This week, the startup world had one of the biggest funding news–with Paytm raising $1.4 billion from existing investor Softbank. It also saw cab aggregator Ola restricting Softbank's rights and strengthening those of its founders. While it is not funding news, the move by Ola showed signs of a startup ecosystem that is maturing.
Like last week, when EarlySalary, the pay-day lending platform raised funding, this week too saw fintech startups like Arohan, PaySense and Telr raise funding, making one wonder if 2017 is truly the year of fintech.
The key funding developments for the week gone by include:
Elize, the sanitary pad maker startup from Ahmedabad, raised a seed round led by angel investors Startup Buddy and senior members from Arthur D Little, Rohit Sethi, Adnan Merhaba, Viditha Kanakamedala, Arun Venkatachalam, and Sunil Kalra from Murugappa Group.
Started in January, Elize will use this current round of funding to help strengthen product and help create brand awareness.
Zapty, the project management platform, raised $500,000 from early-stage venture capital fund Ideaspring Capital. This is the fund’s fourth investment. The platform has built Zaplets, which are proprietary micro workflows that can be customised according to the needs of different sectors
The artificial intelligence-based chatbot company raised an undisclosed funding from SAP. The company has already raised investment from Ronnie Screwvala’s Unilazer Ventures and Ratan Tata.
The startup leverages natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning to converse with customers over a simple chat interface, and places orders on their behalf in seconds with partner businesses.
Fynd, the fashion e-commerce portal, recently raised follow-up funds of $500,000 from Silicon Valley-based Rocketship. In a press release by the company it said that the capital has been raised as an extension of the Series-A funding raised in March.
Fynd seeks to chiefly utilise the funds to strengthen its tech backbone, optimise its operations and further enhance its customer offerings as well as strategies.
Payment gateway Telr raised funding of $3 million by Innovations East. According to a statement released by the company, the funding will primarily be used to scale operations in India and other emerging markets, enhance core product offering and roll out new payment methods
In one of the biggest funding rounds from an individual investor, on Thursday, payments company Paytm announced that they have raised $1.4 billion from Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group Corp.
According to sources close to the matter, though not confirmed by the unicorn itself, the funds raised were at a valuation of around $8 billion.
The press statement issued by the company says Paytm plans to invest Rs 10,000 crore (approximately $1.6 billion) over the next three-to-five years in expanding its user base to half a billion Indians.
It has also been stated that the money raised will be utilised to launch a slew of financial products involving wealth management, deposits, and money lending.
Digital consumer credit platform PaySense announced having raised $5.3 million as part of its Series A round, which was led by Jungle Ventures. The round also saw participation from Naspers Group and existing investor Nexus Venture Partners.
PaySense Co-founder and CEO Prashanth Ranganathan said the funding will be used primarily to enrich the product, while building overall core capabilities. This will also involve adding more members to the product team.
Micro-finance platform Arohan raised a funding of $9.6 million led by Tano Capital. This funding will help expand operations geographically and even increase the company’s networth, according to a news report.
The platform operates in Jharkhand, West Bengal, Assam and Bihar, and claims to have a network of over 100 branches.
This week’s funding flavour seems to lean towards fintech. Also with Paytm announcing its payments bank, fintech might become hotter again. From credit, lending to payment gateways, every aspect of fintech seems to be attracting investments.