[Weekly Funding Roundup] Startups see 68pc drop in equity deals at $78M, debt funding increases by 2X
The startup ecosystem saw a 68 percent dip in terms of the value of funding raised when compared to last week’s amount. However, the silver lining proved to be venture debt deals, which saw a 2X increase.Sameer Ranjan
While rains lashed several parts of the country, what came as a damper for the startup ecosystem was the shrinking of equity deal sizes this week. After funding shot to $243.5 million last week, the amount raised by startups in deals this week fell to $77.5 million spread across 17 equity deals. However, debt funding doubled to $54.3 million, compared to the $23.2 million raised last week.
While there was no mega deal size of, say, $100 million and above, the number of early-stage deals took up a lion’s share of 80 percent to reach nine, compared to just the five the previous week.
Two late-stage deals included a Series D round for coworking space provider Awfis, and a Series F round by content platform Dailyhunt.
Deal of the week
Fintech startup Lendingkart raised a fresh equity round of Rs 212 crore ($30 million), led by existing investors, including Fullerton Financial Holdings (FFH) Pte Ltd, Bertelsmann India Investments, and India Quotient.
BalleBaazi, an online fantasy gaming platform, raised $4 million in Series A funding round from two private equity funds based out of Singapore and Delhi. The company will utilise the funds to expand its business to the newer markets and enhance the gaming experience for users.
Indore-based agritech startup Gramophone raised Rs 24 crore ($3.5 million) in Series A funding from Info Edge, Raveen Sastry (Co-founder of Myntra.com), Asha Impact and Better Capital.
Veri5Digital, the Bengaluru-based identity verification and user on-boarding firm, raised $2 million in its Series A round that saw participation from California-based Khosla Ventures. The VC firm manages over $5 billion in its assets.
CynLr, a Bengaluru-based robotics deep tech startup building visual object intelligence for industrial robots, raised seed funding of Rs 5.5 crore ($.6 million), led by Speciale Invest and Arali Ventures.
Artificial intelligence (AI) enabled logistics platform Transporter.city raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from Axilor Venture, private equity firm Touchstone Equities, and angel network Lead Angels.
iDreamCareer (iDC), a Delhi-based career counselling startup, raised an undisclosed Pre-Series A funding from US-based education and skilling sector focused impact investor Gray Matters Capital.
AI-based SaaS startup Spyne raised an undisclosed amount as part of its seed funding led by Smile Group. The round also saw participation from other angel investors.
Kolkata-based premium gelato brand Mama Mia! raised an undisclosed amount in a Pre-Series A round of funding led by Pareto Capital, along with a bunch of HNIs.
Coworking space provider Awfis raised $30 million in its Series D round from marquee investor ChrysCapital. The round also saw participation from its existing investors Sequoia India, and The Three Sisters Institutional Office. The company said that the fundraise will be utilised to further Awfis' core commitment towards building the largest network of futuristic workspaces.
Bengaluru-based Dailyhunt, a news and local language content platform, raised Rs 20.55 crore ($2.9 million) as part of its Series F funding round from Cayman Islands-based Stonebridge, according to RoC filings accessed by YourStory.
Online fast fashion jewellery marketplace JewelMaze raised $4 million from Brand Capital, the strategic investment arm of Bennett Coleman and Co. Ltd. According to the company, it will use the fund infusion for rapid expansion and widen its product base.
Delhi-based live sports engagement platform Rooter raised Rs 3.5 crore ($.4 million) in funding from leAD Sports Accelerator Programme.
Delhi-based Risers Accelerator funded three startups -- Zeleno, Cosmeto Food, and Playtoome -- with a total investment of approximately Rs 11 crore.
German-cloud enterprise platform RIB Software invested an undisclosed amount in Indian AI engineering platform Winjit Technologies.
Exits and acquisitions
The week also Reliance Industries back in the startup ecosystem. Reliance Industries, in a regulatory filing, said that it has inked a pact to acquire a significant stake in Shopsense Retail Technologies, which runs Fynd, for up to $41.7 million (Rs 295.25 crore).
Grexter Living, the Bengaluru based co-living services startup, has acquihired i2Stay, which will expand the scale of operations of the combined entity and also enable it to move into newer cities.
Bengaluru-based online payments solution provider Razorpay announced the acquisition of Thirdwatch, an AI-driven firm specialising in big data and machine learning for real-time fraud prevention.
Scripbox, the Bengaluru-based online investment platform with a focus on mutual funds, has acquired Upwardly, which operates in the similar space, for an undisclosed sum.
Noida-based dining out and table reservation platform Dineout announced the acquisition of Binge Digital, a Delhi-based foodtech platform that helps restaurants upsell and increase ticket size with the help of analytics and video menus.
Finally, the Binny Bansal-backed Purple Style Labs acquired Pernia’s Pop-Up Shop (PPUS), a multi-brand ecommerce website.
(Edited by Evelyn Ratnakumar)