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Online cab aggregator Ola raised $350 Mn from existing and new investors. The latest round of funding has valued the company at $3.5 Bn. Ola has raised total equity funding of $1.25 Bn in eight rounds from about 20 investors such as Tiger Global, DST Global, and Softbank till date. Furthermore, Ola also invested about $7.5 Mn (INR 50 Cr) in its wholly-owned leasing subsidiary Ola Fleet Technologies.

Next up, Alibaba is investing in a $200 Mn funding round of Paytm’s recently formed ecommerce unit. According to the filings with the Registrar of Companies (RoC), the round in Paytm E-Commerce Pvt. Ltd will be led by Alibaba Singapore E-Commerce Pvt. Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, which will invest $177 Mn (INR 1,182 Cr), along with $23 Mn from SAIF Partners.

This week 22 startups raised around $594 Mn in funding altogether and three acquisitions took place.

Startup Fundings Of The Week

OhoShop: Ahmedabad-based OhoShop, a SaaS-based mcommerce enabler raised $1 Mn funding from Brand Capital. The startup will use the newly raised funding for marketing.

Karomi Technology: Chennai-based tech startup, Karomi Technology secured $494K for its flagship product ManageArtworks from early-stage venture fund – Ideaspring Capital. This funding marked Ideaspring’s first seed investment. The company will utilise the freshly infused funds to aggressively expand into the US market and product development.

CreditMantri: Digital lending startup CreditMantri secured $7.6 Mn in its Series B round of funding led by Quona Capital. The investment by Quona has been facilitated via its Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund. Elevar Equity, IDG Partners, Accion Venture Lab, and Newid Capital also participated in the round. The raised funds will be used to grow its user base, strengthen product proposition and build the team.

NeoStencil: Edtech startup NeoStencil raised $1 Mn in a round led by Brand Capital and California-based Paragon Trust. The round also saw participation from 91springboard, M&S Partners founder Hirokazu Mashita, and Jabong co-founder Praveen Sinha. The startup claims to have over 500K students and offers more than 150 courses.

RedCarpet: Delhi-based RedCarpet a student microlending startup raised $2.5 Mn funding in a round led by Lightspeed Venture Partners. The startup will use the newly raised funds to improve risk evaluation technology, introduce new student-lending features, and team expansion.

Celes Care: Hyderabad-based Celes Care a digital healthcare startup raised about $1.5 Mn Pre-Series A round of funding from Ventureast, Endiya Partners, Eight Roads Ventures, and F-Prime Capital Partners. Dr. Varaprasad Reddy and other prominent investors also participated in this round. The startup will use the newly raised funds for R&D around telehealth apps and devices, and for outreach to more B2C and B2B customers.

Belong: Bengaluru-based recruitment startup Belong raised $10 Mn in Series B funding led by Sequoia Capital India, with participation from existing investor Matrix Partners India. The newly raised capital will be used to accelerate product development, expand sales and support operations, and hire new talent across engineering, data science, enterprise sales, and customer success.

Johari Shop: Jewellery ecommerce marketplace Johari Shop raised $94K (INR 62.5 Lakh) from three angel investors, including a diamond exporter and a high net-worth individual, to power its omnichannel efforts. The company will invest the capital to work on its omnichannel strategy that would start with the launch of its first brick-and-mortar store in Bengaluru’s VR mall by the end of February 2017.

Tydy: Bengaluru-based employee onboarding and engagement platform Tydy raised $275K in angel funding from a group of individuals, including existing investor Bhupen Shah, former co-founder of Sling Media. Others who also invested in the firm are Jayesh Parekh, Managing Partner at Jungle Ventures and co-founder of Sony Entertainment in India and Sanjay Sathe, founder of outplacement firm RiseSmart. The startup will use the capital for marketing and sales.

LetsEndorse: Bengaluru-based online network for social causes LetsEndorse raised an undisclosed amount from Chandigarh Angels Network, Tata Trusts-backed Social Alpha and other unnamed angel investors. The startup will use the funds to enhance its technology footprint, expand to more geographies, and build a cohesive community of doers and enablers,

Paalak: Delhi-based agritech startup Paalak secured an undisclosed amount in seed funding from Vishwadeep Bajaj, Harsh Kundra, Nandkumar Rane, and Anupam Tyagi. The funding will be utilised to develop a new consumer web-platform and Android app, add more collection centres in villages, and hire critical manpower in technology, supply chain, and operations departments.


Couponhaat
: Delhi-based ecommerce company Couponhaat received Pre- 
Series A funding from a European Investor, Axel Wawrina. The amount of investment remains undisclosed. The funding will aid Couponhaat in its expansion plans and team expansion.

Finly: ItzCash, a leading player in the digital payments space, made an equity investment in the Bengaluru-based expense management fintech startup Finly. The deal has been brought to fruition through part equity investment and part business partnership.

SeenIt: SeenIt Online Private Limited, which owns and operates the popular fashion question and answer app, SeenIt, has received an undisclosed amount of Pre-Series A funding from Calcutta Angels Network (CAN) and Augment Ventures.

StayAbode: StayAbode, a startup that is building co-living spaces, raised an undisclosed amount of angel funding from a consortium of investors led by Ishan Manaktala and Angie Mahtaney. Gaurav Bhalotia (Ex-VP Engineering, Flipkart), Vishal Lulla (CEO, Vishal Exports) and a group of Investors from LetsVenture also participated in the round.

MyTaxiIndia: Gurgaon-based MyTaxiIndia (MTI), an outstation taxi and cab service provider in India raised strategic investment from UAE-based investment and holding company Zain Group of Companies. MTI is focussing on servicing both – one-way taxi and package-based outstation taxi service – segments in the past few years.

Emojifi: Emojifi, an app that provides live emoji, sticker, and GIF suggestions based on the typed words across chat platforms, raised an angel round with two lead angel investors from Hyderabad. Funding will be used for marketing and to build the product further.

IGenetics: Mumbai-based healthtech startup iGenetic Diagnostics secured $19.5 Mn in its latest round of funding, from CDC Group Plc, the financial institution run by the UK government, and the Manipal Education and Medical Group (MEMG).

Nactus: Jaipur-based edtech startup Nactus raised an undisclosed amount from a group of angel investors. The round saw investment led by Sandeep Aggarwal, Managing Director, Nomura; Gautam Chhaochharia, Head of India, Research, UBS; and R Balachandar, joint general manager, ICICI Bank, among others. The company will use the funds to strengthen its product platform and business development, and expand its services to more cities.

Acquisitions Of The Week

  • Bengaluru-based invoice-discounting platform KredX acquired Hummingbill a New York-headquartered Accounts Receivables Management software startup. The amount of the deal remains undisclosed.
  • Healthcare and fitness startup, CureFit has acquired Kristys Kitchen for an undisclosed amount in a cash and stock deal. Post-transaction, Cristina and co-founder Cedric, along with all other employees will join CureFit’s  team.
  • Infibeam Incorporation Ltd, the parent of online marketplace Infibeam and ecommerce enabler BuildaBazaar acquired Ahmedabad-based DRC Systems Pvt. Ltd through its wholly-owned subsidiary NSI Infinium Global Pvt. Ltd.

Other Developments

  • GSF Accelerator  announced the list of startups graduating from its fifth batch. The graduating five startups also received $65K to $100K as Seed funding. The list included YelloAnt, HeyMojo, Silversparro, Breathe Well Being, and Oro wealth.
  • The Hive, collaborative workspaces at Virtuous Retail’s integrated lifestyle development – VR Bengaluru, partnered with Spark10, India’s first European Accelerator to host its inaugural programme in the city. Spark10’s 13-week acceleration programme aims to bring international investors and mentors to five early-stage technology startups from the country for its Bengaluru cohort. In this cohort, Spark10 has selected five startups, including a startup that’s using artificial intelligence to drive market intelligence to advertisers, a fitness tracking app that leverages the power of your community, a web-based community for fashion, a startup that’s revolutionising information security and a customisable cross-industry CRM platform.
  • In May 2015, the Reserve Bank of India has allocated INR 10,000 Cr to the SIDBI in order to set up a VC fund to attract private capital for startups. However, in response to an an RTI query with the SIDBI on February 8, 2017, it was revealed that till date, since the setting up of the fund in June 2016, the SIDBI has created a fund with only INR 1,315 Cr corpus.
  • The Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) cleared sanction requests from nine funds aggregating to about $45 Mn (INR 300 Cr). During FY ‘15 and FY ‘16, sanctions were given to 11 funds (INR 314 Cr) and 16 funds (INR 607 Cr) respectively. During the current FY, this number has already crossed $167 Mn (INR 1,112 Cr) to 30 funds.
  • Morgan Stanley mutual fund has marked down Flipkart’s valuation for the fifth time in a row. As per new filings, Flipkart’s valuation is pegged at about $5.37 Bn. The company was valued at $15.2 Bn in its last round of funding, when it raised $700 Mn from existing investors, in July 2015. Also, another Flipkart investor Macquarie Group’s Optimum Fund slashed the value of its holding in the company by about 3%.
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