Vedantu, an edtech platform, became the 28th Indian startup unicorn of 2021, a year that saw unprecedented funding pouring into new age companies across the country.

Also in this letter:

  • Tata’s great app to call TataNeu
  • CredAvenue Records Biggest Series A Tour in India
  • Why CNN blocked his Facebook pages in Australia

Vedantu is the 28th Indian unicorn of 2021 after raising $ 100 million

The founders of Vedantu (from left to right) Anand Prakash, Pulkit Jain and Vamsi Krishna

Edtech Vedantu is India’s new unicorn after raising $ 100 million in a new round of funding led by ABC World Asia, an investment fund backed by Temasek. The round also included existing investors such as Coatue, Tiger Global, GGV Capital and WestBridge Capital.

Vedantu’s valuation jumped to $ 1 billion from around $ 600 million last year, when it raised $ 100 million from Coatue, making it the 28th Indian unicorn of 2021. Its founders won the Comeback Kid award at the ET Startup Awards last year.

Indian Startups in 2021_29 Sep_Graphic_ETTECH

More in the pipeline: The company said the round is not yet over and more investors are expected to join subsequent tranches. Sources told us that an additional $ 10-20 million could be added to the current round at the same valuation.

Where will the money go: Vedantu will use the funds to double its core business, expand overseas and add vernacular languages. He also plans to add tutoring solutions for grades 1-5, CEO Vamsi Krishna said. The platform offers individual and group lessons in the K-12 and test preparation segments. It offers courses for the CBSE, ICSE and state councils. It has more than 35 million students on its platform and expects around half a million students to be paid users this academic year, up from around 200,000 last year, the CEO Vamsi Krishna.

Edtech Consolidation: India’s IT industry has seen massive consolidation in the past six months, led by Byju’s, which spent $ 2 billion on four companies between April and September.

  • In April, he acquired Aakash Educational Services for $ 1 billion.
  • In July, it announced two acquisitions: a vocational and higher education platform Great learning for $ 600 million in cash and stock, and Toppr for $ 150 million.
  • On September 7, she acquired Higher level, an online exam preparation startup, and is considering renaming it Byju’s Exam Prep.

In February, Vedantu acquired the doubt-solving app Instasolv, its first acquisition. In July, he said he had acquired a controlling stake in the AI-based personalized learning platform, Pedagogy, but did not disclose how much he spent.


Tata’s super app will be called TataNeu

Aunty

President of Tata Sons Natarajan Chandrasekaran gave senior employees a glimpse of the company’s “super app” ahead of a larger pilot project involving its seven lakh employees, the Times of India reported.

Finally a name: Called TataNeu, the super app will be a single destination for all of Tata’s online services.

  • Some of the group’s brands such as BigBasket, 1mg, Taj Hotels, Croma and AirAsia have embarked on the app, but others like Titan, Tanishq, Cliq and Starbucks have yet to do so, according to the TOI report.
  • The company could also add a neobank and an online cosmetics store to the super app.
  • TataNeu will also have a loyalty program in which customers can earn points for the purchases they make on the platform.

Inventory: A closed group has started testing the beta version of the app, which will be available to all employees in phases over the next few months, we reported on September 25. The commercial launch is still in a certain time because several items have yet to fall. place, according to the TOI report.

What is a great app? A super app is an app that allows users to access a wide variety of services under one roof, a kind of digital mall.

The term was coined in 2010 by BlackBerry founder Mike Lazaridis, who defined it as “a closed ecosystem of many applications that people would use every day because they provide a seamless, integrated, contextualized and efficient experience.”

It became mainstream in 2015 when it was used in a podcast on WeChat in China by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. “Chinese apps tend to combine as much functionality as possible into one app, which we call a ‘super app’. This is in stark contrast to Western applications, which are turning to application constellations, ”said Connie Chan, generalist partner.

India’s Emerging Super Apps: While none match the size of China’s giant super apps, WeChat and AliPay, India’s nascent super apps are steadily growing. Once launched, TataNeu will compete with:

  • Jio, which brings together many Reliance offerings, from groceries to video streaming, under one roof, and
  • Paytm, which also offers almost all of its services, from digital payments to ticket reservations, banking and finance, all in one app.

ETtech Agreements concluded

CredAvenue

Gaurav Kumar, founder of CredAvenue

■ Corporate debt market CredAvenue raised $ 90 million in a Series A led by Sequoia Capital with Lightspeed, TVS Capital Funds and Lightrock India. The funding gives the one-year fintech start-up a valuation of $ 410 million and marks the largest Series A cycle ever in India, ahead of Ola Electrical ($ 58 million in 2019) and Mensa Brands (50 million as of May 2021), according to Venture Intelligence data.

■ Digital health platform I’m fine raised $ 48 million through its Series C round, co-led by Moore Strategic Ventures and BEENEXT. The round also included Stellaris Venture Partners, SBI Group Japan, SBI Ven Capital Singapore, Heritas Capital, Prime Venture Partners, Y’S Investment and Alteria Capital. It will use the funds to expand its hospital, diagnostic and online pharmacy network, and create technology-driven healthcare delivery products.

Netflix bought a video game creator Evening school studio and has launched five mobile game titles in select European markets, the company said, as it seeks to diversify its revenue streams amid intensifying competition in the streaming space. Night School Studio, the company’s first game studio buy, is best known for its debut game Oxenfree, a supernatural teenage thriller with an eerie soundtrack.

Tweet of the day


CNN blocks Facebook pages in Australia for risk of defamation

Facebook

CNN said today it is blocking Australians from accessing its Facebook pages, Reuters reported.

Why? Australia’s highest court has ruled that publishers can be held liable for defamation in public comment sections. CNN said Facebook refused to help it turn off comments in the country.

What this means: That makes CNN, which is owned by AT&T, the first major news organization to drop its Facebook presence in Australia since the court ruling this month. He said editors were legally responsible for comments posted under articles, even though the articles themselves were not defamatory.

As Australia revises its defamation laws, other global news organizations are likely to follow CNN’s lead, defamation lawyers have told Reuters. “This is the first domino to fall,” said Michael Bradley, Managing Partner of Brand Lawyers.

Critical: The court’s decision was heavily criticized, with defamation lawyers accusing Australia of not keeping up with technological change. Laws in the US and UK largely protect publishers from the fallout from comments posted online.


Amazon launches Astro, a domestic robot on wheels

Amazon Astro

Amazon has announced a canine-type household robot called Astro, designed for tasks like home monitoring, setting up routines and reminders, and playing music and TV shows while moving around the house.

The device, which has digital eyes on a rotating screen mounted on wheels, is available for an introductory, invite-only price of $ 999.99 and regular price of $ 1,449.99.

The e-commerce company also announced a deal with Walt Disney to use its Alexa voice-activated technology in resort hotels, a smart thermostat, an Echo Show 15 smart display, and a new health tracking group called Halo View. It also introduced Amazon Glow, a gadget for kids to play games, read or draw while on a video call.

Today’s ETtech Top 5 newsletter was written by Zaheer Merchant in Mumbai.



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