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Lookup partners with Twitter

Bangalore-based Lookup has tied up with Twitter to launch @lookuplite on the social network platform. To use the feature, users need to Tweet their requests @lookuplite which will be monitored by the company to provide solutions.

Note that in October, Lookup raised $2.5 million in funding led by Khosla Impact and participation from Catamaran Ventures, Global Founder Capital and Twitter co-founder Biz Stone. Other than this, Lookup offers an Android and iOS app on which allows businesses and users to interact with each other. Users can search for a shop, service or product and then chat with them to get things done. In September, the company partnered with Road Runnr for deliveries in all three cities it serves in.


Twenty Indian publishers join Instant Articles
Facebook has tied up with 20 more Indian publications like APB News, Dainik Bhaskar Group, Jagran Group, NDTV, Zee Group and Network18 Group from mainstream media and online publications like Scoopwhoop, Scroll, DailyO, Times Internet and, reports NextBigWhat.

Facebook launched Instant Articles back in May starting with the iOS and some international publications. The platform also added new feature to help publishers publish their full catalog of articles on Instant Articles everyday. In September, it added new features and publishers, with five Indian publishers joining the platform the next month. Earlier this month, the company started letting publishers display ads more frequently.


Grabhouse lays off employees

Grabhouse, a Mumbai-based online roommate search engine, has laid off over a 100 employees, reports Inc42. According to the company, it was forced to layoff due to restructuring of its business. It mentioned that it had hired a recruitment team to help these employees find a new job.

Note that Grabhouse had raised $10 million in funding from existing investors Kalaari Capital and Sequoia Capital in October. Founded in July 2013 by Pankhuri Srivastava and Prateek Shukla, the startup currently claimed to have a traffic of around 500,000 visitors in January.  Early last year, the portal had undergone a makeover and added several features.


Venture Catalysts launches investment platform

Private equity firm Venture Catalysts has launched a Seed Investment and Innovations platform called VCats. Founded by Apoorv Ranjan Sharma, Anil Jain, Anuj Golecha and Gaurav Jain, the platform aims to fund Rs 100 crore to invest Rs 75 lakh to Rs 1.5 crore in 15-20 startups every year.

The company will provide startups with support and exposure to mentors, seed and angel investors, co-working space, accelerators/incubators, OEMs/vendors etc. The company will overall look to incorporate 800-1,000 angel investors in its network and expand it eventually to over 10,000 early stage investors.

Image sourceDennis Skley