The Week that Was: Indian Startup News Overview (03 - 07 January)
Welcome to the year 2022! We successfully concluded the first week of 2022, and the startup ecosystem got off to such a great start that two startups joined the unicorn club in the first week of the month. Apart from that, there were a slew of funding rounds in the opening week of 2022, as is customary. Take a look at this week's follow-up.
Unicorns of the Week
Honasa Consumer, an e-commerce platform, announced that it has raised USD 52 million in the current investment round led by Sequoia Capital, valuing it at USD 1.2 billion, making it the first unicorn of 2022.
The personal care platform, which offers its goods under the Mamaearth, The Derma Co, and House of Brands labels, said that Sofina Ventures of Belgium and Evolvence Capital of the United Arab Emirates participated in the current funding round. Fireside Ventures and Stellaris Venture Partners had previously invested in the company.
Fractal (fractal.ai), a provider of artificial intelligence and advanced analytics solutions, has reached a definitive deal to raise $360 million from TPG at a $1 billion valuation, making it the second unicorn of 2022 after Mamaearth. TPG Capital Asia, the firm's Asia-focused private equity platform, will invest $360 million (Rs 2,700 crore) in a transaction that comprises a combination of primary investment and secondary share purchase from funds managed by Apax, which will remain a substantial stakeholder following the transaction. The deal is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2022.
TPG's Puneet Bhatia and Vivek Mohan will join Fractal's board of directors as part of the deal. All present directors will remain on the board of directors, including Gavin Patterson, Rohan Haldea, Shashank Singh, and Gulu Mirchandani. TPG and Apax will each have a minority stake in the company.
AI - based financing platform CASHe secured INR 140 crore ($18.7 million) in equity capital from Singapore-based holding firm TSLC Pte Ltd.
CASHe, founded in 2016 by V. Raman Kumar, is a non-bank, mobile-first personal loan company that promises to assist the country's neglected digital clients. Its goal is to make credit more accessible to millenials.
It makes loans ranging from INR 1,000 to INR 3, 00,000 with an APR (annual percentage rate) of more than 30.42% with a minimum payback term of three months and a maximum repayment term of 12 months. It also appears to impose a 3% processing fee.
The State Bank of India, India's largest lender, has invested $20 million in Pine Labs, the fintech firm.
Last year, the online payments and merchant solutions platform, whichwas preparing for an IPO, received roughly $700 million in numerous tranches and was valued at $3.5 billion. In December, the company was in early talks with Falcon Edge to raise at least $100 million, with the overall capital round potentially reaching $200 million.
According to sources this month, Pine Labs, which is best known for its offline merchant payments platform, is planning to list in the United States in the first half of 2022.
iD Fresh Food
Foodtech business iD Fresh Food garnered INR 507 Cr ($68 Mn) in a Series D funding round headed by NewQuest Capital Partner and Premji Invest.
The firm, which was founded in 2005 by PC Musthafa, Abdul Nazer, Jafar, Noushad TA, and, Shamsudeen TK offers dosa and idli batter, as well as other culinary goods, in around 45 markets including Mumbai, Bengaluru, Pune, Hyderabad, Dubai, and other cities.
Along with Sequoia Capital, Bennet Coleman and Co Ltd, and Helon Venture Partners, Premji Invest is an existing investor in the business.
The Bengaluru-based foodtech business was recently the target of a WhatsApp disinformation campaign alleging that their idli and dosa batters included cow bones and calf rennet, which the company quickly debunked.
Bengaluru-based fresh food distributor Living Food has secured $7.5 million from Amasia, a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm focusing on sustainability and climate change.
SOSV, Blume Founders Fund, and famous angel investors such as Sid Yog of Xander Group and Sandeep Singhal, Co-founder of Nexus Venture Partners, also invested in the round. John Kim, the managing partner of Amasia, has previously invested in Living Food as part of a seed round in 2020.
Bambrew, India's largest one-stop innovative packaging solution provider as an alternative to single-use plastic, has raised pre-Series-A funding. Blue Ashva Capital and Supack Industries led a $2.35 million investment round. Mumbai Angels and other renowned angel investors took part in the round.
The current influx of capital will be used to establish India's first tech-enabled platform for procuring green packaging, expand supply capacity, invest in R&D of new sustainable materials, and grow the team.
Led by Bessemer Venture Partners and Tiger Global, digital payments startup focused on business-to-business payments, Rupify has raised USD 25 million as a part of its first round of institutional funding.
Along with Silicon Valley-based early-stage investor, Better Capital, existing investors Quona Capital and Ankur Capital also participated in the round.
The company will use the funds to launch omnichannel mobile-first B2B payments solutions for merchants, distributors and sellers as well as to build the complete B2B checkout product for marketplaces.
After the company raised USD 4.1 million led by Quona Capital in March 2021, the Series A marks Rupifi’s second investment within 9 months.