[Weekly funding roundup] Investments into startups decline to $43.3 million

Majority of the investments in the second week of May were focussed on early stage deals and not a single deal crossed $15 million in size.

The Indian startup ecosystem continues to bear the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic as investments into companies has fallen below $50 million in the second week of May. The month of April witnessed fluctuations in terms of investments on a weekly basis where one large deal pushed the overall funding number higher.

The second week of May saw the absence of marquee investors and the larger focus was on the early-stage deals. The total funding during the week stood at $43.3 million cutting across 12 deals and it was way below the $195 million which was recorded a week earlier.

The early-stage investments accounted for majority of deals at 10 with the other two being in growth-stage. Also, it was the pre-series A type of funding which received the largest number of deals at six. Debt financing remained stagnant at just one deal.

Highlights of the week

B2C logistics startup LoadShare has raised Rs 100 crore in a series B investment round led by BEENEXT, after raising Rs 15 crore as part of the same round, last month. CDC Group also participated in the round, along with existing investors such as Matrix Partners India, Stellaris Venture Partners, and venture debt firm Alteria Capital. The startup aims to use the funds to deepen its ‘essentials’ supply chain network. It also plans to expand its delivery network, and foray into sectors such as pharmaceuticals, FMCG, and grocery for delivery of essentials. 

Pune-based Vesta Space Technology has received $10 million (about Rs 75.8 crore) in funding from US-based investment and advisory firm Next Capital LLC. Founded in 2018 by Arun Kumar Sureban, Vestaspace Technology specialises in making small satellite platforms for commercial and scientific applications. The startup hopes to achieve a 300 percent growth rate post the funding.

Other deals

Bengaluru-based Vernacular.ai, an AI-based SaaS startup, has raised Series A investment of $5.1 million, led by Exfinity Ventures and Kalaari Capital. AngelList, IAN Fund, and LetsVenture also participated in the round. The startup said the capital will be used to fund its expansion into Southeast Asia and the US, and towards R&D to further enhance its proprietary AI-based voice automation platform.

Mintoak Innovations, a merchants payment platform, has raised $2 million (Rs 15.14 crore approximately) in a pre-Series A funding round. The round in Mumbai-based Mintoak has been led by Pravega Ventures, with participation from existing backers. Mintoak was set up by Raman Khanduja, Rama Tadepalli and Sanjay Nazareth in 2017. The company says its core offering is an omnichannel payments platform that accepts and records traditional and digital forms of remuneration.

DocsApp has raised $9.5 mn (Rs 72.5 crore approximately) from Bessemer Venture Partners India, Fusian Capital, Rebright Partners and Milliways Fund LLC. The company plans to utilise the funding in further strengthening its doctor base, patient reach and in developing its product.

Delhi-based live sports engagement platform Rooter has raised a pre-Series A round of $1.7 million. The key investors in this round include Paytm, leAD Sports — Adidas Family-backed fund, Rockstud Capital, and Founder Bank Capital — an early-stage arm of RB Investments. Anthill Ventures, Venture Catalysts, and a few more current angel investors also participated in the round.

Healthtech startup Phable has raised $1 million in its ongoing pre-Series A round, from Inflection Point Ventures and other investors. SOSV and Fresco – two US-based funds – had also previously invested in the startup's pre-Series A. The startup intends to use the funds to quickly expand in the country and scale its technology. Co-founded by Sumit Sinha and Mukesh Bansal in 2018, Phable operates by creating an ecosystem of patients, doctors, hospitals, health devices, insurance, and patient-care service providers.

Bengaluru-based kids’ food and nutrition startup Lil' Goodness has raised Rs 5 crore in a seed round of funding from Japan-based venture capital Beyond Next Ventures (BNV). The new investors in the round included Beyond Next Ventures, led by President Tsuyoshi Ito, and Executive Officer Mayu Morishima. The other angel investors who had earlier invested in the seed found include: Sajan Pillai, former CEO-UST Global, and General Partner - Season two Ventures; the family of Lalit Pai, ex-CEO, Nightingales Healthcare; and Dr Muthu Krishnan, ex-CEO Tata Health.

MetaMorphoSys Technologies, a SaaS-based digital insurance platform, has raised undisclosed pre-Series A funding led by Good Capital. The round also saw participation in a personal capacity from Rahul Khanna, Co-founder and Managing Director, Trifecta Capital. The capital will be used to further innovate the platform across the entire insurance value chain. It also plans to use the funds primarily for product development and investment in sales teams to grow its footprint further in India, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, and Thailand.

LoanAdda, a fintech startup has raised funding from ah! Ventures, the Mumbai-based investment manager and platform. PRAAK Investments and Ahmedabad-based Ratnaafin Group also participated in the funding round.

Ratan Tata investment

Ratan Tata, the Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons, has invested an undisclosed amount in Generic Aadhaar – a startup that converts mom-and-pop pharmacies into branded stores and offers entrepreneurs a platform to access generic medicine at a lower cost. The startup is founded by 18-year-old entrepreneur Arjun Deshpande, who, by the time turned 14, had visited more than 20 plants with his mother who was in the pharma trade. During those visits, Arjun, a computer enthusiast, and his mother discussed the medicine business in India.

Bengaluru-based startup CodeNinja.ai has raised an undisclosed amount of seed round investment through EaSyndicate, an early adopters syndicate in Letsventure.com. Hari Balasubramanian, an angel investor, led this round of investment and will also be joining the company's board. The company plans to utilise the investment for product development and global expansion. They also want to build a DIY curriculum for users to develop applications without the help of developers.

Edited by Javed Gaihlot


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