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Flipkart has finally pushed itself back into the game. Reportedly, the homegrown ecommerce poster boy raised $1 Bn at a valuation of $10 Bn from undisclosed investors. By the end of 2017, the Bansal duo is also looking to raise another $1 Bn. Flipkart is also in advanced talks of acquiring eBay India operations as a part of its ongoing $2 Bn funding round.

In other developments, India’s ecommerce marketplace Snapdeal, in the wake of cutting costs and conserving cash, is exiting its teleshopping network, DEN-Snapdeal TV Shop, by divesting its complete stake in the company. Snapdeal currently owns 17.13% in the network, and 82.87% is held by multi-system operator (MSO) DEN Networks. Also, Snapdeal commited $20 Mn funding to its digital platform FreeCharge. The investment is for accelerating growth in the wake of rising digital payments in India.

This week, reports of Snapdeal being in sale talks with rivals Flipkart and Paytm also surfaced in media. However, Snapdeal, completely denied these charges. As per reports, it is also in talks with Softbank to raise $100 Mn-$150 Mn in funding, in tranches, which could cut down its valuation to under $3 Bn, when its current valuation is pegged at somewhere around $4 Bn.

This week 7 startups raised $205 Mn amount in funding altogether. Besides, Flipkart’s $1 Bn round.

Startup Fundings Of The Week

Delhivery: Delhi-based ecommerce logistics firm Delhivery raised $100 Mn funding from US-based investment fund Carlyle Asia Partners, and Tiger Global. With this move, Carlyle Asia Partners IV has picked up a minority stake in the startup. Carlyle Group is a global alternative asset manager with $158 Bn of assets under management across 281 investment vehicles as of December 31, 2016.

Oxa Medical: Hyderabad-based healthcare startup, Oxa Medical raised an undisclosed amount in Seed funding from UAE-based Idein Ventures, marking its first investment in the core healthcare industry in India. The company plans to use the funds to build its technology stack and expand operations in Hyderabad.

ixigo: Gurugram-based travel search marketplace ixigo secured $15 Mn in its Series B round of funding led by Sequoia Capital and Chinese investment firm Fosun Kinzon Capital Pte Ltd. The deal is a mix of compulsorily convertible preference shares and equity shares, signed in January this year and closed on March 17, 2017. The company will deploy the raised funds towards developing its product capability, expansion and marketing purposes.

BlackBuck: After raising around $30 Mn in 2015, Bengaluru-based freight transportation company BlackBuck raised $70 Mn (INR 476 Cr) in Series C round of funding led by Sands Capital. Existing investors such as Accel Partners, Tiger Global, Apoletto. and Flipkart also participated in this round. The raised funds will be utilised to bolster product development and scale its operations.

Airpay: Omnichannel payments platform Airpay secured $3.67 Mn (INR 24 Cr) in Series A round of funding from Kalaari Capital. Existing investors Rakesh Jhunjhunwala and Rajesh Jhunjhunwala also participated in the round. The company plans to infuse the freshly raised funds in technology development, building the sales and distribution team, and support infrastructure to rapidly expand its enterprise customer base.

BabyOnBoard: Bengaluru-based portal for storing baby milestones and baby pictures BabyOnBoard, raised an undisclosed amount of Seed funding from Gana Yantrika Systems’ Anant Pandit. Other investors who participated in the round include Mahavir Sharma of Rajasthan Angel Investors Network, Vishal Jain, Head of Projects at Honeywell, Rohit Sethi, L&D Head at Arthur D. Little Dubai and Gaurav Luniya of CMS Infosystems.

MarketsAndMarkets: Pune-based research and consulting firm MarketsandMarkets raised $56 Mn (INR 367 Cr) in a funding round led by FTV Capital and VC firm Zodius Capital. The funds will be used for its growth and global expansion in the US and European markets.

Also, Karnataka’s former Chief Minister, HD Kumaraswamy turned  angel investor for yet to be launched taxi-hailing app, HDK Cabs. The company is founded by Bengaluru’s driver unions which apparently used to work for Ola and Uber. Kumaraswamy would be making an initial investment of $305K to $458K (INR 2 Cr-INR 3 Cr), which could go up to INR 50 Cr in the next two years.

Acquisitions of The Week

  1. US-based ride-sharing app Lyft acquired Pune-based startup FinitePaths for an undisclosed amount. As a part of the deal, FinitePaths will be shutting down the app for existing users, and will not be signing up new users.
  2. Indian consumer goods company Marico acquired 45% stake in men’s grooming brand Beardo. The amount of the acquisition remains undisclosed. With this acquisition, Marico is set to strengthen its portfolio and stake in the men’s grooming space, which is,  currently worth $488.7 Mn (INR 3,200 Cr).
  3. IT servicing and consulting company AppWorks acquired BigDrop for an undisclosed amount. This acquisition will help AppWorks expand its offering by bringing in BigDrop’s 14-member team.

Also, Idea Cellular Limited’s Board of Directors approved a merger with Vodafone. Post-amalgamation, the entire business of VIL and VMSL will vest in Idea Cellular. This excludes VIL’s 42% stake in Indus Towers Limited, its international network asset and IT platform.

Other Developments

  1. Zone Startups India inaugurated a new accelerator space 2,500 square feet in size, as well as the Market Accelerator Program “Gateway91” to host and support international, growth-stage startups looking to expand in India. Gateway91 is the fourth programme launched by Zone Startups (a joint venture between Ryerson Future, Toronto, and the BSE Institute) in 2016.
  2. The Government of Bihar enforced the Bihar Startup Policy 2017. The State has set up a Trust, with an initial corpus of $76 Mn (INR 500 Cr), which acts as the nodal agency for implementation of this policy.
  3. Three Indian startups i.e.Dost Education, Credy and DocTalk got into Y Combinator’s W’17 batch. Five more Indian startups – Playment, Bulk MRO, Servx, WiFi Dubba, and Supr daily are also part of this batch.
  4. YES Bank’s business accelerator programme, YES FINTECH announced the names of 12 startups that will join the inaugural cohort. The Cohort will launch on March 20, 2017, where selected startups will go through a 15-week programme.
  5. Mumbai-based Scaleminds, an early-stage, focussed mentorship and business development driven accelerator for high-growth startups is inviting applications for their Summer batch 2017. The accelerator aims to provide an environment for peer learning for entrepreneurs to help them achieve scale.
  6. California-based chip maker Qualcomm partnered with T-Hub, a Hyderabad-based technology business incubator. As part of the deal, startups will get access to Qualcomm’s accelerator programme and will also expand its Innovation Lab’s ecosystem.
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