In today’s brief Zomato cuts losses by 34%, Fintech Startup Stashfin Raises $5 Mn & more stories.
1. Amazon set to introduce Alexa Voice Service, Echo speakers in India
You will soon be able to ask Amazon’s voice-assistant Alexa to book an Uber or play your favourite music, and without switching to English. Amazon is preparing to introduce its Alexa Voice Service (AVS) along with its Echo speakers in India towards the end of this year, according to two people aware of the company’s plans.
The speakers will initially be launched with an English interface and be updated later to respond to commands in regional Indian languages including Marathi, Tamil and Hindi, these people said, declining to be identified.
2. With revenue servings up at 81%, Zomato cuts losses by 34% in FY17
Online restaurant search firm Zomato saw a 34% dip in its total loss for 2016-17 to Rs 389 crore from Rs 590 crore in the previous year, according to the annual report of its largest shareholder Info Edge, thanks mainly to a strategy that excluded self-fulfilled deliveries.
This makes the Gurugram-based firm the first Indian internet unicorn, or startup valued at more than $1 billion (about Rs 6,460 crore), to substantially reduce its losses.The company’s losses shrank even as its revenue surged 81% year-on-year to Rs 333 crore from Rs 184 crore, the report said, a potential pointer to the changing fortunes of India’s food-tech sector.
3. Abhinav Bindra’s Shooting Star invests $1 million in FITPASS
Olympic gold medal winner Abhinav Bindra’s venture fund Shooting Star and Franchise India Brands, led by chairman Gaurav Marya, have invested $1 million in FITPASS, a New Delhi-based provider of access to gyms and fitness studios across multiple locations for a monthly fee.
The current investment is the fifth in an early-stage company by Shooting Star, which was set up in March 2016. The fund invests in partnership with consulting firm Franchise India in emerging sports academies, re hab, sports injury and health apps, among other sectors.
4. Fintech Startup Rubique Raises $3 Mn Bridge Funding From Kalaari, Others
Mumbai-based fintech startup Rubique has raised $3 Mn in a bridge round of funding. The round was raised three months ago but the company chose not to disclose it. Reportedly, it was a part of its $10 Mn-$15 Mn Series B round, the company announced mid last year.
The investment was led by existing investor Kalaari Capital and Udayan Goyal, Managing Partner at Apis Partners. Apis is a fintech private equity firm focussed on Africa and South Asia.
5. Fintech Startup Stashfin Raises $5 Mn Funding From Snow Leopard Ventures, Others
Delhi-based fintech startup Stashfin has raised $5 Mn Pre-Series A funding from Snow Leopard Ventures and Singapore-based Alto Partners. Snow Leopard Ventures is the VC arm of the Kirloskar Group.
Managing Partners at executive search firm Positive Moves, Vibhav Dhawan and Praveen Malhotra; Avendus Capital founder Ranu Vora; Trafigura CEO Raoul Bajaj; and senior executives from global investment firm KKR also participated in the round.