The Week that Was: Indian Start-up News Overview (21 - 25 February)
It was another spectacular week for the Indian startup ecosystem with multiple rounds of investments taking place. The fourth week of February was profitable for several firms since they raised funds to expand their businesses and increase manufacturing. We also saw Hasura gain unicorn status and PharmEasy received SEBI nod to launch its IPO. Acquisitions also took place frequently with Big Basket, Sirona Hygiene and Waycool Foods making strategic business acquisitions.
Let’s take a look at the funding galore raised and recent headlines from the fourth week of February.
Increff, a software-as-a-service provider, announced that it has raised $12 million (roughly INR 82.62 crore) in a Series B funding round led by TVS Capital Funds.
This round was led by Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal's 021, Premji Invest, Capital, and six existing angels.
Increff, a supply chain SaaS provider, said that the cash will be used to open offices and enhance local teams in the US and Europe.
According to the release, the funds obtained will be used to expand Increff's range of innovative solutions and services for supply chain optimization.
Invact Metaveristy, an edtech firm co-founded by former Twitter India CEO Manish Maheswari and ex-Microsoft employee Tanay Pratap, has raised $5 million in a seed round from investors including Arkam Ventures, BECO Capital, Antler India, M Venture Partners, Picus Capital, and 2am VC.
The firm promises to be the first 3D immersive virtual learning platform in the world. It enables students to communicate with one another and with their professors through animated avatars, independent of their actual location.
By enabling students to hang out together in virtual spaces, it facilitates peer-to-peer learning and adds a community layer that has been missing in online learning thus far.
Indiamart led a $19.4 million investment round for fleet management platform Fleetx.io, with existing investors IndiaQuotient and Beenext also participating.
The money will be used to hire people, improve the product, and scale the company, according to the company.
Vineet Sharma, Abhay Jeet Gupta, Udbhav Rai, Parveen Kataria, and Vishal Mishra founded the company in 2017. Fleetx develops internet-of-things and software-based tools to assist fleet operators and businesses in digitising their logistical operations.
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has given permission to API Holdings, the parent company of epharmacy behemoth PharmEasy, to acquire funds through an Initial Public Offering (IPO).
The IPO is expected to garner INR 6,250 crore for the business.
The IPO of the drugstore behemoth will be conducted entirely through primary share sales, with no Offer For Sale (OFS) component. This effectively means that current owners in the firm will not sell their shares.
API Holdings submitted its Draft Red Herring Prospectus (DRHP) with SEBI in November of last year, and this comes months later.
Greenoaks Capital led a new $100 million investment round for Hasura, a software startup that assists developers with tools. Existing investors Nexus Venture Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Vertex Ventures also participated in the round.
Hasura is now valued at $1 billion, making it the tenth startup in India to achieve unicorn status this year. It joins edtech company Lead School, direct-to-consumer brand Mamaearth, analytics platform Fractal, social commerce platform Dealshare, and HR tech company Darwinbox.
The cash will be used to expedite research and development and extend go-to-market activities for the company's flagship GraphQL Engine, which is situated in San Francisco and Bengaluru.
IvyCap Ventures has garnered INR 1,608 crore ($214 million) from institutional investors in the first closure of its third fund.
According to an IvyCap executive, the fund has attracted banks, insurance companies, mutual funds, family offices, and government agencies. According to sources familiar with the matter, the fund's sponsors include State Bank of India, Life Insurance Corporation of India, and HDFC Life.
This is the fund's first contribution from an Indian family office.
IvyCap plans to grow the fund, which will invest in early-stage companies, to as much as INR 2,500 crore, making it one of the largest pools of rupee capital in the country.
Aastey, a sustainable athleisure brand for women of all body shapes, has closed a seed round fundraising round of Rs 10 crore from CXXO, a Kalaari Capital platform that backs women innovators with a $10 million corpus.
According to the brand, performance clothing in India has traditionally catered solely to a specific body type, ignoring the majority of women and fostering body image concerns. According to the statement, Aastey's purpose is to challenge misconceptions and address the issue of body inclusion.
Its products are currently available in 16 various sizes, taking into account the diversity of Indian body types.
Led by Dubai’s 1Digi Investment in a Pre-Series A funding round B2B buy now pay later (BNPL) startup Actyv.ai has raised $5 million.
The firm said that the money would allow it to scale and expand globally.
While giving banks qualified small to medium-sized business (SMB) data to extend in B2B buy now, pay later (BNPL) credit programs using its platform, the company helps enterprises by leveraging existing IT systems to access working capital.
Perfios, a Bengaluru-based fintech incubator, has garnered close to $70 million in a fundraising round led by Warburg Pincus and Bessemer Venture Partners.
The business is raising a new round, which appears to be its Series C round, at a valuation of $2 billion or more.
The firm resolved to allocate a total of 4,16,336 Series C CCPS to Warburg Pincus and Bessemer India Holdings during an extraordinary general meeting held on February 10, 2022.
Nearly $55 million is being injected by Warburg Pincus, with the remainder being infused by Bessemer.
Bhanzu, an Indian edtech firm, has raised $2 million in a seed fundraising round headed by Lightspeed, according to the sources.
According to the release, the funds will be used to expand Bhanzu's live lessons across various countries, including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the Middle East, as well as expedite hiring across its tech and product teams.
BigBasket, the online grocery behemoth, has acquired Agrima Infotech's enterprise business segment.
BigBasket will use Agrima Infotech's Psyight computer vision technology platform at its retail outlets' self-checkout counters as part of the arrangement.
BigBasket, the online grocery behemoth, has acquired Agrima Infotech's enterprise business segment. It will use Agrima Infotech's Psyight computer vision technology platform at its retail outlets' self-checkout counters as part of the arrangement.
In an all-cash deal, Sirona Hygiene, a fem-tech company has acquired women’s brand Impower.
With the acquisition, Sirona will foray into the female safety segment. The company will invest Rs 30 crore in Impower over the next two years, Deep Bajaj, cofounder and CEO of Sirona said.
“This acquisition is a natural extension of Sirona’s mission of creating a larger impact in society by providing awareness, education, and opportunity around all unaddressed issues - safety being one of them,” Bajaj said.
Agritech startup Waycool Foo6ds said it has acquired the IP of Gramworkx and will invest $1 million in the company and another million in the following years, Karthik Jayaraman, cofounder & CEO, Waycool Foods said.
To help farmers guide, optimise and monitor utilisation of water gramworkx is a cloud-based smart farm resource management tool.
Led by existing and new investors including lightrock, lightbox, FMO, Lightsmith, World Bank Group’s — IFC, Redwood Equity Partners and Gawa Capital The Chennai-based startup recently completed a $117 million Series D round.