Rise in funding thanks to one deal; The making of Indian meadery

As seen in the previous weeks, one transaction provided the much-needed boost to overall funding.

Rise in funding thanks to one deal; The making of Indian meadery

Saturday November 11, 2023,

5 min Read

Ranjan Pai rescues BYJU'S.

The Chairman of Manipal Education and Medical Group has bought Rs 1,400 crore debt in BYJU’S test preparation unit Aakash Educational Services Limited to help the troubled edtech firm pay off a loan from US-based lender Davidson Kempner Capital Management. 

Of the Rs 1,400 crore being paid to the lender, Rs 800 crore is the loan amount and the remaining Rs 600 crore is in interest, reported The Economic Times. Pai has also taken a seat on Aakash’s board.

Meanwhile, if you’re spending Diwali away from your loved ones, YS Life lists top the events across India’s major metros to help you make an eventful weekend.

ICYMI: Auroras supercharged by powerful solar storms.

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • Rise in funding thanks to one deal
  • The making of an Indian meadery 
  • Crafting India’s finest chocolates

Here’s your trivia for today: Which is the first non-English language film to win an Oscar for Best Picture?

Venture capital 

VC funding sees sharp growth

Weekly funding roundup

November has so far been good for the Indian startup ecosystem. Venture capital in the second week rose to $178 million across 20 deals compared with $64 million the week before. 

Also, in line with the pattern of VC funding throughout the year, one large transaction provided momentum in funding. 


  • Logistics startup Xpressbees led the pack this week, raising $80 million from Teachers’ Venture Growth (TVG).
  • In other developments this week, Honasa Consumer, the parent company of Mamaearth, had a decent listing but the stock price saw a steep slide before recovering on Friday.
  • The ecosystem will see the emergence of a second unicorn for the year with InCred stating that it has received commitments from investors at a valuation of little more than $1 billion.

<Top Deals of the Week>

Startup: Xpressbees

Amount: $80M

Round: Equity 

Startup: Zepto

Amount: $31.25M

Round: Series E

Startup: Bharat Housing Network

Amount: Rs 125 Cr

Round: Series A


The making of an Indian meadery

Cerana Meads

Nashik-based Cerana Meads is the brainchild of Yoginee Budhkar and Ashwini Deore. The company offers a selection of meads with varying alcohol content: Pomegranate Vanilla, Jamun, Chenin Blanc, and Blue Pea Lavender, which have an alcohol content of less than 10% and come in 330 ml pints.


  • The duo launched Cerana Meads in 2019, after five years of research and development.
  • Cerana also produces other kinds of mead: melomel from fruits such as berries, apples, and peaches; pyment made with grapes or grape juice; and metheglin, which is infused with spices and herbs like cinnamon, clove and ginger.
  • The price of the products ranges from Rs 199 to Rs 810, depending on the size of the bottle. The company has produced 25,000 litres of mead so far.


Crafting India’s finest chocolates

Manam Chocolate

Chaitanya Muppala, Founder Manam Chocolates and CEO of Distinct Origins

Hyderabad’s premium luxury chocolate brand Manam is on a mission to popularise Indian craft chocolates. The brand keeps a sharp eye on sourcing and processing to ensure users have the best of Made-in-India products.

Sweet treat:

  • The Manam Chocolate Karkhana in Hyderabad’s Jubilee Hills is the first-of-its-kind high-street retail store, experience centre, and cafe, rolled into one.
  • The business has two parts to it–the parent company Distinct Origins, which works with farmers in the West Godavari district to grow cacao, and the retail entity, Manam Chocolate, which operates the cafe and experience centre as well as the retail business. 
  • So far, Almond House, the parent entity, has invested $4 million in setting up Manam,  which has been deployed towards brand development, product development, packaging and capital for building and running the retail presence.

News & updates

  • Comeback: Meta has struck a preliminary deal to sell a new, lower-priced version of its VR headset in China, regaining a foothold in the country 14 years after Facebook was shut out. The agreement with Tencent Holdings will make it the exclusive seller of Meta’s headsets in China.
  • Unsettled: Global regulators and bond traders were on Friday trying to gauge the impact of a ransomware attack on the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), China's biggest bank, that disrupted trades in the vital U.S. Treasuries market this week.
  • Opposition: Apple is set to challenge the EU’s fresh crackdown on Big Tech’s dominance in the first of what is expected to be several appeals against the Digital Markets Act. The company will dispute the regulator’s decision to put all of the App Store into the bloc’s new digital antitrust list. 

Which is the first non-English language film to win an Oscar for Best Picture?

Answer: South Korean film Parasite in 2019.

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