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Daily Tech Briefing: PM Modi’s Pitch For Economic Revival; BankBazaar Raises Fresh Funds & More

Daily Tech Briefing: PM Modi’s Pitch For Economic Revival; BankBazaar Raises Fresh Funds & More

PM Modi urged industry leaders to be “champions of indigenous inspiration”

The government has opened up space and atomic energy for private investment

BankBazaar has raised INR 45 Cr in its ongoing Series D round led by WSV

As the country looks to overcome the economic slowdown, Prime minister Narendra Modi said that he trusts “India’s capabilities and crisis management. I trust India’s talent and technology. I trust the innovation and intellect of India. I trust the farmers of India, MSME’s, entrepreneurs and industry leaders.”

Modi also pointed out five “I”s — Intent, Inclusion, Investment, Infrastructure and Innovation — to make India ‘atmanirbhar’ (self-reliant), and said, “You will get a glimpse of these in the bold decisions recently taken by us.”

At the same time, Modi also reiterated the Make in India notion. He said, “We should follow “Made in India, Made for the World” to focus on developing new products and new ideas. This is the time to rise to the occasion.”

He also urged industry leaders to be “champions of indigenous inspiration”. Moreover, he announced that the government has opened up space and atomic energy for private investment.

“Strategic sectors like space and atomic energy are now open for India’s entrepreneurs. Today, possibilities have been opened for private players in the space and atomic sectors. Their participation in strategic sectors has become a reality,” Modi said.

Last month, the government had announced that it is looking to come up with a policy to ease the regulatory environment for ISRO programmes and space missions. For this, the government is planning to allow spacetech startups and private companies to use the facilities technologies developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

Indian Startup Funding

Mumbai-based beauty marketplace Nykaa is raising additional funds in the ongoing funding round from Sunil Kant Munjal, one of the founder promoters of the Hero Group.

According to the ministry of corporate (MCA) filings accessed by Inc42, Nykaa’s parent company FSN Ecommerce Ventures Private Limited decided to create, offer, issue and allot fresh equity shares on preferential basis to Munjal in a meeting on May 22. The filings show that the company is raising INR 19.6 Cr from Munjal. As part of the offer, Nykaa is issuing 32,350 equity shares to Munjal at a price of INR 6050 per share with a nominal value of INR 10.

Other funding announcements:

  • Online financial services marketplace BankBazaar has raised INR 45 Cr in its ongoing Series D round led by WSV, a joint venture fund of Walden International and Korean company SKTA. BankBazaar’s existing investors Amazon, Sequoia India, Experian and Eight Roads also participated in the round.
  • Jaipur-based online custom furniture platform WoodenStreet raised $3 Mn in Series A funding from Indian Angel Network (IAN) fund and Rajasthan Venture Capital Funds (RVCF). WoodenStreet is looking to utilise the funds to increase its footprint, both domestically and globally.
  • Agritech startup Crofarm Agriproducts has raised $1 Mn in its Pre-Series A funding round led by Smile Group. Crofarm has recently launched Otipy platform to help women farmers sell fresh produce to their community.
  • Logistics startup Vahak has raised an undisclosed funding amount in its seed round led by Leo Capital along with the participation of angel investors. With the recent funding, the startup is aiming to strengthen its team and technological capabilities.

Antler Scouts Early-Stage Indian Startups

Global early-stage venture capital firm Antler has announced its plans to launch in India to allow more entrepreneurs to leverage its platform, funding support and global reach.

The VC firm, which has already marked its presence in major startup ecosystems across six continents, will start off its Indian operations in Bengaluru in the second half of 2020. It runs a six-month-long programme in two phases

Sovereign Funds Eye Stake In Reliance Jio

Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), United Arab Emirates’ sovereign wealth fund, is now reportedly in talks to pick a minority stake in Reliance Industries Limited’s digital venture Jio Platforms.

At the same time, Saudi Arabia’s $320 Bn sovereign wealth fund Public Investment Fund (PIF) may also participate in Jio’s fundraising spree. Abu Dhabi state fund Mubadala Investment Company is also looking to invest $1 Bn in Reliance Jio.