We bring you the latest edition Funding Galore: Indian Startup Funding of the week. This week, 14 Indian startups raised $25 Mn in funding altogether and four startup acquisitions took place in the Indian startup ecosystem. (The startup funding calculations are based on the startups that disclosed their funding amounts).
One of the major news in the Indian startup ecosystem was that Amazon fuelled an additional $20 Mn (INR 130 Cr) into its digital payments entity, Amazon Pay India, via Amazon Corporate Holdings Singapore and Amazon.com, Mauritius. Amazon is currently focussed on making ecommerce a habit for Indian customers and to invest in the necessary technology and infrastructure to grow the entire ecosystem. Also, on a positive note, Amazon received the final nod from the government for its proposed $500 Mn investment in food retail in India.
Furthermore, Indian startup Snapdeal asked for a payout of at least $900 Mn in stock for the proposed acquisition by Flipkart. Earlier this month, the Snapdeal Board had rejected the acquisition offer of about $700 Mn-$800 Mn from rival Flipkart. Later reports also emerged that ecommerce marketplace Infibeam is in talks with Snapdeal for a potential $1 Bn acquisition. However, Infibeam denied the reports.
Indian Startup Funding Of The Week
VDeliver: Indian startup VDeliver raised an undisclosed amount in a Pre-Series A funding round led by Corvus Ventures and Mumbai-based MAPE Advisory Group. Sify Technologies co-founder R. Ramaraj and Managing Director of Microsoft India (R&D) Pvt. Ltd Anil Bhansali also participated in the startup funding round. The Hyderabad-based company will use the investment to develop new products and services as well as to strengthen its existing portfolio.
Botter.me: Chatbot creation tool Bottr.me raised an undisclosed amount of funding from 500 Startups; Purvi Capital; Rajan Anandan (Vice President, Southeast Asia and India, Google); and Abhishek Gupta from TLabs. The startup funding will be used for team expansion and product development. It is currently looking to enhance its user base and enter B2B category as well.
Innoviti: Bengaluru-based fintech startup Innoviti Payment Solutions raised $18.5 Mn (INR 120 Cr) Series B funding led by Singapore-based SBI-FMO Fund. The round also saw participation from Bessemer Venture Partners and existing investor Catamaran Ventures. The startup funding will be used to aggressively market its uniPAY Next digital payments platform experience to acquire customers.
Fabogo: Pune-based beauty services and wellness aggregator Fabogo raised $2.25 Mn (INR 14.5 Cr) from Dubai-based early-stage investor Dunamis Ventures. The Indian startup will use the recently-raised funds towards strengthening technology and to increase its user base. The remaining amount will be used for geographical expansion.
Flickstree: Former Indian Cricketer Sourav Ganguly invested an undisclosed amount in Flickstree, a Mumbai-based, curated video platform. Apart from Ganguly, the startup funding round also saw participation from Venture Catalysts, Anirban Aditya & Ankit Aditya (Aditya Group, Kolkata), and Moksh Sports Ventures. The Indian startup has over 20+ categories that users can currently follow.
Smart Auto Systems: Hyderabad-based automotive startup Smart Auto Systems raised $3 Mn (INR 20 Cr) from Mitsui & Co. The startup funding will be used to build out its technology platform and for expansion in other localities.
Stellapps: Bengaluru-based IoT startup Stellapps raised an undisclosed amount of Series A funding from Blume Ventures, Flipkart Group CEO Binny Bansal, and Venture Highway. Earlier, the Indian startup received undisclosed amount of funding from venture capital firm Omnivore Partners in 2013.
Open: PayU India CEO Amrish Rau and Managing Director Jitendra Gupta together invested $250K in Bengaluru-based fintech startup Open. The Indian startup is set to offer digital banking, bookkeeping, invoicing and other services to micro-entrepreneurs. The startup funding will be used for branding and expansion of the 12-member team.
Chumbak: Bengaluru-based lifestyle brand Chumbak raised $1.2 Mn in debt funding. The Indian startup will use the funds to meet its working capital requirements and to expand its stores. Earlier, in November 2016, it also raised an equity funding from Bengaluru-based private equity firm Gaja Capital’s Partner Narayan Ramachandran.
QwikSpec: Bengaluru-based construction site operations and analytics platform QwikSpec raised $540K in a Pre-Series A funding round led by Brigade Innovations LLP. TV Mohandas Pai, Asset Builders Director Suhail Rahman, Bobby Reddy of Indus Group, and UAE-based private investor M George Oommen also participated in this round. The Indian startup will use the funds to strengthen its technology infrastructure, business development, and customer acquisition initiatives.
Foom: Bengaluru-based startup for drinks Foom raised around $46K in seed funding from a Delhi-based investor. The Indian startup would be investing major part from the funds for its subscription-based app ‘Foom App.’ The service is currently available in more than 40 resto-bars and pubs in Bengaluru.
Blue Tokai: Delhi-based specialty coffee e-tailer Blue Tokai Coffee Roasters raised a bridge round of funding from one of its undisclosed existing investors. The Indian satrtup aims to deliver handpicked brands from all over the country to coffee lovers of India.
Charlie Chatter: Bengaluru-based full-service digital-first agency Langoor made an undisclosed investment in Charlie Chatter – a TV Chat application. The patented technology controls secure overlay messaging and notifications to different displays via its server, providing real-time and relevant content to viewers on demand. Using this technology, the Charlie Chatter TV Chat application creates a fun, immersive, and engaging experience for people in their homes when they are watching and chatting about their favourite TV shows with their friends.
EduGorilla: Lucknow-based edtech startup EduGorilla raised an undisclosed amount of funding from London and Dubai-based investors. The startup funding will be used for business development, strengthening the core technology team, and expanding its presence across various cities in India. The Indian startup is eyeing expansion in three states namely Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi.
Arcatron Mobility: Delhi-based ‘Assisted Living Technology’ startup Arcatron raised an undisclosed funding led by Sudhir Mehta, Harish Mehta, and Ketan Dalal from the Indian Angel Network. The startup funding will be used for the production launch of Frido, an innovative self-driven shower and commode wheelchair which fits in a suitcase. In addition, the Indian startup will also use the funds to set up online and offline sales channels across major cities in India and for the filing of IP for future products like the Frido Lite.
Indian Startup Acquisitions Of The Week
- Google acqui-hired Halli Labs, a newly launched Bengaluru-based AI (artificial intelligence) startup for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition will allow Google to utilise Halli Labs’ advanced AI and ML (machine learning) technologies to upgrade older domains and platforms for better performance.
- Bengaluru-based on-demand driver aggregator DriveU acquired Mumbai-based Zuver, in an all-equity deal. With this move, Zuver co-founders Sovin Hegde and Sidhanth Mally will join DriveU. They will focus on driver aggregation for the car rental/lease and service station verticals of the business.
- Save Your Money (SYM) was acqui-hired by healthcare technology company Good Methods Global (GMG). The acquisition is aimed to utilise the team’s expertise to facilitate growth and innovation.
- Eatigo signed an Asset Purchase Agreement in April 2017 to acquire the operations of Ressy, an Indian online restaurant reservation platform. TripAdvisor-backed eatigo, is now officially available to users in both Mumbai and Pune.
Also, Paytm Mall had been in talks with online grocery startup Bigbasket to invest $200 Mn for a substantial stake. Paytm Mall has started due diligence of Bigbasket’s accounts and operations. The final agreement will be made only after due diligence process gets over.
Other Developments Of The Week
- StartupXSeed Ventures announced to increase the corpus of its first startup fund to $15.4 Mn (INR 100 Cr) from the current $4.64 Mn (INR 30 Cr) by the end of 2017. The fund will focus on investing in seed-stage startups, with an emphasis on innovation, IP creation, and disruptive technologies. The ticket size will range from $77K (INR 50 Lakhs) to $185K (INR 1.2 Cr). The goal for next 18- 24 months is to invest in 20-25 companies.
- Mumbai-headquartered 35North Ventures received a nod from SEBI to launch a $20.8 Mn (INR 130 Cr) early-stage fund. The fund is designed to help early-stage startups grow and expand. It will look to back 8-10 early-stage startups in the agritech, fintech, consumer tech, and healthtech segment.
- Google selected 11 startups led by women entrepreneurs in order to train them. This mentorship programme for women entrepreneurs – Google Developers’ Launchpad Build – will come under the Launchpad Accelerator Program. The programme is in collaboration with Google’s Women Techmakers initiative and Google’s [email protected] It includes leadership workshops driven by Google as well.
Stay tuned for the next edition of Funding Galore: Indian Startup Funding, next week.