[Funding roundup] Abhi Loans, Sunday Design close early-stage deals, Malaika Arora moves into investing

Here are the startups that announced early-stage rounds of funding on August 16, 2022.
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Quick credit startup Abhi Loans raises $4.5M

KNAB Finance Advisors Private Limited, better known as Abhi Loans, has raised $4.5 million led by DMI Sparkle Fund. Other investors include Niten Malhan, Ashvin Chadha, S K Jain, and others.

Abhi Loans claims to be a digitally distributed and secure loan ecosystem that provides loans and takes mutual fund share and stocks as collateral. Such a product has only been available to high net individuals in the past, but Abhi Loans provides amounts as low as Rs 15,000. The company states that they can process and approve these loans, as well as send the money to the customer within 24 hours.

The new fundraise will be used to build upon their tech stack, as well as grow their loan book.

Actress Malaika Arora makes her first bet as an investor in Ahikoza

Actress and entrepreneur Malaika Arora has invested in global artisanal accessories brand Ahikoza, which has so far captured customers in the luxury markets of USA and Europe. Founded by Namrata Karad, Ahikoza's products are often seen on the red carpet, and their aesthetic geometry is inspired by architectural installations and sculptures.

“Over the years, Namrata’s experience of being an entrepreneur and industry professional has provided her with a robust skill set in marketing, content strategy, consumer growth and strategic business development. She has been privy to numerous distribution partnerships and celebrity endorsements, which has made her leader par excellence in her segment of exclusive and elusive artisanal accessories. So for me to accept her partnership was a no brainer because I am sure together we can make magic," said Malaika.

Home decor brand Sunday Design raises $1.5M

Global furniture and home decor brand Sunday Design has raised $1.5 million (Rs 12.5 crore) in a pre-Series A round. Notable investors include QRG Investment & Holdings (the family office of Havells India Limited Founders), Kama Group (family office of SRF Ltd), KCT family office, and other existing investors.

Gautam Baid, Founder and Managing Director of Sunday Design, said, "With this new investment, we intend to “collaborate” with top European designers and grow our footprint in an omni-channel format, introducing new and exciting product lines on a strategic basis. We aim to achieve 100% growth over the coming two fiscal years."

Launched in October 2021, the company had earlier raised $1.25 million from Baid and his partner Vinit Agarwal, as well as venture capitalists Sanjay Kapoor, Abhishek Goyal, Gurjeet Singh Bains, Sirca Paints India's Apoorv Agarwal, and I-Evo's Manan Khetan.

Medtech startup Yostra Labs raises Rs 4 Cr seed round

Founded in 2014, medtech startup Yostra Labs has raised Rs 4 crore seed round led by the Indian Angel Network (IAN), Impact Innovators and Entrepreneurs Foundation (Villgro Innovations Foundation), and the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platform.

The startup builds devices to help patients of chronic diseases manage their illness better. The fundraise will be used to hire more sales and marketing talent, as well commercialising the product portfolio, optimising the bill of material, and scaling up production.

Yostra has a portfolio of patented products with a focus on diabetes neuropathy that can save complications and enhance the livelihood of diabetes patients. This investment from IAN and co-investors will help Yostra build a business that is sustainable while providing social impact,” said Venkataraman KNK, Lead Investor, IAN.

Language learning startup Expressions has raised $250K in seed round

An edtech startup that is designed to help bridge the gap between socially acceptable English skills and professionally required English skills among India, Expressions has raised $250,000 in seed capital, led by Wami Capital.

"As India scales up to be a major global economy, it will require skilled working population," said Chetan Mehta, the CEO of Wami Capital. "There is a need to empower our people working at grassroots level with English skills and Expressions is on a mission to make this happen. We are pleased to support the passionate team."

Agri-insurance startup IBISA has raised seed funding from Ankur Capital

IBISA, an insurtech startup focussed on providing weather-based insurance to small landholding farmers in India, has raised an undisclosed seed fund from Ankur Capital. Ankur is known for backing transformative technologies in deep tech and climate tech.

IBISA was launched in 2019, and initially focussed on providing drought-based insurance coverage to farmers in Tamil Nadu. Today, the startup also provides farmers in Odisha, Karnataka, and Telangana with coverage against excess rainfall, excess wind speed, and drought.

"The unavailability of data has hampered the growth of the agricultural insurance industry  in developing countries for decades," said Ritu Verma, partner at Ankur Capital. "We are excited to partner with IBISA to transform the scale of available parametric insurance options in countries like India with a vast addressable market.”

Used car warranty platform Wisedrive raises seed funding

Wisedrive has raised an undisclosed amount as seed funding from LC Nueva Investment Partners, Japanese VC fund Spiral Ventures, housingman.com founder Bhavadeep Reddy, and others. Wisedrive claims to be India’s first extended warranty platform for used cars.

Wisedrive plans to use the money to expand their reach by building more partnerships with used car dealerships across the country. While some manufacturers re-sell their cars with warranty, Wisedrive claims that 96 percent of used cars purchased in the country are completed through third party sellers. They plan to service this market.

Sujit Kunte, Head of India, Spiral Ventures said, “Wisedrive’s pioneering extended warranty product solves the fundamental issue of trust in the purchase of used cars. We are excited to see the team, with entrepreneurial experience in tech and automotive sector, develop a data-driven approach to better price the warranty and manage risk."

(This story will be updated with the latest funding news throughout the day.)

Edited by Megha Reddy

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