[Weekly funding roundup] Venture funding touches $224M for the last week of September
The last week of September witnessed another dip in venture funding for Indian startups as compared to the previous week, but the month turned out to be quite positive with total investments touching $1.8 billion.
The total venture funding for the fourth week of September was $224 million, which was a 41 percent decline as compared to $377 million raised in the third week. During this week, no single investment crossed $100 million, which would have boosted the number as it has happened in the past.
The startup segments of gaming and edtech continues to attract investor interest with Mobile Premier League raising $90 million while BYJU’s got another set of premier investors of undisclosed funding.
The total number of deals during the week totalled to 13, with growth-stage startups accounting for the highest traction at seven, followed by early ones at five. There was a single late-stage deal but no venture debt transactions took place during the week.
Mobile Premier League (MPL), the fantasy game startup, raised $90 million in a Series C round led by SIG, RTP Global, along with MDI Ventures and Pegasus Tech Ventures. MPL's existing investors Sequoia Capital India, Go-Ventures, and Base Partners also participated in the round. With the latest round, MPL's total funding stands at $130.5 million.
The fresh capital would be used to expand MPL’s product offering, with a focus on social functions such as live streaming, audio, and video content features. MPL will also grow its team at a time when online gaming and fantasy sports are witnessing rapid growth that is poised to peak during IPL, which kicked off over the weekend.
ShareChat, the Bengaluru-headquartered social media platform, closed its pre-Series E funding round by raising $40 million, led by existing investors Lightspeed Ventures, Twitter, and SAIF Partners, along with new entities. The other investors in this round include Pawan Munjal of the Hero Group in his personal capacity, DCM Shriram Promoters Family Office, and India Quotient. Following this latest round, ShareChat’s total funding now stands at $264 million.
Servify, a Mumbai-based device lifecycle management platform, raised $23 million in its Series C funding round, led by existing investor Iron Pillar. The other investors in this round include Blume Ventures, BEENEXT, Tetrao SPF, Global Alternatives Investor 57 Stars and other multiple entities.
Enterprise debt platform Vivriti Capital raised Rs 100 crore in a round led by its existing investor Creation Investments. Founded in 2017, Vivriti Capital owns and manages CredAvenueTM, a leading online platform for enterprise debt in India. The platform claims to have 120+ institutional investors/lenders, 260+ enterprise clients, over five lakh individual and SME borrowers, and has enabled debt exceeding Rs 30,000 crore.
Melorra, a Bengaluru-based jewellery startup, raised $12.50 million in funding from Symphony Asia, Lightbox Ventures and Alteria Capital. Others who participated in the round included existing and new family offices of Burman, Jeejeebhoy, and others. The funds will be used for technological innovations, product innovations, and marketing to grow the brand awareness and position Melorra as the choice of a new generation.
After-sales services startup Onsitego raised an additional $10 million in its Series B round from IFC. The first part of the round was led by Zodius, with participation from existing investor Accel Partners, in February this year. The company raised a total of $30 million in the Series B round. The funds will be used to consolidate its market position and strengthen its B2C offerings like AMC, home protection. and on-demand services.
Mumbai-based company Pep Technologies, which owns skincare brand mCaffeine, raised Rs 42 crore in a Series B round from Amicus Capital, along with RPSG Ventures, and Aman Gupta, Founder of Boat Audio. Existing investor Telama Investments also participated in the round. The current round comes after the Series A round ended in June 2019 when it raised $2 million from a group of investors, led by RPSG Ventures.
Healthtech startup BestDoc, supported by Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM), has raised $2.1 million from Accel and Arkam Ventures in its pre-Series A round. Existing investor SEA Fund also participated in the round. The startup provides Intelligent Patient Relationship Management (PRM) system for hospitals and other healthcare providers in India.
Rephrase.ai, the Bengaluru-based AI-led synthetic media production startup raised $1.5 million in seed funding led by Lightspeed Ventures and AV8 Ventures. The deeptech startup plans to use the capital raised to scale its AI-powered video personalisation platform, strengthen its commercial presence in North America, and expand its engineering and research teams based out of Bengaluru, India.
ClanConnect.ai, a Delhi-based self-serve influencer marketing startup for brands, has closed its seed round of Rs 5 crore. The funding round was led by Venture Catalysts along with several marquee entrepreneurs, including Samrath Bedi, Managing Director of Forest Essentials; Sandeep Aggarwal of Droom.in; Aakrit Vaish, Co-Founder of Haptik; and Haresh Hingorani, Chief Creative Officer of Redchillies VFX.
Bharti Airtel picked up a strategic stake in tech startup Waybeo under the Airtel Startup Accelerator Programme. The company did not divulge the financial details of the deal. Airtel Startup Accelerator Programme allows startups to leverage its core strengths in data, distribution, networks and payments. Startups also get access to advisory services from the company's executive team. In the past, Vahan, Spectacom, Lattu Kids, and Voicezen joined the programme.
Edtech major BYJU'S has raised funding from BlackRock, Sands Capital, and Alkeon Capital. Existing investors General Atlantic, Owl Ventures, and Tiger Global also participated in this round. The startup did not disclose financial details.
Windrose Capital, a Pune-based VC firm, has led an undisclosed seed investment round in Precily Inc. The Palo Alto and New Delhi-based deeptech enterprise SaaS startup intends to utilise the funds for product development and in refining its current data science research to deliver more accurate results.
Unacademy, the Bengaluru-headquartered edtech startup, acquired a UPSC test preparation platform Coursavy for an undisclosed amount. The current merger will help the edtech unicorn to strengthen its position in the UPSC test prep market. Unacademy plans to conduct bi-monthly scholarship tests — Aspire — for UPSC aspirants, and also conduct knowledge sharing summits with UPSC toppers, top educators, and experts from the field.
Edited by Kanishk Singh