This week seems to be a week of celebration for the startup ecosystem. Where government announced some interesting initiatives for startups to foster, on the other hand, ecosystem saw the launches of news funds, signing of MoUs and acquisition of startups. In all this week was full of surprises for the startup world. For those who have missed the interesting updates from startup world, here is the recap for you all.

Government Initiatives

Govt Considering Over 60 Startup Proposals for Northeast

According to the media reports, the Modi government is currently working on over 60 proposals for startups in the Northeast. The proposal involves the Centre providing initial monetary help to these startups under the umbrella of a new scheme called Northeast Venture Fund. In addition to this, the fund from the center, Manipur Chief minister N Biren Singh announced that his state government has also set aside a budget of Rs 35 crores under the ‘Startup India’ initiative in order to encourage local entrepreneurs in the region.

According to Minister for Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER) Jitendra Singh, the scheme would see his ministry providing an additional benefit of providing the initial funds to any youngster planning to set up an enterprise.

List of Karnataka’s 100 Most Innovative Startups Is Out

On Wednesday, the Karnataka government finally announced the list of the selected 100 startups for its ELEVATE 100 programme. The panel of jury chose the final 100 from a pool of 270 startups by following a rigorous four-layered selection process. However, overall the contest saw more than 1700 startups sending in their entries from all across Karnataka, although a majority of the participation came from the city of Bengaluru.

Out of 100 selected startups, 27 belong to electronic semiconductor design domain, 19 are from life sciences, 26 are from IT/ITES, there are 11 each from biotech, agri tech and four each from animation and gaming, and clean tech. The final selected lot also has 19 startups which have women entrepreneurs and 11 startups come from rural areas.

For the same state government has signed MoUs with eight companies including Google and PwC to cater to the needs of the identified 100 startups under the state’s ‘Elevate 100 programme.’

UP CM Yogi Adityanath Announces Rs 1000 Crore Startup Fund

Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath has announced to create a corpus of Rs 1,000 crore as Startup Fund for aspiring entrepreneurship and employment generation in the state. Chief Minister further informed that a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) would be signed with the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) on September 15.

Yogi Adityanath was addressing a gathering of youth and entrepreneurs after inaugurating ‘Startup Yatra’, a platform for all stakeholders to discuss and generate inputs for assisting the government in the promotion of entrepreneurial zeal and creating awareness about establishing an entrepreneurial ecosystem in UP. In the coming weeks, similar events are lined up for 15 cities in the state and the Yatra targets reaching out to over 40,000 youth and 400 colleges.

Indian Startups Can Now Get 100% of Funds From Foreign VC Investor, Govt Includes Startups in FDI Policy

India’s Commerce Ministry in its consolidated FDI policy document released recently has, for the first time included startups, which can raise up to 100 per cent of funds from Foreign Venture Capital Investor (FVCI). Hereafter, startups in India can now issue equity or equity linked instruments or debt instruments to FVCI against receipt of foreign remittance, said the document which incorporates all the changes made in FDI policy over the past year.

A person resident outside India (other than citizens/ entities of Pakistan and Bangladesh) will be permitted to purchase convertible notes issued by an Indian startup company for an amount of Rs 25 lakh or more in a single tranche. NRIs can also acquire convertible notes on non- repatriation basis, said the document of Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce.

Partnerships To Grow Startup Ecosystem

ISB, Sap India Ink Pact To Nurture Tech Startups

The Indian School of Business (ISB) and SAP Labs India have entered into a collaboration to nurture technology-based startups. They will focus on the ventures dealing in the social space which is working in areas that have relevance to national priorities.

According to a statement issued by the ISB, titled Jumpstart Social Enterprise Accelerator, the programme aims to identify and support 10 early stage and 5 growth stage promising ventures by providing guidance, mentorship and scaling up their technology solutions that can bring about a large scale impact on the lives of common people.

Nasscom Product Council, Accenture Plans To Collaborate With Israel Innovation Authority

To help startups to grow and nurture, the Nasscom Product Council and Accenture, an IT consulting major plans to collaborate with Israel Innovation Authority. This step is taken to help both the countries startups in joint product development, knowledge transfer and in the creation of hardware ecosystem.

According to ET report, the Nasscom Product Council’s co chair Somdutta Singh and Avnish Sabharwal, MD, Accenture Ventures and Open Innovation, Accenture India plan to take the delegation of product council leaders, startups to Israel in the first week of September.

Power2SME Signs MoU with NSIC to Empower MSMEs

India’s first ‘Buying Club’ for SMEs, Power2SME has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC). This MoU will enable SMEs in India to benefit the most, given the vast array of experience and knowledge NSIC and Power2SME brings to the fore. Additionally, it will also catalyze exchange of market knowledge between both parties, and enable both to service SMEs better for their raw material, finance, and other requirements.

The alliance is aimed at empowering SMEs pan-India in sourcing variety of raw materials like Metal, Polymers, yarns, chemicals and a host of other materials. This initiative will provide massive opportunity for the SME sector in terms of creating a platform for them to grow, learn, and face challenges with guidance and support from Power2SME and NSIC.

Quick Look on Acquisitions

Narvar Acquires Logistics Service Provider GoPigeon

Narvar, the post-purchase experience leader has acquired key technology and personnel from GoPigeon, an end-to-end logistics management SaaS platform based in Bengaluru. This acquisition advances Narvar’s platform development with additional engineering talent and furthers the company’s position as the market leader which powers two billion experiences for more than 125 million consumers per year after they click to buy. It also scales Narvar’s global growth, with the GoPigeon India team anchoring the fast growing Asia-Pacific e-commerce market and enabling worldwide operations support.

1mg Acquires Dawailelo to Strengthen Pharmacy Operations

Digital health platform, 1mg has acquired, a technology-based facilitator in the healthcare space that helps individuals buy medicines, consult with doctors and get lab tests done. The team would be working with the 1mg ePharmacy team, reporting to COO Tanmay Saksena. 1mg was launched in 2015. The platform enables consumers to learn more about their medicines and also find more cost-effective substitutes. Its diagnostics service brings transparency and price-effectiveness to lab tests. 1mg’s doctor platform aims to revolutionize how a consumer finds the right healthcare professional for his needs.

Freshworks Buys Marketing Software Provider Zarget

Freshworks, the leading provider of cloud-based business software has acquired Zarget, a leading marketing software startup. This is the ninth acquisition made by Freshworks over the last two years and will help the company focus on building marketing solutions for businesses of all sizes.

Through this acquisition, Freshworks seeks to further develop Zarget’s marketing suite and provide the team with expertise, technology, and operations as well as access to over 120,000 customers. Zarget’s robust CRO tools help businesses increase orders, customer interactions and sign ups on their website by providing user metrics and data driven insights.

Setting Up of New Funds and Centres

OMA Emirates Group Launches $3 Mn Fintech Fund

UAE-based OMA Emirates Group has launched a fintech Fund. The newly launched fund will focus on emerging and potential financial technology companies and startups in India.

According to ET reports, OMA Emirates will invest a corpus of $3 million towards fintech startups that have been in operation for 12 months or less. Apart from this, the firm also plans to invest $20 million across other fintech verticals and towards innovation of existing products and services depending on the national and international presence of the company. Not only this, OMA Emirates will provide support to tech startups in terms of technology, R&D, practices and GTM strategy.

Saama Technologies To Set Up Deep Learning Centre In Pune

In an attempts to build on its expertise in the data analytics space, data analytics firm Saama Technologies is setting up a deep learning center in Pune. According to ET report, the firm was in the process of hiring people for the lab, which would work in collaboration with its existing engineering centre in the city.  The Company plans to sell this solution primarily to the customers in the US and Europe, which is where a bulk of the pharmaceutical research happens.

Not only this, Saama would also be increasing its headcount by 1520% by the end of this year.  Though the company has operated across sectors, now it is focusing on specific verticals such as insurance, biotechnology, and pharma.

Michael and Susan Dell Foundation Looks To Set up An Incubator For Indian Startups

The Michael and Susan Dell Foundation is looking to set up an incubator for startups. According to ET. For the same, the foundation is in talks with IIM-Ahmedabad’s Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE).

Commenting on the development, Rahil Rangwala, the director for family economic stability at Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, the incubator will look at early-stage companies and will offer financial inclusion, digital empowerment, job creation and services in other such impact areas. Apart from this, the foundation will also offer seed funding to the startups.

Some Other Important News

After Notice from India Post, Paytm Renames Postcard to ‘Lifafa’

A few days later after Paytm’s launch of Postcard, India Post, the government-operated postal system in India, has sent out an official notice to Paytm on use of name ‘Postcard’. The notice cited the IPO Act and the established rules and regulations, saying the usage of the word ‘postcard’ is the sole prerogative of India Post. The notice was addressed to Paytm founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma, and India post asked the company to stop using the term ‘postcard’ with immediate effect. The company is now branding its gifting solution as Paytm Lifafa.

Microsoft To Now Bet Big On Late-Stage Indian Startups

Software giant Microsoft has decided to focus all its attention on promising later-stage startups in the country through its Bengaluru-based accelerator program.

Initially launched with a motive of providing a helping hand to early-stage firms, Microsoft has now decided to advance to only later-stage startups in its fifth year of operation in the Indian subcontinent. The accelerator helps selected startups by making things easier, approachable and achievable for them. The accelerator mainly helps Indian startups scale up and go global if this is what they want.

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