[Funding roundup] Peakperformer, Carbanio.com, Cercle X, Nova Benefits, others raise early-stage deals

Here are the companies that announced early-stage rounds on Wednesday, February 9, 2022.
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Peakperformer raises $3M in a seed round

Digital coaching platform PeakPerformer has raised $3 million in a seed round led by Sequoia Capital India’s Surge, alongside co-investors Antler India, Blume Founders Fund, and angel investors. Surge is Sequoia India’s rapid scale-up program for startups in India and Southeast Asia.

Founded in September 2020 by Aishwarya Goel and Nilesh Agarwal, Peakperformer provides leadership coaching for managers at all levels and helps them build behavioural skills in an engaging, measurable and continuous way. 

The digital coaching platform coaches employees on areas like management, creative and communication skills through remote one-on-one sessions with a focus on measurable improvement in profits, customer satisfaction and people utilisation.

The fresh funds will be used for expansion into new markets, hiring vertical leaders and top talent, as well as for product and tech development.

“We offer personalised one-on-one coaching sessions that are aligned to both the individual’s and wider company’s goals and our coaches come from a diverse array of industries. A lot of research has gone into providing the right match of coaches and solutions for our partners, and we’re proud of the success the platform has seen so far. We look forward to further expanding Peakperformer’s reach across the region and to other parts of the world”, said Aishwarya Goel, Co-founder, Peakperformer.

Chemicals online B2B marketplace raises $1.3M in a seed round

Online B2B chemicals marketplace Carbanio.com has raised $1.3 million in a seed round led by the Quantico Group USA

Founded by Dr Rafi S and Vijay Devarakonda, Carbanio.com chemicals marketplace has more than nine million products sold by 40,000 businesses across India. 

The company has been digitising 178 chemical clusters across India and are utilising deeptech technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) for marketing and business expansion. The company has scaled 40x in the last 12 months. 

“We are glad that our vision has been recognised and we are thrilled to be supported by the Quantico group. The Carbanio team looks forward to achieving greater success going forward,” said Dr Rafi Shaik, Co-Founder, Cabanio.com.

This investment will drive business development and marketing, chemical manufacturers’ onboarding, deploying innovative technologies, and streamlining operational processes thereby taking the company to the next level.

The Indian chemical market is presently unorganised and not digitised, Carbanio.com through this investment will organise and digitise the industry, thereby transforming the Indian chemical industry to achieve newer heights, the company said in a statement.

D2C Ayurveda beauty brand Life & Pursuits raises $500K in angel round

D2C Ayurveda beauty brand Life & Pursuits has raised $500,000 in an angel round from Supermorpheus and Eagle10 Ventures

The round also saw participation from Pankaj Agrawal (IndiaMart promoter family), Madhup Agrawal (IndiaMart CXO), Tarun Matta (Founder iimjobs.com, acquired by Naukri.com) and Ankur Singla (Founder Tapzo, acquired by Amazon Pay).

Founded in 2016 by Harvard Business School alumnus Mudit Consul, his wife Aditi Consul, IIT-Guwahati alumnus Manshu Aneja and Mani Agarwal, Life & Pursuits is a beauty and wellness D2C startup that focuses on the global demand for genuinely natural organic and Ayurveda products. Its products are organic certified by stringent and reputed organic certification programs globally such as the USDA.

“Life & Pursuits is in an exciting phase of growth with increasing demand across the globe and high repeat transactions. With this round, we will be growing our product range and enhancing our global footprint by launching D2C in the key markets of the US, the UK and the EU,” said Mudit. “Our USP has been the high trust and authenticity of our products and we will be investing in building this further to become the market leader for Organic Ayurveda beauty and wellness products.”

Luxury travel organisation Voyaah raises $500K in seed round

Voyaah, the tech-led luxury travel organisation, has raised $500,000 in a seed round from Shashidhar Sinha, Principal CEO, IPG Mediabrands, India.

Founded in February 2020 by Sharmistha Chakraborty, a former investment banker in Mumbai, Voyaah targets the affluent and the new-age traveller. Its average holiday ticket size is around Rs 35,000 for two nights of a splendid handcrafted travel experience. 

The organisation also delivers services to group travels, both offshore and onshore, for renowned corporate giants. Voyaah has collaborated with resorts, hotel chains, and luxury boutique stays, and also has successful partnerships with CRED, Club Vistara, and InterMiles, besides well-known luxury car companies.

The fresh funds will be used for expanding into newer areas, enhancing the product and technology in addition to hiring relevant talent.

“Despite the pandemic looming large, we have recorded significant growth in the recent months and this funding will further accelerate our efforts to expand into new markets and upgrade our offerings with digital technologies for enhancing customer experience. Our target is to grow the revenues at least 5x over the year," said Sharmistha.

In the last few months, Voyaah has curated several holidays for more than 15,000 travellers. After going digital, the organisation has been able to book around 28,000 room nights across destinations outside and within India.

Waste management platform Cercle X raises $254K in a seed round

Waste Management Platform Cercle X has raised $254m000 (Rs 1.9 crore) in a seed round led by Inflection Point Ventures (IPV).

Founded in January 2020 by Vishnu Vardhaan and Divya Shetty, Cercle X is a tech-enabled waste management firm that enables the industries to sell to authentic recyclers and also collect waste from the public through EPR and process it efficiently to achieve zero waste to landfill goal.

“Waste is a global pandemic with absolutely no solution in sight. With Cercle X, we work with the world’s most sustainable brands to handle their waste streams, to create circular solutions that’ll save the planet’s resources for future generations,” says Vishnu. “IPV offers much more than just funds – they believe and support our vision and go above and beyond to help us strengthen our presence in the market. Their wide network across sectors will help us scale rapidly.”

Cercle X aims to provide differentiated offerings in the B2B waste management space via its waste management services platform Think Trash that would connect various players in the existing value chain for easy pickup-delivery of waste, Supply of recycled raw materials and Supply of recycled or waste transformed products.

Cercle X has tie-ups with more than 700 vendors and channelizes 500 MT of recyclables each month.

Enjin Experiences raises $13.3K in seed round

Enjin Experiences has raised $13.3K in a seed round from EventFAQs Media and Srishti Media and Investments.  EventFAQs also has sweat equity in lieu of its core competencies. 

Enjin Experiences has a technology-enabled, smart data analytics powered suite of internet native products enabling holding large-scale physical events safely.

It is a DPIIT accredited startup, follows ISO audited processes and is the first Indian member partner to the Global Crowd Management Association as well as the Event Safety Alliance (re-emerge ready programme).  The startup is in the process of receiving a grant from Start-Up India and with which the seed fund round will be closed. 

"The pandemic has affected lives and livelihoods and this product suite can greatly help reduce industry uncertainty and promote business continuity," says Vijay Cavale, Co-founder and CEO, Enjin Experiences Private Limited.

The EventZ Genie platform facilitates safe events by integrating data from central applications like Cowin, state notifications on permissions, and venue and staff data. It is using provisionally patented and copyrighted tools that are developed in-house under the mentorship of the Indian Institute of Information Technology (Kottayam). 

Through this, it provides organisers with a single dashboard to check restrictions and regulations, attendee vaccination certification, staff health data and even allows setting up of RT-PCR tests for attendees and automation of certifications for safe venues and establishments. 

Nova Benefits secures funding from AngelList Early-Stage Quant Fund

Nova Benefits, an employee wellness platform centred on corporate health insurance, has become the first investment of AngelList Early-Stage Quant Fund in India.

As part of this round, Nova Benefits received an undisclosed amount from AngelList Early-Stage Quant Fund. In September 2021, the company raised $10 million in its Series A funding round from investors that include SIG, Bessemer, Multiply Ventures, Better Capital, and Titan Capital.

Nova Benefits is an employee wellness platform focused on corporate health insurance. It finds affordable deals for companies of all sizes, and makes sure employees can access them easily on a single platform. As of now, more than 200 companies are insured with Nova Benefits, with 100,000 members covered, and 3000 claims processed.

These include Dream11, Pharmeasy, CoinDCX, Chumbak, HomeLane, and Zenoti, among others. 

“This round of funding will help us expand our wellness offerings on the platform in terms of product management, engineering, sales and customer success teams. We believe the Quant Fund has added significant value to our company by providing us with a platform to connect with investors and a skilled talent pool, which will help expand our business in the coming years,” said  Saransh Garg, CEO and Co-Founder of Nova Benefits.

Nova Benefits plans to use part of the funds to set up an Analytics Division to track hiring and employee wellness trends, leveraging data access provided by AngelList Quant Fund.

Edited by Rajiv Bhuva and Kanishk Singh

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