[Weekly funding roundup] Venture investments get a leg-up from unicorns

This year, the month of April was certainly a high point for the Indian startup ecosystem with the emergence of a record number of unicorns and the total investments for the month touching $4 billion.
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The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic notwithstanding, the Indian startup ecosystem showed resilience during the month of April 2021 as the total venture capital funding touched nearly $4 billion — among the highest monthly number record.

The month of April also witnessed the emergence of eight new unicorns – companies that are valued at $1 billion or above — and there is still a likelihood of some more startups entering the coveted club.

In fact, the number of unicorns that emerged for the current year stands at 12, which is already higher than what was reported for the whole of 2020.

This also means that besides the emergence of unicorns, a large number of other startups are also receiving the capital, revealing the vibrancy of the startup ecosystem.

The COVID-19 pandemic has put unimaginable stress on the Indian startup ecosystem, but the expectation is that it would be able to tide through this crisis, just like it did during the first wave.

Founders of Urban Company (from left): Varun Khaitan, Raghav Chandra and Abhiraj Bhal

The last week of April saw total venture capital funding of $583 million, which was largely powered by three startups – Urban Company, BYJU'S, and upGrad — as compared to $261 million in the previous week.

There were just eight deals during the week, with late-stage deals accounting for half of the transactions, and early and growth stages receiving two each.

There was no debt deal during the week, and the ecosystem saw no mergers and acquisitions.

Key deals

Urban Company, the home services marketplace startup, raised $188 million in its latest funding round led by Prosus and turned into a unicorn with a valuation $2 billion.

BYJU'S is raising about $150 million from UBS Group AG. that will value the edtech major at about $16.5 billion.

Edtech startup upGrad raised $120 million from Singapore-based Temasek, making this the first external fund-raise by this company.

Other transactions

Bizongo, a B2B platform for made-to-order goods, completed a $51 million fresh funding exercise, with investments from CDC and Addventures.

Edtech startup Lead School raised $30 million in Series D funding round led by GSV Ventures along with WestBridge Capital.

Dental care startup CareStack raised $22.5 million in funding with participation from SteadView Capital, Delta Dental of California, and Accel Partners among others.

Fintech startup FypMoney raised $2 million in a seed funding round from angel investors including Liberatha Kallat, Mukesh Yadav, and Dinesh Nagpal.

Edited by Kanishk Singh

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