The Week that Was: Indian Startup News Overview (02-06 August)

The Week that Was: Indian Startup News Overview (02-06 August)

2021 has been a great year for Indian tech startups so far, especially in terms of funding. According to data from Venture Intelligence, within the first six months of 2021, Indian startups raised $12.1 billion from 382 venture capitalists and private equity firms. According to the report, this is $1 billion more than the total funding raised throughout 2020, which came from 764 deals.

Startups are experiencing rapid market growth and revenue growth. Common funding sources utilised by startups are:  Singapore's Temasek Holdings, Y Combinator, Better Capital, Nexus Venture Partners, Titan Capital and many others. This week BharatPe valued at $2.85 billion, making it the 19th Indian startup to become a 'unicorn.'  We have also followed the stories of edtech platforms like Unacademy, Skill-Lync, Rocket Skills raising funds and IPOs of Policybazaar, Adani wilmer. Find the updates of the startups related news at startupcity.

Startups raising funds

On 2nd of August Unacademy has raised $440 million in a new funding round led by Singapore's Temasek Holdings, valuing the education technology startup at $3.4 billion.

Mirae Asset from South Korea also participated in the round, and existing investors such as SoftBank Vision Fund, General Atlantic, and Tiger Global also contributed large sums, indicating strong investor interest in a sector that has benefited greatly from rising digital adoption during the pandemic.

The edtech firm, which was valued at $2 billion less than a year ago, has now seen a 70% increase in the current round.

Unacademy has also brought on board Aroa Ventures, Oyo Hotels & Homes founder Ritesh Agarwal's family office, and Deepinder Goyal, cofounder and CEO of Zomato.

Edtech startup that provides engineering upskilling courses Skill-Lync, has raised $17.5 million (approximately 130 crore) in a Series A funding round. Iron Pillar, a venture capital (VC) fund, led the round, with participation from existing investors Y Combinator and Better Capital.

Furthermore, Flipkart cofounder Binny Bansal, former Flipkart executive Sai Krishnamurthy — who is also the founder of investment firm Xto100X — and Rashmi Kwatra, founder of Sixteenth Street Capital, joined the round as new investors.

Binny Bansal has made his fourth investment in an edtech startup. He has put money into Unacademy, HashLearn, and Crejo. Prior to Skill-Lync, have some fun.

In the same Edtech sector, Rocket Skills, has also raised Rs 2.2 crores in pre-seed funding led by Better Capital, First Cheque, and Titan Capital.

The startup is a first-of-its-kind platform that educates and mentors the next generation of entrepreneurs through a variety of courses and mentoring programmes. This round included popular angel investors Harpreet Singh Grover (founder, Co-cubes), Aprameya (founder, Taxi for Sure and Koo), Abhinav Jain (founder, Shop101), and Pravin Jadhav (ex-CEO Paytm Money, founder Raise).

The startup, which is currently focused on providing agricultural education, intends to broaden its course base in order to reach a larger audience.

While technology has enabled healthcare to improve diagnosis and patient care, Onsurity, a healthcare-related tech startup aimed at SMEs and startups, has raised $16 million in a Series A round led by leading fintech investor Quona Capital and existing investors Nexus Venture Partners.

Healthcare entrepreneur Vivek Garipalli, the founder and CEO of Clover Healthcare, also participated in the round.

According to the press release, Onsurity will use the funds to expand its healthcare platform and offerings.

BharatPe, a startup that provides merchant payments solutions and other financial services, announced a $370 million Series E round led by Tiger Global, making it the latest unicorn to join the club as the funding frenzy in India's startup ecosystem continues.

The new round values BharatPe at $2.85 billion, making it the 19th Indian startup to become a 'unicorn' this year, a term used to refer to privately valued startups worth more than $1 billion.

Dragoneer Investor Group, Steadfast Capital, Sequoia Capital, Insight Partners, Coatue Management, Ribbit Capital, and Amplo were among the other investors in the round.


India's largest insurance aggregator Policybazaar has filed for an IPO that could raise up to 60.18 billion rupees ($809 million), joining a growing list of startups preparing to tap capital markets as India's digital economy booms.

According to a public notice published, the SoftBank Group Corp.-backed startup has filed preliminary documents with the market regulator to raise up to 37.5 billion rupees through the sale of new shares. Existing shareholders will seek to sell shares worth up to 22.68 billion rupees. The startup's parent company, PB Fintech Pvt, has stated that it may consider a 7.5 billion rupee pre-IPO stock placement.

Adani Group's edible oil firm Adani Wilmar filed draft papers with markets regulator Sebi to launch its initial public offering (IPO) to raise up to Rs 4,500 crore for expansion funding. Adani Wilmar was formed in 1999 as an equal joint venture between Adani Group and Singapore-based Wilmar. It sells cooking oils under the Fortune brand as well as various other food products like rice and sugar.

The company, which aspires to be a major FMCG player, has a yearly revenue of more than Rs 30,000 crore.

Adani Enterprises said in a regulatory filing that Adani Wilmar Ltd (AWL) has filed a Draft Red Herring Prospectus (DRHP) with Sebi for its IPO.

Falguni Nayar, the founder and CEO of omnichannel beauty retailer Nykaa, will not only be the first woman-led Indian unicorn to launch an IPO, but she is also expected to have strong control over the company compared to founders of other startups such as Paytm, PolicyBazaar, Zomato, Mobikwik, and CarTrade.

Six Indian startups, including Nykaa, have filed draught prospectuses with India's market regulator, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi). Zomato, a food delivery app, has already made a strong stock market debut.

According to the IPO draught papers, Falguni, a banker-turned-entrepreneur, will have the right to nominate up to “50% of the number of directors on the board as well as nominate at least one such nominee director as member on each statutory or other committee constituted by the board…,” according to the IPO draft papers.


The parent company of the AI-powered travel app ixigo, Le Travenues Technology, has acquired the business and operations of AbhiBus, a bus ticketing and aggregation platform based in Hyderabad. The monetary value of the transaction has not been disclosed.

The company says in a statement that the Abhibus team, led by Founder Sudhakar Reddy Chirra, has merged with the ixigo team, and that all intellectual property, brands, technology, and operations have been transferred to ixigo.

This transaction will help the ixigo group consolidate its presence in Tier 2, 3 and 4 markets by providing a multi-modal transportation experience across trains, flights, and buses to its combined user base of nearly 255 million people.

Continuing its buying spree in 2021, leading online learning platform Byju's is in advanced talks to acquire live online learning platform Vedantu for around $600-$700 million, reliable sources told indicated.

This will be the fourth major acquisition by Byju Raveendran-run Company this year.

According to sources, the Vedantu transaction is nearing completion and will be completed soon after the necessary regulatory approvals are obtained.

Vedantu provides individual and group classes in grades K-12, as well as test preparation.