[Weekly funding roundup] After a slow and sputtering start this year, funding seems to have geared up this week
The spread across sectors that investors backed this week was wide. From fintech and healthtech to ecommerce, edtech and agritech, startups raised over $500 million of funding.
This week, millionaire American rapper Snoop Dogg invested in fintech unicorn Klarna, and India’s startup ecosystem was just as exuberant (at least when it came to funding). Investors were on a roll in the third week of this year, pumping in $593 million across 20 deals.
The outpouring came after a three-week lull when weekly funding was hovering around $100-$200 million. While there were only two late-stage deals, six early-stage deals saw more than $12.5 million being raised among them. The balance was cornered by debt and other funding.
Funding in the late stage
1 - Drums Food International, the parent company of fresh FMCG brand Epigamia, raised $25.6 million in its Series C round led by Belgium-based consumer-focused investment firm Verlinvest and Danone Manifesto Ventures, the venture investment arm of the French multinational food company Danone. This round also saw participation from DSG Consumer Partners (DSGCP), as well as Executive Vice Chairperson of Cipla, Samina Vaziralli, and Venture debt InnoVen Capital.
2 – Bengaluru-based regional language news aggregator Dailyhunt raised $3.45 million in its Series E2 funding round from Omidyar Network, Sequoia Capital and the Renu Sehgal Trust.
A quick look at key early-stage deals
1 - Instamojo, the digital payments and services platform for small businesses, closed its Series B funding round of Rs 50 crore ($7 million) led by Japanese payments firm AnyPay. This is a continuation of the pre-Series B round where the company picked up close to $4 million from AnyPay in August last year. It will use the new funds to introduce new products, build a mobile platform, add business productivity tools for MSMEs, and create a social community platform.
2 - ITILITE, a SaaS-based platform that helps companies reduce their travel cost and improve booking experience raised $4.2 million (Rs 30 crore) in a Series A round led by existing investor Matrix Partners India and others. A cohort of angel investors, including Ashish Gupta, the founder of Helion Venture Fund, also participated in the round.
3 - Leverage Edu, an AI-enabled marketplace, which helps students with higher education and career growth plans, raised $1 million in pre-series A round led by DSG Consumer Partners and Blume Ventures.
In other funding news
1 - Delhi-based diversified financial services DMI Group raised $230 million in equity capital, led by New Investment Solutions. DMI is the only India exposure for the $2-billion New Investment Solutions, which is a Liechtenstein-based asset manager representing individuals with high net-worth and large family offices from Europe, Japan and Asia. DMI plans to use the funds raised to fund the growth of DMI Finance and DMI Housing Finance.
2 - Big data and analytics company Fractal raised $200 million from investment firm Apax Partners. Media reports suggest that with this round, the company is now valued at $500 million.
3 - Online insurance platform Turtlemint raised $25 million in fresh equity funding from existing investor Sequoia Capital, along with existing investors Nexus Venture Partners and Blume Ventures.
4 - Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal invested $21 million (approximately Rs 150 crore) in ride-hailing company Ola. Apart from this, reports also suggest that Sachin has committed a total of $100 million to Ola, which this $21 million is a part of.
5 – Agritech startup WayCool Foods raised $16.9 million, in a combination of both equity and debt. The funding round was led by global impact investor LGT Impact. Other investors and institutional lenders including Northern Arc Capital and Caspian also participated in the round.
6 - Fintech startup Aye Finance raised $10 million in debt funding from leading global impact investment manager, responsAbility and Northern Arc. The company plans to use the fund to expand its lending portfolio and offer affordable business loans.
7 – Bengaluru-based dockless scooter sharing platform Vogo raised around $8.8 million in a funding round led by Matrix Partners India, Stellaris Venture Partners, Kalaari Capital and the family office of Hero MotoCorp’s Pawan Munjal.
8 - Pune-based digital lending startup LoanTap raised $8 million in a round led by 3one4 Capital. The round was a combination of both debt and equity and other participants included existing investors Shunwei Capital, Kae Capital, India Quotient, Tuscan Venture and others.
9 - Gurugram-based bus aggregator Shuttl raised $1.4 million in debt as part of its Series B round from Silicon Valley-based Trifecta Capital.
10. Pharmaceutical company Caplin Point announced receiving an investment of Rs 218 crore ($30 million) for its injectables subsidiary, Caplin Steriles, from Eight Roads Ventures. This investment is stated to accelerate Caplin Steriles' efforts to cater to the growing demand for injectable pharmaceutical products in the regulated markets such as the US and Europe.
Other deals, exits and acquisitions
Data management startup Rubrik announced a $261 million Series E investment at a $3.3 billion valuation with new investor Bain Capital Ventures and with strong participation from existing investors Lightspeed Venture Partners, Greylock Partners, Khosla Ventures, and IVP. This brings the total equity raised to more than $553 million. The company will use the funds to focus on innovation and new products planned for 2019.
The world’s most valued edtech startup, BYJU’S, acquired US-based startup Osmo for $120 million. Osmo develops apps for children that use offline input.
Chennai-based online aggregation platform Komparify acquired app-based mobile plans platform Ireff for an undisclosed amount. The move will help Komparify expand its presence in prepaid plans application space and broaden its mobile app capabilities.