The Week that Was: Indian Startup News Overview (19-23 July)

The Week that Was: Indian Startup News Overview (19-23 July)

This week has different stories to talk about from various startups raising funds to 104 startups joining Startup India Showcase platform. With all the funds coming into Indian startups Chetan Joshi, managing director and head of debt finance, HSBC India says that India Inc may cross the 2019 record of overseas borrowing. Find the detailed analysis of these stories on startupcity.

Social commerce platform for fresh produce Otipy,raised $10.2 million (Rs 76 crore) in a Series A funding round led by SIG, which has previously invested in Inshorts and the Mobile Premier League in India.

The funds will be used to enter additional categories for perishable items, such as milk and bread, as well as expand into other cities, according to founder VarunKhurana. Otipy uses a reseller model to sell groceries.

The round was also attended by Omidyar Network India and existing investors IPV (Inflection Point Ventures), Pravega Ventures, and Factor(e) Ventures.

Online eyewear retailer in India, Lenskart raised $220 million from investors including Temasek Holdings Pte and Falcon Edge Capital, demonstrating the country's brisk interest in technology startups.

Peyush Bansal founded the company in 2010, and it sells eyeglasses, contact lenses, and sunglasses online and through approximately 750 retail outlets in the country. It intends to use the funds, along with $95 million raised earlier this year from KKR & Co., to expand online sales and open physical stores in India, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East.

The company recently established the Lenskart Vision Fund, which will invest $2 million in select startups in the eyewear, eye-care, and related retail segments. Its digital services include a virtual 3D tool for trying on glasses and artificial intelligence face-mapping to assist with frame recommendations.

A platform for used car sales, Spinny announced that it has raised $108 million in its Series D round from new and existing investors, led by leading investment firm Tiger Global.

According to the company, new funds will be used to improve the customer experience, strengthen technology and product capabilities, expand market penetration in existing markets, and build teams across functions.

The most recent round included a Rs 105 million primary capital infusion and a Rs 3 million secondary sale by select angels and early-stage investors. Avenir Growth, based in New York, has joined the round as a new investor.

According to an official statement released 104 startups from various sectors have registered on the Startup India Showcase platform, where the most promising budding startups selected through various programmes are displayed in the form of virtual profiles.

Startup India Showcase is an online discovery platform for the country's most promising startups. These breakthroughs span a wide range of cutting-edge industries, including Fintech, EntrepriseTech, Social Impact, HealthTech, and EdTech.

Startup India Showcase is also an online networking platform that provides various social and digital connect opportunities. Each startup profile is linked to Social Media Pages, founders' LinkedIn URLs, and a direct Connect button, allowing users to network more easily. This allows platform users to connect more effectively and explore new business opportunities.

Female-focused digital health startup, Uvi Health has raised $330,000 in a pre-Seed round led by Titan Capital and other notable investors. 9Unicorns, AngelList, and a slew of angels took part in the funding round, including Ghazal Alagh, Co-founder of Mamaearth, and Aarti Gill and MihirGadani, Founders of Oziva.

The funding will be used by the Bengaluru-based startup to develop a mobile platform and expand its polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) programme.

Uvi Health, founded by Harvard alumnus and ex-VC Mehak Malik, simplifies the healthcare regime for women living with chronic, sexual, and reproductive health disorders by developing science-backed programmes.

Global PensionTechcompany that aims to provide digital micro-pension and social security inclusion, PinBox, has received a $ 1 million investment from Venture Catalysts (Vcats), an integrated incubator, and accelerator fund 9unicorns.

PinBox, founded in 2016 by industry veterans Parul Seth Khanna and Gautam Bhardwaj, addresses friction and access challenges in delivering micro-pension and insurance solutions to underserved informal sector workers through technology, process innovation, and a simple, intuitive user interface.

PinBox has teamed up with WhatsApp to make saving as easy as sending a text message.

Bengaluru-based ocean farming startup, Sea6 Energy, announced on Wednesday that it has raised $9 million in a Series B funding round led by Aqua-Spark, a Netherlands-based aquaculture fund. The round also saw the participation of Sillverstrand Capital, based in Singapore.

The new funds, according to the company, will contribute to the financing of additional SeaCombine systems to increase the supply of seaweed raw material and expand Sea6's processing capacity through the establishment of additional facilities.

The ten-year-old startup has created a proprietary cultivation mechanism called SeaCombine, which can simultaneously harvest and replant seaweed in deep ocean waters, allowing for cost-competitive production at scale.

Online trucking platform BlackBuck announced a $67 million funding round led by Silicon Valley-based venture fund Tribe Capital, IFC Emerging Asia Fund, and VEF.

Following the funding, the Bengaluru-based startup is now valued at more than $1 billion, making it the 16th Indian unicorn to join the prestigious unicorn club this year. These are privately held businesses with a market capitalization of $1 billion or more. According to ET, domestic startups have raised record capital in the last six months, setting a new record.

Existing Blackbuck investors Wellington Management, Sands Capital, and the World Bank's investment arm, IFC, have also participated in the round. When it last raised funds in 2019, the company was valued at around $850 million.

As multiple companies raise funds for the first time in the coming months, India Inc is likely to see a surge in overseas borrowings, potentially setting a new record, as there is a persistent need for long-term project financing.

The primary drivers for such fundraising are an expected increase in financing needs for companies that have traditionally not raised money overseas, as well as demand from private equity and financial sponsors planning investments in local assets. Joshi also stated that the infrastructure sector continues to have a need for project financing.

“Based on the pipeline, we are likely to cross the $20 billion overseas fundraising record that India witnessed in 2019,” says, Chetan Joshi, managing director and head of debt finance, HSBC India.