OYO, Bira 91, Mobikwik — 10 Delhi-NCR startups that bagged funding during the COVID-19 lockdown

Despite the gloom and doom, these 10 Delhi-NCR-based startups managed to raise investments amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

OYO, Bira 91, Mobikwik — 10 Delhi-NCR startups that bagged funding during the COVID-19 lockdown

Tuesday August 25, 2020,

8 min Read

According to a survey by community social media platform LocalCircles, about 38 percent of the Indian startups have already run out of cash, and another 30 percent have money left for a maximum of three months.

The survey was conducted in mid-June with responses from 28,000 startups, small, and medium enterprises (SMEs).

However, amidst all the gloom, there is a silver lining as 35 percent of Indian startups expect to grow in the next six months.


Image Source: Shutterstock

In fact, two Indian cities – Bengaluru (26th) and Delhi (36th) — made it to the top 40 of the world’s most favourable ecosystems to build a globally successful startup in ‘The Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2020’ by Startup Genome.

Within the first six months of 2020, more startups were founded in the Delhi-NCR, followed by Bengaluru and Mumbai. According to the data by Tracxn, Delhi-NCR founded 109 startups, followed by 63 in Bengaluru, and 44 in Mumbai. 

Owing to the robust ecosystem, government network, and manufacturing facilities, Delhi has become a new favourite destination for startups. Until August 23, a total of 108 deals have been closed by Delhi-based startups, according to data accessed by YourStory

YourStory lists the top 10 deals closed during the pandemic. 

OYO Rooms

Ritesh Agarwal OYO

Ritesh Agarwal, Founder and CEO of OYO Hotels and Homes.

Gurugram-based hospitality unicorn OYO Hotels and Homes raised $807 million funding in March from existing investors SoftBank and founder Ritesh Agarwal-owned RA Hospitality Holdings. The investment is the first tranche of $1.5 billion Series F round, which was announced in October 2019.

According to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs filings, $506.75 million had been infused by SoftBank, which will hold 50.6 percent stake in the hospitality unicorn through SVF India Holdings, while RA Holdings will have 25.87 percent stake.

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.

The startup was founded in 2013 by 26-year-old Ritesh Agarwal, who is rated among India’s most celebrated young entrepreneurs.

This year, OYO has been in the news for various reasons, including mass firings, IT raids at its Gurugram office, and vendor fallout. It was also recently featured in a Harvard case study, which talks about the unicorn’s journey, challenges, and growth. 

DMI Group

Financial service startup DMI Group in April raised $123 million in funding from South Korean gaming company Nexon (NXC Corporation).

DMI plans to use the funding to accelerate its balance sheet growth in the digital consumer, and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) finance businesses.

Founded in 2008 by former Citigroup executives Shivashish Chatterjee and Yuvraja C Singh, DMI Group is a non-banking financial fintech startup that has grown into a pan-India credit platform with core businesses in digital retail and SME finance, affordable housing finance, wholesale finance, and asset management. 

The startup serves more than five lakh customers across nine states in India.


In July, realty firm M3M India Ltd raised Rs 570 crore ($76 million) debt from American alternative investment manager Oaktree Capital Management to fund its ongoing projects. The deal marks Oaktree’s first real estate investment in north India.

M3M group owns over 2,000 acres of prime land in the Delhi-NCR. It has completed many real estate projects in the city, while several are still under development.

Previously, the startup had raised funds from Indiabulls Group and PNB Housing Finance Ltd.

Aye Finance

Aye Finance

Team Aye Finance

Amidst the lockdown, fintech startup Aye Finance raised three rounds of funding, amounting to $68.3 million. In April, the startup raised Rs 180 crore in debt funding from leading lenders from India and abroad.

It raised Rs 210 crore in a Series E round in June led by CapitalG, Alphabet’s independent growth fund. Existing investors LGT Lightstone, Falcon Edge Capital, A91 Partners, and MAJ Invest also participated in this round.

Within a week, the Gurugram-based startup raised another Rs 125 crore (about $17 million) in debt from Germany-based impact investor Invest in Vision.

According to a statement, Aye Finance will be utilising the freshly raised funds to lend to the micro-enterprise sector and to facilitate job creation, and its inclusion into the folds of organised lending.

Founded in 2014 by Sanjay Sharma and Vikram Jetley, Aye Finance has disbursed over Rs 3,000 crore and brought over 200,000 unorganised businesses into the formal lending ecosystem since its inception. It provides mortgage, hypothecation, and term loan services accessible to India’s thriving and underserved micro-enterprises.


Enterprise contract management startup SirionLabs in May raised $44 million in Series C round led by Tiger Global and Avatar Growth Capital.

According to the startup, the funds will be used to focus on strengthening its leadership. It has announced the launch of its new Seattle-based Technology Centre and has appointed a few leaders for the same.

With this round of funding, the total capital raised by SirionLabs is at $66 million. The earlier rounds were led by Sequoia Capital.


In March, online used car retailing startup Spinny raised $43.7 million (about Rs 315 crore) in Series B funding led by Fundamentum Partnership (FP), a growth-capital fund backed by Nandan Nilekani and Sanjeev Aggarwal.  

The round also saw participation from new investors such as US-based General Catalyst Partners, Korea-based KB Financial Group, and existing investors Accel, SAIF Partners, and Alteria Capital as co-investors.

Founded in 2015 by Niraj Singh, Mohit Gupta, and Ramanshu Mahuar, Spinny is a tech-enabled pre-owned car platform. Its online-to-offline (O2O) model allows customers to discover cars online on Spinny's website and make the final purchase offline at a Spinny Car Hub.

It is currently present across four cities in India and has sold close to 10,000 cars through its platform.

Bira 91

Bira 91

Ankur Jain, Founder and CEO, Bira 91

Delhi-based craft beer brand Bira91 raised two rounds of funding during the lockdown, which adds up to $35 million.

In April, it raised $30 million funding led by its existing investors Sequoia India and Belgium-based investment firm Sofina. Further, Sixth Sense Ventures, Neoplux, a Korean private equity fund, and several high reputation family offices also participated. 

Later in May, it received another $5 million( Rs 38 crore) from its existing investors.

The new capital will be utilised to expand its India footprint and consolidate its leadership position in the premium beer market in India.

Established in the summer of 2015 by B9 Beverages, Bira 91 consists of a team of over 500 people and has a presence in 10 countries and over 400 cities. To date, it has received over $130 million in funding since its inception.



MobiKwik founders: Upasana Taku and Bipin Preet Singh

Digital payments startup MobiKwik in March raised $29.56 million (Rs 223 crore) from unknown investors through a Cayman Island-based L.P. named MK SPV IX in an equity-cum-debt deal. 

Founded in 2009 by Upasana Taku and Bipin Preet Singh, MobiKwik reported net revenue of Rs 379 crore for FY20 as against Rs 162 crore in FY19.

Though the spread of COVID-19 did have an impact on MobiKwik, especially in May and June, it expects a return to normalcy from August-end or September of this year.

The company currently has around 325 employees, and the revenue per employee has risen to Rs 1.27 crore in FY20 as against Rs 0.4 crore in the previous year.



FarEye Founders (L-R): Gautam Kumar, Gaurav Srivastava, Kushal Nahata

SaaS-based logistics startup FarEye in April raised a Series D investment of $25 million led by M12 (Microsoft’s venture fund) with participation from Eight Roads Ventures and Honeywell Ventures. Existing investor SAIF Partners also participated in the round. 

Founded in 2013 by Kushal Nahata, Gaurav Srivastava, and Gautam Kumar, FarEye’s predictive logistics platform enables enterprises to orchestrate, track, and optimise their logistics operations.

Today, the startup claims to handle over 10 million transactions globally every day on its platform. It is operational across 20 countries and traction with more than 150 global retailers, CPG companies, and logistics and transportation providers, including DHL, Amway, Dominos, Walmart, Johnson & Johnson, and Hilti.


Asset management solutions startup MPowered in July 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.

MPowered was launched by former GoWork CEO Sudeep Singh and Bhavna in June 2020. Mpowered provides asset management services in the domains of commercial, residential, and retail real estate spaces.

(Inputs by Rashi Varshney, Sindhu Kashyaap, and Sujata Sangwan)

Edited by Suman Singh