[Funding roundup] Nestasia, HireQuotient, ShopConnect, FastBeetle, others raise early-stage investment

Here are the companies that announced early-stage rounds of funding during the day.
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D2C home decor Nestasia raises $4 million in Series A round

Nestasia, an online home decor and lifestyle brand that delivers home experience with its specially designed and curated line of artisanal home decor and tableware products, has raised $4 million in a Series A round led by Stellaris Venture Partners.

Founded in 2019 by Aditi Murarka Agrawal and Anurag Agrawal, Nestasia has completed over 100,000 orders and has a base of more than 50,000 customers in seven countries.

The Series A round also saw participation from Varun Alagh of MamaEarth, Sahil Barua of Delhivery, Anuj Srivastava and Ramakant Sharma of Livspace, and Dilip Khandelwal of Deutsche India.

“We are excited to have Rahul Chowdhri from Stellaris Venture Partners on our board, who brings with him a wealth of experience and understanding of the D2C space and the nuances of achieving scale,” said Aditi.

Vedic Cosmeceuticals raises $3.2 million in Series A

Vedic Cosmeceuticals, a premier private label manufacturer of personal care products for leading international and domestic brands, has raised $3.2 million in Series A round from Sixth Sense Ventures

Founded by Mohit Goel in 2004, Vedic Cosmeceuticals manufactures for leading Indian cosmetic brands including Nykaa, Moms Co., and more. It exports nearly 20 percent of its current production to Europe.

“We aim to utilise the raised funds to expand our outreach to newer markets and global clientele, and considerably scale up operations and take our research and development to the next level,” said Mohit Goel, Founder, Vedic Cosmeceuticals. “We look forward to strategic guidance from Sixth Sense Ventures team for the acquisition of new markets and leveraging their deep consumer understanding to further our existing relationships”

HireQuotient raises $1.8 million

HireQuotient Technologies, a Singapore-headquartered HR process automation startup, has raised $1.8 million from leading angel investors.

Founded in 2021 by Eugene Goh and Smarthveer Sidana, HireQuotient has been used by more than 30,000 candidates in more than 40 countries. Its AI-enabled virtual interviewers help companies make the screening process more skill-based, and aim to save clients millions of dollars and time.

The angel round featured founders such as Binny Bansal of Flipkart, Sumant Sinha of ReNew Power, Mohan Lakhamraju of Great Learning, Sujeet Kumar of Udaan, Kunal Shah of Cred, and Nimesh Kampani of Trica and his syndicate on the LetsVenture platform.

“HQ team is all ready to disrupt the business hiring space. This is just the start, the journey from here on will be very exciting,” said Smarthveer, Co-founder and CEO of HireQuotient, in a press release.

ShopConnect raises $1.5 million

ShopConnect, a next-generation interactive ecommerce and video collaboration platform, has raised $1.5 million from IBS Technology and Consulting Services.

“We will use the investment to enhance our core capabilities to grow our customer base,” said Dilli, Founder and CEO of ShopConnect, adding, “We will advance R&D to introduce exciting new solutions within the rapidly growing retail tech industry and expand our operations in the domestic and international markets.”

Founded in 2015 by Dilli Babu Nandarapu, ShopConnect has customers in the US such as Titan Industries and Highline United, apart from designer Ridhi Mehra, Kavitha Gutta, Style, and Neena Patial.

ShopConnect aims to onboard more than 2,500 premium brands in fashion and accessories, footwear, jewellery, furniture, and electronics across India and other geographies in the next three years.

Frendy raises $1.3 million in pre–Series A round

Frendy, a WEcommerce venture, has raised $1.3 million in a pre-Series A round.

Launched in 2019 by Rajen Ahuja and Gowrav Vishwakarma, Frendy is a community group buying platform that brings discounts on grocery and other daily needs to towns through local entrepreneurs.

The funding round was led by Pavitar Singh, CTO of Sprinklr, Abhishek Khurana, Senior VP - Product Engineering, Sprinklr, and the Desai Family Office.

Haus & Kinder announces a $1.3 million round

Haus & Kinder, a home-to-baby brand, has raised $1.3 million in a round led by investor Shaival Desai.

Saket Dhankar launched Haus & Kinder in 2018 with a vision to disrupt the home and baby space with a design-led lifestyle brand. After three years, it has grown to more than 400 stock-keeping units (SKUs) in bedsheet, towels and baby swaddles segments.

The company will use the funds from the pre-Series A round to strengthen its brand, and accelerate product launches, according to a press release. 

Tournafest raises $400,000 in angel round

Tournafest, a one-stop destination for the gamer community of India, has raised funding of $400,000 from investors and angels.

Founded in 2021 by Ayush Agarwal and Kaustubh Trivedi, Tournafest is designed for gamers with an aim to provide gamers with the opportunity to compete in tournaments and practice scrims hosted by leading gaming communities of India.

Investors for the round are India Quotient, FirstCheque, Maninder Gulati of Global CSO Oyo Rooms, Abhinav Sinha of Global CPO and COO Oyo Rooms, and other prominent angels.

Java Capital, investors pool in $250,000 in BharatX

BharatX, a fintech startup that enables credit on consumer-facing platforms by offering credit as a feature, has raised $250,000 in a round led by Java Capital.

“We are excited and very grateful to our investors for putting their belief in us to solve this problem which has plagued Indians for far too long,” said Mehul Nath Jindal, Founder of BharatX.

The round saw participation from Anupam Mittal, Founder of Shaadi.com, Ritesh Jain, former Chief Operating Officer of HSBC, Faiz Mayalakkara, Director of Investments at UAE’s Sovereign Wealth Fund, Amit Kumar Singh, former Chief Business Officer of Indialends.com, and LetsVenture AIF.

Founded in 2019, BharatX was founded by Mehul, Eeshan Sharma, Shyam Murugan, and Siddharth Venu.

Logistics startup ‘FastBeetle’ raises $100,000

FastBeetle Logistics, a Srinagar-based tech startup focused on last-mile logistics in Jammu and Kashmiri, has closed a round of $100,000 from angel investors.

The investors in the latest round include Sandeep Patel of Nepra, Saurabh Mittal, an entrepreneurship evangelist in the Himalayan region, Vikram Sanghvi, Rohit Qamra, and a few non-resident Kashmiris, apart from existing investors Kartikeya Desai and Anuj Sharma.

Launched in 2019 by Sheikh Samiullah and Abid Rashid, FastBeetle provides inbound and outbound full-stack logistics services across Jammu and Kashmir. It works with more than 800 micro-entrepreneurs, 60 percent of whom are women, to provide critical services in areas not serviced by larger companies.

“The funds will help us in expanding our reach to even more remote parts of the region, while helping boost local economic growth and the income growth potential for the people by helping local entrepreneurs forge channels with the global market,” said the founders in a press release.

Binny Bansal, angels back Hyperface

Hyperface, a credit card-as-a-service startup that helps businesses, brands and others tailor credit-card products to their unique customer base, has raised an undisclosed amount in a round from various investors.

Hyperface was founded in January 2021 by RV Ramanathan, former CTO of Juspay, and Aishwarya Jaishankar, who was a banker before starting up.

The current round featured Binny Bansal, Advisor of 021 Capital, and angel investors, such as Varun Mittal of EY, Ashish Sharma, CEO of Innoven, Chaitra Chidanand, Co-founder of SALT, Moses Lo, Founder and CEO of Xendit, Aldi Haryopratomo, Former CEO of GoPay, Harsh Jain, Founder and COO of Groww, Abhinay Peddisetty and Chinmay Chauhan, founders of Bukuwarung in Indonesia.

“We are extremely fortunate to have the support of seasoned fintech leaders, both in India and abroad in our early innings. Their validation is proof of the boundless opportunity ahead of us globally, to transform and expand one of the largest markets in digital payments,” said Ramanathan, Founder and CEO of Hyperface.

Antler India invests in protein foods brand Gladful

Gladful, an online protein foods brand for kids and families, has raised funding from Antler India.

The other investors in the round are Huddle Accelerator, Shiprocket via their programme RocketfuelXHuddle, angel investors such as Ankita Vashistha from StrongHer Ventures and Encubay Angel Network, and Paavan Nanda, Co-founder of WinZO Games.

Gladful, founded in 2021, by Parul Sharma and Manu Sharma creates protein food and snacking products. The funds will be utilised to strengthen the innovation funnel and amplify marketing efforts.

“We are building with nutritionists and moms across the country to seamlessly fit protein in daily diets and tiffin boxes,” says Parul, Co-founder of Gladful. “Since kids snack frequently throughout the day, we want this to be the entry point. Protein deficiency is a very real, but invisible challenge facing India, and we are on a mission to solve that by developing pioneering products.”

TagMango’s pre-Series A round

TagMango, a homegrown creator monetisation startup in Mumbai, has raised capital in a pre-Series A round from leading investors.

Founded in 2019 by Divyanshu Damani and Mohammad Hasan, TagMango provides opportunities to creators, irrespective of their online following (nano to macro), to monetise their direct-to-consumer interactions by selling live workshops and cohort-based courses in sectors, such as finance, education, value-tainment and food.

The TagMango investors include JAM Fund by Tinder Founder Justin Mateen, Ankur Nagpal, Founder of Teachable, Soma Capital, TA Ventures, and Belief Partners.

The current round also saw participation from prominent creators like Varun Duggirala, Evan Luthra, Prakhar Gupta and MSB Vision, and Pioneer Fund.

Frangipani raises Series A round from G.O.A.T Brand Labs

Frangipani, a popular kidswear label, has raised Series A funding from G.O.A.T Brand Labs and is one of the first partnerships that G.O.A.T Brand Labs has ventured into.

The company was founded in 2012 by two moms, Sunaina Patel and Mansi Kilachand, and aims to grow by five times in the next three years.

“With the growth capital and operational support provided by the team, we hope to quickly realise Frangipani’s future potential of being a 100-crore brand,” said Sunaina, Co-founder, and CEO of Frangipani.

G.O.A.T Brand Labs will act as an extended arm of Frangipani with their valuable expertise in digital marketing, operations, and channel expansion.

Edited by Kanishk Singh

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