We bring to you the latest edition of Funding Galore: Indian Startup Funding of the week.
This week, Bengaluru-based B2B online marketplace Udaan acquired the $1 Bn valuation within 26 months of its launch, thus becoming the fastest company to reach the unicorn status. It raised one of the biggest funding round of $225 Mn from DST Global and Lightspeed Venture Partners’ global fund.
Two other biggest funding rounds this week were raised by GreyOrange and Dream11.
Gurugram-based Warehousing automation and robotics startup GreyOrange raised $140 Mn in a funding round led by Mithril Capital, with participation from Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal and Blume Ventures. Mithril Capital’s co-founder Ajay Royan will join the startup’s board.
Next, Mumbai-based fantasy gaming startup Dream11 raised $100 Mn in a Series D funding round led by Tencent. Existing investors, including Kalaari Capital and Multiples Alternate Asset Management, also participated in the funding round. The company will invest in technology, people and expand our product offering to provide the best-in-class sports experience to its users.
Apart from these, this week 15 startups raised around $173 Mn funding and three acquisitions took place in the Indian startup ecosystem. (The startup funding calculations are based on the startups that disclosed funding amount.)
Indian Startup Funding Of The Week
Wunder Mobility: German carpooling app Wunder Mobility, which officially forayed into the Indian carpooling market in October 2017, raised $30 Mn in an extended Series B round of funding. The investment was led by the KCK Group with participation from existing investor Blumberg Capital. The company plans to use the latest funds to push for aggressive growth in New Delhi and aims to double its numbers in India in the next five months.
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Mad Street Den: India and US-based computer vision and artificial intelligence (AI) startup Mad Street Den raised an undisclosed amount of funding from KDDI via KDDI Open Innovation Fund 2. The startup plans to use the funds to improve its artificial intelligence capabilities and also to grow its sales and marketing workforce.
SignCatch: Delhi and NCR-based retail tech startup SignCatch raised an undisclosed amount in a fresh funding round from ThinKuvate, a Singapore-based early-stage venture capital firm. The startup will use the funding to fuel its expansion plans and access the Southeast Asian markets.
Chaayos: Delhi/NCR-based tea cafe chain Chaayos raised $12 Mn in Series B funding from marquee venture capital firm SAIF Partners, Integrated Capital, and Pactolus. The company plans to use the funding to further deepen its offline presence in the geographies it is currently present in.
ThinCl: ThinCI Inc., an AI hardware startup based in California with offices in UK and Hyderabad, India announced the successful closure of its $65 Mn Series C round. The investment round was led by returning investor DENSO and its subsidiary NSITEXE, Inc., and Temasek with participation from a syndicate of strategic investment funds. The syndicate of strategic investment funds included GGV Capital, Wavemaker Partners, and SG Innovate. The company aims to expand the current team to more than 350 in India, by hiring talent for their engineering and customer operations groups.
CloudCherry: India and US-based customer experience management software provider Cloudcherry raised $9 Mn in an extended Series A funding round led by Pelion Venture Partners along with Cisco Investments, Vertex Ventures and IDG Ventures India. The startup plans to utilise these funds to grow its North American Sales and Marketing teams, build out its go-to-market capabilities, and also expand its technological lead through a laser focus on Data Sciences for CX. As a part of this deal, Head of Collaboration Corporate Development and Venture Investments at Cisco, Donald Tucker, and Senior Vice President, CX Platforms at Cisco Brett Wingo, are to join the board of directors as observers.
DailyHunt: Bengaluru-based news and ebooks mobile app Dailyhunt raised $6.39 Mn in an extended Series E round from Falcon Edge. Reportedly, the company was valued at $335 Mn (INR 2,371 Cr) pre-money, which is close to its valuation from its Series D investment round pegged at around $330 Mn (INR 2,230 Cr) then.
SlicePay: Bengaluru-based fintech startup SlicePay, which offers instant credit to the millennials, raised an undisclosed amount of funding as part of its ongoing Series A round. The investment was led by FinUp Finance Technology Group from China with the participation of existing investors — Blume Ventures, Das Capital, and Simile Ventures. SlicePay plans to expand its current services to tier-2 cities this year.
Netmeds: Chennai-based online pharma chain Netmeds raised $35 Mn in a Series C funding round from its existing investors, and medicine distributor and importer Daun Penh Cambodia Group (DPCG). Daun Penh was joined in the round by Netmed’s existing investors — Sistema Asia Fund, a Singapore-based venture capitalist firm; and Cambodian investment holding company Tanncam Investment. The company aims to leverage the capital infusion for expanding its reach and making quality medication and healthcare accessible and affordable to more Indians.
HappyEasyGo: Gurugram-based online travel agency (OTA) platform HappyEasyGo raised an undisclosed amount of fund in a Series A+ round from South Korea-based Korea Investment Partners (KIP), Samsung and China-based CITIC Capital along with other investors. China-based venture capital firm Ganesh Ventures, a Jack Ma backed fund which invests in tech startups is among its existing investors.
Nykaa: Mumbai-based online beauty marketplace Nykaa raised $15.72 Mn from consumer-focused private equity manager’s Lighthouse India Fund III. With this funding, existing investor TVS Shriram Growth Fund, which invested in Nykaa in 2015 and 2016 as part of the Series B and Series C fundraise, has exited the company. It further aims to fuel its plans towards expanding its offline presence from 17 stores currently to about 55 stores by FY19-end.
ClearDekho: Delhi-based budget eyewear brand raised an undisclosed amount of funding from SOSV-MOX China Accelerator, Asia’s leading mobile accelerator. It aims to use the funds to capture the budget Eyewear market in India and looks at a range of Industry first cross-border partnerships. This is the global fund’s first funding in an Indian eyewear retail startup.
Heelium: Heelium, a Pune-based startup that creates customised running-footwear products received an undisclosed amount of Seed funding from CIIE Initiatives, the tech incubator of IIM Ahmedabad. Heelium’s first product was premium and durable Bamboo athletic socks engineered to absorb more impact, provide odour control, and allow better perspiration. It plans to utilise the funds to fuel its sales, operations and business development efforts.
Haazri: Mumbai-based Haazri raised $172K (INR 1.25 Cr) in a Seed round of funding from Artha Venture Fund. Haazri is a Quick Service Restaurant startup that serves tea, coffee and snacks across five locations in Mumbai.
SRJNA: Jaipur based SRJNA, a brand of Elation Edtech Pvt. Ltd. raised funds from US-based impact investor Gray Matters Capital under its edLABS initiative. The company has also received funding Keiretsu Forum – a global investment community of accredited private equity angel investors, venture capitalists and institutional investors and SucSEED Venture Partners in this round. With the current round of funding, SRJNA will look at augmenting its content R&D, technology and building a channel partner network for faster growth across the 1.5 Mn addressable school market in the country.
Indian Startup Acquisitions Of The Week
- Gurugram-based online restaurant discovery and food delivery platform Zomato acquired TongueStun, a Bengaluru-based startup, for about $18 Mn in a cash and stock deal. Post acquisition, TongueStun will function independently and Zomato will incorporate the capabilities of TongueStun app within Zomato app.
- Netobjex, a digital asset management platform based in California, US, acquired Kerala-based blockchain solutions company Servntire Global for an undisclosed amount in a cash and stock deal. As part of this deal, both the companies will now develop blockchain-based product offerings across multiple verticals such as manufacturing, supply chain, smart cities, fintech, and more.
- EbixCash, the Indian subsidiary of Ebix Inc, a global supplier of on-demand software and ecommerce services, signed an agreement to acquire Mumbai-based Miles Software for approximately $19 Mn. The deal will also include an additional contingent earn-out of up to $8.5 Mn, payable after two years.
Other Developments Of The Week
- Public sector telecom manufacturer ITI Limited signed agreements with 58 startups that are developing manufacturing solutions related to information and communication technology (ICT), Internet of Things (IoT) and defence technology, to give fillip to entrepreneurship. These agreements were signed during the first ICT-IoT Expo on the sprawling premises of ITI in Bengaluru. Among the 400 startups, 58 have been shortlisted.
- China’s conglomerate Didi Chuxing is speculated to invest in the hospitality company OYO. The proposed investment is likely to be channelled into OYO’s China business.
- Edtech unicorn BYJU’S is speculated to be in advanced talks with General Atlantic, and Temasek Holdings to raise $200-300 Mn funding. If the talks materialise, the deal will value BYJU’S at $2.2-2.4 Bn. China’s Tencent Holdings, may also participate.
- After reports surfaced that Japanese conglomerate SoftBank is exploring investments in either of Uber or Swiggy Tencent now joined the race to invest $500-700 Mn in Swiggy at a valuation of $2.5-3 Bn.
- Fireside Ventures is on the verge to complete investment of $13.9 Mn (INR 100 Cr) in 18 deals from its first fund which it had raised in March with a corpus of $47.2 Mn (INR 340 Cr). It has already completed 16 transactions.
- New York-based Hedge fund Tiger Global announced its plans to place its bet on Indian startup ecosystem again with its new $3 Bn fund called Tiger Global Private Investment Partners XI. the new fund is expected to close in the next few weeks and India is specifically mentioned as one of the focus areas in the documents. The fund will also invest in other geographies including the US and China.
- Karnataka Minister Shri Priyank Kharge announced grant worth INR 50 Lakh for startups with a social focus at Shell Energy Entrepreneurship conference 2018. The day also served as the graduation event for Shell E4’s first cohort of energy and sustainability startups. Earlier this year, Shell selected five startups.
- Alibaba group announced its plans to make “substantial investments” in India and acquire content platforms across print, video and web to increase its reach within the country. The company says that it views user data privacy and security seriously, and thus stores most of the user information within servers in India.
- Online furniture retailer Urban Ladder announced its plans to raise $35-40 Mn to expand its offline presence, adding stores in Mumbai, Chennai and Pune by January. Urban Ladder’s aggressive offline ramp-up plan comes as Swedish furniture retailer Ikea launched its first Indian store in Hyderabad last month.
- New Delhi-based financial services company IndianStartupFactory received the final nod from market regulator SEBI, to launch its maiden venture capital fund worth $27.8 Mn (INR 200 Cr). ISF will majorly be investing in startups where the operational profitability is already clear or the startup is looking forward to operational profitability within 12-18 months of investment.
- Online marketplace Snapdeal announced an ‘AI Hackathon’ aimed at developing solutions based on the new-age technology that can help address challenges related to the ecommerce sector. This competition challenges participants to solve interesting problems around computer vision and natural language processing. The winner will be selected based on his/her ability to solve the real world business problems.
- WaterBridge Ventures is exiting with nearly 150% internal returns and five times its investment in Unacademy. The development comes after Unacademy raised $21 Mn from three top venture capital investment firms — Sequoia Capital, SAIF Partners and Nexus Venture Partners — bought a stake in the startup.
- Amazon and Samara Capital have now taken a step closer to acquire Aditya Birla Group’s food and grocery retail chain More. However, investment bank Goldman Sachs is no more participating in the talks. The duo— Samara Capital and Amazon— are speculated to acquire Kumar Mangalam Birla’s Aditya Birla Retail Ltd (ABRL) at an enterprise value of $579.48 Mn- $593.57 Mn (INR 4,100- 4,200 Cr).
- MosChip Semiconductor Technology, a Hyderabad-based Semiconductor and IoT technology company approved definitive agreements/arrangements for the acquisition of four companies, namely, Gigacom Semiconductor LLC, California, USA, Gigacom Semiconductor Pvt. Ltd, Visakhapatnam, FirstPass Semiconductors Pvt. Ltd, Hyderabad, and Institute of Silicon Systems Pvt. Ltd, Hyderabad. MosChip is making these acquisitions as part of the company’s growth plans to offer the full suite of skillset and expand business geography.
- NXP Semiconductors acquired OmniPHY, a provider of automotive Ethernet subsystem technology. OmniPHY’s advanced high-speed technology, combined with NXP’s leading portfolio and heritage in-vehicle networks, uniquely positions NXP to deliver the next-generation of data transfer solutions to carmakers. Financial terms of the transaction are not disclosed.
- Tata Communications partnered with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to launch a three-month long hackathon on the HackerEarth platform. Called ‘The Grand India IoT Innovation Challenge’, this will be open to engineering students from 26 colleges and universities across India. Students will have to build prototypes and Internet of Things(IoT) based solutions on the theme of ‘Solutions that create a better society’ on LoRaWANTM specifications. The students will have access to Tata Communications’ dedicated IoT network, IoT platform and mentorship and an opportunity to compete for prizes.
Stay tuned for the next week edition of Funding Galore: Indian Startup Funding Of The Week!