[Weekly Funding Roundup] Indian startups raise only $39.4M; Facebook debuts startup investment in India

This week marked the arrival of monsoon. But even as farmers made merry, startup funding sputtered to below $40 million, highlighted by Facebook investing in Meesho.

The week saw only one late-stage deal. Just like last week, this week also saw early-stage deals cornering a lion share of the total funding amount. Investors put their money into diverse sectors including artificial intelligence, ecommerce, fintech, healthtech, and logistics.

Funding in the second week of June fell to a mere $39.4 million spread across 14 deals. The sole late stage deal was Disha Medical Services raising $4 million. There were 12 early-stage deals mopping up $35.4 million, and the balance was cornered by other deal-making categories.

Just when the week was coming to an end, came the big announcement as global social networking giant Facebook picked up minority stake in a social commerce platform Meesho for an undisclosed amount, creating ripples in the ecosystem.

Deal of the week

Tiger Global continued with its steady investment flow into the Indian startup ecosystem by investing in OkCredit, an app-based solution provider that helps small businesses keep credit and payments records.

OkCredit raised $15.5 million as a part of its Series A round led by Tiger Global Management. The round also saw participation from new investor Morningside Venture Capital, as well as existing investors Lightspeed India Partners, Venture Highway, and Y Combinator

The funds will be used primarily for scaling up the team and hiring across functions of product as well as technology.

Weekly Funding

Other early stage deals of the week

The ecommerce segment continues to attract investor interest but there is a twist as specialised entities with a niche focus seem to be the flavour of the week.

Online wholesale marketplace Jumbotail raised Series B funding of Rs 90 crore ($12.7 million). The round was led by Heron Rock, with participation from Capria FundBNK Ventures, and William Jarvis. It plans to invest this capital in AI-driven operations, expand its team and on-board new FMCG brands.

Conversational AI startup Yellow Messenger raised Series A funding of $4 million (Rs 27 crore) from Lightspeed Venture Partners and prominent angel investors. The Bengaluru-based company plans to use the funds to further its deep tech capabilities, and also expand across Asia, the Middle East, and other emerging markets.

Bengaluru-based COGOS Technologies has raised $1 million in pre-Series A funding round led by IAN investor Niraj Saran, with participation from Emergent and outside HNI investors. The tech-driven intra-city logistics aggregator will be using the funding to optimise its current technological offerings, developing innovative and sustainable transportation solutions, and strengthening its human resources.

Retail technology startup Arzooo.com raised $1 million in its Pre-Series A round led by Jabbar Internet Group, the parent company of Middle Eastern ecommerce platform Souq.com. The Bengaluru-based startup will be utilising the freshly raised funds to expand to new geographies and innovate its technology offerings.

Zorba Renaissance, which operates the Sarva chain of yoga studios, raised an undisclosed amount in an early-stage deal from a clutch of individual investors, including Hollywood and Bollywood celebrities including Shahid Kapoor and Malaika Arora, and Jennifer Lopez. The company plans to look to combat global epidemics like stress, anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, and obesity.

Other deals and exits

Indonesian unicorn Go-Jek acquired Bengaluru-based AirCTO, a Bengaluru-based Artificial Intelligence (AI) recruitment platform. While details of the deal were undisclosed, the Go-Jek team announced that the AirCTO team would be looking into building products that accelerate the recruitment of talent for Go-Jek. 

Additionally, one of the leading blue chip companies in India Aditya Birla Group, through its fashion arm Pantaloons, acquired marketplace for ethnic articles Jaypore.

With inputs from Thimmaya Poojary


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