The Week that Was: Indian Startup News Overview (4th Sept - 9th Sept)
Startup India is a flagship initiative of the Government of India, intended to build a robust ecosystem that is conducive to the growth of startup businesses, drive sustainable economic growth, and generate enormous scale employment opportunities. It has evolved dynamically over various technologies. When it comes to the country's population, it is exciting to observe scalable and repeatable business model developments. The growth drivers of the Indian startup ecosystem need to be understood in the context of various factors: earlier economic reforms and current market trends.
This week, Indian startups once again awed us, with some raising millions of dollars while also acquiring other companies, with some startups focusing on expanding their presence in several other cities. This week, Sequoia Capital India and Southeast Asia have launched its go-to-market platform, Pathfinders, which helps early-stage founders looking to set foot in international markets; and Daalchini, a retail tech startup, said it has raised $4 million in its Series A funding round led by Unicorn India Ventures.
Here is a list of the top five startups that performed exceptionally well this week!
Sequoia Capital India and Southeast Asia have launched its go-to-market platform, Pathfinders, which helps early-stage founders looking to set foot in international markets connect with the right industry operators in these regions.
Through the platform, founders can detail any help they require and be matched with the right industry ‘pathfinder’ who will invest their time in helping these startups set foot in newer geographies. Sequoia is working with six startups as part of the Pathfinders platform and is looking to extend this across its seed portfolioinvest in startups to Series A startups.
GroMo, a fintech platform for distribution of financial products in tier 2-and-beyond cities, has raised $11 million in equities from a clutch of investors led by SIG Venture Capital, the Asian venture capital arm of SIG, a global proprietary trading and private equity investment firm.
The other key investors include Y-Combinator, Das Capital, Goodwater Capital, Beyond Next Ventures, Soma Capital, Ace & Company and Hauz Khas Ventures, the company said. The company, founded by two IIT Delhi alumni, Ankit Khandelwal and Darpan Khurana, has also received funding from several angel investors.
Reliance Industries-backed US and Bengaluru-based artificial intelligence (AI) firm Netradyne, which focuses on driver and fleet safety, said it raised $65 million in a combination of senior and junior mezzanine financing from US-based Silicon Valley Bank.
“The financing will help accelerate Netradyne’s business momentum, further development of its industry leading product suite, and global corporate expansion… With this recent debt financing, Netradyne will expand its international growth to Mexico, and four European countries including France, Germany, Italy, and Spain by early 2023, the company said in a statement.
Spacetech startup, Skyroot Aerospace has raised $51 million in Series-B financing round led by GIC, making it the largest funding round in the nascent sector. Post the investment, Mayank Rawat, Managing Director of GIC India Direct Investment Group, will be joining the board of Skyroot.
The four-year-old startup built and tested the country’s first privately developed cryogenic, hypergolic-liquid, and solid fuel-based rocket engines, using advanced composite and 3D-printing technologies in its product development.
Daalchini, a retail tech startup, said it has raised $4 million in its Series A funding round led by Unicorn India Ventures. The round also saw participation from existing backers like Artha Venture Fund, Ajay Kaul former CEO of Dominos India, and VSS Investco – the investment vertical of Vijay Shekhar Sharma CEO of Paytm.
Founded in 2017 by ex-Paytm executives Prerna Kalra and Vidya Bhushan, Daalchini sells snacks and home-style meals to through automated kiosks, mobility retails, and vending machines. Currently, the Daalchini app has more than 2 lakh monthly active users, the company said. In a prepared statement, the company said it wants to make its solutions accessible to 10 million retail points in India and more than 450 direct-to-consumer brands.