[Weekly Funding Roundup] Investments into startups remains steady at $96.8 million

This week, startups saw fund infusion almost at the same level of the comparable previous period, and the investments were across stages with early rounds having the highest traction.

Early-stage deals dominated the first week of funding in February as the total corpus raised was reported to be at $96.8 million, spread across 11 transactions in the Indian startup ecosystem. In comparison, the week before this period saw 17 deals, with the total amount raised touching $98.5 million.

In the first week of February, early-stage deals accounted for the highest number of transactions at eight with $33.8 million raised. However, two growth-stage deals raised $53 million. Debt funding during this period was at $7.9 million across three transactions.

In the stage-wise funding, transactions were almost equal with Pre-Series A and Series A, accounting for three deals each. There were one Series B and Series C funding deals as well.

There were two mergers and acquisitions (M&A) events during the week. Proptech company Square Yards acquired Mumbai-based rental and property management platform Azuro and Fintech startup Instamojo announced the acquisition of Times Internet property GetMeAShop.

Deal of the week

Chennai-based WayCool Foods, an agritech startup working to improve food supply chain and farmer livelihood, raised $32 million in a combination of equity and debt in its Series C round. The round was led by Lightbox and saw the participation of FMO, the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank, as well as its current investor, LGT Lightstone Aspada. The company has also partnered with InnoVen Capital to raise venture debt as part of this round.

Series A Deals

Gurugram-based fleet management and predictive analytics platform Fleetx.io raised $2.8 million in Series A round of funding led by Singapore-based Beenext alongside existing investor India Quotient. The round also saw participation from Snapdeal founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal, Rajesh Ranavat (MD, LiFung Capital), and Rohan Ranavat (Investor, Temasek Holdings). 

Multi-channel broadcast network Qyuki Digital Media secured $3.5 million from Info Edge Venture Fund (IEVF). This was a combination of equity and debt funding where $2.5 million came through equity while the rest came through the debt route. Founded by Samir Bangara, AR Rahman, and Shekhar Kapur, Qyuki was incorporated on June 11, 2010, but the platform was re-launched in March 2014.

Mumbai-based vernacular audio platform Kuku FM raised $5.5 million in a Series A round of financing led by Vertex Ventures with existing investors Shunwei Capital, India Quotient, and 3one4 Capital participating. The platform houses a wide range of audio content, like audiobooks, book summaries, learning courses, stories.

Other deals

Kochi-based Entri, a local language learning app that provides different types of learning content (mock/adaptive tests, flashcards, video lessons, etc.) in local languages for job aspirants, raised a seed funding of $1.4 million led by Good Capital, an early-stage venture investment firm. 

Bengaluru-based edtech startup Embibe raised funding of Rs 89.91 crore from existing investor and shareholder Reliance Industries. At a premium of Rs 1,000 per share, a total of 8,99,198 cumulative compulsorily convertible preference (CCCP) shares were allotted to the shareholder. Earlier, Reliance Industries had invested rupee equivalent of $180 million in the startup over three years. A part of it was towards acquiring a stake of 72.69 percent from Embibe's existing investors. 

Mumbai-based cloud kitchen startup Rebel Foods raised additional venture debt of Rs 35 crore led by debt funding firm Alteria Capital. With this, the total debt funding raised by the startup is at Rs 85 crore. The startup had also raised equity capital of $125 million by Goldman Sachs and Coatue. Rebel Foods was then valued at $500 million.

Mumbai-based AlphaVector, which owns bicycle brand Frog, raised an undisclosed amount in a fresh round of funding from a mid-market private equity firm Avaana Capital, with participation from Titan Capital, a VC-arm run by Snapdeal founders Rohit Bansal and Kunal Bahl.

PayU India Co-founder Shailaz Nag's new startup Dot raised an initial seed funding of around $8 million, led by PayU and Fosun RZ Capital. The round also saw participation from Info Edge Ventures and other well-known angel investors, which include Snapdeal founders Rohit Bansal and Kunal Bahl, as well as Citrus Pay Co-founder Amrish Rau.

Leap India, an agri-logistics firm based out of Coimbatore raised Rs 164 crore in Series B funding from Danish SDG Investment Fund and Neev Fund.

Mumbai-based fintech platform SuperMoney raised $1 million in Pre-Series A round of funding from early-stage investor Unitus Ventures. The startup plans to utilise the funds to strengthen its team across technology, business development, and back-end operations besides expanding operations beyond the 12 cities it is currently operational.

Online medicine delivery startup IMG Technologies raised around Rs 71 crore in funding from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The company has allotted compulsorily convertible preference shares to the Foundation for Rs 34,317.87 apiece and this a 36 percent premium over its fair market value.

(Edited by Suman Singh)