December 09, 2019: Flipkart is expected to have invested $30 million in Shadowfax as part of its $60 million Series D funding, as told by sources.Existing investors Eight Roads Ventures, NGP Capital, Qualcomm Ventures, Mirae Asset Naver Fund and World Bank-backed IFC also participated in the round, which brings the startup’s total raise to $100 million to date.Commenting on strengthening the partnership, Abhishek Bansal, co-founder & CEO, Shadowfax told ITLN, “We focus on building a sustainable hyperlocal ecosystem and are working towards bringing the offline Kirana stores into the fold of e-commerce.Whereas, Flipkart’s hyperlocal approach intent at placing inventory closer to the customers, leveraging the existing investments in space and working capital of Kirana stores, which in turn can accelerate delivery timelines for consumers.Shadowfax has 20,000-25000 daily active partners who do deliveries on the platform.As its network grows, the company is already beginning to think of ways to expand its business and one of those things is just disrupting how fast an item could be delivered to a customer.
“We determined that Docker had two very distinct and different businesses”Docker, the container software company, has sold its enterprise arm to San Francisco’s Mirantis – an Intel Capital-backed provider of full-stack enterprise support for Kubernetes and OpenStack – for an undisclosed sum.Docker plans to pivot its focus onto the developer-Kubernetes pipeline, via an emphasis on Docker Desktop and Docker Hub instead, a blog suggests, although how it plans to make money doing so remains an open question.The move effectively makes Docker a new company, which the same day said it has raised $35 million in a venture round with backing from Benchmark, and Insight Partners.But Docker CEO Rob Bearden said it was the logical choice: “We determined that Docker had two very distinct and different businesses: one an active developer business, and the other a growing enterprise business.This led to the decision to restructure the company and separate the two businesses, which is the best thing for customers and to enable Docker’s industry-leading technology to thrive.”
Indonesia-based proptech startup Travelio has raised US$18 million in a series B round co-led by Temasek subsidiary Pavilion Capital and China’s Gobi Partners.Travelio operates an online real estate platform that connects property owners and developers to potential tenants, who can browse and book fully furnished accommodations.The company works primarily with property developers and their agents, unlike foreign competitor Airbnb, which mainly focuses on renting out single rooms or whole units listed by individual property owners.It plans to use the new funds to invest in marketing, talent, and new product verticals for tenants and property owners.Travelio also said that it has new services already in the pipeline, including interior design, daily necessities, financing, payments, and other logistics-related services, to be integrated into its ecosystem.“We strive to be the go-to internet platform to meet the living needs of all Indonesians regardless of their duration of stay,” said Travelio co-founder and CEO Hendry Rusli.
Xpeng Motors has brought onboard smartphone maker Xiaomi as a strategic investor, as the Alibaba-backed new energy vehicle (NEV) startup announced $400 million in Series C funding.Why it matters: Xpeng’s hefty haul comes against a macro-industrial backdrop of falling sales after subsidies for electric vehicles were cut over the summer, creating an increasingly difficult funding environment for NEV startups.Major players including Nio are struggling to get close to sales targets as NEV deliveries stalled in the second half of the year.Sales fell sequentially for three consecutive months beginning in July, while year-on-year rates of decline deepened from 4.7% in July to 34.2% in September.It is a business that is still very much in the ramping up stage and we have to invest in research and development, in building our sales and services network, and completing our manufacturing plant, which we aim to have built by the end of this year.We have been working closely with Xiaomi on smart devices and they have the IoT leadership in China, and even globally, and smart auto could be a very good extension of the ecosystem.”
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Australian insurtech firm Cover Genius has secured US$10 million in a series B round to bolster its team and continue driving growth across the US, the UK, and Asia.Sydney- and California-based VC firm King River Capital led the funding round, which also saw participation from New York-based Belfer Family, London-based Jasper Tans, Australian investment firm Regal Funds Management, and Fairfax family-affiliated Marinya Capital.“This latest round of funding will help us build out our bi-coastal US presence, European and Asian operations, and expand in half a dozen new countries in line with the needs of our global partners and customers,” said Cover Genius CEO and co-founder Angus McDonald.The company, founded in 2014, works with insurers around the world to offer a wide variety of insurance policies, including those for travel, retail, auto, fintech, gig platforms, business services, and property.Its XCover insurance distribution platform that is used by large online companies such as Booking Holdings, includes end-to-end insurance capability – from licensing to underwriting and claims.Remove this ad space by subscribing.
Indian online learning platform Adda247 has banked US$6 million in a series B round led by information technology service Infoedge and impact investment platform Asha Impact.Existing investor STL also participated in the funding round, which brings Adda247’s total amount raised to US$10 million, according to a statement.Adda247 provides its users with video classes, on-demand video courses, mock tests, and books focused on government exams.It has multiple platforms such as its mobile app, the Adda247 YouTube channel, online bank job preparation portal Bankers Adda, government exams-focused SSC Adda, teaching exam information hub Teachers Adda, and offline test preparation unit Career Power, among others.With the new funds, the company plans to expand its exam category offerings, add support for more languages on its platform, and expand its presence in the Pan-Indian region.Remove this ad space by subscribing.
Codemao, a Chinese online education platform that teaches programming to children, announced on Monday the completion of a RMB 400 million ($57 million) Series C, raising the company’s total funding to more than RMB 1 billion.Why it matters: The funding may help the company, one of the sector’s top fundraisers, compete in China’s online science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education segment which has been garnering attention from investors, the government, and consumers.Attention to STEM is on the rise amid government efforts to bolster its pool of high-tech talent in support of China’s ambitions to achieve global leadership in core technologies.K-12 and STEM education is expected to be one of the largest segments in China’s education market, which will reach RMB 2.68 trillion ($381 billion) by the end of 2018, according to Deloitte in August 2018.Details: Along with its funding news, the firm announced that it is preparing to float shares on the Shanghai Stock Exchange’s science and technology innovation board, known as the STAR Market.The Russia-China Investment Fund (RCIF) led the round with participation from a consortium consisting of Hillhouse Capital Group, SAIF Partners, Everbright New Economy Fund, Technology Financial Group, Southern Publishing, and others.
Paidy, a Japanese financial tech startup that provides instant credit to consumers in Japan, announced today that it has raised a total of $143 million in new financing.This includes a $83 million Series C extension from investors including PayPal Ventures and debt financing of $60 million.In addition to PayPal Ventures, investors in the Series C extension also include Soros Capital Management, JS Capital Management and Tybourne Capital Management, along with another undisclosed investor.The debt financing is from Goldman Sachs Japan, Mizuho Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank.Earlier this month, Paidy and Goldman Sachs Japan established a warehouse facility valued at $52 million.Paidy also established credit facility worth $8 million with the three banks.
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Particle, a platform for Internet of Things devices, has raised $40 million in its latest round of funding.Qualcomm Ventures and Energy Impact Partners led the Series C raise, with backing from existing investors including Root Ventures, Bonfire Ventures, Industry Ventures, Spark Capital, Green D Ventures, Counterpart Ventures and SOSV.With its latest round of funding, Particle has raised $81 million to date.The San Francisco-based startup provides the back-end for its customers to bring Internet of Things devices to market without having to shell out for their own software infrastructure.The platform aims to be the all-in-one solution for IoT devices, with encryption and security, as well as data autonomy and scalability.That means more traditional businesses can buy a fleet of sensors and other monitoring devices, hook them up to their own machines and use Particle’s infrastructure for monitoring.
Stampli, the Mountain View-based company looking to automate invoice management, has today announced the close of a $25 million Series B round.The funding round was led by SignalFire, with participation from existing investors such as Hillsven Capital, Bloomberg Beta, as well as new investors such as NextWorld Capital.Stampli launched in 2015 to build software specifically focused on invoice management.Part of the problem with invoice management is that many people in the organization procure services and contract vendors, but the people who deal with the majority of the paperwork are siloed off from that process.This means the folks in the finance department are often tasked with chasing down coworkers from other departments to resolve their issues.With Stampli, the entire procure to pay process happens in a collaborative software suite.
Millions of neighborhood stores that dot large and small cities, towns, and villages in India and have proven tough to beat for e-commerce giants and super-chain retailers are at the center of a new play in the country.A score of e-commerce companies, offline retail chains, and fintech startups are now racing to work with these mom and pop stores as they look to tap a massive untapped opportunity.A Pune-based startup with an idea to build a logistics network using these kirana stores said today it has won the backing of a major international investor.Three-and-a-half-year old ElasticRun said it has raised $40 million in a Series C financing round led by Prosus Ventures (formerly Naspers Ventures).Existing investors Avataar Ventures and Kalaari Capital also participated in the round.The startup has raised $55.5 to date, Sandeep Deshmukh, co-founder and CEO of ElasticRun, told TechCrunch in an interview.
After very nearly two years of occupation cuts and laying off its workers, the internet business mammoth currently plans to contract more than 700 representatives this year.Supposedly the organization has more than 700 opportunities and the greater part of these fall under the innovation office.The organization additionally employed almost 20 understudies from the Indian School of Business (ISB) in the ongoing grounds enlistment session.The internet business organization additionally conceded the joining dates of six IIMS graduates by a half year as the organization was experiencing cost-cutting.IIM-Ahmadabad's director composed a mail to Flipkart fellow benefactor Binny Bansal and HR head Nitin Sethi requesting a composed duty from the organizationWeb-based business major, Flipkart's made by (CEO) Kalyan Krishnamurthy has made an individual interest the e-commercial center Moglix.
Shanghai-based artificial intelligence (AI) startup Emotibot has closed its $45 million Series B+, aiming to improve the emotion-sensing capabilities of robots in human-machine interaction.Why it matters: The company lists social media and gaming giant Tencent, video streaming firm iQiyi, and robot maker UBTech as its partners.Emotibot also works with China Merchants Bank, China Minsheng Bank, and China Mobile, according to its website.The company provides its computer vision and natural language processing (NLP) capabilities, as well as visual and voice emotion-recognition services to the financial, e-commerce, call center, and smart device industries.Details: Emotibot’s latest round was led by V Fund Management, Linfeng Capital, and an undisclosed strategic investor.Puhua Capital, Keywise Capital, and VC Keywise Capital also participated.
India-based startup MyGate has raised US$56 million in a series B round from Tencent Holdings, JS Capital, and Tiger Global Management.Bangalore-based seed fund Prime Venture Partners, an existing investor in MyGate, also participated in the round.Launched in 2016, MyGate focuses on technologies that enhance security and convenience for residents in gated premises.With its solutions, residents can monitor entries and exits in their gated communities, which are logged digitally.The startup also offers community management tools, a system for ecommerce players that improves delivery management, automatic visitor authentication, child safety alerts, staff management, infrastructure-free vehicle management, and touchless resident identification.MyGate plans to use the new funds to develop new solutions and focus on increasing the efficiency of other stakeholders such as security personnel, local service providers, and ecommerce companies.
Online reading app Midu has closed a Series B worth $100 million, according to its parent company, content aggregator Qutoutiao, on Wednesday.Why it matters: As one of Qutoutiao’s main growth drivers, Midu is receiving more support from its parent company to prepare for a comeback following its three-month suspension.In July, Midu Novels was suspended along with two other major reading apps for allowing lowbrow and sexually suggestive content.“Midu continues to play a crucial part in Qutoutiao’s overall content platform strategy.We have a clear roadmap ahead for Midu, and our objectives of reaching more than 10 million DAUs [daily active users] by the end of the year and becoming the largest online literature platform in China by 2020 remain unchanged.”—Tan Siliang, Chairman and CEO of Qutoutiao
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Herow, a French startup that helps marketers and app developers engage mobile users with contextual messaging, said it has closed an $18.6 million series B round of funding from Xerys Fund, Siparex, and Calao Finance.In truth, only $8 million of the funding is fresh, given that Herow apparently closed its series B round at $10.6 million way back in 2015.But the company appears to have reopened the round four years later and almost doubled the pot, taking its total funding to $19.7 million since its inception.Founded out of Paris in 2007, Herow was known as Connecthings until just a few days ago, when it changed its name to match the augmented location platform it brought to market a year ago.Its name change last week reflects the company’s “enhanced focus on user context,” according to a statement made at the time.The Herow dashboard also offers a map showing where a particular app’s users are currently situated.
In November 2017, aCommerce closed its US$65 million series B round led by Emerald Media-KKR – an important milestone for the company.Since this financing, however, the Thailand-based startup has had to go through a painful shakeup.“We discovered the brands’ need for an end-to-end service when they were asking us for help on driving demand generation such as marketing, social commerce, web development, store operations, and data and analytics,” co-founder and CEO Paul Srivorakul tells Tech in Asia.This transition has meant the winding down of what was a core part of its business: providing single services such as fulfillment and delivery to clients – an area that the company had invested in for a number of years.Hence the company has been executing a restructuring plan it dubbed “aCommerce 2.0” in a recent blog post.This plan involves several key pillars but is centered around the company sharpening its focus to only target enterprise brands.
Vahdam Teas, an India-based e-commerce startup that sells fresh tea in international markets, has closed a new financing round as it looks to expand its presence in the U.S. and Europe.Existing investor Fireside Ventures, which has put money in a number of consumer-facing brands, also participated in the round.Mankind Group Family office, Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalkrishnan, SAR Group Family office, Zomato co-founder Pankaj Chaddah, and Urmin Group family office also participated in the new financing round.The startup was founded by 28-year-old Bala Sarda, who comes from a tea industry family.Vahdam Teas cuts the middlemen suppliers to reduce the time it takes to ship tea to consumers.The goods go through distributors, then sold to exporters.
The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories.Facebook is being leaned on by US, UK, Australia to ditch its end-to-end encryption expansion planU.S. Attorney General William Barr, acting U.S.Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan, U.K. Home Secretary Priti Patel and Australia’s minister for home affairs, Peter Dutton, have co-signed an open letter to Facebook calling on the company to halt its plan to roll out end-to-end encryption across its suite of messaging products.Facebook isn’t the only messaging company using end-to-end encryption, but it’s in governments’ crosshairs on account of a plan to expand its use of e2e crypto.Bird raises $275 million Series D round at a $2.5 billion valuation
Bird, a startup that rents out electric scooters, is being valued at $2.5 billion in a new funding round led by CDPQ and Sequoia Capital, the company announced at TechCrunch Disrupt on Thursday.Bird’s new pre-money valuation was first reported earlier this summer by TechCrunch and The New York Times.It’s a slight increase over the company’s $2.3 billion valuation from last year, but it’s still a sign that venture capital firms aren’t done pumping money into e-scooter companies, despite reports of steep cash losses and rampant vandalism of the scooters.But the temperature around scooter sharing has definitely cooled down: Bird raised $418 million in financing last year.Bird lost nearly $100 million during the first quarter of 2019, while revenue shrank sharply to only about $15 million, according to The Information.Bird says it’s been able to woo investors, thanks to its renewed emphasis on unit economics.
API and microservices platform Kong today announced that it has acquired Insomnia, a popular open-source tool for debugging APIs.The company, which also recently announced that it had raised a $43 million Series C round, has already put this acquisition to work by using it to build Kong Studio, a tool for designing, building and maintaining APIs for both REST and GraphQL endpoints.As Kong CEO and co-founder Augusto Marietti told me, the company wants to expand its platform to cover the full service life cycle.So far, it has mostly focused on the runtime, but now it wants to enable developers to also design and test their services.“We looked at the space and Insomnia is the number one open source API testing platform,” he told me.“And we thought that by having Insomnia in our portfolio, we will get the pre-production part of things and on top of that, we’ll be able to build Kong Studio, which is kind of the other side of Insomnia that allows you to design APIs.”
City Storage Systems, the real estate company of Uber co-founder and former CEO Travis Kalanick has bought a small stake in the startup company.Other investors in the ongoing fundraising round include Cotau Management, Sequoia Capital, and Gojek.HR tech platform Darwinbox has secured US$15 million in series B investment in a deal led by Sequoia India, with participation from existing investors Lightspeed India Partners, Endiya Partners, and 3one4 Capital.This brings the company’s total disclosed funding to US$19 million after it raised US$4 million series A round in 2017.Fintech startup PayMongo has secured a US$2.7 million investment for its seed round from top Silicon Valley investors, including Founders Fund, Stripe, PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, Y Combinator, Global Founders Capital, Soma Capital, Tinder co-founder Justin Mateen, and a number of other angel investors.This will allow PayMongo to grow the team, accelerate product development, acquire businesses more aggressively, and close down many strategic partnerships.
WhistleDrive, an India-based startup that offers employee transportation solutions, has raised about US$10 million from US-based Colosseum Group as part of its series B round.Founded in 2016, WhistleDrive provides tech-enabled transport services to corporates with its fleet of over 700 vehicles.Its Whistle Tech platform allows companies to automate the transportation process for its employees and save up on costs.It also offers a business-to-business shuttle service and an end-to-end transport management service.With the new funds, the startup aims to enter two new cities within the next 12 months, according to a statement.It also looks to expand its fleet and fast-track customer acquisition in its current markets of Hyderabad, Bangalore, and Chennai.
Tulip, a software developer building a no-code app development platform tailored to manufacturers, today revealed that it has raised $39.5 million in a series B round led by DMG MORI, with participation from Vertex Ventures, NEA, and Pitango.CEO Natan Linder said it will fuel Tulip’s growth in the small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) market and in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Japan.“We could not have asked for a better partner [than DMG MORI],” said Linder, who added that Tulip plans to open an office in Munich in the coming months.“While Tulip is already working with many of the largest global manufacturers, the machining SME market has always been core for us.DMG MORI and Tulip will be able to together offer software that has never before been available for SMEs.To this end, Tulip’s drag-and-drop app creator ships with templates designed to address common shop floor issues, and it lets customers add images, videos, documents, and CAD files to brand and personalize their app experiences.
India-based online investment platform Groww announced it raised about US$21.6 million in a series B round led by US-based fund Ribbit Capital.Existing investors Sequoia Capital India and Y Combinator also participated in the round.Founded in 2017 by former Flipkart employees Lalit Keshre, Harsh Jain, Neeraj Singh, and Ishan Bansal, Groww currently offers more than 3,000 mutual fund options.It plans to use the new investment to double its staffing to about 200 over the next year and launch more products.It also wants to be a one-stop shop for everything investment, co-founder and CEO Lalit Keshre told Livemint.“The idea is to launch all investments.
Self-driving company TuSimple on Tuesday announced it has secured an additional $120 million in an extended Series D, just seven months after receiving $95 million from Chinese internet company Sina as global investors rush to back startups powering the autonomous driving boom.Why it matters: Self-driving pioneers, previously focused on developing autonomous passenger vehicles, have shifted gears toward commercial vehicles, which hold promise of a more immediate payoff.The deal comes days after John Krafcik, CEO of Alphabet’s AV startup Waymo, revealed plans to deploy the company’s technology in the trucking industry, which has been plagued with rising costs and driver shortages.Waymo in May resumed its self-driving truck tests in Arizona after a year-long delay while San Francisco-based startup Embark reportedly began hauling cargo for e-commerce giant Amazon this year.“TuSimple’s technology is at a pivotal point for maturity and it has huge market potential, which is why we wanted to deepen our relationship with TuSimple and become a strategic investor.”—Jae Chung, CFO of Mando Corporation
Accountancy software solution developer Practice Ignition has raised AU$26 million (US$17.78 million) in a series B round led by Tiger Global Management.Right Click Capital and Craig Winkler, co-founder of MYOB and board member at accounting software platform Xero, also participated in the round.“This latest injection of funding will be used to continue expanding our specialist team and focus on building deeper relationships with our rapidly expanding global customer base,” said Guy Pearson, co-founder and CEO of Practice Ignition.The company also plans to bring some enhancements to its platform.Practice Ignition provides a cloud-based software solution for accountants and bookkeepers, allowing them to onboard clients, process payments, automatically raise invoices, and deploy workflow in connected third-party apps.The platform also integrates with cloud accounting software like Xero and Quickbooks.