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Salesforce leads $15M investment in Asian HR tech platform Darwinbox

Darwinbox, which operates a cloud-based human resource management platform, has raised $15 million in a new financing round as the Indian startup looks to further expand in the country and Southeast Asian markets.
The new round — a Series C — for the Hyderabad-headquartered startup was led by Salesforce Ventures, the venture arm of the American enterprise giant. This is Salesforce Ventures’ one of rare investments in Asia. Existing investors including Lightspeed India and Sequoia Capital India also participated in the round, which brings the five-year old startup’s raise to-date to about $35 million.
Over 500 firms including — Tokopedia, Indorama, JG Summit Group, Zilingo, …

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Prosus Ventures leads $30 million investment in Indian agritech startup DeHaat

Once overlooked, agritech startups are beginning to have a moment in India.
On Tuesday, DeHaat, an online platform that offers full-stack agricultural services to farmers, said it has raised $30 million in a new financing round as the Indian firm looks to maintain its accelerated growth despite the pandemic.
Prosus Ventures, formerly known as Naspers Ventures, led Patna and Gurgaon-based startup’s Series C financing round. RTP Global and existing investors Sequoia Capital India, FMO, Omnivore and AgFunder also participated in it, bringing the startup’s to-date raise to over $46 million. (Dexter Capital was the advisor for this funding round.)
One …

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Madrona promotes Anu Sharma and Daniel Li as Partners

Fresh off the announcement of more than $500 million in new capital across two new funds, Seattle-based Madrona Venture Group has announced that they’re adding Anu Sharma and Daniel Li to the team’s list of Partners.
The firm, which in recent years has paid particularly close attention to enterprise software bets, invests heavily in the early-stage Pacific Northwest startup scene.
Both Li and Sharma are stepping into the Partner role after some time at the firm. Li has been with Madrona for five years while Sharma joined the team in 2020. Prior to joining Madrona, Sharma led product management teams …

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Jumbotail raises $14.2 million for its wholesale marketplace in India

Jumbotail, an online wholesale marketplace for grocery and food items, said on Friday it has raised an additional $14.2 million as the Bangalore-based startup chases the opportunity to digitize neighborhood stores in the world’s second largest internet market.
The five-year-old startup said the new tranche of its Series B financing round was led by VII Ventures, with participation from Nutresa, Veronorte, Jumbofund, Klinkert Investment Trust, Peter Crosby Trust, Nexus Venture Partners, and Discovery Ventures.
The startup told TechCrunch that the new tranche concludes its Series B round, which it kickstarted in 2019 with $12.7 million in funding. It ended up raising about $44 …

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India’s CRED raises $81 million, buys back shares worth $1.2 million from employees

Bangalore-based CRED is kickstarting the new year on a high note.
The two-year-old startup, led by high-profile entrepreneur Kunal Shah, said on Monday it has raised $81 million in a new financing round and bought shares worth $1.2 million (about 90 million Indian rupees) from employees.
The Series C financing round, as first reported by TechCrunch in late November, was led by DST Global. Existing investors Sequoia Capital, Ribbit Capital, Tiger Global, and General Catalyst also participated in the round, and so did a few new names including Satyan Gajwani of Indian conglomerate Times Internet, Sofina, and Coatue.
The round gave CRED — which …

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Sony to launch PlayStation 5 in India on February 2

Sony said on Friday that it will launch the PlayStation 5 in India on February 2, suggesting improvements in the supply chain network that has been severely throttled by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Japanese firm said it will begin taking pre-order requests for the new gaming console in India, the world’s second largest internet market, on January 12. The console will be available for pre-order from a number of retailers including Amazon India, Flipkart, Croma, Reliance Digital, Games the Shop, Sony Center, and Vijay Sales, the company said.
The PlayStation 5 is priced at Indian rupees 49,990 ($685), while the digital edition of the console …

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From the U.S. to China, Korea, India and Europe, antitrust action against tech is gaining serious momentum

After decades of global expansion and consolidation in the tech sector, antitrust is now a headline issue for the industry across the world.
What has been a slow and sputtering series of disparate actions over the past decade has coalesced in just the past few weeks into a rapid and comprehensive series of actions against the industry, with the United States being a notable laggard worldwide.
Nowhere are these actions more prominent than in China, where the competition authorities have — after many years of a reasonably laissez-faire policy to its internet giants — suddenly decided to take sweeping action against its …

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Tesla to make India debut ‘early’ next year

Tesla will begin operating in India in “early” 2021, a top Indian minister said on Monday, a day after the tech-centric carmaker said it was confident it would enter the world’s second most populated market next year.
Tesla’s operations with begin with sales in early 2021 and then “maybe” look at assembling and manufacturing vehicles in the country, India’s transport minister Nitin Gadkari told newspaper Indian Express. How early? Definitely not next month, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted over the weekend.
Tesla has for years expressed interest in expanding to India. But in a 2018 tweet, Musk shared that “some …

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Indian court rejects retail giant Future Group’s plea against Amazon

An Indian court rejected Future Group’s plea that sought to prevent its partner Amazon from raising objections and interfering in the Indian retail giant’s $3.4 billion asset sale deal to Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries, delivering a glimmer of hope to the American e-commerce firm that has invested more than $6.5 billion in the world’s second largest internet market.
Future Group was seeking an ad-interim injunction to restrain its partner Amazon from writing to regulators and other authorities to raise concerns over — and halt — the deal between the two Indian giants. The Delhi High Court ruled on Monday that …

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Apple puts contract partner Wistron on probation after violence at India plant

Apple has placed its contract manufacturing partner Wistron on probation and won’t give the Taiwanese firm any new business until it takes “complete corrective actions” following lapses at its southern India plant earlier this month.
The iPhone maker said on Saturday that its employees and independent auditors hired by the company to investigate the issues at Wistron’s Narasapura facility found that Apple’s ‘Supplier Code of Conduct’ was violated at the facility and Wistron failed to implement proper working hour management processes. This led to “payment delays for some workers in October and November,” Apple said, citing preliminary …

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