We bring to you the latest edition of Funding Galore: Indian Startup Funding of the week.
One of the biggest funding rounds this week was raised by Flipkart Internet, the online marketplace arm of Indian ecommerce company Flipkart, which received more than $475.75 Mn (INR 3,462 Cr) from Flipkart Marketplace, Singapore. The funding is expected to help Flipkart amp up its game against its arch-rival and global player Amazon. The company also plans to add more exclusive partnerships and expand its collection of globally recognised labels in the coming months.
Further, Bengaluru-based Indian regional language social platform ShareChat raised close to $100 Mn (INR 720 Cr) in a funding round that will boost its valuation to $460 Mn (INR 3,332 Cr). This is a 7x increase to its last valuation when the company raised $18.2 Mn in Series B funding round from Xiaomi Singapore and its sister company Shunwei Capital at a valuation of $67 Mn (INR 431 Cr) in January 2018.
Apart from these, this week 16 startups raised around $181 Mn funding and three startup acquisitions took place in the Indian startup ecosystem. (The startup funding calculations are based on the startups that disclosed funding amount.)
Important Indian Startup Funding Of The Week
Livspace: End-to-end home design and decor service provider Livspace raised $70 Mn in a Series C funding round led by US-based private equity company TPG Growth and global investment bank and active investor Goldman Sachs. The round also saw participation from Livspace’s existing investors — Jungle Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, and Helion Ventures. The startup plans to utilise the funds to expand its presence from seven cities to 13 by 2019. Avendus Capital was the exclusive financial advisor to Livspace for this transaction. With the new round, the startup’s total capital raised till date has reached $97.6 Mn.
Ola: Ola secured $50 Mn from two new investors – Hong Kong-based Sailing Capital and the China-Eurasian Economic Cooperation Fund (CEECF). The fundraising is part of the company’s effort to raise fresh funds of at least $1 Bn. the round has valued the company between $3.7 Bn and $4.3 Bn. The investments have been made through British Virgin Islands entities of two Chinese funds — Auto Fortune Ltd and Odyssey Bravery Ltd. Further, Sailing Capital and the CEECF, a state-backed investment fund of China, will hold a combined stake of about 1.17% in Ola.
DocPrime: DocPrime, the healthcare venture by Policybazaar Group received an initial internal funding of $50 Mn from the parent company. It aims to expand its network to 150K doctors and 20,000 labs across 100+ cities.
CleanseCar: Bengaluru-based daily car cleaning and standardised repair startup CleanseCar raised Seed funding from Dhianu Das, an Angel Investor and mentor for startups like Cleardekho, GoMechanic, swaytech, Nodd App. The startup plans to use this fund to primarily expand its current operations and invest further in research/development to create qualitative, environmentally friendly options to car owners across the country. It also plans to expand to Chennai, Pune and Hyderabad followed by other cities in the coming months.
Knocksense: Lucknow-based local discovery cum recommendation startup Knocksense has raised seed funding from Amitesh Pandey (Founder of VBS Infravision Private Limited). The startup plans to expand to Indore, Jaipur and other growing tier-II cities in India. The startup also owns another vertical for mobile, tech and gadget news, Techsense, which was started in July 2018.
Xplorabox: New Delhi-based educational subscription activity box for children Xplorabox raised an undisclosed amount in a Seed funding round from Z Nations Lab, Sridham Enterprises and Metaform Ventures. The startup plans to use the funds to expand its services, including the launch of products to cater to higher age categories, diversifying into curriculum-mapped products, and tapping the overseas markets of North America and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
Mate Labs: Bengaluru-based AI-focussed startup Mate labs has raised $550K in a Seed funding round from lead investor Omphalos Ventures India LLP and other investors from around the world. Other notable investors include Eagle 10 Ventures (a group of serial entrepreneurs and industry veterans from around the globe), 91Springboard (Coworking community, India), Deepak Sharma (previously Chairman of CITI Bank, Global Private Banking, and present board member of 91Springboard), Khattar Holding Pte Ltd., Sumit Sinha (of Kristy’s Kitchen acquired by Cure Fit foods), and Tejan Timblo (Co-founder at Docuvity), among others. The start-up is currently focused on developing their SME and Enterprise business pipelines belonging to BFSI and Retail sectors.
Parkwheels: Gurugram-based RFID technology based smart parking system Parkwheels raised $166K (INR 1.2 Cr) in its seed round from 91springboard, Amit Lakhotia (ex-VP Paytm), Kuwait Based Investment firm and others. The round was finalised in April 2018. Their existing investors Anchit Lakhotya (ex – executive director of StanC) and Sonit Singh (ex – ED & Head – Real State Coverage, SCB) were also a part of this round. The funding will be primarily used to strengthen their technology and to serve their current order books.
Cyclops MedTech: Bengaluru-based Cyclops MedTech, a startup working on clinical and wearable diagnostic and rehab products for neuro-vestibular disorders using eye-tracking technology raised $1 Mn from Unitus Ventures. Existing investor C P Bothra, the Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director of Medreich India, also participated in the round. The startup plans to use the recently raised funds to augment its role as a leader in the neuro-vestibular diagnostic space and rapidly scale up its installations base in India and the rest of Asia.
NewsBytes: Gurugram-based digital news and media platform NewsBytes raised $1 Mn in a Pre-Series A funding round. The investment was led by Germany-based MM Inno GmbH, along with the US-based Powerhouse Ventures in participation with the existing investor Mumbai Angels. As a part of this deal, Peter Kabel, the Founding Partner of AECAL.de would also join the board of the startup. The funds will be utilised to expand its technology team, support its growing footprint, establish the Hindi and other vernacular desks, and venture into video based content.
Avenue11: Bengaluru-based O2O grocery company Avenue11 raised $3.59 Mn (INR 26 Cr) from Brand Capital, the strategic investment arm of the Times Group. The company will use the funding for the geographical expansion of the business and to increase its brand presence. With the fresh capital infusion, Avenue11 expects to achieve a GMV of $2.34 Mn (INR 17 Cr) in 2018.
Leena AI: US-based investor Y Combinator’s latest graduate, the HRTech startup Leena AI raised $2 Mn in a Seed funding round from a host of Silicon Valley investors among others. Elad Gil, FundersClub Fund, Quiet Capital, Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal and Cathexis Ventures along with a few other angel investors also participated in the funding round. The company plans to use the funds for product development and international expansion.
DailyNinja: Bengaluru-based milk and grocery delivery startup DailyNinja raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Mumbai-based venture capital firm Matrix Partners India. Existing investors including Bengaluru-based Sequoia India and Saama Capital also participated in this funding round. The startup will use the fresh funds for strengthening DailyNinja’s market leadership in the daily essentials space, by expanding to other cities beyond Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai.
Togedr: Gurugram-based adventure and activities based experiences platform and community Togedr raised an undisclosed amount of funding from a group of US & UK-based startups. The investment was led by UK-based investor Anil Patel. The US-based MAW Media and Nalini Singh also participated in this round of funding. The startup plans to use the funding for building better tech and APIs. It is also aiming to launch international hikes and corporate activities in South East Asia market, as well as expand its presence in Bengaluru and Goa.
Sheroes: Delhi-based women community platform Sheroes raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Leo Capital, and Facebook executive Anand Chandrasekaran. Existing investors, including US-based Lumis Partners, Noida-based journalism portal Quintillion Media and the Gurugram-based HR Fund also participated in this funding round. The startup will utilise the fresh funds to strengthen its vernacular reach, and build more value for its members.
Qbera: Bengaluru-based online lending platform Qbera has raised a $3 Mn funding round led by Mumbai-based investor E-City Ventures which The startup plans to utilise the recently raised funds towards ramping up its technology and analytics capabilities. It also plans to expand its team across functions, scale its business and expand its geographical reach to more parts of the country. is a part of the Indian conglomerate Essel Group.
Indian Startup Acquisitions Of The Week
- Gurugram-based One Impression acquired digital assets of University Express, a youth-focused media venture, for an undisclosed amount. With the acquisition, One Impression will get access to a network of youth influencers and strengthen its presence in the Generation Z demographic. The clients of University Express will be consolidated under One Impression brand and Rishav Kumar will be joining One Impression’s leadership team.
- Aditya Birla Group’s retail chain More got acquired by Amazon and private equity fund Samara Capital. Samara Capital-Amazon consortium will buy More at an enterprise value of $581.4 Mn (INR 4,200 Cr), with Samara Capital acquiring 51% of the company and Amazon buying the remaining stake. Pranab Barua, who heads the retail and apparel vertical of the Aditya Birla Group, is likely to head the operations of the entity.
- Adobe announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Marketo, the market-leading cloud platform for B2B marketing engagement, for $4.75 Bn.
Other Developments Of The Week
- Prominent Indian grocery startups BigBasket and Grofers may look at a merger to fight the tough competition. BigBasket and Grofers have revived talks for a merger with their investors, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and SoftBank, looking to join hands. If the deal goes through, the merged entity may raise $250 Mn from China’s Alibaba Group Holding while Japan’s SoftBank Group and other investors may pour more capital into the new entity.
- Flipkart reportedly held talks to buy a stake in Star India’s video-streaming service Hotstar to make a foray into the OTT space and to attract more Internet consumers as well as shoppers. However, the talks have not reached an advanced stage and the deal may or may not materialise.
- Cisco announced to increase its investments for the second phase of its Country Digital Acceleration (CDA) programme in India, which focusses on accelerating innovation and entrepreneurship, 5G use cases for citizen services, and transportation modernisation. The US-based tech company has committed an investment of $100 Mn in the first phase of its CDA programme.
- Building on the success of the 10,000 Startups initiative, NASSCOM unveiled its second phase, Accelerate 10X, a program that aims to catapult the nation’s deep tech startup ecosystem onto the next level. The program will forge strategic partnerships with TechStars, technology majors (such as Facebook, Google, IBM, Microsoft and Amazon Web Services (AWS)) in setting up Engineering & Deep Tech labs and set up innovation centres across the country.
- Indian Angel Network announced its first Global startup competition for Babson College affiliated entrepreneurs. An equity investment will be awarded to the top qualified startup as determined by IAN. Leveraging their mutual synergies, the joint initiative between IAN and Babson College is a pitch competition open to startup companies in any industry and in any location around the world which are owned, controlled, and/or founded by Babson students, parents, faculty, or alumni.
- BSE Institute in partnership with NITI Aayog & AIC sets up the new startup incubator ‘Atal Incubation Center’ at Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi. This will empower entrepreneurs focussed on social innovations in multiple domains including eGov, social, water-tech, clean tech, defence, financial inclusions and will help in reaching out to tier 2 and 3 cities. The selected startups will be put through a 3-month long structured program, with a two-week residential component.
- Kishore Biyani-led retail brand Future Group is reportedly planning to invest $68.8 Mn–$110.3 Mn (INR 500–800 Cr) over the coming four years with a view to creating a nationwide food supply chain network of refrigerated trucks.
- LetsVenture launched LetsGrow, with the large network of Angel Investors and Industry experts on the LetsVenture platform, to help startups identify the right metrics that they would need to target when they raise growth capital of $1Mn – $5 Mn. Vivek Khare, Director Strategy at LetsVenture will now lead the LetsGrow initiative.
- Healthians, a doorstep health test provider announced the company’s plans to invest $5 Mn towards marketing in order to add 1 Mn users. The investment will be made towards a high-intensity advertising campaign, till 2019. 70% of the marketing spend will be focused on spreading awareness about the risk of various lifestyle diseases. Healthians has roped in a marketing agency to conceptualise and executive the campaign. The company’s marquee investor, Yuvraj Singh will also feature in the same.
- Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) announced the launch of its newly formed Fintech Convergence Council (FCC). IAMAI’s Fintech Convergence Council will identify opportunities for better collaboration and convergence between the larger Financial Services Institutions across banking, payments, insurance, and investment with its ecosystem and Fintech companies. Convergence aims to find solutions to motivate customers use their digital money seamlessly across digital and physical, in any type of transaction.
Stay tuned for the next edition of Funding Galore: Indian Startup Funding of the Week!