upGrad, The Souled Store, DesignCafe raise funds

YourStory presents daily funding roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Wednesday, March 29, 2023.

upGrad, The Souled Store, DesignCafe raise funds

Wednesday March 29, 2023,

7 min Read

Superfood brand Nourish You raises funding from actor Samantha Ruth Prabhu

Nikhil Kamath-backed Nourish You said it has raised an undisclosed amount in funding from actor Samantha Ruth Prabhu as part of its seed round.

Investors like Darwinbox Co-founder Rohit Chennamaneni, Triumph Group's Y Janardhana Rao, and Zerodha's Nikhil Kamath, among others, also participated in the startup's seed round.

Nourish You offers a range of superfoods-based products like edible seeds, meal mixes, flour, and muesli, as well as lactose-free dairy alternative milk based on millets."Investing in Nourish You was a natural progression since I have been consuming their products for a while," said Prabhu.

The startup was founded by Sowmya Reddy and Krishna Reddy.

Up bags Rs 50 lakh at Qualcomm's Design in India challenge

Consumer appliance startup Up said it won Qualcomm's Design in India challenge, bagging a cash award of Rs 50 lakh.

Up's smart cooking device, DelishUp, won the award. This cooking device has been tested in over 350 stores till date.

Up's device was selected from a pool of 145 applicants. The Design in India challenge, launched in collaboration with NASSCOM and Startup India, was established in 2016 to encourage companies to design innovative products.

Up was founded by IIT Bombay alumni and ex-Ather Energy executive, Mahek Mody, and ex-Chaayos executive Mohit Sharma.

Frido raises Rs 12.5 Cr in funding

Mobility device startup Frido said it raised Rs 12.5 crore in funding. The investment was led by BL Taparia Family Office, followed by Chona Family Office and MGA Ventures, with participation from existing and new angel investors.

Angel investors and Frido's existing investors also participated in the round.

A brand of Arcatron Mobility, Frido said it will use the new capital to expand its product line, support its Research and Development (R&D), and explore new markets.

The startup offers a range of mobility devices and ergonomic products like back cushions, comfort insoles, and sleep pillows, among other products.

Biotech startup Serigen raises Rs 5.8 Cr

Tissue regeneration startup Serigen said it has raised Rs 5.8 crore in a round from BioAngels, Colossa Ventures, and several prominent angel investors.

It will use the funds from the round to grow its business, scale manufacturing and sales operations, and expand its team, among other plans, it said in a statement.

Founded in 2015 by Anuya Nisal, Premnath Venugopalan and Swati Shukla, Serigen has developed tissue repair products that can be used for a myriad of applications, including wound care and orthopaedics.

The startup is ISO 13485 certified and has received grants from Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council.

EazyDiner raises Rs 40 crore from Alternative Investment Fund

Restaurant reservation startup EazyDiner said it has raised Rs 40 crore from DMI Alternative Investment Fund's Sparkle Fund.

It will use the funds to scale operations to new markets across India, apart from general corporate purposes.

Its roster of investors includes leading ventures such as DSG Consumer Partners, Saama Capital, Beenext, and Denlow Investment Trust.

"This round will enable us to accelerate our growth and expand our reach across India and the Middle East," said Kapil Chopra, founder of EazyDiner.

EazyDiner helps users reserve tables at restaurants and bars, and make payments online. The platform lists 12,000 restaurants, currently, across India and Dubai, and claims to have more than three million users.

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upGrad raises Rs 300 Cr in internal rights issue

Edtech startup upGrad on Wednesday confirmed the completion of an internal rights issue of Rs 300 crore from existing shareholders and founders.

Ronnie Screwvala, Co-founder and Chairperson of upGrad, contributed Rs 212 crore and existing shareholder Temasek contributed Rs 81 crore in this internal round, while other minority stakeholders completed the balance, as per a statement from the company.

Confirming the round, an upGrad spokesperson said, “The company is focused on its organic and in-organic growth across multiple verticals of formal education via degree, diploma and doctorate courses in partnership with the best universities in India and globally."

Founded by Ronnie Screwvala, Mayank Kumar, and Phalgun Kompalli in 2015, upGrad spans several segments—from test prep and study abroad to undergrad degrees and campus courses in 250 universities.

The Souled Store raises $16.4M in Series C

Mumbai-based lifestyle and fan merchandise startup The Souled Store has raised Rs 135 crore ($16.4 million approximately) in a Series C round. The deal was led by Xponentia Capital Partners with participation from returning investors Elevation Capital and RPSG Capital.

The company said it will use the capital to expand into new categories and plans to launch over 100 stores across the country in the next two years. It will also offer a 100% buyback of vested employee shares as part of its ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) programme.

As of May last year, the company had allocated 3.7% shares to its ESOP plan according to data platform Tracxn, at an unrealised value of Rs 29.7 crore.

The Souled Store was founded in 2013 by Vedang Patel, along with Rohin Samtaney, Aditya Sharma, and Harsh Lal. It has since raised nearly $13.1 million in funding, according to data from Tracxn.

BYJU's likely to raise $250M in funding

Edtech company BYJU'S is likely to close a $250 million equity funding deal in April at a $22 billion valuation, sources aware of the development told PTI. The company last raised $250 million in October at the same valuation.

"BYJU'S is in the process of raising $250 million. The term sheets are expected to close in about 2-3 weeks," a source told PTI. Another source said the fundraising is an equity deal and happening at a flat valuation of $22 billion.

It attained a valuation of $22 billion in the funding round of $800 million announced in March 2022. The edtech company hopes to turn profitable by the end of this month. It booked a loss of Rs 4,588 crore for the fiscal ended March 2021—19 times more than the preceding fiscal.

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DesignCafe raises Rs 40 Cr in Series B round

Bengaluru-based home interiors startup DesignCafe has raised a follow-on Series B round of Rs 40 crore.

The round was led by WestBridge Capital, Mirabilis Investment Trust, and venture debt fund Alteria Capital. DesignCafe's existing investors including Sixth Sense Ventures also participated in the round.

The startup said it will use the funds to expand across the country.

"In the last year, we have made significant progress towards profitability. Our margins have increased significantly and we are operationally profitable across all cities," said Shezaan Bhojani, Co-founder and CEO of DesignCafe in a statement.

Founded in October 2015 by Gita Ramanan and Bhojani, DesignCafe is a hometech brand that provides interior and home decor for customers. The company has raised over Rs 250 crore in capital, so far.

Fintech platform Vitraya Tech raises $5M in Series A round

Mohali-based Vitraya Technologies has raised $5 million in a Series A funding round led by B2B Venture Capital fund StartupXSeed, Season Two Ventures, Cactus, Xceedance, and the family office of Mankind Pharma.

The startup said it will use the fund for hiring and scaling its existing products and technology.

Founded in 2019, Vitraya helps automate real-time payouts and claim settlements between hospitals and insurers who offer health insurance products.

"Having faced deep trouble with claim settlement, we developed the Vitraya platform to connect hospitals, insurers, clinics and patients on a single platform facilitating faster claim settlements and payout, easy fraud detection and reduced operational costs," said Mrinal Sinha, CEO and Co-founder of Vitraya.

According to Sinha, the firm has scaled to 4,000 large and mid-size hospitals one year since its launch.

Disclaimer: This story has been updated to include investor information for one of the stories mentioned.


Edited by Akanksha Sarma