A consolidation of gargantuan proportions saw MakeMyTrip acquiring Ibibo Group. Just days before Diwali, the two players set off fireworks in traveltech by announcing a deal to form India’s biggest online travel company.
Ibibo Group, which is owned by Naspers (91% stake) and Tencent (9% stake), is being sold in full, in consideration of issuance of new shares by MakeMyTrip. Naspers and Tencent will remain the largest shareholders in the resulting company with a combined 40% stake.
This week 20 startups raised about $94 Mn in funding altogether. (Funding amount based on startups that disclosed their funding.)
Startup Fundings Of The Week
3Dexter: Delhi-based edtech startup 3Dexter secured $150K in funding from vocational training and placements institute, ICA Edu Skills. The investment has been done via the latter’s investment firm Newbie Promoters.
ShieldSquare: Bengaluru-based ShieldSquare secured an undisclosed amount of funding from Venture Highway, Vishy Poosala (Engineering Director at Facebook), and existing investors. The company will use the funds to expand further into the global market, and also strategically enhance the product with new features.
Studio Coppre: Pune-based ecommerce platform, Studio Coppre received an undisclosed amount of investment from IT veteran Ganesh Natrajan. The funding will be used to scale its operations and foray into the international market.
Babychakra: Mumbai-based parenting social discovery platform Babychakra raised an undisclosed amount of Series A funding from Seattle-based VC fund RoundGlass Partners. The startup will use the newly raised funds to invest in product development, strategic hires, and creating localised content.
Yumigo: App-based discovery and transactions platform, YuMiGo secured $300K in its first round of funding from a businessman-turned-angel investor, Hemant Sahni. The raised funds will be used to scale up the company’s travel website that will cater to the needs of international travellers during their trips.
Rooter: A social platform to connect sports fans, Rooter, raised an undisclosed amount of Angel funding from actor Boman Irani. Dhruv Chitgopekar, Partner, Kwan Entertainment, and Prantik Dasgupta also participated in this round. The funds will be used to strengthen the technology team at Rooter as well as to create strategic partnerships with various sports platforms, teams, fan clubs, and associations.
FirstCry: Pune-based baby products retailer with omnichannel presence FirstCry raised $34 Mn of new equity capital from the Mahindra Group, Adveq (a large private equity fund), and Kris Gopalakrishnan. The round also saw participation from all existing shareholders.
Trilyo: Bengaluru-based Trilyo, a B2B SaaS company with solutions for restaurants, raised an undisclosed amount of funding in Seed round. The round was led by a Singapore-based private investor and backed by members of Amplifi Angel Group including Vishnu Bhat (Bengaluru-based entrepreneur and former SVP of Infosys); Mumbai-based entrepreneur Rajiv Lunkad, and Dubai-based Naresh Ravindranath. The funds will be used to expand the product suite and build client traction.
Kidsstoppress: Parenting startup Kidsstoppress secured funding from angel investors. The amount of funding remains undisclosed. The raised funds will be used to scale up its technology and expand its reach in other Indian cities. It will also be used in team expansion.
DailyHunt: Bengaluru-based news and ebooks mobile app DailyHunt, raised $25 Mn in a new round of funding led by China’s Bytedance. With this investment, Bytedance founder & CEO Zhang Yiming will join the DailyHunt board. This round also saw participation from Arun Sarin, former global CEO of Vodafone Group, besides existing backers like Matrix Partners India, Sequoia Capital India and Omidyar Network.
Mykindofjob: Online job portal Mykindofjob raised $1 Mn in funding from Mayank Shah and Shreyans Shah in its Angel round. The funding will be used to expand its presence in more Indian cities and to increase team size. It will also be used to scale up its technology.
Tazzo: Hyderabad-based Tazzo Technologies, a tech-enabled motorbike rental platform, raised $225K Seed funding from DSG Consumer Partners. The startup will use the funds to enhance technology, build a fleet, and expand into multiple cities.
Fisdom: Bengaluru-based personal wealth management startup Fisdom secured $1.1 Mn from Saama Capital. The raised funds will be divested towards team expansion and customer acquisition. Fisdom currently has a team of 25 people.
Furlenco: Bengaluru-based online furniture rental company Furlenco raised $30 Mn (INR 200 Cr) in a Series B round. The deal is a mix of equity and debt financing. The equity portion of the investment is led by Lightbox Ventures along with Axis Capital, a Hong Kong-based VC fund and a few prominent HNI’s. The raised funds will be used to expand into newer categories, product ranges, and more cities. The funding also transforms Furlenco into a fully debt-financed model to fund its assets.
Hipcask: Marketing platform for the F&B industry, Mobikon invested an undisclosed amount in Hipcask, an online gifting platform for alcohol and coffee. Other investors who participated in the round include Rajesh Sawhney, Japan Vyas, perk.com’s founder Surojit Niyogi, among others. Hipcask had earlier raised funding from Mobikon and BOLD Capital.
Epaathsala: Bengaluru-based edtech startup Epaathsala raised an undisclosed amount in its Pre-Series A round. The round was led by Hyderabad Angels. Times Internet’s startup accelerator TLabs also participated in the round. The funding will be used for global expansion and partnerships with educational institutions.
ChatOnGo: Hyperlocal platform ChatOnGo, for vendors, raised $300K funding from Janak Jain and an undisclosed HNI. With this funding, the company is planning to expand the team, to enhance the product, and also utilise it for sales and marketing.
Solutions Infini: Italy-based messaging platform Ubiquity invested an undisclosed amount in Bengaluru-based cloud telephony and enterprise communication startup Solutions Infini to acquire 51% stake. This will help Ubiquity diversify its revenue stream and this integration of two platforms into a single compelling platform will cover the whole stack of communications in a seamless way for both large and medium accounts.
Aadyah: Aerospace and defence technology startup Aadyah Aerospace Pvt. Ltd received Pre-series investment of $2 Mn from four undisclosed angel investors. The company would begin with developing three components – electro-mechanical actuators, control actuation systems, and electro-optics systems – for missiles and launch vehicles in the initial phase.
Bharosa Club: Delhi-based online advisory platform, Bharosa Club secured an undisclosed amount in a bridge financing round from the company’s management and investors. The raised funds will be used to scale up its product offering and network and to boost its aim to reach the 1Mn customer milestone.
Acquisitions Of The Week
- FirstCry (BrainBees Solutions Pvt. Ltd) and Mahindra Retail (BabyOye), have consolidated their business activities. The new entity will now work under the brand name FirstCry.com – A FirstCry Mahindra Venture. The move has been marked by Mahindra Retail selling its franchise business to FirstCry. It will now operate all company stores under a FirstCry master franchisee. Supam Maheshwari, the founder of FirstCry, will continue as the CEO of the combined entity.
- SaaS startup Freshdesk acquired Chatimity, a social chat platform that develops artificial intelligence (AI) and chatbot technology. The Chatimity team is now part of Freshdesk and has started to create a scalable customer engagement chat platform.
- Lendingkart Group, a Bengaluru-based fintech startup acqui-hired Bengaluru-based e-lending marketplace, KountMoney. The move will enable Lendingkart to boost its technology and data analytics capabilities.
- Bengaluru-based fintech startup Binge has been acquired by California-based marketing firm vMobo at the former’s valuation of $3.5 Mn. vMobo will now own Binge’s technology, partnerships, and team.
- Ronnie Screwvala’s edtech platform UpGrad acqui-hired Delhi-based SaaS platform Pyoopil Education Technologies. Post the acquisition, Pyoopil will join UpGrad’s team and will continue to develop technology on its platform.
- Delhi-based sports tech startup, Play Your Sport acquired sports discovery and booking platform, Directground. Post the acquisition, Directground’s founder and CEO, Arun Singh Chauhan will join Play Your Sport as Chief Technology Officer.
- Digital content service provider YAAP acquired digital marketing solutions provider FFC Information Solution Pvt. Ltd for an undisclosed amount. With the acquisition, YAAP aims to strengthen its position as a specialised content creator. Seeraj Katoch, founder, FFC will join YAAP’s senior management team as a partner.
- Rise Accelerator announced its first cohort, including 10 fintech startups. During the 18-week programme, the cohort will get to engage closely with internal stakeholders at Barclays, and do a focussed POC. The 10 shortlisted startups included CustomerXPs, CrediWatch, MegDap, RockMetric, ArrowAI, Capital Quant Solutions, Neuron, FixNix, Fund Expert and Anlytiqed.
- Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) proposed to set up a Credit Guarantee Fund with a corpus of $300 Mn (INR 2,000 Cr). The fund aims to support the ventures’ and entrepreneurs’ risk-taking abilities.
- Technology company Intel India hosted its first ‘Maker Lab Startup Conclave’ and ‘Demo Showcase’ in its Bengaluru campus. The first batch had 17 startups in the areas of education, sports, health, agriculture, BFSI, and e-governance, across IoT, cloud, and client computing.
- Next Orbit Ventures (NOVF), a Mumbai-based venture capital firm is in talks with a few UAE investors to raise funds for its $750 Mn plus fund. 18 UAE entities like Mubadala, DP World, Etisalat, Emmar etc., have shown a keen interest in investing in this fund and its project.
- A community-based startup incubator, ThinQbate announced its launch in Mumbai.
- SaaS-focussed accelerator Amplifi has accepted 10 startups in India to join its second cohort for 2016. About 35 startups were shortlisted based on the form and pitch decks for a face-to-face pitch.
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) allowed foreign venture capital investors (FVCIs) to invest in Indian startups without any prior permission from it. Foreign venture capital investors that have registered themselves with the SEBI can also invest in unlisted firms belonging to various sectors including biotechnology, nanotechnology, and dairy, without RBI’s permission.
- IBM, under its Global Entrepreneur Program, is organising a startup challenge – IBM Smartcamp for Smart City. Tech-based startups are applicable to participate in the event. The top 10 startups will get a chance to pitch their idea to enterprise VCs, IBM executives and others, and will also receive feedback for the same.
- The Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) launched the ASPIRE Fund with a corpus of $8.9 Mn (INR 60 Cr) that aims at the promotion of entrepreneurship in rural India. The fund was launched by Kalraj Mishra, Minister, MSME, India. The funds launched will be administered The Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI).
- Integrated business acceleration and technology investment firm TECHCELX, has announced a $15 Mn (INR 100 Cr) fund to support ventures developing cutting-edge technology products and businesses being disrupted by technology. The company will invest between $75K (INR 50 lakh) and $1.5 Mn (INR 10 Cr) in disruptive technology ventures and the shareholding will range between 15% and 51%.