[Weekly funding roundup] VC investments decline by 48 percent in Indian startups

Venture funding raised in the second week of October stood at just $43 million, a 48 percent slump as compared to the previous week. In fact, a total of 15 early-stage deals were signed among startups and investors this week.
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October continues to remain muted for the Indian Startup ecosystem, as around $125 million has been raised in funding in the first two weeks of the month, as compared to total funding of $1.8 billion raised in September.

Venture funding raised in the second week of October stood at just $43 million, a 48 percent slump as compared to the previous week. In fact, a total of 15 early-stage deals were signed among startups and investors this week.

Amid this, Uni, a fintech startup co-founded by Nitin Gupta, received a seed funding of $18.5 million, even though it is in stealth mode. On the other hand, Chargebee, and Indian-origin SaaS startup now headquartered in the US, raised $55 million.

Key deal

Uni, a fintech startup co-founded by Nitin Gupta (Ex-Co-founder of PayU India, and Ex-CEO of Ola Financial Services) raised $18.5 million in seed funding from Lightspeed India Partners and Accel India. The startup's other co-founders are Prateek Jindal and Laxmikant Vyas. Still, in stealth mode, Uni plans to build a new ag credit card, and will also use the funds to build a team, product, marketing, and working capital.

Other deals

Tech-enabled consumer finance NBFC Credit Wise Capital (CWC) raised $6 million in its seed round. The investment round was led by Chairman of MJ Shah Group Mayank Shah, with participation from other family offices and angel investors. CWC will be using the freshly raised funds to grow its dealer network, geographically expand, and improve its collection technology and underwriting models.

Online edtech platform Winuall raised $2 million from Prime Venture Partners, BEENEXT, Ramakant Sharma, (Co-founder, LivSpace), and other angel investors. The funds will be used to hire across technology, product, AI, and business development teams.

Agritech startup Ergos Business Solutions raised an additional capital of Rs 38.5 crore ($5 million) in Series A round with fresh investment from Chiratae Ventures and Aavishkaar Capital. Chiratae Ventures led the Series A round with an investment of Rs 23.5 crore, and Aavishkaar Capital invested the remaining Rs 15 crore. The equity round is expected to be an Rs 80 crore raise with another institutional investor set to join the round.

NirogStreet, a Gurugram-based technology-led Ayurveda platform, raised $2 million in Pre-Series A funding led by Wavemaker Partners and Amand Ventures, along with existing investor Spiral Ventures. The startup will utilise the capital to strengthen its technology platform and digitise the supply chain.

Noida-based agritech startup Unnati raised $1.7 million in Pre-Series A round from NABVENTURES, NABARD’s agriculture-focused venture fund. The startup will use the funds raised to scale up its tech platform for the farmers and farmer producer organisations (FPOs), along with setting up of more partner stores. 

Disprz, a SaaS startup delivering learning and development solutions using AI, raised $1.6 million from Auctus Capital. It plans to use the funding to expand into the Southeast Asian region, and also expand its team.

Kochi-based rental space provider startup Livve raised $1.5 million in seed funding from undisclosed angel investors. It will use the funds to find quality furnished homes and connect tenants and landlords on a common platform. It will also be doubling its operations and improving the quality of the experience with technology.

Krishitantra, a Hyderabad-based soil-tech startup, raised $1 million in seed funding from NABVENTURES and Omnivore. The startup plans to use this funding to expand operations across India to help farmers realise higher income through improved soil health.

Bengaluru-based health diagnostic startup Acculi Labs raised Rs 5 crore (about $700,000) in a seed funding round from PirE Ventures — a Mumbai-based investment firm — which it will use for R&D activity and extend its reach.

Genrobotics, a Trivandrum-based robotics startup, raised Rs 2.5 crore in a Pre-Series A round led by existing investors Unicorn India Ventures. Anand Mahindra, who invested in his personal capacity, also joined as an investor in this round along with SEA Fund. Founded in 2015, Genrobotics is widely known for making Bandicoot, the fully-automated manhole cleaning robots, and is working with the central and state governments to help eradicate manual scavenging.

Undisclosed value deals

Cryptocurrency exchange Unocoin raised an undisclosed funding led by Tim Draper’s Draper Associates, with participation from XBTO Ventures, 2020 Ventures, and veteran investors. It plans to raise $5 million as a part of its Series A round.

PakkaProfile, a game-based assessment and recruitment platform for gig workforce, raised a seed round led by Java Capital. The round also saw participation from LetsVenture and Akshay Kothari, COO, Notion.  

Bambrew, a greentech sustainable and eco-friendly packaging solution startup, raised a pre-seed round of funding led by Upsparks. The round also saw participation from investors, including LetsVenture, Amity Capital Ventures, Amity Technology Incubator, and other angel investors.

India connect

Chargebee, a San Francisco-based SaaS startup with its roots in Chennai, raised $55 million in its Series F funding round led by Insight Partners, along with Steadview Capital and Tiger Global. Chargebee will use the fund to enhance its product development.

Monet Networks, an AI-powered data analytics startup founded by Anurag Bist, secured $500,000 in bridge funding in a round led by Gurugram-headquartered VC firm SenseAI Ventures. The startup will use this funding to create new applications for sectors such as online education and gaming.

Edited by Suman Singh

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