We bring to you the latest edition of Funding Galore: Indian Startup Funding Of The Week!
In one of the biggest funding rounds, Noida-headquartered One97 Communications, the parent company of Paytm, has secured latest equity funding of INR 4724 Cr ($669.5 Mn) from its existing investors T Rowe Price, Alipay, SoftBank and others.
Further, after months of planning and necessary approvals, OYO founder and group CEO Ritesh Agarwal has finally invested INR 4942.1 Cr ($693 Mn) in the company.
Apart from this, 27 startups raised around $254.64 Mn funding and five 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
- HappyEasyGo: $49.4 Mn
- Ecom Express: $36 Mn
- Zetwerk: $32 Mn
- Purplle: $30 Mn
- Observe.AI: $26 Mn
- KredX: $26 Mn
- Bombay Shirt Company: $8 Mn
- Ecozen Solutions: $6 Mn
- Origo: $6.8 Mn
- Stanza Living: $5.7 Mn
- M.paani: $5.5 Mn
- The Moms Co: $5 Mn
- Freightwalla: $4 Mn
- Awign: $4 Mn
- Box8: $2.79 Mn
- Trell: $2 Mn
- TapChief: $1.5 Mn
- Slintel: $1.5 Mn
- eJOHRI: $1 Mn
- Rein Games: $0.71 Mn
- Freshokartz: $0.15 Mn
- Lil’ Goodness and sCoolMeal: $0.40 Mn
- MyGameMate: $0.10 Mn
- WishADish: $0.09 Mn
- Afinoz: Undisclosed
- Ninjacart: Undisclosed
- Binca Games: Undisclosed
Gurugram-based online travel agency (OTA) platform HappyEasyGo has raised INR 350 Cr ($49.4 Mn) in its Series B+ funding round from investors such as Korea Investment Partners (KIP), Samsung Venture Investment Corporation (SVIC), UOB Venture, 10 Fund, CVCapital, Zero2IPO Ventures and M&S Partners. It plans to use the funds to primarily strengthen its air ticket business and build a hotel division in India.
- Ecom Express:
Delhi-based logistics solution provider Ecom Express has raised $36 Mn (INR 255 Cr) in fresh equity funding from the UK’s development finance institution, CDC Group. The fresh funds will be used to further expand its delivery footprint in connecting towns and rural centres across the country.
Bengaluru-based manufacturing services platform Zetwerk has raised $32 Mn in its equity series B funding. The investment came in from new investors Lightspeed and Greenoaks Capital as well as existing investors Sequoia India, Accel and Kae Capital. The round also saw participation from Udaan cofounder Vaibhav Gupta and OYO chief strategy officer Maninder Gulati. The company will invest the funds in building a full-stack offering for its marketplace and venture into financing, logistics, helping suppliers in purchasing materials and others.
Mumbai-based online beauty products marketplace Purplle has raised $30 Mn fresh Series C investment from Goldman Sachs. Founded by Manish Taneja and Rahul Das in 2011, Purplle is an ecommerce platform that offers beauty products, appliances and cosmetics. It also runs its own private label called StayQuirky. The company claimed the private brand accounts for a major chunk of its sale.
Voice AI platform Observe.AI has raised $26 Mn in Series A round led by Scale Venture Partners. Nexus Venture Partners, Steadview Capital, 01 Advisors, and Emergent Ventures also participated in the funding round. With the recently raised funding, Observe.AI will expand its team in both the US and Indian offices. Additionally, the company also plans to accelerate product development with the funds.
Bengaluru-based invoice-discounting platform KredX has raised $26 Mn Series B with US-based Tiger Global Management leading investment round, along with participation from an existing investor, for a minority stake in the company. With the recently raised funds, the company will invest in accelerating its expansion by hiring across functions including senior leadership roles. Besides investing in the development of new products, it will use the funds to further build its IP technology and create a niche in the supply chain finance ecosystem. Additionally, KredX also plans to use the money towards strategic acquisitions.
Related Article: Funding Galore: Indian Startup Funding Of The Week [18-23 Feb]
- Bombay Shirt Company:
Apparel and fashion startup Bombay Shirt Company has raised $8 Mn (INR 56.6 Cr) from early-stage venture capital firm Lightbox Ventures in its latest equity funding round. The company will be utilising the fund towards automating its production and supply chain operations, and expanding its physical presence in 40 to 50 locations, in the next one and a half years. It also plans to widen its menswear category, by including newer products like trousers and denim among others.
- Ecozen Solutions:
Pune-based agritech startup Ecozen Solutions has closed its Series A funding with $6 Mn from Sathguru Catalyser’s Innovation in Food & Agriculture Fund (IFA Fund). With the fresh funds, the company will expand its product range, increase production capacity, and enter new geographies.
Gurugram-based agritech company Origo has raised INR 48.5 Cr ($6.8 Mn) from Switzerland-based responsAbility, the Netherlands-based Oikocredit’s Indian subsidiary Maanaveeya, and IndusInd Bank. With the recently raised funds, the company plans to continue investing in improving the rural financial ecosystem in the country. The company will do so by providing loans to agritech startups, agriculture-based MSMEs, among others.
- Stanza Living:
Delhi-based student housing startup Stanza Living on Tuesday has secured $5.7 Mn debt financing from Alteria Capital. Founded in 2017 by Sandeep Dalmia and Anindya Dutta, Stanza Living is creating a student-centric proposition with new-student living models encompassing a service-led housing solution, proprietary community-building personal and professional development programmes and a high-quality ecosystem catering to diverse student requirements.
- m.paani :
Mumbai-based loyalty and marketing startup m.paani has raised $5.5 Mn in Series A funding from AC Ventures, Henkel, Candy Ventures, Kevin Aluwi, CEO and cofounder of Gojek, Ryu Suliawan, head of merchants at Gojek, and Suvir Varma, board member and senior advisor at Bain & Company, Private Equity. Existing investors Chiratae Ventures and Blume Ventures also participated in the round. The new funds will be used towards product development, accelerated growth and geographic expansion.
- The Moms Co:
Delhi-based baby care products startup The Moms Co has raised $5 Mn (INR 35 Cr) Series B round from existing investors DSG Consumer Partners and Saama Capital. The company said it would be utilising the funds to expand its product portfolio, invest towards adding to its tech capabilities and add offline presence across India in the next one and a half years.
Mumbai-based digital freight forwarding startup Freightwalla has raised $4 Mn in Series A funding from Amplo, FJ Labs and Rogue One Capital among other existing investors such as Kae Capital and Tekton Ventures. The company will be utilising the funds to enhance its technological capabilities, expand pan-India presence and enrich door-to-door pickup and delivery services across the country.
Bengaluru-based Awign Enterprises has raised $4 Mn in Series A funding round. The investment has been led by Work10M, with participation from Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, Eagle10 and existing investors Unitus Ventures. The company plans to use the funds for product and business expansion. Awign also plans to invest the funds in technology and strengthen its app while also developing robust sales and marketing channels.
Mumbai-based foodtech startup Box8 has raised a fresh round of INR 20 Cr ($2.79 Mn) debt to amp up its opportunities in the burgeoning cloud kitchen space in India from Trifecta Capital. Box8, founded in 2012 by Amit Raj and Anshul Gupta, is a full-stack cloud kitchen startup which means that it owns the entire food value chain, from procurement of high-quality ingredients to food preparation to the last mile delivery.
Bengaluru-based video-first experience discovery platform Trell has raised $2 Mn (INR 14.8 Cr) in Pre-Series A round led by Ruizheng Investment at $19 Mn valuation. Founded in August 2017 by a team of IIT Bombay alumni Pulkit Agrawal, Prashant Sachan, Arun Lodhi, and NITIE alumnus Bimal Kartheek Rebba, Sequoia Surge startup Trell is a blogging platform that enables people to create visual collections of their travel and local experiences and share it as a classic slideshow video or copyrighted-images on other platforms.
Bengaluru-based gig worker and freelancer marketplace TapChief has raised $1.5 Mn from early-stage venture capital firm Blume Ventures. Through this investment, Sanjay Nath, the managing partner of Blume Venture will be joining the company’s board. The company will be utilising the funds to expand its network of professionals, freelancers and talent, enhance product offering and integrate technology solutions with existing enterprise management systems.
San Francisco-headquartered SaaS startup Slintel has announced that it has raised $1.5 Mn in seed funding led by Stellaris Ventures with participation from Accel Partners, Engage.social founder Anand Jagannathan and Helion Ventures’ senior managing director Ashish Gupta.. The company plans to use the funds to grow its own marketing and sales operations, including some key sales hires in the US.
Mumbai-based omnichannel jewellery startup eJOHRI has raised $1 Mn funding led by London-based investor Rajesh Ranavat alongside other investors in a Pre-Series A round. The company will be utilising the fund to enhance consumer reach and offer service support to more than 100 jewellers across India also plans to expand its services to over 1K jewellery retailers.
- Rein Games:
Noida-based online gaming startup Rein Games has raised INR 5 Cr ($0.71 Mn) in a seed round led by Ranjan Pai’s Manipal Education and Medical Group (MEMG) family office and Titan Capital, besides few other high-net-worth individuals. With the recently raised funds, Rein Games will streamline product development, invest in acquiring more users. Additionally, the company will invest in strengthening its team across various verticals.
Jaipur-based Freshokartz has raised $150K (INR 1 Cr) in a pre-series A round of funding from Jaipur-based Innovana ThinkLab. The startup plans to invest funds to expand into new districts in Rajasthan.
- Lil’ Goodness and sCoolMeal:
Bengaluru-based kids nutrition startup Lil’ Goodness and sCoolMeal has raised $400K seed funding led by prominent business leaders such as Sajan Pillai, managing Partner, Season Two Ventures, Dr Muthu Krishnan ex-CEO, Tata Health and Global healthtech executive, family office of Lalit Pai, cofounder of Nightingales Home Healthcare. The startup will invest funds in enhancing their offerings, launching packaged food products, acquire and expand the sCoolMeal operations and improve customer experience excellence through tech enhancements.
Benguluru based eSports platform MyGameMate has raised $100K in an angel round funding from Jindagi Live Angels lead by Deepak Maheshwari and other angels. These funds will be used to strengthen the technology platform, develop more multiplayer games and to organize tournaments. MGM is keen on providing similar recognition to video game players like any other sportsmen, athletes or celebrities globally.
New Delhi based startup SaaS startup WishADish has raised INR 60 lakh from group of unnamed angel investors from India. The startup, which is a unit of BBSJ Management Services Pvt Limited, will use the funds to expand geographically especially Tier 2 and 3 cities.
Noida based fintech startup Afinoz has raised an undisclosed amount as seed funding from the Silicon Valley investors including Fintech innovation lab head Peter and Sushil Kalyam and from Brand capital of India. With this fund, the startup will invest in adding new users.
Bengaluru-based online B2B grocery delivery startup Ninjacart has raised an undisclosed investment from Flipkart and Walmart. The ecommerce company said it would strengthen direct sourcing of fresh produce for Walmart India’s Best Price B2B cash-and-carry stores and Flipkart’s online grocery business Supermart.
- Binca Games:
Mumbai-based board games startup Binca Games has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from a former Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar. With this partnership cum investment, Binca aims to launch 10 more games and plans to grow its business by 200%, in the next two years.
Indian Startup Acquisitions Of The Week
- Delhi and UK-based online fashion marketplace Koovs has been acquired by SGIK 3 Investments. Notably, SGIK 3 Investments is owned by Koovs’ largest secured creditor and chairman Waheed Alli. Koovs said that it would apply to place itself into administration after its largest shareholder, Kishore Biyani’s Future Lifestyle Fashion Ltd (FLFL), failed to invest additional 6.5 Mn pounds ($8.34 Mn).
- Reliance Strategic Business Ventures Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited has acquired equity shares of Hyderabad-based SaaS startup NowFloats Technologies NowFloats for a cash consideration of INR 141.63 Cr ($20 Mn). With this, Reliance will hold 85% equity in NowFloats.
- Noida-headquartered social commerce platform Mall91 has acquired Delhi-based ecommerce-based SaaS company StompMarket. With this acquisition, StompMarket will help Mall91’s seller community with its tech-based solutions such as cloud-based inventory management, cross-channel selling support, order fulfilment, warehouse management, among others.
- Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries (RIL) has acquired 51.78% equity shares worth INR 23.12 Cr in Bengaluru-based drone startups Asteria Aerospace. Reliance has also decided to invest an additional INR 125 Cr in Asteria if the Bengaluru-based startup manages to achieve certain milestones by December 2021. This investment will increase shares in Asteria to 87.3%.
- New Delhi based fintech startup Netrika Consulting has acquired Hyderabad based cloud security startup Anti Piracy Solutions (APS). With the technological synergy attained through this acquisition, Netrika will now be better positioned to effectively fight against unauthorised leaks and peddling of copyrighted intellectual properties such as movies, music albums and even educational content online.
Other Developments Of The Week
- Bengaluru-based 3one4 Capital has announced the final close of its Continuum I and Rising I fund at INR 400 Cr and INR 45 Cr. While Continuum I, which was launched in early 2019, will focus on Series B and above round in existing portfolio companies, Rising I will enter into deals with idea stage and seed-stage companies which includes new and follow-on investments.
- Pune-based wellness and fitness startup Squats Fitness has acquired a minority stake in gym aggregator platform Fitato in an ongoing Pre-Series A Round. Through this strategic partnership, Squats will be offering its users access to affordable and customised gym membership plans. Fitato’s acquisition will enable Squats’ 520K community members to have easy access to gyms and fitness centres across India at a fixed monthly fee.
- Private equity firm Apis Partners LLP has raised $550 Mn for its second fund in limited partner commitments. The global investment manager supports growth-stage financial services and financial infrastructure businesses by providing them with catalytic growth equity capital.
- American seed-stage accelerator Y Combinator has now expanded its free online course, Startup School, from once a year to multiple times a year. Startup School is a free online course for founders actively pursuing their own startup by Y Combinator.
- Bengaluru-based insurtech startup, Digit Insurance, is said to be in talks to raise a fresh funding round of up to $80 Mn-$100 Mn. The investors in the round may include TVS Capital Funds, A91 Partners and Faering Capital, which are said to be in advanced talks with the company.
- Delhi-based venture debt firm Stride Ventures has marked the first close of its first fund at INR 100 Cr ($14.09 Mn). The first fund’s target is to raise INR 500 Cr ($70.45 Mn).
- Investment and scaling platform for early-stage startups, Anthill Ventures, in partnership with actor Rana Daggubati has launched Urban-i — a market access programme focused on accelerating the business growth of consumer brand startups in India.
- Bengaluru-headquartered edtech startup Cuemath is back in the funding ground after nearly three years of raising its Series B funding round. Continuing the same round, the company is raising INR 38.82 Cr ($5.45 Mn) from its existing and new investors.
- Bengaluru-based gourmet meat startup Licious is reportedly in talks with Singapore-based Vertex Ventures and its parent company, Delightful Gourmet, in order to raise $25 Mn to $30 Mn as a part of its Series D funding round.
- Brand Capital, the strategic investment arm of Bennett Coleman and Company Ltd (BCCL) has announced an investment in Minneapolis-based fantasy football platform Starting 11. Brand Capital has invested $5 Mn in the company and will help Starting 11 expand its operations to India.
- Villgro has announced its 2019 investees for iPitch. This year, iPitch has facilitated funding of over INR 4 crore for innovative startups across the agribusiness, health, and renewable energy domains.
- After having closed Series E funding in July this year with $65 Mn, Gurugram-based logistics startup Rivigo has already started scouting for its next $20 Mn round.
Stay tuned for the next week edition of Funding Galore: Indian Startup Funding Of The Week!