[Weekly funding roundup] Investments in startups down 76pc this week as India prepared for election results
Startup funding activity saw a significant slowdown in the fourth week of May ahead of the announcement of results for the Lok Sabha polls. Votes were counted on Thursday, and the incumbent Bhartiya Janata Party-led government returned to power with a strong majority.
The week to Friday saw only $45.6 million raised across nine deals, down 76 percent from the previous week, when startups had bagged $196.3 million across 10 deals.
On the fall in investments, Finway Capital Financial Director Rachit Chawla said:
“Investors were waiting for the election results, and now, since the results are very convincing, I am hopeful there will be a significant traction in investments going forward.”
Of the nine deals, three were pre-Series A rounds, two of which were undisclosed, while the third raised $200,000. There were two Series A deals , garnering a total of $16.2 million, while this week saw one deal each in Series B and Series D rounds, of $6.2 million and $5 million, respectively. Another deal – accounting for $18 million – did not disclose the funding round. There was also an undisclosed funding in Livspace.
Bengaluru-based artificial intelligence chatbot Niki.ai raised convertible debt of Rs 11.6 crore ($1.7 million) between February and May.
Noida-based crowdsourcing platform My Mobiforce raised $200,000 from angel investors including US-based Arpan Prakash, and Sanjiv Mital, CEO of the National Institute of Smart Government (NISG). Hyderabad-based vernacular hyperlocal news platform PublicVibe (formerly NewsDistill) raised an undisclosed amount led by IAN investors Bikky Khosla (Board of Director) and Prashant Pahade (lead investor). With the investment, both Bikky and Prashant joined the company’s board.
New Delhi-based Imagismart Solutions, which has educational subscription activity boxes for children under the brand name Xplorabox, received undisclosed funding from SucSEED Venture Partners.
The bigger fish this week
Private equity firm Creador, through its affiliate Sundara (Mauritius) Ltd, picked up minority stake in iValue InfoSolutions for Rs 125 crore (about $18 million) this week.
Gurugram-based Spinny, which operates in the used car space, received $13.2 million in a Series A round led by Accel and SAIF Partners with participation from existing investors Blume Ventures and Simile Ventures. India- and Singapore-based end-to-end IoT platform startup for smart wearables KaHa, raised $6.2 million in a Series B round led by existing investor ICT Fund, a specialised deep-tech VC fund.
Mumbai-based Contagious Online Media, which owns and operates original video content startup The Viral Fever (TVF), garnered $5 million (Rs 34.6 crore) in a Series D round from Tiger Global Management through its Internet Fund III, according to RoC filings accessed by YourStory.
LeadSquared, the Bengaluru-based sales execution, automation and predictive analytics platform, received $3 million in Series A funding from Stakeboat Capital. Existing investor Jyoti Bansal, who is the founder of AppDynamics and Harness.io, participated in this round.
Home design and renovation platform Livspace announced that Ingka Investments, the investment arm of Ingka Group (Ingka Holding B.V. and its controlled entities), made a minority investment in the company for an undisclosed sum.
Meanwhile, online ethnic goods retailer Craftsvilla raised Rs 6 crore from its Singapore-based parent Supera Investments, according to RoC filings. In other significant fundraising, US-based healthtech platform Biofourmis raised $35 million in a Series B funding round led by Sequoia India and co-led by Mass Mutual Ventures.
New funds to look at
India and US-focused Nexus Venture Partners, which invests $500,000 to $10 million per deal in early growth stage companies, closed another $353.5 million for its fifth VC fund, according to its latest filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund secured commitments from 32 investors. Another early-stage investment fund - Endiya Partners - said it had completed the first close of its second fund - Endiya Partners Fund 2 at $40 million. The fund, which claims to be the largest B2B focused seed fund, expects to have a total corpus of $70 million and aims to hit its final close by the end of 2019.
Vertex Ventures, an early-stage venture capital arm of Singapore-based Temasek Holdings, announced the first close of its Southeast Asia and India-focussed Fund IV at $230 million. The firm expects a final closure of the fund over the next few months.