Below are some of the top startup news in India. It also includes technology news, startup news in the US, and other important headlines for entrepreneurs.
1Delhi govt to change its fleet of cars to electric vehicles in 6 months: Kejriwal
CM Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday launched a new campaign, Switch Delhi, and announced that the govt will change its fleet of hired cars to electric vehicles. Addressing a digital press conference, Kejriwal said vehicles are one of the main contributors to air pollution in the Capital. The Delhi EV policy, announced in August last year, envisages that 25% of all new vehicle registrations should be Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) by 2024.
2Pornhub to use a third-party firm Yoti to verify IDs on uploaded content
Pornhub has been on damage control ever since an NYT report published in December accused it of allowing the monetization of child exploitation, revenge porn, and other illegal content with its lax policy enforcement. Now, the website has expounded upon the steps it has taken since then, including getting the services of a third-party firm called Yoti to verify the identities of users uploading content.
3Myanmar’s New Government Blocks Facebook After Military Coup
Myanmar’s new government has ordered internet providers in the country to block Facebook. Roughly half of Myanmar’s population of 55 million people use Facebook, according to Burmese news site Irrawaddy, and those people are currently being redirected to a landing page explaining that the government has banned the site. It’s not yet clear how long the ban will last.
4Cannabis startup Hemp Horizons raises Rs 2 Crore from Mumbai Angels, AngelList
Cannabis startup Hemp Horizons, a GMP certified and USFDA registered hemp seed processing company, has raised Rs 2 crore as part of its seed funding round led by Mumbai Angels Network with participation from AngelList. The round also saw participation from renowned national and international angel investors like TradeIndia CEO Bikky Khosla.
5ARAI ties up with AIM-NITI Aayog to boost the startup ecosystem in the mobility sector
ARAI and Atal Innovation Mission (AIM)- NITI Aayog have signed a statement of intent (SOI) to boost the startup ecosystem in the mobility sector, officials said. ARAI Director Dr. Reji Mathai said, “Under this initiative, the ARAI will use its TechNovuus platform and lend its experience, expertise, and equipment to nurture startups working in the mobility segment.”
6PhonePe launches $200M ESOPs for all full-time employees
PhonePe said in a blog it has launched a $200 million stock option plan for its 2,200 full-time employees, enabling everyone to benefit from the growth it saw last year when digital payments hit new highs due to the pandemic. PhonePe ESOP follows a string of several other startups such as Licious, Wakefit, and ShareChat that recently granted stock options to all their employees.
7Airbus Signs MoU With FlyTech To Train Drone Pilots In India
The MoU was signed at Aero India 2021, India’s premier Defence and Aerospace show. The partnership will enable Airbus to explore collaboration opportunities in Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) training. Currently, there are around 40,000 drones in the country and expects to reach over a million in the next five years. Flytech owns around 15 aircraft, including Cessna 152, Cessna 172, Beech Baron B 58, HS 125, and helicopters like Chetak, Bell, and Lama.
8Elon Musk Returns to Twitter After 46-Hour Hiatus, Causes Dogecoin Price to Soar
After quitting Twitter for 46 hours, Musk returned to the micro-blogging platform and talked about fake money, tweeting simply “Doge,” a reference to the joke cryptocurrency Dogecoin. The cryptocurrency’s price soared up to 81% after Elon’s tweet. Musk knew he was doing Dogecoin investors a favor and tweeted a meme image of himself as Rafiki from Disney’s animated movie The Lion King and the Doge mascot as Simba. His message: “ur welcome.”
9Gurugram-based retail-tech startup NutriTap acquires Bengaluru’s Pikobox
This acquisition will help NutriTap, which is building a data-driven and asset-light, D2C retail channel, expand its operations in South India. Rajesh Kumar, Co-founder, and CEO of Nutritap confirmed that the startup is in the final stage of discussions with some key investors for a million-dollar Pre-Series-A round of funding. Pikobox is a digital vending machine startup, providing smart retailing B2B solutions.
10Koo raises $4.1M in Series A from Mohandas Pai’s 3one4 Capital
Indian microblogging app, Koo, has raised $4.1 million as part of its Series A funding. Infosys veteran Mohandas Pai’s 3one4 Capital is the latest addition to the investors on board. The round also saw participation from Accel Partners, Kalaari Capital, Blume Ventures, and Dream Incubator. Koo facilitates active conversations as creators can express themselves, and users can follow creators of their choice to create a customized feed.
11Mental health startup InnerHour raises $5.2M Series A investment led by Lightbox
Mental health startup InnerHour has raised $5.2 million from Lightbox and others. The round was led by Lightbox, with an investment of $4.5 million, along with other angels including Capricorn Ventures; Micasa Investments (Singapore); Pankaj Sahni, CEO, Medanta – The Medicity Hospitals; Hitesh Oberoi, CEO, and MD, Info Edge India Pvt Ltd, among others.
12MPL raises $95 Million From Composite, soon to join the Unicorn Club
Mobile Premier League (MPL) has raised $95 million in funding from Composite Capital and Moore Ventures. Other investors, including Base Ventures, RTP Global, Go-Ventures, Telstra, Founders Circle, and Play Ventures also participated in the funding round. The round has doubled down the valuation from $450 million to $945 million. Before this round, MPL had raised $90 million as part of its Series C funding round.
13Travel marketplace ixigo Acquires Train Booking App Confirmtkt
AI-based travel app ixigo has entered into a definitive share purchase agreement to acquire 100% shareholding of Confirmtkt for an undisclosed amount across a mix of cash and ixigo stock. The founders of ixigo will join the Confirmtkt board and existing investors of Confirmtkt, including Venture Catalysts, will be exiting the company fully as a part of the deal. Both companies will continue to run independently, post this acquisition.