Startup Street: Indian Bitcoin Startup Raises $1.5 Million


Ratan Tata Invests In GOQii:

Leading industrialist Rata Tata has invested in yet another startup, and this time it’s digital health and fitness service provider GOQii. The amount of funding has not been disclosed, according to a report by PTI. Emailed queries to GOQii by BloombergQuint did not elicit a response.

The company, pronounced “go-key”, provides fitness-tracking technology along with personal one-on-one coaching to help subscribers maintain a healthy lifestyle. The wearable fitness device tracks sleep, the number of steps you take, and activity time. GOQii earlier bagged an undisclosed amount of funding from the venture capital arm of Edelweiss Financial Services in February 2016.

Bengaluru-Based Bitcoin Startup Raises $1.5 Million:

Unocoin, an Indian Bitcoin exchange platform, raised $1.5 million in early-stage funding from multiple investors led by Blume Ventures, according to a statement on the company’s website.

“These are exciting times. India has the largest gold, inward remittance, and IT markets in the world, all of which make it a perfect home for Bitcoin and blockchain technology.”   Sathvik Vishwanath, co-founder and CEO Unocoin

Other investors who participated in this round of funding include Mumbai Angels, ah! Ventures, Digital Currency Group, Boost VC, Bank to the Future, and FundersClub.

“Since making our first investment in Unocoin, it has been tremendous to see the company solidify its position as the leading Bitcoin company in India, as well as emerge as one of the fastest growing companies in Digital Currency Group’s global portfolio of 80 Bitcoin and blockchain companies.”  Barry Silbert, Founder and CEO, Digital Currency Group.


Upgrad Collaborates With Startup India as Education Partner:

Founded by media entrepreneur and former UTV Group chief Ronnie Screwvala, UpGrad has joined hands with the Prime Minister’s Startup India initiative as its official education partner, reports PTI.

As a part of the initiative, UpGrad will offer four-week programmes to entrepreneurs in order to familiarise and equip them to deal with the challenges of running a startup. The programme is open to first-time entrepreneurs and as well as startups which are up to three years old. Screwvala founded the online education platform UpGrad in early 2015.

A Report Card By Cars:

In its latest round of innovation, self-driving car rental service JustRide allows your car to speak to you through Yabber, a device based on the principle of ‘Connected Cars’, the startup said in a media statement. Once the device is fitted into your car and the Yabber application is installed on your smartphone or computer, Yabber enables vehicles to communicate with its driver and owners.

It evaluates your driving skills, and even gives you a score even. Other perks include car tracking system and destination alerts.

The device allows JustRide track its vehicle and asses the driving skills of its customers. A good score gets the driver discounts on rentals for subsequent trips while a poor driver may face rejection.

With digitisation taking place at every nook and corner, we saw a need gap for a sustainable credible system to rate performance of drivers, driving rented cars. With our device, we not only have precise understanding of the car’s performance, but also the driver’s skills. Before this, the only perquisite to drive was to have a driving license. Once our device is out in the market, it will become a benchmark for others to follow suit. Hemant Kumar Sah, Chief Technology Officer, JustRide


Save up for Mars: The Final Frontier

SpaceVault, a financial startup based in San Francisco, helps people save for the ultimate trip – a trip to Mars.The company’s mantra is to help “everyone who might not be able to afford $140,000 to have a chance to get to space”, Jason Aspiotis, founder and CEO of SpaceVault told Forbes.

It offers a $10,000 deposit certificate to people which they invest in a combination of low risk investments such as bonds, and capital investments in listed commercial space companies. In turn, these investments in aero-space companies make sure there is a ticket to buy after the money has matured at the end of 40 years, according to Forbes.

Snapchat’s IPO?

Snap Inc., as Snapchat decided to call itself, may go public in March 2017, according to people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reports.

The $25 billion initial public offering might help the company compete with the likes of Facebook. But the IPO is still dependent on a lot of factors such as the outcome of the U.S. Presidential elections, China’s economy and equity market volatility, according to Bloomberg.