The Week that Was: Indian Startup News Overview (20 - 25 September)

The Week that Was: Indian Startup News Overview (20 - 25 September)

India has the third-largest startup ecosystem globally with the country having more than 20 unicorns. Ever since PM Modi made the Make in India an official announcement, it became a project to strengthen India’s startup economy. Not only it received support from the country but also from people and companies all over the world. Angel investors, venture capitalists and businessmen have been funding emerging startups. The investment of people and large corporations helped to increase the total investment and startup culture in India and down below are the stories of startups and their fundraisings that was held during September 20 to 25.

Bangalore based home interior solutions startup Design Café has raised $25 million in extended Series B round. Led by existing investors WestBridge Capital, new investor Sixth Sense Ventures also came on board. Additionally, early investor Fireside Ventures also participated in the round along with a few family offices.

Design Café has thus far raised a total of INR 366 crore including the INR 200 crore raised in 2018. The company that is currently operation in Bengaluru, Mumbai and Hyderabad intends to use the new capital towards expanding into newer cities. Design Café wants to be present in the top 10 cities over the next 18 months.

Founded in 2015 Design Café is an interior design solutions firm working towards democratizing good designs for all homes across India. Led by Gita Ramanan and Shezan Bhojani, the startup works on a vertically integrated business model and has a host of designers, workforce, and factory in Bengaluru manufacturing its products.

On Monday, Indian startup FloBiz, which is building a neobank for small and medium-sized businesses in the South Asian market has raised $31 million in a new financing round.

Think Investments and Sequoia Capital India co-led the startup’s Series B financing round. Existing investors like Elevation capital and Beenext also participated in the round and brought FloBiz’s all-time raise to over $41 million.

Scores of high profile entrepreneurs including Kunal Shah of CRED, Vijay Shekhar Sharma of Paytm, Jiten Gupta of Jupiter, Krishnan Menon of BukuKas, Amrish Rau of Pine Labs and Nitin Gupta of Uni Cards have also financed the startup in the new financing round.

Wow! Momo Foods has raised approximately $17 million in funding led by Tree Line Investment Management at a valuation of Rs 1,225 crore. Wow!Momo and Wow!China are the company's quick-service brands.

Tree Line is a Hong Kong and Singapore-based investment fund that has invested in publicly traded Jubilant FoodWorks and Westlife Development, whose subsidiary Hardcastle Restaurants Pvt Ltd is the master franchisee for the McDonald's franchise in the South and West.

“The reason we have them on board is they are very strong in the public markets space,” cofounder Sagar Daryani told. The company will consider an Initial Public Offering in the next few years, he added.

An Indian ‘buy now, pay later’ platform, ZestMoney, has raised $ 50 million from Australian peer Zip Co Ltd. in its Series C funding round, at a time when BNPL solutions are gaining grip among consumers at home and abroad.

Zip will acquire a minority shareholding in the fintech startup and a board as a part of the investment, according to a statement. Zest Money will utilise the capital to broaden its product suite, strengthen its balance sheet, deepen the merchant network and launch new business lines in insurance and savings.

ZestMoney was founded in 2015 by Priya Sharma, Ashish Anantharaman and Lizzie Chapman. The platform uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to onboard customers and offers them BNPL plans of ticket sizes ? 50 to ? 5 lakh payable over 30 days to 24 months. It has collaborated with 25 banks and non-banking lenders for BNPL solutions and provides financial counselling, credit information and options to help users build a good credit history.

New Street Technologies (New Street), a blockchain technology enabler, has received a $4 million follow-on round of funding. A group of private investors led by Vittal Kadapakkam in the United States, renowned Indian bankers, and existing investors such as Unitus Ventures and Mohit Davar, Chairman of the International Association of Money Transfer Networks, took part in the round (IAMTN). New Street wants to expand into the Americas, Europe, and Africa after establishing operations in India, the United Arab Emirates, and other regions of Asia.

Blockchain is to ‘processing' what the internet is to information, according to Sajeev Viswanathan, founder and CEO of New Street. New Street has taken use of blockchain's unique potential to democratise transaction processing, according to him, and has already proved its transformative influence in the BFSI (banking, financial services, and insurance) industry. “The capital raised provides for accelerated product development and access to the larger global markets,” said Viswanathan.

Health tech platform, Medikabazaar announced that it has raised $75 million in a Series C investment led by Creagis and CDC Group, the UK's development financing agency. Existing investors such as Belgium's Ackermans & van Haaren (AvH), HealthQuad Advisors Private Limited, Japan's Rebright Partners, Kois Holdings, and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group took part in the round.

Individuals estimate that the company is worth between $250 million and $260 million as a result of this investment. The funds will be used to improve Medikabazaar's digital capabilities, as well as to expand the supply ecosystem and technology-driven distribution channels.

Medikabazaar will use the funds to expand its worldwide activities, particularly in the Middle East, North Africa, and Southeast Asia.