HSBC’s brokerage arm slashed down the paper valuation of restaurant discovery platform Zomato by 50% to $500 Mn, from the earlier valued $1 Bn. HSBC Securities and Capital Markets in a detailed report, titled ‘India Internet – Lot of Growth but Slim Pickings’ raised concerns surrounding Zomato’s advertisement-heavy business model, growing competition in the food ordering space, and money-losing international operations for the lower valuation.
Venture capital fund IDG Ventures India closed $150 Mn (INR 1000 Cr) India fund for its $200 Mn third fund called IDG Ventures India Fund III. The VC firm plans to write bigger cheques for the startups at mature stage (Series B investments and beyond) and allocate around one-fourth of the fund to later-stage investments.
This week 19 startups raised about $141 Mn in funding altogether (the funding amount is based on the startups that disclosed their funding amounts).
Startups That Raised Funds This Week
Capital Float: Online lending platform Capital Float raised $25 Mn (INR 170 Cr) in a Series B round of funding led by US-based Creation Investments Capital Management along with SAIF Partners, Sequoia Capital and Aspada Ventures. After the latest funding round, the company is valued at over $100 Mn. The startup plans to use the newly raised funds for ramping up its proprietary credit underwriting engine, penetrating newer segments, including travel and driver financing, as well as introducing new product lines.
Unacademy: An online platform for free education, Unacademy, raised $500K in its first round of external investment led by Blume Ventures and angel investors such as Rajan Anandan, Sumit Jain, Aprameya Radhakrishna, Sujeet Kumar, Phanindra Sama among others. The startup will use the funds for product development and scaling the platform for thousands of educators.
Zenify: Home aggregator and rental management startup Zenify raised $900K in Pre-Series A round of funding from High Networth Individuals (HNI). The startup plans to utilise the capital in further expanding its range of services in India and strengthening its team to compliment their capabilities.
Einsite: The startup that designs Internet-of-Things (IoT) based solutions for the construction and mining industries from its development centre in Hyderabad, raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from KPCB Edge. The current round of funding in the form of uncapped convertible notes in the range of $100K-$200K will help Einsite get its product ready for the market by early 2017.
Stayzilla: Hotel booking platform Stayzilla raised over $13 Mn in Series C round of funding led by its existing investors Matrix partners and Nexus Ventures. The funding round is reported to be split into three tranches of $8.8 Mn (INR 58.5 Cr), $1.9 Mn (INR 13 Cr) and $2.4 Mn (INR 16.3 Cr), between November 2015 and March 2016. The company plans to utilise the raised capital to improve product, technology and marketing initiatives for the alternate stay business.
Dream Wallets: Crowdfunding platform Dream Wallets secured an undisclosed amount of funding in seed round led by Rakesh Gupta and Aditya Aggarwal along with other investors who participated in this round including Siddharth Banerjee, Vikas Ranjan, Anshul Jindal, Sunil Koul, and Sanjeev Agrawal. The platform will use the newly raised funds to double up business development team, investment in technology, and for creating awareness about the crowd funding concept.
Fractal Analytics: Data analytics company Fractal Analytics raised $100 Mn (INR 667 Cr) from Malaysian sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional Berhad. This round valued the company at around $300 Mn (INR 2,000 Cr). It will use the funding to accelerate its growth and invest in areas of artificial intelligence (AI).
Faircent: Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform Faircent raised an undisclosed amount of funding in Series A round led by JM Financial Products Ltd., a subsidiary of JM Financial Ltd. The startup has diluted 9.84% of its stake in the deal. The startup plans to utilise the newly raised capital to further refine its tech-enabled risk mitigation algorithms through big data analytics.
Zarget: A conversion rate optimization software maker Zarget raised $1.5 Mn in seed funding from Accel Partners, Matrix Partners, and angel investor Girish Mathrubootham. The startup is looking to come out with more products in the marketing automation space.
HealthifyMe: Health and fitness app HealthifyMe raised $6 Mn (INR 40 Cr) in Series A round of funding led by IDG Ventures India, Inventus Capital, and Blume Ventures. The startup plans to use the newly raised capital to further develop its digital coaching platform and to accelerate growth in India.
ShabdaNagari: Hindi social networking portal Shabda Nagari raised an undisclosed amount of bridge funding from ah! Ventures. Through ah! Ventures the startup is backed by key investors like Yogesh Chaudhary, Anirudh Damani, Abhimanyu Singh & others. It aims to utilise the newly raised capital for its product development, marketing and promotional activities.
Life Circle: Home nursing and professional caregiving service provider Life Circle raised $150K from GROUPE SOS. Apart from the investment, GROUPE SOS will also share its technical know-how and International best practices with Life Circle.
Swiggy: Food ordering app Swiggy raised an additional $7 Mn (INR 47 Cr) from its existing investors Norwest Venture Partners, DST Global and Accel Partners. The new round of funding has valued the startup at $130 Mn (INR 865 Cr). With the funding, the startup plans to deep dive into its eight operational cities and maintain its market leadership position.
Locus: Logistics management startup Locus raised $2.75 Mn in Series A funding led by Exfinity Venture Partners. Other investors who participated in the round were Blume Ventures, BeeNext and Rajesh Ranavat.Its existing investors also participated in this round. With this Balakrishnan V joins the Locus board.
Momzjoy: An ecommerce portal designed to offer fashionable and stylish clothes for moms-to-be Momzjoy won the pitch on the Angel Summit stage. For winning the startup pitch, Momzjoy received INR 25K From KGS. The startup is currently aiming at scaling the business. Wockito, a business card management app was the runner up.
Galleri5: photo discovery platform Galleri5 has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Redbus founder Phanindra Sama and TaxiForSure founder Raghunandan G. The startup said that it closed the round October 2015 and is utilising the funds for content development, hiring talent, marketing strategies, and talent acquisition.
Schoolwear: School products marketplace. Schoolwear.in raised $1.5 Mn in seed funding from the promoters of Mumbai-based publishing firm Navneet Education Ltd. The startup said it will mainly use the funds to launch a range of school products including uniforms, footwear and accessories across 500 schools in 15 cities by the end of this year. The company is mainly targeting Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa states for expansion.
Derbii: Cab pooling app Derbii, run by Winwincab Rides Pvt. Ltd, raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from Accenture managing director Anurag Chauhan. The startup said that it will use the new funds to improve its technology, get more users, and increase the number of cabs on the road.
Wow Express: Logistics startup Wow Exress raised $2 Mn in Pre Series A round of funding from US-based investor. The startup plans to utilise the funding in expanding to other geographical locations and enhancing its technology.
Snapdeal is trying to raise funds for Freecharge, at an undisclosed valuation from SWFs and Chinese investors. The company is reportedly looking to raise about $300 Mn for Freecharge.
Online jewellery retailer BlueStone is in the process of raising around $30-40 Mn in Series D round of funding from existing investors including Kalaari Capital and Accel Partners.
Car rental startup Carzonrent is in talks to raise $20-$30 Mn fund from PE investors. It is banking on its self-drive business Myles to lead into the unicorn status in the next few years.
Acquisitions Of The Week
- Edtech startup FitKids acquired ThinkLABS Technosolutions for an undisclosed amount in an all cash deal. With this, the team from ThinkLABS will continue to operate independently, under the ThinkLABS umbrella that will also now include the DiscoverEd program.
- DriversKart acquired Driven, an on-demand chauffeur aggregator startup, in an equity and cash deal. With the acquisition, DriversKart will further strengthen its presence in Mumbai and get access to Driven’s 150 driver partners servicing 1000 customers a month.
- Cross-category classifieds platform Quikr acquired Salosa, an on-demand in-home beauty services provider. Salosa, which has been a partner to QuikrServices, will further strengthen its beauty services offerings with stylists.
- On-demand logistics booking platform Moovo acquired a similar platform GoGoods, in an all stock deal. The startup aims to expand its network in Bihar and Jharkhand with this acquisition. Post acquisition, the five member team will join Moovo.
- Cloud telephony company Knowlarity Communications acquired Smartwards, a customer engagement platform that simplifies loyalty for local businesses and their customers, for an undisclosed amount. With the acquisition, Knowlarity will integrate Smartwards’ product and technology into its own product ecosystem to provide enterprise software solutions to small & medium businesses.
With this, TinyOwl and Runnr are planning to merge in an all stock deal. Both companies with common investors – Sequoia & Nexus, aim to come out as an integrated hyperlocal delivery service, to win more customers and expand their business.
Also, Fashion ecommerce portal Freecultr is in final stages to be acquired by Arvind Internet. The sources close to the development confirmed the acquisition revealing that most of the employees have been asked to leave the company. The core team and founding members will join Arvind as the part of the deal.
Other Developments Of The Week
- Google announced six Indian startups for its second batch to join the Launchpad Accelerator program at Google Headquarters in Silicon Valley, California. The startups selected include Taskbob, MagicPin, Programming Hub, ShareChat, RedCarpet, PlaySimple Games.
- The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) announced the fifth edition of ‘TiE the Knot’, a live fundraising competition platform for tech and non-tech startups to raise their seed investment. Last date to apply for ‘TiE the Knot’ is May 15, 2016.
- GREE Ventures, a Tokyo-based venture capital firm, announced the first close of its new AT-II Investment Limited Partnership Fund (“AT-II”). The fund has a committed capital of $37 Mn from investors including leading Japanese companies and financial institutions. It is expected to have its second closing with $60 Mn funds at the end of December this year.
- Ganesh Natarajan, former Vice Chairman of Zensar Technologies, has set up ‘meta-startup platform’ 5F World, for which it has earmarked $600K Fund. The platform will invest in startups that have a feasible roadmap to reach revenues of $15 Mn (INR 100 Cr), and an EBITDA of about $2 Mn (INR 15 Cr) by March 2020.
- Michael and Susan Dell Foundation(MSDF) earmarked an additional $50 Mn (about INR 333 Cr) towards investments in India, over the next three years. The foundation has planned to use the amount primarily for making direct investments in the early-stage ventures along with its existing seed-stage fund, India Educational Investment Fund (IEIF).
- HP launched a new venture fund to invest in startups working on 3D, virtual reality, hyper-mobility, Internet of things, and smart machines.
- California-based Autodesk is launching an ‘Entrepreneur Impact Program’ in India, for startups developing new solutions to cleantech, environmental or social challenges with focus on hardware. Under the program, startups will be provided software worth $150K and training for a period of three years.
- Applyifi, a private platform for startups and early-stage companies to raise funds, launched its operations in the ASEAN region. The platform will now accept applications from startups throughout Asia, without limitations.
- Chairman and managing director of Oxigen Services, Pramod Saxena, launched a startup accelerator Aarambh Ventures in partnership with IIT-Roorkee. The accelerator will focus on startups operating in financial technology and clean technology.
- In a move where Titan aims to acquire a majority stake in jewellery startup CaratLane, Tiger Global, plans to take exit. Tiger Global has invested more than $50 Mn and holds majority stake in the firm.