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Here are 64 startups that launched today at Y Combinator's W18 Demo Day
Biotech, robotics, and fintech startups took the spotlight today at Y Combinator's 26th Demo Day. Meanwhile, marijuana soda, wind turbine-cleaning drones, and indestructible panty hose startups demoed their products in the break room and parking lot. We'll let you choose your favorites from our write-ups of all 64 that pitched on the record today. Check back later for TechCrunch's picks of the top companies, and we'll have full coverage of Demo Day 2 tomorrow.
Tradewind Bioscience attacks the physiology of tumors to treat cancer
By contrast these treatments look to stop the growth of tumors by focusing on inhibiting the biological processes that encourage that growth. Tradewind Bioscience, which is launching today at Y Combinator's winter demo day, is taking this approach. Bishop's lab was one home for novel cancer research, but UCSF wasn't alone in breaking new ground on cancer research. That Tradewind's therapy is potentially able to treat two very different kinds of cancer is remarkable because cancer is considered to be a very unique disease.
Uber claims drivers withdrawing protest, MNS says strike will go on
Drivers of some black and yellow cabs had a field day as they charged extra fare from hapless commuters. Some drivers of Ola and Uber started plying their vehicles in view of the hardships faced by citizens. We invited senior executives of Ola and Uber to hold discussions over the stand-off, but nobody turned up. Due tow which we have decided to continue the strike tomorrow as well, it said in a statement.
Flipkart reworks logistics strategy, to own large hubs
The earlier strategy was to setup a string of smaller size warehouses in markets with high demand over leased space. As per estimates, each of these hubs will entail investment of over Rs 600 crore and Flipkart may set up similar hubs in other regions too since they can potentially provide 20% savings on logistics cost. This is the first time we are investing on gigantic warehouses since availability of space for large warehouses is a problem.
India: Chargebee raises $18.5m from Insight Venture, others
With the latest round, Chargebee has so far raised nearly $25 million, making it one of the best funded product start-ups in the country. When I now look at the possibility of building global Saas companies from India, that is starting to happen more and more. It validates our belief that there are opportunities to build Saas products for the global market from India.
Fisdom ties up with Lakshmi Vilas Bank to offer NPS scheme online
Wealth management start-up Fisdom has tied up with Lakshmi Vilas Bank to help customers register, manage and National Pension Scheme (NPS) investments using the Fisdom mobile app. Lakshmi Vilas Bank will be the managing bank for the NPS service offered by Fisdom on its app, both companies said in a joint statement on Tuesday. The partnership will allow any registered customer on Fisdom to invest in NPS instantly within minutes without any paperwork.
Udacity collaborating with Myntra and Jabong to upskill their employees
Udacity, the Silicon Valley-based lifelong learning platform, is collaborating with Myntra and Jabong to provide technical education to upskill their employees. Myntra and Jabong aim to deploy these technologies to gain an edge over the competition. They are keen to use AI and machine learning for last-mile deliveries, automated storage systems and data mining, and to develop new styles and patterns. The employees will gain access to Udacity's Machine Learning Foundation, Machine Learning Basic, Machine Learning Advanced, and Deep Learning Foundation Nanodegree programmes.
Mythic nets $40M to create a new breed of efficient AI-focused hardware
The limit there is, it's for inference only, but we're only going after the inference market - it's gonna be huge. The goal is to, like other players in the AI hardware space, just plug into frameworks like TensorFlow. The challenge for Mythic, however, is going to get into the actual design of some of the hardware that comes out. There are probably going to be two big walls to Mythic, much less any of the other players out there.
Early Stage VC Fireside Ventures Closes 1st Fund With A Corpus Of $52.12 Mn
Early stage investment firm Fireside Ventures has successfully closed its first fund with a corpus of $52.12 Mn. The VC firm now aims to invest in 20-25 consumer brand businesses from this fund over the next two to three years. Launched in 2017, Fireside Ventures is an early stage investment platform which focuses on consumer brand businesses. Besides, Fireside Ventures, other funds focussing on the same space include DSG Consumer Partners and Sixth Sense Ventures.
OYO makes first acquisition, buys service apartment firm
Budget hospitality chain OYO said on Monday that it had made its first acquisition by buying Chennai-headquartered service apartment company Novascotia Boutique Homes. The acquisition forms an integral part of our inorganic growth plan, said OYO founder and chief executive officer Ritesh Agarwal. OYO is poised to deliver 180,000 keys by the end of 2018 and with Novascotia's strength, we will be adding service apartments to our existing portfolio.
How five dotcom survivors built a $950 million e-grocery startup in India
Then there's Bigbasket, whose founders are veterans of the dotcom bust and mostly north of 50. Last month, Bigbasket raised $300 million in an Alibaba-led round that valued the grocer at $950 million-just shy of unicorn status. Bigbasket's founders had their first brush with e-commerce back in 1999 when they started Fabmart.com to sell books, toys and groceries online. The delivery boys (they're mostly male) didn't want to be seen as drivers because they're considered lower status in class-conscious India.
Billionaire Larry Ellison has a new consumer wellness company called Sensei
It's not every day that Oracle's billionaire founder, chairman and CTO Larry Ellison launches a new business, but such is the case today. Sensei, a new LA-based wellness brand that will focus first on developing hydroponic farms and later. Step one, apparently, involves building a hydroponic farm of undisclosed size on the Hawaiian island of Lanai, which Ellison acquired for $300 million back in 2012. About $700 million was invested in agricultural tech last year, roughly double what was invested in both 2016 and 2015.
Digital Payments Giant Paytm Records $20 Bn GTV Run Rate, Up From $5 Bn In March 2017
Homegrown digital payments giant Paytm has recorded a four-fold jump in its annualised gross transaction value (GTV) to $20 Bn, up from $5 Bn in March 2017. With a comprehensive suite of payments, commerce and financial services products, the company currently registers over 1 Bn transactions per quarter. The digital payments giant claimed to have contributed 68 Mn UPI transactions in February 2018. Towards the end of January, the Vijay Shekhar Sharma-founded company launched the Paytm for Business app on Android Play Store.
1Crowd, others invest in rural health-tech startup Karma Healthcare
Rajasthan-based Karma Primary Healthcare Services Pvt Ltd, which provides technology-based healthcare solutions in rural areas, has raised Rs 3 crore ($500,000) in a fresh round of funding from equity crowdfunding platform 1Crowd, a company statement said. The company had last has raised funds in 2015 from Impact Investment Holding, an impact investment funding unit of advisory firm Ennovent.
Perception about entrepreneurship on rise in India: GEM Report
The entrepreneurial potential in India as measured by highlighting the self-perception about entrepreneurship is on rise as per the latest Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Report on India for the financial year 2016-17. As per GEM Survey 2016-17 it has found increase in the rate of entrepreneurial intention to 14.9% compared to 9% 2015-16.

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