We bring to you the latest edition of Funding Galore: Indian Startup Funding Of The Week!
In one of the biggest funding in the Indian startup ecosystem this week, Gurugram-based online used car marketplace Cars24 raised $100 Mn (INR 714 Cr) in Series D equity funding round. The round was led by London-based investment firm Unbound and Toronto-based KCK Global, bringing in $25 Mn each. Other investors included New York-based investment firm Moore Strategic Ventures, Sequoia Capital, DST Global, Partners Fund and the Agnelli Family. The fresh financing will be used to strengthen the footprint of the company in new cities, franchise model, technology and recently announced consumer lending (NBFC) business.
Apart from this, 15 startups raised around $156 Mn funding and two 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
MyGate: MyGate raised $56 Mn Series B funding from marquee investors, including US-based Tiger Global Management. Other investors who participated in the round were JS Capital LLC, China’s Tencent Holdings and MyGate’s former investor Prime Venture Partners. The company will use this investment towards building our product and tech teams, marketing initiatives and business development so as to expand our reach to 15 Mn homes across 40 cities in the next 15-18 months.”
CleverTap: Mumbai-based CleverTap raised a $35 Mn Series C funding round from existing investors Sequoia Capital and Tiger Global at a valuation of $385 Mn. The startup will use the funds to build out its new US-based engineering hub, besides adding “enhanced predictive capabilities” with expansion into other markets with specific go-to-market strategies for each. Global expansion and product development will be primary areas of emphasis, and the company will be hiring across engineering, sales, and marketing in its US, Latin America, Europe, and Asia operations.
Remedico: Remedico raised an investment of $500K from Venture Catalysts. Vida Ventures, and a clutch of angel investors including Anshumani Ruddra (VP of product at Hotstar, and Rohini Pandhi (startup advisor and angel investor) also participated. Founded in 2017, Remedico is an end-to-end mobile healthcare company, allowing young people to solve their dermatological problems as they move through adolescence to early adulthood.
White Owl: Homegrown beer manufacturer and seller, White Owl Brewery, raised $5.6 Mn (INR 40 Cr) in the second round of funding from its existing investor IIFL India Private Equity Fund. With the increasing popularity of craft beer in India, the beer brand plans to expand its customer base in the country. The company plans to use the fund to widen its product portfolio and introduce unique formats of beer in the market.
RupeeRedee: Gurugram-based lending startup RupeeRedee raised $6 Mn funding from its parent company Digital Finance International (DFI). With this funding, RupeeRedee plans to expand its team and lending operations. The company also plans on improving its technology, along with other backend processes to evaluate the lendees in a more effective way to avoid bad loans. RupeeRedee is also looking to expand its services by partnering up with digital and point of sale lending.
Bewakoof: Thane-headquartered online retailer Bewakoof raised INR 80 Cr ($11.28 Mn) in a funding round led by Bahrain’s alternative asset manager Investcorp. Investcorp provided nearly 90% of funding and would hold around 14% stake in Bewakoof with a seat on the board. The company’s first focus will be to further strengthen its platform and capture consumer data to improve their experience on the website by using machine learning.
Tork Motors: Ratan Tata, chairman, Emeritus of Tata Sons is all set to invest an undisclosed amount in Pune-based EV start-up Tork Motors. The investment came just before the commercial launch of Tork’s flagship product T6X.
Mall91: Noida-headquartered social commerce platform Mall91 raised $7.5 Mn in a Series A funding round. The investment has been led by Go-Ventures with participation from Beenext, Kalaari Capital, and AngelList India. Mall91 aims to leverage these funds to drive business growth and augment its product development and roadmap execution. The company aims to solidify its presence as the one-stop-shop for the next 400 Mn internet users in India. It is also eyeing international expansion opportunities.
TrueBalance: Gurugram and Korea-based mobile balance management service startup True Balance raised $23 Mn (INR 164 Cr) in a Series C funding round. The investments came in from Korean investors which include NH Investment & Securities, IMM Investment, HB Investment, IBK Capital, D3 Jubilee Partners, SB Partners and Shinhan Capital. True Balance will use funds to expand its loan book, bolster its technology and business-focused talent acquisition efforts across geographies, as well as towards marketing.
Super Smelly: Delhi-based toxin-free personal care products startup, Super Smelly raised an undisclosed amount within first seven months of their operations in its angel round of funding. The round was led by Singapore-based Lyte Investment Bank along with other angels. The startup will utilise the capital raised for marketing, research and product testing to further expand the product portfolio.
LegalKart: Gurugram-based legal tech startup Legalkart raised seed funding of $492K (INR 3.5 Cr) from a group of angel investors The company will touch $450,000 in revenue this year and are witnessing a 20% growth rate on a MoM basis. The angels who have invested in their personal capacity include Pranay Jivrajaka (CEO-FoodPanda), Mitesh Shah (Head of Finance-BookMyShow), Sundeep Sahni (CCO-Rocket Internet), Pallav Singh (Ex-COO, OlaCabs), Sudarshan Gangrade (CEO-Lo! Foods) and other individual HNIs from Microsoft, Cognizant, Tata Motors, METRO Cash & Carry India & Oracle who are based in USA, UK, Japan & UAE. With the objective of aggressively ramping up its platform, the company aims to expand its presence across 1000 cities with 25,000 lawyers by the end of 2020 from the current 100 cities and 2,500 lawyers.
Bare Anatomy: Personalised haircare brand Bare Anatomy secures its seed funding of $500K from Sauce, a consumer-centric venture capital fund. With this strategic partnership and a robust outlook, the personalised data-driven haircare startup will now augment its state-of-the-art R&D labs, strengthen marketing and technology. Sauce is devoted to joining hands with brands that possess the potential to disrupt the industry. The venture capital has previously partnered with startups across various spaces like F&B, personal care, apparel/lifestyle.
Muse Dot Media: Integrated Marketing Solutions Agency, Muse Dot Media raised $1 Mn in fresh funding from two existing angel investors. The latest funding has raised the firm’s share capital from INR 26 Cr to INR 32 Cr. These funds will be used to enhance its production unit in New Delhi, develop licensed brand marketing solutions and help in expanding its operations with fresh offices in Mumbai and Bengaluru.
UrbanPiper: Bengaluru-based software-as-a-service platform UrbanPiper raised $7.5 Mn in a Series A funding round. The investment has been led by New York-based hedge fund Tiger Global and venture capital firm, Sequoia India. The company said it will use the funds to scale the team, the product suite as well as for international expansion.
WEGoT: WEGoT raised $2 Mn in a seed funding round. The round has been led by GoFrugal, Shyam Shekar from iThought, and Brigade Enterprises. Other investors in the round include Vibhu Natarajan, director at Grotech Landscapes; Rajagopal S from Entrust, Joydeep Ponugoti from Manbhum Constructions and Promod Kumar, who are industry experts in the real estate technology and consumer industries. Haridass said that the fresh funds will be used to strengthen its product portfolio as well as scale its presence in India. The company also plans to double its employee base in the next six-months across R&D and Sales and Marketing.
Indian Startup Acquisitions Of The Week
- Y Combinator-backed fintech startup ClearTax acquired Mumbai-based audio streaming platform Dose FM for an undisclosed amount. ClearTax aims to leverage the team’s technical know-how on developing a recommendation engine, local language capabilities, and a few others.
- Mumbai-based gaming and digital media company Nazara Technologies invested INR 83.5 Cr in Paper Boat Apps, a Mumbai based indie studio today. The company said it had acquired a majority stake of 51% in Paper Boat Apps at a pre-money valuation of INR 154 Cr.
Speculations Of The Week
- Jaipur-based automobile subsidiary of Girnar group, CarDekho, is raising a $100 Mn Series D funding round. A Livemint report citing sources said that CarDekho is in talks with Chinese strategic investor Autohome Inc., who will lead the round with $70 Mn. Existing investor Sequoia is also looking to invest and is leading the discussions being a common investor.
- Paytm is looking to raise a fresh funding round of $2 Bn. An ET report said that Paytm is in talks with US-based asset manager T Rowe Price will add up to $150 Mn-$200 Mn funding with Alibaba also joining the round, while another report from Bloomberg adds that existing investors SoftBank and Ant Financial are also expected to participate in the round. It adds that the company would be valued at $16 Bn post this funding round. Also, Paytm will be looking to get listed on the stock exchanges after 2021, when the fintech company starts generating cash.
- Chennai-headquartered SaaS unicorn Freshworks is reportedly looking to raise a fresh round of funding, ahead of its plans for a public listing.
- An ET report said that Freshworks is in talks with existing investors like Sequoia Capital India and Tiger Global Management as well as new investors, including mutual funds to lead a fresh funding round. Even though the discussions are said to be in the early stages, the company is reportedly looking at a valuation of $2.5 Bn-$3 Bn.
- Future Retail announced its intention to acquire retail infrastructure assets from its group company Future Enterprises Ltd on Saturday. The board agreed and approved the acquisition of retail infrastructure assets up to maximum limit of INR 4,000 Cr of Future Enterprises in one or more tranches, the company said in a regulatory filing on Saturday, October 12.
Other Developments Of The Week
- Maruti Suzuki India Limited, under its Mobility and Automobile Innovation Lab (MAIL) programme, accelerated five startups. The list includes SenseGiz, Xane, Eyedentify, Enmovil and Docketrun.
- Department for promotion of industry and internal trade (DPIIT) is reaching out to the finance ministry to increase the corpus of the Fund of Funds for Startups. The officials said that the demands from SIDBI were to double the FFS corpus and to allocate a higher amount of INR 1,300 Cr-INR 1,400 Cr, as against INR 600 Cr-INR 700 Cr now.
- Microsoft’s venture fund M12, in collaboration with investment firms Mayfield and Pivotal Ventures announced its second global Female Founders Competition to accelerate funding for women entrepreneurs developing B2B, SaaS and deeptech solutions. Four winners, which will be announced in April 2020, will get a total of $6 Mn in venture funding. Two startups will be shortlisted from the US, whereas two will be selected from the other countries. Two startups working in SaaS will get funding $2M each. Meanwhile, two deeptech startups will win $1 Mn each.
- The Madhya Pradesh cabinet on Tuesday (October 15) gave its nod for the Madhya Pradesh Startup Policy, to be implemented from April 1, 2020. Under the policy, more facilities will be provided to startups. Till 2018, the state was home to more than 1,200 startups, according to DataLabs by Inc42.
- CIIE.CO’s Bharat Inclusion Initiative announced the third cohort of its “Financial Inclusion Lab”. It invites entries from promising Indian startups that work for inclusivity in the areas of FinTech, skilling, and livelihoods. This year the selected start-ups will receive capital of up to INR 25 lakhs for product development and market validation.
- The India Mobile Congress announced the winners of its IMC Grand Innovation Challenge. The challenge was hosted by IMC in association with AGNIi and Invest India, and supported by NALCO ETBI, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea Ltd. and Reliance Jio. Out of the 110 applicants, the ten startups that were felicitated at the event include SenseGiz, SnapIoT, Nebula, BKC Aggregators (Fasal Salah), Marisoft Technology, PlayAblo, Vawsum School, JUV Technologies, Learning Matters, and Notifyvisitors.com.
- The Innovative Ventures and Technologies for Development (INVENT), a British government-supported programme, has successfully incubated 160 startups in low-income states of India since its inception in 2016. Initially, the programme facilitated $4.7 Mn to 139 Indian startups. However, 58 of these ventures were able to obtain follow-up investments from leading venture capital firms which mounted total investments raised by these startups to $18.6 Mn.
Stay tuned for the next week edition of Funding Galore: Indian Startup Funding Of The Week!