[Weekly Funding Roundup] Startups raise over $183M in equity deals this week; fintech in limelight
The last week of February saw fintech companies hogging the funding limelight, despite a decline in the overall quantum of funds raised by Indian startups.
In the week between February 24 and 28, the total funds raised by Indian startups stood at $183.23 million in equity spread across 14 deals. However, the total funding raised was down by 39 percent compared to the previous week, which raised at total of $254.56 million.
This week, UPI payments and digital lending startup BharatPe raised $75 million (or Rs 535 crore) as part of its Series C funding round led by US-based Ribbit Capital and hedge fund Coatue Management. Other than that, Flipkart-owned digital payments company PhonePe raised around Rs 427.25 crore from its parent firm in another round of funding.
Growth-stage funding dominated the total amount raised at $136 million, followed by early-stage funding at $24 million, and late-stage funding at $22.8 million.
Kolkata-based lender Jagaran Microfin raised a debt funding of $3 million from Swiss impact investment major BlueOrchard Finance during the week.
BharatPe and PhonePe's funding were the top deals of the week. Other fintech players which raised funding were Rupeek, Ummeed Housing Finance, and Jagaran Microfinance.
Online gold loan platform Rupeek raised $30 million in equity funding. Earlier in August, the startup had raised additional $30 million, taking the total fundraise to $60 million over two rounds. Silicon Valley-based global venture capital firm GGV Capital, Bertelsmann India Investments, Binny Bansal, KB Investments Co (KBIC), Tanglin Venture Partners, Sequoia India, and Accel Partners participated in these rounds.
Another prominent funding this week was the Rs 100-crore funding of IntrCity by Noida-based travel tech startup RailYatri, which was led by Infosys Chairman Nandan Nilekani and Samsung Venture Investment.
Josh Talks, a Gurugram-based edtech startup, raised $1.5 million (approx Rs 10.7 crore) in pre-Series A funding led by New York-based fund Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF). With this new round of funding, the startup said its valuation has crossed the Rs 100 crore mark.
Qure.ai, a Mumbai-based healthcare AI startup, raised $16 million in funding led by Sequoia India, and was supported by MassMutual Ventures Southeast Asia. Founded in 2016 by Prashant and Pooja Rao, Qure.ai has impacted over 600,000 lives. Using AI on a database of over seven million scans, the platform claims to provide fast and accurate interpretations of radiology scans within seconds, reducing time to treatment in the critical moments of care.
Wipro Consumer Care – Ventures, the venture capital fund of Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting said it will invest in the men and women’s grooming products startup LetsShave. In a statement, the Chandigarh-based startup said Wipro Consumer Care – Ventures has acquired a minority stake and has signed an agreement to invest in the startup.
Mumbai-based Cookie startup Sweetish House Mafia raised Rs 12 crore ($1.7 million) in its pre-Series A round of funding from Adar Poonawalla, CEO at vaccine maker Serum Institute of India Pvt. Ltd.
Thane-based deeptech startup AjnaLens raised $1.5 million in its Pre-series A funding round led by Maharashtra Defence and Aerospace Venture Fund (MDAVF). Mohsin Group and other high-net-worth individuals (HNI) Nailesh Khimji, Chirayu Khimji, and Jay Jesrani also participated in the round.
Mumbai-based Near.Store, a startup that operates a plug-and-play ecommerce platform for physical stores, raised $300,000 in seed funding from early-stage consumer-focussed venture capital fund Sauce.vc and some individual investors, it said in a statement. However, the startup did not name the angel investors.
This week, Bengaluru-based MinionLabs raised an undisclosed amount from Indian Angel Network. The funding round was led by prominent IAN investors Kaushik Rajan of Kochi Holding Private Limited and R Mohan Kumaramangalam.
Mumbai-Flickstree Productions Pvt. Ltd, which runs an artificial intelligence-based video publishing network, raised $3 million in its Series A funding round led by Samsung Venture Investment, with participation from LionRock Capital, Accretio Investments, and angel investor LD Sharma.
Developer tools startup Hasura raised $9.9 million (about Rs 70 crore) in Series A funding round led by Vertex Ventures US. The round also saw participation from SAP.iO Fund, the early-stage venture arm of SAP, and existing investors Nexus Venture Partners and Strive VC.
Eureka, an AI enterprise software platform powering mobile operators and enterprise partnerships as well as telco analytics, has closed $20 million in its Series B funding round. The round was co-led by leading investors from around the world such as venture insurtech fund managed by Apis Partners, Gobi Partners, the Riyadh TAQNIA Fund, and MEC Ventures. Other investors who participated in the round included SG Innovate, GDP Ventures, Pacific Bridge, B&Y Ventures, and Cianna Capital. They will now join existing investors SoftBank, PPF Home Credit, and East Ventures.
One of the biggest exits this week was Elanic, a peer to peer (P2P) marketplace for fashion and lifestyle goods, which was acquired by Bengaluru-based regional language social media platform ShareChat. As part of the agreement, all Elanic employees will now join ShareChat, and the startup's founders will hold senior roles at the Twitter-backed company.
Another deal in this segment last week was of Tech Mahindra Ltd, which said that it has agreed to acquire US-based Zen3 Infosolutions (America) Inc. and its Indian unit for up to $64 million (Rs 460 crore) in cash. The Indian software services company said in a stock-exchange filing that it will pay $42 million at the time of closing the deal, and another $22 million over three years linked to the American company’s financial performance.
(Edited by Megha Reddy)