In a bid to firm up market share against rival Amazon, Alibaba reportedly held discussions to acquire online marketplace ShopClues, with further plans to merge Paytm with ShopClues. The week also marked rumours of a possible merger of Snapdeal with Flipkart and Myntra, with Kunal Bahl calling it baseless and amusingly terming it as ‘Snapkartazon’.
This week, 16 startups raised about $260 Mn in funding altogether. (The funding amount is based on the startups that disclosed their funding amounts).
Startups That Raised Funding This Week
Buttercups: Bengaluru-based online lingerie brand, Buttercups raised an undisclosed amount in a funding round led by Anand Chandrasekaran and existing investors Kanwaljit Singh and Manoj Varghese. The raised funds will help Buttercups to accelerate its growth plan, both offline and online.
Joolz: Mumbai-based jewellery community and the marketplace Joolz raised $493K (INR 3.3 Cr) in a Pre-Series A round. The funding was led by ah! Ventures with participation from other investors which includes Brittman India CEO Mahesh Ahuja, Powerhouse Ventures MD Sri Peddu, M&S Partners, Ola Cabs ex-CFO Deepak Kasthwal, Cleartrip ex Technology Head PKX Thomas, and Neha Shah. The startup will use the funding to boost operations, products, marketing, and further building up its team.
OYO: Gurugram-based budget hotel aggregator OYO raised over $62 Mn from Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp. OYO’s pre-money valuation stands at $400 Mn. Existing investors Greenoaks Capital, Sequoia Capital and Lightspeed Venture Partners did not participate in this round of funding.
Hike: Internet-based cross-platform instant messaging service Hike Messenger raised $175 Mn in Series D round of funding, at a valuation of $1.4 Bn. The investment was led by Tencent Holdings and Foxconn Technology Group.
Gradopedia: Mumbai-based career discovery & assessment platform Gradopedia raised an undisclosed round of seed funding. The investment was led by Dubai-based investors. The raised funds will be used to build in-house technology.
Maalgaadi: Indore-based Internet-based service platform for cargo transportation, Maalgaadi raised $375K (INR 2.5 Cr) from Swan Angel Network, Sachin Khandelwal, and other investors. The raised funds will be used to explore the intra-city logistics market.
Zipi: A chat-based platform that allows users to avail end-to-end services through an interactive app, Zipi raised undisclosed sum from Swan Angel Network. The raised funds will be used to accelerate sales and tech development.
Appknox: Singapore-headquartered cloud-based mobile security solution Appknox raised $651K (S$875K) funds in a Pre-Series A round. The investment was led by SeedPlus, a seed stage VC firm backed by Jungle Ventures, Infocomm Investments, Accel Partners, and RNT Associates. The raised funds will be used to mark its entry in the Southeast Asia market.
Ziffity: Chennai-based digital agency, Ziffity raised undisclosed amount from Technology solutions provider Aspire Systems. The funding will be used for expanding the team, and scaling training & development.
Meesho: A Bengaluru-based app which helps merchants to manage their ecommerce businesses on WhatsApp and Facebook Meesho raised an undisclosed amount of funding. The investment was led by a group of angels including VH Capital, Kashyap Deorah, Rajul Garg, Oyo Rooms’ Maninder Gulati, Abhishek Jain, Jaspreet Bindra among others.
Nhance: A personalised mobile learning platform which transforms learning content into interactive games, nhance raised seed funding of $300K. The investment was led by Mohan Lakhamraju, vice chairman, Great Lakes Institute of Management and Ex-MD, Tiger Global Management.
Digio: Based in Bengaluru, tech-based digital signature-enabling platform Digio raised $375K (INR 2.5 Cr) from online discount firm Zerodha. The raised funds will be used for hiring purposes and for operational activities over the next 12-14 months.
Sesame Software: Kozhikode-based financial technology solutions provider Sesame Software raised an undisclosed amount of funding from US-based IT company Speridian Technologies. The funding will be used for enhancing Sesame Software’s industry presence.
Other Developments Of The Week
- XLPAT and Advenio, two women-led startups won at ‘Start Tel Aviv-India Finals’. They will represent India internationally in Start Tel Aviv 2016 happening in Israel.
- 50K Ventures launched a go-to-market accelerator. The accelerator was launched by Raju Reddy, angel investor and founder of Sierra Atlantic, based in Silicon Valley.
- Early stage venture fund Pi Ventures raised $29 Mn (INR 195 Cr) to launch its first fund. The fund plans to back 20 product & technology companies in the areas of connected hardware, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, IoT, and mobile.
- Delhi-based Scale Ventures acquired the portfolio of Delhi-based Guerrilla Ventures. Ritesh Malik, founder of Guerilla Ventures will be joining the board of Scale and will be mentoring the portfolio companies.