We bring to you the latest edition Funding Galore: Indian Startup Funding of the week.
This week 19 Indian startups raised about $636 Mn in funding altogether and three acquisitions took place in the Indian startup ecosystem. (The startup funding calculations are based on the startups that disclosed funding amount.).
Two of the biggest Indian startup funding round of the week was led by Alibaba Group. The Chinese ecommerce giant was seen participating in a $300 Mn Series E funding round of BigBasket. The round also saw the participation of Abraaj Capital, Sands Capital, and IFC. BigBasket will utilise the funds raised towards bettering its technological, analytical, and infrastructural prowess.
The second big ticket round was led by Alibaba’s subsidiary Ant Financial, which infused $200 Mn in foodtech startup Zomato. The deal, which is a mix of primary and secondary share transactions, will see Alipay investing $150 Mn as primary capital in Zomato, while the existing investor Info Edge will dilute its 6.6% holding worth $50 Mn in the online food discovery and delivery company. The deal will get complete on or before April 2018 and will value Zomato at $1.1 Bn reportedly.
Indian Startup Funding Of The Week
MoneyOnMobile: Mumbai-based fintech startup MoneyOnMobile raised $7.6 Mn in a Series F round of funding through preference shares. The company plans to use these funds to execute its business plan and drive growth across its product lines.
BrowserStack: Web testing platform BrowserStack raised $50 Mn Series A funding from Accel Partners valuation of about $400 Mn-$500 Mn. The investment will fuel BrowserStack’s continued commitment to being the testing infrastructure for the Internet and allows the company to expand its world-class team and raise global brand awareness.
XpressBees: Alibaba invested $35 Mn (INR 224 Cr) in Pune-based logistics company XpressBees. Xpressbees has issued 70, 653 series D preference shares to Alibaba as part of the investment. Owned by Busybees Logistics Solutions, Xpressbees aims to fulfill comprehensive supply-demand needs of India’s online industry through best in class solutions and domain expertise.
CureFit: Bengaluru-based fitness startup CureFit raised $10 Mn in debt financing from HDFC Bank and Axis Bank. The latest fundraise is part of an earlier round, wherein it secured $3.2 Mn (INR 20.55 Cr) debt funding from Trifecta Capital and Kris Gopalakrishnan-founded Prathithi Investment Trust in August 2017. Reportedly, the company is looking to raise additional funding to meet its capital expenditure (capex).
The Wedding Brigade: Mumbai-based online wedding startup, raised $1 Mn in its Pre-Series A round of funding led by Blume Ventures. The also saw participation of Czar Capital, Mountain Pine Capital, Lets Venture investors and the Keiretsu Forum. The company plans to use this funding to expand the team and business verticals, strengthen its community, and introduce an array of new products and services to the market.
eKincare: Hyderabad-based healthcare startup eKincare secured $1.5 Mn in Series A funding from a clutch of investors, including Ventureast, Endiya Partners, Eight Roads, Touchstone Equities and former NASSCOM Chairman B.V.R. Mohan Reddy. The fresh funding will be utilised to grow and expand the startup’s core technology platform as well as its sales team.
PeeSafe: O2O global brand for toilet hygiene PeeSafe raised $1 Mn (INR 6.3 Cr) in a fresh round of funding by issuing compulsorily convertible debentures (CCD) to its existing and new investors. The funds will be used to accelerate its growth by expanding into international markets of the US and South Africa. With this round, the company onboard an array of new investors and existing investors including Alfa Universal Ventures, Green Shoot Capital, Venture Catalysts among others also participated in this funding round.
iNurture: Bengaluru-based edtech company iNurture raised $4.3 Mn in its Series C funding round. The round was led by Ventureast along with existing investors Bertelsmann India Investments and Ascent Capital. iNurture plans to use these funds to expand its unique e-Learning platform for Skill Centers and Distance Learning, and to expand its managed campuses business.
Mahindra First Choice Wheels Ltd: The company raised $15 Mn (INR 100 Cr) in fresh funding round from its existing investors. The investment, which was in the form of primary capital, valued the company at $250 Mn pre-money and $265 Mn post-money. The edtech company will be using the funds to expand its franchise dealer network and to invest further in new technology-enabled products and services for online customers.
Continual Engine: Bengaluru-based artificial intelligence-enabled education startup, Continual Engine raised $500K in a Seed funding round from the majority stakeholders of learning design company ansrsource. Continual Engine is working to use automation, machine earning and natural language processing/generation (NLP, NLG) techniques to make the process of learning content discovery, extraction, curation, and consumption more precise and efficient.
6Degree: Mumbai-based fashion tech startup 6Degree raised $400K from IAN and TAN Advisors. The amount will be utilised in expanding the team, upgradation of the technology and in expanding the reach of the company.
SuperMOM Mitali: An experiment started as a YouTube channel, SuperMOM Mitali raised and undisclosed amount of funding from private investors. The platform will be using this funding to strengthen the tech – infrastructure, scale and expand its national reach. SuperMOM Mitali will also be focusing on the quality of the content and pay emphasis to high-quality videos to include Interviews, Comedy, Sketches and Product integrations amongst other things.
Creator’s Gurukul: New Delhi-based co-working chain Creator’s Gurukul raised undisclosed amount of funding from Sandeepan Senapati, and existing investors namely Rohit Nanda and Smarak Bhuyan. The startup is also going live with first center in Gurugram. With the team expansion and launch of new centres, Creator’s Gurukul looks to establish a differentiated and unique proposition in managed rental spaces.
Chrysalis: Chennai-based education startup Chrysalis raised Pre-Series A funding round from Impact Investor Gray Matters Capital. The amount raised will be used by Chrysalis to build on its research and development, and to strengthen its multichannel approach to take its Education for Human Potential movement to every child in the country.
Groww: Data science-based mutual fund investing platform Groww raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from Y Combinator, Curefit founders Mukesh Bansal, and Ankit Nagori. Bengaluru-based Groww’s mission is to make investing simple for the next 100 million people to effectively grow their wealth by moving towards digital financial products.
SCAPIC: Virtual and Augmented Reality platform Scapic raised seed round of funding from Axilor, Speciale Invest and Newfort Capital. The startup looks to utilise the funds towards product development and research.
FabAlley: New Delhi-based online fashion platform FabAlley raised $780K (INR 5 Cr) from Trifecta Capital in venture debt funding. The startup plans to use this funding primarily to augment its offline growth.
Indian Startup Acquisitions Of The Week
- American Express acquired Mezi, a personal travel assistant app, for an undisclosed amount. Post acquisition, Mezi will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of American Express and will continue to develop its core technologies and enhance its capabilities in digital travel concierge services. The company’s co-founders, Swapnil Shinde and Snehal Shinde will continue to lead Mezi and will report to Norman.
- Fintech startup The Mobile Wallet (TMW) acquired Trupay for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition will help The Mobile Wallet to strengthen its merchant acquisition business by allowing its merchant base to collect payments using new age mediums like UPI and BharatQR.
- HRTech startup PeopleStrong acquired Grownout for an undisclosed amount. Gurugram-based Grownout is an B2B SaaS referral platform. With this development, PeopleStrong is looking to provide additions to its product range.
It was also reported that Jasper Infotech is currently in talks with prospective buyers, including global ecommerce behemoth Amazon and California-headquartered business and financial software company Intuit. The development comes just days after one of its other subsidiaries, logistics player Vulcan Express, was acquired by Kishore Biyani led Future Group in an all-cash deal valued at $5.5 Mn.
In another development, it was reported that Atlanta-based Ebix is looking to acquire Gurugram-based education solutions offering company Educomp Solutions. Reportedly, a London-based investor, whose name remains undisclosed, is also running in the race to acquire the company and both have recently submitted their bidding offers.
Besides, Walmart is in advanced talks to acquire a significant minor stake in Amazon’s arch-rival in India, Flipkart.
Other Developments Of The Week
- This week, Vijay Shekhar Sharma led Indian digital payment unicorn, Paytm finally touched $10 Bn valuation with the recent secondary shares sale of ESOPs worth $47.2 Mn (INR 300 Cr). Paytm’s last valuation stood at $7 Bn when it raised $1.4 Bn funding from Japan’s SoftBank in May 2017.
- Tiger Global, in November 2017, sold shares worth over $424 Mn in Flipkart to SoftBank. The second biggest beneficiary of Flipkart’s share buyback offer in 2017 was Erasmic Venture Fund, which clocked $113.5 Mn. Other investors who raked in significant profits included Accel Partners, Helion Venture, DST Asia and Divesh Makan-founded IONIQ Capital.
- Infosys co-founder SD Shibulal launched a startup incubator EduMentum. EduMentum will offer $11.7K (INR 7.5 Lakh) per annum to the selected early-stage startups along with a series of workshops. It will also guide the incubated startups in networking in the ecosystem.
- Taking the Startup India Initiative to grassroot level, Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik launched Startup India-Odisha Yatra. The Yatra van would travel to 60 educational institutions across the 16 districts of the state. The best 50 innovators would be provided incubation and mentorship to convert their ideas into startups.
- Stellaris Venture Partners raised an undisclosed amount of investment from Cisco Investments, the corporate venture capital arm of Cisco. With backing from Cisco, the VC firm plans to invest in about 18-20 tech startups.
- Equanimity Investments, a venture capital fund founded by Rajesh Sehgal, completed the first close of its $31.4 Mn fund with $11 Mn (INR 70 Cr). The company has closed the first round with a list of marquee investors on an invitation-only basis.
- NASSCOM 10,000 Startups announced the top 10 startups for second edition of Code for the Next Billion program. Haqdarshak, Eye-D, Bodhi Health Education, TheTeacherApp, JioVio Healthcare, KrishiHub, PublicVibe, Right2Vote, ChainFrame, Helper4U are among the top 10 emerging startups that are now the part of ‘Code for the Next billion’. The program was brought out in partnership with Facebook.
Stay tuned for the next edition of Funding Galore: Indian Startup Funding Of The Week!