The Week that Was: Indian Startup News Overview (07 - 11 February)
For VC investors, this tendency is both encouraging and reassuring. It suggests that the following year will be exciting in terms of venture capital funding for businesses. The rise in VC confidence may be seen in the launch of more than $6.2 billion in venture capital funds in India alone in 2021. This is the second month of 2022, and the financing is still flowing at an incredible rate.
Led by Baring Private Equity India Pvt. Ltd., who have now been joined by ADB Ventures (Asian Development Bank's venture arm), SatSure, a startup working at the intersection of spacetech, av and Artificial Intelligence (AI), announces the raise of US$ 5 million in Pre-Series A funding in a round.
Flowstate VC, Force Ventures, IndigoEdge Advisors, Toch.ai, Nishchay Goel and, Saikiran Krishnamurthy are other investors who participated in the round.
"SatSure's powerful analytics platform that combines satellite technology and operational data to minimize lending risk is unique and best placed to offer actionable and timely insights. Its proprietary AI-powered modeling empowers financial institutions to issue credit and insurance policies faster, in higher volume, and on less conservative terms, which unlocks financing for smallholder farms. We're thrilled to partner with SatSure as the company expands its footprint in South and Southeast Asia," said Jugnu Pati, Investment Specialist at ADB Ventures.
Trifecta Capital, a venture debt investor, has secured INR 1,500 crore ($200 million) for its first ever equity fund, The Trifecta Leaders Fund – I, and plans to raise a further INR 375 crore through a green shoe option.
The fund, which was launched in May 2021 and had its first close in July, will invest in late-stage Indian tech startups that are preparing to go public as well as those looking to scale up and take advantage of the overall tech momentum.
While foreign investors are expected to account for 15 percent to 20 percent of the fund's assets, Trifecta has also received commitments from a number of insurers, asset management firms, and large family offices in India.
Livspace announced that it has reached a billion-dollar value after obtaining $180 million in a late-stage investment round sponsored by KKR & Co, as it tries to expand internationally and compete against local rivals.
According to Venture Intelligence Unicorn Tracker, the home renovation platform is India's 86th "unicorn" in an era of record fundraising for Indian start-ups, with 43 companies joining the club last year alone.
Ikea, as well as Jungle Ventures, Venturi Partners, and Peugeot Investments, were among the early backers in the round.
Livspace, a Singapore-based company with extensive operations in India, has so far received over $450 million.
Led by Sequoia Capital India, Polygon, a secondary scaling solution founded by three Indians for the Ethereum blockchain, has raised $450 million in a round. SoftBank Vision Fund II, Tiger Global, Elevation Capital, Accel Partners and Steadview Capital participated in the fundraising.
The team will use the latest funds to consolidate its lead in the race to scale Ethereum, the company said in a statement.
“Web3 builds on the early internet's open-source ideals, enabling users to create the value, control the network and reap the rewards. Ethereum, scaled by Polygon, will be the bedrock of this next stage in the Web's evolution," Polygon cofounder Naiwal said in a statement. “Technological disruption didn't start with Web2, nor is it going to end there. That’s why we are very excited to see some of the same firms that funded the previous round of innovation now being our Web3 vision.”
ElasticRun, a Kirana commerce platform, has joined the unicorn club after raising $300 million in a new round led by SoftBank.
Goldman Sachs, Innoven Capital, Prosus Ventures (formerly Naspers Ventures), and Abu Dhabi's Chimera Investment, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi's Royal Group, all contributed to the funding.
In April of last year, the startup raised $75 million in a Series D funding round led by Avataar Venture Partners. Kirana is a small grocery store that is usually run by a family.
CRED, a fintech startup based in India, is in talks to raise $300 million, valuing it at over $6 billion, according to sources. This is a combative valuation for one of India's most captivating technology companies, as investor sentiment remains strong despite global tech stock declines. According to sources, the new round of funding will be led by a Middle Eastern crossover fund, with existing backers Tiger Global Management and Falcon Edge Capital also increasing their stakes.
CRED was launched in 2018 by serial entrepreneur Kunal Shah to help India's most credit worthy individuals pay their credit card bills and earn points. Since then, it has expanded into lending, e-Commerce payments, brand advertising, and providing short term credit through BNPL options.
In a new financing round, Xpressbees, an Indian logistics startup that works with several e-commerce companies in the country, has more than tripled its valuation to $1.2 billion.
In a Series F funding round led by Blackstone, TPG, and ChrysCapital, the Pune-based startup raised $300 million — $100 million in primary funding and $200 million in secondary funding (to give Alibaba a partial exit and one unnamed Chinese investor a full exit). The new funding brings the total amount raised by the company to $575.8 million.
Xpressbees is the second startup based in Pune to achieve unicorn status this week. ElasticRun, a commerce startup, announced that it had raised $1.5 billion in funding.