SoS Digest/ 23-01-17 to 29-01-17

Startup news
  1. UK spy agency hires Indian startup for cybersecurity programme

The next time a hacker tries to break into a British bank, chances are that technology from a small Indian startup will detect the hack. Earlier this month, Britain’s top communications spy agency GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters), which had cracked Nazi Germany’s legendary Enigma codes during the Second World War, chose Pune-based cyber security startup Spherical Defence for their accelerator programme.


  1. Cisco bets on India-born Jyoti Bansal’s start-up AppDynamics for growth

Cisco Systems Inc has agreed to buy AppDynamics, a US technology firm founded by Indian-born Jyoti Bansal, for $3.7 billion. AppDynamics was to go public on Wednesday and was expected to be valued at around $1.9 billion, before it was bagged by Cisco at almost double the valuation. This makes it one of its largest deals in recent years as Cisco searches for growth beyond its core networking business. This is Cisco’s largest acquisition since it bought security company Sourcefire for $2.7 billion in 2013.


  1. Chinese investors wary of hyped-up Indian startups, look for hidden gems

Chinese investors are finding different ways to discover India. Take the case of ZDream Ventures based in Beijing and Gurgaon. It was founded in 2015 by two Chinese entrepreneurs, Li Jian and Jason Wang. Li Jian is an experienced hand in India where he was the public affairs manager for Huawei. From negotiating with Indian telecom authorities to resolve security concerns to easing visas for Chinese visitors, he was at the center of building new business relations between the giant neighbors. Later, he headed the Chindia chamber of commerce and set up consultancy firm Draphant to help Chinese enterprises enter the Indian market. ZDream is his latest venture.


  1. Agri Tech Startup RML AgTech Raises $4M from IvyCap Ventures

RML AgTech, a technology company providing ‘Agri Decision Support Solution’ on mobile phones to farmers, has raised $4 million from IvyCap Ventures, a private equity firm. The funds will be utilized to strengthen RML AgTech’s IT backbone and to bring in new products and features on its current offerings. The funds were raised in multiple tranches from IvyCap Ventures in 2016.

RML AgTech provides customized smart farming solutions to enhance crop productivity and earnings of the farmers. The company has developed app-based solutions for every stage of farming, starting from soil testing, what to grow, how to grow, where and when to sell for agriculturists. The services are easily accessible on smartphones in a personalized manner complemented with multiple languages and on-call service.


  1. Health Startup Airmed Pathology Labs Raises Rs 10 Cr from Brand Capital

The Airmed Pathology Labs, a first-of-its-kind healthcare home test service startup, has raised pre series funding round led by Bennet, Coleman and Co. Ltd.’s (BCCL) investment arm Brand Capital. The investment will be infused to expand the company across the country and brand marketing to acquire customers.


  1. The/Nudge Foundation launches non-profit incubator, to invest Rs 50cr in non-profit startups

For over two years now, The/Nudge Foundation has been nudging people out of poverty. Its gurukul system has been helping women from impoverished backgrounds get skillsets that include work and social soft skills. The foundation today announced the launch of N/Core, an incubator for non-profit startups, which will work on poverty-related problems.


  1. Alibaba announces $1.1bn funding for its platform Koubei, claims half a billion users

China-based e-commerce titan Alibaba has said in its annual report that Koubei, its local services joint venture with Ant Financial, has completed $1.1 billion equity financing by Silver Lake, CDH Investments, Yunfeng Capital (which was co-founded by Alibaba founder Jack Ma) and Primavera Capital. Koubei is a discovery platform for the best deals in restaurants, gyms, bars, etc. Although reports about the funding had surfaced earlier, Alibaba is confirming it only now.


  1. Meet the Dubai-based Indian businessman who pledged $1M to rescue 132 prisoners

A Dubai-based Indian businessman has pledged to spend $1 million (3.8 million dirhams) to help free prisoners, including Indians, who are behind the bars in the UAE due to non-payment of debts.

As the first step in this initiative, Firoz Merchant, founder and chairman of Pure Gold Jewelers, paid 150,000 dirhams for the release of 132 prisoners from Ajman Central jail.


— Team SoS

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