Google’s parent Alphabet plans to shut a seven-story building in London, which was devoted to helping start-ups. The move comes after the pandemic hit the globe and showed the tech giant that physical space is no more required to help the start-ups. Google is already providing its support programs and services online due to COVID 19. The UK startup community doesn’t need physical space as much as access to resources, said Google in a statement.
Web and mobile testing platform BrowserStack has raised $200mn at a valuation of $4bn. BrowserStack has now overtaken FreshWorks as the most valued SaaS company from India. It will also become the 7th unicorn SaaS firm in the country. Fresh funds will be used for cloud testing, increasing the product suite, and doubling the present team size of 800 in the next 18 months. It will also add more data centers to its network, which is at present 15.
A startup by an Apple Alum, Apna has raised $70mn in a new financing round. It is looking to scale its app all across India. Apna’s to date fundraising has been $90mn. Their app is available in multiple languages and has over 70 communities for skilled professionals like carpenters, painters etcetera. Apna also plans to launch career counseling and resume-building features. Over 100,000 recruiters use the Apna to post jobs and hire candidates within two days.
Chinese startup Pony.ai has started testing driverless vehicles in California before their plans to launch in 2022. They have been given a 39 sq mile area in Fremont and Milpitas, California to test without a safety driver. Pony.ai will need a final deployment permit which only Nuro has received so far. Pony plans to launch commercial Robotaxi services and has already gathered $1bn in funding with a number of partners.
Bengaluru-based fintech startup announced raising $38mn in Series A round. Overall funds raised to date amount to $ 42.7mn. The app enables teenagers to make offline and online payments. The app takes consent from parents before allowing teenagers to make online payments as well as provide numberless cards. FamPay aims to become a neo-bank for youngsters. The startup currently has over 2 mn users. It plans to expand its user base and hire engineers.
ADQ, the sovereign wealth fund of Abu Dhabi, is in talks to invest $500 mn in India’s e-commerce platform Flipkart. The fundraising, according to insiders, will happen ahead of the Walmart-owned platform’s mega IPO in 2022. Flipkart is looking to raise at least $3 bn from SoftBank Group, Singapore’s GIC, and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and may decide to raise as much as $3.75 bn due to strong investors demand, according to the news reports.
Tata digital announced that it will be buying a majority stake in e-pharma startup 1mg, as it intends to build its super app. The Tata group-owned company, recently, has bought BigBasket and made an investment in Curefit. The financial details of the deal were not disclosed. The buying of a stake in 1mg will increase Tata digital’s reach as the e-pharma startup has a supply chain of over 20,000 pin codes and works with three advanced labs.
Tata Digital, a Tata Group subsidiary, will invest $75 mn in Curefit. The fitness startup co-founder Mukesh Bansal will be appointed as a President, Tata Digital and will lead the company he started. Curefit is the third major startup investment by the Tata group, having an interest in salt-to-software, as it builds its digital portfolio. Curefit was last valued at around $800 mn, before the beginning of the pandemic last year, when Singapore’s Temasek had picked up a stake in it.
Amazon, Google, and Visa, separately, are trying to acquire a stake in Bengaluru-based neo-banking startup Open. Open’s valuation, post-deal, will multiple three times to hit $600-700 mn. Open’s growth, in the last 18 months, has jumped ten times. The start-up offers business banking, payments, and expense management services to over a million SMEes. It is, at present, valued at $100-$120 mn and claims to have processed $24 bn in transactions annually.