The Week that Was: Indian Startup News Overview (09-13 August)

The Week that Was: Indian Startup News Overview (09-13 August)

In the pandemic-plagued year of 2020, Indian startups raised $11.5 billion through 924 transactions, with more than half of them taking place in Bengaluru and New Delhi. In fact, between 2017 and 2020, Bengaluru alone accounted for 45 percent of total deal value. According to a recent report, the number of startups in India will increase to 100,000 by 2025, up from around 55,000 currently. They will attract $100 billion in investment between 2021 and 2025 and employ 3.25 million people. India is slated to become the world's second-largest startup ecosystem after the United States while being home to over 150 Unicorns.

The aforementioned conclusions were drawn by the report released by early-stage venture capital fund 3one4 Capital. The report also said that the Indian startup ecosystem will see a three-fold increase in valuation and a significant increase in the number of Unicorns, which currently stands at 59, by 2025.This week, we're bringing you stories about Indian startups and the most significant funding rounds that have taken place recently.

Bengaluru-based advanced battery technology start-up Log 9 Materialshas received $85 million in investment from Amara Raja Batteries Limited and a few other investors.

Amara Raja, a battery manufacturer, is the anchor investor, with a $5 million investment. Log 9 Materials has raised an additional $3-5 million in funding from existing and new investors.

These funds will be used to increase production capacity and to support the business development efforts of Log 9's latest rapid charging battery technology, which has completed successful pilots and is set to go commercial in October 2021.

Digital freight management platform Wiz Freight, announced on Tuesday that it has raised a $3.5 million seed round led by Axilor Ventures. Angel investors Arali Ventures and Foundamental, as well as Ramakant Sharma, co-founder of LivSpace, and Daniel Richner, chairman of M+R Spedag Group, took part.

Wiz Freight, founded in August of last year by logistics veterans RamkumarGovindarajan and Ramkumar Ramachandran, provides enterprises and small and medium businesses (SMBs) with a full stack platform for automating cross-border logistics operations.

An early-stage investor Stellaris Venture Partners, announced the raising of $225 million for its second India-focused fund, coinciding with an unprecedented funding environment fueling the domestic startup and technology sector. Stellaris' corpus is nearly three times the size of its $90 million maiden fund, which launched four years ago.

This places the four-year-old Bengaluru firm among the largest in India's seed-to-series A stage funds, a segment that has seen increased interest in recent years.

Stellaris, which has previously invested in consumer brand Mamaearth, software-as-a-service (SaaS) firm Whatfix, and health tech platform Mfine, has raised 80 percent of the capital for Fund-II from global limited partners (LPs), with the remainder coming from Indian entrepreneurs, family offices, and others.

The social media network Reddit will raise up to $700 million in a fundraising round led by Fidelity Management, capitalising on a surge in its financial influence to triple its valuation to more than $10 billion.

The company announced that it had already raised $410 million from Fidelity in its second funding round since the beginning of the year, when small-time traders gathered on its platform to compete with Wall Street institutions.

Unicorn Central

This year's unprecedented funding boom has resulted in the creation of 21 unicorns, or private firms valued at $1 billion or more, in India's startup domain in 2021 so far.

Ronnie Screwvala's upGrad, which focuses on higher education and upskilling working professionals, has joined India's coveted unicorn league - startups worth $1 billion or more.

The edtech announced that it has closed $185 million in external funding from Temasek Holdings, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, and IIFL at a $1.2 billion valuation.

In April of this year, upGrad announced the first close of $120 million from Temasek, marking the firm's first external fund raise since its inception in 2015. In February, the edtech firm announced that it would raise approximately $45 million from IFC.

CoinDCX, a cryptocurrency exchange, has raised $90 million (approximately Rs 668 crore) in a Series C round led by Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin's B Capital.

The funding values the company at $1.1 billion, making it the newest member of the unicorn club, which includes startups valued at $1 billion or more. So far this year, India has added 21 startups to the coveted list.

CoinDCX is also the first crypto company in India to achieve unicorn status.Existing investors Coinbase Ventures, Polychain Capital,, Jump Capital, and other angel investors joined the round as well, according to a senior company executive.

AnotheWith its latest $650 million fundraise, Eruditus, a Mumbai-based edtech startup that offers professional education courses in collaboration with leading universities, has also entered the coveted unicorn club with a valuation of $3.2 billion. The startup is the fourth Indian edtech startup to reach the coveted spot.

The $650 million Series E funding round for Eruditus was led by Accel and SoftBank Vision Fund 2, with participation from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Sequoia India, Bertelsmann, Prosus, and Leeds Illuminate.

Eruditus' entry into the unicorn club – firms valued at $1 billion or more – makes it the second edtech startup to join this year, following upGrad, which was valued at $1.2 billion following its fundraise on August 9.


CarTrade Tech has begun its initial public offering (IPO). Subscriptions for the issue will be accepted until August 11, 2021. The issue consists of the promoters' offer to sell up to 18,532,216 equity shares worth Rs2,998.51crore.

CarTrade is a multi-channel auto platform that provides coverage and presence across vehicle types and value-added services. CarWale, CarTrade, ShriramAutomall, BikeWale, CarTradeExchange, Adroit Auto, and AutoBiz are some of the company's platforms.

CMDB II, Highdell Investment, Macritchie Investments, Springfield Venture International, Bina Vindo Sanghi, Daniel Edward, Shree Krishna Trust, Victor Anthony Perry III, and VinayVinodSanghi are among the promoters.

According to the company's draught red herring prospectus (DRHP) filed with the capital markets regulator, ixigo intends to raise Rs 750 crore through a primary fundraise and Rs 850 crore through an offer for sale (OFS) from existing investors as part of its initial public offering. Thursday evening, the DRHP for the Rs 1,600 crore raise was filed.

While existing investors Micromax and Elevation Capital (formerly Saif Partners) will exit partially through an OFS, another older investor, MakeMyTrip, has already exited the company through a secondary sale, clocking 8x returns on its $4.8 million investment.

According to the draught prospectus, the promoters, Aloke Bajpai and Rajnish Kumar, intend to sell their stakes through the IPO as well.