We bring to you the latest edition of Funding Galore: Indian Startup Funding Of The Week!
One of the biggest Indian startup funding this week was raised by OfBusiness. Gurugram-based fintech platform raised INR 242.35 Cr ($34.2 Mn) in Series D funding from Falcon Edge India, Matrix Partners and Norwest Venture Partners.
In another development, General Atlantic committed to investing a minimum of $100 Mn to a digital asset management platform Karvy Fintech. Earlier in November 2018, the private equity firm had already bought a majority stake in Karvy Fintech. It now plans to commit more funds for the fintech company’s capital expenditure purpose and inorganic growth.
Apart from this, 19 startups raised around $53.38 Mn funding and three startup acquisition took place in the Indian startup ecosystem. (This funding report is based on startups that disclosed funding amount.)
Indian Startup Funding of The Week
Terraview: Terraview, a global image processing startup that uses drones to collect aerial imagery, raised $815K in Series A funding from angel investors including Flipkart cofounder Binny Bansal, Udaan cofounder Sujeet Kumar, Flipkart Group CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy. Tanglin Venture Partners also participated in the deal, which also saw the likes of Curefit cofounder Ankit Nagori and Dineout COO Abhishek Sharma investing. Terraview claims to be the world’s first image processing startup.
ScaleneWorks: Bengaluru-based Scaleneworks People Solutions got into a definitive agreement to raise about $1 Mn from their existing investor partners of Hallmark Global frame. A lot of these funds will be utilised towards expansion and scale, be it geography, technology or even consolidation of some talented, small-time players.
emids: Bengaluru-based digital engineering and transformation solutions provider to the healthcare industry, emids raised an undisclosed amount of funding from New Mountain Capital. As part of the transaction, emids management and other select stakeholders will remain invested in the company, while current investors Baird Capital and Council Capital are exiting. The investment by New Mountain sets the stage for the continued accelerating growth of emids as the healthcare industry’s preferred partner for digital transformation.
WhistleDrive: Hyderabad-based mobility tech startup WhistleDrive raised $10.1 Mn (INR 72 Cr) in a Series B funding round from Chicago-based Colosseum Group. The company’s target is to grow 10x with this Series B investment. In the next 12 months, the company is looking to enter two new cities and operate, expand fleets and fast-track customer acquisitions.
Darwinbox: Cloud-based HR solutions company Darwinbox raised $15 Mn in Series B round of funding led by Sequoia Capital. The company’s existing investors Lightspeed Ventures, 3one4 Capital and Endiya Partners also participated. The company plans to expand its services outside India, venturing into the Southeast Asian market.
Rivigo: Logistics startup Rivigo raised about $4.9 Mn funding from a South Korea-based investor KB Global Platform Fund. This seems to be an extension of the company’s recent $65 Mn Series E funding round in July. The company claims to own and operate over 2.1K trucks and covering more than 29K pin codes across India.
Blu Smart: Delhi-based Blu Smart raised $3 Mn angel round from the Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone’s family office Ka Entreprises, JITO Angel Network, Kalpavriksh Trust, Survam Partners, cofounder of Micromax Rajesh Agarwal, and the MD of Bajaj Capital Sanjiv Bajaj among other investors. The company plans to onboard 15K electric cars, 2500 chargers on its all-electric ride-sharing platform by 2021.
Shopclues: Gurugram-based ecommerce platform ShopClues received a fresh equity infusion of INR 7.86 Cr ($1.1 Mn) from its US-based parent entity. Over the past two years, ShopClues has steadily lost momentum, with the orders dropping to less than 30K per day. In a high cash burn business such as ecommerce, ShopClues was losing money every month.
AdvaRisk: Mumbai-based Fraud investigation startup AdvaRisk raised $700K seed round led by Sprout Venture Partners. SEA Fund and angel investors such as former managing director of Multiples Alternate Asset Management Sharad Bhatia and Axis Bank’s former deputy managing director Varadarajan Srinivasan also participated in this round. AdvaRisk will use the fresh funds for product development, ramping up of sales and business development teams.
Log 9 Spill: Bengaluru-based nanotechnology startup Log 9 Spill Containment raised INR 4 Cr ($565K) in its Pre-Series A round of funding from angel investors Renjit Shinto and Omkar Ghaisas. The company plans to utilise this funding to set up a new production facility in Navi Mumbai for the manufacturing of Graphene-based products already in its portfolio.
AquaConnect: Chennai-based Aquaconnect raised a seed round of $1.1 Mn from agritech focussed VC Omnivore, and the company’s existing investor HATCH. As a part of this investment, Omnivore’s Chennai office lead Reihem Roy will be joining Aquaconnect’s board to support the company’s growth strategy. With this new funding, the company plans to introduce image recognition feature in the FarmMOJO app in order to speed up the data input process for the farmers.
Emotix: Mumbai-based robotics startup Emotix raised an undisclosed amount funding round from a clutch of investors. The funds were to be used for international expansion to North America, UK and the Middle East. A portion of the funds was also to be allocated for developing new products and R&D in the areas of emotional and artificial intelligence, which form a crucial component of the Miko emotive robot toy.
Rebel Foods: Pune-based foodtech player Rebel Foods continued its fundraising activities with the latest Series D infusion from Goldman Sachs and other investors. Post investment, Goldman Sachs will have 4.74% stake in the company while Sistema will hold 1.74%. Earlier this year, Go-Jek’s VC arm, Go Ventures invested $5 Mn in the ongoing Series D round and this month, it floated an offer to raise $73 Mn from Coatue Management. So far, the company has raised $20.9 Mn in its ongoing Series D round, which saw the participation of its existing investors such as Lightbox, Sequoia, and Evolvence.
Digi-Prex: Hyderabad-headquartered healthtech startup Digi-Prex raised $5.5 Mn in a seed funding round. The company said that the funds have come in from Khosla Ventures, Y Combinator, Quiet Capital, SV Angel, and Justin Mateen, cofounder of Tinder. Interestingly, Digi-Prex has just graduated from Y Combinator’s Summer 2019 Batch. The company said that the fresh funds will help it expand its business to 10 cities in India and find ways to be more useful to the patients.
Pharmarack: Pune-based Pharmarack raised $3 Mn in a Series A funding round from IvyCap Ventures. As part of the deal, the IvyCap Ventures’ founder and managing partner Vikram Singh will join the healthtech startup’s board. Pharmarack’s existing investors include Unicorn India Ventures and Patni Group’s Currae Healthtech Fund among other investors.
SpeakIn: Delhi-based SpeakIn raised an undisclosed amount of funding from OYO South Asia CEO Aditya Ghosh-backed Homage Ventures. With this funding, SpeakIn plans to launch a first-of-its-kind “Expert Platform” and become the world’s window to Asian expertise.
LectureNotes: A platform for teachers to share notes and get connected with 1000s of students all across, LectureNotes raised investment of INR 2.5 Cr ($353K) from Singapore based group of HNIs. The startup claims to have over 20000 teachers and over 1 Mn users registered with us who use around 17 minutes every day on the platform, finding teachers, notes and contents to learn for the University based curriculum.
Ketofy: Gurugram-based Ketofy raised investments of $250K from prominent investors as a means to further grow the brand, as the company ramps up for their Series A. The investors include, Alok Mittal (Ex-MD, Canaan Partners), Rohit Chanana (Founder, Sarcha Advisory), Tejinderpal Miglani (Co-founder, India Bulls).
Onco: Bengaluru-based cancer care startup Onco.com raised $7 Mn in Series A funding round. The investments have come in from Accel, Chiratae Ventures and Dream Incubator. The fresh funds will be used towards building team, scaling operations and expanding customer outreach within India and internationally.
Indian Startup Acquisitions Of The Week
- Reliance Jio-owned conversational AI assistant Haptik acquired an AI recommendation chatbot Buzzo.ai for around $3 Mn – $4 Mn. The acquisition would allow Haptik to enhance its voice and chat offerings for ecommerce, and also strengthen its multilingual customer service experience.
- US-based Junglee Games acquired Bengaluru-based gaming tech startup Algorin TechLabs. Thes startup will help Junglee strengthen its position as a skill gaming platform as well as its position in the Indian market, particularly Bengaluru. Post the acquisition, the team of 20 people from Algorin TechLabs along with founders Abhishek and Vijay have joined Junglee Games to build products focused on fantasy sports and help expand presence in the Indian market.
- Flipkart cofounder Sachin Bansal acquired Chaitanya Rural Intermediation Development Services Private Limited (CRIDS), a non-banking finance company (NBFC). The deal is seeing an investment of INR 739 Cr ($104 Mn) by Bansal and the former Flipkart CEO is poised to take over as CEO of CRIDS. With the acquisition, Samit Shetty and Anand Rao will continue in their respective roles of growing the existing business segments. The various business units will continue to operate as they have; there will be no significant change in management.
Speculations Of The Week
- Uber cofounder Travis Kalanick, who was ousted as the CEO of the ride-hailing company in 2017, is reportedly looking to invest in multi-brand cloud kitchen startup Rebel Foods, earlier known as Faasos. The two parties are said to be in advanced talks, according to a Bloomberg report.
- Real estate startup NoBroker is reportedly in talks to raise a $100 – $130 Mn funding round from Tiger Global and General Atlantic, according to a media report which cited anonymous sources. This new round is expected to value the company at $400 Mn, the report added. Till now, NoBroker has raised a total funding of $71 Mn.
- OYO Hotels and Homes is said to be in talks for fresh funding round between $750 Mn-$1Bn. A Business Standard report, citing company executive, said that the round may be led by SoftBank. The round is expected to value the company at $13.5 Bn-$15 Bn. The fresh funds are expected to be spent towards massive diversification and for the management and operation of its five-star and luxury properties across the globe.
- Amazon India’s plans to buy a minority stake in Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Retails have most likely fallen apart due to high valuations. The Seattle-based ecommerce giant reportedly saw it as a large investment, considering the government’s attempts to formulate stricter FDI norms.
- Bengaluru-based online lingerie retailer Zivame is raising a fresh funding round of about $50 Mn. The company is said to have begun initial discussions with private equity funds for the same. The deal may value the company at $200 Mn
- Softbank is looking to increase its $1.5 Bn commitment to WeWork by another billion dollars or more by changing the terms of the warrant agreement signed earlier this year. This revamped deal would bring $2.5 Bn to WeWork, however, SoftBank is speculated to reduce the price per share and increase its stake in the company.
- Tiger Global Management is in advanced talks to acquire a minority stake in invoice discounting platform KredX. The investment firm is planning to pump $20 Mn in the Bengaluru-based fintech.
- SoftBank and India-based Piramal Group’s deal might fall apart due to differences arising out of a deal, which involved the Masayoshi Son-led Japenese company investing $1 Bn in Piramal Group’s financial arms, Piramal Capital and Housing Finance.
Other Developments Of The Week
- Silicon Valley-based VC fund Metaform Ventures is investing $2 Mn in its India Center of Excellence to conduct research on tobacco cessation and harm reduction, with a focus on smokeless tobacco (SLT) products like jarda, ghutka, khaini, etc. The objective of the research is to provide hard empirical data and evidence to encourage new harm reduction tools, cessation techniques and products for a tobacco-free India.
- Bengaluru-based accelerator The CoWrks Foundry announced the conclusion of its third cohort with eight startups. Out of over 450 startup applications, 8 startups were finalised to be a part of the accelerator programme. The list includes Instoried, Botspace, Happy Locate, Yogya, Lockn, Huviair, Bhorzvan Motors, and Refresh.
- Strategic Ventures Fund II (SVFII) launched a $50 Mn growth accelerator early-stage fund for entrepreneurs and startups in the countries, which are a part of Indo-Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). SVFII, with the fund, aims to support early-age startup with a strong user base. The fund is expected to utilise its network of sponsors, board members and co-investors to back and boost the sales of the portfolio companies.
- Facebook said that it has now selected six projects from India that will focus on three key areas – governance, cultural diversity and operationalising ethics. The company announced Ethics in AI research awards in June with a regional focus on India. It had said that the proposed budget should be within INR 10 Lakh-INR 20 Lakh.
- Growth stage VC firm Avataar Capital Management launched its first investment fund of $300 Mn, named Avataar Venture Partners I. For this fund launch, the company has on-boarded a global fund of funds HarbourVest Partners as an investor. The new fund will focus on making $10Mn – $30Mn growth stage investments into B2B and SaaS companies with a minimum of $15 Mn annual recurring revenues and plans of global expansion.
- Social enterprise-focused investment firm Aavishkaar Group raised $37 Mn from Netherlands-based FMO Entrepreneurial Development Bank. This investment is said to be part of Aavishkaar’s plans to invest in Africa and Southeast Asia startups.
- Uber announced the launch of its incubator programme for entrepreneurs— within Uber and outside as well. At its San Francisco-event on Thursday (September 26), Uber said that since good ideas can come from anywhere, it wants to open its global platform of 100 Mn active consumers and more than 4 Mn drivers and delivery partners to entrepreneurs both inside and outside Uber.
- Switzerland-based IT security solutions EST Group said it is bullish on Indian startups and is looking to invest $250 Mn (INR 1770 Cr) into Indian startups, particularly in the fintech sector. The company said it will invest in Indian startups that are focussed on fintech applications and in related business models.
Stay tuned for the next week edition of Funding Galore: Indian Startup funding of The Week!