Another week has passed in the world of startups and the month of July doesn’t seem to get any more interesting.
Funding news this week was rather low-key after UrbanClap’s $21 million Series C fund raise last week. There was, however, plenty of buzz around acquisitions, the big one being Uber merging with Russian taxi aggregator Yandex. Closer home, Google bought Bengaluru-based AI firm Halli Labs, while driver aggregator DriveU acquired rival Zuver. The grapevine, meanwhile, was dominated by chatter about a persistent Snapdeal asking Flipkart for a $900 million buyout and Paytm Mall acquiring a majority stake in BigBasket.
Fintech was once again in favour, with Innoviti and Amazon Pay leading the pack. Here’s a quick look at the deals this week.
Not surprising, even this week, financial technology was still leading the charts in the funding count.
So, here’s the funding wrap for July’s second week:
Innoviti Payment Solutions announced raising Rs 120 crore in fresh funding from Singapore based private equity fund, SBI-FMO and American venture capital Bessemer Venture Partners. The startup is also backed by Narayana Murthy’s Catamaran Ventures.
The money will be used to expand the market for the company’s digital payments product uniPAY for merchants and Innoviti’s loan platform, smelending.com.
The global e-commerce behemoth has put in $20 million into its Indian digital payments entity, Amazon Pay, as per Registrar of Companies data. The company had got approval for operating its semi-closed wallet from RBI in April 2017.
Aggregator of beauty and wellness services, Fabogo, raised $2.25 million from Dubai-based early-stage investor Dunamis Ventures. The company had raised a $1 million in an earlier round in January 2016 from Dubai-based angel investors.
According to an official statement released by the company, Fabogo currently has more than 350,000 monthly users on its website.
Smart Auto Systems Pvt Ltd, the parent company of workshop management software for passenger cars, raised Rs 20 crore in a Series A from Japanese conglomerate Mitsui & Co. The firm will reportedly use the funds to enhance its tech and expand services across the country.
Former India cricket captain Sourav Ganguly stepped into the world of startups with an investment in Mumbai-based tech entertainment company, Flickstree.
Sourav participated in its seed investment round worth Rs 3 crore, along with other institutional investors like Venture Catalysts,which took the lead, besides the Kolkata-based Aditya Group with investors like Anirban Aditya and Ankit Aditya, and Moksh Sports Ventures.
Apart from Flickstree there was also financial technology startup, Open, which raised $250,000 in Pre-Series A from CitrusPay founders, Jitendra Gupta and Amrish Rau. There was also construction site operations and analytics company QwikSpec which roped in $540,000 in pre-Series A funding led by Brigade Innovations LLP.
There were also a slew of undisclosed investments this week, including Pre-Series A investments in hyperlocal delivery service, VDeliver; chatbot cration tool, Bottr.me; edical equipment manufacturer, Arcatron Mobility, Design Café and student education platform, EduGorilla.
But for budding startups, there was enough and more investment opportunities coming as - Mumbai-based 35North Ventures launched a $20.8 million early-stage fund to invest in Agritech, Healthtech and Fintech.
Globally, Google too launched its venture fund for AI startups, Gradient Ventures.
YS Research shows that over the past six months, Indian startups raised a total funding of $7 billion across 455 deals, the biggest being the $1.4 billion apiece raised by Paytm and Flipkart.The figure in the comparable period last yearstood at $2.3 billion across 552 deals.
Investor and advisor, Sanjay Anandaram told YourStory,
“Even with $7 billion being pumped into the startup ecosystem, a majority of the funding was taken by Flipkart and Paytm, and if that is removed, the money that startups raised is curtailed and not what it was two years back. Most of the funding has been taken by existing companies.”
But with sanity being restored and necessary impetus on the value of startups, it will be interesting to see how the second half of year pans out for Indian startups on the funding front.