Startup Digest: How is Budget 2021 for startups? Here are top stories of the day from the sector


Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday presented her third Budget in Lok Sabha. There were many announcements for the startup sector. Here are today’s budget announcements for the startup sector and top stories of the day in this space.

• Eligibility of tax holiday extended by 1 more year to March 2022
• Capital gains exemption for startup investment extended by one more year, till March 2022
• Finance Bill: Tax holiday applicable to startups with IMB certificate. Only 329 startups have received such a Certificate from an inter-ministerial board so far
• Incorporation of one-person companies to be incentivized with no restriction on paid up capital and turnover
• To reduce the residency limit for an Indian citizen to set up a one-person company from 182 days to 120 days
• Allow also non-resident Indians to incorporate one-person companies in India
• To launch portal to collect data on migrant workers
• Social security benefits to be extended to platform and gig workers
• Minimum wages to apply to all categories of workers
• To boost to digital transactions, Rs 1,500 crore earmarked for scheme to provide financial incentive to promote digital mode of payments

• Rs 15,700 crore earmarked for MSME sector

Mobile phone prices could rise as the government reduces mobile manufacturing exemptions.

During her Union Budget presentation, Sitharaman proposed withdrawing exemptions on some parts of mobile phones and chargers. In her speech, Sitharaman noted that India is fast becoming a global leader in the manufacturing of mobiles, accessories, and mobile parts.

She added, “Domestic electronics manufacturing has grown rapidly,” suggesting that the country is picking up the pace, exporting devices like mobile phones, chargers, and more to other nations around the world.

Private vehicles older than 20 years to be scrapped

Sitharaman announced the much-awaited vehicle scrappage scheme in the Union Budget on February 1, bringing relief to the automotive sector.

“We are announcing a voluntary vehicle scrapping policy to phase out old and unfit vehicles. Vehicles would undergo fitness tests in 20 years in the case of private vehicles and 15 years in the case of commercial vehicles. Details will be shared separately,” she said.

The scheme would benefit a very limited set of buyers as the average age of a private vehicle (passenger vehicles and two-wheelers) in India is not more than eight years and for trucks and buses not more than 12 years, as per estimates.

Funding of the Day

Happilo raises Rs 100 crore from A91 Partners

Snackmaker brand Happilo has raised Rs 100 crore from A91 Partners in its first external funding round, at an undisclosed valuation, according to reports. The capital raised will be used for capital expenditure, for automation and to expand marketing and distribution capabilities.

Cutback Coach raises $3.1 million in Seed funding

Cutback Coach, a San Francisco, CA-based program focused on helping adults who regularly drink build healthier habits around alcohol consumption, raised $3.1 million in seed funding, according to reports.

The round was led by Stephanie Palmeri of Uncork Capital with participation from Nico Wittenborn of Adjacent Venture Capital; James Park, founder of Fitbit; Mike Lee, founder of MyFitnessPal; Logan Green, founder and CEO of Lyft; Nir Eyal, author of Hooked and Indistractable; and angel investor Kevin Carter, among others.

The company intends to use the funds to continue to expand operations.

Google’s zero-trust OS to unleash new era of global productivity: Google Cloud VP

Amid rising cyberattacks and increased online vulnerability due to the new work-from-home culture, tech giant Google is focusing on its zero-trust security offering Beyond Corp Enterprise for businesses in India.

In a bid to further enable innovation in security for enterprises as bad actors get more sophisticated, Google had earlier launched its comprehensive zero-trust product offering BeyondCorp Enterprise.

BeyondCorp is a technology suite Google uses internally to protect its applications, data, and users. The platform allows employees and extended workforce to access applications in the Cloud or on-premises and work from anywhere without a traditional remote-access VPN.

Elon Musk says bitcoin “on the verge” of being more widely accepted

Billionaire Elon Musk said on Monday bitcoin was “on the verge” of being more widely accepted among investors as he expressed his support for the cryptocurrency in a chat on social media app Clubhouse that drew thousands of listeners.

The comments followed his use of the “#bitcoin” tag on his Twitter profile on Friday, which pushed the crytocurrency up 14 percent.

Musk, CEO of Tesla Inc, is known for making comments on Twitter that move markets and he acknowledged this during his debut on the invitation-only app Clubhouse.

Facebook’s Zuckerberg reached out to Australian lawmakers over new media rules

Facebook Inc CEO Mark Zuckerberg called Australian lawmakers last week to discuss rules that would make internet giants pay news outlets for content but failed to persuade them to change policy.

Zuckerberg “reached out to talk about the code and the impact on Facebook” and a constructive discussion followed last week between the social media billionaire, Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and communications minister Paul Fletcher.

As Google eyes Australia exit, Microsoft talks Bing with PM
Software giant Microsoft Corp is confident its search product Bing can fill the gap in Australia if Google pulls its search over required payments to media outlets, Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Australia has introduced laws that would force internet giant Google and social media heavyweight Facebook Inc to negotiate payments to domestic media outlets whose content links drive traffic to their platforms.

However, the Big Tech firms have called the laws unworkable and said last month they would withdraw key services from Australia if the regulations went ahead. Those services include Google’s search engine, which has 94% of the country’s search market, according to industry data.

Netflix sleep timer: New feature for those who fall asleep while watching shows, movies

Netflix is launching a new test feature globally that would allow users to set a timer for their watch time on the streaming service. The Netflix show or movie you are watching will stop playing when the timer limit hits. As of now, the feature is currently being tested and only available for Android users.

The new feature, called Netflix sleep timer, will be handy for those who tend to fall asleep at night while binge-watching Netflix movies or shows. If the viewer has enabled the sleep timer feature, the media content will automatically stop playing when the timer limit comes to an end. According to The Verge, users can choose between four timer settings – 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, or end of whatever people are watching. The Netflix app will automatically stop at the end of the timer.


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