We bring to you the latest edition of Funding Galore: Indian Startup Funding Of The Week!
In one of the biggest funding round this week, live commerce startup BulBul announced to raise INR 105 Cr ($14.7 Mn) funding round. Leo Capital (Rajul Garg), Surge (Shailendra, Prateek & the entire Surge Team), Sequoia India (Mohit and Shraeyansh), CDH (Damien Zhang) are company’s advisors and investors.
Apart from this, 17 startups raised around $31.26 Mn funding and one 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
Mobikon: Singapore-based Mobikon, AI-driven consumer engagement and predictive analytics SaaS platform raised a Series B round of $12.5 Mn led by former chairman and CEO of Flipkart and an angel investor, Binny Bansal. Mobikon is said to utilise these funds to enhance its tech platform and further expand into other geographies. This is the first time Bansal has made an investment in a growth-stage startup focussed on the Southeast Asia market.
Healofy: Women and parenting-focussed social networking platform Healofy raised undisclosed funding from Hiro Mashita-led Japanese investment firm M&S Partners. In May 2019, the company had raised $9.5 Mn from Omidyar Network India and Hong Kong-based BabyTree Group, Alibaba backed ANT financials and a few angel investors. The company’s investors also include Shaadi.com founder Anupam Mittal, and Citrus Pay founder Jitendra Gupta, and other Silicon Valley-based marquee investors.
Log9Materials: Bengaluru-based cleantech startup Log 9 Materials raised $3.5 Mn (INR 25.22 Cr) funding in Series A round led by Exfinity Venture Partners and Sequoia Capital India’s accelerator programme Surge. The startup will be using this funding for product development, and commercial and industrial deployment of aluminium fuel cell, which the company has been working on since last year.
Instacar: Outstation cab aggregator InstaCar raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Techstars Cofounder David Cohen, who had previously invested in the US-based ride-hailing service Uber. Previously InstaCar had raised $1 Mn in seed funding from Hong Kong-based Swastika Co Ltd, within a year of its launch in 2016. Back then, the company had also claimed to have on-boarded 500 taxis in Madhya Pradesh, within two months of its launch.
NutriMoo: Gurugram-based dairy and whole-food brand NutriMoo received $1 Mn in an equity funding round from IndoCan Honey Pvt ltd. With the investments, the startup has set up plans to market its products through its distribution network comprising of an in-house dedicated team, distributors, and agents along with supermarts and large grocery formats.
Loca: Bengaluru-based shared last-mile connectivity provider Loca raised an undisclosed amount of funding in its first round of investment led by Stellaris Venture Partners, China-based Fosun RZ Capital and a group of individuals including Aprameya Radhakrishna, cofounder of Taxiforsure, Mayank Bidawatka, cofounder of Vokal and Rohit MA cofounder of Cloud Nine. Loca plans to invest the funds to expand its presence to all major metro stations in Bengaluru. Additionally, it wants to build its tech and operations teams and has plans to expand its operation to new cities. The startup is also targeting to operate in New Delhi by early next year.
Wealthy: Wealth management startup Wealthy raised $1.3 Mn fund in a round led by early-stage venture capital firm Good Capital. Fintech venture capital firm Emphasis Ventures (EMVC) also participated in the round. It is expected to use the funds to scale up its partnerships with wealth managers to tackle trust issues among customers and further develop its financial products.
Crediwatch: Bengaluru-based fintech startup Crediwatch raised $3.2 Mn in a Series A funding round, led by Artis Ventures and with participation from Abstract Ventures. The funds will be used to improve and scale up their models for a dynamic ‘Trust Score’ credit scoring model for businesses, especially for SMEs.
Zivame: The company on October 15 approved fresh funding of INR 8.99 Cr ($1.26 Mn) from Trifecta Capital. The company is also ensuring its employees stick around as it has expanded its ESOP pool. The company filings showed that in a resolution on October 15, it pitched to increase its ESOP pool 2017 to 42,868 shares.
Stage3: Fashion rental and styling platform Stage3 raised $2 Mn in a Pre-Series A funding round led by Blume Ventures. The fresh capital will be used to amplify the brand experience. It would also boost its offline footprint for the omnichannel play, augment its data capabilities presumably for procurement and designs, while solidifying Stage3 as the pre-eminent platform for design-led fashion at affordable prices.
The Man Company: Bollywood actor Ayushmann Khurrana invested an undisclosed amount in Gurugram-based male grooming startup The Man Company (TMC). The funding is part of a strategic investment in the company, and the actor would not hold any board position. The funds will be used for branding and ramping up presence across India.
Credenc: Delhi-based startup Credenc raised $2.5 Mn in seed funding from Omidyar Network India. Investors such as EMVC, Better Capital, and Indian Institute of Management -Kozhikode (IIMK) Alumni Fund also participated in the funding round. Credenc is a tech-based education loans platform and it works as the digital finance desk of more than 200 management colleges across 17 Indian cities.
Pumpkart: Dr. Dinesh Dua, North India Chairman for Startups and Entrepreneurship for CII made an angel investment in Pumpkart, an online B2B platform which works on Brand to retailer model. Founded in 2014 by Mr. KS Bhatia, the startup which began as B2C company selling Pumps online pivoted earlier this year into a B2B platform.
eBikeGo: Amritsar-based electric two wheeler rental platform, eBikeGo raised an undisclosed amount as part of its recent funding round led by Startup Buddy. The round also saw participation from other investors like Singer Sukhbir Singh, Rajesh Sawhney (Co-Founder of Innerchef), Rohit Chanana (Founder, Sarcha Advisory), Siddartha Ahluwalia (Founder of 100x Entrepreneur), Milind Garud, Arun Gholap, Shantanu Vinekar and other senior corporate executives. It is now expanding to four other cities with the increasing demand and also increasing their fleet in cities they are already in. They are also working to expand the service network in different parts of the city to provide a solution for the customers and business partners using the two wheelers.
CashSuvidha: fintech startup Cash Suvidha raised $4 Mn in debt in the second quarter of FY2019-20. The funds were raised through different Financial Institutions. The debt will be used to increase the loan books of the company.
Styched: Bengaluru-based fast-fashion ecommerce venture raises seed funding from marque angel investors. The team is led by Soumajit Bhowmik, the ex-head of ecommerce at Capillary technologies. Styched said the round is raised to hire more people, invest on marketing, and open its first overseas office with an aim to become a global fast fashion online brand.
MiStay: Bengaluru-based hourly hotel booking company, MiStay raised an undisclosed amount of investment from ah! Ventures and other investors in a funding round, led by Hyderabad-based ex-entrepreneur Sumit Nagpal. The company is said to utilise the fund to grow the leadership team and build up the brand.
Indian Startup Acquisitions Of The Week
- US-based talent evaluation company SHL announced its plans to acquire Gurugram-based job credentialing platform Aspiring Minds for an undisclosed amount. The deal is expected to close in November and cost somewhere between $80-$100 Mn (INR 567-INR 709 Cr), largely all-in-cash. Through this acquisition SHL plans to infuse Aspiring Minds’ artificial intelligence (AI) technology with SHL’s portfolio and leverage the “rigorous science to enable the technical, emerging and leadership talent required” for over 10K customers.
- Naspers-owned PayU held discussions with the Indian startup and has valued it around $45-50 Mn, two people close to the matter told ET. Additionally, other investors are also keeping an eye on MobiKwik’s payment business.
Other Developments Of The Week
- Online grocery unicorn BigBasket is exploring investing in early-stage consumer brands that sell on its platform through its accelerator programme BB Accelerate. The company announced that emerging food brands such as Delight Foods, Kapiva and Vahdam Teas among others are already a part of BB Accelerate. The startups were selected and then nurtured by BigBasket’s executives for a year. BB Accelerate now has 20-25 such small brands on board.
- Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister for Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) inaugurated MeitY Startup Summit 2019. The summit is seen as a step forward towards bringing together key stakeholders and startups under one roof. During the course of the summit, startups and entrepreneurs will share techniques and strategies that they find effective with one another. Further, they will work with practitioners to capture viable techniques to bring the focus of venture capital and government around their processes and strategies.
- Serial investor Sanjay Mehta-led 100X.VC will reveal the first batch of portfolio companies at the VC Pitch Day to be held on December 7, 2019 in Mumbai. The company plans to invest in over 100 seed-stage startups from the 1200 pitches it received since its launch in July 2019.
- The ministry of electronics and IT (MeitY), in partnership with NASSCOM, decided to flagoff the Startup Hub on October 21, 2019 by awarding women-led startups working in the area of artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and Virtual Reality, among others. Through this award, the government plans to recognise women who have gone against all odds to build software products that cater to the needs of the society. Moreover, the government wants to push more female innovators to do the same.
- The government came up with the Single-Use Plastic International Grand Challenge for startups. Organised by the department for promotion of industry and internal trade (DPIIT), the grand challenge started on October 1 and will go on till October 22. The purpose of organising such a challenge is to reward startups and individuals to develop design solutions for plastic alternatives,
- Wipro Enterprises’ FMCG brand, Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting allocated INR 200 Cr ($28 Mn) to its venture fund — Wipro Consumer Care-Ventures. According to a TOI report, the fund will invest in 10 startups in the personal and homecare space. Wipro Consumer and Lighting is also looking to own a minority stake in around three companies. However, the company is not looking for long term investments and will fund them with a view to exiting in about five years’ time.
- Indian Fintech Forum announced the names of 18 startups shortlisted for the fourth edition of India Fintech Awards (IFTA), which will be held on November 29, 2019 in Mumbai. The startups have been shortlisted from the pool of 400 fintech startups from India, US, France, Hungary and Israel, among others. The selection process included application evaluation and personal interviews conducted by the programme advisors from the India Fintech Forum.
- Telangana’s state-backed startup incubator T-hub in collaboration with FalconX Inc rolled out its startup booster programme, Trestle. The programme is expected to provide growth-stage startups with opportunities to assess product fitment and readiness to new markets across the globe.
- Kerala government-backed Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with HDFC bank. The aid is going to be provided by SmartUp, HDFC’s banking solution for startups. KSUM will refer startups to SmartUp so that they can avail the facilities. The MoU is expected to remain valid for a year.
- US-based data management and hybrid cloud, NetApp announced the launch of its fifth cohort as part of NetApp Excellerator, the company’s flagship accelerator programme. The startups were selected on the basis of their use of NetApp’s cloud services to deliver solutions to businesses. CloudSEK, Senseforth.ai, Lightwing, Coralogix and Curl Analytics are the five startups chosen.
- Bharti Airtel rolled out its startup accelerator programme to support the growth of early-stage Indian tech startups. In a press statement, the company said that it aims to support the creation of a vibrant startup ecosystem that contributes to the government’s digital India initiative.
- Credit Saison rolled out a $55 Mn venture fund focused on early-stage startups in Southeast Asia and Indian markets. The Saison Capital is going to be the first dedicated corporate venture capital (CVC) of the credit card company. Credit Saison plans to invest its CVC through equity investments with initial ticket sizes of not more than $1 Mn. The company will invest in around six to eight companies every year.
Stay tuned for the next week edition of Funding Galore: Indian Startup Funding Of The Week!