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Funding Galore: Indian Startup Funding Of The Week [12-17 March 2018]

Funding Galore: Indian Startup Funding Of The Week [12-17 March 2018]

13 Startup Funding Took Place In The Indian Startup Ecosystem This Week [12-17 March 2018]

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

This week 13 startups raised $167.4 Mn in funding altogether and three startup acquisitions took place in the Indian startup ecosystem. (The startup funding calculations are based on the startups that disclosed funding amount.).

One of the biggest Indian startup funding this week was SoftBank leading an investment of $61.6 Mn (INR 400 Cr) in online grocery delivery startup Grofers. With this new Series E round, Grofers will continue to invest in building private labels and supply chain improvements. A significant amount of investment will go towards building infrastructure and technology and efficient supply chain management to achieve deeper penetration in existing Grofers cities.

Further, Delhi- and UK-based online fashion etailer Koovs plc is looking to raise another $32 Mn in an upcoming funding round. It plans to use the funds to strengthen its market presence in India and scale up its marketing and branding activities.

It was also reported that Walmart is planning to invest in Flipkart through a mix of primary and secondary purchase of shares. The $10 Bn-$12 Bn secondary share sale will take place at a discounted valuation. It was also estimated that if the deal goes through, Flipkart’s valuation will rise to $20 Bn from its current valuation of $14.2 Bn. Other investors like Tiger Global, Naspers etc will lower their stake or completely exit for Walmart to enter the company. However, Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy will continue at his position.

Indian Startup Funding Of The Week

MCaffeine: Mumbai-based caffeinated personal care brand MCaffeine raised $500K in Pre-Series A round of funding led by Wazir Advisors, Let’s Venture and Calcutta Angel. The company will use the funds for product research and development,  inventory buildup and expansion of its product portfolio.

Vinculum: Delhi-based ecommerce software solutions provider raised $127.7K from its existing investor Song Hoi See, founder and CEO of Plaza Premium Group. This was an extended series B round of funding through allotment of preference shares.

Doubtnut: Gurugram-based multilingual online learning platform Doubtnut raised $537.7K (INR 3.5 Cr) in a Pre-Series A round of funding led by WaterBridge Ventures. The startup will use the funding to expand its platform, add more subjects, support more Indian languages and accelerate the development of several exciting new product features. Sarbvir Singh, Partner at WaterBridge Ventures, will join Doubtnut’s Board of Directors and Omidyar Network will also appoint a Director to the Board.

Stumagz: Hyderabad-based Stumagz, a digital campus communications and collaboration platform for educational institutions, raised an Angel Round of funding of an undisclosed amount from a group of US-based investors. The company will use funds for geographical and technological expansion.

Purple Quarter: Abhishek Goyal, founder of California-based startup Tracxn, and Mekin Maheshwari, a former senior executive at Flipkart, have invested in Bengaluru-based Purple Quarter, a technology head recruitment startup.

Wedeterna: Kochi-based Wedeterna, an online platform for self-arranged marriages raised an undisclosed amount in angel funding from Singapore-based entrepreneur Avish Joseph. The company will use the funds to acquire customers, develop its products, and build Android and iOS apps.

Appiyo Technologies: Chennai-based Appiyo Technologies, a startup offering enterprise workflow automation solution, raised $500K in a Seed round of funding led by Axilor Ventures, with participation from The Chennai Angels and others. The company will use the newly raised funding to expand its services globally.

Avail Finance: Bengaluru-based Avail Finance, an online lending platform, raised $17.2 Mn in a Series A funding round led by Matrix Partners. Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati, Ola’s co-founders; Binny Bansal, co-founder and group CEO of Flipkart; Kunal Shah, founder of Freecharge; and Manish Patel, founder and CEO of Mswipe, also participated in the round.The round is a mix of debt and equity.

SmartQ: Bengaluru-based SmartQ, a foodtech platform, raised close to $1 Mn in funding from a consortium of Dubai based investors. The existing investor, YourNest has also participated in this round. The company plans to use the funds to expand its business in India and also globally with a stronger team. It will also use the funds to roll out first of its kind product portfolio for the customers.

Pine Labs: New Delhi-based Pine Labs, a digital retail payments platform, raised a funding round of $82 Mn led by Actis Capital and Altimeter Capital. The company will use the funds to accelerate its network penetration in India and expand outside India.

HealthAssure: Mumbai-based HealthAssure, a healthtech startup, raised $ 1 Mn in a Pre-Series A round of funding led by The HR Fund. The company plans to use the funds to further develop new consumer products in primary healthcare, digitising the ecosystem, and building extensive distribution. California and Bengaluru-headquartered AI focussed startup has raised $2 Mn in funding from VC firm Ideaspring Capital and early-stage fund The Hive. The company will use the funds to strengthen its development team in India.

Healofy: Bengaluru-based Healofy, a parenting social network startup, raised $1 Mn in a Seed funding round from Omidyar Network. The company will use the funds to hire talent in leadership positions across product, technology and data science; to build onto the existing personalisation engine and layer in multiple regional languages on their platform.

Indian Startup Acquisitions Of The Week

  • Hyderabad-based online gaming platform, Ace2three acquired a majority stake in fantasy gaming platform FanFight with an investment of $1 Mn. The investment made in FanFight will be used for improving the marketing, hiring people with tech and analytical skills, as well as scaling the online product.
  • California-based payments solution company, Wibmo, acquired Bengaluru-based payment technology startup Mypoolin in an undisclosed amount. Post acquisition, Mypoolin will continue its operations as an Indian subsidiary of Wibmo. The products and technologies of Mypoolin would continue to grow as well as the two companies would leverage their strengths for future businesses.
  • Seattle-based investor RoundGlass Partners has acquired parenting memories and milestone platform BabyOnBoard for an undisclosed amount. With this development, the startup will expand and enhance its Blossom product range for its online users.
  • Mumbai-headquartered data analytics company Fractal Analytics has acquired behavioural architecture company Final Mile. Final Mile’s behavioural science, combined with Fractal’s data science and Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities, will help their clients drive lasting behaviour change internally and externally.
  • OYO announced its plans to go on an acquisition spree. For its prospective acquisitions the company is exploring various companies including hotel companies to IoT(internet of things) based technologies. The company is looking for mature bootstrapped companies, regardless of their revenue, and is in talks with some such companies.

Other Developments Of The Week

  • MetLife launched “collab 3.0 EMEA,” a global open innovation platform inviting entrepreneurs and insurtechs to scale their business with MetLife. The company is inviting insurtech startups to compete for a $100K contract to develop solutions across insurance value chains in areas such as customer engagement, sales, and operations, and to pilot these solutions with MetLife EMEA. The applications are open till April 20, 2018.
  • The Department of Information Technology and Communications under the Government of Rajasthan is organising the third edition of the Rajasthan IT Day from March 18-21 at Jaipur. It aims to provide the participants an opportunity to portray their out-of-the-box products and services and seek support from the government. The IT Day event will majorly host five programmes TechRush, Hackathon 4.0, Eduhack, Green-a-thon and eMitra/ITGK Connect for the different community of individuals. Also, recently, the state government’s flagship initiative iStart announced that it has enrolled 700 startups on the platform in just four months since its launch in November 2017.
  • Embarking on a journey to support entrepreneurship in India, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has already disbursed $79.7 Mn (INR 517.92 Cr) under its Fund of Funds for Startups (FFS) initiative to more than 100 startups of India. Also, an amount of $76.9 Mn (INR 500 Cr) has been released to SIDBI in FY16 and $15.3 Mn (INR 100 Cr) in FY17.
  • Amongst the ten tourism startups shortlisted by global travel ecommerce company,, Global Himalayan Expedition and Sakha Consulting Wings are the two Indian startups. The 2018 Booking Booster Programme offers grants up to $ 616.82K from’s $2.46 Mn fund. The programme aims to identify, mentor and fund enterprising startups from around the world that are seeking to create a positive impact on the global tourism industry.
  • AICTE (All India Council for Technical Education) has received support from Bihar to enhance student startup movement in state-run universities and higher educational institutions under its national student startup policy. To take the first step, Prof. Anil Sahasrabudhe, Chairman, AICTE and his policy implementation team met Satya Pal Malik, Governor of Bihar and discussed the efforts to kickstart the student startup policy actions in Bihar. The team has also met Governor of Gujarat to discuss the roadmap for implementation of this policy.
  • Artha India Ventures has got the final nod from SEBI for its Category-I fund which is expected to raise $31.5 Mn (INR 200 Cr). The Artha Venture Fund-I aims to make small-ticket size investments in around 40-45 startups.
  • Global aerospace and security giant Lockheed Martin will open applications for its annual India innovation growth programme (IIGP) to seek innovative ideas of Indian startups and university students.The applications for the programme will open on March 21.
  • Gujarat University launched its Startup and innovation policy which envisions Gujarat University as a hub of global standards for creating, nurturing and supporting innovative businesses across a variety of sectors.It creates several initiatives, reforms, and mandates which are divided into several platforms like infrastructural platform, academic platform, skill development platform etc.
  • Kalaari Capital, one of the early investors in Snapdeal, is looking to sell its 8% stake in the ecommerce firm. The venture capital firm has held conversations with the company’s promoters to sell its stake, in entirety or partially. However in case it does, Kalaari Capital could sell its stake in Snapdeal for $6.1 Mn-$7.7 Mn (INR 40 Cr-INR 50 Cr) which would entail a massive cut from its overall investment of about $20.8 Mn (INR 135 Cr) in the company.

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