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We bring to you the latest edition of Funding Galore: Indian Startup Funding of the week.

One of the biggest funding round this week in the Indian startup ecosystem was raised by Pine Labs. The company raised $125 Mn in funding from Temasek and PayPal Holdings. It now looks to expand its product suite and building new layers of services for merchants, banks, and other communities in the payment ecosystem.

Also, FreeCharge founder Kunal Shah raised a $30 Mn funding led by Sequoia Capital in participation with multiple foreign investors.

Leaving aside the $125 Mn Pine Labs funding round, this week 14 startups in the Indian startup ecosystem raised around $140 Mn in funding altogether and four startup acquisitions took place. (The startup funding calculations are based on the startups that disclosed funding amount.)

Indian Startup Funding Of The Week

Qtrove: This was the second biggest Indian startup funding round this past week. Bengaluru-based curated marketplace QTrove raised $51.57 Mn (INR 350 Cr) in funding from Springboard Ventures, an investment arm of Bennett, Coleman & Co Ltd (BCCL). The startup plans to use the funding for its next level of growth, to further intensify their marketing, customer acquisition efforts and vendor network through BCCL’s stable of print, television, radio and digital media.

MobileWalla: This was the third biggest Indian startup funding round this past week. Kolkata-headquartered MobileWalla, the US-based next-generation consumer data company, raised $12.5 Mn in a Series B funding round. The investment was led by New York-based GCP Capital with participation from its existing investor, Madrona Venture Group, and a new investor, ATW Partners. The startup is looking to grow its data science team, enhance its ability to take strategic data acquisitions from partners, and make them even better and more precise.

Acko: Online-only insurance startup Acko raised $12 Mn funding led by Amazon in participation with Ashish Dhawan, the founder of private equity firm ChrysCap, and Catamaran Ventures. The Indian startup plans to use the funds to beef up its technology. It’s heavily tech-intensive, both, operationally and technology-wise, to set up claims across the country.

FarmFolks:  Bengaluru-based agritech startup FarmFolks raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Menterra Social Impact Fund and Artha Venture Challenge. The Indian startup plans to use the funding to invest in infrastructure and expand reach to cover additional products and geographies.

Myforexeye: This was the second lowest (disclosed) Indian startup funding round this past week. Delhi-based Myforexeye, full service Forex startup raised Bridge round funding of $500K from InRhythm Energy Ltd. The Indian startup plans to use the funding for technology advancement, new product lineups and geographical expansion across the country.

HealWell24: This was the lowest (disclosed) Indian startup funding round this past week. Mumbai-based home healthcare service provider HealWell24 raised $200K in Pre-Series A round of funding from ICON, R. Ranganathan (Fresh Fund), Oncotrust and Medintel Services Pvt Ltd. The startup aims to expand to Delhi, Bengaluru, Nagpur, Cochin and Pune by 2019-2020.

CoinTribe: Gurugram-based online lending startup CoinTribe for salaried individuals and business professionals has raised $10 Mn in a Series B funding round led by Sabre Partners. Existing investor Puneet Dalmia, who is known for his investments in startups like LocalCircles, Buildzar, and JetSetGo among others, also participated in CoinTribe’s funding round. The Indian startup will use the fresh capital to enhance its credit underwriting algorithm, expand to new markets, and develop its technology base.

CredRight: Accion Venture Lab and YourNest along with a few other prominent angels jointly invested $1.3 Mn (INR 9 Cr) in the Hyderabad-based fintech startup CredRight. CredRight would be using the funds towards onward lending with NBFCs or banks, strengthen AI or ML credit algorithm, further enhancement of tech platform, expand reach to more than 25 cities or towns as well as towards hiring & building a world-class team.

Toffee Insurance: Digital-only insurance platform Toffee Insurance raised $1.5 Mn (INR 10 Cr) in a Seed funding round led by Kalaari Capital, Omidyar Network and Accion Venture Lab. Toffee plans to use the funds to focus on product development and create efficiencies in channel approach as well as expanding its team. The startup also intends to build a strong insurtech team with capabilities across data science, machine learning and AI.

Stellapps: Bengaluru-based dairy-tech startup Stellapps added Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and IndusAge Partners to its list of investors, raising $14 Mn in a recent funding round. Other investors that participated in the funding round are  Qualcomm Ventures and ABB Technology Ventures. Existing investors Omnivore, Blume Ventures, Venture Highway, and BEENEXT also participated in the round. The IoT-focussed startup will use the funding for product development and expansion.

Orowealth: Mumbai-based direct mutual funds investment platform Orowealth raised $1.6Mn in Series A Funding led by Powerhouse Ventures. Money Forward Inc, Social Capital, B Dash Ventures, Anand Chandrsekaran (Airtel ex-CPO), Dinesh Agarwal (founder Indiamart), along with existing investors M&S Partners and GSF also participated in this funding round. Orowealth plans to use the funds towards product innovation and to strengthen its research capabilities besides focusing on forging alliances with partners.

YCook: Bengaluru-based organic, ready-to-cook processed food startup, YCook raised $5 Mn in a Series B round of funding from Binny Bansal backed venture capital firm, 021 Capital and Netherlands-based impact fund Oikocredit. The startup plans to use the funding to continue expanding its reach, accelerate product growth and innovation and invest in marketing.

Aidia Technovations: Aidia Technovations raised an undisclosed amount of funding from the group of investors. The startup plans to use funds for team expansion, technology, content creation and branding for its extra curriculum marketplace, imd1 (I Am The 1). Aidia Technovations is Mumbai and Pune based startup working on technology-enabled innovations.

Indian Startup Acquisitions Of The Week

  • iNurture, which provides industry-related skill courses, acquired similar skill-based edtech platform, KRACKiN for an undisclosed amount. With the acquisition, iNurture aims to boost its network in helping graduates become employable.
  • Bengaluru-based Vokal, which runs a knowledge-sharing platform, acqui-hired quizzing app firm StupidChat Technologies in an all-stock deal. With this, Vokal plans to use the six-member team to work on the existing products and also come up with daily engagement products for the platform.
  • After raising a $34 Mn Series C funding in August last year, Bengaluru-based tech-enabled budget hotel brand Treebo Hotels made its debut acquisition with online events discovery platform Events High. The deal amount remained undisclosed. The move will enable Treebo to enter the thriving events and activities segment, which is estimated to be ~$180B in size globally, and ~$5B in India.
  • Hero Electronix acquired Zenatix to expand its operations into the IoT space. Hero Electronix with Zenatix plans to help address business challenges in retail, hospitality and logistics verticals through the deployment of IoT and emerging technologies.

Other Developments Of The Week

  • ICICI Bank has come up with Innovation Centres and Labs. Innovation Labs will be led by Rohan Angrish, ex-CTO of Capital Float. Under Innovation Labs, a team of 20-25 members will establish a comprehensive infrastructure and work on both known problems and new opportunities. At Innovation Centres in Mumbai and Hyderabad, the Bank is constantly on the lookout for innovative ideas that Indian startup entrepreneurs are coming out with.
  • Zodius Technology Fund has bought the shares of early venture capital backers in Zivame— Kalaari Capital and IDG Ventures India. With this deal, Zodius now controls three of the six board seats in the company though it has not filled any of the two additional seats.  Zivame is now at single-digit negative EBITDA and has given investors a target of December for break-even.
  • Indo-Dutch #StartUpLink initiative has been officially launched to open-up the Indian and Netherlands market for the startups of the two countries that are looking to expand to international markets. The Startup India hub under Invest India and Netherlands Enterprise Agency under the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Change would act as a single point of contact and navigators for their respective countries.
  • T-Hub and HSBC Bank, under its fintech focussed Accelerator 2030 Program, announced the names of the final five startups. This includes Abda Digital Pvt. Ltd, Tookitaki, Morph.ai
  • , Capital Quant, and vPhrase Analytics.
  • DCF Ventures partnered with Israel-based open innovation platform (South of Salame) SOSA. The initiative aims to facilitate a connection between the startups of two countries in the areas of fintech, big data, cleantech, insurtech, mobility solutions, industrial solutions, cybertech, supply chain management, among others.
  • The Nudge Foundation’s N/Core selected eight early-stage nonprofits for its six-month incubation programme in partnership with Cisco. The programme will kickstart on May 28 in Bengaluru. The list includes Involve Learning, Intelehealth, Chane With One Foundation, Lakeer, Samagra Empowerment Foundation, Pi Jam Foundatioon, Alohomora Education Foundation and AquaSafi.
  • Enterprise Singapore (ESG) and The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) Singapore have signed a MoU to support startup ecosystems in both Singapore and India. Through the MoU, Singapore-based startups will be able to gain an entry into India’s vibrant startup ecosystem and form partnerships to co-innovate with startups here.
  • NITI Aayog announced its plans to make public data available for private organisations, including startups, via a new online portal. The move is aimed at steering startups towards innovations to solve various sector-specific problems using technologies like artificial intelligence (AI),

Stay tuned for the next edition of Funding Galore: Indian Startup Funding Of The Week!

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