[Weekly Funding Roundup] Startups raise equity of $54.6M; no late-stage deal this week

While there were no late-stage deals, twelve early-stage deals helped startups raise funding of $16.9 million and the balance was cornered by other deals.

[Weekly Funding Roundup] Startups raise equity of $54.6M; no late-stage deal this week

Saturday October 26, 2019,

5 min Read

This week, the Indian startup ecosystem raised equity funding of just $54.6 million, down 74.8 percent compared to last week’s $216.9 million.

While there were no late-stage deals, twelve early-stage deals raised $16.9 million and the balance was cornered by other deals.

Weekly funding roundup

Weekly funding roundup

Deal of the week

Private equity firm CX Partners invested Rs 260 crore in restaurant foodchain Dindigul Thalappakatti Hotels. This is the first private equity round raised by the hotel chain, which values the business at Rs 600 crore, sources close to the matter told YourStory.

With this fundraise, Dindigul Thalappakatti Hotels is looking to go public and file for an IPO, in the next three years. The funds have been raised to fuel business expansion across India and globally, hire more professional members to the team, and invest in technology operations.

Early-stage deals

Hygiene and wellness brand Pee Safe raised Rs 30 crore ($4.2 million) in its Series A funding round, led by health and wellness focussed fund Alkemi Growth Capital. It plans to use the capital to strengthen its R&D, product development, and expand its distribution.

Bengaluru-based cleantech startup Log 9 Materials raised $3.5 million as part of its Series A round, led by Sequoia India's scale-up programme Surge and Exfinity Venture Partners. The nanotechnology startup aims to revolutionise the energy sector with an innovative zero-emission, low-cost aluminium-air fuel cell.

Crediwatch, a Bengaluru-based data intelligence startup raised $3.2 million from its Series A round, led by ARTIS Labs. The round also saw participation from San Francisco-based Abstract Ventures. Crediwatch had earlier raised $1.6 million from Modern India Limited, Family Offices of Mr VK Jatia, Contrarian Vriddhi Fund, Vaibhav Domkundwar from Better Capital, Mekin Maheshwari of Flipkart, and Pithambar Gona, former MD of Blackstone Pvt Equity Asia.

Delhi-based education loans startup Credenc raised $2.5 million in a seed funding round led by Omidyar Network India, with participation from EMVC, Better Capital, and IIMK Alumni Fund. Founded by Avinash Kumar and Mayank Batheja in 2017, Credenc works as the digital finance desk of over 200 management colleges across 17 cities in India. It undertakes a rigorous evaluation process using a proprietary artificial intelligence (AI) model, which tracks 15 million data points to predict the future income of students applying for loans.

Fashion rental and styling platform Stage3 raised $2 million as part of its Pre-Series A funding round led by Blume Ventures. According to the startup, the current funds will be utilised to amplify the brand experience, boost its offline footprint, and augment its data capabilities.

Fintech startup Wealthy.in raised $1.3 million in funding led by an early-stage venture capital firm, Good Capital, along with fintech venture capital firm, Emphasis Ventures (EMVC). Wealthy.in’s previous investors include Venture Highway, Tracxn Labs, V1 Capital and Globevestor.

Mumbai-based Great Manager Institute (GMI) raised an angel funding of $283,000 from a group of investors and advisors. These include Bala Malladi, CEO of ACT Fibernet; Srikanth Karra, CHRO of Mphasis; and Ramesh Shankar, ex-EVP of Siemens and a veteran HR professional. 

HRtech startup Talent Litmus announced an undisclosed funding round from Inflection Point Ventures (IPV) and Haptik Co-founder Aakrit Vaish's Let’s Venture. Started in 2016, the HR-Tech startup follows a data-driven approach to assess job applicants.

Bengaluru-based Styched, an affordable, fast-fashion ecommerce venture, has raised angel funding from a clutch of angel investors. These included Anjan Dutta (IIT Kharagpur, IIM Ahmedabad, Ex-Sr VP Educomp), Iqbal Ahmed (CHRO, Capillary Tech), Rajesh Reddy (IIT Madras, ISB), Kalyan Chakravarthy (IIT Madras, IIM Indore), Naveen V Alluri (IIT Madras, UCSB), Neeraj Singh (IIT Kharagpur, Microsoft), among others. 

Dinesh Dua, Chairman, Entrepreneurship and Startups, Confederation of Indian Industry - North India (CII), has made an undisclosed amount of angel investment in Pumpkart, a Punjab-based online B2B platform.

MiStay, a Bengaluru-based startup that offers hotel booking by an hourly basis, raised an undisclosed amount of funding through investment firm ah! Ventures and a group of investors led by Hyderabad based ex-entrepreneur, Sumit Nagpal. 

Loca, a shared last-mile connectivity service provider in Bengaluru, raised its first round of funding from a group of investors led by Stellaris Venture Partners and China-based Fosun RZ Capital.

Other deals

NutriMoo, a Gurugram-based dairy and whole foods brand received an equity funding worth more than $1 million from IndoCan Honey Pvt Ltd, a North India-based business entity that focusses on premium quality honey. 

Bharti Airtel launched a programme to support and accelerate the growth of early-stage Indian tech startups and said that it has acquired a stake in Bengaluru-based startup Vahan. "With its Startup Accelerator Programme, Airtel aims to support the creation of a vibrant startup ecosystem that contributes to Digital India," the company said in a statement.

Bollywood actor Ayushmann Khurrana turned investor for the first time and invested in Helios Lifestyle Private Limited, the startup behind men’s premium grooming products brand, The Man Company (TMC). The startup said the investment is part of a strategic partnership that will also see Ayushmann as the company’s brand ambassador. 

Outstation cab aggregator InstaCar has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Techstars Co-founder David Cohen, who had previously invested in the US-based ride-hailing service Uber.

Women social network platform, Healofy, raised an undisclosed amount from Japanese investment firm M&S Partners. The Bengaluru-based startup had raised $9.5 million from Omidyar Network India, BabyTree Group, BAce Capital (a fund backed by Alibaba’s Ant Financial Services Group), and other angel investors, in March 2019. 

Debt funding

Northern Arc Capital, a debt platform for financial inclusion focused institutions, and the Netherlands-based impact investment fund, Triodos Investment Management announced $4.2 million (Rs 30 crore) investment in Non-Convertible Debentures (NCDs) issued by Chennai-based education finance company Shiksha Financial Services

Shiksha, which offers business loans to educational institutions and education loans to parents, will use the funds for growing its loan portfolio, to deepen presence in South India and expand to new states such as Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, and Rajasthan.

(Edited by Suman Singh)