The Week that Was: Indian Startup News Overview (18th Sep- 22nd Sep)

The Week that Was: Indian Startup News Overview (18th Sep- 22nd Sep)
In India, startups are booming, and it's thanks to teamwork between the government and businesses. They've created a great environment for new businesses to thrive. This success is because the government helps a lot, it's easier to get money to start a business, there are more talented people to hire, and everyone loves new ideas. Plus, it's become much easier for Indian entrepreneurs to get the money they need, which is making the startup scene even better.
This week, we noticed Former Flipkart senior vice president Ranjith Boyanapalli’s startup, Flash, has secured $6.7 Mn funding in Pre-Series; and Uber-backed fleet management startup Everest Fleet has raised Rs 50 Cr ($6 mn) in a strategic funding round from private equity firm Paragon Partners. The top 10 startups this week that raised million in funding are listed below.
Everest Fleet
Uber-backed fleet management startup Everest Fleet has raised Rs 50 Cr ($6 mn) in a strategic funding round from private equity firm Paragon Partners. The startup will utilise the capital to accelerate its growth plans and venture into new markets. “We envisage a future where fleet management providers will partner extensively with cab aggregation and ride hailing platforms to provide India’s urban citizens with comfortable commute and travel options. The company has a fleet of more than 13,000 cars", said Everest Fleet Co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Siddharth Ladsariya.
Founded in 2016, Everest Fleet operates a fleet of more than 13,000 green fuel (CNG and electric) cars. It has a presence in seven cities Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata, and Pune. Commenting on the fundraiser, Paragon Partners’ Co-founder and senior partner Sumeet Nindrajog said, “Everest Fleet has a clear blueprint to unlock the immense potential for shared mobility in India through its fleet management solutions. We believe that it is well positioned to capitalise on the growing need for reliable shared mobility structures and are excited to partner with them on their journey".
Awfis Space Solutions Private Ltd
Awfis Space Solutions Private Ltd, with significant backing from notable investors such as ChrysCapital and Peak XV Partners (formerly Sequoia India), has taken steps to launch an initial public offering (IPO) in 2024. This marks the first attempt by a co-working space provider to go public on domestic stock exchanges, according to several industry insiders familiar with the matter. “Awfis is planning to raise around $100 mn to $125mn via the proposed listing, though the quantum hasn’t been finalized yet and may vary later. ICICI Securities, IIFL Capital & Axis Capital have been mandated as advisors”.
Awfis, headquartered in Chennai, is a competitor of firms like WeWork, Smartworks, and Tablespace. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, the co-working segment has experienced a strong recovery, with a significant portion of the demand coming from the IT sector. "Work on the IPO had begun earlier, and the DRHP may be filed with market regulator Sebi in a month’s time. A launch is targeted in 2024 based on market conditions".
Agritech startup Ergos said that it has raised $10 million via a combination of equity and debt in a funding round led by Norway’s Abler Nordic, along with participation from existing investors Aavishkaar Capital, Chiratae Ventures and Trifecta Venture Debt Fund. Bengaluru-based Ergos digitises grain storage, helping farmers convert their grains into tradable digital assets and earn more by selling their crops at optimal times. It offers a buyer's platform linking farmers to markets, safe grain storage in warehouses, and access to affordable finance through partner lenders.
“There is a pressing need to revitalise agriculture by empowering farmers and catering to their needs at the farmgate. Ergos’ Grainbank platform enables farmers to take optimal decisions on sales/storage of their crops, access credit from banks as well as get access to competitive prices through planned liquidations”, said Kishor Jha, founder and chief executive of Ergos.
Artificial Intelligence and automation-as-a-service platform EaseMyAI raised Rs 3 Crore in a Seed Round led by Inflection Point Ventures. The funds will be utilised for product development, recruiting a sales and marketing team, and expanding our distributor network. Founded in 2022 by Gagan Randhawa (CEO & Co-Founder), Yaman Bharadwaj (COO & Co-founder), Surendra Sancheti (CCO & Co-Founder) and Jekin Dedhia (CTO & Co-Founder), together, they form a strong and dedicated founding team that has propelled EaseMyAI to success, driving its growth and innovation in the field of AI and automation.
Madhukar Bhardwaj, Senior Vice President, Inflection Point Ventures, says, “As the technology advances across the globe, it's imperative for businesses to use technology to its favor and make the most of it. EasemyAI’s end-to-end solution allows businesses to deploy AI based operating systems to automate their operations and processes. This creates a huge growth opportunity for the large and small companies to focus on the core business and eliminate the manual work with the EasemyAI platform. Their Business Model is highly scalable and IPV will support them to expand their services geographically with a strategic approach”.
Atlys, an online visa application provider, has raised $12 million in Series A round led by ?Elevation Capital? and ?Peak XV Partners? (formerly Sequoia Capital India). The round also saw participation from existing investors including Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), Musical Duo Chainsmokers, South Park Commons, Pinterest Founders, and others. The funds raised will be used to expand the platform’s product offerings for travellers, customer acquisition, and hiring, Atlys said in a statement.
The startup aims to enhance the platform’s technological foundation through smart integrations and expand its product line and team. So far, the company has processed over 250,000 visas to date. "By leveraging over a million data points, we’re able to predict when you’re going to get a visa, reduce visa rejection rates", said Mohak Nahta, Founder of Atlys in a statement. It is looking to solve numerous other pain points that people face with international travel including areas like credit for travel, remittance, and travel insurance.
Drone manufacturing startup insidePV has successfully raised Rs 3.5 crore in a seed funding round, with leading participation from Mumbai Angels. Other notable contributors in the funding round include IPV, Soonicorn, Fossbytes, and Kumar Sahu. The company has outlined its intention to utilize these funds for various purposes, including driving growth, advancing product development, expanding its market presence, enhancing distribution and logistics capabilities, strengthening data analytics, integrating software solutions, pursuing strategic acquisitions, and making strategic investments.
Established in 2021 by Co-Founders Arth Chowdhary, Devyant Bhardwaj, and Oshi Kumari, insideFPV specializes in providing drones that empower its clients to engage in STEM education, conduct surveillance activities, and capture first-person view videos that were previously challenging to achieve. The company operates across diverse sectors, including government contracts and defense, agriculture, commercial industries, and surveillance.
Live entertainment and social gaming platform Eloelo said it had raised $22 million in its Pre-Series B round, led by Courtside Ventures and Griffin Gaming Partners. The funding will be used to partner with more creators and develop new tools for them, attract more talent across tech and product, and bolster monetization efforts. The funding round was joined by MIXI Inc., along with existing backers Waterbridge Ventures, Lumikai Fund, Kalaari Capital, Conviviality Ventures, and Rocket Capital.
With this fresh funding, Eloelo has raised $37.5 million to date. The round comes 14 months after its Series A round of $13 million in June 2022. “Our growth of 400 percent YoY showcases the love users have given the product. This fundraising in such a testing macro environment further enforces the belief our investors have in our vision”, said Saurabh Pandey, CEO and Founder of Eloelo. Eloelo ranked among the top three apps in India on the Google Play Store in entertainment, has over 37 million users and 120,000 creators.
Bengaluru-based startup Peping, a digital healthcare clinic platform focusing on gut health, has secured its latest investment round of $400K led by Better Capital as the lead investor and other angel investors who have joined the funding round include Kunal Shah, Sandeep Kumar Dinodiya, Ganesh Balakrishnan, and Shubham Mishra. The startup was founded in 2022 by Chirag Maheshwari and Prateek Maheshwari.
The newly acquired capital will be allocated to various critical areas of the company's growth. A significant portion will be dedicated to advancing the product and technology infrastructure. Additionally, it will also work towards building a team with deep industry knowledge, and allocate resources for creative experiments and expanding our acquisition channels.
Dreamfly Innovations
Bengaluru-based Dreamfly Innovations, a graphene battery startup, has raised $300,000 in a funding round led by Rebalance Angel Community, with participation from IIM Ahmedabad’s CIIE.CO (Center for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship), announced Rebalance, an angel community. The battery-tech startup intends to utilize this capital for product commercialization and expanding its team. The startup was also the part of Rebalance’s Accelerator Cohort 05.
Currently focussing Drone and Aviation sector, Dreamfly Innovations is India’s first high-performance, non-flammable, 10x durable graphene-based battery solutions company. Founded in 2022 by Dr. Saurabh Markendeya and Kajal Shah, Dreamfly’s flagship product, the Graphene Battery, addresses the battery-related challenges encountered by drone companies, including the risk of battery fires.
Former Flipkart senior vice president Ranjith Boyanapalli’s startup, Flash, has secured $6.7 Mn funding in Pre-Series A funding round led by Blume Ventures and existing investor PeerCapital. Other existing investors such as White Venture Capital and Emphasis Ventures, also participated in this round of funding. Founded in 2022 by Flipkart’s former senior vice president Ranjith Boyanapalli, Flash wants to enhance the post-shopping experience of frequent shoppers.
Meant for power shoppers, Flash launched its app in April 2023, and it claims to have processed over 8 Mn emails, with users having already placed over 1 Mn orders spanning 1,000+ brands using their email IDs. Through Flash, users can import orders from multiple Gmail accounts directly into the app. With an email address, a user can continue ordering online without having to sift through hundreds of promotional emails in their inbox.