Every week, more than a dozen startup secure funding and many get acquired. In this weekly series, we bring the latest deals from the Indian startup ecosystem consolidated at a single page.
We bring to you the latest edition of Funding Galore: Indian Startup Funding Of The Week!
In one of the biggest funding rounds this week, Japanese conglomerate SoftBank has infused an additional $130 Mn in online insurance aggregator PolicyBazaar and lending marketplace PaisaBazaar parent company EtechAces Marketing and Consulting at a $1.5 Bn valuation. SoftBank’s investment is a mix of $50 Mn in new shares and $80 Mn in secondary stock from other investors at a higher valuation in exchange for 15% stake.
However, talking about its previous fundraises, PolicyBazaar CEO and cofounder Yashish Dahiya said that the company turned profitable in the financial year 2017, but the company started investing heavily in advertising and marketing activities, which didn’t materialise into customers and led the company into a loss.
Overall, $216 Mn was invested across 19 Indian startups this week, and five acquisitions took place. (This funding report is based on startups that disclosed funding amounts).
Indian Startup Funding Of The Week
- PolicyBazaar ($130 Mn)
- Zolostays ($56 Mn)
- Aye Finance ($16 Mn)
- Zomentum ($4.1 Mn)
- Specsmakers ($3 Mn)
- Frontier Markets ($2.25 Mn)
- Piggy Ride ($1.8 Mn)
- CARS24 ($1.3 Mn)
- Securden Inc ($1.2 Mn)
- Blue Sky Analytics ($1.2 Mn)
- payAgri ($600K)
- Chai Waale ($232K)
- Decentro (Undisclosed)
- Brainwired (Undisclosed)
- Edhusk (Undisclosed)
- TagHive (Undisclosed)
- Green Cure (Undisclosed)
- Earth Energy EV (Undisclosed)
- NOTO (Undisclosed)
Bengaluru-based coliving Startup Zolostays has raised $56 Mn in Series C funding round led by Investcorp, Nexus Ventures Partners, Mirae Assets, Trifecta Capital and others. The company plans to use the funding to develop its technology, locking in more inventory and strengthening AI-driven operating platforms.
- Aye Finance
Gurugram-based financial services startup Aye Finance has raised $16 Mn (INR 125 Cr) in debt from Germany-based impact investor, Invest in Visions. This funding comes only two weeks after the company raised INR 210 Cr ($27 Mn) in Series E funding round from existing investors LGT Capital Partners, CapitalG International and others.
SaaS-based startup Zomentum has raised $4.1 Mn in seed funding from Accel and SAIF Partners. The funding will be used to accelerate the company’s product development and hire a sales team which could service locations outside North America. It was founded by Rahil Shah and Shruti Ghatge in 2018.
Specsmakers has raised $3 Mn (INR 23 Cr) funding from Eight Roads Ventures last month. The company plans to use this funding to create an omnichannel present and focus on building the digital and technological capabilities of the ecommerce business.
- Frontier Markets
Jaipur-based last mile rural distribution startup Frontier Markets has raised $2.25 Mn in Pre-series A funding led by ENGIE Rassembleurs d’Energies, The Rise Fund, and The Singh Family Trusts, along with Teja Ventures and affiliates of Beyond Capital Fund. The funding will be used to drive the company’s assisted ecommerce platform to the next level, add digital marketing tools, AI-enabled digital training, and a B2C solution onboarding their rural customers directly on their digital platform.
- Piggy Ride
Transportation services for Kids, Piggy Ride, has raised $1.8 Mn (INR 14 Cr) in Pre-series A from JAFCO Asia and Artha Venture Fund. The company plans to invest the capital raised to scale its product and engineering team, while also going deeper into existing categories within the marketplace.
CARS24 Financial Services, which is a subsidiary of CARS24 Services, has raised $1.3 Mn (INR 10 Cr) debt funding from Vivriti Capital. The company will use the capital to lend to small dealers and consumers across 50 cities who need funds to buy cars.
- Securden Inc
Securden Inc has raised $1.2 Mn in a seed funding round led by global venture capital firm Accel. The round has seen participation from Freshworks CEO Girish Mathrubootham, Axilor Ventures, Eka1.com’s CEO Manav Garg, and CaratLane CEO Mithun Sacheti. The funding will be used to expand the company’s marketing, R&D, and customer success efforts.
- Blue Sky Analytics
Gurugram-based geospatial data intelligence startup Blue Sky Analytics (BSA) has raised a $1.2 Mn seed funding round, led by BEENEXT Emerging Asia. Zerodha-backed Rainmatter Capital Private Limited and Stanford Angels & Entrepreneurs have also joined the round.
Agritech startup payAgri has raised $600K in Pre-series A round from US-based MFS Impact Fund, Sundharam CMD of M/s Linkup Group, and a couple of US-based angel investors. The startup plans to use this fund to on-board key business, agritech resources and expand into new geographies.
- Chai Waale
Chennai-based Chai Waale has raised $232K (INR 1.75 Cr) from Dhariwal Group’s Tharun Dhariwal, South Handlooms’ Sunil Kumar Singhvi, Chennai-based HNIs, Arun Ostwal and Vishal Ostwal, and Gunavanth Vaid of 4G Capital Ventures. Chai Waale is working towards expanding its product portfolio and store footprint.
Fintech startup Decentro has raised an undisclosed amount in seed funding from Silicon Valley-based accelerator programmes Y Combinator and Plug & Play, along with Bengaluru-based early-stage VC firm UpSparks VC. Several imminent angel investors have also participated in the round. Decentro is looking to use this funding to double its clientele and hire more talent and expand its workforce from the current 10 employees.
Huddle incubated agritech startup Brainwired has raised an undisclosed amount in Pre-seed round from Mumbai Angels, Anjanasoft’s COO Kritik Abiram, Startradex’s MD Parthiv Rokadia, Chemco Group MD Gaurav Saraogi.
Jaipur-based edtech startup Edhusk has raised an undisclosed amount from Mumbai Angels Network. The company offers personalised 1-on-1 services at students’ homes as well as EdHusk learning hubs by leveraging technology-driven conceptualized learning models.
Samsung-backed edtech startup TagHive has raised an undisclosed amount in Pre-series A round at a valuation of $10 Mn. The startup would focus on partnering with state governments and education boards to expand its operations in the country.
- Green Cure
Herbal over-the-counter (OTC) products brand Green Cure has raised an undisclosed amount from 4G Capital and ACG World’s founder Gunvanth Vaid. Green Cure will utilise the fresh capital to further scale up its operations and launch products into new categories.
- Earth Energy EV
Earth Energy EV has raised an undisclosed amount in seed capital from Pranada Bio-Pharma’s MD LR Joshi along with other private equity investors. Earth Energy EV will use the funds to facilitate the launch of the three electric vehicle models.
Low-Calorie ice cream brand NOTO has raised an undisclosed amount in a Pre-seed funding round led by WEH Ventures and Lead Angels. The fresh raise will be used by the brand for the acceleration of its marketing operations, strengthen its current base by launching more flavours and also eventually expanding its market to other cities in the country.
Indian Startup Acquisitions Of The Week
- Mumbai-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) company BrowserStack has acquired San Francisco-based visual testing platform Percy in a cash and stock deal for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition is expected to help developers and the quality assurance team as they can now run visual to automated functional tests on BrowserStack’s infrastructure.
- Freshworks has acquired Pune-based cloud platform Flint for an undisclosed amount. Chennai and California-headquartered SaaS unicorn believes that the acquisition will help bolster Freshservice’s IT service management (ITSM) and IT operations management (ITOM) capabilities.
- The British government and Indian telecoms conglomerate Bharti Enterprise will jointly acquire satellite operator OneWeb for $1 Bn. OneWeb had recently filed for bankruptcy after its biggest backer, SoftBank Group, declined to provide fresh funding.
- Unacademy has acquired postgraduate medical entrance exam preparation platform PrepLadder for $50Mn. The acquisition is expected to strengthen Unacademy’s presence in the medical entrance examinations categories such as the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for medical postgraduate courses.
- Digital payments platform Paytm has acquired 100% stake in Mumbai-based private sector general insurer Raheja QBE for INR 568 Cr. Raheja QBE is owned 51% by Prism Johnson and 49% by QBE Australia.
Other Developments Of The Week
- Digital entertainment and technology company JetSynthesys, which previously owned Nodwin Gaming, has raised $40 Mn (INR 300 Cr) from existing stakeholders Infosys’ cofounder Kris Gopalakrishnan, Adar Poonawalla family office and Navani family-owned Jetline Group. Thermax family office, Triveni Group and DSP Group have also invested in this round.
- Asia’s PropTech accelerator Brigade REAP has announced that four of its portfolio companies have raised investments. These include Chennai-based PropVR, Pune-based Renewate, Bengaluru-based Aapka Painter, and LiveSafe1.
- Diversity focussed startup incubator Encubay by Collaborat-her, which is set up in collaboration with Greenhouse Capital Africa, is now accepting applications for its first incubation cohort to support women entrepreneurs. It’s cohort will include 30 women-led startups.
- Blue Ashva Capital has announced the initial close of its maiden SME and startup-focused fund in India with commitments at $60 Mn (INR 454 Cr). The investors include family offices and high net worth individuals.
- Edtech startup Unacademy is reportedly in talks to acquire edtech startup Mastree for an undisclosed amount. The company may soon announce the acquisition.
- Freecharge founder Sandeep Tandon has allocated $13.2 Mn (INR 100 Cr) from his family office to invest in early-stage companies in hardware, manufacturing and Internet of Things space. The average ticket size of each investment will be between $270K to $800K (INR 2 Cr to INR 6 Cr).
- Flipkart Group has invested $34.5 Mn (INR 260 Cr) in retail brand Arvind Fashions (AFL), which owns brands like the Flying Machine, in exchange for a minority stake. Metta Capital Advisors acted as the financial advisors to AFL for this transaction.
- Singapore-based private equity firm Nalanda Capital has raised $728 Mn for an additional corpus of $800 Mn. The latest investment will take Nalanda Capital’s total corpus to over $2.3 Bn.
- Menlo Park-headquartered Sequoia Capital has announced that it has closed a $1.35 Bn India venture and growth fund to go along with its corpus dedicated to the early-stage investments through Sequoia Surge.
Stay tuned for the next edition of the Funding Galore!