#Start-up Report: From Blurring Lines between Entertainment and Business to Start-ups Launching Credit Cards
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The last few weeks have seen a myriad of celebrities investing in or becoming a part of the Indian start-up ecosystem. So many collaborations and associations have taken place that the lines between the entertainment and the business world almost seem to have blurred. India has religiously followed three religions-politics, business and entertainment. Latest to join the bandwagon of Bollywood celebrities’ investment or involvement in Indian start-ups are Deepika Padukone and Ranvijay Singha. Now that the start-up ecosystem has become a unifying bond for the nation to some extent, it will be interesting to see how the carpets roll out for the ecosystem this year.
Credit Cards to the Rescue
The predicament of the credit crunch may not remain one in the coming times. Well, now that multiple start-ups have come to the rescue of millennials, the dilemma of credit hasn’t remained a force of concern anymore. The Indian ride-hailing unicorn, Ola, has launched a Credit Card in association with SBI Card and Visa payments, Ola Money SBI Card, to make the payment process seamless and convenient for its 150 million users. The start-up-credit association doesn’t end here. Paytm has collaborated with Citibank to launch Paytm First Credit Card, powered by Visa payments, which offers 1per cent universal unlimited cashback and has no restrictions on rewards for any transaction.
Rolling Out a New Innings for the Agritech
The government, after generously mentioning the importance of start-ups and supporting them is taking steps to empower them even more. The focus is now on rural development and agritech. NABARD or the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development has announced a venture capital fund worth almost $100 million (INR 700 crore) for equity investments in agriculture and rural-focused startups. This is a one-of-its-kind step because NABARD has up till now invested in funds but this is the first time it has announced to set up a fund of its own specifically aimed to uplift the rural and agricultural concerns.
Acquisitions and Partnerships
Not much action on this side of the system. Bengaluru-based start-up, Dhruva Interactive, which is a game development studio, was acquired by New York-based Rockstar Games, for an undisclosed amount.
Student-rental start-up Oxforcaps, this week, set up an all-women customer support centre in partnership with women’s social networking platform, SHEROES.
The Week’s Funding Report
Indian start-up ecosystem was low in action this week with only 9 start-ups raising funding out of which very few touched the million mark.
This week’s biggest funding was raised by Grofers. The online grocery start-up raised $200 million in Series F funding round led by SoftBank Vision Fund. Grofers is coming closer to becoming a unicorn, with the recent funding, its valuation stands at $625 million.
While Rannvijay Singha’s Mumbai-based fashion retail startup, Disrupt, raised an undisclosed amount in Pre-Series A funding, Deepika Padukone, on the other hand, invested an undisclosed amount in FMCG health-food brand, Epigamia.
Omnivore-backed agritech startup DeHaat has secured $2.84 Mn (INR 20 Cr) from venture debt firm Trifecta Capital.
Marketing automation and consumer relationship start-up, Leadsquared, raised $3 million in series A round of funding led by stakeboat capital.
Bengaluru-based DocsApp raised $1.6 Million from InnoVen Capital.
Apart from these, Do Your Things, GifKaro, Veratech and Docttocare also raised funding.