Funding roundup - agritech flourishes in mid-August


Funding news this week was dominated by e-commerce leader Flipkart raising $2.4 billion from Softbank’s Vision Fund, giving it the financial muscle it needs to take on global heavyweight Amazon. (Late last week, rival Softbank-backed Snapdeal had called off its merger talks with Flipkart.)

The regulatory filings of another Softbank portfolio company, Ola, showed that parent company ANI Technologies had raised about Rs 231 crore from Tekne Private Ventures via the issue of preference shares.

Away from the bigwigs, fintech firm Five Star Business Finance raised an impressive $50 million in Series C funding. There were no Series A or B funding rounds this week, though Pre-Series A retained momentum. Agritech was clearly the flavour of the week. The top deals of this week, in no particular order, include:

StayAbode raises undisclosed round led by Incubate fund

StayAbode is a Bengaluru-based startup that facilitates affordable co-living. The startup plans to use the funds raised to expand their footprint across the city and strengthen their technology.

Healers at Home raises undisclosed funding, led by Chandigarh Angels Network, LetsVenture

The Gurgaon-based online home healthcare startup raised its second round of funding this week led by Chandigarh Angels Network and LetsVenture, besides angel investors Pawan Kumar (ex-ITC) and Chand Das (ex-IBM). The team claims that the funds will be used to strengthen their technology.

CroFarm raises pre-series A funding of $783,000 led

Agritech player and TECH 30 2016 startup CroFarm has raised pre-series A funding led by LetsVenture, FACTOR(e) Ventures, Jitendra Gupta of PayU India and Rajan Anandan of Google. Crofarm plans to use the funding to increase its presence across tier II cities and operate in 10 cities over the next two years.

Doodhwala raises undisclosed pre-series A funding led by Tom Varkey

Online milk delivery startup Doodhwala raised an undisclosed amount of funding led by Tom Varkey, a partner at the US-based hedge fund Stonehill Capital. The money will be used to ramp up technology and increase the team size.

EM3 AgriServices raises $10 million in a Series B round

EM3 AgriServices, a farming-as-a-service (FaaS) startup based out of Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, has raised Series B funding of $10 million from London-based Global Innovation Fund (GIF) and existing investor Aspada. EM3 is looking to expand its footprint across the country and will focus on boosting ecosystem capacity and investing in building technology.

Five Star Business Finance raises $50 million in Series C

Five Star Business Finance Limited announced it had raised $50 million (Rs 333 crore), led by Norwest Venture Partners and Sequoia Capital. Existing investors Matrix Partners and Morgan Stanley Private Equity Asia also participated in the round.

Operating in over 110 branches across South India, Five Star serves over 18,000 customers and specialises in extending secured, small business and housing loans. For FY18, the company expects to double its loan book to Rs 1,000 crore.



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