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Funding Galore: Indian Startup Funding Of The Week [13-18 August 2018]

Funding Galore: Indian Startup Funding Of The Week [13-18 August 2018]

• 11 startup funding took place in the Indian startup ecosystem this week
• Hotstar’s parent company Novi Digital raised the biggest startup funding round this week with $73.8 Mn from Star US
• Amazon’s India business raised $385.8 Mn and the Amazon Retail India Pvt Ltd raised $14 Mn from global ecommerce behemoth Amazon

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

One of the biggest fundings in the Indian startup ecosystem this week was raised by Hotstar’s parent company Novi Digital. The company raised $73.8 Mn from Star US at a valuation of $265 Mn. It plans to use the raised funds to combat its increasing losses.

In another major development, Amazon’s India business raised $385.8 Mn and the Amazon Retail India Pvt Ltd raised $14 Mn from global ecommerce behemoth Amazon. The company plans to use the raised funds to become the market leader in India against the dual power of Walmart and Flipkart.

Further, this week 11 startups raised around $109 Mn in funding altogether and four startup acquisitions took place in the Indian startup ecosystem. (The startup funding calculations are based on the startups that disclosed funding amount.)

Indian Startup Funding Of The Week

EazyDiner: Gurugram-based restaurant table reservation startup EazyDiner raised $5.85 Mn in a Series B funding round led by Denlow Investment Trust and early-stage investment firm Beenext. The startup plans to use the raised funds to expand its presence and to improve its loyalty programme- EazyDiner Prime.

Gamepind: Noida-based mobile gaming platform Gamepind raised $16 Mn funding from One97 Communications and Hong Kong-based mobile games development company AGTech. The startup plans to use the raised funds to expand its operations and introduce a host of social and causal games with exclusive loyalty rewards to users within the Paytm application.

Ultraviolette Automotive: Bengaluru-based electric two-wheelers developer Ultraviolette Automotive Pvt Ltd (UAPL) raised $862 K in a Series A funding round from TVS Motor Company. The startup plans to use the raised funds to fine-tune its product engineering work and also to expand its core R&D team and facility. It also plans to launch its first-two wheeler by the end of 2019.

Observe.AI: Bengaluru-based voice AI platform Observe.AI raised $8 Mn in a Series A funding round led by Nexus Venture Partners. MGV, Liquid 2 Ventures, Hack VC, and existing investors including Emergent Ventures and Y Combinator also participated in this funding round. The startup plans to use the raised funds to further improve its platform services for its clients worldwide.

Vogo: Bengaluru-based scooter rental startup Vogo Automotive raised an undisclosed amount in a Series A funding round led by Ola’s parent company ANI Technologies Pvt Ltd and Hero MotoCorp chairman Pawan Munjal. Existing investors Matrix Partners India, Stellaris Ventures, and angel investors also participated in the funding. Vogo offers commuters round-the-clock scooter rental service as a cost-effective alternative to the more popular cabs and autos.

Inthree: Chennai-based rural ecommerce startup Inthree raised $4 Mn in a Series A funding round led by Ventureast, Orios Venture Partners, and the IAN Fund. The startup plans to use the raised funds to strengthen its technology infrastructure, enhance its capabilities in last-mile technologies and deepen its penetration in the 10 states where it operates.

InstaSportz: Bengaluru-based VR gaming company InstaSportz Consultancy Pvt Ltd raised an undisclosed amount of funding from gaming company Nazara. Nazara has picked up 10% stake in InstaSportz and further plans to take 26% in November. With the investment in InstaSportz, Nazara plans to strengthen its portfolio of offerings in the virtual interactive sports genre in India and other emerging markets.

&ME: Bengaluru-based food & beverage startup &ME raised an undisclosed amount of fresh funding from Matrix Partners India. The startup plans to use the raised funds to proceed towards further researches and developments on new formulations. It will be further using the funds to hire senior management team, strengthen its distribution capacity, and explore options to expand beyond Bengaluru.

Enakshi: Ahmedabad-based online apparel brand for women Enakshi closed their first round of seed funding and raised $114.2 K (INR 80 Lacs) from a private investor. The platform plans to use the raised funds to increase the brand’s visibility, improve their existing logistics & technology, and to empanel more designers from across the nation.

GAIA: Mumbai-based startup for women’s tailor-made western wear GAIA raised an undisclosed amount of funding from angel investor Sanjib Jha. The startup plans to use the raised funds to strengthen its operations followed by planned expansion to other cities.

Indian Startup Acquisitions of the week

  • Gurugram-based hospitality company OYO acquired Mumbai-based Weddingz, which is an online marketplace for wedding venues and vendors, in a cash-and-stock deal. With the acquisition, OYO’s recently launched venue business Auto Party will be strengthened.
  • Delhi-based cloud-based communications solutions provider Knowlarity acquired Sunoray’s end-to-end cloud-SaaS customer relationship management arm Tentacle. With the acquisition, Knowlarity plans to use its vast network to take Tentacle to the next level of sales and product development.
  • CarDekho acquired Indian Automotive Youtube channel PowerDrift Studios Pvt Ltd for an undisclosed amount. With the acquisition, CarDekho plans to come up with the best-in-class video content as a visual treat and decision-enabler for its stakeholders. PowerDrift will be able to create more exciting content and also offer great value to its viewers.
  • Bengaluru-based data analytics company FinBit acquired bank statements analysis software Fin360 for an undisclosed amount. FinBit is in the business of analysing alternate data sets for credit underwriting.

Other Developments Of The Week

  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced its plans to launch incubators across India to groom space startups. It will be looking at startups that build newer solutions in rocketry, communication satellites, and applications based on remote sensing data. The development comes with the aim of helping space startups establish themselves on one hand and exploit them commercially on the other to create a strong commercial space ecosystem in the country.
  • Kishore Biyani disclosed its plans to close a deal with a foreign investor for Future Retail in the near future. Future Retail has a database of nearly 500 Mn customers visiting his stores annually and can be a great attraction for foreign investors. Future Group also plans to enter into the milk and dairy products delivery segment, launching a grocery delivery app, and expanding network of Easy Day stores.
  • Pune-based queue management startup Sminq revealed that it is in talks with PE Investors to raise $8-10 Mn funding to scale its newly built application that lets users share real-time information with others from verified locations around the world. It further claims that the application has seen up to 1K daily users and over 21,400 users to have gone live on the application.
  • California-based Oracle announced its fourth batch of startups for its Startup Cloud Accelerator Programme in India in which 18 startups were selected. The selected startups are actively using technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, chatbots, big data, predictive analysis, and automation among others. Oracle will provide the selected startups with access to world-class monitoring, coworking spaces, and connection to investors among others.
  • Gurugram-based hotel chain OYO may soon raise nearly $500 Mn to $1 Bn in its next funding round, at a valuation of over $4 Bn. The company is in talks with two consortiums- a combination of Softbank Vision Fund and coworking giant WeWork, and a set of US-based strategic investors in the travel space. If the funding happens, Oyo will enter the coveted unicorn club as its last valuation was $850 Mn.
  • Ebix chief executive Robin Raina is ready to shell out another $500 Mn depending on the opportunities after having completed 11 acquisitions in 14 months, and having invested nearly $500 Mn. The company is also planning an IPO, sometime in 2019, and after the general election. In 2018, Ebix had acquired Transcorp International, Smartclass, Centrum Direct, Indus Software, Mercury Travels, and Leisure Corp.
  • Chennai-based fresh-produce distribution startup WayCool Foods and Products revealed its plans to raise about $25 Mn in its series D fundraising. The startup may use the proposed funds for geographic expansion and launching value-added products. It plans to add a new range of products such as cut vegetables and partially processed vegetables. It also plans to increase the transparency and efficiency of its supply chain.
  • DICE Fintech ACE announced the launch of its second cohort consisting of nine startups. The selected startups include Aagey, Kratikal, Pingal, Impact Guru,, Sparsa, NeoEYED,, and BankBuddy
  • Google announced the names of 10 startups from 10 countries selected for Demo Day Asia which will be held in Shanghai on September 20, 2018. Bengaluru-based SigTuple has been selected from India and the other startups selected include DycodeX, FreightExchange, GITAI, Marham, Miotech, etc. The chosen startups will receive funding from investors and up to $100K credits on Google cloud for the startups’ programme, with access to its infrastructure and tools.

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