[Weekly funding roundup] Ola pulls off a historic deal with Sachin Bansal, debt financing in the spotlight

22nd Feb 2019
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While Sachin Bansal secured a place in the Ola success story, ReNew Power secured $350 million debt financing. A look at all the deals in the third week of February.


Despite ReNew Power’s debt funding taking centre stage this week, Ola’s equity deal with Flipkart Co-founder Sachin Bansal marked a watershed moment for the Indian startup ecosystem, and will go down in the annals of history as providing a huge boost to all startups. Sachin Bansal, who has been championing the cause of home-grown startups against foreign rivals, put his money where his mouth is. At Rs 650 crore, Sachin’s investment in Ola is the largest domestic investment made by any single individual in an internet-focussed company.


Unlike the previous week, this week saw only one late-stage deal. But piggybacking on debt funding, the total amount raked in by startups crossed $450 million. And just like last week, funding was pivoted by a single company – ecommerce firm Zilingo last week, while it was ReNew Power this week. 


Funding in the third week of February rose to $471 million spread across 12 deals. One late-stage deal amounted to $92 million, while there were seven early-stage deals mopping up over $22.1 million. Debt funding deals closed $355 million, and the balance was cornered by other deals.


Weekly funding


Deal of the week


Flipkart Co-founder Sachin Bansal hailed an Ola cab for a long investment journey. Sachin’s $92 million investment in Ola is part of an ongoing Series J fundraising round that could place the value of the company at around $6 billion. 


Debt funding


Gurugram-based ReNew Power Ltd, one of the largest renewable energy companies in India, secured debt financing of $350 million from existing investor Overseas Private Investment Corp (OPIC), the US government’s development finance institution. The company plans to use the funding for construction of new wind and solar power plants.


Pune-based logistics company XpressBees raised $5 million from venture debt capital firm InnoVen Capital. The development comes after Chinese conglomerate Alibaba invested over Rs 225 crore in XpressBees last year.


Early-stage deals


SME financing platform Ziploan raised $12.6 million in its Series B financing round led by SAIF Partners, and included existing investors like Matrix Partners India and Waterbridge Ventures. Whiteboard Capital also participated in the round. ZipLoan is currently operational in NCR, Mumbai, Indore, Lucknow, Dehradun and Jaipur.


San Francisco- and Gurugram-based adtech startup SilverPush raised $5 million in its Series B round from Japan’s marketing company FreakOut Holdings. The company plans to use the funds to deploy artificial intelligence (AI), and explore the over-the-top (OTT) players in the Asia-Pacific region - specifically in Hong Kong, Australia, and South Korea.


Chennai-based travel technology startup Pickyourtrail, which helps travellers plan and book curated, multi-country vacations, raised Rs 21 crore in its Series A funding round led by Kumar Vembu, CEO of GoFrugal, Shyam Sekhar, Founder of iThought, Rajagopal Subramanian, CIO of Entrust, and Girish Mathrubootham, CEO of Freshworks. The funds will be used for scaling and expansion.


Ahmedabad-based venture capital player GVFL Ltd announced this week that it invested an undisclosed amount in electro-optic surveillance startup Optimized Electrotech Pvt Ltd, as part of a Series A investment round.


Gurugram-based Spotdraft, which helps companies create, analyse, and manage legal contracts with zero human intervention, raised $1.5 million in its Pre-Series A funding round led by Flipkart Co-founder Binny Bansal-backed 021 Capital, along with Girish Mathrubootham, and Peeyush Ranjan, VP Engineering at Google, and others.


Bike rental startup Royal Brothers raised $1 million in its Pre-Series A round (that included a mix of primary and secondary share purchase). Participating investors included Pradeep Deviah, Chairman and CEO of PDA Trade Fairs, angel investor Amrith Prasad, and others.


Hyderabad-based online startup GlamEgo, which provides customised subscription service to those looking for beauty cosmetics, raised $500,000 in its Pre-Series A funding round.


Other deals and exits


Mumbai-based startup Pawsome Tails, which offers healthcare services for pets, raised $500,000 from private investors. The startup will use the funds to expand operations in India and abroad.


Apparel brand Turms raised $0.28 million (Rs 2 crore) from Raveen Sastry, Co-founder of Myntra, Sree Unnikrishnan, Rahul Garg, and Atul Gupta of PremjiInvest, and Sanjay Ramakrishnan, former Flipkart executive.


There was also an acqui-hiring, where US-based Intel Corporation acqui-hired Ineda Systems, a Hyderabad-based startup that manufactures microchips.



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