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Funding Galore: Indian Startup Funding Of The Week [14-19 Jan]

Funding Galore: Indian Startup Funding Of The Week [14-19 Jan]

This week 23 startups raised $599.73 Mn in the Indian startup ecosystem

Two startup acquisitions took place in the Indian startup ecosystem

SoftBank is set to invest $400 Mn in Firstcry

We bring to you the latest edition of Funding Galore: Indian Startup Funding Of The Week!

In one of the biggest Indian startup fundings this week, Delhi-based diversified financial services DMI Group raised $230 Mn (INR 1,619.4 Cr) in a fresh funding round led by New Investment Solutions, an asset management company. The company plans to use the fresh funds to fund balance sheet growth of DMI Finance and DMI Housing Finance.

Also, this week Flipkart India Pvt Ltd received an investment of $200.8 Mn (INR 1,431 Cr) from its Singapore-based parent entity, Flipkart Private Limited. At the same time, ecommerce giant Amazon invested $42.6 Mn (INR 300 Cr) in fresh funding in its digital payments arm Amazon Pay to step up its competition from the homegrown fintech service providers such as Paytm and PhonePe.

In all, this week 23 startups raised $599.73 Mn and two startup acquisitions took place in the Indian startup ecosystem altogether.

Indian Startup Fundings Of The Week

Dailyhunt: Bengaluru-based news and ebooks mobile app, Dailyhunt, raised $3.45 Mn (INR 24.6 Cr) in a Series E2 funding round from Omidyar Network, Sequoia Capital and the Renu Sehgal Trust. Currently, Dailyhunt has grown into a news and local language content application with over 155 Mn app installs offering 100K news articles in 14 languages licensed from over 800 publication partners every day.

Zoomtail: Bengaluru-based omnichannel ecommerce startup Zoomtail Technologies raised an undisclosed amount in seed funding from Mumbai-based venture capital firm, Matrix Partners India, with participation from investors such as V1 Capital, Anshuman Bapna, Kunal Shah and Shamik Sharma. The fresh funds will be used to expand the team and build a technology platform for retailers, manufacturers and SMEs which will help them trade and expand their customer base and network reach.

Turtlemint: Mumbai-based online insurance startup Turtlemint raised $25 Mn (INR 178 Cr) in a fresh funding round led by its existing investor Sequoia Capital. Other existing investors such as Nexus Venture Partners and Blume Ventures have also participated in the round. The fresh funds will be used to increase the number of insurance partners working with them by 10-fold over the next four to six quarters. It is also planning to develop its technology and business.

Aye Finance: Fintech lending company Aye Finance raised $10 Mn (INR 71.32 Cr) in a debt funding round from responsAbility and Northern Arc, through the issuance of non-convertible debentures.  Aye Finance is gearing up to bolster its lending portfolio and offer affordable business loans to a larger number of micro-enterprises in India.

Innovaccer: Noida-based healthcare data analytics startup Innovaccer raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Microsoft’s corporate venture fund M12. The company plans to use the funds to continue building on its platform and an ecosystem of clinical innovators and leaders. This is one of the first investment of M12 in India.

ITILITE: Bengaluru-based B2B SaaS travel startup ITILITE raised $4.2 Mn (INR 30 Cr) in a Series A round of funding led by Matrix Partners and others. Existing investor, Ashish Gupta, founder of Helion VC, also participated in the round. The company plans to use the funds to grow its engineering team for the development of new capabilities, and simultaneously accelerate its sales and marketing efforts.

Scripbox: Bengaluru-based Scripbox, an online mutual fund investment startup, raised $21.4 Mn (INR 151.2 Cr) in a Series C funding round led by its existing investor Accel Partners, with participation from Omidyar Network and NLI Investment Fund.

Shuttl: Bus shuttle service startup Shuttl raised $1.4 Mn (INR 10 Cr) in a Series B debenture round from its existing investor, a Silicon Valley-based venture capital fund, Trifecta Capital. The startup which counts Sequoia Capital India, Times Internet, Lightspeed Venture Partners, AdvantEdge Partners as its investors, has so far raised the funding of over $36.6 Mn.

ZestMoney: Bengaluru-based digital lending startup ZestMoney raised an undisclosed venture debt funding from Indian venture debt fund Alteria Capital. ZestMoney enables real-time credit approval.

Crofarm: Agritech startup Crofarm raised a $500K bridge round led by Vinay Mittal, Chief of Strategy at HT Media, Ramit Sethi from Strongbox Ventures and other HNIs. Existing investors  Pravega Ventures, FactorE Ventures and Ashish Chand from Yukti Securities also participated in the round. With this round of funding, Crofarm is gearing towards closing its Series A.

WayCool: Chennai-based WayCool Foods raised $16.9 Mn (INR 120 Cr) as a combination of equity and debt from LGT Impact, prominent angels, and institutional lenders, including Northern Arc Capital and Caspian. The startup aims to use the funds to further scale-up operations across southern and western India, and bolster its technology platform. It further looks to reinforce its supply chain by building or acquiring assets and capabilities in sourcing, value-added products, and automation of distribution lines.

Leverage Edu: Delhi-based artificial intelligence-based edtech marketplace, Leverage Edu, raised more than $1 Mn (INR 7 Cr) in Pre-Series A funding. The company plans to use the fresh funds to further develop its platform for the next phase of its growth. For this, the company is looking to expand its portfolio services and at the same time, expand its presence across the country.

Ola: Flipkart cofounder Sachin Bansal invested $21.2 Mn (INR 149.9 Cr) in a cab-hailing platform Ola as part of the latter’s ongoing Series J round through preference shares. Ola counts investors such as Softbank, China Eurasian Economic Cooperation Fund, Sailing Capital, Temasek Holdings, Tencent Holdings, and Tekne Capital, among its investors.

Vogo: Bengaluru-based bike rental startup Vogo Automotive Pvt Ltd, which runs the brand Vogo, raised $8.87 Mn (INR 62.78 Cr) as part of its ongoing Series B funding round. The company claims that over 100K users have commuted for over 20 Mn kilometres on its scooters.

Adurcup: Noida-based restaurant procurement startup Adurcup raised an undisclosed amount from Mumbai-based incubator and angle network Venture Catalysts. The round also saw participation from other investors including Dipan Dalal of MK Ingredients & Specialities, Navin Pansari of Olympia Industries Ltd, Sudhanshu Rastogi of Sarc Infrastate Ltd, Somesh Bhatia of FCC Projects and Singapore-based venture capitalist Tushar Aggarwal. The startup plans to use funds to build a stronger technology that transforms the HoReCa industry.

Epigamia: Mumbai-based fresh FMCG products company Drums Food International, the parent company of Epigamia, raised $25.58 Mn (INR 182 Cr) in a Series C round of funding led by Verlinvest and Danone Manifesto Ventures. Other investors who participated in the round include existing backer DSG Consumer Partners (DSGCP), Samina Vaziralli, an executive vice chairperson of Cipla, and Innoven Capital, which chipped in its venture debt services. The company plans to use the fresh funds to expand its distribution across 25 cities in India and expand its range of fresh contemporary products with unique value propositions such as high protein, lactose-free, and probiotics.

PaisaDukan: Mumbai-based NBFC peer-to-peer (P2P) lending marketplace Paisadukan raised $235K from an angel investor. The company plans to use the funding to boost the company’s progress and will help in hiring experienced key resources and expand our technology workforce.

LoanTap: Pune-based online lending startup LoanTap raised $8 Mn (INR 57.9 Cr) from a combination of debt and equity led by Bengaluru-based early stage venture capital fund 3one4 Capital. The startup’s existing investors including, Shunwei Capital, Kae Capital, India Quotient, Tuscan Ventures and angel investor Ashish Goenka, also participated in this round. The funding will be used for creating its loan book.

IndigoLearn: Hyderabad -based finance and accounting focused edtech startup IndigoLearn raised an undisclosed amount of funding from angel investors based out of India and the US. The company plans to use fresh funds to reach a wider audience across the country, followed by product development and technology.

Plushvie: Ahmedabad-based artificial intelligence jewellery aggregator startup, Plushvie raised an undisclosed amount of funding from an angel investor. The startup will use the funds to accelerate the growth and recognition of the brand, expand the seller network, bolster business development opportunities and increase the headcount in the team.

Indian Startup Acquisitions Of The Week

  • Bengaluru-based edtech unicorn BYJU’S acquired US-based learning platform Osmo for $120 Mn (INR 854 Cr) as it looks to expand internationally. Post-acquisition, Osmo’s team based in Silicon Valley will continue to operate independently. In a media statement, BYJU’S said it wants to tap Osmo’s physical-to-digital technology and content to expand its current offerings.
  • Chennai-based online aggregation platform Komparify acquired Ireff, an app based mobile plans platform, in an all-cash asset only deal at an undisclosed amount. Komparify aims to expand its presence in prepaid plans application space with Ireff.

Other Developments Of The Week

  • Kerala has launched the country’s largest startup hub with a 1,000-seat capacity on January 13 in Kalamassery, Kochi. Named ‘Integrated Startup Complex,’ the facility is built to provide top quality infrastructure for incubation and acceleration for the state’s startups.
  • The Jammu & Kashmir Entrepreneurship Development Institute (JKEDI) along with Bari Brahmna Industrial Association (BBIA) held a meeting to further promote innovation-based startups in the State of Jammu and Kashmir under the J&K Startup Policy 2018. Discussions over various aspects of the startup policy such as incubation facilities, funding facilities, energy assistance and tax benefits among others, were also held during the meet.
  • NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), in partnership with Dell and Learning Links Foundation, has launched “Nayee Dishayen, Naye Nirman” programme to celebrate the top six innovations of the country under Atal Tinkering Lab. The Student Entrepreneurship Programme has selected the six innovations in key social sectors of agritech, healthcare, clean energy, smart mobility, waste management and water resources.
  • Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) is setting up a Centre of Excellence (CoE) for fintech startups in Chennai at an estimated cost of INR 23 Cr ($32.29K). The incubator will be setup in partnership with Software Technology Parks of India, Chennai, along with the Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu (ELCOT), and the government of Tamil Nadu. The objective of the CoE is to give startups access to facility, technology, mentorship and support to help them kickstart their business in the area of fintech.
  • Mumbai-based CometChat, a CPaaS startup, has entered Techstars Boulder core accelerator programme, and becomes the first Indian startup to be selected into 3-month long programme. As part of the programme, Techstars will seed fund CometChat $1,20,000 and incubate the Company in its US location. Under the programme, CometChat will have access to Techstars resources such as mentors, financial, legal and infra resources for life.

This week startup ecosystem was abuzz with expectations of several funding deals. Here’s a quick glance on what’s expected in the ecosystem:

  • Japanese conglomerate SoftBank is reportedly set to invest $400 Mn (INR 2,844 Cr) in Pune-based online baby products retailer FirstCry for more than 40% stake in the company, valuing it at around $600 Mn- $700 Mn (INR 4,267.6 Cr- INR 4,978.9 Cr ). Also, the money is expected to come in tranches, linked to financial and business performance milestones.
  • Mumbai-based online furniture and home products marketplace Pepperfry may raise a fresh funding round of $100 Mn (INR 703.9 Cr) from its existing investors Goldman Sachs, Norwest Venture Partners and Bertelsmann India Investments to ramp up its game against global furniture retailer Ikea and other players. The fresh funds will help Pepperfry expand its offline presence and diversify.
  • SoftBank Vision fund has sought approval from the Competition Commission of India (CCI) to acquire a 37.87% stake in Delhivery Pvt Ltd. The Japanese investment firm will make the acquisition through a Cayman Islands-based holding company called SVF Doorbell (Cayman) Ltd, created on behalf of the $93 Bn SoftBank Vision Fund.
  • New Delhi-based online travel website EaseMyTrip is reportedly planning to raise INR 1,500 Cr ($211.08 Mn) via an initial public offering. The parent company Easy Trip Planners has reportedly held discussions with banks and law firms for the IPO process. According to the company, it plans to offer its shares for sale in the second half of 2019. Following this, the founders are expecting the business to value around $844.3 Mn (INR 6,000 Cr) and $1.05 Bn (INR 7, 500 Cr ).

Stay tuned for the next week edition of Funding Galore: Indian Startup Funding Of The Week!