[Weekly Funding Roundup] Startups raise $125M in the third week of March amid coronavirus threat

The funding raised by Indian startups in the third week of March sounded optimistic as it crossed $100 million despite the looming threat of coronavirus

The funding raised by Indian startup ecosystem during the third week of March stood at $125.4 million and this is certainly good news in the time of coronavirus scare. Last week the funding raised was just $29 million.

The total number of deals during the week stood at 17 which was almost similar when compared to the previous week. The quantum of investment raised showed a big skew towards the early-stage deals which numbered 11 and three each at growth and late type of startups.

Though in terms of value, growth-stage deals garnered $54 million followed by late-stage deals at $49 million. The early-stage deals accounted for $22.4 million.

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However, an important development during the week was the $807 million fund raised by hotel unicorn Oyofrom RA Holdings and SoftBank, but this was the continuation of the earlier round which was announced last year.

In terms of debt funding, for second week in a row, there were no deals.

Key deals of the week

Digital enterprise lender Vivriti Capital raised $50 million (around Rs 350 crore) as part of its Series B funding from LGT Lightstone Aspada. The latest round comes within 10 months of the startup raising $50 million from US-based Creation Investments, raised across two tranches between December 2018 and March 2019.

Veritas Finance Ltd raised around $46 million (close to Rs 350 crore) in its Series E round of funding led by existing investor Norwest Venture Partners. Private equity firm Kedaara Capital came in as the new investor in the round. Existing investors Lok Capital Growth Fund and the family of P Surendra Pai, an angel investor, also participated in the round.

Weekly funding roundup

Other deals

Bengaluru’s app-based consumer lending startup SmartCoinraised over $7 million in Series A funding led by LGT Lightstone Aspada with participation from existing investors Unicorn India Ventures and Accion Venture Lab. The startup plans to use the current round of funding to primarily grow its loan book. SmartCoin also aims to expand its data science team, advancing its AI/ML-based underwriting platform, launching new products, and growing its user base to 10 million. 

Shop101 raised $11 million funding as part of its Series B funding. The major investors in this round are Kalaari Capital and Unilever Ventures. The ecommerce startup that fashions itself as more of a social platform, had recently raised $5 million from a clutch of investors, Stellaris Venture Partners, Vy Capital, Raghunandan G (Co-founder- TaxiForSure), and Livspace Co-founder Ramakant Sharma.

Agnikul, the spacetech startup based out of Chennai, raised Rs 23.4 crore in pre-Series A funding led by pi Ventures. The round also saw participation from Hari Kumar (LionRock Capital), Artha Ventures, LetsVenture, Globevestor, CIIE.CO, and existing investor Speciale Invest. Agnikul builds 3D printed single-piece rocket engines, and plans to use this funding for ground testing, fabrication, and team expansion.

Gurugram-based smart energy solutions startup ZunRoof Techhas raised $3 million in Series A round of funding from Godrej Investment Office. ZunRoof aims to resolve the affordability issue of solar rooftops in Indian homes. It will soon launch its service to improve the affordability of solar rooftops, which will save money and electricity for over 25 years.

Wealth management platform Fintsoraised $2.6 million from a set of individual angel investors, including Rajeev Juneja (CEO of Mankind Pharma), Pratul Shroff (Founder of eInfochips), Dilip Khandelwal (MD and Head of Technology, Asia Pacific, Deutsche Bank), Piyush Gupta (Group CFO, HT Media), and a few other general partners of consumer VC funds in India.

Doorstep car service startup PitStopraised $2.5 million (around Rs 18 crore) in Series A funding round led by TPG-backed Group Landmark. The existing investors of Pitstop also participated in the earlier round of funding. The company received funding worth $2.9 million from Blume Ventures and Goldbell Group of Singapore last year.

StanPlus Technology which operates a startup focussed on medical response solutions for large hospitals raised $1.5 million in pre-Series A funding.

Ideaspring Capital, a venture capital fund, which invests in early-stage enterprise product startups, invested close to $1 million in Nimesa Technology Pvt Ltd, a startup that has developed a cloud-native data protection software which improves recovery time multi-fold. Nimesa was co-founded by Tapesh Goyal and Rajesh Vaidhyanathan, both having expertise in storage and data management verticals.

The Chennai Angels (TCA) announced an additional investment of Rs 2.5 crore in a bridge round in Good Roots Kitchenware Private Limited, which owns and operates an online healthy kitchen products store The Indus Valley. The funds will be used by the Chennai-based startup to expand its presence in India’s growing home and kitchen products space. 

International cricketer and former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has made an undisclosed amount of funding in Bengaluru-based KhataBookwhich is helping small and medium businesses in India manage their accounts and ledgers. Dhoni has not only invested in KhataBook, but will also become its brand ambassador.

Fund infusion for Oyo

Hospitality unicorn OYO Hotels & Homes revived a tranche of $807 million of its Series F round of $1.5 billion it announced in October last year. The fresh tranche has come from existing investors SoftBank and Founder Ritesh Agarwal-owned RA Hospitality Holdings.

At the time of announcing the Series F funding, the unicorn had stated that the funding will be focussed on Oyo's growth in the US, and to also strengthen its position in the vacation rentals business in Europe.

(Edited by Javed Gaihlot)