, 2020. Of these companies, nine have become unicorns. Adusumalli is a leading VC in the Indian startup world, Elevation Capital (previously known as Saif Partners) backing Paytm, Swiggy, FirstCry, MakeMyTrip, Unacademy and several top international companies in the country.

Think Investments is based in San Francisco, USA with a local presence in Mumbai, India and Singapore. Since making its first investment in 2013, Think Investment’s portfolio in India reflects approximately $1 billion in investments as of February 28, 2021, including seed investments in Dream11, PharmEasy and Chaayos; growth capital investments in the National Stock Exchange of India Ltd and Experian PLC; and public investments in Bajaj Finance Ltd., Laurus Labs Limited and Radico Khaitan Ltd.

Google payments chief quits after 15 years at company

Caesar Sengupta, senior Google executive responsible for the tech giant’s payments initiatives, said on Monday he was leaving the company next month after 15 years.

“I remain very positive about the future of Google, but it’s time for me to see if I can ride without training wheels,” said Sengupta, vice president and general manager of payments and the Next Billion initiative. Users”, in a post on LinkedIn. He was also one of the key people behind the launch and success of Google Pay in India and helped relaunch the payment app in the US and Singapore. The payment facility is now used by more than 150 million users in 30 countries.

“My last day at Google will be April 30. I haven’t decided what I’m going to start next,” said Sengupta, who is based in Singapore.

“…Throughout his time at Google, Caesar has played a key role in initiating, building and leading initiatives such as ChromeOS, Next Billion Users and Google Pay. We are excited to see what he will build next and wish him the best on his new journey,” a Google spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

Biotech start-up Zaara Biotech secures $10m from UAE-based TCN International Commerce LLC

Biotech startup Zaara Biotech has secured a $10 million investment from UAE-based TCN International Commerce LLC, the Mint reported. Zaara, who focuses on researching energy and food crises using microalgae, has received funding for her AlgaeSeaweed Technology project under the B-lite Cookies brand.

Zaara Biotech was founded in 2016 by Najeeb Bin Haneef while he was a biotechnology engineering student at Sahrdaya College of Engineering and Technology. The biotech startup, incubated in the Sahrdaya Technology Business Incubator, in collaboration with the Indian Council of Agriculture and Research-CIFT has developed India’s first seaweed and seaweed food products.

Zaara’s team had set up a mushroom center in its first year before embarking on the entrepreneurial adventure. Promoted under Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Center program, the startup product was showcased at the GITEX 2020 international conference held in Dubai, according to a statement from KSUM.

KSUM is the nodal agency of the Government of Kerala for entrepreneurship development and incubation activities in the state. TCN International Commerce is present in multiple sectors such as IT, business process management, commerce, healthcare, education, consumer products, construction and engineering, defense, suppliers of critical services, aviation, oil and gas.

NeoDove raises $1.5 million led by India Quotient

Sales and marketing automation platform for small and medium-sized businesses – NeoDove, has raised $1.5 million in a seed round led by startup investor India Quotient. The round also saw the participation of angel investors, including Sumit Agarwal, founder of Vyapar, and Ankit Garg, founder of WakeFit.

The company aims to accelerate product development and international growth expansion with the financing as it expands its customer base in India. This funding follows the company’s first angel investor round raised in August 2020.

The year-old startup already sees more than five million interactions each month, with customers spending nearly six hours on its mobile app.

ByteDance Acquires Game Studio Moonton for Around $4 Billion Valuation: Report

ByteDance’s video game unit Nuverse has agreed to acquire Shanghai-based game studio Moonton Technology as it seeks to expand further into the video game business, the company said.

The deal values ​​the game studio at around $4 billion, Reuters reported.

The video game studio’s acquisition comes as ByteDance, owner of TikTok and similar Chinese short-video platform Douyin, has made huge inroads into the video game industry, putting it in direct competition with China’s Tencent. . “Through cross-team collaboration and drawing on lessons and insights from its own rapid growth, Moonton provides the strategic support needed to accelerate Nuverse’s global game offerings,” ByteDance said in a statement, declining to comment. comment on the size of the acquisition.

Moonton Technology, founded by a former Tencent employee, is best known in Southeast Asia for its multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game, Mobile Legends.

Tencent, China’s biggest video game and social media company, made a bid for Moonton but the offer was matched by ByteDance last week, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Facebook says it deleted 1.3 billion fake accounts in October-December

Facebook Inc said it deleted 1.3 billion fake accounts between October and December and had more than 35,000 people working to fight misinformation on its platform.

The company has also removed more than 12 million content about COVID-19 and vaccines that global health experts have flagged as misinformation, it said in a blog post False claims and conspiracies about coronavirus vaccines have proliferated on social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, during the pandemic. Facebook’s disclosure of misinformation data comes ahead of an inspection by the US House Committee on Energy and Commerce into how tech platforms, including Facebook, tackle misinformation.