The Week that Was: Indian Startup News Overview (17 - 22 January)
According to an industry research, three out of four company founders predict the fundraising environment would be even stronger in 2022 after a record $38 billion poured into India's startup ecosystem in 2021. According to the Startup Outlook Report 2022, over 92 percent of founders who attempted to raise capital in 2021 had a positive experience, and 75 percent of them expect the environment to improve this year. 83 of the 100 startup owners polled have a larger predisposition for growth over profitability, which includes fintech, SaaS, D2C, B2B, logistics, and education. Almost 44 startups joined the coveted unicorn club of companies valued at more than $1 billion in 2021, during an investment frenzy.
We feel the prediction will not be wrong after watching the startup's funding every week and studying the startup ecosystem. This week, we explored the most recent startup funding patterns; check out this week's follow-up.
Student housing company, Your-Space has secured $10 million (about Rs 75 crore) from a group of investors to help it expand and thrive.
According to a statement from Your-Space, the firm raised the money in Series-A fundraising using a combination of pure stock and convertible debentures.
AJAX Capital and Holy Basil Consultancy, the family offices of Shantanu Rastogi (General Atlantic) and Ajay Gupta (Capital Foods), led the capital round.
Manish Choksi's (Vice Chairman of Asian Paints) family office, Sunidhi Group's family office, and Sanjaya Gupta (former MD & CEO of PNBHFL) were among those that took part in the round.
Arya.ag, an agritech startup, has raised $60 million in a Series C funding round headed by Asia Impact SA, a Luxembourg-based investment group. Existing investors, such as Lightrock India and Quona Capital, took part in the fundraising as well.
According to a top company official, the company's post-money valuation has surpassed $300 million.
According to Prasanna Rao, cofounder and MD of Arya.ag, $14 million was raised via debt from investors such as the US Development Finance Corporation (USDFC) and ResponsAbility, a Geneva-based development finance institution.
In a funding round led by Accel Partners, online wealth manager Scripbox has secured $21 million in debt and equity.
Angel investors such as MakeMyTrip founder Deep Kalra, Freshworks CTO Shanmugam Krishnasamy, and Dell Technologies India MD Alok Ohrie participated in the fundraising, as did DMI Alternative Investment Fund through The Sparkle Fund, InnoVen Capital, Trifecta Capital, KPB Family Trust, LetsVenture, Kube VC, and YY Capital LLC.
The funds will be used to build the company's new product verticals, expand its customer base, and work with more independent financial advisors, according to the Bengaluru-based firm.
Threedots, a community investment business, has garnered $4 million in a seed round headed by Kalaari Capital. Better Capital, Kunal Shah (Cred), Cloud Capital, Ramakant Sharma (Livspace), Lalit Keshre (Groww), iSeed, Jitendra Gupta (Jupiter), Amrish and Sweta Rau (Pine Labs), and others were also present.
Rishu Garg, Akul Agarwal, and Prakhar Bhardwaj, all BITS Pilani alumni who previously worked together at Groww, founded Threedots in March 2021. The founders have product and scaling experience, having worked with companies such as Clear (previously Clear) and smallcase.
The Threedots team intends to use the funds raised to improve its product offerings and expand its team.
Rocketlane, a software as a service (SaaS) company, has raised $18 million in a Series A fundraising round led by 8VC and including Nexus VP and Matrix Partners.
The cash will be used to enhance product offerings, expedite marketing, and expand the company's personnel.
Gokul Rajaram, an angel investor, has also contributed to the newest round. The startup received $3 million in venture funding from Matrix Partners India and Nexus Venture Partners in June of last year.
“The company’s average month-on-month revenue growth has been upwards of 30%,” said Srikrishnan Ganesan, CEO and cofounder, Rocketlane.
StockGro, a social investment platform, has secured $32 million in a round headed by Bitkraft Ventures, General Catalyst, and Lightricks co-founder Itai Tsiddon.
The investment was also supported by existing investors such as Roots Ventures and Creed Capital Asia. The financing is a mix of primary and secondary fundraising, with early donors reaping significant rewards, according to the company. This round was also supported by a group of angel investors that included the Base 10 Capital founders, Junglee Games founder Ankush Gera, and Nazara founder Nitish Mittersain.
StockGro plans to utilise the funds to launch new products and aggressively ramp up recruiting across the board, according to a statement.
Settlrs, a B2B services rental platform, has raises $1 million in funding from a syndicate of investors led by Canbank Ventures.
The Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, nurtured the Bengaluru-based startup.
Settlrs is a business-to-business (B2B) service rental platform for furniture, electric home appliances, and IT infrastructure. It is a startup based in Bengaluru that is currently a part of the IIM-B Startup LaunchPad. It enables consumers to spend and save smarter, allowing them to live smarter, thanks to its rapid, hassle-free, and cost-effective way of renting. Settlr's mission is to make luxury accessible to its consumers by allowing them to pay small and live BIG.
SaaS Labs, a contact centre software incubator situated in Delhi-NCR and Palo Alto, has secured $43 million in a Series B fundraising round headed by Sequoia Capital India.
Angel investors Amit Agarwal, Allison Pickens, Anand Chandrasekaran, and Michael Stoppelman joined the round, as did Base 10 Partners and Eight Roads Ventures.
The business intends to use the funds generated to hire top personnel internationally, introduce breakthrough products, focus on brand marketing, and pursue strategic M&As aggressively.
Gaurav Sharma founded SaaS Labs in 2016 to provide business automation tools for sales and support teams.