[Weekly Funding Roundup] Indian startups raise $329.4M; Facebook-backed Meesho raised $125M in Series D
After funding fell to $77.5 million last week, Indian startups raised a whopping $329.4 million across 17 deals this week. However, debt funding fell to $10 million, compared to $54.3 million last week.
Two mega deals helped the total funding amount cross the $300 million mark. While late-stage deals cornered 84 percent of the total funding secured this week, the balance was spread across 10 early-stage deals and three other deals.
Deal of the week
Bengaluru based Meesho, a social commerce platform that helps resellers and emerging brands build businesses using social media, raised Series D funding of $125 million in a round led by Naspers Ventures. Meesho's existing investors Facebook, SAIF, Sequoia, Shunwei Capital, RPS and Venture Highway, along with Former Vodafone Group CEO Sir Arun Sarin also participated in the round.
There were four late-stage deals signed this week. Apart from Meesho, CARS24, Uniphore, and ShareChat raised late-stage fundings.
Bengaluru based ShareChat, a regional language social platform, raised $100 million in Series D round of funding. Twitter and TrustBridge Partners are two new investors joining this latest round. Existing investors who participated in this round include Shunwei Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, SAIF Capital, India Quotient, and Morningside Venture Capital. This brings the total capital secured by the company to date to $224 million.
Palo Alto and Mumbai-based global conversational AI (Artificial Intelligence) technology company Uniphore raised $51 million in Series C funding led by March Capital Partners, with participation from Chiratae Ventures (formerly IDG Ventures), Sistema Asia, CXO Fund, ITP, Iron Pillar, Patni Family, plus other investors.
Gurugram-based CARS24, an online marketplace for buying and selling used cars, announced a strategic partnership with international cricketer and former captain of the Indian national team Mahendra Singh Dhoni. As part of this partnership, MS Dhoni will own equity in CARS24 and will act as the startup's brand ambassador. The investment is a part of its Series D round of funding.
Emotix, the robotics startup founded by IIT-Bombay graduates, raised $7.5 million in Series A funding. The round was led by Chiratae Ventures (previously IDG Ventures India), YourNest Venture Capital, investor Bruno Raschle’s family office, and a group of angel investors comprising technology evangelists.
InformDS Technologies , the company behind healthtech startup Doxper, raised $4 million in the first close of its Series A round led by healthcare-focussed fund Alkemi Venture Partners. The round also saw participation from Rainforest Venture Network, existing investor growX Ventures, and some marquee angel investors.
Clicbrics, a tech-based property brokerage platform, raised $3 million (around Rs 20 crore) in a Pre-Series A round. The funding was led by Manny Singh of Kavi Fund; Peter Mann, Fund Manager at Gluskin Sheff, along with a senior MD of one of the largest Canadian pension funds, among others.
Blu Smart Mobility, an all-electric mobility service, raised $2.2 million in its angel round from multiple investors, led by Jito Angel Network.
Mumbai-based artificial intelligence (AI) powered imaging and visual enhancement startup Orbo.ai raised $1.6 million in its Pre-Series A round of funding, led by YourNest Ventures and Venture Catalysts.
Bengaluru-based parent-tech startup Parentof raised $1 million as a part of seed funding, led by angel investors V Srinivas and other existing investors. With this, the total funding raised by the startup stands at $2 million.
Online craft marketplace Tjori raised $700,000 in a Pre-Series A funding round from investors including senior McKinsey partners and HNIs from India and abroad.
Another retail AI startup, SprintAI raised more than $500,000 from a clutch of angel investors having global enterprise SaaS and retail backgrounds.
Gurugram-based beverage startup LQI raised an undisclosed amount of funding from singer turned angel investor Sukhbir Singh.
GetNatty, a Vadodara-based online-to-offline (O2O) designer brands aggregator startup and fashion discovery platform, raised an undisclosed amount as a part of its seed round.
Rupeek, a Bengaluru-based fintech startup in the gold lending space, raised $30 million, led by Bertelsmann India Investments with participation from existing investors Accel and Sequoia India.
Fintech startup Lendingkart raised another fresh equity round of Rs 21 crore ($2.95 million) from Sistema Asia Fund (SAF). Last week, it had announced an equity funding of $30 million led by existing investors including Fullerton Financial Holdings Pte Ltd (“FFH”), Bertelsmann India Investments and India Quotient.
P2P lending platform Faircent, raised an undisclosed amount of capital in a funding round led by Singapore-based Das Capital and Gunosy Capital, with participation from the company’s existing investors Starharbor Asia Pte Ltd, and M&S Partners Pte Ltd (Sin Growth Partner Pte Ltd).
Exits and acquisitions:
Indian cab aggregator Ola acquihired Bengaluru-based artificial intelligence startup Pikup.ai. As part of the deal, the team at Pikup.ai will join Ola.
Kolkata-based Ability Games, that operates fantasy sports website 11Wickets, acquired an undisclosed stake in Ahmedabad-based IT company Yudiz Solutions Private Limited for an undisclosed amount.
(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)