[Funding roundup] RAS Luxury Oils, Minus Zero, others raise early-stage deals

Here are the Indian startups that announced early-stage funding rounds on Monay, May 23, 2022.

RAS Luxury Oils raises $2 million from Sixth Sense Ventures

Skincare and personal care brand RAS Luxury Oils raised $2 million in Pre-Series A funding round from Sixth Sense Ventures. The firm will utilise the capital to expand in India and overseas, while developing new products.

Founded in 2017 by Shubhika Jain, Suramya Jain and Sangeeta Jain, RAS works on a direct-to-consumer (D2C) model, selling oils on marketplaces, and also works with spas and salons. The firm claims to have seen 20x growth in the last two years.  

RAS Luxury Oils founding team

"There is a white space within luxury skincare as a category in India, and it is growing 2-3X faster than the personal care category because it is brand starved. Furthermore, skincare brands from India are underrepresented globally. Their differentiated positioning can make RAS stand out in the currently crowded beauty industry," said Nikhil Vora, Founder and CEO, Sixth Sense Ventures.

Minus Zero raises $1.7 million from Chiratae Ventures, others

Minus Zero, a self-driving vehicle startup, raised $1.7 million in a seed round led by Chiratae Ventures. The round also saw participation from JITO Angel Network and senior executives from chipmaker NVIDIA and Lyft, a cab-hailing firm.

Started by Gagandeep Reehal and Gursimran Kalra, Minus Zero builds affordable and fully autonomous vehicle fleets that can be manoeuvred without a driver, especially in traffic.

“Although the driverless car market is in the early stages, the amount of activity that has happened in this space over the past few years makes it a promising space. There is huge untapped potential within India that Minus Zero can tap in the coming years,” said Sunil Kumar Singhvi, Vice Chairman, JITO Angel Network in a release shared by the company.

TCM Sundaram, Founder and Vice Chairman of Chiratae Ventures said, “The Minus Zero team brings a fresh approach to AV and builds for mass adoption in entry and mid-level cars and emerging markets. We are excited to partner with them to create an industry-leading standard that leads the way to make this technology commercially viable for consumers.”

ZFW Dark Stores raises $1.2 million from Riso Capital, SEA Fund

ZFW Dark Stores, an ecommerce fulfilment platform, raised $1.2 million, in a seed round led by Riso Capital, SEA Fund, and Lead Fund.

Qudrah National Holdings, a conglomerate from West Asia, Point One Capital's Archana Priyadarshini, Long Tail Ventures, Mohit Sadaani from The Mom's Co, and Ankur Bhatia of Jimmy's Cocktail, among many other angel investors, participated in the round.

The Delhi-based firm plans to use these funds to grow its dark store operations across India, accelerate hiring, and build technological capabilities. So far, ZFW has raised $415,000 in pre-seed funding round from Indvest Family Office, Runwal Group, and founders of multiple direct to consumer (D2C) brands, including Epigamia, Beardo, The Face Shop, and NOTO.

Edtech startup StockDaddy raises $1M from Jitender Lall

StockDaddy, an edtech platform for stock market investments, raised $1 million from Jitender Lall, managing director of Proactive Healthcare Pvt. Ltd.

Founded by Alok Kumar and Ranjeet Kumar in 2020, StockDaddy provides customised courses in stock trading and investment. The firm plans on using the fund to increase penetration in Mumbai.

Jobizo raises $500K funding led by Aroa Ventures, others

Jobizo, a workforce aggregator platform, raise $500,000 in seed funding from Aroa Venture. The round also saw participation from VeritasX and a few angel investors.

The firm will utilise these funds to expand across India, ramp up its hiring, and focus on brand building.

Started in 2021 by Naveen Trehan and Avishek Agarwal, Jobizo is a job aggregation portal for healthcare professionals.“Our company intends to be the one-stop solution for all healthcare staffing needs in the nation. There is a massive shortage of healthcare professionals in the country and our platform is working towards bridging this gap," said Avishek Agarwal, Co-founder and CEO, Jobizo.

(The copy has been updated with a quote from Chiratae Ventures.)

Edited by Kanishk Singh