The Week that Was: Indian Startup News Overview (06th Nov - 10th Nov)
India Startup Outlook remains promising with continued government support through initiatives like "Startup India" and a dynamic funding landscape attracting domestic and international investors. Emerging technologies such as AI and block chain, coupled with a focus on innovation, drive growth, particularly in the e-commerce and technology sectors. Startups tackling healthcare and sustainability challenges are gaining prominence. Overcoming regulatory hurdles and adapting to market dynamics pose ongoing challenges. The globalization trend sees some startups expanding beyond domestic borders. Staying current with industry trends funding opportunities, and navigating challenges are crucial for startups navigating India's vibrant and evolving entrepreneurial landscape.
This week, we saw Snaptrude, a software company specializing in construction project design, recently secured $14 million in a Series A funding round. This funding was led by Foundamental VC and Accel; and Bull Agritech, an agricultural technology firm, has secured $100,000 (equivalent to Rs 8 million) in a pre-seed funding round, with startup accelerator PedalStart taking the lead. Here is the compilation of top 10 startups that raised million dollar funds this week.
Snaptrude, a software company specializing in construction project design, recently secured $14 million in a Series A funding round. This funding was led by Foundamental VC and Accel. The company, headquartered in New York with an office in Bengaluru, is on a mission to create a contemporary operating system for the design and construction process. Their journey begins with the development of a web-based collaborative 3D design tool. Notably, this Series A funding follows closely on the heels of a successful $6.6 million seed funding round, also supported by Foundamental VC and Accel, just 12 months prior.
The recent injection of capital will bolster Snaptrude's expansion plans for its product and engineering teams and enhance its go-to-market strategy. This will facilitate the company's efforts to reach a broader audience, particularly within the architecture firms. Snaptrude's platform, characterized by a fully web-based approach, facilitates seamless real-time collaboration and automates the generation of essential project data, including cost estimates, quantity takeoffs, project schedules, and climate studies.
Bharat Housing Network
Bharat Housing Network has successfully secured Rs 125 crores in Series A funding. This funding round is led by NABVENTURES Fund, a prominent venture capital fund specializing in agri-food-rural tech and supported by institutions like NABARD, SIDBI, Axis Bank, LIC, and others. Several other investors, including Varanium NexGen Fund, 9Unicorns, Riverwalk Holdings, SMK Ventures, DMI Sparkle Fund, LC Nueva, and more, have also participated in this investment. NABVENTURES Fund, known for its outstanding performance in the agri-food-rural tech sector, is taking the lead in this funding round. This marks their seventh investment announcement in the first ten months of 2023.
Bharat Housing Network is a prominent technology platform focused on co-lending in the affordable housing segment. It is India's largest co-lending infrastructure for delivering credit in the affordable housing sector. The platform utilizes a hybrid capital model to facilitate housing finance companies and non-banking finance companies in providing housing credit at the grassroots level.
GoMechanic, an automotive service and repair firm that was acquired by Servizzy, a subsidiary of Lifelong Group, seven months ago due to financial irregularities, has successfully raised $6 million in fresh funding. A prominent investor spearheaded the investment and saw participation from the firm's existing stakeholders, although the primary investor's identity was not disclosed in the company's announcement. Stride Ventures and Lifelong India Pvt Ltd, based in Delhi, are existing shareholders. GoMechanic intends to utilize the capital to expand its reach into new and untapped regions, which includes incorporating various models for bringing in new workshops and franchises.
At the beginning of this year, GoMechanic had acknowledged financial irregularities and had been served a notice to initiate insolvency proceedings. Two months after GoMechanic Co-founder Amit Bhasin publicly admitted to financial misreporting on LinkedIn, the company was acquired by Lifelong Group with the intention of expanding GoMechanic's operations.
The Indian cryptocurrency ecosystem, known for its rapid grassroots adoption of crypto, is now drawing the interest of prominent international players in the industry. Bitget, a crypto trading platform, has expressed a willingness to support promising cryptocurrency startups emerging from India. According to the latest iteration of Chainalysis' Global Crypto Adoption Index, India has secured the top spot out of 154 countries in terms of the most profound and swiftest integration of cryptocurrencies into its existing financial systems.
Bitget has decided to inject $10 million (approximately INR 83 crore) into early-stage Indian cryptocurrency firms over the next five years to support and nurture valuable initiatives during the volatile market conditions. This funding initiative is part of Bitget's 'Blockchain4Youth' project, as per the company's announcement.
Vaaree, an Indian marketplace offering home furnishings, decor, and accessories, has secured $4 million in a seed funding round led by Surge, Peak XV's accelerator program. Additional investors in this round include PeerCapital, All In Capital, and Better Capital. The newly acquired funds will be utilized to expedite recruitment efforts and improve the user experience on the online platform, according to a statement from the company. Co-founder Varun Vohra mentioned that the funding will also support crucial areas such as curation, merchandising, supply chains, and the development of omnichannel experiences.
Vaaree emphasizes affordability by featuring products from carefully vetted manufacturers. Through its factory-to-home model, the company strives to enhance logistics and supply chain efficiency while minimizing expenses related to advertising and packaging to maintain competitive prices. Recently, Vaaree inaugurated its inaugural retail store at the Forum South Bangalore Mall in late October, designed as an experiential center to attract and engage customers.
Zepto, a rapidly growing quick commerce platform, has recently raised an additional $31.25 million in its most recent funding round. Notable investors, including Goodwater Capital, Nexus Venture Partners, and angel investors Oliver and Lish Jung, and Mangum II, have participated in this funding round. Zepto confirmed this investment, as reported by DealStreetAsia, to YourStory. This significant funding comes shortly after Zepto's earlier $200 million funding round, which was led by StepStone Group, Goodwater Capital, Nexus Venture Partners, and Glade Brook Capital, and it valued the Mumbai-based company at an impressive $1.4 billion. This valuation solidified Zepto's position as the first unicorn of 2023.
Co-founded by Aadit Palicha and Kaivalya Vohra, Zepto has ambitious intentions for its latest funding. The company aims to strengthen its presence in India's top seven cities, which include Mumbai, Delhi-NCR, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune, and select areas of Kolkata. Avendus Capital served as the exclusive financial advisor for this funding round.
B2B logistics service provider Xpressbees has raised $80 million from Teachers’ Venture Growth (TVG), the investment arm of Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. The Canadian pension fund acquired a stake in the Pune-headquartered startup at about $1.4 billion valuation. This investment will be used to help drive further growth for the Xpressbees platform and support the company’s management team with their future ambitions, the company said in a statement.
This marks Ontario Teachers’ first investment in India from the TVG platform. “We are excited about the market opportunity for end-to-end logistics and supply chain solutions that can meet the needs of a diversified customer base across industries, including e-commerce in India”, Deepak Dara of Ontario Teachers said in a statement. “Led by a strong team, Xpressbees has established a highly scalable and efficient asset-light model with proven execution capabilities”, Dara added.
Insurtech start-up Bimaplan has successfully obtained $3.5 million in a pre-Series A funding round, with Orios Venture Partners taking the lead, and participation from existing investors like Finsight Ventures and 2 am VC. This recent funding round has brought the company's total investment to $6 million. Bimaplan, supported by Y-Combinator, intends to utilize these funds to improve and scale its technology platform while introducing new products to meet customer demands. Additionally, the company plans to bolster its distribution network by expanding current channels and launching new sectors to extend its outreach.
Vikul Goyal, the founder and CEO of Bimaplan, expressed gratitude for the new funding and outlined the company's objectives. He aims to establish a sustainable and profitable distribution network by leveraging their robust technology suite to eliminate inefficiencies throughout the value chain. Bimaplan, headquartered in Mumbai and Bengaluru, currently employs a 50-member team and intends to expand its workforce in the product, technology, and sales departments.
Total Emergency Network (TEN), an innovative startup that has brought about a significant transformation in the healthcare sector through its groundbreaking approach to ambulance services, has successfully raised a substantial INR 1.5 Crore in an angel funding round. This pivotal investment was spearheaded by BMV. Money (an unstoppable startup funding initiative) and a dedicated consortium of family and friends. Under the visionary leadership of its Founder and CEO, Kishore Manepalli, EN Medical Network has been revolutionizing the healthcare delivery landscape in India. The company's core mission revolves around bridging the gap between ambulances, medical professionals, paramedic teams, hospitals, and patients, with the ultimate goal of saving lives and enhancing the overall quality of healthcare services.
Co-founder and COO Shaik Mehtab Alam plays a pivotal role in ensuring the smooth coordination of resources and personnel, facilitating the rapid response and efficient functioning of the TEN Medical Logistics network. His unwavering dedication to optimizing logistics has been a driving force in the startup's achievements. Alongside, Co-Founder and Chief Business Officer Someswara Rao has been instrumental in expanding the company's presence and forging robust partnerships with healthcare institutions and service providers.
Bull Agritech, an agricultural technology firm, has secured $100,000 (equivalent to Rs 8 million) in a pre-seed funding round, with startup accelerator PedalStart taking the lead. Bull Agritech is a member of PedalStart's ongoing cohort, known as One-to-N, which is supported by prominent Venture Capital firms in the industry. The company has stated that it intends to utilize the funds to fuel its growth, expedite operational expansion, and bolster its team.
Established in 2021 by Hit Desai and Divyajeet Chauhan, Bull Agritech is a company that establishes a direct connection between farmers and agri-commodity processors, offering comprehensive supply chain solutions. Manas Pal and Aditya Darolia, who co-founded PedalStart, noted that the One-to-N program has set a high standard. Among the nine startups selected, all have successfully secured their initial funding, and we aim to elevate their progress to the next level further. Bull Agritech reports that it has already enabled trade transactions worth Rs 25 crore and digitally onboarded 15,000 farmers in just 18 months.
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