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BigSpoon in big trouble; Verlinvest’s commitment to Indian startups

Grip Invest said it has initiated legal action against cloud kitchen startup BigSpoon.

BigSpoon in big trouble; Verlinvest’s commitment to Indian startups

Wednesday September 06, 2023 , 5 min Read

Hello,

For the love of money.

Tuesday was a good day for both funds and funding deals. While Unicorn India Ventures announced the first close of its Rs 1,000 crore Fund III, Soonicorn Ventures (SV) received regulatory approval from SEBI to launch an angel fund with a target size of Rs 250 crore.

Then, Anicut Capital secured Rs 50 crore from the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) for its Anicut Equity Fund.

As for startups, logistics and warehousing player IndoSpace, furniture seller Pepperfry, B2B seafood platform Captain Fresh, and SaaS player Atomicwork raised fresh capital—a rare sight amid the ongoing funding winter.

Ather Energy, too, received good news as Hero MotoCorp announced an additional investment of Rs 550 crore in the electric scooter manufacturer. Hero MotorCorp has already invested over Rs 1,000 crore in the Bengaluru-based company. 

Oh, and researchers are looking at whether animals can dream—a trait once thought to be uniquely human. 

If spiders could dream, do you think they'd have nightmares about humans? 

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • Cloud kitchen firm BigSpoon in legal trouble
  • Verlinvest’s evergreen commitment to Indian startups
  • Pentathlon Ventures launches new Rs 450 Cr fund

Here’s your trivia for today: What is the name of India's largest national park?


Foodtech

BigSpoon in legal trouble over rental dues

Foodtech

Asset financing company Grip Invest told investors on Tuesday that it has initiated legal action against cloud kitchen startup BigSpoon and its Founder-CEO Kapil Mathrani after the company failed to pay rent for certain kitchen equipment and other assets. 

Mathrani has been untraceable for 48 hours, Grip said in an email note to investors.

Key takeaways:

  • BigSpoon runs eight brands, including The Pizza People by Mouni Roy and Mehfil Biriyani by Zakir Khan.
  • In the email note, Grip alleged that while it is too early to say whether Mathrani is on a personal trip or has fled the country, the company fears and suspects the latter.
  • In FY22, BigSpoon's net loss widened by a whopping 169% to Rs 15.02 crore from the previous year, while revenue stood at Rs 17.23 crore.


<Funding Alert>

Startup: IndoSpace

Amount: $150M

Round: Undisclosed

Startup: Pepperfry

Amount: $23M

Round: Undisclosed

Startup: Captain Fresh

Amount: $20M

Round: Extended Series C


Investor

Verlinvest’s evergreen commitment to Indian startups

funding

Despite the adverse global macroeconomic outlook, Verlinvest is optimistic about India’s growth story.

The Belgium-headquartered investment firm, which largely operates in late-stage investments, believes India's startup ecosystem has high-quality entrepreneurial talent and good market opportunities.

A legacy:

  • Verlinvest was founded in 1995 as a family investment firm. As a family office, it is a 27-year-old firm, but the history of its founders dates back 400 years.
  • The company began investing in India in 2010, starting with Sula Vineyards—leveraging its legacy of building consumer brands such as Oatly in Sweden and Vito Coco and Chewy in the US.
  • In the last 13 years, Verlinvest has invested in around 20 startups in India, including Purplle, BYJU'S, Lahori, Heads Up for Tails, Wakefit, Veeba Foods, Epigamia, Sula Vineyards, Ferty9, and Future Retail. 


Venture capital 

Pentathlon Ventures launches new Rs 450 Cr fund

startup

Image credit: Shutterstock

Early-stage venture capital firm Pentathlon Ventures has launched its second fund with a target corpus of Rs 450 crore. The fund will back 25 B2B SaaS startups.

The firm hopes to back startups in enterprise digital transformation, ecommerce enablement, fintech, vertical SaaS, applied AI, sustainable tech, and healthtech.

Fresh capital:

  • Pentathlon was founded in 2020 by a team of entrepreneurs and industry veterans.  
  • In August 2021, the VC firm closed its first fund, which had secured investments totalling Rs 76 crore. The fund was oversubscribed.
  • The fund’s portfolio companies include DeepTek, Rezolve AI, Spyne, DistaTurboHire and ShopSe.


News & updates

  • Star IPO: SoftBank Group's Arm is seeking a valuation of more than $52 billion in its initial public offering, the chip designer said on Tuesday as it begins marketing for the biggest US. stock market flotation of the year.
  • Chip war: China is set to launch a new state-backed investment fund that aims to raise about $40 billion for its semiconductor sector as the country ramps up efforts to catch up with the US and other rivals, Reuters reports citing sources.
  • Sand mining: Around 6 billion tonnes of marine sand is being dug up each year in a growing practice that the United Nations Environment Programme said is unsustainable and can wipe out local marine life irreversibly.


What is the name of India's largest national park?

Answer: Hemis National Park. With an area exceeding 4,000 square kilometres, the Hemis National Park in Ladakh is the largest national park in India.


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