[Weekly funding roundup] Startups raise over $200M, Nykaa and Blackbuck become soonicorns with valuations shy of $1B

The first week of the new fiscal saw over $210.23 million raised by Indian startups across 24 deals, with four being undisclosed.

In the first week of April, startups raised $210.23 million across 23 deals. Of this, $79.37 million was swept up by B2B logistics startup Blackbuck, making it a ‘soonicorn’ with a valuation close to $850 million -$900 million.

Online beauty platform Nykaa too attained ‘soonicorn’ status by raising Rs 100 crore ($14 million) from Singapore-based TPG Growth IV SF, at a valuation of $725 million.

Interestingly, one of the heroes of this week’s funding is an agritech startup from Udaipur. EF Polymer raised $10 million as a part of an incubation by the Japanese government at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST).

Of the 24 deals, four were undisclosed, one of which was Airbnb’s investment in OYO’s Series E round.

Early-stage deals

This week accounted for seven Pre-Series A deals, amounting to $4.69 million, of which three were undisclosed.

Kochi-based SurveySparrow raised $1.4 million seed funding from Prime Venture Partners. The SaaS startup will use the fresh funds in product development and to improve its platform.

AI-based agritech platform Intellolabs raised a seed round of $2 million by Nexus Venture Partners and Omnivore.

Tea brand Teamonk Global raised $1 million in its Pre-Series A round led by Roots Ventures, and former McKinsey Chief Rajat Gupta.

Series A, B and C counted for eight deals

This week, there were four Series A deals amounting to $25.10 million, one Series B of $5 million, and three Series C amounting to $20.67 million.

Among the four Series A deals, BharatPe took a chunk of $15.5 million, led by US-based Insight Partners with participation from existing investors Sequoia and BEENEXT.

Delhi-based local discovery platform Little Black Book raised $5 million, led by Inventus India and IAN Fund, with participation from Japanese investors Dream Incubator and Akatsuki Entertainment Technology (AET) Fund, and existing investors Blume Ventures and Chiratae Ventures.

Online wedding planning platform WedMeGood raised $2.6 million in a Series A round from Orchid India.

SDN (software-defined networking) management platform Lavelle Networks raised $2 million in its Series A round led by YourNest Venture Capital, with participation from Ideaspring Capital, KAAJ Ventures (B V Jagadeesh), and ASM Technologies Limited.

This week saw only one Series B deal by online edtech platform Vedantu, which raised $5 million.

Of the three Series C deals, one was of foodtech startup Box8 that finalised an agreement to raise $6.2 million from ReDefine Capital earlier this month. Its filings with the Registrar of Companies (RoC) show that it will receive the amount in tranches.

Online lingerie retailer Zivame has raised Rs 60 crore funding as a part of a bridge round. Led by Zodius Technology Fund and group of HNIs, this funding is part of the company's Series C extension. The company's MCA filings showed that Rs 10 crore has come from Allana Investment and Trading Company.

Bengaluru-based Furlenco closed its Series C funding with more than Rs 40 crore (around $5.8 million). It is now set to raise $50 million in its Series D round in the coming fiscal.

Series D and other rounds

Apart from Blackbuck and Nykaa, there were a few other late-stage deals. Gurugram-based Cars24 raised Rs 77.58 crore from its Singapore parent Global Car Group, reveal filings with Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA). Its valuation report states that the equity value of the company is now Rs 3,809.08 crore (approximately $548 million).

Transerv raised Rs 46 crore led by Indiabulls Consumer Finance, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Indiabulls Ventures, which has acquired a 42 percent stake in the digital payments company.

Bengaluru-based agritech startup Utkal Tubers (Utkal) said it has raised strategic funding of Rs 10 crore (or $1.44 million) from international potato breeding and seed potato production firm IPM Potato Group Limited (IPM).

Last but not least, energy storage space company LivGuard Energy Technologies raised Rs 220 crore from private equity fund ChrysCapital, and Ncubate Capital Partners. Accounting company Grant Thornton was the financial advisor for the transaction.

Acquisitions and other news

Reliance Industries Ltd's fascination with the startup space continues. This time, it comes in the form of a strategic investment of Rs 700 crore (about $100 million) in enterprise conversational AI startup Haptik by telecom giant Reliance Jio.

Of the total investment, Rs 230 crore will go for the initial business transfer. On a fully diluted basis, Reliance Industries will hold about 87 percent of the business with the rest being held by Haptik founders and employees through stock option grants.


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