We bring to you the latest edition of Funding Galore: Indian Startup Funding Of The Week!
One of the biggest funding rounds in the Indian startup ecosystem was Clean energy firm ReNew Power raising $300 Mn (approximately INR 2,050 Cr) through a rights issue. Among the existing shareholders who have invested in the issue are Goldman Sachs, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA). Each of them, according to a company statement, invested $100 Mn. The proceeds of the issue will be used primarily as capex for our existing pipeline of projects.
In another bigger round of funding this week, Ola Electric raised a massive $250 Mn Series B funding round from SoftBank. With this round, Ola Electric has a valuation of $1 Bn. This would make it 30th Indian startup to enter the unicorn club
In total, this week, 19 startups raised $641.59 Mn funding and two startup acquisitions took place in the Indian startup ecosystem. (This funding report is based on startups that disclosed funding amount.)
Indian Startup Funding For The Week
SuperZop: B2B agri-commerce platform for small Kirana stores to procure quality staples SuperZop raised $1.16 Mn (INR 8 Cr) in Pre-series A round of funding from MS Fund of SIDBI Venture Capital Limited, IIM Ahmedabad’s technology incubator, CIIE Initiatives and angel investor Gurumurthy Raman. The company intends to use the funds raised to expand their existing store network with a target to reach over 30,000 B2B customers over the next year and strengthen the technology platform for superior customer experience on service, range and quality of products. It also aims to develop robust back end supplier network and technology enabled supply chain to support faster growth.
Daalchini: A phygital vending machine company, Daalchini Technologies raised $510K (INR 3.50 Cr) in a seed round led by Artha Venture Fund. Currently Daalchini has 70 kiosks spread throughout Delhi-NCR. By 2021 they are aiming to expand to 1600 operational kiosks and are also working on some exciting technology advancements like multi-order and multi-payment options.
Ola: Bengaluru-based cab-hailing unicorn Ola raised $11.37 Mn (INR 79.93 Cr) in fresh funding as part of its ongoing Series J round. The funding in Ola has come in from investors such as Swedish-based DIG Investment Ab and US-based Deshe Holdings. The investment comes in at a time when Ola has been trying to maintain balance on the board and has been reportedly trying to keep SoftBank from increasing its stake in the company.
Bounce: Flipkart cofounder Sachin Bansal, through his second ventures BAC Acquisitions invested $1.45 Mn (INR 10 Cr) in Bengaluru-based two wheeler rental startup, Bounce. The debt funding, reported first by paper.vc, is Sachin Bansal’s second investment in Bounce this year. He last invested $3 Mn in debt in Bounce in March. After his investment, Bounce has raised debt as well as equity funding reaching a total funding of $94 Mn.
Uniphore Software Systems: Chennai-based conversational AI startup Uniphore Software Systems raised $38 Mn in a Series C funding round. The round was led by California-based venture capital firm March Capital Partners. National Grid Partners, Sistema Asia Fund, Patni Wealth Advisors, and Chiratae Ventures also participated in the round. The report estimates the company to be valued at around $130 Mn. The company planned to use its last round of funding to deepen core research driving product enhancement, upgrade its customer service infrastructure, expand its sales reach to newer geographies and recruit new talent to support its rapid growth.
Tapchief: Bengaluru-based enterprisetech startup TapChief raised a $650K round, which takes its total amount raised to over $800K. More than 50 angel investors including Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Utsav Somani of AngelList India, Flipkart’s former executive Mekin Maheshwari, Slideshare founder Amit Ranjan, TaxiForSure’s founder Aprameya Radhakrishna, Innov8’s Ritesh Malik, BYJU’S CPO Ranjit Radhakrishnan, Praful Thachery of BigBasket, Satyen Kothari of CitrusPay, POSist founder Ashish Tulsian and others have backed the company so far.
Freight Tiger: Mumbai-based B2B logistics tech startup Freight Tiger raised $8 Mn in a fresh funding round led by Lightspeed Venture Partners. Dalmia Group’s Alsthom Industries and Pawan Munjal Family Trust also participated in the round. With the fresh funding, Freight Tiger plans to connect with more customers, expand its product and technology. It will be leveraging artificial intelligence as well as machine learning and build industry specific AI extensions on the platform.
RenewBuy: Gurugram-based insurance tech startup RenewBuy secured $19 Mn (INR 130 Cr) in funding from Lok Capital, IIFL AMC and existing investors including Amicus Capital in a Series B round. The funding will enable the company to increase footprint into 1000 cities, augment product portfolio, and insure 10 Mn customers by 2022.
Propelld: Digital lending startup Propelld raised $2 Mn from Stellaris Venture Partners and India Quotient. Indian Angel Network and TaxiForSure’s Raghunandan G, and Livspace founder Ramakant Sharma also participated in the round. With these fresh funds, the company plans to expand its partner institutes and students by 10 times over the next 18 months.
mFine: Bengaluru-based doctor consultation app mfine raised $4.49 (INR 31 Cr) as venture debt funding. The investment has come in from Mumbai-based venture debt provider Alteria Capital. With the latest funding, mfine aims to expand to Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata in the next six months.
Atlan: Data collaboration platform Atlan raised $2.5 Mn in a Pre-Series A round led by WaterBridge Ventures. US-based 500 Startups, Singapore’s Hatcher and other family office investors, including the Bhagchandka family fund, also participated in this round. Rajan Anandan, former Google India chief, and Sequoia Capital India MD, is an existing investor with Atlan.
Gizmobaba: Online cross-border marketplace for curated gadgets and accessories Gizmobaba raised $250K in a Pre-Series A round of funding led by LetsVenture. With the latest funding, it aims to scale up its online business further and also plan to open franchisee stores in tier 2 and tier 3 towns.
Intugine: Developer of smart sensing technology for Indian logistics, Intugine Technologies raised an undisclosed amount from angel investors of IP Ventures. The company claims to reduce the billing cycle from 2.5 months to 2.5 weeks, enabling faster payment transfers to the shipper.
The Indus Valley: The Chennai Angels (TCA) announced $414.5K (INR 1 Cr) investment in The Indus Valley, engaged in running an online healthy cookware products store. The funds will be used to expand their presence in India’s growing home and cookware products space.
Caymus Technology: Mumbai-based skilling platform, Caymus Technology Ventures (Caymus) raised an undisclosed amount from a clutch of angel investors from India and the US. Silicon Valley technology leader, Rob Solomon participated in the round and will join the advisory board as a mentor to the Founder and CEO. This capital will help Caymus fuel growth and make significant investments to its core AI-based technology and product stack.
Sirona (Peebuddy): Team Sirona, makers of feminine hygiene products like PeeBuddy raised an undisclosed follow-on investment from Indian Angel Network (IAN). Existing lead investors Vikas Kuthiala & Ishan Singh participated in the latest funding round along with other strategic & HNI investors. This investment is a precursor to their larger fundraise plans of upto $5 Mn by the end of the year where they already have early stage conversations and inbound investment traction. Sirona plans to leverage the acquired funds to sustain the ongoing marketing and distribution expansion initiatives.
ToBeHealthy: A startup dealing in snack food segment raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Ankur Capital to revolutionize snacking market. Frost and Sullivan estimate this market to reach INR 29,500 Cr by 2020.
Neurosensum: A market research startup Neurosensum raised $1.8 Mn in a series A round from SIG Asia later. The startup is now introducing a new market research tool called SurveySensum. Since its launch, the startup’s neuroscience-based work attracted about 55 bluechip companies as clients. Within six months, it broke even with its neuroscience-based services and brought in revenues of over $1 Mn in 2018.
Indian Startup Acquisitions Of The Week
- Singapore-based Affle International Pte. Ltd executed the definitive agreement to acquire the platform and business assets of RevX Inc. (registered in Delaware, USA), a mobile advertising company with fully self-serve programmatic platform for mobile marketing. As part of the deal, the platform, assets, brand name, intellectual property rights, business relationships and technical information of RevX Inc. will be acquired by Affle International by the end of June 2019.
- Edtech company upGrad acquired CohortPlus’s platform and brought their team onboard in a strong partnership. Built with the vision of becoming a career partner for people looking to transition into new age careers and having grown organically to 31K+ community members, CohortPlus brings with itself rich consumer insights, which will enable upGrad to enhance its offerings for the learners.
Other Developments Of The Week
- Sequoia Capital backed startup Khatabook is reported to be in talks to raise $20 Mn in Series A funding from DST Partners fund, Ribbit Capital and Sequoia Capital. The round which is ongoing and already has commitment from existing investors is also attracting interest from more than 20 angel investors that include prominent investor Gokul Rajaram, Jitendra Gupta, the founder of Citrus Pay, and Kunal Shah, CEO of Cred.
- Social ecommerce startup Shopmatic is looking to raise a $30 Mn Series B funding round. The fresh funds will help the company expand its business and enable the online success of aspiring entrepreneurs, hobbyists, craftsperson, and small merchants.
- Former CEO of Kerala-based IT firm UST Global, Sajan Pillai shared plans to launch a $75 Mn venture capital fund to boost the growth of Kerala startups. The fund is currently looking at startups in healthcare, finance, telecom, and retail sectors.
- The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Tata Trust collaborated to set up the India Agritech Incubation Network (IAIN). With this, they are also launching ‘Social Alpha Quest for Agritech Innovations’ contest. It will empower small and marginal farmers towards increasing productivity and profitability.
- Paytm and Chinese conglomerate Tencent are reportedly in talks to invest $100 Mn in Times Internet-owned OTT platform MX Player. Tencent and Paytm are said to be in advanced stages of discussions but some investment terms might still change.
- Sequoia Capital India reportedly launched a new seed fund. The VC firm is said to have registered its seed fund in Mauritius under the name of Sequoia Capital India Seed Fund I Ltd. Further, it is expected to close the fundraise for this new fund in one year,
- In order to fund its expansion plan, Alphalogic Techsys Limited is coming up with an IPO and planning to get listed on the BSE Startup platform. Alphalogic is Software Solutions Company with their development center in Pune and Sales office at Arlington, USA. The company submitted its DRHP (Draft Red Herring Prospectus) to the Bombay Stock Exchange on June 27, 2019 during the SME summit organised by the Bombay Stock Exchange on the World SME Day in Mumbai.
- The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM), through its CoE for DS & AI (CoE-DSAI) brings “Xperience AI” under its Innovate2build platform to Co-Ideate, Co-Create and Co-Innovate disruptive innovations and solve critical business problems.During the first cohort of the program, CoE – DSAI brought in CXOs from 75+ Indian enterprises across BFSI, Retail, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Energy etc and 30 curated AI innovators together to understand, explore and exploit the capabilities of AI.
- SoftBank Vision Fund, one of the world’s largest tech funds, plans to invest $2-4 Bn in India over the next two years as it bets heavily on sectors such as financial services. This is a shift from the fund’s usual preference of investing in internet and tech-based businesses both in India and globally.
Stay tuned for next week’s edition of Funding Galore: Indian Startup Funding Of The Week!