The Week that Was: Indian Startup News Overview (24 - 29 January)

The Week that Was: Indian Startup News Overview (24 - 29 January)

KPMG Ventures recently published a plus report revealing that venture capital investments in India fell sequentially to $10.36 billion in October-December last year, down from a record quarterly high of $15.39 billion in July-September. However, India's second-best quarter on record for venture capital investment occurred between October and December. The first quarter of 2022 has seen four startups make the unicorn list. In addition to the fourth unicorn, a slew of entrepreneurs from a variety of industries raised funds in the last week. Take a peek at it.


Darwinbox has raised $72 million in a funding round headed by Netflix investor TCV, valuing the cloud-based HRtech business at more over $1 billion, giving it the year's fourth unicorn.

According to cofounder Jayant Paleti, the Hyderabad and Singapore-based firm has already raised a total of $110 million from investors. Salesforce Ventures, Sequoia Capital India, Lightspeed India, Endiya Partners, 3One4Capital, JGDEV, and SCB 10X were among the investors in the round. Salesforce took its first gamble in India last year when it invested in Darwinbox.

TCV, the principal investor, is recognised for its bets on key US companies such as Airbnb and Netflix. It recently invested in Dream11 and Razorpay, two Indian businesses.

After growing 200 percent in the previous year, Paleti stated that the company intends to double down on global expansion and expedite its product development goals. “We are looking to enter the US markets this year. It will be a super force multiplier, but could become a substantial contributor to revenue in the next three-four years," he added, noting that Darwinbox grew significantly in Southeast Asia despite the epidemic, and India has been a good market for it.

Darwinbox plans to increase its team size to 1,400 people this year, as part of its expansion strategy. “There will be a lot more focus on employee experience. There are product-led pieces that will add to the experience,” Paleti said. “For example, conversational capabilities, surveying elements etc.”



According to a regulatory filing, Bijak, a B2B agricultural trade platform, raised INR 143.92 crore ($19.37 million) in a Series B fundraising round headed by Bertelsmann.

According to the company's registration with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA), existing investors Omidyar Network India, RTP Global Advisors, Better Capital, and Sequoia Capital India's scale-up programme Surge Ventures also took part in the fundraising round.

According to the filing, the money will be used to meet the demands of the company's growing operations, as well as long-term capital requirements, expansion goals, and general corporate reasons.


Start-up of an emergency medical response service StanPlus has garnered $20 million in debt and equity capital in a Series A round.

The Hiranandani family office, Prashant Malik (LimeRoad), Sandeep Singhal (Avaana), and other angel investors joined Kalaari Capital, Healthquad, and HealthX Singapore in the round. N + 1 Capital and Caspian provided debt finance.

StanPlus, founded in 2016 by Prabhdeep Singh, Jose Leon, and Antone Poirson, now maintains a network of rapid emergency dispatch (RED) ambulances that hospitals and emergency care centres may use on a B2B subscription basis.

The company also operates emergency rooms and triage centres, with the goal of becoming a full-service emergency care provider.


Aavishkaar Capital (Aavishkaar) has launched a $250 million ESG First Fund in collaboration with KfW, the German state-owned investment and development bank.

According to the corporation, this fund will focus on boosting mid-cap enterprises' environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practises while also providing them with flexible finance to grow into new markets.

The ESG First Fund will invest in companies in Africa and Asia, capitalising on the worldwide push for sustainability and equality.


Raise Financial Services, a fintech platform has secured $22 million in a Series A fundraising round. BEENEXT and its current investor Mirae Asset Venture Investments lead the financing., 3one4 Capital, and angel investors including Pine Labs CEO Amrish Rau, Meesho co-founders Vidit Aatrey and Sanjeev Barnwal, neobanking platform Jupiter creator Jitendra Gupta, Udaan co-founder Sujeet Kumar, and Whiteboard Capital's Sandeep Tandon participated in the round.

Raise Financial Services was created in January 2021 by Pravin Jadhav, the former CEO of Paytm Money, and owns and administers the stock trading platform Dhan, which competes with Groww, Zerodha, and Upstox. According to the firm, $15 million of the Series A funding would be invested in Dhan, with a goal of 1 million users in the next 15 months.


Shopkirana, a business-to-business grocery firm, has raised $38 million from investors including Info Edge, Oman India joint investment fund, Sixth Sense Ventures, and others.

Trifecta, Incubate Fund, Akatsuki, Ajanta LLP, Gunosy Capital, and others also participated in the round.

ShopKirana works directly with brands, providing them with market knowledge and a boost in distribution. It now has 50,000 kirana outlets in eight cities spread over four states: Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Gujarat.


The cab hailing service, run by Bhavish Aggarwal, Ola Cabs has raised over $20 million (INR 150 crore) from Hong Kong-based Segantii Capital.

Ola is expanding its J1 series with the addition of Segantti Capital. Segantii India will get a total of 66,269 Series J1 CCPS from the firm, which is almost ready to enter the Super-app competition (Mauritius).

Ola's $149 million fundraising round, led by Edelweiss, IIFL, and Hero Enterprise, was exclusively reported on by Inc42 in December of last year. Ola Cabs' parent company has already allocated 4, 63,471 Series J1 CCPS at a premium price of INR 22,625.


Kissht, an immediate line of credit platform for the lower mass market and small/micro-businesses, has secured INR 100 crore in a new round of funding headed by Trifecta Capital and Northern Arc.

The business has raised more than 270 crore in equity and more than 1,200 crore in debt so far. Trifecta and Northern Arc have each subscribed to 50 crore in non-convertible debentures (NCDs) in the current round.

The funds will be used to extend the startup's footprint across India and expand its product offerings, which will include credit cards for small business/shop owners.


As the Indian commercial enterprise business-to-business marketplace aggressively scales its messaging in many regions of the world, Moglix's valuation has more than doubled to almost $2.5 billion from $1 billion just eight months ago.

Moglix announced in a regulatory filing with Singapore's Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority that Alpha Wave Global (previously known as Falcon Edge Capital), which led the seven-year-old startup's last funding, had returned alongside Tiger Global to co-lead the Series F financing round.

Moglix's valuation has risen to almost $2.5 billion, according to DealStreet Asia, which first reported on the round.