[Weekly funding roundup] Venture investments drop below $50M; Digit Insurance becomes 2021's first unicorn

The total funding for the week stood at $45 million, much below the $612 million reported in the previous week. In fact, Digit Insurance became the first unicorn of 2021, valued at $1.9 billion.

The total venture capital funding into Indian startups in the third week of January 2021 was below $50 million. However, it did not mask the flurry of developments during this week, largely centred around the unicorns.

The total funding for the week stood at $45 million, much below the $612 million reported in the previous week. In fact, the Indian startup ecosystem welcomed its first unicorn of the year — Digit Insurance — valued at $1.9 billion after its latest fundraise.

Unacademy — the Bengaluru-based edtech unicorn — saw its existing investors raising their stake through a secondary transaction, while BYJU's made the news following a possible acquisition of offline tutoring chain Aakash Educational Services.

According to reports, fintech giant Paytm may get a $400 million fund infusion from UBS.

A total of 16 early-stage deals were signed during the week. Moreover, debt funding continues to evince interest from investors with two deals during the week.

Key transactions

CoinSwitch Kuber, a cryptocurrency investment platform, has raised $15 million in Series A funding round led by Ribbit Capital and Paradigm. The round also saw participation from existing investors Sequoia Capital India and CRED Founder Kunal Shah.

Skill-based mobile gaming platform Zupee raised additional capital of $10 million led by WestCap Group. Existing investor Matrix Partners India also participated in the round.

Other deals

Chalo, a Mumbai-based public transport technology startup, raised $7 million in its latest round of funding. The round also saw existing investors Raine Ventures, Neeraj Arora, and Amit Singhal participate in the round.

Small businesses-focused non-banking lender SSA Finserv has raised $3 million (around Rs 21 crore) from Blue Ashva Capital.

Agritech startup Ergos received $3 million from the UK's CDC Group as the closure to its Series A round, which constituted $11 million.

Karkhana.io, a B2B on-demand manufacturing platform, raised a seed round of $1.5 million led by Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India, and also angel investors.

Pune-based food brand True Elements said it recently closed a funding round of Rs 10 crore from Maharashtra State Social Venture Fund (MSSVF) — a fund managed by SIDBI VC.

Siply, the Bengaluru-based tech-enabled micro-savings application, raised $1 million in a seed round led by Inflection Point Ventures.

ReadyAssist, an on-demand vehicle repair and service startup, raised a seed round of $1 million from a group of angel investors in two tranches.

Mumbai-based edtech startup PurpleTutor raised a seed funding round of about $300,000 led by IvyCap Ventures. It also saw participation from Krishna Kumar (Founder and CEO – Simplilearn).

Knocksense, a Lucknow-based local content production startup, on Thursday said it raised $200,000 in an angel round of funding.

Wright Research raised undisclosed pre-seed funds from BSE Institute Limited Ryerson Technology Startup Incubation Foundation (BRTSIF).

Delhi-NCR-based Bolkar raised an undisclosed amount from GSF Accelerator and Axilor Ventures.

Blockchain transaction platform Biconomy raised a seed funding of $1.5 million led by research-led European VC Eden Block.

GRC management platform VComply raised $6 million Series A funding round from Counterpart Ventures and Accel.

Edited by Suman Singh


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