The Week that Was: Indian Startup News Overview (07 MARCH - 12MARCH)
The Indian startup ecosystem had another fantastic week, with various rounds of funding taking place. Several companies made millions in the recent week of March by raising funding to develop their businesses and enhance services. Take a look at this week's follow-up.
CredAvenue, an online loan marketplace, has secured $137 million in a new round headed by New York-based Insight Partners, B Capital Group, and Dragoneer, making it the latest Indian unicorn.
The round, which included existing investors as well, boosted the company's worth to $1.3 billion. In September 2021, it was valued at $410 million. As part of the acquisition, Nikhil Sachdev, managing director of Insight Partners, will join CredAvenue's board of directors.
CredAvenue now joins the ranks of other Indian firms such as Mamaearth, Lead School, Fractal, Elastic Run, and Livspace, which have all achieved unicorn status in 2022.
Yulu, an electric two-wheeler startup, is seeking up to $100 million in funding to extend its business model and capture a larger share of the expanding last-mile mobility market.
Yulu, which has built the country's largest battery-as-a-service network with 3 million battery swaps to date, plans to increase its fleet to 100,000 units by the end of the year from 10,000 units now, offer franchisee models to reach other cities, and cater to personal buyers in the coming year.
So far, the company has raised $30 million in stock. To help expedite growth, it has set aside $100 million in a mix of equity and debt.
Zeta, a banking technology platform, has raised $30 million in a strategic investment round led by Mastercard and other investors, valuing the firm at $1.5 billion.
This is a follow-up to Zeta's $240 million funding round last May, which was led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2. The company was valued at $1.45 billion in the transaction, making it India's first unicorn. A unicorn is a privately held company with a market capitalization of $1 billion or more.
The investment by Mastercard in Zeta is part of a five-year strategic agreement in which both businesses will offer their credit management and card-processing product stacks. The corporation refused to provide the names of the other investors who took part in this round.
Money View, an online financial services provider, announced that it has raised $75 million from Tiger Global, Winter Capital, Evolvence India, and Accel in a new round of funding.
Other investors in the current round included South Park Commons, Trusted Insight, and Dream Incubator, according to a prepared statement released by the company on Wednesday.
The new fundraise has increased the company's valuation to $625 million. The new money will be used to scale the core credit business, develop the workforce, and expand the company's product line with services such as digital bank accounts, insurance, and wealth management solutions, according to the company.
JIFFY.ai, an enterprisetech incubator, has bagged $53 million in a Series B fundraising round. Along with Iron Pillar and R-Squared, Eight Roads Ventures led this investment round.
Nexus Venture Partners, Reaction Capital, and Rebright Partners were among the existing investors who took part in the investment round.
Eight Roads Ventures' Shweta Bhatia, partner and the head of Technology Investments India said, “The automation of business processes has become an integral pillar of the digital transformation agenda of enterprises, especially post pandemic. JIFFY.ai’s AI-driven approach to automation is unique with an integrated, modular, and intelligent solution that has proven superior alongside a faster and more sustainable ROI. We are thrilled to partner with Babu and his team in their mission to help enterprises reap the benefits of automation at scale.”
Insight Partners, Salesforce Ventures, and Sequoia Capital India led a $50 million funding round for Atlan, valuing the data collaborative workspace firm at $450 million.
Several data industry founders took part in the round, including Taylor Brown of Fivetran and Ajeet Singh of ThoughtSpot.
Insight Partners led a $16 million round for Atlan less than a year ago.
Menlo Microsystems (Menlo Micro) announced a $150 million Series C financing headed by Vertical Venture Partners and Tony Fadell's Future Shape.
"Today’s funding milestone underscores the confidence our investors have in Menlo Micro’s transformative technology to fuel the electrification of everything and modernize the $100+ billion market for RF communications, power switching and protection devices in the 21st century,” said Menlo Micro CEO Russ Garcia.
It will allow the company to expand manufacturing in the United States and speed the development of its power roadmap to address difficulties, he said.
Blinkit, the quick commerce unicorn, has secured $100 million in a fresh funding round led by Zomato, the food delivery behemoth.
Albinder Dhindsa, cofounder of Blinkit, said in an internal message to Blinkit staff that the firm will focus on expansion and enhance its speed of execution while minimising its burn rate as much as feasible.
Byju's, an edtech startup, announced on Friday that it has raised USD 800 million (about Rs 6,000 crore) in a funding round led by its founder and CEO Byju Raveendran, who contributed half of the total.
In addition to Sumeru Ventures, Vitruvian Partners, and BlackRock, the fundraising round included Sumeru Ventures, Vitruvian Partners, and BlackRock.
The corporation has raised new capital with an enterprise value of USD 22 billion, up nearly 22% over the previous stated estimate of USD 18 billion.
The investment comes as the company prepares to launch its initial public offering in the next 9 to 12 months.