We bring to you the latest edition of Funding Galore: Indian Startup Funding Of The Week!
This week Gurugram-headquartered home services startup UrbanClap inched closer to the unicorn club with its latest $75 Mn Series E funding round, part of which has been transferred over to the company. Last week, UrbanClap announced that it has raised $75 Mn led by Tiger Global with participation from existing investors Steadview Capital and Vy Capital. The question was about UrbanClap’s valuation after that round, and the company is now within touching distance of the unicorn status that many startups yearn for.
In another major development, Reliance Industries Limited was said to be all set to acquire an 87.6% stake in fashion ecommerce platform Fynd for $42.33 Mn (INR 295 Cr) according to a Reliance Industries’ filings in the Bombay Stock Exchange. Reliance Industrial Investments and Holdings Ltd, a subsidiary of RIL, has an option to further invest up to $14.07 Mn (INR 100 Cr) by December 2021 in and Shopsense Retail Technologies, which owns Fynd. Presumably, Fynd’s ecommerce platform would be integrated with Reliance Retail and the conglomerate’s upcoming ecommerce service, which would work on an offline-to-online (O2O) model, which Fynd also operates in.
In total, this week, 18 startups raised $221.27 Mn funding and 5 startup acquisition took place in the Indian startup ecosystem. (This funding report is based on startups that disclosed funding amount.)
Indian Startup Funding For The Week
Lendingkart: Ahmedabad-headquartered lending startup Lendingkart raised $30 Mn (INR 212 Cr) in an equity funding round led by existing investors including Fullerton Financial Holdings, Bertelsmann India Investments and India Quotient. The funds will be used to expand lending bases, deepen Lendingkart Group’s reach to small and underserved micro-enterprises and further strengthen its technological and analytics capabilities.
DailyHunt: Bengaluru-based news and ebooks mobile app Dailyhunt raised $3 Mn (INR 21.75 Cr) in a Series F funding round from Stonebridge Capital. This brings the total Series F fund raise to $24.95 Mn (INR 176.6 Cr), however, it is as yet unclear whether the round has closed. The company also made multiple ESOP allotments to six employees recently.
Rooter: Live sports engagement app, Rooter announced raising funds worth INR 3.5 Cr from leAD Sports. The funding is part of its ongoing Series A round and will likely see the participation of more investors in the near future. The latest infusion of funds will allow Rooter to strengthen its position as India’s biggest sports community, riding on the back of its growing user base and popularity as India’s Live sports engagement platform.
BalleBaazi: New Delhi-based online Cricket Fantasy gaming platform BalleBaazi raised $4 Mn in a Series A funding round from Delhi-based Snap Angel Tech and an undisclosed Singapore-based investor. The funds will be used to expand its business to the newer markets and enhance the gaming experience for the users. Also, the company plans to introduce more fantasy games across different genres of sports. Prior to this round, the company received $1 Mn from its parent company, Baazi Games in April this year.
Gramophone: Indore-based agritech startup Gramophone raised $3.5 Mn in an equity funding round. Existing investor Info Edge Ventures along with Raveen Sastry, cofounder, Myntra and Asha Impact invested in the round. The funds will be used to invest aggressively on a product, data science and scale operations across geographies. Prior to this round, Gramophone has raised $1 Mn last year in March.
CynLr: Bengaluru-based robotics deeptech startup CynLr raised INR 5.5 Cr in a seed funding round. The investment has come in from Speciale Invest, Arali Ventures, Growx ventures, CIIE Initiatives and Dr Vijay Kedia. The funds will be used towards research and development as well as to drive adoption of the product.
Vedantu: Bengaluru-based online tutoring startup Vedantu raised INR 9.42 Cr in debt plus preference funding from Trifecta Capital. According to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs filings accessed by Inc42, the company raised debt of INR 8 Cr in April with nearly INR 1.4 Cr in series B funding in May and July. The round is expected to value Vedantu having at a pre-money valuation of $100-110 Mn. Prior to this round, Vedantu has raised $16.6 Mn, with a $11 Mn funding round led by Omidyar Network last year.
Awfis: Delhi-based coworking space provider Awfis raised $30 Mn in a Series D funding round. The investment was led by ChrysCapital, with participation from Sequoia Capital India and The Three Sisters Institutional Office. Awfis says it would use the funding to expand its products and services lineup, and further establish a presence in new micro-markets in India, while enriching the experience for its community members. The investment was advised by Maple Capital Advisors. With this investment, total funding raised by Awfis is $81 Mn backed by investors such as InnoVen Capital etc.
GoWork: Gurgaon-based coworking space GoWork raised $53 Mn debt funding from BlackRock’s Private Credit team. CLSA Capital Partners’ Special Situations Group also participated in the round. GoWork will use the funding to further scale the business and provide value-add services to its clients. It plans to have 50 centres across major cities of India by 2025
Indifi: Delhi-based SME focused lending platform raised INR 145 Cr in a Series C funding round, led by UK government-owned development finance institution CDC Group. Existing investors including Accel, Elevar Equity, Omidyar Networks and Flourish Ventures participated in the round. The latest round of funding will help Indifi access new local markets and verticalize further, increasing both coverages as well as offerings.
Transport.city: Gurugram based logistics startup Transporter.city raised an undisclosed amount in funding from Axilor and Touchstone Equities, Lead Angels, and other Angels. Transporter plans to use the current funds to further strengthen their technology and platform capabilities and increase its service capabilities pan-India.
Spyne: An AI-based SaaS startup in the digital photography industry, Spyne raised seed funding led by Smile group and other angel investors. The recent funding will be used to build deeper technology solutions to streamline and distribute massive offline content photographers have. Spyne platform has enabled the photographers to share 10M+ images with their clients, generating 5000+ favorable reviews for photographers, unprecedented in the domain.
LQI: Startup Buddy who was appointed as advisor to Singer Sukhbir Singh for his Angel Investments in Startups has announced his first investment in India. Gurgram based beverage startup, LQI, is being selected as the first startup by Singh, out of 5 startups shortlisted by Startup Buddy to pitch. LQI is in the process of raising $200K and the funds will be deployed to increase the production capacity and the geographical expansion to newer markets.
iDreamCareer: Delhi-based career counselling venture iDreamCareer (iDC) raised an undisclosed amount of Pre-Series A funding round from US-based education and skilling sector-focused impact investor Gray Matters Capital. The funds raised to be used to build automated data-driven career planning tools and expand into more private schools.
Zeleno: A startup dealing in Reverse Vending machines, Zelano raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Risers Accelerator. The company recently got a contract through Rail India Technical and Economic Services (RITES) for Central Railways of 500 machines.
Cosmeto Food: Valued at INR 20 Cr, Cosmeto raised INR 2 Cr from Risers Accelerator against 10 percent equity. It provides taste-able authentic Ayurvedic organic handmade skin care products. The startup has been successfully operating pan India and is exporting to about 35 countries.
Playtoome: Technology-enabled consumer engagement startup Playtoome raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Risers Accelerator. Its model involves enlisting music enthusiasts on its platform and based on their requests and preferences and the whole experience in an interactive manner. The startup is targeting to be $50 Mn business and 5 Mn unique customers in the next three years.
Indian Startup Acquisitions Of The Week
- Mumbai-based premium fashion platform Purple Style labs (PSL) acquired Pernia’s Pop Up Shop (PPUS), an ecommerce website which houses over 500 of India’s pre-eminent designer brands. Through this acquisition, PSL aims at building a comprehensive omni-channel fashion platform that is predominantly focused on meeting the fashion needs of Indians in India and across the world.
- Co-living provider Grexter Living acquired i2Stay, scaling up its operations and adding 2000 new beds to its inventory. This took its total count of beds to over 5000 beds in Bengaluru. It has also taken over some built-to-suit projects which i2stay has been working on.
- Payments company Razorpay has acquired a Delhi NCR-based artificial intelligence (AI) company Thirdwatch for an undisclosed amount. Thirdwatch has built an AI platform to prevent real-time fraud in ecommerce companies. Post-acquisition, Thirdwatch will now be a wholly-owned subsidiary of Razorpay will be based at the company’s headquarters in Bengaluru. This deal is said to augment Razorpay’s efforts at improving the payment experience and avoid fraudulent transactions with the help of AI, machine learning and big data.
- Times Internet-owned online restaurant table booking service Dineout announced the acquisition of Delhi-based foodtech company Binge Digital for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition is expected to help its digital menu product Dine-in.
- Personal wealth management platform Scripbox acquired another wealth management startup Upwardly for an undisclosed amount. As a part of this deal, Upwardly team will join Scripbox and the startup founders will take leadership roles in the company.
Other Important Developments Of The Week
- The Noida and San Francisco-based Innovaccer may raise $50-60 Mn from Tiger Global, Steadview Capital along with Dragoneer Investment Group. Innovaccer, a healthcare analytics startup, will be valued at $300 Mn at the completion of the round, the report said.
- An initiative by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s MiSK Foundation, EWC aims to develop over 100K startups from 100 countries by bringing together the world’s top entrepreneurs, mentors, investors and other ecosystem stakeholders. What winners can get includes prizes up to $5 Mn and access to investment capital. The three finalists from India are Pandorum Technologies, Ethereal Machines and Bambrew.
- TiE Delhi-NCR and Lumis Partners joined hands in 2008 to applaud and encourage cutting-edge Indian star-ups with disruptive potential. This year 30 laureate startups have raised capital worth a whopping $2.63 Bn during the event.
- India Accelerator, a seed-stage accelerator program for startups organized their third Demo Day on August 3, 2019, investing upto $50K in startups. The selected gathering of the highly curated guests got a first-hand view of the multiple opportunities available for the savvy investor seeking structured instruments to invest in the startup world.
- T-Hub called for applications for the third batch of Lab32, an incubation program for early-stage tech product startups. It will focus on leveraging the power of the in-house team. The ecosystem of alumni, mentors, industry experts and investors will help the new batch to accelerate growth and achieve their respective goals. The third batch of Lab32 will commence from December 1, 2019. Interested startups can apply here.
- SoftBank Vision Fund II will start making investments in the next month or two, SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son reportedly said on August 7. The Japanese conglomerate recently reported high gains on its first technology-focused vision fund. SoftBank is also reportedly eyeing the shared mobility space in India, including two-wheeler rentals, and self-driving vehicle rentals among others.
- Cred is reportedly in talks to raise a $125 Mn Series A funding. This new round is expected to increase the Cred’s valuation somewhere between $450 Mn and $500 Mn. According to a media report which cited sources close to the matter, Sequoia Capital, Ribbit Capital and billionaire Yuri Milner’s Apoletto Asia have already invested $65 Mn in the company.
- Mumbai-based offline pharmacy distributor Ascent Health is looking to raise $100 Mn in an equity financing round from Singapore-backed investment major Temasek Holdings. The deal is likely to close over the next 45 days. The funding round is anticipated to value the company at about $650-700 Mn.
- Hong Kong-based hardware accelerator Brinc launched an accelerator programme along with Maker Village and KSUMto support hardware startups working across sectors such as internet of things (IoT), robotics and consumer electronics.
- WeWork is reportedly setting up $6 Bn in financing as it plans to increase and deepen its global footprint. Ahead of its IPO, WeWork is seeking to borrow in two ways: a $2 Bn letter-of-credit facility and a $4 Bn delayed-draw term loan.
- Telangana’s state-backed startup programme T-Hub announced the launch of its HealthTech Arcade programme in partnership with a health solution company called Optum. The arcade series is focused on helping the corporates source startups that can solve challenges in the focus area of chronic and poly-chronic disease management, digital health, medical devices, diagnostic platforms and deepTech analytics in the health sector.
- Google is inviting applications for the third batch of Launchpad Accelerator India. The last date of applications is August 18, 2019. The program, now in its second year, mentors early-stage startups on various aspects of their business, across the areas of technology, product strategy, marketing, UX/UI and leadership.
- The central government think tank NITI Aayog under its Women Entrepreneurship Platform, along with the United Nations, has launched the fourth edition of Women Transforming India (WTI) Awards 2019. Women Transforming India (WTI) Awards is being organised in collaboration with the United Nations to recognise women entrepreneurs from across India.
Stay tuned for next week’s edition of Funding Galore: Indian Startup Funding Of The Week!