[Weekly funding roundup] Investments into startups decline by 56 pc, to touch $50M
The month of May has not been encouraging for the Indian startup ecosystem, and reflects the current state of the world affected by the coronavirus pandemic. As businesses struggle to survive, funding into the startup ecosystem also moved on the same lines, with lesser inflow of money coming into the country.
In the last week of May, the funds infused into Indian startups amounted to $50 million across 13 deals, which was a 56 percent decline as compared to the previous week. For the month of May, only once did the funding cross the $100 million mark, remaining below three-digit figure for the rest.
Since the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic, the investments into Indian startups has been tepid, with even the fund flow being directed towards the early-stage deals which include Series A, pre-Series A or seed rounds. It has been noticeable that there are more number of investors in such deals, which certainly was not the case before the onset of COVID-19.
During this week, early-stage deals dominated the funding — as has been the trend for the last two months. Out of the 13 deals during this week, 11 were in the early-stage transactions, with one each in growth and late stages.
Similarly, talking about the funding rounds, pre-Series A had the highest traction at six deals, followed by others at five. Debt funding had a very modest run during the month of May and it was reflected in this week as well with a single deal.
Highlight of the week
Ola Financial Services (OFS), which operates Ola Money, raised about Rs 205 crore in funding from Matrix Partners and others as part of its maiden institutional financing round, as per regulatory documents. Gemini Investments LP, Arun Sarin's family office, and Alpha Wave Holdings also participated in the round.
Suryoday Small Finance Bank (SSFB), a scheduled commercial bank which provides microfinance loans to customers, has closed an equity funding during this month. The bank raised Rs 62.14 crore from existing investors including Gaja Capital, Kotak Life, Lok Capital, TIAA, and Kiran Vyapar.
Awfis, a co-working space provider, raised Rs 40 crore in funding, which is a mix of debt and equity from its existing investors — Bisque Limited and Link Investment Trust. Awfis has issued compulsorily convertible debentures at Rs 10,000 per share to Bisque Limited to raise Rs 39.4 crore in debt. Link Investment Trust has infused Rs 60 lakh as equity funding. Till now, Awfis has raised over $55 million.
Cryptocurrency exchange CoinDCX secured a $2.5 million in a strategic investment led by Polychain Capital with support from Coinbase Ventures, the investment arm of San Francisco-based cryptocurrency giant Coinbase. The investment aims to bring the total number of cryptocurrency users in India to 50 million.
Automotive technology startup Euler Motors raised Rs 20 crore as part of its ongoing Series A funding, led by Inventus Capital. The other investors in the fresh round of funding include Blume Ventures, Singapore-based Jetty Ventures India Investments, and Udaan's Co-founder Sujeet Kumar. Earlier, as part of its pre-Series A round, the company had raised Rs 15 crore from Blume Ventures, US-based Emergent Ventures, and Andrew Lee.
Gurugram-based Hoi Foods, which operates several cloud kitchens, raised $2 million in a pre-Series A funding round led by 1Crowd as a follow-up round, which also saw participation from Sprout, Angelist, Samar Singla – Founder of Jugnu, Jaideep Mehta – CEO of VCCircle, Mukund Kulashekaran – SVP of Business at UrbanClap, and others.
Xtracap Fintech, the Gurugram-based startup, raised $1 million in angel round of funding. The startup had launched its mobile app – Bridge2Capital in October 2018 for small shopkeepers to receive limited loan amount to pay their GST supplier bills. According to this startup, since launch of the app, it has seen an overall customer increase from less than hundred to over 1,000 shopkeepers. It has crossed over 30,000 registrations across India.
Video meta-tagging platform Toch said it raised over $1 million in its latest round of funding, from investors including SOSV and its accelerator, Chinaccelerator, 9 Unicorns Fund, and Inflection Point Ventures. The Mumbai-based company said it will use the funds to further deepen its tech infrastructure and grow its team.
Edtech startup Swiflearn has raised a large undisclosed amount in seed round from Stellaris Venture Partners and Venture Highway, with participation from Utsav Somani, Founder of Angel List India. With this funding, Swiflearn aims to become a respected learning platform for K-10 students looking for personalised learning for their school studies and competitive exams. The platform also supports teachers by leveraging technology.
Remedo, a Delhi-based healthtech startup in the telemedicine vertical, has raised an undisclosed amount in its pre-Series A round from River Rock Ventures. Inflection Point Ventures also participated in the round with other investors including AngelList, Mohit Satyanand, Mitesh Daga (TPG Capital), and Aditya Vij (Kedara capital). The startup, which runs a telemedicine platform connecting over a lakh patients with doctors present on its platform, will be using the funds to expand to other specialities like cardiovascular, neuro, and respirators.
HomeCapital, a Mumbai-based fintech startup focused on accelerating housing among millennials in India, has raised funding in a round led by Varanium NexGen Fund. The round also saw participation from Venture Catalysts, JITO Incubation and Innovation Foundation, Singapore Angel Network, Venture Gurukool, and Shalin Shah, among other investors.
Noida-based rural insurtech platform GramCover on Tuesday announced that it has raised an undisclosed amount of funding in its pre-Series A round from EMVC, Flourish, and Omidyar Network India. Existing investor Omnivore also participated in this round.
Former Facebook Director and Snapdeal Senior Executive Anand Chandrasekaran has invested an undisclosed amount in Delhi-based edtech startup EduRev. Founded in 2017 by Kunaal Satija and Hardik Dhamija, both engineering graduates from Punjab University, EduRev is an online marketplace for educational courses hosted and sold by teachers. The learning app allows students from the age of 12-25 to access videos, notes, and tests from teachers.
Ola Electric — Bengaluru-based ride-hailing unicorn Ola's electric mobility wing — announced its entry into the premium two-wheeler electric vehicle segment with the acquisition of Amsterdam-based Etergo BV, an electric scooter OEM. The terms of the deal are undisclosed.
Switzerland-based agrifood investor Pioneering Ventures has acquired Indian agritech company Lateral Praxis. The move is aimed at enhancing the downstream reach of tech-enabled solutions for the food supply chain, including information access, apps, data analytics, and risk mitigation.
Edited by Kanishk Singh