This week, one of the India’s leading venture capital firm, Nexus Venture Partners, closed its fourth fund, Nexus Ventures IV Ltd with committed capital of over $450 Mn. With this, Nexus has gathered over $1 Bn in terms of total funds under management.
This week, 25 startups raised about $65 Mn in funding altogether. (The funding amount is based on the startups that disclosed their funding amounts).
Aye Finance: A startup that provides innovative & customer centered financial services to micro & small businesses, Aye Finance, received about $2.9 Mn (INR 20 Cr.) in follow-on investments from Accion and SAIF Partners. The company will utilise the capital to help the financial services startup that offer India’s MSMEs with expanded access to financing.
Holisol: Back-end logistic provider to ecommerce companies, Holisol, raised $10 Mn from CLSA Capital Partners ARIA IV Funds. The company will utilise the funds to set up more warehouses, expand last mile delivery network and increase the portfolio of supply chain optimisation solutions.
I2e1: Smart network layer platform, i2e1, raised $500K (INR 3.34 Cr.) in a seed round of funding led by growX ventures. This round also saw participation from angel investors such as Mohandas Pai, Sameer Mahandru, Rajan Pandhare, Debasish Mitter and Singapore Angel Network. The company will utilise the raised funds to expand its team as well as operations and strengthen its data analytics.
PropheSee: Digital analytics startup, PropheSee, raised about $500K (NIR 3.3 Cr.) in an angel round of funding led by Indian Angel Network, Stanford Angels and Entrepreneurs India. The raised funds will be utilised to scale technology & build core talent.
Homestudio: Online branded furniture startup HomeStudio bagged $5 Mn (INR 33.4 Cr.) in a seed round of funding from Bren Corporation. The funds raised will be deployed in strengthening its technology platform, building warehouse capabilities, offline studios and expanding its team.
Blackbuck: Logistics startup BlackBuck raised $25 Mn in Series B round of funding from Tiger Global, Apoletto, Accel Partners and Flipkart. The funds will be utilised to expand its team, services and build products.
Joe Hukum: Concierge service startup JoeHukum raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding led by TracxnLabs along with other angel investors including Jitendra Gupta and Prashant Tandon. The startup will use the raised capital to expand into more cities and launch its own payment solution.
Jigsaw Academy: An online school of Analytics, Jigsaw Academy, secured $3 Mn (INR 20 Cr) funding from Manipal Global Education Services (MaGE) to expand its offerings to new markets. With this, former Infosys veteran TV Mohandas Pai will join the advisory board of Jigsaw Academy.
Yumist: Full-stack food-tech startup, Yumist, raised $2 Mn (about INR 12 Cr.) in a fresh round of funding led by Ronnie Screwvala‘s fund Unilazer Ventures and from existing investor Orios Venture Partners. Steven Lurie, a valley-based investor, also participated in this round of funding. As per the deal, Ronnie Screwvala will join the company’s board.
HeyBiz: Shopping assistant app HeyBiz raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from ShopClues. The proceeds will be used towards enhancing the product further along with expanding its market base in cities across India.
Leaf Wearables: The company behind smart safety wearable device, SAFER, raised $250K in a seed round investors including Ajeet Khurana, Jinesh Shah, Vikram Chachra, Aniruddha Malpani, Vijay Talreja and others. The raised capital will be used to expand Leaf Wearables’ product SAFER.
mFicient Technologies: Cloud-based enterprise mobility Platform-as-a-Service (mPaaS), mficient, raised an undisclosed amount of funding in an angel round. Delhivery founders and other Delhi and Mumbai-based angel investors also participated in this round. The secured funds will be used to build and develop sales team and further expand into the domestic market.
CustomFurnish: Custom-made furniture etailer, CustomFurnish, raised about $4.5 Mn (INR 30 Cr) in the second round of funding from Agnus Capital. The company will use the raised capital to upgrade its technology and strengthen logistics.
Vlurn: Elearning startup Vlurn raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from Vidyadhar Sarfare, MD & CEO of Accord Group. The startup will use the raised capital to expand its technical team for development of its mobile app and for creating studio infrastructure. It is also planning to use the funds for marketing & promotion of the courses.
Zenatix: An Internet of things (IoT)-based energy management startup Zenatix Solutions raised an undisclosed amount of follow-on funding led by Blume Ventures. The newly infused capital will be used to hire talent, upgrade technology and product, and expand operations from Delhi-NCR to Bangalore and Mumbai.
Voxweb: Social networking app that allows users to attach an eleven second audio clip to any image raised $350K (INR 2.3 Cr) in funding from an undisclosed investor. The startup will use the funds to refine the technology and add features to its iOS and Android apps.
Splitkart: A mobile app that focuses on helping users to split their bills and share expenses, Splitkart, raised angel investment from investors including Rajesh Sawhney, Anupam Mittal, Anand Chandrasekaran, Dinesh Agarwal, Gaurav Gupta, and other undisclosed investors. The funds will be used for product development and scaling up operations.
LocalCircles: Online citizen engagement platform, LocalCircles, raised an undisclosed amount from Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra. With this, Anand will join the advisory board of the company. The company will use the capital to make its network available to more citizens and causes across India.
Paynear: Payment and customer retention solution provider, Paynear, raised $2.5 Mn in pre-Series A round from serial investor Mitesh Majithia. With this, Mitesh has joined the company as its board member.
OnlineRTI: An online service to file Right to Information (RTI) applications, OnlineRTI, raised about $150K (INR 1 Cr.) in an angel round of funding from LetsVenture, Mohandas Pai and existing investors. The round also saw participation from Nipun Goyal Bhupen Shah and early stage investment firm Oilphans Capital.
Powerstores: PowerStores eCommerce Ltd. raised an undisclosed amount of funding led by Extreme Venture Partners and William Bissell. Besides, the company has also rebranded itself as Webware.io, reflecting the company’s ability to serve more than just the ecommerce market with a shopping cart solution.
EureQa: Test automation Software as a Service (SaaS) startup, EureQa, raised $600K in a seed round of funding from Gabriel Investments. As part of the deal, Sashi Reddi (investment partner at Gabriel) will join the company’s board.
Weddingz.in: L Fast Brands Pvt Ltd, which owns Weddingz.in, an online marketplace for wedding venues and vendors, has raised over $1 Mn (around INR 6.7 Cr) in angel funding from a group of investors, including Google India’s managing director Rajan Anandan. The other investors include filmmakers Zoya Akhtar, Reema Kagati and Ruchi Narain, Indian designer Ritu Kumar’s son Amrish Kumar, and Ambit Private Wealth CEO Hrishikesh Parandekar. The funds will be used for automation, marketing, expanding operations to more cities, and expanding the user base.
Chillr: A peer-to-peer money transfer and recharge app, Chillr, raised $7 Mn in Series A round led by Sequoia Capital, Blume Ventures, and Uniqorn Ventures. The newly raised funds will be used for upgrading technology infrastructure and customer acquisition.
Besides, Flipkart founders, Sachin and Binny Bansal confirmed their investment in Rahul Yadav’s new startup Intelligent Interfaces.
Also, tech-focused quick service restaurant (QSR) chain, Faasos, reportedly raised $30 Mn (about INR 200 Cr.) in a funding round led by Russian internet-focused investment firm ru-Net. Existing investors Sequoia Capital and Lightbox Ventures also participated in this round. The startup will utilise the funds to make acquisitions and to begin operations in new cities, which include Kolkata, Chandigarh, Dehradun among others.
With this, an online marketplace for new and pre-owned luxury products, Luxepolis Retail Services Pvt Ltd, plans to raise around $1 Mn (INR 6.6 Cr) as seed fund from a Mumbai-based institutional investor by the end of this month. The company will use the funds to expand its product categories.
Acquisitions That Took Place This Week
- Thinkcell Learning Solutions acquired Enabilon Learning, which offers its test preparation packages through Testfunda.com. With the acquisition, Thinkcell will now be structured into four verticals, Gateforum for GATE preparation, Yukti for preparing students from 8-12 science division for JEE & medical entrance, Logiquest (Kaplan Certified Education Partner) for education abroad focusing on GRE, GMAT, SAT, TOEFL & USMLE, and Testfunda.com for online MBA & Bank tests preparation market.
- Software & cloud services for customer engagement company, Interactive Intelligence Group Inc., acquired Customer360 for an undisclosed amount. Customer360 is a developer of SaaS applications that help businesses enhance customer relations using non-voice communications channels.
- Test preparation startup, MockBank Learning Pvt. Ltd acquired Litoro Tech Solutions Pvt. Ltd, a custom web & mobile product development startup, for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition will strengthen Mockbank’s tech team.
- Counselling & education services firm Careers360 acquired NoPaperForms for an undisclosed amount.NoPaperForms is an enrollment management platform for educational institutes. The acquisition will help Careers360 augment and strengthen its B2B clientele offering and help institutes spend smartly on digital media.
- Paytm acquired Near.in, in a cash-and-stock deal to strengthen its presence in online to offline space. The deal is estimated to be between $1.5 Mn – $2 Mn (INR 10 Cr.-INR 13 Cr.).
- Also, logistics services provider Parsel merged with Accord Ecom Solutions, a third-party logistics provider, in a combined deal of cash and revenue. The combined entity will be called as Parsel. With this development, Parsel will look to build a strong delivery software system and sales team.
Other Developments Of The Week
- Angel-backed accelerator, VentureNursery, has invited early stage startups from across the country to apply for the 9th Season of its 13-week acceleration program. The intensive program will include mentoring by experienced members of the accelerator.
- The government has launched the Startup Village Entrepreneurship Programme to foster 1.82 lakh entrepreneurs over a period of four years, in 40 blocks across 14 states. The programme will be a subscheme under the National Rural Livelihood Mission and was announced in the 2014 Budget.
- With an intention to create a startup ecosystem for B2B SaaS (Business-to-Business Software-as-a-Service) ideas, Amplifi and XIME partnered to set up country’s first and only ‘Amplifi-XIME’ B2B SaaS Accelerator at XIME’s Bangalore campus. The accelerator will offer infrastructure, mentoring, shared resources, access to corporates, angel investors and VCs.
- Cisco plans to invest in startups working on products that have global appeal in sectors like cloud computing, mobile technologies and Internet of Things (IoT) sectors. The company intends to invest $240 Mn in the startup space in India.