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In the first week of 2017, Japanese investment major – SoftBank Capital announced that it will now facilitate its investments in India via its $100 Bn tech focussed fund, Vision Fund. The fund will now be the primary investment vehicle for SoftBank’s investment in India. It has also received capital commitments from various corporations, family offices and sovereign funds.

Next up, cloud services firm Zoho Corp invested nearly $10 Mn in 5 startups. Zentron Labs (previously funded by Zoho in 2014) and vTitan, a medical device maker are two of the chosen investments. The names of the remaining three startups are undisclosed.

In the first week of the year, 12 startups raised around $24.2 Mn in funding altogether. (Funding amount is based on startups that disclosed their funding)

Startup Fundings Of The Week

taxTaxSutra: Pune-based online tax information platform TaxSutra raised about $366K (INR 2.5 Cr) from existing investors TV Mohandas Pai and V Balakrishnan (chairman of Exfinity Ventures), along with other existing and new investors. Former Wipro taxation head PV Srinivasan also participated in this round.

tempoTempoGo: IoT and SaaS-based techno-logistics solution provider TempoGo secured $825K in its Seed round of funding led by K2 Capital of Hong Kong. Founded in 2015 by Pranav Shirke and Aaditya Goyal, TempoGO’s IoT-based software includes a GPS-based hardware unit that tracks vehicle’s location and speed. The SaaS layer includes trip management and fleet management software and a dashboard for actionable business intelligence using data analytics.

fyndFynd: Fashion ecommerce portal Fynd secured an undisclosed amount of funding from former Snapdeal CPO, Anand Chandrasekaran. Rajiv Mehta (CEO of Arvind Sports Lifestyle Limited) and Ramakant Sharma (co-founder of Livspace) also participated in this round. The company plans to utilise the raised funds for marketing and enhancing its tech infrastructure.

learntronLearntron: Edtech startup Learntron raised an undisclosed amount of funding in its Pre-Series A round from Mumbai-based Kae Capital.  Learntron, with tech operations in Chennai and sales operations in Mumbai, was launched in 2016 by serial entrepreneurs Subbu Viswanathan and Kuljit Chaddha. Learntron caters to the learning needs of both educational institutions and enterprises.

logoshophopShopHop: Mumbai-based ecommerce marketplace, ShopHop (Pod Conceptions Services Pvt. Ltd) raised its angel round from an undisclosed private investor this month. According to sources – the total funding is a “little less than $100,000” and the startup will be using the acquired amount to boost its marketing efforts, offline sales and omnichannel distribution.

mobidentMobiDent: Bengaluru-based dental care company MobiDent reportedly raised an undisclosed amount in Pre-Series A round of funding. The investment was led by New York-based DanGold Investment Corp. The raised funds will be used to expand in 12 new markets including metros and mini metros. Also, the startup is looking to hire 250 dentists and to strengthen cores such as digital technology, marketing & sales.

LEAP Indialeapindia: Mumbai-based supply chain solutions provider LEAP India raised about $13 Mn Series B funding from IndiaNivesh Growth Fund, Sixth Sense and TCI Ventures. The round saw participation from existing investors Mayfield and Marico’s Rishabh Mariwala, who manages Sharp Ventures, the family office of Marico founder and chairperson Harsh Mariwala also participated in the round.

In the lone acquisition of the week, cloud-based customer engagement software Freshdesk, continued its acquisition spree in the new year with the acquisition of data integration platform Pipemonk. Pipemonk allows companies to synchronise and move data amongst multiple cloud apps quickly and easily. This acquisition is the seventh acquisition by Freshdesk in the last 16 months and is in tune with its strategy to create an ecosystem of interlinked Freshdesk and third-party products for businesses.

Other Developments 

  • Dave McClure-led, California-based early-stage seed fund 500 Startups, reportedly deferred its plans to raise a $25 Mn India-focussed fund, called 500 Kulfi. The reasons for holding it off have been cited as taxation and regulatory concerns, as per a report by ET.
  • Real estate developer Lodha Developers Pvt. Ltd launched its maiden investment fund for startups focussed on smart city solutions and the overall real estate sector. With an initial investment corpus of about $7.3 Mn (INR 50 Cr), the company will provide angel funding or venture capital, business opportunities, industry contacts and mentorship.
  • In a bid to boost the venture capital ecosystem for MSMEs in the country, the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) tied up with Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) for augmenting the capital support to enterprises in the country. Under the MOU, as part of the first phase, LIC and SIDBI have signed Contribution Agreements on January 3, 2017, in Delhi with 7 Venture Capital Funds (VCFs), with an aggregate commitment of INR 99.50 Cr from LIC.
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