30 Mar 2020
How countries are using technology to fight coronavirus

Startup NEWS, Mar 30, 2020

1. Unicorn India Announces First Close Of INR 400 Cr Fund II

  • Mumbai-based venture fund Unicorn India Ventures has announced the first close of its INR 400 Cr Fund II with a corpus of INR 90 Cr. The fund will be used to invest in early-stage startups, in Pre-Series A and Series A rounds, across several sectors — SaaS, fintech, healthtech, robotics, gaming, and digital content.
  • During the announcement of the fund II in July 2019, the investment firm was hoping to close the first round at INR 150 Cr by the end of 2019. For Fund II, the investment firm is backed by family offices and investors, who also participated in Unicorn India Ventures’ Fund I. The investment firm is expecting to close Fund II over the next 12 months.
  • Unicorn India said it would invest an average of INR 7-8 Cr ($1 Mn) into its portfolio companies, and then make follow-on investments in Series A and Series B rounds. The investment in follow-up rounds can go up to INR 10 Cr to INR 30 Cr.

2. PrimeSoft Acquires iGenero To Enhance Tech Capabilities

  • US and Bengaluru-based IT company PrimeSoft, on Saturday (March 28), announced that it has acquired Hyderabad-based developer of mobile and web-based applications iGenero. With this acquisition, iGenero’s team, including engineers, have joined PrimeSoft. The acquisition will enable PrimeSoft to enhance its tech capabilities.
  • Meanwhile, iGenero will be able to leverage the resources and capabilities of PrimeSoft to scale its offerings and help its clients with new digital products and services. “Our collective goal is to provide a comprehensive network of integrated services that will better serve our customer’s needs,” iGenero said in a statement.
  • PrimeSoft was founded in 2006 and is a provider of software solutions, tools, and products to its clients in the US and Canada. The company has a team of over 200 engineers. The company offers services like product development, cloud infrastructure, platform-as-a-service, infrastructure-as-a-service, and product testing.

3. How countries are using technology to fight coronavirus

  • The rapid spread of Covid-19 has forced countries to use every trick in the book to contain the disease. Some countries, like South Korea and Singapore, have done a better job than, say, Italy and Spain.
  • Asian countries have used a range of technologies in their fight against the pandemic, raising questions about excessive surveillance and the violation of citizens’ privacy. Here is a snapshot of some of the tech tools being deployed in different countries.
  • Possibly the most commonly used technology by governments, tracking people’s whereabouts through the location information provided by their phones has been crucial to identifying where an infected person went before being quarantined and how many people were in close proximity to the patient.
  • Israel has allowed its internal security agency the use of its citizens’ location data for 30 days. South Korea, China and Taiwan have also used location-tracking widely to limit the transmission of the virus. However, in Europe, which has stricter laws on data protection, Germany and Italy are using anonymised location data to identify public spaces where people are gathering in groups by defying lockdowns.

4. Unicorn India Ventures makes first close of new fund at Rs 90 crore

  • Unicorn India Ventures has made the first close of its latest fund at about Rs 90 crore, as the Mumbai-headquartered micro venture capital firm targets completing the fund raise for its new investment vehicle over the next 12 months.
  • Fund-II, which has a target corpus of Rs 400 crore, has been backed by a number of family offices and investors from the firm’s maiden Rs 100 crore fund, which was set up in 2015. In 2018, it was also reported to have launched a cross-border evergreen fund in partnership with British firm Ascension Ventures, which was called Unicorn Ascension EIS Fund.
  • Founded by Anil Joshi and Bhaskar Majumdar, the technology-focused, early-stage investment firm will look to make an estimated 20 investments from Fund-II, investing about $1 million at the pre-Series A stage and upwards.
  • Till date, it has publicly announced about 17 investments, and counts startups, such as neo-bank Open and micro-lending startup SmartCoin among its portfolio.

5. Ratan Tata Commits INR 500 Cr To Improve Medical Facilities In India

  • Tata Trusts has now announced that it is committing INR 500 Cr to improve the availability of healthcare facilities across the country.
  • In a tweet, Tata Trusts chairman Ratan Tata said that the current situation in India and across the world is of grave concern and needs immediate action. He also emphasised that Tata Trusts and Tata group companies, in the past, have risen to the needs of the nation.
  • To continue their pledge to protect and empower all affected communities, Tata Trusts is committing INR 500 Cr. The grant will be utilised to get more personal protective equipment for the medical personnel on the frontlines, testing kits to increase per capita testing, setting up modular treatment facilities for infected patients, and knowledge management and training of health workers and the general public.
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.

Leave a Comment