Oyo plans to lay off 150-200 sales staff [The Economic Times]

Oyo Hotels and Homes plans to lay off 150-200 people from sales teams across the country, people familiar with the matter said.

About 60 salespeople in Oyo’s New Delhi and Gurgaon offices were the first to be fired and got their letters on Monday. A similar number is in the process of being let go in other locations including Mumbai and Pune. Those being asked to leave range from executives to managers.

“Other employees in sales are getting their letters and some will get them soon. No reasons have been given to employees in these letters. They are being given a one-month notice period,” said a person familiar with the developments.

SoftBank-backed Oyo did not confirm or deny the developments.

Mobile money soon to be piloted in Vietnam [KrAsia]

The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) has submitted a proposal to the government on piloting mobile money services in the country and if approved, this is hoped to further boost the country’s non-cash payment rate.

Despite much improvement, Vietnam’s cash transactions rate is still astonishingly high, at around 90 per cent. While there has been a boom of e-wallet services providers in the country, e-wallets in Vietnam thus far have to be linked with a bank account. This automatically excludes about half of the population that current do not have access to bank accounts.

Now, two of the country’s biggest telecom providers, Viettel and Vinaphone, have been given the green light to roll out mobile money services once the pilot project is approved.

India’s Zendrive raises US$37M [press release]

Zendrive, a data and analytics company providing mobile driving safety solutions, today announced it has raised US$37 million in Series B funding, led by XL Innovate. Hearst Ventures and existing investors, including ACME Capital, BMW iVentures, NYCA, SignalFire, also joined the round.

With this funding, Zendrive will continue to build out its mobile driving safety solution and grow its team across five continents to deepen its focus on the global insurance market.

Zendrive works to make roads safer with data and analytics. It uses AI and machine learning to improve driver safety and help insurers accelerate their digital transformation.

The startup has offices in San Francisco and Bangalore.

“Our world-class team of data scientists and engineers are building technology that reduces collisions, improves road risks and ultimately saves lives,” said Pankaj Risbood, Zendrive’s Technical Co-founder. “It’s of utmost importance that we invest in our teams as they tackle important technical challenges that also have a direct social impact.”

Porsche invests in Israeli startup TriEye [press release]

Israeli startup TriEye, whose Short-Wave-Infra-Red (SWIR) sensing technology enables vision in adverse weather and night-time conditions, has expanded its Series A round to US$19 million with an investment from the German sports car manufacturer Porsche.

The additional funding will be used for ongoing product development and operations, as well as team growth.

In May 2019, TriEye announced a Series A funding round, led by Intel Capital. Other investors in the round include Marius Nacht and TriEye’s existing investor Grove Ventures.

Lo! Foods raises US$500K angel funding [press release]

Lo! Foods, a low-carb and Keto-friendly range of packaged foods brand, announces seed funding to the tune of US$500,000 from a group of angel investors, including Anuj Golecha, Co-founder, Venture Cataylst; Rashmi Daga, Founder, Freshmenu; Raveen Sastry, Co-founder, Myntra; Mitesh Shah, CFO, BookMyShow; Sunil Chhabra, Advisor & Founding Team Member, Jumbotail; and Gaurav Arora,Chief Investment Officer, ASK Wealth

Lo! Foodswas started in early 2019 by former Ola senior executive Sudarshan Gangrade,

“Lo! Foods was started with a single purpose – to build a truly healthy product that works. A brand that creates a healthy and low carb keto friendly food that is inherently Indian. Our products have seen great traction and validation with our consumers, with extremely high monthly repeats,” Gangrade said.