25 Jan 2020

Startup NEWS, Jan 25, 2020

1. Sequoia’s startup bet intact, to raise a record $1.3 billion for new India fund

  •  Capital India has sounded out its limited partners (LPs), the term for investors in venture capital funds. Sequoia’s LPs include top endowment funds and family offices. The new corpus is 80% larger than the $695 million the firm raised for its sixth fund in 2018. Till now, the largest venture fundraised for India was $920 million, also by Sequoia back in early 2016.
  • “Sequoia India’s fourth has been a turning point as it has several portfolio companies which have already given cash returns,” said another person briefed on the fund-raise. Raised in 2014, Sequoia’s fourth fund got $500 million from hospitality major Oyo and another $185 million from ed-tech unicorn Byju’s through a parSequoiatial exit over the last 18 months. Some of the other prominent portfolio companies from that fund include the biggest internet players in Southeast Asia, like Indonesian ride-hailing major Go-Jek (valued at $10 billion) and online marketplace Tokopedia (valued at over $7 billion).

2. Walmart’s cash & carry business may go to Flipkart

  • Flipkart group is likely to acquire the loss-making wholesale cash-and-carry business of its parent US retail giant Walmart in India. The move comes shortly after talks with the Tata Group, which was looking to pick up a stake in Walmart India, made no headway.
  • A questionnaire emailed to a Flipkart Group spokesperson did not elicit a response. The Bengaluru-headquartered company, in which Walmart acquired a 77% stake for around $16 billion, is piloting an online B2B business in North India, similar to Amazon Business and recently launched Jio Mart by Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries.

3. Pine Labs announces investment by Mastercard

  • Pine Labs has announced an investment by Mastercard. This is part of a partnership to continue the growth of convenient electronic payment options for consumers across the region.
  • The collaboration will deliver a range of card and real-time payments both online and offline. Together, the companies will offer value-added services including Pine Labs’ end-to-end stored value solutions which will replace the paper ones now used by companies, retailers and people in South Asia and many other markets. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

4. Microsoft Shows Off UI Designs for Dual-Screen Windows 10X

  • Microsoft is showing off ideas for its upcoming dual-screen devices that will run Windows 10X. Normally we don’t talk much about things like design UI at ET, but a look at recent history shows how important this can be. One reason Android didn’t take much market share in tablets compared with Apple is that Google did very little to encourage app developers to support larger screens. Chrome OS has had similar problems.
  • Microsoft’s new “Introduction to dual-screen devices” discusses these concepts, how dual-panel devices differ from single displays, and what sorts of design principles will work best on the devices it expects to come to market. There are also some standards and ideas for the Surface Duo — the dual-screen Android device Microsoft is bringing to market. The document is mostly oriented towards developers, but it’s written in a friendly language and gives an overview of what kind of products Microsoft thinks developers should create, along with tips for how to support multiple tablet orientations and keep the UI usable.

5. GoDaddy Looks To Set Up Data Centres In India

  • In a bid to help clients to comply with data-localization norms, US-based digital services provider GoDaddy is planning to open data centres in India. Currently, the data centers of GoDaddy are located in Singapore.
  • Nikhil Arora, managing director of GoDaddy India, told ET that the company is planning to set up data centres in India to come closer to Indian customers. “Some customers prefer local presence,” he added.
  • According to Arora, GoDaddy is focusing on becoming a trusted partner of influencers and professionals like web designers in India. Moreover, for GoDaddy, setting up local centers in India can also be seen as a result of the increased number of users of GoDaddy coming from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities.
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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