[Weekly funding roundup] – Startup funding activity declines this week, but early-stage deals catch investor attention
Even as election fever gripped India this week, startup funding activity saw a significant slowdown in the third week of April. A total of $38.5 million was raised across 13 deals, an 85 percent dip in total deal value compared to the previous week, when startups bagged $262 million in investments across 22 deals.
Startup funding activity in week ending April 20 was dominated predominantly by early-stage deals, with Hyderabad-based enterprise software platform, Innovapptive, seeing the largest infusion ($16.3 million) and Tiger Global Management entering as an investor.
This was followed by online wealth management platform Kuvera, which raised $4.5 million from Eight Road Ventures.
What is interesting is that the third week of April didn’t see any late-stage deals, with almost all deals falling under the pre-Series A and Series A stages.
Early-stage deals catch investor attention
Almost half of the total funding deals this week were pre-Series A, with the others falling either in the Series A stage or were bridge rounds. There was a total of six pre-Series A deals this week.
Mumbai-based edtech venture WhiteHat Jr raised $1.3 million in pre-Series A round from Nexus Venture Partners and Omidyar Network India.
Further, fleet service and transport automation software provider, Routematic, raised $2.5 million in Pre-series A funding. The round was led by Naresh Malhotra, former CEO, Café Coffee Day, and saw participation from existing investor VAMM Ventures.
Mumbai-based mobile cinema theatre startup Digiplex also raised Rs 25 crore (around $3.6 million) in pre-series A financing round from Zenrock Comtrade, the new fund floated by Ajay Relan, former chairman of private equity firm CX Partners.
Also, customised footwear brand, Rapawalk, announced this week, that it had closed its first round of funding of $350,000 from a slew of angel investors including Raveen Sastry, ex-Co-founder, Myntra; Sanjay Ramakrishnan, ex-CMO, Myntra; Ravi Garikipati, ex-CTO, Flipkart; and Ajith Pai, Director, Green Earth, amongst others.
Other fund raises at pre-Series stage included Chennai-based cleantech venture Swadha Energies and New-Delhi based civic-tech startup CivilCops.
Series A deals and others
Apart from Innovapptive and Kuvera, Bengaluru-based AI platform NeeWee raised close to $4 million from IIFL Asset Management Ltd., which purchased a minority stake in the startup.
The week also saw Gurugram-based healthcare venture MyHealthCare raise $3 million from Sixth Sense Ventures.
Other notable deals this week included fund raise by Udaipur-based infertility treatment venture Indira IVF, and Pune-based payments company AtomX, which together mopped up strategic investment from online bookings platform BookMyShow.
Further, Bengaluru- based supply chain management startup INCREFF raised $3 million in a funding round led by 021 Capital and from Binny Bansal, Co-founder, Flipkart.
Meanwhile, in other news, Google and Apple took down Chinese video app TikTok from their app stores in India after an order by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. In spite of this, parent company ByteDance is confident and is reportedly expected to invest $1 billion in its India operations.
This week also saw one of the biggest exits in the Indian renewable energy space with Malaysia-owned oil and gas company Petronas entering an agreement with I Squared Capital, a leading global infrastructure investor, to acquire Amplus Energy Solutions, which has a portfolio of distributed and renewable energy assets in Asia.
Also, Kunal Shah’s new fintech venture, Cred, has also been on a fund-raising spree this month. Last week, Cred raised close to Rs 57 crore (around $82 million as per current exchange rates) from the founders of Swiggy, Truecaller, and Citrus Pay to name a few.
Earlier today, Toyota Motor Corp, Denso Corporation, and SoftBank Vision Fund (SVF) also pumped in $1 billion into Uber ATG, the San-Francisco based ride hailing company Uber's new corporate entity. The Advanced Technologies Group (ATG) aims to accelerate the development and commercialisation of automated ride-sharing services.
(Update: The article has been updated to include Rapawalk's funding details.)