[Weekly Funding Roundup] Indian startups raise $624.6M, with Udaan cornering $300M

This week, equity funding went up 11X as Indian startups raised $624.6 million. A bulk of this was thanks to B2B startup Udaan, which raised $300 million.

30th Aug 2019
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Equity deals made their big comeback this week. About $623.3 million of equity funding was raised this week spread across 18 deals.

While there were only three late-stage deals, the week saw 12 early-stage deals that together raised a majority ($254 million) of the total funding amount. 

Deal of the week 

Online marketplace for small businesses Udaan raised $300 million from Silicon Valley fund Altimeter Capital, GGV Capital, and existing investors DST Global and Lightspeed Venture Partners among others, in its ongoing Series D round

The funding comes at a time when the fastest-growing unicorn in India is bringing the benefits of online commerce to manufacturers, traders, suppliers, wholesalers, in smaller towns and creating new entrepreneurs in the process. 

Early-stage deals 

Bengaluru-based fintech startup Cred, raised close to $120 million (approx. Rs 861.39 crore) as a part of its Series B round led by fintech fund Ribbit Capital, Gemini Investments, as well as existing investor Sequoia Capital (through its fund, SCI Investments V). With this round of funding, the total valuation of the startup stands at around $450 million. 

Bengaluru-based bike taxi app Rapido raised funding of Rs 391 crore in a Series B funding led by Westbridge Capital with participation from Nexus Venture Partners, Ant Financial-backed BAce Fund, Astrend India Investment Limited, and a few others. Post investment, Rapido’s valuation reached Rs 1,005 crore. 

BharatPe, UPI payments and digital lending platform for offline shop-owners in India, raised $50 million (about Rs 350 crore) as a part of its latest round of Series B funding, led by Ribbit Capital and London-based hedge fund Steadview Capital. Existing investors including Sequoia Capital, Beenext Capital, and Insight Partners also participated in the round. 

Online meat startup FreshToHome raised $20 million Series B funding led by Iron Pillar, with key participation from Joe Hirao, the Founder of ZIGExN, Japan. Existing investors including CE Ventures, Massar International, Al Nassar Holdings, TTCER Partners, and Sin Growth Partners participated in the round. 

Punjab Renewable Energy Systems, (PRESPL), a biomass energy company, raised private equity investment from Shell, taking its Series B round funding to Rs 55 crore ($7.6 million). It received its Series A round of funding in September 2013 from a private equity company responsibility followed by Series B from Neev Fund in April this year. 

Fitness discovery and booking platform Fitternity raised additional funding of $1 million from Sixth Sense Ventures along with participation from existing investors and a new set of angel investors. 

Gurugram-based Advantage Club, an employee perks and rewards platform, raised a funding of $1 million in a Pre-Series A round led by growX Ventures, with participation from Axilor Ventures, Sprout Venture Partners, and other angel investors. 

P2P lending platform LenDenClub raised Pre-Series A funding of $1 million led by Artha Venture Fund. The round also saw participation from family offices including UAE-based Transworld Group, as well as some marquee angel investors. 

AI-powered personalised spoken English coach Blackboard Radio raised $100,000 in seed funding from social enterprise incubator Villigro, as well as from other marquee angel investors. 

Vedalabs, an AI startup that helps retail stores, raised an undisclosed amount as a part of its Pre-Series A round from end-to-end retail store solutions provider Satin Neo Dimension. The startup will use this capital to expand its reach in retail analytics.   

Bengaluru-based Recko, a fintech startup that enables AI-powered reconciliation of digital transactions, raised additional capital from a clutch of global and Indian fintech angel investors.  

Bollywood singer Sukhbir Singh is investing an undisclosed amount in Amritsar-based startup eBikeGo. Startup Buddy, which was appointed as an advisor to Sukhbir Singh for his investments, said that the singer has selected the electric vehicle startup for his second investment in India after investing in LQI early this month. 

Late-stage deals 

Bengaluru-based online education startup Vedantu raised $42 million (about Rs 301 crore) in funding, led by Tiger Global and WestBridge Capital. The Series C round also saw participation from existing investors including Accel, Omidyar India, and TAL Education as well Prince Maximilian of Liechtenstein and CEO, LGT Group, and the founders of Vedantu. 

RentoMojo, a Bengaluru-based online appliance and furniture rental platform, is raising Rs 27.7 crore ($3.8 million) as part of its Series C funding led by Samsung’s venture capital arm Samsung Venture Investments Corporation (SVIC), with participation from Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Venture Capital (MSIVC), a private equity and VC ancillary of Mitsui Sumitomo. 

Other deals 

Japanese business conglomerate Mitsubishi Corporation signed an agreement to invest Rs 100 crore in homegrown healthtech startup SastaSundar. The company added, “This investment is a part of the funds raised for expansion of SastaSundar and is after the recent investments of Rs. 70.49 crore by Rohto Pharmaceuticals co. Ltd, Japan and SastaSundar Ventures Ltd.” 

Mumbai based health-tech startup Innovcare Lifesciences raised about $6.4 million (Rs 450 million) from JM Financial Private Equity Fund II. Existing investors also participated in the round. 

TNQ Technologies, a Chennai-based publishing technology and services company, has invested $2 million in a joint venture (JV) with augmented reality and virtual reality solution provider InGage to launch TNQ InGage.  

Debt funding

Hyperlocal delivery platform Dunzo raised debt funding of $4.8 million

Delhi-based Little Black Book (LBB), a platform to find and shop from local brands and businesses, raised debt funding of 0.97 million.  

Exits and acquisitions

CloudCherry, founded by Vinod M, went from being a Chennai-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) startup to becoming a global enterprise SaaS business. This week, Cisco announced its intent to acquire the company, which moved to the US in 2016. 

Bengaluru-based online doctor consultation platform DocsApp recently made its first acquisition with patient-doctor engagement optimisation platform DocWise for an undisclosed sum.

(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)

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