We bring to you the latest edition of Funding Galore: Indian Startup Funding of the week.
This week 16 startups raised around $248.31 Mn in funding altogether. (The startup funding calculations are based on the startups that disclosed funding amount.)
One of the biggest Indian startup funding this week was raised by Bigtree Entertainment, which runs the online ticket booking platform BookMyShow. The company raised $100 Mn in a Series D funding round led by TPG Growth, the middle market, and growth equity investment platform of alternative asset firm TPG. The company plans to use the latest funding to fuel its growth plans as it transforms into the ultimate ‘Entertainment Destination’ for its customers.
In another development, Singapore-based Temasek Holdings bought shares worth $30 Mn from former and early employees of the cab-hailing company Ola as a part of the secondary share sale. The sale share value has valued the company at around $2.5-3 Bn. It has also enabled large-scale Esop encashment for former and early employees of Ola.
Indian Startup Funding Of The Week
TVF: TVF (The Viral Fever) raised an additional $6 Mn from existing investor Tiger Global. TVF generates its revenues through marketing and advertising streams associated with its content viewership. It is yet to charge audiences for its content.
Welcomecure: Mumbai-based online homeopathy platform Welcomecure raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Bollywood couple Riteish and Genelia Deshmukh. The startup plans to use the latest funding to strengthen its infrastructure, expand the team, and promote the brand through consumer engagement activities.
The Ken– Subscription-based news company The Ken raised $1.5 Mn in a Series A funding round led by Omidyar Network. The funding round also saw participation from Yuj Kutumb, the Family Foundation headed by Sid Yog, the Founder and Managing Partner of The Xander Group Inc., and a mix of existing and new angel investors. The startup plans to use these funds for fresh hiring and boosting growth.
SaffronStays– Micro hospitality startup SaffronStays raised $2 Mn in pre Series A funding from VC Sixth Sense Ventures. The startup has planned to use funds to accelerate its growth, hire top talent, and expand its inventory.
Cars24– Gurugram-based online used car marketplace Cars24 raised $49.7 Mn from Sequoia Capital India and other existing investors like Cayman Islands-based Kingsway FCI Fund and Toronto-based KCK Global. The startup plans to create an efficient and reliable way for car owners to sell their used cars at the best price.
OfBusiness– Gurugram-based SME lending startup OfBusiness raised $29.2 Mn in a Series C funding round from Creation Investments and Falcon Edge. Other existing investors like Matrix Partners India and Zodius Capital also participated in the funding round. The startup plans to use this funding to source funds from banks and other NBFCs for onward lending.
Woodenstreet– Jaipur-based online custom-furniture platform Woodenstreet raised approximately $1 Mn in a Series A funding round from RVCF (Rajasthan Venture Capital Funds). With the funding, the startup plans to expand and open new stores in other major cities, which will help the company to maintain their market leadership for customized solid-wood furniture.
Vebbler: Bengaluru-based photo sharing application Vebbler raised an undisclosed amount of funding in a pre-Series A round. The funding round was backed by investors including Ambiga Subramanian, ex-CEO of Mu Sigma, actor Dino Morea, and VJ Nikhil Chinapa. The startup further plans to use the funding for senior-level hiring and marketing.
Amazon Pay: Amazon India’s digital payment platform Amazon Pay raised an investment of $33.5 Mn from Singapore-based Amazon Corporate Holdings and Amazon.com.incs. Amazon invested in Amazon Pay as it is looking to increase traction on the platform with cashback offers for shopping on its site. Further, the ecommerce platform has planned to push Amazon Pay beyond its platform to third-party online merchants as well as to offline touchpoints.
Unacademy: Bengaluru-based edtech startup Unacademy raised $21 Mn in a Series C funding round from Sequoia India, SAIF Partners, and Nexus Venture Partners along with existing investor Blume Ventures. The startup plans to use the funding to onboard new educators on the platform and to penetrate deeper into categories including courses for pre-medical, GATE, and CAT. Also, it will be using the funds to strengthen its core product and technology team.
StayAbode: Bengaluru-based co-living space provider StayAbode raised an undisclosed amount of funding in a pre-Series A round from Anupam Mittal (CEO, People Group), Vineet Sekhsaria (Head, Real Estate Investing, Morgan Stanley), and Japanese gaming company Akatsuki Inc. The startup plans to use the funding to scale its business and create more supply as demand increases. Further, it wants to expand in several other cities in due course of time and plans to go deeper into micro markets.
Eatigo: Bangkok and India-based online restaurant reservation platform Eatigo raised a follow-on-funding as a part of its pre-Series C round from existing investor Tripadvisor. The startup plans to use the funding to expand in several markets and to further extend its product offerings. Eatigo will also be using the funds to expand its presence and services across the Asia Pacific region.
Muskaan Dreams– Youth-driven social startup Muskaan Dreams raised a funding of $218K (INR 1.5 Cr) from Hindustan Zinc Limited. The startup plans to use the funding to transform 100 rural government schools in MP through online learning classrooms for students. The initiative will help students in better understanding of subjects especially Maths, Science, and English with the help of audiovisual content and internet support.
FIRSTCut App– An online audition application FIRSTCut App raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Kunal Singhal, MD, EazyERP. The startup plans to use the funding to reach out to a huge talent sitting in smaller towns. The latest funding will help the startup to augment and consolidate its position with some of the most influential clients in the market and add talent to its team.
Indian Startup Acquisitions Of The Week
- Flipkart’s PhonePe acquired Zopper Retail – a hyperlocal POS platform for small and medium businesses. Post the acquisition, Zopper’s CEO Neeraj Jain and the engineering leadership have joined PhonePe’s team. With this acquisition, PhonePe aims to aggressively ramp up its offline business.
- Sexual wellness brand Kaamastra acquired adult online store ItsPleaZure. With the acquisition, Kaamastra has plans of new avenues of distribution and new product lines along with expanding its social media presence and creating and curating many social activities for education and awareness. The startup is hoping to touch 100% sales growth and claims to have an increase in basket size by 70%.
- Mumbai-based expense management startup Zaggle acquired mobile payments solution platform Clickpay. With this acquisition, Zaggle aims to build a world-class expense management platform and further plans to create a unique value proposition for its customers.
- Xoxoday acquired localised tours/experiences & activities startup Bluebulb.in. With this acquisition, Xoxoday looks forward to harnessing its vast resources to strengthen Vendor relationships. It further looks to drive business, primarily in Mumbai and the Western Region.
- Bengaluru-based food tech startup SmartQ acquired Nexus Venture Partners-backed Goodbox’s cafeteria business for an undisclosed amount in an all-cash deal. With this acquisition, SmartQ aims to increase its customer base.
Other Developments Of The Week
- Blume Ventures partnered with two US-based funds – Benhamou Global Ventures (BGV) and Emergent Ventures. The aim of the partnership is to launch a B2B accelerator platform-cum-fund called Arka Venture Labs. The Arka Venture Labs will be investing solely in B2B startups with the aim of facilitating the global transition and faster growth.
- Bharat Innovation Fund has announced the first close of its $100 Mn fund. The investors in the fund are corporates, banks, insurers, and fund of funds – including SIDBI through its Fund of Funds for Startups (FFS) program, ICICI Lombard, Philips, Bajaj Electricals Ltd., RBL Bank, among others.
- Rajasthan government’s one of its most successful initiatives has been the hackathons. From 400 coders in the first hackathon on Rajasthan IT Day 2017 to 5,000 coders on Rajasthan IT day in March 2018, the hackathons have seen tremendous interest from the coding community.
- PharmEasy is planning to raise a $40-50 Mn funding from Nandan Nilekani and Sanjeev-led investment firm Fundamentum Advisors and Eight Roads Ventures. The startup is planning to use the funding towards growth and to further build its technology platform.
- The first edition of Green-a-Thon was organised during the Rajasthan Digifest & IT Day in Jaipur. The event was a huge success — it witnessed 800 participants and helped develop sustainable solutions to make cities in the state smart and green. The winners were given a cumulative prize of INR 32.5 ($47.5K) Lakh and also got a chance to collaborate with the Rajasthan government
- GPS enabled tracking solutions provider Letstrack announced an investment of $2 Mn in premium retailers under its initiative Letstrack points. The company is investing to build a strong relationship with premium retailers and offer them special schemes and promotions to provide a high quality of sales experience to its customers.
- Amazon revealed its plans to dive into the Indian healthtech market with the acquisition of online pharmacy MedPlus. Apart from this, Amazon is in an active conversation with at least two more pharma chains.
- Edtech platform BYJU’s is looking to raise another round of funding at a valuation of $1.8-2 Bn and is expected to raise an amount of $150 Mn. The company has a total investment of $244 Mn and boasts of investors like Tencent, Sofina, and BCCL among others. It plans to expand into the international markets through the acquisition route.
- Delhi-based online lending startup StashFin partnered with non-banking finance company DMI Finance to raise $4.3 Mn (INR 30 Cr) for onward lending through its online platform. The company aims to augment its portfolio to meet the growing needs of its customers.
- N/Core announced a three-year partnership with Mphasis to incubate early-stage nonprofits. The latter will be investing over INR 4.5 Cr to incubate up to 26 nonprofit startups over the three year period. Apart from this, N/Core will be announcing ten nonprofit startups that were selected for six-month incubation in the second open cohort.
- Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDII) and Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry came together to encourage entrepreneurship among Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes youth at state and national level. EDII will be organising entrepreneurship development programmes in various districts identified by DICCI.
- Online financial services marketplace 5Paisa.com announced its plans to raise $15.13 Mn(INR 104 Cr) through a rights issue in the next three to four months. The company is also planning to enter the peer-to-peer lending business soon.
- FLAME University inaugurated the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation to support high potential early stage startups through a structured and personalised mentoring program. FCEI (FLAME Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation) will be led by Darshan Doshi, who joins as the director of FCEI. It will be a 5 months programme and will select 10-15 startups in the equity-free no-cost FLAME Origins Programme.
- Sachin Tendulkar-backed virtual gaming company Smaaash Entertainment has planned to raise $72 Mn (INR 100 Cr) from its IPO, which is expected to come in December 2018. Smaaash’s operating revenue had doubled to $16 Mn in FY17. Also, its losses also jumped by around 33% to $5 Mn. The company has planned to use the funds it will be raising to fund its inorganic growth initiatives, repay part of its debt and for the working capital requirements.
- Naspers’ is ready to sell its stake to Standard Chartered Private Equity (SCPE) and was planning to exit TBO ( Travel Boutique Online) since September 2017. It had acquired a stake in TBO in 2012.
Stay tuned for the next edition of Funding Galore: Indian startup funding of the week!