Vinod Dham backs Orbo; Naspers may buy $100 mn stake in Dream11

Vinod Dham backs Orbo; Naspers may buy $100 mn stake in Dream11
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16 Aug, 2019

Intel’s Pentium chip developer and technology mentor Vinod Dham is backing Orbo. South Africa-based media giant Naspers in talks to buy stake in Dream11 worth $100 million.

AI startup Orbo raises $1.6 mn

Mumbai-based artificial intelligence (AI) startup Orbo has raised $1.6 million as part of the company’s pre-Series A round, the company said in a statement.

Modaviti eMarketing, which operates the venture, said the round was led by  YourNest Ventures and Venture Catalysts. The Chennai-based investment firm Refex Capital, which is an existing investor, also participated in the round.

Vinod Dham, the developer of Intel's Pentium microprocessor and technology mentor, also participated in the round.

The funds will be utilised to expand its research team besides specialists in deep learning, computer vision and embedded software development.

Orbo was founded in 2013 by former Reliance Brands and Adidas executive Manoj Shinde. Leveraging AI, the company provides visual enhancement solutions including face transformation, virtual makeup and deep learning.

The six-year-old company was also part of Intel's Maker Lab initiative and the fifth cohort of the Cisco Launchpad.

Naspers to buy $100 mn stake in Dream11

South Africa-based media company Naspers is in talks to buy a stake worth $100 million in online fantasy gaming startup Dream11, Mint reported.

Post the 2019 Cricket World Cup and Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019, Dream 11 is seeking a valuation of $2.5  billion, the report added.

Dream11 has officially partnered with  International Cricket Council (ICC), IPL and National Basketball Association (NBA).

The platform had about 50 million subscribers in February and is looking to double the number by the end of the year, the report added.

Dream11 was founded in 2012 by Harsh Jain and Bhavit Sheth, and offers games like cricket, kabaddi and football where users can win money from a reward pool.

In April, it became the first gaming unicorn in India with Hong Kong-based hedge funds Steadview Capital completing its investment in the fantasy sports platform through a secondary share purchase.

Last September, Tencent Holdings led an investment round in Dream11, as China’s biggest gaming and social media company was ramping up its India bets amid pressure at home. The total funding was slightly higher than $100 million.

Flipkart hits Walmart’s intl unit

Retail giant Walmart’s international unit saw a decline of nearly 30% in operating profits to $900 million in the second quarter ended July, reportedly due to the inclusion of Flipkart.

Post the acquisition last year in May, Walmart had expected to incur a loss of $0.60 share, which translates into a total loss of $1.8 billion for its financial year ending on January 31, 2020, the company said in a statement.

The US-based company said international sales was $29.1 billion, a fall of 1%. It has done exceptionally well in the US market with revenue for the quarter rising close to 2% at $130 billion.

In June, co-founder of Flipkart Binny Bansal had sold more shares in online retailer Flipkart to US retail giant Walmart. Bansal had transferred 539,912 shares for $76.4 million.

Also in June, Walmart had said that it is planning to deploy cash and cash equivalents worth $1.2 billion for funding the operations of its Bengaluru-based ecommerce platform Flipkart.

SprintAI raises $500,000  

Retail artificial intelligence (AI) startup SprintAI has raised more than $500,000 from investors including Piyush Shah, co-founder, InMobi group, C S Suryanarayanan, Deepinder Singh, Sachin Maheswari, Amiya Pathak, Rohit Razdan and Amit Chand, YourStory reported.

SprintAI will deploy funds to hire new talent and build its data science and data engineering team, the report said. 

The startup’s clients see 5% increase in revenue within three months of going live, the report said.

SprintAi was founded by three batchmates from IIT Kanpur - Ankit Jain, Anurag Bhatt, and Sharad Lahoti. The platform helps clients maximise revenue through smarter inventory placement, re-balancing products and intelligent pre-placement and fulfillment decisions for online orders.