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 Avi Networks. The California-based application delivery platform raised $60 Mn in Series D financing from Cisco Investments along with DAG Ventures, Greylock Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Menlo Ventures in an oversubscribed round. The startup aims to continue its efforts to deliver elasticity, intelligence, and multi-cloud capabilities to enterprises.
This week 15 startups in the Indian startup ecosystem raised around $80.2 Mn in funding altogether and two startup acquisitions took place. (The startup funding calculations are based on the startups that disclosed funding amount.)
Indian Startup Funding of the Week
ClearDekho: Delhi based budget eyewear brand, Clear Dekho raised $297.7K (INR 2 Cr) in a pre-Series A funding round led by Venture Catalysts. Prominent investors such as Samyakth Capital, Windrose Capital, Krishnan Akhileswaran of Apollo Hospitals, and Yogesh Chaudhary also participated in the round. The startup plans to use the funding to fuel their expansion, strengthen back-end and to boost their marketing initiatives. ClearDekho further plans to launch 100 stores before December 2018 and have 500 stores operational across India within the next two years.
Crowdera: California and India based fintech startup Crowdera raised an undisclosed amount of funding as a part of its current Pre-Series funding round. Anil Advani (the Silicon Valley startup attorney), Pramod Jain, Amrendra Reddy and Manish Satnaliwala( angel investors from Singapore) and Anand Daga (SME IPO specialist from Central India) were the prominent investors in this round. The startup plans to use the funding to propel the early stage growth and amplify the overall impact by enhancing the product, and scaling customer success activities.
DigiConnectt: Bengaluru-based analytics and AI company DigiConnectt raised $125K in a Seed funding round from the US-based transport management solutions leader Aspire Logistics LLC at a pre-market evaluation of $5Mn. The startup will invest the funds towards product innovation, for team expansion and to consolidate its research capabilities.
Hey Deedee: Hey Deedee, which claims to be India’s only all-women last mile logistic services company raised pre-seed funding of $ 500K from Metaform Ventures LLC of an undisclosed sum of valuation. The Delhi based startup plans to utilise the funds for expansion of footprint, gaining bandwidth and building technology. The startup intends to grow from current four cities to 10 cities in this calendar year 2018.
Inntot Technologies: Software Defined Radio (SDR) startup Inntot Technologies raised an undisclosed amount of funding in a seed funding round led by Unicorn Ventures. The Kerala based startup plans to use the funds raised for procuring hi-tech testing equipment, enhanced marketing efforts, solution field testing and hiring key personnel. The collaboration with Unicorn Ventures will accelerate the startup’s mission to facilitate a seamless switchover from an analog radio broadcast (AM and FM) to digital radio broadcast.
Paytm Money: One97 Communications, the Paytm’s parent company invested $1.3 Mn (INR 9 Cr) in its wealth management unit Paytm Money. Bengaluru based Paytm Money aims to increase the size of the wealth-management customer base and bring simple and easy-to-understand wealth products to consumers. Following the investment, Paytm’s senior vice-president, Pravin Jadhav, will now act as a full-time additional director at the company.
Locus: Bengaluru based logistics startup, Locus raised $4 Mn in a pre-Series B round of funding led by Rocketship.vc, Recruit Strategic Partners, pi Ventures, and Hemendra Kothari of DSP Group. The startup plans to utilise the funds to build intellectual property (IP) and to expand globally. Locus envisions to automate all human decisions involved in the logistics sector.
Orbo: Mumbai-based computer vision and AI imaging startup Orbo received an undisclosed amount of funding from the London-based Founders Factory in a Seed+ round. Founders Factory will form a customised plan to support Orbo. Orbo will also get the support of Founder Factory’s in-house AI team. This is Orbo’s second fundraising since November 2017. The startup is all set to scale at a rapid pace to new markets.
Zoctr: Healthtech startup Zoctr Health raised an undisclosed amount of Pre-Series A funding from NB Ventures, Dubai and a host of other angel investors including Udaipur Angel Network etc. The Mumbai based startup plans to utilise the funds to build deeper technology and domain expertise. Zoctr is creating the largest Pan India database of qualified and registered blue collar workers. The startup is also looking to enter the explosive home cancer care and chemotherapy market.
Kashmir Box: Online handicrafts and handlooms marketplace, Kashmir Box raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Bhairavi Jani (SCA Group director), Alok Divatia (LG India ex-marketing head), Namrata Koul (Deutsche Bank ex-MD ), Sohail Hashemi (Amazon US software development manager), and Kashmir-based handicraft exporter Aijaz Saleem. The Kashmiri startup aims to make an enhanced effort in digital marketing and expand its reach to include 30K artisans & 6K farmers.
Meesho: Social commerce startup Meesho based out of Bengaluru raised $11.5 Mn (INR 77 Cr) in a Series B funding round led by Sequoia Capital. Existing investor SAIF Partners also participated in the latest equity financing round. The startup plans to utilise the funds to ramp up its tech platform and to strengthen its employee base across critical functions, such as product, supply, and technology.
Sports Flashes: New Delhi based startup Sports Flashes raised $1 Mn (INR 6.7 Cr) in a Pre-Series A round from SRI Capital. The startup aims to be amongst the best sports content platforms in the country. Sports Flash would be using the investments in expanding their business with impactful and strategic initiatives. Earlier Times Group had also invested into the startup.
Reculta: Delhi based HR Tech startup Reculta received seed funding from CIIE Initiatives. The startup plans to use the funds for expanding its sales & marketing efforts within & outside of India and build their tech capabilities in ML to provide personalized insights to the users of the platform. The startup is building a campus hiring marketplace with an aim to simplify the placement/hiring processes for its principal stakeholders.
Amazon Retail India: Amazon has invested $1.5 Mn (INR 10.5 Cr) in its Indian food retail arm, Amazon Retail India. After facing delays due to government norms in February, Amazon Retail has started its pilot services in Pune. It will now sell locally made and packaged food to consumers directly and is looking to completely roll out its food retailing business in the country within a quarter.
Indian Startup Acquisitions of the Week
- US-based private equity firm Vora Ventures acquired ShakeDeal, one of India’s leading B2B online marketplace, for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition will support the ongoing growth and expansion of ShakeDeal into new vertical markets and product lines.
- Azim Premji-led PremjiInvest acquired 6% stake in Kishore Biyani’s Future Retail for $251 Mn (INR 1700 Cr) in a block deal. PremjiInvest purchased the stake from Bharti Group, which owned a 9% stake in Future Retail. This comes as a setback to Amazon which was eyeing a strategic alliance with Future Group.
Other Developments of the Week
- In order to recognise the efforts of the fintech startups in India, Inc42 and IAMAI collaborated to release a list of the Top 30 emerging fintech startups. This comes in at a time when Indian startup ecosystem is swarming with fintech startups. The startups were selected based on many criteria like innovation, total funding, yearly revenue and expense trends
- Ratan Tata backed RNT capital is all set to invest $150 Mn In Ant Financial Services. The Chinese digital payments company founded by e-commerce giant Alibaba Group is known for its digital payments brand, Alipay. Having recently raised $14 Bn in Series C funding the company plans to utilise the funds raised to accelerate its globalisation plans and invest in developing the technology.
- Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma along with venture capitalist Shailesh Vickram Singh launched a fund called Massive Fund for environmental protection. Massive Fund is country’s first, stage-agnostic, sector-focused, deep science fund and will invest in startups, companies, and individuals working for pollution reduction aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Paytm is also looking to invest $10 Mn in CreditMate, a Mumbai-based digital lending startup which has been growing at 40% month-on-month after Paytm’s November ’17 funding.
- IBM and David Clark Cause in association with the United Nations, American Red Cross, and the Linux Foundation launched Call for Code. It’s a multi-year challenge with this year’s theme being- Problems & Preparation related to natural disasters. With this, IBM will hold a series of events across 50 cities around the world.
- Nexus Venture Partners took a step towards, closing on its fifth fund worth $450 Mn and raised $313 Mn from 29 investors. Till now Nexus Venture Partners has invested in about 88 startups focusing on consumer retail, business services, healthcare, education and enterprise technology from its four funds. The fifth fund is focussed on the US-based software companies.
- Delhi government with its vision of creating new jobs and bringing new competitive dynamics is all set to float a new startup policy. The plan is to enhance the startup ecosystem in the capital through strategic investments and policy interventions as well as to leverage the robust innovation climate.
- Booking.com, the global travel giant, granted $466K to J&K-based Global Himalayan Expedition and $379K to Delhi-based transport provider for women by women Sakha. Both the startups were a part of top 10 startups in Booking.com’s 2018 accelerator programme based on sustainable tourism.
- Abhishek Agarwal has launched a $10 Mn early-stage VC fund, Rockstud Capital Investment Fund. It’s a Category II fund and the entire corpus for Rockstud Capital has been raised through domestic investors. The fund is sector-agnostic fund and the company plans to invest up to $1 Mn in 10 startups each by the end of this fiscal.
- Hero Group’s chairman Sunil Munjal and Impact investment firm Omidyar Network are about to join the funding round of bike rental startup Metrobikes. The startup plans to launch bike rental services in Chennai, Ahmedabad, and Indore. Currently, Metrobikes offers around 65 to 100 bikes at 36 out of 42 metro stations across Bengaluru.
- Estonia is looking to enrol over 100 startups and freelancers from Gujarat in its E-residency programme. Estonia is the first country in the world to introduce an e-Residency Programme that offers startups access to a government-issued digital ID, thus enabling the opening of a global EU company fully online while working from India.
- JLL Spark has announced the creation of $100 Mn JLL Spark Global Venture Fund. The firm is looking for technology startups with products that can help its investors and clients, or that can help its businesses. The fund will be helpful for entrepreneurs and their companies, giving them an opportunity to connect with JLL’s business lines and clients for insightful feedback and product distribution.
- Odisha state government has been recognising 20 startups every month, flying higher than the national average, said Additional Chief Secretary (ACS), Micro Small and Medium Enterprises LN Gupta. The state’s Startup Initiative has registered around 233 startups across 39 sectors within one year with a registration rate of around 20 per month.
- Maharashtra government expects to “have at least 500 fintech startups who are enabled, stable, have successful sizeable funding and are going to make India and Maharashtra proud”.
- The SBI bank earmarked $7.4 Mn (INR 50 Cr) to invest in fintech startups and will be modifying the ways it infuses its money. The bank is also planning to invest $3.7 Mn (INR 25 Cr) to set up a collaborative innovation centre in Navi Mumbai to promote the latest technologies. The bank has already worked with over 150 startups on various cutting-edge technologies including chatbot and data analytics.
Stay tuned for the next edition of Funding Galore: Indian Startup Funding Of The Week!