[Weekly Funding Roundup] Startups raise $220.7 M; Logistics was the flavour of the week

This week, while there was only one late-stage deal that raised $18 million, the larger chunk was cornered by four early-stage deals and six other deals.

The equity deal amount raised in the last week of October surged to $220.7 million, registering an increase of 304 percent over last week’s $54.6 million.

With only one late-stage deal raising $18 million, the balance amount was cornered by four early-stage deals and six other deals. 

Weekly funding roundup

Deal of the week

MX Player, the video streaming platform, has received $110 million (Rs 775 crore) in fresh funding from Tencent and Times Internet. The deal marks Tencent’s second investment in a Times Internet asset, after its investment in Gaana, the music streaming platform, in 2018.

With over 175 million monthly active users in India and over 275 million monthly active users worldwide, MX Player claims to be a leading video platform on smartphones globally.

Early-stage deals

The experience-discovery platform that enables its users to search and explore ideas, Woovly, raised $2.5 million this week in a Pre-Series A funding round. The Bengaluru-based startup will use the funds to expand its user base and accelerate its product development.

Fasal, the AI-powered IoT-SaaS platform for horticulture, raised $1.6 million in seed funding led by Omnivore Ventures and Wavemaker Partners. The round also saw participation from Japan's Mistletoe (through its Gastrotope accelerator, Hong Kong-based Animoca), Mount Parker Ventures, AI-ML accelerator Zeroth, and Australia's Artesian Ventures. The funds will primarily be used to build the company's AI capabilities across its horticulture value chains.

Delhi-based legal-tech startup Lawyered raised angel funding of $100,000 from a clutch of investors, including Pramendra Tomar (Group General Counsel at Apollo International Limited), Ratish Pandey (ex-General Manager at Bose Corporation), Munish Bhatia (ex-CSC and GM at IAC), and Sumit Aggarwal (Owner at Rainbows). The startup said the fresh capital will enable Lawyered to strengthen its position in the legal-tech industry and deepen its customer relationships.

Bengaluru-based architecture and interior design software platform Infurnia raised $200,000 from a group of angel investors, valuing the startup at $5 million. The funds will be used to strengthen the architecture design product and expand its user base in the interiors and modular kitchen industries.

Late-stage deal:

Bus-shuttle service startup Shuttl raised around $18 million (about Rs 128 crore) from Japan’s SMBC Trust Bank (acting as a trustee of Mirai Creation Fund II) and Toyota Tsusho Corporation, a unit of Toyota Group, according to the company’s filings with the Registrar of Companies.

The round came as part of Shuttl’s ongoing Series C funding round, and, with this, the Sequoia Capital-backed bus aggregator is reported to be valued at $200 million.

Other deals:

Pune-based logistics startup ElasticRun raised $40 million led by Prosus Ventures (formerly Naspers Ventures), with participation from existing investor Avataar Ventures and Kalaari Capital. The company said the new funding would help to expand its deeply penetrative logistics network.

Noida-based shared workspace provider Smartworks raised $25 million in a fresh funding round from Singapore-based real estate company Keppel Land. The company will use the funds to scale up more rapidly across Tier-I and Tier-II cities.

Intergrow Brands Private Ltd, a subsidiary of spice-maker Synthite Industries Private Ltd, raised $11.3 million from Bahrain-based alternative investment firm Investcorp. Reports said that the investment is in line with Investcorp’s strategy to back businesses with growth prospects in the consumption-driven Indian market.

Naspers-owned digital payments major PayU has picked up a minority stake in Bengaluru-based wealthtech startup Fisdom with an investment of $11 million. While PayU led the fresh round of investment in Fisdom, the latter's current investors, Saama Capital and Quona Capital, also participated in the round.

Info Edge (India) Ltd, which owns and operates portals such as Naukri.com, invested Rs 7.06 crore (about $1 million) in Adda247, a test-preparation platform for government and public-sector exams.

Exits and acquisitions:

Bengaluru-based B2B SaaS-based performance support startup Whatfix announced that it has acquired Airim, which provides an AI-powered personalisation engine for users and customers.

(Edited by Suman Singh)


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