We bring you the latest edition of Funding Galore: Indian startup funding of the week.
This week one of the biggest Indian startup funding was in edtech unicorn BYJU’S, which raised a mammoth $328 Mn (INR 2,322.18 Cr) in Series F funding from Canada Pension board’s investment arm CPPIB Investment Board Private Holdings, Naspers Ventures BV and General Atlantic Singapore TL Pvt Ltd. With this round. BYJU’S valuation has touched $4 Bn (INR 28,918 Cr) according to data platform Paper.vc and Inc42 sources.
Another interesting funding this week was to Mumbai-based multi-brand car marketplace, MYNEWCAR (.in), which raised $1 Mn (INR 7.1 Cr approx.) in a pre-Series A funding round led by undisclosed angel investors.
In all, this week, 17 startups raised about $720.96 Mn across sectors including fintech, hyperlocal, agritech, and healthtech while three acquisitions took place in the Indian startup ecosystem. (This funding report is based on startups that disclosed funding amount.)
Indian Startup Funding For The Week
Housejoy: Bengaluru-based hyperlocal home services startup, Housejoy, raised $3.24 Mn (INR 23 Cr) in a bridge funding round led by Matrix Partners India. Vertex Ventures, RTP Ventures, Qualcomm Ventures, and Saama Capital also participated in the round. The development comes after the startup’s founders quit and several employees were laid off this year.
Plum: Thane-based skincare products startup Pureplay Skin Sciences, the parent company of Plum, raised an undisclosed amount in Series A funding from Unilever Ventures. The startup plans to use the fresh funds to scale up its operations both in the online and offline spaces.
Aye Finance: Gurugram-based digital lending company Aye Finance raised $2.78 Mn (INR 20 Cr) in non-convertible debentures to grow its loan book and offer affordable and customised credit solutions to the credit-starved micro enterprises in India. At the same time, Accion Venture Lab, an early investor in the company, also made an exit from the company by selling its stake in the company.
Wakefit: Bengaluru-based mattress and sleep-related products provider, Wakefit raised $9 Mn (INR 65 Cr) in its first funding round led by Sequoia Capital in exchange for a 31.9% stake. The startup plans to use the fresh funds to strengthen its manufacturing arm, introduce newer product ranges, and educate customers regarding the role of a quality mattress in human health and wellbeing.
Roposo: Gurugram-headquartered video entertainment app Roposo raised $10 Mn (INR 72 Cr) in a fresh funding round from existing investors Tiger Global and Bertelsmann India Investments. The fresh funds will help the company hire new talent for machine learning for personalisation, to build good content creation tools, marketing and get prepared for a much larger round in the following months.
Ninjacart: Bengaluru-based agritech startup Ninjacart raised $34.6 Mn (INR 250 Cr) in a Series B funding round from Accel US, Syngenta Ventures, Neoplux, ZIGxN founder Jo Hirao, HR Capital, and Trifecta Capital. All existing investors including Accel India, Nandan Nilekani, Mistletoe and Qualcomm Ventures also participated in this round. The startup plans to use the funds raised for expanding to new geographies, strengthening its product and technology team. It is also looking to invest in improving the supply chain infrastructure.
Licious: Bengaluru-based gourmet meat startup Licious raised $25 Mn (INR 178.2 Cr) in a Series D funding round led by Japan-based Nichirei Corp. Existing investors 3one4 Capital, Bertelsmann India Investments, Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India, UCLA, and Sistema Asia Fund also participated in this funding round. The startup will use fresh funds to expand to new cities, fostering the value-added product category, and strengthen the supply chain.
MadGuy Labs: Hyderabad-based online test-prep platform for government jobs, MadGuy Labs, raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Gray Matters Capital under its edLABS initiative.
Wow Venue: Mumbai-based venue booking and events startup Wow Venue raised $1.5 Mn (INR 10.7 Cr) from strategic investor Pranav Pathak. The startup will use the fresh funds for growth and expansion, brand building, marketing, and hiring skilled resources.
FeedMyPockets: Bengaluru-based B2B on-demand staffing startup FeedMyPockets raised seed funding of $625K (INR 4.5 Cr) from South Florida, US-based venture capital firm. The fresh funds will be utilised for deeptech integration, business growth, scale, supply chain and operations.
LambdaTest: San Francisco-headquartered with Noida-based subsidiary LambdaTest raised $1 Mn (INR 7.2 Cr) in Pre-Series A round of funding from Leo Capital. The startup will use the fresh funds to meet the growing demand for new and better products.
PerkFinance: Bengaluru-based salary-linked loan provider PerkFinance raised $900K (INR 6.5 Cr) seed funding from Fosun RZ Capital, Eric Bunting, Krishna Vinjamuri and Karan Virwani. The startup will use the fresh funds to scale its model by enhancing our technology and marketing.
Ambee: Bengaluru-based environmental intelligence startup Ambee raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Venture Catalysts, Amit Agarwal, Rahul Gugaliya and Rajan Anandan, MD, Google India participated in the round. The funds raised will be used to strengthen its technology and introduce its product across markets.
PlanetSpark: Gurugram-based Edtech startup PlanetSpark raised $222K (INR 1.6 Cr) in funding from FIITJEE. The funds will also be used to develop powerful, heuristic, gamified learn-tech products for an integrated instructional learning experience.
Flipkart: Flipkart Singapore reportedly invested $304 Mn (INR 2,190 Cr) in its wholesale arm, Flipkart India Pvt Ltd. This investment comes soon after a $618 Mn (INR 4,472 Cr) infusion in its wholesale arm in March this year.
Indian Startup Acquisitions Of The Week
- Walmart Labs, the local product development division of US retail giant Walmart acqui-hired Delaware-based data analytics and machine learning startup Int.Ai as it looks to strengthen its engineering team.
- Google acquired Bengaluru-based startup Where Is My Train, which provides live train updates through an app without the use of internet and the Global Positioning System (GPS). The Where Is My Train team will be joining Google. With the acquisition, Google may further amplify its presence in tier 2, 3, and 4 cities along with remote parts of the country where internet penetration is negligible.
- Rohit Nadhani’s email startup CloudMagic has been bought by Android creator Andy Rubin’s consumer electronics startup, Essential Products, for an undisclosed amount. An Essential Products spokesperson reportedly confirmed the CloudMagic acquisition but declined to share further details.
Other Developments Of The Week
- Tech accelerator GSF announced its sixth batch of startups, as part of which four deeptech startups graduated this week with a collective investment of $1 Mn (INR 7.22 Cr). The four startups selected for GSF accelerator include Chizel, Khabri, Slintel, and Vaultedge.
- Sweden-based furniture company IKEA has invited 20 growth-stage startups across the globe including India, to participate in its IKEA Bootcamp programme. According to the company, during the three-month-long programme, which is scheduled from March 25 to June 18, 2019, it will be looking to find partners who will focus on solving issues such as affordability of their products, being accessible to people globally etc.
- Mumbai-based early-stage venture capital firm Unicorn India Ventures, with its cross-border evergreen fund — Unicorn Ascension Fund — invested an undisclosed amount in London-based Custom Materials Ltd, the parent company of Moteefe, a social commerce startup. The startup plans to use the fresh funds to expand its services in India by Q3/Q4 2019.
- South East Asia and India-focused private equity firm Everstone will invest $500 Mn (INR 3,577.5 Cr) in the logistics sector along with global logistics company GLP. The new partnership will leverage GLP’s expertise in pioneering modern logistics ecosystems and Everstone’s large and growing network through its private equity, infrastructure and real estate portfolio.
- Booking.com launched a €2 Mn (INR 16.4 Cr) startup fund programme Booking Booster 3.0. The programme is aimed to support the next stage of growth for the participating startups. It selects and invites 10 enterprise startups in the sustainable tourism sector to a three-week long accelerator program in Amsterdam.
- Sodexo in partnership with Zone Startups will collaborate to identify, assess, test and validate the most relevant startups to coach and run pilots within a Sodexo context. The first cohort of the accelerator programme is dedicated to identification of new technology and corporate food models, for which startups can apply through a dedicated website.
- Cambridge-based marketing software developer HubSpot announced the launch of HubSpot Ventures, a $30 Mn fund to support startups in creating a stronger impact on the market. After the initial investment, HubSpot Ventures will also act as a mentor and provide the startups with personalised assessments and coaching from HubSpot experts to enable them with the tools they need to continue to grow better.
Stay tuned for the next week edition of Funding Galore: Indian Startup Funding Of The Week!