From day one, this week was buzzing with a lot of funding news.
Grocery & food delivery startup Milkbasket raised $5.5 million in Series B round; Electric bike-sharing platform Yulu raised Rs 30 crore; Co-working space 91springboard raised Rs 45 crore in a fresh round; Fintech startups Aye Finance raised Rs 210 crore in Series E funding and Aether Biomedical raised an undisclosed seed funding from Chiratae Ventures.
But it was the edtech startup Byju’s that stole the show with an undisclosed investment from Silicon Valley star Mary Meeker, marking its entry into the decacorn club.
On the global front we saw digital platforms like Facebook and Google making headlines, while on the other hand, we saw Apple showing off all of its latest updates coming to iOS, macOS, and all of the other software it builds in-house at its virtual Worldwide Developer Conference.
So here’s your weekly dose of what made headlines in the world of startups and technology this week.
#1. SILICON VALLEY STAR MARY MEEKER BETS ON BYJU’S
Ed-tech startup Byju’s picked up investment from Silicon Valley star Mary Meeker’s fund. This marks Mary Meeker-led tech investment firm BOND Capital’s first investment in India. The deal follows a $200 million fund investment by General Atlantic and Tiger Global earlier this year.
With a cool $10.5 billion valuation tag, Byju’s is now the second most valued startup in India behind Paytm, which is valued at $16 billion as per Venture Intelligence. Oyo valued at $10 billion is part of the club of three decacorns in India.
#2. YOUNG TURKS: LESSONS FOR THE FUTURE BY NR NARAYANA MURTHY
On Young Turks this week, CNBC-TV18’s Shereen Bhan caught up with NR Narayana Murthy, Co-founder of Infosys and also the Founder of Catamaran Ventures, to make sense of the Covid-19 crisis and also share some lessons for the future. Infosys Co-founder urged startups to spot opportunities that other companies don’t see and also spoke about how Indian startups need to benchmark global competitors in their field. NR Narayana Murthy is not a great fan of work from home and said the concept will only succeed if there are well-established productive standards for all levels of workers.
#3. EU ONLINE HATE SPEECH CODE OF CONDUCT REPORT 2020
While, on the global front, global tech companies are now assessing 90 percent of flagged illegal hate speech within 24 hours and removing 71 percent of the content deemed so, as per the finding of European Commission’s fifth evaluation of the 2016 Code of Conduct on countering illegal hate speech online. The report also mentioned that social networking site Facebook tackles hate speech online better than Twitter & YouTube. Facebook is the fastest to react with 95.7% of notifications assessed within a day. YouTube responded within 24 hours to 81.5% of the flagged content, Twitter responded within a day 76.6% of the time.
#4. GOOGLE’S NEW LICENSING PROGRAM FOR NEWS INDUSTRY
Google is launching a new licensing program that will help news media monetize their content. The program, to be launched later this year, will pay publishers for high-quality content for a new news experience. The new product will launch first on Google News and Discover. Google has signed initial partnerships with local and national publications in Germany, Australia and Brazil and will soon expand to other countries. The move comes as countries like Australia & France are asking digital platforms like Facebook & Google to share revenues with news organisations.
#5. APPLE’S WORLDWIDE DEVELOPER CONFERENCE (WWDC) HIGHLIGHTS
Apple’s first virtual Worldwide Developer Conference in 31 years was held this week.
As part of its annual ritual, Apple announced the next version of its operating systems for all its devices at the Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) which includes iOS 14, watchOS 7, iPadOS 14 and macOS Big Sur.
After a 15-year long partnership with Intel, Apple is all set to transition the Mac to its in-house silicon chips. With this move, Apple has taken another step towards wanting to have greater control over how it builds and develops products. The transition to Apple Silicon is one of the biggest leaps and in fact, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook said it was ‘a historic day for the Mac’.