[Weekly funding roundup] Startups raised $246.5 M in equity deal; debt funding amounted to $7.3 M

Of the thirty equity deals reported this week, 20 early-stage deals mopped up $35.7 million, six growth-stage deals raised $124.7 million, and the balance $86 million was cornered by four late-stage deals.

Indian startups raised $246.5 million in equity funding, up by 23 percent compared to last week’s $200 million. Additionally, there were venture debt fund deals this week that raised $7.3 million.


Startups working in a wide array of areas from agri-tech, gaming, fintech, SaaS, travel, among others, have participated in the funding deals this week. While HappyEasyGo raised the largest amount this week, Ninjacart stole the show, when it announced a deal with Flipkart and Walmart.

Weekly funding roundup

Deal of the week:

Gurugram-based online travel portal HappyEasyGo raised around Rs 350 crore ($49.4 million) in its extended Series B round of funding from its investment partners, including Korea Investment Partners (KIP), Samsung Venture Investment Corporation (SVIC), UOB Venture, 10 Fund, CVCapital, Zero2IPO Ventures, and M&S Partners.

Early and growth-stage deals:

Zetwerk, an 18-month old B2B software platform for custom manufacturing, raised Rs 225 crore ($32 million) in Series B round led by Lightspeed and Greenoaks Capital. Existing investors Sequoia India, Accel, and Kae Capital also participated in the round. Founded by IIT alumni Amrit Acharya, Srinath Ramakkrushnan, Rahul Sharma, and Vishal Chaudhary, Zetwerk is a manufacturing platform connecting Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and Engineering Procurement Construction (EPC) customers across India, North America, and South-east Asia with manufacturing SMEs.

Invoice discounting platform KredX raised $26 million (Rs 187 crore) as part of its Series B round led by Tiger Global Management, along with participation from existing investors for a minority stake in the company. The startup will use the new capital to accelerate its expansion by hiring across functions, including senior leadership hiring and step up the development of new products.

Apparel and fashion startup, Bombay Shirt Company, raised $8 million from early-stage venture capital firm Lightbox Ventures in its latest equity funding round.

Gurugram-based Origo, a leading commodities and rural finance company, raised Rs 48.5 crore ($6.8 million) from Switzerland-based responsAbility Investment AG, Maanaveeya (a subsidiary of the Netherlands-based social impact investor, Oikocredit), and IndusInd Bank.  

Pune-based agritech startup Ecozen, which develops technology-enabled products to strengthen the farm-to-fork value chain of perishables, announced that it has completed its $6 million Series A fundraise, after receiving $4 million in investment from Sathguru Catalyser’s Innovation in Food & Agriculture Fund (IFA Fund). 

Mass market data and loyalty startup m.Paani raised $5.5 million (or Rs 39 crore) in its Series A funding round. The round was led by AC Ventures, Henkel, Candy Ventures, and angel investors Kevin Aluwi (CEO and Cofounder of Gojek), Ryu Suliawan (Head of Merchants at Gojek), and Suvir Varma (Board Member and Senior Advisor at Bain & Company, Private Equity). Existing investors Chiratae Ventures and Blume Ventures also participated in the round.

Bengaluru-based edtech startup Cuemath raised $5.5 million in its extended Series B funding round led by Manta Ray Ventures Limited and saw participation from existing investors Capital G by Google and Sequoia India.

New Delhi-based mother and baby care-focussed consumer goods startup, The Moms Co raised $5 million in Series B round from renowned FMCG investors Saama Capital, DSG Consumer Partners, and others. 

Mumbai-based digital freight forwarding startup, Freightwalla raised $4 million (approximately Rs 28.70 crore) in Series A funding led by global venture capital firms Amplo, FJ Labs, and Rogue One Capital. Existing investors Kae Capital and Tekton Ventures also participated in this round. The firm said, this makes Freightwalla the first digital freight forwarding company to raise fresh funds within a year of seed funding.

Bengaluru-based work fulfilment platform, Awign Enterprises raised $4 million in a Series A funding round led by Work10M, Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, Eagle10, and existing investors, Unitus Ventures. The company plans to utilise this investment to strengthen its workforce-facing app and enterprise-facing platform, while also developing robust sales and marketing channels.

FableStreet, a Gurugram-based technology-enabled premium workwear brand, raised Rs 21 crore ($2.9 million) in Series A led by Fireside Ventures. Industry power-lifters including Pradeep Parameswaran, President for Uber India and South Asia; Dilip Khandelwal, MD and Head of Technology of Deutsche Bank; and Suhail Sameer, CEO of RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group (FMCG), also participated in the funding round and invested in their personal capacities. 

Bengaluru-based future of work platform, TapChief raised a pre-Series A round of $1.5 million from homegrown investment firm Blume Ventures. Sanjay Nath, the Managing Partner of Blume Ventures, will be joining the Board of Directors of TapChief as part of this investment.

Mumbai-based omnichannel jewellery startup, eJOHRI raised $1 million in a pre-Series A funding round led by Hong Kong-based investor Rajesh Ranavat, alongside other investors. 

Real money gaming startup Rein Games raised Rs 5 crore ($0.7 million) in angel funding round from Manipal Group Chairman Ranjan Pai’s MEMG family office and Titan Capital.

Pi Beam, a startup engaged in building sustainable and affordable micro-mobility electric vehicles, raised a bridge round of Rs 5 crore ($0.7 million) from GAIL (India) Ltd. Pi Beam builds connected e-vehicles, for two-, three-, and four-wheeler offerings for last-mile logistics, and shared and owned passenger movement.

Delhi-based Five Figs Hospitality Private Limited which owns and operates casual dining brand, QDs recently raised $500,000 from a clutch of angel investors.

Children-focussed food and nutrition startup, Lil’ Goodness and sCoolMeal, raised $400,000 in seed funding from a clutch of investors.

Jaipur-based agritech startup, Freshokartz, raised $150,000 (or Rs 1 crore) as a part of its pre-Series A round, from Jaipur-based NSE-listed company, Innovana ThinkLab Ltd. The startup will be using the fund to expand its operation to newer districts in Rajasthan.

Identity and access management platform truMe raised $1,45,000 from Rajan Kaistha, an angel investor in the US. According to a statement released by the company, with this fundraise, truMe plans to deepen its footprint in the Delhi-NCR and expand operations to Mumbai and Bengaluru.

MyGameMate, an eSports platform where players can access various multiplayer mobile games to play and participate in the online tournaments raised $1,00,000.

WishADish, a startup that helps customers find their meals around with a variety of quality-assured options, raised $85,000.

Pune-based fitness startup SQUATS Fitness Pvt Ltd has picked up a minority stake in app startup Fitato for an undisclosed amount. Fitato allows users to access any gym of their choice across the city without paying hefty annual membership fees.

Rockstud Capital is making its second investment in FY 2020 with an undisclosed, bridge round in Cubical Labs for a valuation of $11 million. Dhruv Ratra and Swati Vyas set up Cubical Labs in their college days at IIT-Guwahati in 2013.

Binca Games, a Mumbai-based board games startup, announced that cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar has bought a stake in the company for an undisclosed sum. Along with the funding, Binca Games also announced the launch of its newest game, Qwicket, a quick cricket card game suitable for children and adults alike.

Noida based fintech, Afinoz, raised an undisclosed amount from a clutch of investors including Brand Capital, in its pre-series A round.

Late-stage deals:

UK’s development finance institution and impact investor in South Asia and Africa CDC Group announced that it has closed a $36 million equity investment in Warburg Pincus-backed tech-enabled logistics startup Ecom Express. Ecom Express will be using the funds for its network expansion and augmentation. CDC's equity injection will further enable Ecom Express to hire more employees.

Indian online beauty and personal care platform, Purplle.com (Purplle) raised $30 million as a part of its Series C funding round led by Goldman Sachs. The round also saw participation from existing investors IvyCap Ventures, Blume Ventures, and JSW Ventures.

Gurugram-based logistics startup, Rivigo’s board approved the issue of 5,086 Series F preference shares to SAIF Partners and Spring Canter Investment Ltd. The company is raising Rs 141.97 crore ($20 million). Rivigo said that it plans to use the funding towards capital expenditure and working capital requirements of the business, in accordance with the business plan adopted and approved by the board.

Ninjacart, the Bengaluru-headquartered B2B agritech startup, has received a big boost with global retail giant Walmart and India’s leading ecommerce marketplace Flipkart announcing an undisclosed joint investment into the firm. This latest investment into Ninjacart comes after the agritech startup received a $100 million fund infusion from Tiger Global in April this year.

Debt funding: 

Delhi-based venture debt firm Stride Ventures announced that it has invested an undisclosed amount in Bengaluru-based dairytech startup, Stellapps.

Poncho Hospitality Pvt. Ltd., the parent company of foodtech startup Box8 raised Rs 12 crore ($1.6 million) debt via debentures from Trifecta Capital in three equal tranches — in August, October, and December.

Shared housing startup Stanza Living raised $5.7 million in debt financing from Alteria Capital. This investment is in addition to the $4.4 million raised from Alteria Capital in March this year. With this investment, the total debt infusion by Alteria Capital in Stanza Living amounts to $10 million.

Exits and Acquisitions:

Noida-based Mall91, a social commerce platform for vernacular users across Tier-II, III, IV, and V cities, is set to acquire an ERP solutions provider StompMarket in a cash-and-stock deal. 

Reliance Strategic Business Ventures Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries, announced on Thursday, that it has acquired SaaS platform NowFloats Technologies. Reliance acquired equity shares of NowFloats for a cash consideration of Rs 141 crore (approx).

Udaipur-based Zigsaw Consulting on Thursday said it had acquired recruitment firm Creative Cops HR. 

Reliance-controlled edtech firm Embibe acquired an online test preparation startup, MockBank for an undisclosed amount.

(Edited by Suman Singh)