[Funding roundup] Hesa, Pumpumpum, EzeRx, Indeanta raise capital

Here are the startups that announced early-stage rounds of funding today.

PumPumPum raises $2 million

Used-car leasing company Pumpumpum has raised $2 million in equity funding from LC Nueva Investment Partners, Founder’s Room Capital, LetsVenture, Manish Agarwal, Founder and CEO of Nazara Group, and Uday Sodhi, former Business Head of Sony Liv.

Founded by Sameer Kalra and Tarun Lawadia, PumPumPum recently introduced electric vehicles on its used-car subscription platform. It has a base of more than 650 customers, which is growing every month.

“Our business model ensures that we extend a hassle-free experience, and give customers the same feeling of owning a car without the added worry of vehicle maintenance and financing,” said Tarun Lawadia, Co-founder and CEO of Pumpumpum.

The used-car segment has immense untapped potential in India,” said Sohil Chand, Founding Partner of LC Nueva Investment Partners. “We believe it will be easy to drive home success with the right leadership and a well-thought-out model.”

Pumpumpum provides mobility solutions to corporate and retail customers. Its single-lease subscription includes end-to-end service, maintenance, insurance, and other vehicle-related issues.

Kafqa acquires Verb Studio

Performing arts venture Kafqa Academy has acquired online dance academy Verb Studio.

Verb Studio is one of the largest dance academies in India, with more than 350,000 customers, over 150,000 subscribers across social media channels, and 300+ original content from top dance instructors in India.

It was founded in 2018 by Bharath Kumar J and Ilangovan KS, two graduates of the National Institute of Technology (NIT). The acquisition gives Kafqa access to larger distribution and content on social media, and a complimentary age group of 15+ years as a demographic, said a press release from Kafqa Academy.

The Verb Studio team will join Kafqa taking the total strength to 160 people.

"The team has carefully built and nurtured a dance community providing them with relevant content,” said Shariq Plasticwala, CEO and Founder of Kafqa Academy. “We felt their strength in community building within the young adults’ age group of 16-25 complements our current strengths. We look forward to partnering with Bharath and his team to create the world's largest performing arts academy for learners across ages.”

Hesa closes Pre-Series A round

Rural commerce platform Hesa has raised $2.3 million from Venture Catalysts, with participation from Venture Catalysts USA Chapter, Faad, IPV, WFC, and other angel investors.

Founded by Vamsi Udayagiri and Hema Nandiraju, Hesa’s API integrations enable services on thein fintech, agri buy-sell input/ output, insurance, and education. API is short for application programming interface that enables two distinct computer systems to be interoperable.

“Our primary objective is to provide a connection between financial-services providers with their last-mile target consumers using a phygital approach,” Vamsi said. The funds raised will be deployed to expand to more geographies, and strengthen the technology platform along with increasing the offerings on agri-fintech and commerce, according to a press release from Hesa.

“This is our second round of investment in Hesa that has created a very effective agri-financial services marketplace to plug the demand-supply gap,” said Apoorva Ranjan Sharma, Co-founder of Venture Catalysts.

Kandee Factory raises Rs 1.5 crore

Plant-based confectioners KANDEEFACTORY raised Rs 1.5 crore from ah! Ventures Angel Platform, Keiretsu, and the Polaris family office fund.

The startup clocked revenue of Rs 2.68 crore for FY 2022, growing 70 percent over the previous year. It has sold a million candies online and through 750 stores. Kandee Factory makes confections using only plant-based ingredients, without gelatin and milk.

EzeRx raises seed capital

Med-tech startup EzeRx Health Tech Pvt Ltd has got seed funding from some promoters of Mankind Pharma, including its CEO, Sheetal Arora.

Founded in 2018 by Partha, Chaitali Roy and Sudip Roy Chowdhury, EzeRx is a non-invasive screening solution to identify primary health parameters at an early stage such as ailments in liver, kidney, lungs and blood glucose levlevelsel, and common problems like anaemia, in less than a minute without withdrawing blood from the human body.

EzeRx will use the funds for scaling up its operations and marketing, apart from boosting its sales in markets across India, Africa, and Southeast Asia, seeking global certifications and boosting its R&D efforts.

“Proper detection of health problems is the very first step in curing the ailment," Partha said. "Therefore, we intensively worked toward developing and manufacturing advanced medical devices for the effective management of the curative and preventive healthcare ecosystem."

EzeRx has got grants from NIDHI Prayas by the Department of Science and Technology, BIG programme by the Department of Biotechnology, BIRAC, the SASACT Grant from MeiTy, and a startup grant from Indian Oil Corporation and Startup Odisha.

Indeanta raises $150,000 in bridge round

Electric-mobility startup Indeanta raised $150,000 from IvyGrowth Associates, in a bridge round that also had participation from Mehul Shah, Nine Spar, among others.

Having started operations in December 2020, Indeanta began with its in-campus mobility services. It offers multi-modal electric ride-hailing and ride-sharing services for university students.

The services include electric buggies, electric motor scooters, and electric bicycles for the in-campus commute and electric cars. All these services can be accessed through their mobile application. The company claims to be present in six states.

"At Indeanta, we firmly believe that electric-mobility as a service (EMaaS) is a vastly underserved sector," said Dr Aaron D'souza, Founder of Indeanta. "The electric-mobility space is crowded with OEMs, component suppliers and technology enablers; however, the service industry is where the change is taking place. And one cannot do without the other."

Edited by Kanishk Singh