The Week that Was: Indian Startup News Overview (11th Sept - 15th Sept)
The Indian startup ecosystem has sparked a great deal of interest from both domestic and international investors, leading to considerable funding and acquisitions. The increase has been further fueled by the expansion of venture capital firms, angel investors, and incubators, which provide entrepreneurs with crucial financial support and mentoring. Innovation, benevolent rules, and a favourable market have all contributed to its spectacular rise. Programmes from the Indian government like Startup India and Digital India have also contributed to fostering a supportive environment for enterprises.
This week, HotelYaari, a platform specializing in fractional ownership of holiday homes and hotel suites, has successfully raised $2.17 million (approximately Rs 18 crore) in seed funding from Alios Ventures; and B2B SaaS fintech company Perfios announced that Kedaara Capital will invest $229 million in its Series-D funding round through the combination of a primary fund raise and a secondary sale. Here is the compilation of top 10 startups that raised million dollar funds this week.
HotelYaari, a platform specializing in fractional ownership of holiday homes and hotel suites, has successfully raised $2.17 million (approximately Rs 18 crore) in seed funding from Alios Ventures. The entire investment will be distributed in three equal installments over the next three quarters.
Founded in May 2023 by Janardan Tiwari, former Founder and CEO of DataTrained, HotelYaari aims to provide an investment opportunity in holiday homes and hotel suites to the middle class. This concept of fractional ownership resembles models like Pacasso in the United States and Kocomo in Mexico, enabling individuals to access such properties cost-effectively, even if they cannot afford to purchase entire properties.
Databricks, a data analytics platform using artificial intelligence (AI), said it secured more than $500 million in a funding round that valued the company at $43 billion, marking one of the biggest funding events for private tech companies this year amid AI-fueled optimism. The new round, led by T. Rowe Price, could mark the last round of private funding as the data company gears up for the public market. Chipmaker Nvidia, another beneficiary of the AI boom, and credit card firm Capital One Financial also participated in the latest funding round.
The company plans to use the funds to build out foundation models in partnership with Nvidia, which makes the core computing chips that run AI models, Ali Ghodsi, chief executive of Databricks, told Reuters in an interview. "You want to have models that are really good at specific tasks. It matters to us to be able to do this for our enterprise clients," Ghodsi said. Other marquee names in the venture capital industry, like Andreessen Horowitz, Baillie Gifford, Morgan Stanley's Counterpoint Global, Fidelity Management & Research, and Tiger Global, also participated in the round.
Early-stage deep-tech hardware startup ThinkMetal has successfully raised $300k in a pre-seed funding round, with leadership from 100X.VC, which was the initial institutional investor in ThinkMetal. Following their participation in the 100X.VC pitch day, a group of investors, including SAT Industries (BSE-listed), KRS Jamwal, and Uday Sodhi, further contributed to the funding round. This infusion of capital will empower ThinkMetal to enhance its offerings.
Founded in 2021 by Sabyasachi Ghosh and Arushi Sharma, ThinkMetal is making significant strides in the manufacturing sector with its metal 3D printing technology. Traditional manufacturing processes are often time-consuming, and existing 3D metal printers are known for their high costs, sluggish operation, and bulky design, which can result in concerns related to print failures and increased expenses. To address these challenges, ThinkMetal is in the process of creating a comprehensive ecosystem that combines proprietary hardware and software solutions, offering an end-to-end solution for metal 3D printing.
Zaggle Prepaid Ocean Services secured Rs 253.52 crore from 23 anchor investors a day prior to the initiation of its initial public offering (IPO). The anchor investors include prestigious names such as Morgan Stanley Asia (Singapore), Matthews Asia Funds, Neuberger Berman Emerging Markets Equity Fund, and Goldman Sachs (Singapore), among others. Has finalized allocation of 1,54,58,515 equity shares to anchor investors at a price of Rs 164 per share,” the fintech-SaaS company said in its filing to exchanges.
The total allocation to anchor investors, 37,80,630 equity shares were assigned to three domestic mutual funds across four schemes. Zaggle Prepaid Ocean Services will launch its Rs 563.38-crore public issue, consisting of a fresh issue of shares worth Rs 392 crore and an offer-for-sale (OFS) of 1,04,49,816 equity shares by eight selling shareholders.
Private equity platform Xponentia said it had raised Rs 1,000 crore in its second fund, almost entirely from domestic investors. The platform will be investing the funds in companies across sectors such as consumer, healthcare, financial services, and business services.
It had set out with a target to raise Rs 750 crore, and the same has been oversubscribed and exceeded. Apart from investors in the first fund, new investors, including High Networth Individuals (HNIs), family offices and insurance companies, and the 'fund of funds' program managed by the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) have invested or have committed money in the second fund.
Mumbai-based company Wogom, specializing in a cloud-based platform facilitating the distribution and retail network for consumer electronics and mobile phones in rural India, has successfully secured $1.9 million in funding. The fundraising occurred in two stages, with an initial $600,000 injection a few months prior and a subsequent $1.3 million infusion. This investment round involved participation from angel investors and Family Offices. Wogom plans to utilize the capital to expand its operations and extend its business presence.
Wogom, under the leadership of Founder & CEO Nirav Patel, operates World Goods Marketplace, a cloud-based platform concentrated on the consumer electronics and mobile phone sectors within rural India’s distribution and retail ecosystem. The platform not only assists distributors and retailers in connecting with their customers but also aids dealers in growing their sales, increasing profits, resolving trade credit challenges, and serving as a launchpad for new brands and entrants.
Kale Logistics Solutions, an Indian startup offering a vertical SaaS platform to assist logistics needs, has raised $30 million in a fresh funding round, as the 14-year-old startup eyes expansion in the U.S. and Europe. Bengaluru-based private equity fund Creaegis Advisors led the Series B round, which follows the startup raising $5 million in a Series A round in 2020. The startup’s key investors include tech-focused VC firm Inflexor Ventures, as well as founding angels Narendra Kale and Vipul Jain.
Handling logistics and shipping cargo usually requires coordination among several parties, much like an international journey for an individual. Yet, a major part of this process often entails extensive paperwork. Kale Logistics aims to eradicate paper-based processes in these activities through a suite of cloud-based software tools that facilitate digital data transfer among all stakeholders in cargo and logistics. “We have come up with the standard solutions, with standard interfaces to airlines, customs and so on, which is what is being promoted as a platform at airports and ports level,” said Rajesh Panicker, co-founder and COO at Mumbai-based Kale Logistics.
Engineering analytics platform DevDynamics.ai has successfully raised $600,000 in its inaugural funding round. The financing round was spearheaded by Powerhouse Ventures, with participation from other investors, including Sunn91 Ventures, PointOne Capital, and select angel investors. The funds obtained will be channeled toward further enhancing the platform’s artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities.
Pruthviraj Haral, the founder of DevDynamics, expressed enthusiasm about the strong response the platform has received in its initial months. DevDynamics.ai aims to leverage AI in areas such as enhancing engineering productivity and aligning with business objectives. The platform assists engineering leaders in optimizing their operations by employing research-backed metrics like DORA and the SPACE framework. By identifying bottlenecks in the software development lifecycle, the product offers actionable insights to boost developer productivity and shipping velocity.
Reg-tech company TSS Consultancy said it had received an investment from VC firm WestBridge Capital at a valuation of Rs 900 crore. The company said that the funds raised will be used for research and development, particularly artificial intelligence (AI), and to significantly scale its SaaS offerings, including the launch of new products in niche areas of financial crime.
Founded in 2008 in Mumbai, the company has grown its revenues by 43 percent to touch Rs 60 crore and is currently serving more than 350 financial institutions.“Our mission is to help every financial institution and empower financial soldiers to fight financial crime with cutting-edge technology and data intelligence with reasonable investments in the area of money laundering, KYC, Terrorist Financing, and Insider Trading,” said Sagar Tanna, Founder & CEO, TSS Consultancy. Apart from India, the company also has a presence in South Africa and the US, with more than 400 team members. TSS Consultancy’s tech platform TrackWizz is designed to empower the finance industry in fighting financial crime, money laundering, terrorist financing, etc.
B2B SaaS fintech company Perfios announced that Kedaara Capital will invest $229 million in its Series-D funding round through the combination of a primary fund raise and a secondary sale. Perfios said it plans to deploy the funds to fuel its continued global expansion plans in North America and Europe. The company also plans to invest in new-age technologies to enhance its comprehensive stack of Decision Analytics SaaS products to solve the entire end-to-end customer journey across banking, insurance, and embedded commerce.
Nishant Sharma, founder and managing partner of Kedaara Capital, said, Led by one of the strongest teams in the space, Perfios has created truly the best-in-class fintech SaaS business that plays on the strong secular growth and increasing digitization levels in the financial services sector in India and globally. Their pioneering approach has led to a strong positive flywheel effect that will help the company maintain its market-leading position, and we are excited to partner with them.
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