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[Weekly funding roundup] In the third week of March, Indian startups raked in $367 million, led by Ola

Funding across 13 deals this week was dominated by cab aggregator Ola, which raked $300 million from Hyundai and Kia Motors.

Tarush Bhalla
22nd Mar 2019
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This week, the Indian startup ecosystem raised a total of $367 million across 13 deals. Of this, $300 million was cornered by Indian cab aggregator Ola, which announced a strategic partnership with Hyundai and Kia Motors.


Next was edtech 'unicorn' BYJU’s with a Series F round of Rs 214 crores ($31 million) from existing investors General Atlantic and Chinese internet conglomerate Tencent, according to filings from the Registrar of Companies (RoC). 


Early stage funding on a rise


Nine of the 13 deals this week were in Pre-Series A and Series A stage. 


On Wednesday, Bengaluru-based parenting social app startup Healofy raised $10 million in a Series A round led by Beijing-based parenting platform Baby Tree, with participation from Omidyar Network, BAce Capital, and the founder of eBay. 


SaaS platform Tookitaki raised $7.5 million ( Rs 54 crore) in a Series A round. Early-stage investor Illuminate Financial and Singapore-based VC firm Jungle Ventures jointly led the round. Other investors included Enterprise Singapore, Supply Chain Angels and VWX Capital. Founded by Abhishek Chatterjee, the startup has a presence in India and is based out of Singapore.


Another highlight this week was Indian gaming veterans Nazara Technologies and Delta Corp India investing Rs 40 crore in online fantasy sports startup HalaPlay. However, this isn’t the first investment for Nazaara in the interactive sports vertical. The Mumbai-based gaming major has invested in the likes of Moonglabs Technologies, and Mastermind Sports Limited. 



Also read: This week, Acko leads the pack with $65M; startups raise over $200M



Pre-Series A deals contributed to six deals


This week, six Pre-Series A deals accumulated $11.4 million. 


DeHaat, a Patna-based agritech company, raised Pre-Series A funding of $4 million led by Omnivore and AgFunder. Pankaj Chaddah, Co-founder of Zomato, and another Indian family office, also participated in the round.


FrontdeskAI, a developer of AI assistants for small businesses, announced that it closed an additional $2 million in its Pre-Series A round, led by Bengaluru-based AI-focussed VC firm pi Ventures. This brings its total seed funding to $4.2 million.


New Delhi-based healthtech startup BeatO closed its Pre-Series A on Wednesday, raising Rs 11.75 crore in a round led by Orios Venture Partners. Existing investors Blume Ventures, Leo Capital, and Vishal Sampat also participated in the round.


Transport Hub announced  that it has raised Rs 3.5 crore (around $500,000) in seed funding today.

Mumbai-based cryptocurrency exchange aggregator CoinDCX raised an undisclosed amount in seed funding led by Bain Capital Ventures.


Lifestyle ecommerce brand Mayfair also raised $3.2 million in its pre-Series A funding from Nexus Venture Partners, and CDH Investments.



Also read: There's a new 'unicorn' in town as March kicks off with a bang after startups raise over $550M



Other deals


Earlier this week, Paper Boat raised $1.45 million from A91 Partners, a venture fund started by former Sequoia managing directors VT Bharadwaj, Gautam Mago, and Abhay Pandey.


Jodhpur-based self-publishing platform for college and university students Yearbook Canvas raised Rs 2 crore led by Scale Ventures at a valuation of Rs 7.5 crore.


This week, Singapore-headquartered cross-border payments company InstaReM announced that it has raised an additional funding of $20 million (Rs 137 crore) as part of its ongoing Series C round led by Singapore-based Vertex Growth Fund (VGF) and new investor Atinum Investment from South Korea.


Earlier today, PhonePe announced that it  raised Rs 743.5 crore as part of a fresh infusion of funds from its Singapore-registered parent entity, PhonePe Pvt Ltd (formerly known as Flipkart Payments).


There was also speculation in the media that US-based Airbnb may also be looking to invest in the range of $100-$200 million in Indian hospitality 'unicorn' OYO to enter the hotel business in India and China.


Media reports also suggested that in March this year, the Indian arm of Xiaomi saw Rs 2,000 crore being infused from Xiaomi Singapore.


This week Gurugram-based merchant fintech platform Pine Labs also signed a definitive agreement to acquire Bengaluru-based gift card solutions provider Qwikcilver, in a deal set for over $110 million.

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