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[Funding roundup] Lendingkart, Freadom, Traya, Praan, others raise early-stage funds

A bunch of startups — from fintech, neobank, SaaS to edtech companies — have reported raising early-stage capital.

[Funding roundup] Lendingkart, Freadom, Traya, Praan, others raise early-stage funds

Wednesday January 12, 2022 , 7 min Read

Lendingkart raises $5.95M from BlueOrchard Finance 

Fintech startup Lendingkart raised $5.95 million (Rs 44 crore) in debt from BlueOrchard Finance Ltd. 

Lendingkart, which provides short-term working capital loans to small and medium businesses, was founded by Harshvardhan Lunia and Mukul Sachan in 2014. 

The startup has marquee names such as Fullerton Financial Holdings (a unit of Singapore's Temasek Holdings), Saama Capital, Mayfield India, India Quotient, Bertelsmann India Investments, and Sistema Asia Fund as its investors.


Founders of Lendingkart

muvin closes pre-Series A funding; raises $3M

muvin, a youth-focused neobank, raised $3 million in a pre-Series A round led by WaterBridge Ventures. 

Founded by Vineet Gupta and Mukund Rao, the Bengaluru-based startup aims to empower India’s 400 million youth with digital financial inclusion and financial literacy through its prepaid card and mobile app. At present, it has over 20,000 registered users.

Speaking on the investment, Mukund said, “We are very excited to have attracted such high calibre investors to muvin. Not only is this a vote of confidence in our vision from some of the most highly regarded industry veterans and business minds, but it also demonstrates sustained validation of this massively underserved market.”  

The round also saw participation from Alteria Capital and Krishna Bhupal of Rational Pricing Technologies. Last year in April, muvin had raised a seed round of over $1 million.

Edtech startup Freadom raises $2.5M in fresh round 

Freadom, an English learning platform for three to 12-year-olds, raised $2.5 million in a fresh funding round led by Capital A. 

Launched in 2016, Freadom equips children to learn to read in English through its recommendation engine, which is built in collaboration with Stanford University. 

Marquee investors, including Bollywood star Tiger Shroff, BharatPe Founder Ashneer Grover, VMart Retail Founder Lalit Agarwal, and Global PayU CFO Aakash Moondhara, also participated in the round. 

“The success of Freadom lies at the intersection of our innovative pedagogical approach and advanced AI technology that makes language learning accessible for every child between the ages of 3 and 12,” said Nikhil Saraf, Founder of Freadom.

The startup will use the funds in product, distribution, and further strengthen Freadom’s vertical presence across stakeholders for English as a second language.

Traya raised $2.2M in pre-Series A round

Haircare platform Traya Health raised $2.2 million in a pre-Series A round led by Fireside Ventures, with Kannan Sitaram, Partner at Fireside Ventures, joining the startup's board.  

The startup, formerly known as Tatva Health, was founded in 2019 by Saloni Anand and Altaf Saiyed. The Mumbai-based startup helps customers get access to a range of hair care products and doctor prescribed and customised hair loss solutions. 

The round also saw participation from existing investors Kae Capital and Whiteboard Capital. 

"Our fresh round of funding will help us take our holistic approach to other stubborn diseases that an average 30-year-old Indian faces," said Altaf Saiyed.

He added, "Additionally, we will build our tech further to provide the best support to help customers stick to the regimen. While we will also invest in clinical trials of new unique formulations to further improve the efficacy of the treatment, Traya’s ultimate goal is to provide the youth with a well-rounded, healthy life.”


Traya Founders (L-R): Altaf Saiyed and Saloni Anand

Deep-tech startup Praan raises $1.56M in funding

Praan, an AI-powered filter-less air purification systems provider, raised $1.56 million led by Social Impact Capital. The round also saw participation from Better Capital, Paradigm Shift Capital, Avaana Capital, Quality of Life Investments Texas (Angel Syndicate), and several angel investors. 

The deep-tech startup, founded in 2017 by Angad Daryani, uses scientific first principles along with cutting-edge hardware and software to make clean air accessible to all through its filters.

“The fundraise offers the company an incredible opportunity and an honest shot at trying to help over three billion people breathe cleaner air around the world. It's an extremely difficult and nuanced challenge, but we are working our best to fulfil our mission, and are thrilled with the trust instilled in us by our investors,” said Angad. 

Praan will use the funds to build and expand the startup's India team and take the patent-pending core technology to real large-scale pilots through B2B deployments, stabilise manufacturing, and democratise the technology to deliver clean air at Re 1 per person per day.

ToolJet raises $1.5M led by Nexus Venture Partners

ToolJet, an open-source low-code software for building internal tools, raised $1.5 million in a seed round led by Nexus Venture Partners. It expects to use the funds for team expansion to accelerate the development of its core platform.

The round saw participation from Ratio Ventures, Better Capital, Alan Rutledge, and angel investors, including Rohan Murty (Soroco), Sony Joy (Truecaller), Vipul Amler (Saeloun), Mohammed Hisamuddin (Entri), and Abhi Kumar (M12 Ventures). 

Founded in April 2021 by Navaneeth PK, ToolJet offers a fully managed Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform to allow companies to build their internal tools with minimum engineering effort.

“Companies are under pressure to do more with what they have. Open-source low-code tools enable developers to deliver what the business needs quickly and securely with enough flexibility to customise and extend,” said Navaneeth PK.

Pepul raises $1.35M in seed round

Pepul, a privacy-focused social network, raised $1.35 million in its seed round from Hourglass Venture Partners, Girish Mathrubootham, and Vijay Shekhar Sharma.

Founded in 2020 by Suresh Kumar G, the Chennai-based startup aims to provide a positive social network and restrict “anonymous users and negative content” in the platform.

The startup expects to use the funds to build the platform's infrastructure, team expansion, and user acquisition. 


AAS Vidyalaya raised funds in Shark Tank India

Edtech startup AAS Vidyalaya raised $202,854 (Rs 1.5 crore) in Shark Tank India for 15 percent equity from  Peyush Bansal, Namita Thapar, and Ashneer Grover. 

Founded by Vikas and Leena Kakwani, the startup aims to provide  Anytime Anywhere School — AAS Vidyalaya — to allow students who drop out of school to learn, especially in smaller towns and rural areas. 

With its ‘AAS Vidyalaya Education Cafes’ in rural regions, students can walk in any time of the day, log in with their registered ID and password, and study for as long as they desire through tablets. 

"Collaboration with the Sharks, the charismatic leaders of the startup industry will give us special recognition at a national level. This will help us in achieving more visibility in other states, which, in turn, will encourage more students to get educated and generate employment. We want to connect the people from remote areas who do not get access to quality education," said Vikas. 

POPT raises funds from Canadian angel funds

POPT, a Chandigarh-based proptech startup, has secured undisclosed funding from two Canada-based angel funds — MRW Ventures and Riar Holdings. 

Founded in December 2021 by Manpreet Singh and Hemant Nanda, POPT provides standardisation, indexing, positioning, and valuation of a property. 

"Our initial research and analysis of 18 months give us enough cues that the new generation of buyers have a global perspective and are willing to go ahead and even flip their current residences if they can find the right fit. POPT is ahead of Proptech 3.0 and is the beginning of Proptech 4.0," said Manpreet. 

POPT plans to use the funds for research and development activities, statistical analysis, standardisation, and to build a full-stack SaaS-based IT solution for retail buyers and sellers, developers, agents, and real estate companies.

Edited by Suman Singh