India Funding Roundup: Wishup, Shopclues, Hike, CarTrade, Rentomo

India Funding Roundup: Wishup, Shopclues, Hike, CarTrade, Rentomo

Our latest funding roundup sees some startups secure large investments in e-commerce, concierge services, apart from personal investments made by angels and veterans in mobile chat messengers, and rental marketplaces.

Wishup
Bengaluru-based concierge service startup, Wishup, Tuesday announced that it has raised an undisclosed sum of seed funding from TracxnLabs, 500 Startups, and Mato Peric, the former Partner and Global Managing Director at Rocket Internet. along with funding from a host of angels through TracxnSyndicate. The startup been operational on Facebook Messenger and its helpline number, and also announced the Beta launch of its Android app. In an emailed statement, Wishup said has already acquired over 10,000 customers during the short time since its inception in July 2015.

Shopclues
Online managed marketplace ShopClues has raised a fresh round of funding led by sovereign wealth fund GIC, becoming the latest entrant in the billion-dollar Unicorn club. The round saw participation from existing investors Tiger Global Management and Nexus Venture Partners, valuing the company at more than $1.1 billion (roughly Rs. 7,352 crores).

Hike
Hike Messenger announced investments from tech veterans Adam D’Angelo, Founder and CEO, Quora; Aditya Agarwal, Vice President Engineering, Dropbox; Ruchi Sanghvi, who was the Vice President, Operations, Dropbox, and Aditya Agarwal, Vice President Engineering, Dropbox. The veterans invested in the company in their personal capacities and are playing advisers to it, the company said in an emailed statement.

CarTrade
Online automobile classifieds portal CarTrade.com has reportedly secured $145 million (roughly Rs. 950 crores) from Temasek Holdings, March Capital and existing investor Warburg Pincus in its latest funding round. CarTrade reportedly lists more than 225,000 used cars for sale and works with over 10,000 car dealer partners, following its acquisition of CarWale in 2015.

Rentomo
Bengaluru-based rental listings platform Rentomo has reportedly raised a seed funding of $100,000 (roughly Rs. 66 lakhs) from Shiva Ashok and an unnamed UAE based investor. Rentomo enables a user to rent products in the trusted network such as Facebook friend circles, and handles 250 transactions a month.

[“Source-Gadgets”]

Uber Receives Nearly $2 Billion Investment From Chinese Firms

Uber Receives Nearly $2 Billion Investment From Chinese Firms

Uber Technologies Inc said on Wednesday it has received almost $2 billion (roughly Rs. 13,431 crores) in funding from Chinese investors, some as part of a recent fundraising round that valued the US firm’s Chinese unit at $7 billion (roughly Rs. 47,009 crores).

Uber’s main global entity received the rest of the money, though the company did not specify how much each unit got. The details were reported by Chinese media on Wednesday and confirmed by anUber spokeswoman.

Previously unreported Chinese investors include China Minsheng Banking Corp, real estate developer China Vanke Co Ltd and China Broadband Capital.

Other investors include HNA Group Co Ltd, parent of Hainan Airlines Co Ltd, China Taiping Insurance Holdings Co Ltd, China Life Insurance Co Ltd, Guangzhou Automobile Group Co ltd and CITIC Securities Co Ltd.

Uber’s Chinese unit was valued at $7 billion before taking on investment in its recently-closed Series B funding round, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick told reporters in Beijing on Monday.

[“Source-Gadgets”]

Tech Executives Launch $100 Million Fund Targeting Software Startups

Tech Executives Launch $100 Million Fund Targeting Software Startups

A group of technology executives have launched a $100 million (roughly Rs. 671 crores) venture fund targeting a range of business software startups across North America.

Leaders Fund, based in Toronto and Atlanta, is in discussions with several potential portfolio companies and plans to announce a few investments in the coming weeks, said David Stein, co-founder and managing partner of the fund.

The fund is eyeing startups across the growth cycle, with a particular interest in early and mid-stage companies that generate revenue and have customers.

Within enterprise software, the fund is especially interested in areas such as mobile, cloud computing and machine learning. Leaders Fund is also looking to partner with early and late stage venture capital firms on such investments, Stein said in an interview on Wednesday.

“It’s really about establishing a core investment portfolio,” he said. “We’re essentially focussed on software companies that sell to enterprises.”

The fund also wants to take advantage of talent in markets such as Toronto and Atlanta, which Stein views as underserved regions for technology investing.

“Clearly, Canada will be an important part of the mix,” he said.

Stein is a founder of Rypple, a social performance management software company that was sold to Salesforce.com .

Joining Stein on the team are Steve DeBacco, most recently the chief revenue officer of Applied Predictive Technologies, which was acquired by Mastercard Inc; and Gideon Hayden, who joins from OMERS Ventures, one of Canada’s biggest venture-capital firms.

[“Source-Gadgets”]

Skype for Windows Gets Real-Time Voice, Text Translation for All

Skype for Windows Gets Real-Time Voice, Text Translation for All

Popular video calling and instant messaging service Skype has announced that it has built the Skype Translator tool into its Windows desktop app for all users. The announcement comes a few months after Microsoft launched Skype Translator Preview for Windows, six months after rolling it out to general mobile users, and a year after the introduction of the preview on mobile .

Microsoft announced in a blog post that the Windows app of the service offers voice-to-voice translation in seven languages: Chinese Mandarin, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. For users who prefer texting, the app supports 50 languages including Hindi and Urdu.

skype_translate_microsoft_1.jpg

Launched in beta in late 2014, Microsoft announced in June last year that it would bring the real-time translation technology into Skype’s Windows client. The end goal is to break language barriers between people and have them succeed in communicating even if they don’t speak a common language. The feature uses machine learning. Microsoft said that over the testing period, the feature has gotten better as more people use it.

The company noted that as of currently, French to English is the most popular language pair. It added that the number of calls per day has increased 400 percent since launch.

The app supports Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10. If you have the updated version of Skypefor Windows on your computer, you will now see a globe button in the top right-hand corner. The feature, sadly, is currently only available on the Windows app of Skype for now. The company added that is working on adding support for more languages and bring this technology to other platforms.

[“Source-Gadgets”]