[Weekly funding roundup] Investments into startups continue to remain low
The dark clouds of low investments over the Indian startup ecosystem continues in the second week of August, as not much momentum was seen in the funding activity as compared to the first week of the month.
The total equity investment in the second week of August stood at $12 million, a very negligible change when compared to the $9 million in the comparable previous week.
In fact, since the start of the current financial year, this is the first time that venture investments into startups has fallen to a level below $15 million on a weekly basis.
For the second week of August, there were a total of nine equity deals, with a majority of the transactions concentrated in the early-stage deals. Debt financing made a comeback, with a total amount raised by startups touching $8.6 million from companies such as Upgrad and Ziploan.
Bengaluru-based BigHaat raised over $2 million in pre-Series A funding round. The startup will use the capital to scale its data and technology. It is going to be hiring across various departments, and aims to engage over 10 million farmers across India over the next 24 months. The current round also saw participation from Rockstud Capital, BigHaat’s existing investor Ankur Capital, and angel investors.
CityCash, a Mumbai-based fintech startup focussed on creating a transit led micro-payments ecosystem, raised its seed round of $1 million from Orios Venture Partners, an early-stage venture capital fund. The startup said the new funds will be used for expanding market access, merchant ecosystem, and to develop technology to deploy Open Loop National Common Mobility Cards on SoftPOS and digital ticketing solutions.
Mobile advertisement firm Affle acquired eight percent stake in indigenous social keyboard provider Bobble AI for Rs 19.8 crore. Prior to Affle's investment, the major investors were Xiaomi and SAIF Partners. After Affle's investment, the shareholding of Xiaomi would be 27.6 percent and that of SAIF Partners would be 19.42 percent. Bobble Indic Keyboard includes speech-to-text capabilities and is accessible in multiple Indian languages. It is also a pre-loaded default keyboard for Xiaomi across multiple devices in India.
Mumbai-based DocSumo, a document AI startup, raised seed funding of $220,000 from Better Capital, TechStars, and Barclays. DocSumo will use this investment to strengthen its product, marketing, and sales engine, and also foray into newer markets like the US. Started in 2019 by former Rocket Internet executive Rushabh Sheth (CEO), and Bikram Dahl (CTO), DocSumo’s technology platform helps to automate and analyse financial data such as bank statements, pay stubs, tax data, and business financial documents. It helps companies and firms to convert unstructured documents into structured data.
Online climate school Terra.do closed a $1.4 million seed round led by Stanford Angels and Entrepreneurs (India), BEENEXT Emerging Asia, Zerodha-backed Rainmatter Capital, and prominent angels from the Indian and US ecosystem. The startup runs online learning programmes and has a community that helps individuals across the globe transition their skills into working on tough climate change problems.
AI-based sales augmentation platform DaveAI raised an undisclosed amount in its pre-Series A round of funding led by Mumbai Angels Network. The round also saw participation from GHV Accelerator, IIIT Technology Venture Partners, and Mohan Kumar, CEO of Crestere Technologies. Founded by Dr Ananthakrishnan Gopal, Ashok Balasundaram, and Sriram P H, DaveAI is a sales augmentation platform with a vision to democratise AI for enterprises. DaveAI can be used by brands to create sales experiences on web, VR, and AR.
CUSMAT, a startup that builds high immersion training systems for enterprises, raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Venture Catalysts. The round was led by Venture Catalysts investor — Raveen Sastry of Multiply Ventures, and also saw participation from Vaibhav Domkundwar, Better Capital; Rakesh Verma, Chairman, MapMyIndia; and Pratap Atwal, Director, CIPL (coronation Mining and Infra). Founded in 2016 by three NIT Warangal graduates — Abhinav Ayan, Anirban Jyoti Chakravorty, and Soumyaranjan Harichandan — CUSMAT leverages AR/VR/MR and AI-based technologies to skill, upskill, train, and assess people in enterprises.
Bhupinder Goyal-led InCred Group has forayed into asset management with the acquisition of Vishuddha Capital Management LLP. The acquisition was routed through InCred Asset Management, part of InCred Capital. InCred Capital is the wealth management arm of InCred Group launched in 2019. This is the first acquisition made by InCred Asset Management.
Edited by Suman Singh