We bring to you the latest edition of Funding Galore: Indian Startup Funding Of The Week!
This week one of the biggest fundings came to Nova Digital media-owned OTT platform Hotstar, which raised $153 Mn (INR 1,066 Cr) from Star India and Star US Holdings. Hotstar is one of India’s premium streaming platform with more than 100K hours of shows and movies in 18 languages, and coverage of prime global sporting events.
Also, Mumbai-based online-only insurance startup Acko, which raised $65 Mn in Series C funding from Binny Bansal, Amazon, Kabir Misra-led RPS Ventures, Intact Ventures Inc, Accel, SAIF and TechPro Ventures. The company uses a direct-to-consumer approach for distributing motor insurance, allowing for favourable risk selection and superior underwriting.
In all this week, 20 startups raised $354.43 Mn funding and one startup acquisition took place in the Indian startup ecosystem. (This funding report is based on startups that disclosed funding amount.)
Indian Startup Fundings Of The Week
&Me: Bengaluru-based food and beverage &Me raised an undisclosed amount of follow-on investment from existing investors Matrix Partners India, along with participation from a consumer VC fund, Sauce.vc. The fresh funds will help &Me to expand its team, scale operations nationally and widen its product offering.
The Wedding Brigade: Mumbai-based wedding planner The Wedding Brigade raised $1 Mn in an extension of Pre-Series A funding from Japan-based AET fund and Blume Ventures with participation from investors including Allana Group and other angel investors. It is now looking to use fresh funds to scale its latest business, creating and operating high-quality wedding banquet spaces, as well as investing in their existing content and ecommerce businesses.
Aibono: Bengaluru-based agricultural service provider Aibono raised $2.5 Mn in Pre-Series A funding round which was led by impact fund Menterra Venture Advisors. Other investors such as Silicon Valley-based Milliways Venture, Zurich-based Artha Ventures, Japanese fund Rebright Partners and Mohandas Pai-backed 3one4 capital also participated in this round. The startup plans to use the fresh funds to expand its service to 2,000 farmers and 1,000 small retailers
TartanSense: Bengaluru-based, agritech startup, TartanSense raised $2 Mn seed funding from food and agriculture-focused fund, Omnivore; Blume Ventures, and BEENEXT. Other investors in the round include Dileep George, co-founder of Silicon Valley based Vicarious AI (backed by Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos), GreyOrange cofounders Akash Gupta and Samay Kohli, as well as Kush Jawahar from Featherlite. TartanSense has planned to use this fresh funding to scale up its first product, BrijBot.
StayAbode: Bengaluru-based coliving provider StayAbode raised an undisclosed amount as an add-on to pre Series A funding from Voyage Group, Akatsuki and Incubate Fund. StayAbode claims its model supports the lifestyle of the young, single “sociable” household, some of the facilities provided include payment of utility bills are paid, linen wash along with daily housekeeping.
Moglix: B2B industrial goods ecommerce platform Moglix raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Kalyan Krishnamurthy, who currently serves as the CEO of Flipkart. According to the company, this deal is Krishnamurthy’s first individual backing of a company working across the B2B ecommerce space.
BYJU’S: Bengaluru-based edtech unicorn BYJU’S raised $11.43 Mn from private equity major General Atlantic and Chinese media giant Tencent. This comes after BYJU’S closed 2018 with $540 Mn Series F funding which it planned to use for growth and development of BYJU’S learning app as well as for international market expansion.
Innoviti: Bengaluru-based digital payments solutions company Innoviti raised $11.5 Mn (INR 80 Cr) in a fresh debt funding round from Trifecta Capital and a bunch of non-banking finance companies (NBFCs). The fresh funds will be used to expand operations, strengthen the technology platform to ensure smooth card payments and hire additional staff.
Nua: Mumbai-based female wellness startup Nua raised $4 Mn in Series A funding round from Lightbox’s third fund and existing investor Kae Capital. Nua plans to expand its offerings to include other menstrual hygiene and women’s wellness products. It would be making investments in technology and data.
Mswipe: Mumbai-based mobile point of sale (mPOS) network provider Mswipe raised $31.5 Mn (INR 218.99 Cr) in a Series E funding round from B Capital, DSG Consumer Partners, Epiq Capital and Falcon Edge. Mswipe will use the Series E funds to expand the present business activities of the company by financing the working capital and other business operation requirements.
Whatfix: Bengaluru-and San Jose-based enterprisetech startup Whatfix raised $13.2 Mn (INR 92 Cr) Series B funding from Eight Roads Ventures, F Prime Capital, and Cisco Investments. Its existing investors, Stellaris Venture Partners and Helion Venture Partners, also participated in the latest funding round. The funds will be used to boost its US and Europe expansion, double employee headcounts and apply newer technologies to make its product better.
Guiddoo: Mumbai-based travel technology company Guiddoo raised an undisclosed amount of funding from New Jersey-based global venture capital firm SOSV and Artesian China Fund. The company will be using the funds to build its products and offerings specifically for the China market and to strengthen its on ground operations and product development.
Faasos: Pune-based food maker and delivery app Faasos raised $15.9 Mn (INR 110.6 Cr) from a bunch of its existing investors Lightbox, Sequoia and Evolvence in its ongoing Series D round. The company is reportedly seeking a $400 Mn valuation.
AgroStar: Pune-based agritech startup AgroStar raised $27 Mn (INR 188 Cr) Series C funding led by Bertelsmann India. Existing investors Accel Partners, Chiratae Ventures (formerly IDG Ventures) and Aavishkar Bharat Fund also participated in the current funding round. The company will use the funds to invest more in data science and strengthen our technology capabilities.
HelloVerify: Noida-based background checks enabler HelloVerify raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Lead Angels network along with leading Silicon Valley investors like Y-Combinator, Data Collective & Venture Souq. The fresh funds will be used for accelerating and expanding HelloVerify’s technology ecosystem by integrating and enhancing the role of artificial intelligence in its background check technology.
EasyFi: Mumbai-based wireless WiFi infrastructure provider EasyFi raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from Venture Catalysts. As part of its angel funding round, EasyFi will use the funds to expand and accomplish a wider network connectivity along with establishing its virtual infrastructure across new locations.
SparesHub: Pune-based automobile parts startup SparesHub raised $506K (INR 3.5 Cr) in fresh funding from Indian Angel Network. The startup will use the funds for its geographical expansion and to strengthen its technology capabilities.
Vivriti Capital: Chennai-based marketplace for institutional and enterprise debt, Vivriti Capital raised $15.9MN (INR 110 Cr) in a fresh round of funding from its existing investor, Creation Investments. The company plans to use the funds to scale up its balance sheet and to strengthen the marketplace platform.
- Gurugram-based logistics provider BlackBuck has filed offers to B Capital Asia and Global Private Opportunities Partners to raise INR 303.31 Cr ($43.5 Mn) in its Series D round by offering 15,668 Series D compulsorily convertible preference shares (CCPS).
- Gurugram-headquartered hospitality chain OYO is reportedly looking to raise fresh funds via venture debt route to double down on its Townhouse property vertical in India in 2019. The company is in talks with several venture debt firms and some of the top private banks to raise these funds to fuel expansion.
Indian Startup Acquisitions Of The Week
- Gurugram-based coworking startup Innov8 has been acquired by hospitality chain OYO in an all-cash deal worth about INR 220 Cr ($31.84 Mn). Post acquisition, Innov8 founder Ritesh Malik will drive the company’s expansion under OYO. The Innov8 team will continue to remain intact post-acquisition. According to Inc42 sources, the founders and investors of Innov8 have taken an exit as part of the buyout.
- US-based software company Ebix has offered an acquisition deal to Gurugram-based travel and ticket booking platform Yatra Online for $336 Mn (INR 2,342 Cr) in a cash-and-stock deal. Ebix has offered to acquire 100% of the outstanding stock of Yatra Online for $7 (INR 487) per share on a debt-free basis. With this deal, Ebix intends to merge Yatra with its Indian subsidiary EbixCash.
- Naspers-owned fintech company PayU is looking to dominate the entire payments process as it is in talks to acquire Bengaluru and Cupertino-based Wibmo that specialises in processing online payments. The deal is reportedly expected to be at $50 Mn-$60 Mn.
- Online classifieds marketplace, Quikr is reportedly in talks to acquire Gurugram-based used goods marketplace Zefo, for approximately $28.5 Mn (INR 200 Cr.) in an all stock deal. Following the acquisition, Sequoia-backed Zefo will reportedly continue to operate as a separate entity.
Other Developments Of The Week
- Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance group was reportedly in talks to acquire O2O fashion ecommerce platform, Fynd. It was reported that the talks for acquiring 70% stake in Fynd are at an advanced level. However, in conversation with Inc42 Fynd’s cofounder Harsh Shah said the company does not have any acquisition plans. Though, Shah also mentioned that Reliance and a couple of more investors have shown interest in investing in the company.
- Hospitality unicorn OYO announced a commitment of INR 1,400 Cr ($200 Mn) for its India and South Asia business in order to double down on its expansion plans, and improve its back-end technology. The company also reiterated its ambitious plan to be the largest hotel chain in the world by 2023.
- Japanese conglomerate SoftBank will launch a new global fund, SoftBank Acceleration Fund, worth $500 Mn next month. The fund will be reportedly backed by SoftBank, South Korea’s National Pension Service as well as other companies and asset management firms.
- A group of 35 entrepreneurs hailing from a diverse range of industries that include financial services, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), apparels, travel, furnishing and more have come together to launch an early stage startup accelerator — Risers. The Delhi-based accelerator will shortlist 200 startups in a year and will provide support in the form of infrastructure, funding and mentorship.
- Google India announced the shortlisted startups that will be part of its second batch part of the Launchpad Accelerator program for India. This includes Opentalk, THB, Perceptiviti Data Solutions, DheeYantra, Kaleidofin, FinancePeer, SmartCoin, HRBOT, Savera.ai, and Adiuvo Diagnostics.
- TiE Hyderabad announced the start of a 3rd edition of its TiE Grad Business Idea Tournament for College Grad which aims to bring more cities and grad schools into the startup ecosystem by focusing on 3 core areas – access to money, markets and mentors to kick-start a business by taking their innovative ideas to the next level.
- India Accelerator has selected nine startups from the domains of security, marketing, media and entertainment, travel, hyper-local, B2B travel and Agritech for its spring 2019 cohort. These startups will undergo an intensive 16-weeks mentorship boot camp in March, followed by more engagements in April and May. The selected startups are Servizing, Senpiper, All About Bollywood.in, SearchBar.AI, GigZo, HumHain, Charitism, TheKrishi.com, and Rylah.
Stay tuned for the next week edition of Funding Galore: Indian Startup Funding Of The Week!