We bring to you the latest edition of Funding Galore: Indian Startup Funding Of The Week!
In one of the biggest funding news this week, Chennai-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) unicorn Freshworks has confirmed that it has signed an agreement for a $150 Mn Series H round led by Sequoia Capital, CapitalG, and the company’s first investor Accel. With this investment, the company’s valuation has reached $3.5 Bn.
Further, Chinese multinational conglomerate Tencent Holdings acquired 10% minority stake in Indian insurance aggregator PolicyBazaar, which has now been valued at $1.5 Bn. The deal was signed last week. Founded in 2008 by Alok Bansal, Avaneesh Nirjar and Yashish Dahiya, PolicyBazaar Group has two entities: PolicyBazaar and PaisaBazaar. The company was founded in 2008 as a web aggregator and comparison website for insurance products.
Overall, this week 16 startups raised around $33.12 Mn funding totally and one startup acquisitions took place in the Indian startup ecosystem. (This funding report is based on startups that disclosed funding amount).
Indian Startup Funding Of The Week
1. Jumbotail: $2 Mn
2. Sunstone Eduversity: $1.5 Mn
3. Coolberg: $3.5 Mn
4. Ninjacart: $4.2 Mn
5. Zypp (Mobycy): $2.1 Mn
6. ekincare: $3.6 Mn
7. Niki: Undisclosed
8. Lido: $3 Mn
9. SuperGaming: $1.3 Mn
10. Misters.in: $0.49 Mn
11. AutoNxt Automation: Undisclosed
12. Bookingjini: $0.42 Mn
13. SimSim: $6 Mn
14. StyleCracker: $2 Mn
15. Burger Singh: Undisclosed
16. Shipsy: Undisclosed
Bengaluru-based B2B marketplace for food and grocery, Jumbotail has raised INR 14.2 Cr ($2 Mn) from an existing investor, Nexus Venture Partners. Founded in 2015 by S. Karthik Venkateswaran and Ashish Jhina, Jumbotail sells staples, spices, dry fruits, packaged foods and FMCG products to traders.
Gurugram-based edtech startup Sunstone Eduversity has raised in INR 11.35 Cr (approximately $1.5 Mn) in seed funding led by Prime Venture Partners, LetsVenture, PS1 Ventures and Rajul Garg. The fresh capital will be used to build colleges across various cities and scale up the technology-based curriculum to create industry-ready professionals.
Mumbai-headquartered beverage startup Coolberg has raised $3.5 Mn in its Series A funding round from Singapore-based RB Investments, existing investor India Quotient. Other investors include Ashish Goenka, chairman of Suashish Diamonds and a pool of investors from Indian Angel Network (IAN). The company said that it will use the funds to help the company to strengthen its distribution network and increase brand awareness.
Bangalore-based online grocery delivery startup Ninjacart has issued 300 debentures to Indian venture debt fund, Trifecta Capital for INR 30 Cr ($4.2 Mn) in its new funding round, according to a regulatory filing published on October 24, 2019. The company also undertook a buyback of all vested shares of employees who chose to sell their ESOPs.
Gurugram-based electric two-wheeler startup, Zypp, previously known as Mobycy, has raised INR 15 Cr ($2.1 Mn) in Pre-Series A from the Indian Angel Network (IAN) to scale up its fleet to include over 5K e-scooters. Besides the capital, IAN has also mentored the early-stage startup to take its business forward. The startup is also planning to scale up its operations across five Indian cities, including Delhi-NCR, which has recently changed its policies to approve bike-taxis. The company targets to expand its fleet to include around 20K e-scooters by the end of 2020.
Hyderabad-headquartered healthtech startup ekincare has raised $3.6 Mn in Series A funding round. The company said that undisclosed new investors with participation from existing investors including Eight Roads, Touchstone Equities and Ventureast, invested in this round. The company plans to use the fresh funds towards marketing and sales efforts as the company has mostly grown through word of mouth references until now.
Bengaluru-based commerce platform Niki (earlier Niki.ai) has raised an undisclosed amount of fresh funding from US-based fintech-specialist fund EMVC along with its existing investors. Founded in 2015 by Shishir Modi, Sachin Jaiswal, Keshav Prawasi, and Nitin Babel, Niki is a B2C commerce app used across Tier 2, 3 and 4 towns of India, to transact online by assisting them in every step with assurance through a conversational agent in ones’ language.
Mumbai-based online education platform Lido Learning has raised $3 Mn in its Series A round led by Ronnie Screwvala, chairman of another edtech startup Upgrad, Medlife CEO Ananth Narayanan, MD JK Tyres Vikrampati Singhania, CEO Shaadi.com Anupam Mittal and MD of Patni Wealth Advisors Arihant Patni, among others. Founded in April 2019 by Sahil Sheth, Lido provides year-long online tutorials in math and science for students of class 5 to 9.
Singapore and Pune-based SuperGaming has raised $1.3 Mn funding round from Japanese investors Dream Incubator and Akatsuki Entertainment Technology (AET) Fund, and Better Capital, an early-stage investor. Yet to introduce its product in the market, SuperGaming is planning to launch its gaming platform with the new funds. It is also looking to partner with popular game developers and publishers as well as expand its team.
Gurugram-based men’s health and wellness startup, misters.in, has raised INR 3.5 Cr ($0.49 Mn) as a part of its series B round of funding led by Sauce.VC, Rainforest Ventures Pvt Ltd and other angel investors. The company plans to utilise the raised capital to establish its strong footprint in the men’s health and wellness space, with a focus on high-quality products, science, and sensitivity.
Bhiwandi-based AutoNxt Automation Pvt. Ltd has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Sun Mobility’s Chetan Maini and Sandeep Maini in the ongoing funding round of the startup. Kaustubh Dhonde, founder and CEO of AutoNxt said that the fresh funds will be used to help the company prepare itself for market launch, which will include getting required certifications.
Gurugram-based SasS provider, Bookingjini has raised INR 3 Cr ($0.42 Mn) in seed funding from Mumbai Angels Network, and other angel investors. Founded in 2017 by Sibasish Mishra, the startup leverages automation technology to help hotels get direct bookings on their website.
Delhi-based video commerce platform, SimSim, has raised INR 43.49 Cr ($6 Mn) in a Series A funding round jointly led by Accel India and China-based Shunwei Capital. In this funding round, Accel and Shunwei invested INR 17.91 Cr ($2.5 Mn) each in SimSim, with both taking a 12.5% stake in the company.
Mumbai-based personal styling platform, StyleCracker has raised $2 Mn from US-based investor AMJ Ventures. The startup has been backed by Bollywood actor Alia Bhatt. With the new funds, the company plans to increase its presence in the country, build out capabilities in machine learning and strengthen its position in the personalisation fashion market.
Homegrown quick-service restaurant chain, Burger Singh, has raised an undisclosed amount of investments in a funding round led by Singapore-based venture capital firm RB Investments, and other angel investors. With the funds, the company plans to open about three new restaurants every month for the next 6-8 months.
Gurgaon based digital logistics platform Shipsy has raised an undisclosed amount of fund in its pre-Series A round led by Info Edge India Ltd. Founded in June 2015 by IIT alumnus Soham Chokshi and Dhruv Agarwal, initially focused on courier and LTL logistics. The startup claims that it has now diversified and expanded its services to broader logistics ecosystem.
Indian Startup Acquisitions Of The Week
- Mumbai-based fintech startup PaySense has decided to enter the lending sector completely by acquiring an undisclosed non-banking finance company (NBFC) for INR 3 Cr($0.42 Mn). The NBFC buyout will allow the company to get an NBFC license and lend its capital, instead of being a service provider.
Other Developments Of This Week
- Venture capital firm Norwest Venture Partners has closed its 15th fund at $2 Bn, making Norwest Venture Partners XV its largest fund till date. The fund is expected to target disruptive and market-leading companies from seed to late-stage across consumer, enterprise and healthcare sectors.
- Employees of Bengaluru-based payment solutions company Razorpay and Noida-based industrial goods marketplace Moglix received substantial returns after investors of both companies decided to buy their vested stock under the Employee Stock Option Plans (ESOPs).
- Hyderabad-based pharmacy retail chain MedPlus has announced that it would be going for an initial public offering (IPO), with plans to raise about INR 700 Cr ($96.7 Mn) through the market.
- With plans to expand into public transport and bike sharing in many cities, Uber’s India arm, Uber India Systems Private Limited, has now received fresh funds of INR 1767 Cr from its Netherlands-based parent company.
- Venture capital firm 100X.VC launched its formal corporate venture capital (CVC) programme, where it will be onboarding Indian corporates as their investment partners.
- Pune-based Windrose Capital announced the first close of its $30 Mn ‘The Next Billion Fund’, which will exclusively focus on early-stage startups. The fund will primarily look to invest in up to 50 seed-stage startups.
- Global marketplace network, OLX Group invested $400 Mn in German-based online car marketplace, Frontier Car Group (FCG), thereby becoming the largest shareholder in the company.
- TiE Global announced the launch of $70K TiE Women fund to promote women entrepreneurs across its 61 chapters globally. The fund was contributed by TiE Charter Members.
- Noida-headquartered digital payments company Paytm announced INR 500 Cr ($69.8 Mn) to invest in early-stage tech startups enabling AI-based technology and big data solutions to solve complex problems unique to India.
- The Indian government is considering to invest INR 500 Cr ($69.8 Mn) in more than 250 startups over the next five years to achieve approximately 50 ‘tangible innovation’ for the Indian defence sector.
Stay tuned for the next week edition of Funding Galore: Indian Startup Funding Of The Week!