[Weekly funding roundup] Investments into startups decline by 64 percent
The fourth week of July has not turned out to be very positive for the Indian startup ecosystem as the total funding declined by 64 percent when compared to the previous week. The funding momentum was showing certain uptick for at least two weeks preceding this week.
The total funding into the Indian startup ecosystem for the fourth week of July stood at just $60 million when compared to $168 million in the previous week. In fact, in the second and third week of July, the total investments into Indian startups had crossed the $100 million mark.
This week, the debt financing overtook venture capital. The debt financing stood at $68 million consisting of two deals, which was led by the $67 million transaction of InCred.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a deep impact on the startup ecosystem across the world as the large deals are not forthcoming. Even in the current week, the total number of deals which got funded were 13 and all of them were the early stage ones.
The Pre-Series A stage deals dominated the week accounting for eight such transactions while the rest was split between Series A and others. The fourth week was one of those rare periods where there was no single deal either in late or growth stages.
However, there was a bright spot for the Indian startup ecosystem during this week as India’s leading ecommerce marketplace Flipkart announced that it would foray into B2B online segment and also take over Walmart India’s operations. In a similar vein, Amazon India announced the expansion of fulfillment centres.
These developments augur well for the Indian startup ecosystem as the expansion plans of larger players would also mean increased activity for the smaller startups in terms of partnerships and showcasing their innovative solutions.
Gurugram-based asset management solutions startup MPowered has raised $21 million in a Pre-Series A round from a group of US-based HNIs led by serial entrepreneurs in the real-estate sector, Ashok Nichani and Shelly Nichani. The startup said it will use the funds to take on new verticals of real estate such as warehousing, residential, and commercial spaces, as well as develop easy-to-use tech solutions for enabling transactions and management in the real-estate business.
Bengaluru-based solar solution startup Fourth Partner Energy has raised $15 million in its third round of funding from Zurich-based development asset manager ResponsAbility Investments AG. The funds will be utilised for construction of new assets across the startup's distributed solar and open access portfolios.
Technology-based platform Bijnis (formerly known as ShoeKonnect) has raised $10 million in a Series A round of investment co-led by Matrix Partners India and Sequoia Capital India, along with existing investors InfoEdge and Waterbridge Ventures. With the latest round of funding, Bijnis will continue to help manufacturers grow their business by expanding their distribution network of retailers across India. Additionally, this infusion of capital will be used to build more products and scalable technologies focussed on manufacturers in the footwear and fashion categories.
Vegrow, a Bengaluru-based agritech startup focussed on aggregating small farms, has raised $2.5 million in seed funding from Matrix Partners India and Ankur Capital. The round also saw participation from Better Capital, Titan Capital, as well as angel investors including Sanjiv Rangrass – CEO of ITC Ltd Agri Business Division, Rohit MA – Founder of Cloud 9, Ramakant Sharma – Founder of Livsapce and Amit Lakhotia – Founder of Park+.
Kochi-based Entri, a local-language learning app for jobs, has raised $1.7 million in addition to the $1.4 million it raised in February from a set of investors led by Good Capital, closing its Pre-Series A round at a total of $3.1 million. The round also saw participation from several angel investors from Silicon Valley and India including HyperTrack Founder Kashyap Deorah and Hari TN, Head of HR at BigBasket. The startup will be using the newly-raised fund to capitalise on the opportunity ahead and ramp up marketing, and to produce more content in the coming months.
Bengaluru-based tech-enabled staffing solution startup Gigforce has raised Rs 6 crore from Unitus Ventures. Founded by Chirag Mittal (CEO), Parag Modi (CTO), and Anirudh Syal (COO), Gigforce is redefining staffing solutions for businesses that rely on gig workers for their jobs. The startup bridges the gap between conventional hiring and modern-day business demands.
Gurugram-based fashion tech startup StyleDotMe has raised Rs 3.5 crore in a Pre-Series A funding round led by Survam Partners, with participation from Bobby Kothari, Director, Jewelex India as a strategic investor, and existing investor IAN (Indian Angel Network).
leap.club, a Gurugram-based private professional network for women has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Titan Capital, the investment office of Snapdeal founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal; and Ankita Vashistha, Managing Partner at Saha Fund, an early-stage VC fund.leap.club had earlier raised its Pre-Seed round of $350,000 in May 2020 and investors like Whiteboard Capital, Amrish Rau, Firstcheque, Artha India Ventures had participated.
Bengaluru-based fintech startup Finin has raised an undisclosed amount of funding in a Pre-Series A round from investors including Unicorn India, PointOne Capital and Astir Ventures. Finin marks Unicorn India's third investment via its Fund II. The company said it will use the funds to ramp up its marketing, customer acquisition, hiring and building partner networks.
Deep connected vehicles platform Sibros has closed its Series A round of $12 million funding round led by Nexus Venture Partners. The current funding round, which brings the total capital raised by the startup to over $15 million, also saw participation from Moneta Ventures and Twin Ventures. According to the Pune and San Jose-based startup, the funds will be used to expand its product offerings, customer engagement, and core teams in Silicon Valley and beyond.
Budget airline carrier SpiceJet has acqui-hired the team and technology of the Bengaluru-based airline ecommerce technology company Travenues, a wholly-owned subsidiary of online travel platform ixigo. The move would help SpiceJet in strengthening its ecommerce platforms.
Edited by Javed Gaihlot