We bring to you the new edition Funding Galore: Indian Startup Funding of the week. This week 13 Indian startups raised $74 Mn in funding altogether and 4 startup acquisitions took place in the Indian startup ecosystem. (Startup funding calculations are based on the startups that disclosed their funding amounts).
This week, Indian startup MobiKwik revealed its plans to raise a fresh round of $100 Mn-$150 Mn. This new round will take its valuation to $1 Bn, making it a Unicorn. MobiKwik expects to close the round in the next few months. The company plans on investing about $45 Mn for acquiring and growing its customer and merchant base. The funds will also be used towards increasing the number of MobiKwik offices from 6 to 20.
The next big news in the Indian startup ecosystem was the revelation that SoftBank aims to go slow on the merger between Snapdeal’s digital payment arm FreeCharge and Paytm. As part of the proposed mergers, FreeCharge was to be merged into Paytm, in a deal estimated to be between $40 Mn-$50 Mn. The other development to be reported is Flipkart wanting to just pay $400 Mn for Snapdeal’s marketplace. Also, PremjiInvest, the investment arm of Wipro Chairman Azim Premji reportedly sought further clarity on the how the rights of minority shareholders will be upheld and protected in the upcoming Flipkart-Snapdeal merger.
The biggest Indian startup funding news of this week was: Mumbai-based mPOS startup Mswipe raising $31 Mn funding in Series D round, led by UC-RNT Fund, Matrix Partners India, Falcon Edge Capital, and DSG Consumer Partners. This raised the startup’s total funding to date to $63 Mn. The company will use the funds to develop its network of merchants accepting digital payments in the country.
Indian Startup Funding Of The Week
Fynd: Mumbai-based O2O fashion ecommerce platform Fynd raised $2.4 Mn in a funding round led by IIFL Seed Ventures. The round was an extension of the Series A round and also saw participation from Kae Capital, FJ Labs, Singularity Ventures, GrowX, Tracxn Labs, and Hong Kong-based Axis Capital. The current funding leads to the close of Series A funding at $3.4 Mn. Earlier in March 2017, Fynd secured $500K in its Series A round of funding from Venture Catalysts. The startup funding will be used to accelerate growth. Apart from this, the Indian startup will use the funds to enhance consumer base, strengthen tech and to optimise its operations including marketing strategies.
Grow Fit: Bengaluru-based healthtech startup Grow Fit raised $4.5 Mn in Series A funding. The investment was led by Manipal Education and Medical Group (MEMG), the PE arm of Manipal Group. Existing investors, SAR Group and The Grover Trust also participated in this round. With this investment, Dr. Ranjan Pai, the MD & CEO of MEMG, will be joining the Board of Directors. With the newly raised funds, Grow Fit plans to integrate different sources of data from wearable technology and medical reports. The aim is to make the app a one-stop, comprehensive companion for wellness. Also, it aims to expand mobile solutions for fertility, joint health, stress management and more.
MaxWholeSale: Delhi-based B2B grocery supply chain, MaxWholesale raised $1 Mn in Pre-Series A round of funding led by Indian Angel Network (IAN) and Maple Capital Advisors. Bikky Khosla of Tradeindia, Pankaj Karna, and Abhinav Grover of Maple Capital Advisors, also participated in the round. The startup funding will be used to fuel growth and tech innovation. In July 2016, the company also raised $150K (INR 1 Cr) in a Seed round of funding.
Darwinbox: Hyderabad-based HRTech startup Darwinbox secured $4 Mn in Series A funding round led by Lightspeed India Partners. Existing investors Endiya Partners, Mohandas Pai’s 3one4 Capital, and Startupxseed Ventures also participated. With the new capital raise, the company plans to expand its core technology, product, and go-to-market capability across India and internationally.
Wegan Foods: Mumbai-based foodtech startup Wegan Foods raised an undisclosed amount of funding. The funds were led by a member of the royal family of Sharjah. Ras Al Khaimah – Her Highness Sheikha Arwa Al Qassimi participated in the funding. The funding will be used for scaling the commercial kitchen, inventory, and brand building. The startup is planning to launch a range of healthy, dairy-free, pantry staples for the growing vegan community in India.
Unbxd: The cloud-based product discovery platform for ecommerce, Unbxd closed $12.5 Mn in Series C funding round led by Eight Roads Ventures, the proprietary investment arm of Fidelity International Limited. The round also saw participation from existing investors IDG Ventures, Inventus Capital Partners, Nirvana Ventures, and Kris Gopalakrishnan, Infosys co-founder. The startup is based out of Bengaluru and California. The funds raised will further be utilised towards enhancing Unbxd’s proprietary Intelligence Engine which captures and processes more than 50 shopper data signals. These will be used to power personalised search, navigation and product recommendations on ecommerce sites.
ForeverShop: Bengaluru and China-based C2C m-commerce platform ForeverShop raised $300K in a Seed funding round from Chinese investor 91maker. The startup aims to boost customer-to-customer (C2C) ecommerce using a social network, SaaS tools, big data and artificial intelligence. This was the debut funding for 91maker in India.
Fabulyst: Bengaluru-based Fabulyst, a deep technology-enabled virtual stylist, raised $217K (INR 1.4 Cr) in Seed funding round from iBhubs.co, a pan-India startup hub. The startup plans to use the raised funds in refining its existing technology and acquiring global ecommerce clients. Part of the funds will be used to upgrade the consumer interfaces for global demographics.
Julia Computing: Bengaluru-based Julia Computing, the creator of open source programming language Julia raised $4.6 Mn in an undisclosed round of funding. The startup’s funding was led by US-based General Catalyst and Founder Collective. It will use the funding to accelerate product development.
GSTSTAR: Bengaluru-based GSTSTAR, which provides products and services on GST compliance, raised $1 Mn in a Seed Funding round from TV Mohandas Pai and V Balakrishnan, among others. The platform will help in providing the end consumers a unified tax regime.
Kissht: Mumbai-based fintech startup Kissht raised $2 Mn from early-stage venture capital firm Endiya Partners, and Ventureast. The Kissht app provides collateral-free loans to users. Going forward, the startup aims to be a data and analytics company enabling consumers to get loans from banks and NBFCs working with it as lending partners.
ExploreLifeTravelling: US- and India-based travel tech startup ExploreLifeTravelling raised an undisclosed amount in seed funding. The investment was led by Mekin Maheshwari, Bharat Vijay, Krish Seshadri, Amar Arsikere and a clutch of angels from Harvard Angels, Cisco, Intel, Qualcomm, and Oracle. The startup funding will be used to develop the platform, build the product, and hire more people.
Indian Startup Acquisitions Of The Week
- Bengaluru-based mPOS startup Ezetap acquired FortunePay for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition aims to enable Ezetap to further expand its payments technology.
- Community-driven global hospitality company, Airbnb acquired California-based startup Troo.ly – a tech product of Indian-origin founders. Airbnb has been a Troo.ly customer since 2015.
- Quikr acquired blue collar jobs startup Babajob Services to strengthen its position in the blue collar jobs segment. With this acquisition, Quikr aims to cement its place as the largest classifieds platform in the blue collar job category.
- Paytm picked up a majority stake in the events ticketing venture Insider.in. Insider.in is run by OML Entertainment. Paytm is taking a majority stake in Insider for $5.42 Mn (INR 35 Cr). The deal is still in progress. With this stake, Paytm will compete more aggressively against market leader BookMyShow.
Other Developments Of The Week
- DIPP Secretary Ramesh Abhishek announced that the Union Cabinet is expected to approve the $300 Mn (INR 2,000 Cr.) Credit Guarantee Fund for startups by the end of July 2017. This announcement was made at the Startup India Hub launch earlier this week.
- NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant announced that this year, the Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) scheme will look to select 1,000 schools. They will receive a grant of about $31K (INR 20 Lakh) each. The money will be utilised to set up tinkering labs to foster innovation.
- Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, announced to contribute $183K (INR 1.18 Cr) from her Member of Parliament Local Area Development fund, for the incubation centre in Mangaluru.
- Kerala’s IT Secretary M Sivasankar proposed to set up a government partnered funding system for startups. The state government will further work upon building a virtual networking platform. This will help startups network with investors, and gain further mentoring on funding and marketing their products.
- TiE-Hyderabad announced their 2nd edition of The Guardian Angel – a live Instant Funding Event. It will be held on 24 June 2017. In the First Edition (2016), three startups raised funds to the tune of $271K (INR 1.75 Cr). As of now, 125 applications have been received for the 2017 event.
- The Madhya Pradesh Government rolled out a new venture fund Madhya Pradesh Venture Finance Limited (MPVFL) with an aim to invest in SMEs in the state. It has a total corpus of $15.4 Mn (INR 100 Cr) with a green shoe option of $7.74 Mn (INR 50 Cr).
- Also, British luxury-car and aero engine manufacturing business Rolls-Royce is planning to invest in Indian startups. As per a recent report, the company is planning to triple its workforce at the R&D centre in India by the end of this year. The report further suggests that the company will also look to invest in startups focussing on areas like artificial intelligence and data analytics.
- Also, SAIF Partners announced the raise its third India-dedicated fund with a corpus of $350 Mn. Its focus area includes IT, industrials, financial services, the Internet, consumer product, and mobile.
Stay tuned for the next edition of Funding Galore: Indian Startup Funding, next week.