[Weekly funding roundup] Startups raise $369M in equity deal; debt funding amounts to $71M

Of the 18 equity deals reported this week, 12 early-stage deals mopped up $25.2 million, three growth-stage deals raised $39 million, and the remaining $305 million was cornered by three late-stage deals.

Indian startups raised $369 million of equity funding, up by about 50 percent compared to last week’s $246.5 million. This week also saw venture debt funding deals that raised $71 million. While Lenskart raised the largest amount, five exits and acquisitions were also reported.

Weekly funding round

Deal of the week:

Faridabad-based eyewear solutions startup Lenskart raised over $275 million from Softbank Vision Fund, including some stake sale from early investors. The company said that the investment will be utilised for augmenting Lenskart's tech capabilities and strengthening its supply chain infrastructure. With this funding, the company valuation is said to be at $1.5 billion, according to media reports.

Early and growth-stage deals:

Consumer financing startup, ZestMoney raised $15 million as part of its ongoing Series B equity round led by Goldman Sachs. The company’s existing investors Naspers Fintech, Quona Capital, and Flourish (Omidyar Network’s fintech investment arm) also participated in the round. 

Gurugram-based healthtech startup for elective surgeries, Pristyn Care raised $12 million in Series B funding led by Sequoia India, Hummingbird Ventures, Greenoaks Capital, and AngelList. Pristyn Care aims to use this investment to fund its expansion through investments in technology and healthcare operations.

Foodtech solutions provider, HungerBox closed $12 million in funding from a consortium of Indian and international investors. New investors who participated in the round include digital payments major, Paytm and NPTK. Existing investors Sabre Partners and Neoplux also participated. 

Mumbai-based multi-family office, Waterfield Advisors raised $6 million in a fresh equity funding round, led by a consortium of investors including New York-based Zephyr management LP, TVS capital fund, and Gaurav Dalmia of Dalmia group holdings. The freshly infused capital will be used to augment the advisory platform, acquire high-quality talent, build client-centric technology enablers, and power global expansion.

Online insurance platform, Toffee Insurance secured $5.5 million in its Series A round, led by IVM Intersurer and saw participation from Omidyar Network, Flourish Ventures, Accion Venture Lab, and Kalaari Capital.

Chennai-based neobank startup for the informal sector customer, Kaleidofin raised Rs 36 crore ($5.06 million) in Series A round led by Oikocredit, an impact investor with four decades of experience in financial inclusion. 

LivFin, an SME-focussed supply chain fintech startup raised $5 million in a funding round led by German development finance institution, DEG.

Bijak, a B2B trade platform for the agricultural sector, raised $2.5 million from Omnivore, Omidyar Network India, Sequoia Capital India’s rapid scale-up programme - Surge, and Better Capital. This is the first agritech investment in India for Surge and Omidyar Network India.

Online clothing brand, Henry & Smith raised $1 million as a part of its seed round, led by WEH Ventures and Rukam Capital. The round also saw participation from angel investment platform, LetsVenture. 

Mumbai-based edtech startup, Witblox raised funding of Rs 1.3 crore ($0.18 million) from Mumbai Angels Network. The company said, 24 investors from Mumbai Angels Network participated in this round. 

Bengaluru-based entertainment tech platform, Playtoome raised undisclosed funds from US-based venture capital company, SOSV.

Mumbai-based food and beverages startup, Open Secret raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from Matrix Partners India. The round also saw participation from several investors including Paytm Founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Snapdeal Co-founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal, and Godrej Consumer Products CEO Vivek Gambhir.

Safety tech startup, DROR raised an undisclosed amount of funding from IP Ventures. The Gurugram-based startup plans to use the funds to strengthen its tech platform and invest in user acquisition.

Mumbai-based Cub McPaws, a direct-to-consumer brand that focusses on premium and comfortable merchandise for Generation Alpha – kids born after 2010, raised an undisclosed amount in its Pre-Seed round from Venture Catalysts.

Gurugram-based women wellness startup, Azah raised an undisclosed amount in a pre-Series A funding round from Snapdeal Founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal, AngelList India, and a few other HNIs. The lead funding came from Titan Capital, a VC-arm run by Kunal and Rohit.

Late-stage deals:

Online fresh meat brand, Licious raised $30 million as part of its Series E funding round led by Singapore-based Vertex Growth Fund. Existing investor 3one4 Capital, Bertelsmann India Investments, Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India, and Sistema Asia Fund also participated in the round. The funds raised will be deployed towards expanding presence in a greater number of Indian cities, augmenting capabilities in existing markets, strengthening omnichannel presence, and powering new product launches, especially in the ready-to-eat category.

Northern Arc Capital, a Chennai-based debt capital platform catering to the under-banked individuals and businesses in India, raised equity funding from Japanese multinational bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), which has also acquired a 5.4 percent equity in the company. 

Debt funding: 

A distributed solar power-focussed startup, Fourth Partner Energy said that Bank of America has extended a line of credit worth Rs 356.5 crore (or $50 million). The Hyderabad-based startup will be deploying the funds to grow its operational solar portfolio over the next 18 months.

Online pharmacy company, Medlife raised Rs 110 crore ($15.5 million) from Wilson Global Opportunities Fund. The Bengaluru-based startup will be using the freshly raised funds for its working capital requirements, marketing its business activities, technological development, employee costs, and to support the future growth of Medlife International.

Consumer, small and medium enterprises-focussed digital lending app, InCred raised $5.9 million in its third debt round from various investors.

Exits and Acquisitions:

Singapore-headquartered, Zilingo announced the acquisition of Sri Lanka-based software company, nCinga Innovations in a $15.5 million cash-and-stock deal. The ecommerce platform also has a technology centre in Bengaluru.

Bengaluru-based AI platform, Embibe, an edtech startup under the proprietary name Indiavidual Learning Pvt Ltd, announced that it picked up equity shares in Funtoot (eDreams Edusoft). The deal was capped at Rs 71.64 crore in cash, which holds for 90.5 percent in the equity share capital of Funtoot.

Tech Data Corp, a US-based technology solutions provider, has agreed to acquire Inflow Technologies Pvt. Ltd, a Bengaluru-based distributor of information technology infrastructure products and services.

Havas Group, a multinational advertising and public relations company based in France, has acquired Indian experiential agency, Shobiz Experiential Communications Pvt. Ltd.

Reliance Industries said this week that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Reliance Strategic Business Ventures Ltd (RSBVL) has acquired over 51 percent stake in Asteria Aerospace for Rs 23.12 crore.

(Edited by Suman Singh)



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