23 Apr 2020

Startup NEWS, April 23, 2020

1. Google Shopping To Let Merchants List Products For Free

  • In a big push for ecommerce amid Covid-19 restrictions, global tech giant Google on Tuesday said it is advancing its plans to make it free for merchants to sell on Google Shopping. The move will be in place by April-end in the US and by this year-end in other markets.
  • With this, sellers will be allowed to list their products on Google Shopping platforms for free. However, the businesses will still have to pay to promote their listing through ads.
  • “Beginning next week, search results on the Google Shopping tab will consist primarily of free product listings, helping merchants better connect with consumers, regardless of whether they advertise on Google,” Bill Ready, Google’s president of commerce, wrote in a blog post.
  • Google has also clarified that sellers who are already associated with the Merchant Centre and Shopping Ads will not have to follow any special procedure to benefit from the free listing feature. Meanwhile, the company has been working on streamlining the onboard process for new users. This is expected to take a few weeks or months.

2. Box8 Bags INR 30 Cr From Mayfield, IIFL As Investors Rush To Cloud Kitchens

  • Mumbai-based cloud kitchen startup Box8 has raised INR 30 Cr ($3.9 Mn) in its ongoing Series C funding round from existing investors US-based venture capital firm Mayfield and IIFL Seed Ventures Fund. The round was a mix of equity and debt funding.
  • According to the ministry of commerce affairs (MCA) filings accessed by Inc42, Box8’s parent company Poncho Hospitality has raised INR 10 Cr from Mauritius-registered Mayfield India II. As part of the deal, Poncho Hospitality has issued 4,237 preference shares to Mayfield at a price per share of INR 23,560.
  • On the other hand, IIFL Seed Ventures Fund pumped INR 20 Cr in debt funding and got 8,474 debentures at INR 23,560 per debenture. Box8 has already raised around $27 Mn from investors such as eWTP Ecosystem Fund, IIFL Seed Ventures Fund, Mayfield Ventures, Indian Angel Network and others in its Series C round.
  • Prior to this, IIFL and Mayfield had participated together in Box8’s Series B funding round in October 2016. The foodtech startup has also recently raised INR 20 Cr debt from Trifecta Capital. This is over and above the previous Series C funding. Indian Angel Network and Ganesh Ventures Fund are also some of the notable investors of Box8.
  • Founded by Amit Raj and Anshul Gupta in 2012, Box8 is a full-stack cloud kitchen startup. Box8 owns and operates the entire food value chain, from procurement of high-quality ingredients to food preparation to the last mile delivery. The startup claims to be serving over a million meals every month across its 110 plus outlets in Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru and Gurugram.

3. BEENEXT Leads $4.5 Mn Series A Funding Round In YAP

  • Mumbai-based API platform YAP on Wednesday announced that it has raised $4.5 Mn in a Series A funding round, led by Dirk van Quaquebeke at BEENEXT. Vikram Chachra’s 8i Ventures Fund, The DMI Group via its AIF vehicle The Sparkle Fund, Better Capital, also invested in the round.
  • Alok Mittal, Ashneer Grover, CEO Bharatpe and existing angel investors, Amrish Rau, CEO, PineLabs, Jitendra Gupta, founder, Jupiter and Abhishant Pant of Fintech Meetup also participated in the round.
  • The company said it will use the funds to strengthen the team, build technology and offer enhanced API products to fintech. The company’s focus would be on enabling access to credit, corporate banking solutions, cross-border payments and neobanking stack.
  • Founded in 2014 by Madhususanan R, Muthukumar A and Prabhu R, YAP offers solutions to fintech startups to rapidly develop and roll out payment solutions. The startup supports rewards and instruments such as issuing gift cards, physical or virtual prepaid cards that its clients can customise for their user base. The startup also offers QR code solutions to payment companies.

4. Bugworks Raises $7.5 Mn Series B To Kill Multiple Drug-Resistant Bacteria

  • Bengaluru-based biotech startup Bugworks Research has raised $7.5 Mn in Series B funding round led by Japan-based University of Tokyo Edge Capital (UTEC) and Global Brain Corporation along with the participation of existing investor South Africa-based Acquipharma Holdings.
  • With this round, Bugworks, which also has offices in Delaware and Adelaide, has raised a total of $19 Mn in funding till date. Bengaluru-based venture capital firm 3one4 Capital is an existing investor in the startup.
  • Speaking to Inc42, Anand Anandkumar said Bugwork will utilise the fundings to complete the first phase of the clinical research of the GYROX series intravenous drug. The drug, currently being researched in laboratories in Bengaluru, is said to be effective against bacterial superbugs, which are typically resistant to commonly-used antibiotics.

5. SMEs list and raise money on BSE SME & Startups platform amidst lockdown

  • Amidst the nationwide lockdown announced due to the novel pandemic, BSE SME and Startups segment have seen three SMEs and one startup get listed on the exchange. On April 21, 2020, Nirmitee Robotics India Limited became the 5th company to get listed on the BSE Startups Platform.
  • The three SMEs listed during the lockdown period – DJ Mediaprint & Logistics Limited, Cospower Engineering Limited, RO Jewels Limited – have raised Rs 9.35 crore as on April 21, 2020 while the newly-listed startup Nirmitee Robotics India Limited has raised Rs 3.24 crore.
  • Nirmitee Robotics India Limited is a pioneer HVAC Air Duct Cleaning Company based in Nagpur with offices around the world. Nirmitee Robotics came out with an initial public offering of 175,200 equity shares of Rs.10/- each (“Equity Shares”) for cash at a price of Rs 10 per equity share (the “offer price”), aggregating to Rs 324.00 lakh.
About Philomathes Jigyasu

Philomathes (pronounced as fillo-MAY-thus) is a fictional character at VAYUZ (https://www.vayuz.com), who is on a never ending journey called “LEARNING”. In a way, Philomathes embodies VAYUZ - Way of life, which is if you are not learning then you are not breathing. The word Philomathes, comes from the Greek roots philo and philein meaning "to love" and the Greek roots mathos (MAH-thos) and mathesis (muh-THAYSIS) meaning “learning”. Philomathes through his Blogs and Vlogs (Video Blogs) will share his experience, learnings and thoughts. In his tryst to learn and understand, he would also seek answers to questions. So if you would like to join him in this incredible journey called “ life” then feel free to write to him on philomathes.jigyasu@vayuz.com. Always remember, knowledge is all around us, we just need to keep our guards down and senses on.

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