Here are the top deals from the startup space.
Logistics and fulfillment startup Shiprocket acquires Arvind’s SaaS business for Rs 200 crore
Logistics and fulfillment startup Shiprocket has acquired textile company Arvind’s omnichannel SaaS business Omuni in a Rs 200-crore cash-and-stock deal.
The acquisition will help both the companies to facilitate quick, efficient deliveries of shipments from the nearest store of warehouse, thus reducing delivery timelines and enhancing customer satisfaction, a statement said.
“Omuni’s SaaS products will allow us to unify inventory, order, catalog, content, pricing, and data across physical and digital storefronts for the best possible e-commerce experience for customers. Together, we aim to redefine e-commerce logistics through omnichannel retail enablement. We look forward to working with the Omuni team to make this happen,” said Saahil Goel, Co-Founder, and CEO of Shiprocket.
The deal comes about a month after Shiprocket acquired a majority stake in logistics firm Pickrr for $200 million in a mix of equity and cash transaction. Prior to this, logistics player had acquired Glaucus, Rocketbox and Wigzo. In 2021, Shiprocket raised $185 million in a Series E round co-led by Zomato and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund Temasek.
M2P Fintech marks its fifth acquisition with Syntizen
API infrastructure provider M2P Fintech has acquired Syntizen, an identity verification service provider for an undisclosed amount. As part of the deal, Syntizen’s cofounder and chief executive Vamsi Kotte will take up the product leadership role at M2P.
With Syntizen, M2P fintech has marked its fifth acquisition this year. It acquired cloud lending platform Finflux earlier this month. Prior to this, it also acquired credit card sourcing startup Wizi, SaaS startup Origa and banking solution provider BSG ITSOFT this year.
The acquisition will help the company provide better Aadhar verification and know-your-customer (KYC) processes including identity and onboarding services to financial institutions, as it looks to add more capabilities to its integrated technology stack, a statement said.
Snapdeal will go live on ONDC platform next month, to cover over 2500 cities and towns
E-commerce platform, Snapdeal, will debut on the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) next month. The company entered into the onboarding agreement to join the ONDC platform earlier this month. Teams on both sides are close to completing the technical integration needed for a pan-India launch by the middle of August.
At the time of launch, access will be available in over 2500 cities and towns nationwide, and as the ONDC network is expanded during the year, more cities and towns will be added. Various inter-city and intra-city logistics will be provided by several independent logistics companies that collaborate with Snapdeal.
Snapdeal will debut on ONDC with three major categories: fashion, home, and beauty & personal care. The launch of ONDC is in line with Snapdeal’s current goal on linking small and medium-sized businesses with a sizable and expanding online market, particularly among customers residing outside of India’s metropolitan areas.
C-CAMP launches IDHA programme for deep tech innovations in digital health startups
The Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms (C-CAMP), a Department of Biotechnology (DBT) supported- initiative, has launched a dedicated accelerator programme, India Digital Health Accelerator (IDHA).
IDHA will identify, fund and fast-track promising digital health startups which are working on path-breaking technologies to improve health and have a strong potential for growth and scalability, a statement said.
“The IDHA programme will look toward enabling solutions that digitise screening, monitoring, and tele health for faster diagnosis, better patient surveillance and improved healthcare delivery for large populations not only in India but also beyond. Moreover, it will create a successful model for more such cross-border ecosystem collaborations to support next-generation deep-tech across the world,” said Dr Taslimarif Saiyed, CEO and Director, C-CAMP.
MeitY Startup Hub (MSH), through SAMRIDH scheme of MeitY and DigiLife Angel Fund, USA will participate in the pre-acceleration investment. CoE in IoT powered by NASSCOM will join as Technology Partner while Center for Digital Health at Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) and PATH, an international non-profit in global health will act as Knowledge Partners to the cohort startups.
SustainKart launches flagship retail store in Hyderabad
E-commerce marketplace Sustainkart has launched its maiden flagship store for sustainable products in Hyderabad. The 3000-square-foot store will offer customers sustainable solutions to everyday needs and encourage them to embrace a nature-friendly sustainable lifestyle.
The store will comprise a variety of products from brands such as Urban Kissan, Tribe Concepts, Bhoomitra, Renadu Millets, Flyberry, FromVedas and CocoSutra, among others, reassuring consumers to find sustainable alternatives for every need.
As part of its upcoming growth plans, SustainKart aims to launch 20 additional flagship stores and outlets in malls and airports across South India in the coming quarter, a statement said.
Sirona crosses the sale of 10 lakh menstrual cups in India
Sirona, a feminine hygiene startup said it has crossed sales of 10 lakh units of its menstrual cups in India.
Over the years, Sirona claims to have converted over 10 lakh women to menstrual cups that are a sustainable, economical and a convenient choice for period management.
“Since the inception, our sole objective has been to impact the lives of women positively with innovative products that solve unaddressed feminine hygiene issues. We also educate and share unbiased information with our customers that empowers them to make the right decision. I am extremely proud of this milestone that we have achieved. In the times to come, we hope to create more impact with our products, services, content and community and provide a complete ecosystem to women in this category,” said Deep Bajaj, Co-Founder and CEO, Sirona.
GuardianLink collaborates with Cadbury Gems to launch NFTs
NFT ecosystem company GuardianLink has partnered with chocolate button brand Cadbury Gems to convert artwork made by kids around the country into non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
With this association, Cadbury Gems has announced its entry into the NFT space with the launch of its first ever NFTs through the latest Junior NFT campaign.
According to the chocolate button brand, from mid-June, parents will be invited to upload their child’s art directly onto the microsite. Through these entries, the brand will curate an online gallery of digital collectibles, and potential buyers will be able to purchase these assets through fiat currency. After every purchase, the NFT will be stored in their wallet. These NFTs will be available on the GuardianLink platform where various buyers will be able to bid and purchase it again and again.
zingbus launches free travel insurance for its customers
zingbus, an intercity mobility company, has launched a free insurance cover for all user bookings made via the zingbus web and mobile app.
Based on the strategic partnership with ManipalCigna (primary insurer) and Bimaplan (as an aggregator), this free-of-cost travel insurance will safeguard travelers and enable them with the most vital trip protection benefits, a statement said.
“We’re excited to launch this insurance cover for bookings exclusively through our web & mobile platforms. This reflects our mission to focus on making intercity travel affordable and safe for everyone,” said Prashant Kumar, CEO and Co-Founder, zingbus.
GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY & STARTUP NEWS
Twitter, Musk square off in court over bid for fast-track trial
Twitter’s showdown with Elon Musk over his $44 billion takeover faces its first test on Tuesday, when a judge will weigh the company’s bid for a fast-tracked trial which it says it needs to ensure deal financing doesn’t come unraveled.
The San Francisco-based company is seeking to resolve months of uncertainty for its business as Musk tries to walk away from the deal over what he says are Twitter’s “spam” accounts that he says are fundamental to its value.
Twitter has asked Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick of the Delaware Court of Chancery to find Musk breached the merger agreement and to order him to complete the merger at the agreed price of $54.20 per share.
Twitter wants an expedited trial in September because it said Musk is smearing Twitter and undermining operations by refusing to approve business initiatives, such as an employee retention plan.
China to fine Didi more than $1 billion for data breaches: Report
Chinese authorities are preparing to impose a fine of more than $1 billion on ride-hailing firm Didi Global, people familiar with the matter told Reuters, a move that could bring an end to a probe into the firm’s cybersecurity practices.
The people said the fine would be more than 8 billion yuan ($1.28 billion), accounting for about 4.7% of Didi’s $27.3 billion total revenue last year. They declined to be identified as the information was not yet made public.
Didi’s fine would be the largest regulatory penalty imposed on a Chinese tech company since e-commerce titan Alibaba Group and delivery giant Meituan were fined $2.75 billion and $527 million respectively last year by China’s antitrust regulator.
Apple reaches $50 million settlement over defective MacBook keyboards
Apple has agreed to pay $50 million to settle a class-action lawsuit by customers who claimed it knew and concealed that the “butterfly” keyboards on its MacBook laptop computers were prone to failure, as per a Reuters report.
The proposed preliminary settlement was filed late Monday night in the federal court in San Jose, California, and requires a judge’s approval.
Customers claimed that MacBook, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro keyboards suffered from sticky and unresponsive keys, and that tiny amounts of dust or debris could make it difficult to type.
Google to allow app developers to use rival payment systems, to cut fees
Google said it will cut fees to 12 percent, from 15 percent, for non-gaming app developers on its Google Play App Store which switch to rival payment systems, as it moves to comply with new EU tech rules, Reuters reported.
The world’s most popular internet search engine said the fee cut applies only to European consumers while the freedom to use another payment system will eventually be expanded to gaming apps as well.
The move underscores a change in Google’s strategy since last year where it now prefers to bow to regulatory and antitrust pressure with offers of concessions rather than embark on lengthy and distracting fights.
Neuralink co-founder departs Musk-backed startup
A founding member of Elon Musk’s Neuralink left the company in recent weeks, according to two people familiar with the matter, the latest in a string of departures at the brain implant startup.
Paul Merolla, who helped launch Neuralink in 2016 and worked on its chip design program, is no longer with the San Francisco area company, the sources told Reuters.
The reason for Merolla’s departure and his career plans could not be learned.
Instagram will allow users to shop directly in chats
Instagram is getting a payment feature that will allow users to buy from small businesses through direct messages, parent company Meta Platforms said.
Users of the photo-sharing app need to message the business, add customizations if required and place the order in the chat, Meta said.
They will also be able to track the order and ask the business any follow-up questions in that same chat thread. The feature furthers Meta’s push to expand its e-commerce offerings.
Shopify partners with YouTube to shore up sales from content creators
Shopify has announced a partnership with Alphabet’s YouTube to allow merchants to sell through the video platform, as the Canadian company looks to tap into the growing number of content creators launching their own e-commerce stores.
The partnership, which builds on an existing one with Google, will allow merchants to integrate their online stores with YouTube, which reaches over two billion monthly users.
Shopify’s director of product, marketplaces and creators, Amir Kabbara, said the partnership with YouTube would help boost conversion rate and in turn the gross merchandise volume, a key success metric, for the company.
Slack to hike prices for Pro subscription users
Slack will increase prices for its platform, the workplace messaging app’s first price hike since its 2014 launch, as the company seeks to invest more in innovation.
The pricing change will go into effect as of Sept. 1, the company said in a blog, and will affect only users on Slack’s Pro subscription.
Monthly Pro subscriptions will increase to $8.75 from $8 and annual Pro subscriptions will increase to $7.25 per month from $6.67, according to the company.
Celsius defends bitcoin mining plans as bankruptcy kicks off
Cryptocurrency lender Celsius Network said bitcoin mining is key to the company’s restructuring efforts at a US bankruptcy court hearing on Monday in Manhattan.
New Jersey-based Celsius received approval from US Bankruptcy Judge Martin Glenn to spend $3.7 million in construction costs at a new bitcoin mining facility and $1.5 million on customs and duties on imported bitcoin mining rigs.
Patrick Nash, a lawyer for Celsius, told Glenn that bitcoin mining could provide a way for the company, which halted other business operations like its cryptocurrency lending, to repay customers, whose assets its froze in the weeks leading up to its bankruptcy filing.