[Weekly Funding Roundup] Startups raise $189M in equity funding, showstopper Policybazaar corners $150M
Funding for startups increased this week by 3.5x to $189.1 million after it ebbed to $53.3 million last week. With 13 early-stage deals ruling the roost, the week also saw a single late-stage deal and four others.
This week’s funding activity saw venture debt deals raising funds of $4.1 million. Equity deals surged to $189.1 million, an increase of 253 percent compared to last week’s $53.3 million. While there was a sole late-stage deal of $3.9 million, 13 early-stage deals raised a total of $23.5 million with the balance cornered by four other deals.
Striking gold: A year of diversification for PolicyBazaar and entry into the ‘unicorn’ club
Deal of the week
Policybazaar raised close to $150 million in funding from Chinese technology conglomerate Tencent Holdings Pvt. Ltd. Sources aware of the deal confirmed the news to YourStory, saying that post the transaction, the financial services startup is valued at a little more than $1.5 billion. The startup will use the investment to venture into newer segments in financial services, a mix of B2B and B2C businesses.
Early stage deals
Video commerce app SimSim raised $6 million (Rs 43.49 crore) in a Series A funding round that was jointly led by Accel India and China-based Shunwei Capital.
The startup founded by former Paytm, McKinsey, and Foodpanda executives saw Accel and Shunwei invest Rs 17.91 crore each, with both taking a 12.5 percent stake in the company.
Health benefits startup ekincare raised $3.6 million in a Series A funding round led by a new Bengaluru-based investor, with participation from existing investors including Venture East, Eight Roads, and Touchstone equities.
Mumbai-based startup Coolberg, which offers malt-based, flavoured, non-alcoholic beers, raised Series A funding of $3.5 million led by RB Investments (Singapore-based family office) and its existing investor, India Quotient. The round also saw participation from Ashish Goenka, Chairman of Suashish Diamonds Ltd, and a pool of investors from Indian Angel Network (IAN).
Mumbai-based edtech startup Lido Learning raised $3 million as part of its Series A funding round, led by investors like Ronnie Screwvala (Chairman, Upgrad), Ananth Narayanan (CEO, Medlife), Vikrampati Singhania (MD, JK Tyres), Anupam Mittal (CEO, Shaadi.com), and Arihant Patni (MD, Patni Wealth Advisors), among others.
IAN Fund, the SEBI-registered Rs 375 crore fund, has invested $2.08 million (Rs 15 crore) in Zypp (earlier Mobycy), a fully electric connected and shared two-wheeler mobility company. The Gurugram-based startup offers last-mile connectivity, delivery, and enterprise commute through its fleet of IoT-enabled e-scooters.
Alia Bhatt-backed StyleCracker saw US-based investor AMJ Ventures invest $2 million (about Rs 14 crore) into the company. The fashion-tech startup’s co-founder and MD Dhimaan Shah said that the funds will go towards building further capabilities in machine learning and in strengthening its moat on the personalisation front.
Sunstone Eduversity, an edtech startup focussed on the MBA institutes, has raised $1.5 million (Rs 11.3 crore) in seed funding led by Prime Venture Partners, along with LetsVenture, PS1 Ventures, and Rajul Garg. The company will use the fresh funds to build its network of colleges across various cities and strengthen its efforts in creating industry-ready professionals by investing in technology and curriculum.
Info Edge (India) Ltd has led a pre-Series A funding ($0.69 million) in digital logistics platform Shipsy. The Gurugram-based startup will use the funds for its sales and marketing efforts.
Misters.in, a Gurugram-based direct-to-customer health and wellness brand providing personalised online boxes to address men’s issues, has raised about $1 million in seed funding. The round was led by Sauce.vc, Rainforest Ventures Pvt Ltd, and other angel investors.
Bhubaneswar-based startup BookingJini has raised $0.4 million (Rs 3 crore) in seed funding from Mumbai Angels Network. The deal was led by Apurva Salarpuria, with 18 other investors participating. The startup which helps hotels increase direct bookings using a SaaS product will use the seed money to build the team and scale operations.
eBike Go, an electric two-wheeler rental startup based in Amritsar, has raised $300,000 (approximately Rs 2.14 crore) in a funding round led by Startup Buddy, the Gurugram-based early-stage investor.
Bengaluru-based commerce platform Niki.ai raised an undisclosed amount as part of its Series A funding round led by EMVC. Existing investors include Ratan Tata, Ronnie Screwvala’s Unilazer Ventures, Haresh Chawla. Japan’s Recruit Partners also participated.
Burger Singh received an undisclosed funding round from existing investors Ashish Dhavan and Sanjeev Bhikchandani. This round was led by RB Investments - a Singapore-based venture capital firm that was also an early-stage investor in Swiggy.
Dockless scooter rental startup VOGO has raised $3.9 million (Rs 21.24 crore) in an ongoing Series C round from its existing investors Matrix Partners and Stellaris Venture Partners. The startup is currently operational in Bengaluru and Hyderabad.
Svasti Microfinance Pvt Ltd, a non-banking financial company-micro finance institution (NBFC-MFI) has raised $10 million from existing investors, including Adar Poonawalla, the Patni family, and Nordic Microfinance Initiative.
CBREX, a global recruiter exchange, which connects companies to recruitment agencies raised $1.1 million as equity funding from a few Indian high net worth investors. Gautam Sinha, Co-founder and CEO, CBREX revealed that the funds will be used to accelerate and expand sales in the US.
Electric vehicle startup AutoNxt Automation Pvt. Ltd, that builds electric and autonomous tractors, raised an undisclosed sum of money from the founders of SUN Mobility Pvt. Ltd.
Online grocery delivery startup Ninjacart raised $4.1 million debt funding from debt fund Trifecta Capital.
Exits and acquisitions
Two acquisitions ruled this week’s numbers. Staffing company TeamLease Services Ltd bought a majority stake in Dehradun-based IMSI Staffing Pvt. Ltd that develops enterprise software, its second acquisition this year. The second acquisition was made by Perfios Software Solutions Pvt. Ltd, a Bengaluru-based product technology company operating in the financial technology segment. Perfios acquired the intellectual property and other assets of FintechLabs Technologies Pvt. Ltd, a Noida-based company which provides digital lending software as a service to companies.
(Edited by Suruchi Kapur-Gomes)