On the last day of 2016, it is fitting that we once again present news of the fundings and acquisitions that have taken place over the last week.
Hyperlocal saw a pickup in the sector with delivery startup Shadowfax picking up $10 Mn in Series B funding. Existing investor Eight Roads Ventures, the investment arm of Fidelity International, participated in the round. The company plans to add over 10 cities in the next 12 months.
Founded in 2015 by Vaibhav Khandelwal and Abhishek Bansal, Shadowfax is backed by investors like Kunal Bahl, Rohit Bansal, Zishaan Hayath (Powai Lake Ventures) & Prashant Malik (Limeroad) and Eight Roads Ventures.
The other big news of the week was speculation about US-based PayPal acquiring stake in mobile recharge platform FreeCharge. The deal was expected to see the sale of a 25% stake for a valuation of around $200 Mn. Although in a follow-up report, FreeCharge categorically denied the rumours and called them “baseless.”
This week 8 startups raised around $21 Mn in funding altogether. (Funding amount is based on startups that disclosed their funding)
Startup Fundings Of The Week
Dekkho: Video streaming platform, Dekkho, has raised $1.2 Mn Seed funding from seven angel investors. The startup’s long-term vision is to create a video streaming culture through adaptive transcoding and subsidised data tariffs with multiple telecom service providers over the next five years.
10i Commerce: Bengaluru-based ecommerce startup 10i Commerce Services has raised $5 Mn in funding from Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani. With this fresh investment, the former chairman of the UIDAI has so far invested about $10 Mn in 10i Commerce in several tranches. The startup is also launching an open payments network next week that aims at helping customers transact digitally across any platform.
Healthify Me: Health and fitness app HealthifyMe has secured $1 Mn (INR 6.7 Cr) funding led by Neelesh Bhatnagar, a Dubai-based investor from NB Ventures. The company plans to utilise the current round to hire top leadership and invest in product and tech innovation.
JustBooks: Sustainability consulting and VC firm CoCreate Ventures, that helps companies to pivot, has invested an undisclosed amount in an omnichannel book renting platform, JustBooks. JustBooks plans to deploy the raised funds towards revamping its digital presence, developing its technology for better customer management and loyalty programmes, and bringing more human resources to manage the brand and introduce new categories in books.
The Postbox: Chennai-based The Postbox has received an undisclosed amount of funding from The Chennai Angels and others. Ritesh Mehta (head policies, Facebook) and Aruna Ganesh Ram (theatre personality from Bengaluru) also participated in the round. It plans to use the money to expand their product line, marketing & team.
Pandorum Technologies: Flipkart’s founders, Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal have invested an undisclosed amount in Pandorum Technologies, that has found a way to 3D-print experimental-stage human liver tissues in a laboratory. Prior to this investment, Pandorum has been dependent on grants from the government funding agency Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council, which makes for a longer process than securing equity funding.
InstantPay: Delhi-based digital payments and financial services company InstantPay has raised Pre-Series A funding from Singapore-based investors RB Investments and Kaleden Holdings. According to a company statement, the amount is about $3 Mn-$5 Mn (INR 20 Cr-INR 34 Cr). The startup will use the funding to further enhance its technology platform, broaden its portfolio of consumer service offerings and aggressively expand its market presence in neighbourhood stores across India.
The lone acquisition of the week came from Wixty Inc. Delhi-based software company Wixty Inc bought Kingr, a dating app designed for Brazil-based Christians for $150K in an all-cash deal. Post the acquisition, Marco Rocha, founder of Kingr, will work with Wixty as its Chief Technology Officer. Post the acquisition, Wixty plans to promote the platform to connect Christians from USA, UK, India and eventually from all over the world. In another development, former Wipro employee, Elishsa Priyadarshini has been appointed as the new CEO of Kingr by R Ranjan Sahoo.
Other Developments Of The Week
- Venture capital firm Lightbox raised its new expansion fund at $54 Mn (INR 360 Cr). The expansion fund has been backed by a mix of new and existing limited partners, which includes endowments, pension funds, fund of funds and family offices, as per a report by ET. With the raised funds, the early stage investor aims to double down on its existing portfolio, starting next year.
- Ashok Trivedi, co-founder of Igate floated the Trivedi Family Office. This development comes after French IT major Capgemini acquired Igate for $4 Bn last year. The Trivedi Family Office will have a corpus of over $500 Mn that will be infused into a diversified portfolio where a large portion of the funds will be used in early-stage tech companies. The Family Office will have a significant exposure to private investments and alternatives, public securities and a broad range of asset classes to preserve the family’s wealth.
- Early-stage, frontier technology fund, Exfinity Venture Partners made a final close of its second round, Exfinity Technology Fund-Series II with a corpus of $44 Mn (INR 300 Cr). The fund is now fully subscribed and has a total of about $62 Mn (INR 420 Cr) assets under management at present, whereas its first fund had raised $17.6 Mn (INR 120 Cr). The fund would like to focus on six key domains – artificial intelligence (AI), cloud, big data, analytics, cyber security and Internet of things (IoT). It will do a Pre-Series A investment with typical ticket size between $1 Mn and $2 Mn.
- The 21st Wharton India Economic Forum (WIEF) announced the finalists of its Fourth Wharton India Startup Competition. It is a global business forum focussed on understanding and engaging with India’s startup landscape. The total number of applications received were 534. The top 11 finalists are CropIn, Detect, Eckovation, ftcash, GreedyGame, HELPUSGREEN, Karma Healthcare, Kings Learning (enguru app), Nonspec Inc, MyEasyDocs, and VIVO.
- The FICCI launched ‘Travel Tech Launchpad’ that aims to boost innovation and growth of travel startups during the second edition of FICCI’s flagship event ‘Digital Travel, Hospitality and Innovation Summit.’ The event is scheduled to be held on March 22-23, 2017 in Delhi.