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Funding Galore: Indian Startup Funding Of The Week [24-29 September]

Funding Galore: Indian Startup Funding Of The Week [24-29 September]

One of the biggest funding this week was raised by hotel chain OYO securing $1 Bn in its latest financing round

Paytm’s parent company One97 Communications finally approved the investment of $300 Mn from Berkshire

Samara Capital and Amazon are not acquiring More, but are co-investing in a company called Witzig Advisory which has agreed to acquire More

We bring to you the latest edition of Funding Galore: Indian Startup Funding of the week.

One of the biggest funding this week was raised by hotel chain OYO securing a total of $800 Mn in its latest financing round led by SoftBank Investment Advisers (SBIA) through SoftBank Vision Fund, with participation from existing investors Lightspeed India Partners, Sequoia Capital, and Greenoaks Capital. OYO also confirmed that it has received a commitment of an additional $200 Mn from undisclosed investors, bringing the total to $1 Bn in this round. JPMorgan is acting as the exclusive financial advisor to OYO in this fundraising. Reportedly, the company has been valued at $5 Bn with this funding round.

In another major development, Paytm’s parent company One97 Communications finally approved the investment of $300 Mn from Berkshire. The documents from the Registrar of Companies show that in lieu of the investment Berkshire will subscribe to 1.7 Mn equity shares of Paytm. The investment comes as first for Berkshire in an Indian company.

Further, the recent reports of global ecommerce giant Amazon and private equity fund Samara Capital’s acquisition of Aditya Birla’s retail chain More had surfaced in last one month and have been successfully closed as well. However, here’s a twist. Samara Capital and Amazon are not acquiring More. The companies have “agreed to co-invest in a facilities support and management and value-added services company called Witzig Advisory Services Private Limited.” Following this investment, Witzig has agreed to acquire the grocery and retail stores chain More. It is to be noted that Paurush Roy is also a Director at Samara Capital.

Apart from these, this week 13 startups raised around $106.3 Mn funding and six startup acquisitions took place in the Indian startup ecosystem. (The startup funding calculations are based on the startups that disclosed funding amount.)

Important Indian Startup Funding Of The Week

PharmEasy: Mumbai-based healthtech startup PharmEasy raised $50Mn in a Series C round of funding led by Eight Roads Ventures India, the proprietary investment arm of Fidelity International Ltd (FIL); F-Prime Capital; Fundamentum Advisors, an investment firm backed by Nandan Nilkeni and Sanjeev Aggarwal; and San Francisco-based hedge fund Think Investments. Existing investor BVP also participated in this round, which was executed by investment banking firm Avendus. PharmEasy plans to use the funding to build a larger consumer base and work towards improving its technology capabilities.

Kredent InfoEdge: Kolkata-based fintech company Kredent InfoEdge secured $1.1 Mn (INR 8 Cr) in Pre-Series A funding from renowned stock market investor Ramesh Damani and Singapore-based hedge fund manager along with another undisclosed investor. The startup has already received $688.8K (INR 5 Cr) in its kitty, while $413.3K (INR 3 Cr) is still under process. The company plans to use the funds to introduce new and innovative products that will help the participants to build a career and the investors, traders and professionals to profit from the markets.

NetraDyne: The Bengaluru and San Diego headquartered NetraDyne raised $8 Mn in funding from Reliance Industries for 37.4% stake in the company.  the investment was made through its subsidiary Reliance Industrial Investments and Holdings (RIIHL) which has subscribed to 4.06 Mn shares (4,058,647 shares) at INR 1.9711 per share. With the investment, Reliance is looking at potential synergies with digital services and communications initiatives of RIL and its subsidiaries, apart from commercialisation benefits in India. NetraDyne was one of the Inc42’s 10 Indian AI startups to watch out for in 2018.

Later this week, Netradyne raised another round of financing wherein it secured $21 Mn as part of a Series B funding round. The funding round was led by Microsoft’s corporate venture arm M12 (formerly Microsoft Ventures) and saw participation from Point72 Venture and existing investor Reliance Industries. M12 will join the company board and “bring additional resources and expertise focused on scaling the company”, according to a company statement. The company plans to use the funds raised to make a sizable investment in the application of AI and deep learning in new industry segments.

Licious: Bengaluru-based gourmet meat delivery startup Licious raised $25 Mn in Series C growth round of funding led by Bertelsmann India Investments, Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India along with UCLA. Existing investors including Mayfield India, 3one4 Capital, Sistema Asia Fund and InnoVen Capital also participated in the round. The company will use the newly raised funds to expand to new cities, fostering the value-added product category, and strengthening the supply chain.

SenseHawk: San Francisco, Mumbai and Bengaluru-based cloud-based enterprise platform SenseHawk raised $2 Mn in Series A funding from SAIF Partners and other angel investors. The company plans to use the funding for business development and engineering. Expansion of business outside of India, the US and Australia will be a key focus in addition to the strengthening of existing contracts.

Goals101: Delhi-based fintech and marketing technology startup Goals101 raised $3.5 Mn in a Pre-Series A funding round from US-based venture capital firm Nexus Venture Partners. With this funding deal, which was completed a few months ago, Nexus became a minority stakeholder in Goals101. The funds raised from the round were utilised to improve Goals101’s technology and data science capabilities and also to expand its geographical reach to Malaysia, the UAE, Qatar, South Africa and Kenya.

Bounce: Bengaluru-based dockless two-wheeler rental service Bounce raised $3 Mn in venture debt from venture debt and speciality lending firm InnoVen Capital. The startup plans to use the funding to further boost Bounce’s expansion plans and establish a pan-India presence. The startup plans to work on improving its delivery models and expand to other major cities across India by 2020.

Stanza Living: New Delhi-based student accommodation platform Stanza Living raised $10 Mn (INR 73 Cr) in a funding round led by Sequoia Capital with participation from existing investors — investment firms Matrix Partners and the California-headquartered Accel Partners. Stanza Living will leverage the funding to expand to multiple markets and strengthen its core leadership team while onboarding specialised talent across functions. The startup will also utilise the fresh capital to bolster its technology development, which helps it drive effectiveness into project management and efficiency in business operations while enabling it to offer personalised service delivery.

Sequretek: Mumbai-based cybersecurity startup Sequretek raised $3.7 Mn (INR 27 Cr) in a bridge funding round led by existing investor Unicorn India Ventures, a Mumbai-based venture capital fund. Gujarat-based venture capital firm GVFL (formerly Gujarat Venture Finance Limited) and Sharad Sanghi, the CEO of Mumbai-based managed hosting and cloud services provider Netmagic, also participated in the round as co-investors. It plans to use the freshly raised funds to set up offices there, hire local talent, and sign on some clients in industry segments spanning the banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) sector, technology, retail, and online brands.

Bonbeno: Delhi based pet care products platform Bonbeno raised an undisclosed amount of funding to scale up their business. It plans to launch a mobile grooming service where one can order their service via phone.

Docturnal: A Hyderabad-based company focused on non-invasive screening solutions for Tuberculosis, Docturnal raised funding from Mumbai Angels Network (MA Network). With the funding, it is looking to build the team, technology and deploy the product for clinical trials across several hospitals in the country. 11 Investors from the MA Network are investing in the company including Akshay Mittal, Abhijeet Birewar and Shantanu Agarwal.

Spoofin: A video-based social network that allows users to create and share parody videos, Spoofin raised a bridge round funding from Mumbai Angels Network. Spoofin had raised its first round of funding from the MA Network and several other individual investors in 2017. The startup plans to use freshly raised capital towards growth and fuelling expansion in customer acquisition and technology. It is also planning to launch new versions over the next three to four months. Five Investors from the MA Network have invested in the company including Jatin Aneja, Mridul Upreti and Purple Patch Ventures.

Strom Motors: Mumbai-based smart urban mobility startup Strom Motors (E14 Technologies Pvt Ltd) has secured angel funding from Indian Angel Network (IAN). The round was led by IAN members Neeraj Garg, Sanjay Bhasin, and Anirudh Agarwal, all of whom will also be strategic members of the Strom Motors’ board. The investment will help Strom Motors to consolidate its leadership position in the technology-enabled urban mobility industry, improve product sales, accelerate its geographical expansion, and increase its consumer base across markets.

Indian Startup Acquisitions Of The Week

  • Bengaluru-based enterprise solutions provider OBOPAY announced the acquisition of Accel Partners-and Nandan Nilekani-backed consumer technology platform Mubble, as the former plans to strengthen and enhance its data analytics capabilities and mobile app expertise. The recommendation algorithms and data analytics capabilities of Mubble will significantly boost OBOPAY’s services in all the markets it operates, including 11 countries and three continents in Asia, Africa and North America.
  • ICICI Bank acquired an 8.85% stake in Mumbai-based Avenues Payment India Private Limited. The move aims at promoting adoption of digital cross-border remittance platforms for corporate and retail customers.
  • Flipkart acquired Israel-based Upstream Commerce. Upstream Commerce was backed by YL Ventures as a leading investor from its inception until its acquisition. Avendus Capital was the financial advisor to Upstream Commerce in the deal. The deal size has not been disclosed yet.
  • United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based cab hailing firm Careem acquired Commut, a Hyderabad-based online minibus shuttle service platform Commut for an undisclosed amount. This is in line with Careem’s plans to expand into mass transport.
  • IIFL Wealth Management acquired Bengaluru-based fintech company, Altiore Advisors Private Limited. Altiore Capital had around INR 5000 Crore of assets under its tracking as on August end. On the other hand, IIFL Wealth is the investment and financial advisor to more than 12,000 influential families in the HNI and Ultra HNI segments, aggregating more than INR 140,000 Crore of assets under advice, distribution and custody.
  • Chennai-based online pharma startup Netmeds acquired telemedicine startup JustDoc to its platform in a cash-and-stock deal of nearly $1 Mn. Post acquisition, Netmeds will fully absorb the JustDoc team. Also, JustDoc technology will be integrated with Netmeds and the new offering will roll out shortly. Reportedly, all the investors of Bengaluru-based JustDoc are believed to be exiting the startup. These investors include former Infosys senior executive TV Mohandas Pai, InMobi cofounder Mohit Saxena, TaxiForSure cofounder Raghunandan G, Singapore Angel Network and Tracxn Labs among others.

Other Developments Of The Week

  • Mumbai-based venture capital fund Unicorn India Ventures onboarded Federal Bank as the anchor investor (the limited partner) for its maiden venture debt fund, targeting a corpus of $82.95 Mn (INR 600 Cr). The fund has already received soft commitments up to $27.64 Mn (INR 200 Cr) from family offices and institutions.
  • pi Ventures announced the final close of its first fund at $35.16 Mn (INR 225 Cr), exceeding the initial target of $27 Mn (INR 195 Cr) by 17%. The fund plans to invest in 18-20 startups in the healthtech, logistics, retail, fintech and enterprise sectors over the next three-four years, with a significant portion being allocated for follow-on rounds.
  • Ola is reportedly in talks with South African Internet conglomerate Naspers LLC to raise funding at a valuation of $7-8 Bn. At the same time, Ola is in talks with Singapore’s Temasek Holdings and two other funds to receive $1 Bn fresh funding.
  • Gurugam-based home rental marketplace Fastfox is in advanced talks to raise a $10 Mn Series B round from new investors, including venture capital and private equity firms.
  • T-Hub announced its partnership with Beanstalk AgTech, a venture builder focusing on high-growth Agricultural Technology (AgTech) companies across the Asia-Pacific region, for the Australia-India AgTech Market Access Program. The program will scout twelve leading Agricultural Technology based startups from India and Australia. The program sponsored by the Australian Government – Department of  Foreign Affairs and Trade will kick-start in early 2019 with an aim to solve important agricultural sector problems in both the countries. The Australia-India AgTech Market Access Program is the first bilateral platform between the two countries that provide a tailored and structured pathway for cross-border growth of AgTech startups.
  • The pitch sessions for 1000+ IoT, Blockchain, UAV, AI and Analytics Startups to be selected for YES SCALE’s program has begun. Top 7-10 startups per sector will become a part of 15 weeks Cohort. The Cohort launch is planned around the 2nd week of October.

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