The Week That Was: Indian Startup News Overview (27th Nov - 1st Dec)
Startup India is India's transformative initiative fueling innovation and entrepreneurship. Simplified regulations, funding access, tax exemptions, mentorship, and IPR support form its core. This initiative has spurred a surge in startups across sectors like technology, healthcare, and finance, witnessing success stories like Flipkart, Ola, and Zomato. It aims to create a dynamic ecosystem, fostering growth, job creation, and global competitiveness. Startup India embodies India's commitment to nurturing innovation, fostering creativity, and driving economic growth through entrepreneurship, symbolizing a movement empowering dreams and innovation in a rapidly evolving global landscape.
This week, we've observed Onedios, a platform aggregating customer care services, recently close a bridge round securing Rs 6 crore and EMotorad, a manufacturer of electric bicycles, secured funding of Rs 164 crore in a recent investment cycle spearheaded by Panthera Growth Partners, a venture capital firm focused on growth-stage companies. Here are just a few of the top ten startups that secured funding in the millions this week. Here's the collection of the top 10 startups that secured million-dollar funding this week.
Onedios, a platform aggregating customer care services, recently closed a bridge round securing Rs 6 crore. Inflection Point Ventures and VCATs co-led this funding, as disclosed on November 30, 2023. The raised capital will be allocated for various purposes, including retailer onboarding, technological advancements, operational enhancements, marketing and sales initiatives. Founded in 2019 by Nitin Chawla and Amit Sharma, Onedios operates as a unified request platform within the consumer electronics sector, leveraging innovative technology to connect dealers, distributors, and consumers.
The company holds granted patents and has established strategic partnerships with major brands like Daikin and Voltas, ensuring a seamless integrated user experience. Onedios aims specifically to streamline warranty sales for all Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) by leveraging the retailer channel. Additionally, the company provides brand-authorized extended warranties, rapid integration of Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and utilizes an internally developed platform with patented technology.
Suind, an agricultural technology startup, secures Rs 5 crore in seed funding, spearheaded by Sunicon Ventures with contributions from Zetta Farms and several angel investors. The funding will fuel technological innovations, scale up Suind's AI-powered crop protection platform, and expand its market presence in India and Europe.
Established in 2020 by Kunal Shrivastava and Kevin Kleber, Suind specializes in drone technology for agriculture, offering real-time crop monitoring and treatment solutions. The company aims to revolutionize crop protection by integrating drones, computer vision, and data analytics. Headquartered in Bengaluru and Zurich, Suind distinguishes itself by creating low-power vision-based AI tailored for drones capable of autonomous operations in challenging plantation landscapes like tea estates, rubber plantations, and fruit orchards.
ShipGlobal, a cross-border logistics company established in 2022, has secured $2.5 million in funding from Info Edge Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm. According to Aayush Anand, Co-Founder and CEO, this marks the company's inaugural institutional funding round. The specific valuation at which the funds were obtained remains undisclosed. ShipGlobal specializes in aiding small and medium-sized Indian sellers, with a primary emphasis on facilitating sales through ecommerce platforms such as .
The company presently collaborates with 15,000 Indian sellers, managing the shipping of their merchandise to the US, Canada, and the European Union. Aayush Anand mentioned plans to utilize the raised capital for expanding operations into Australia and West Asia. Additionally, they aim to establish warehouses in specific destination countries like the US while also improving their technological infrastructure. Furthermore, the funds will support the expansion of their seller base beyond major cities and metropolitan areas. ShipGlobal currently manages operations through more than 15 regional offices headquartered in Delhi.
Innovist, the parent company managing well-known direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands like Bare Anatomy and Chemist at Play, has secured $7 million in its latest Series A funding. Amazon Smbhav Venture Fund led this funding round, with significant involvement from current investors including 72 Ventures, Falguni Nayar's family office associated with Nykaa, former KKR India head Sanjay Nayar, as well as Accel India and Sauce.vc.
The recent funding injection aims to support Innovist's initiatives in enhancing product innovation, expanding its market reach, and strengthening its team. Founded in 2018 by Rohit Chawla, Sifat Khurana, and Vimal Bhola, Innovist specializes in personal care items and currently oversees three distinct brands: Bare Anatomy, Chemist at Play, and SunScoop. The startup employs a multi-channel approach to product distribution.
SustVest, a Gurugram-based investment platform focusing on renewable energy projects, secured $250,000 in a funding round spearheaded by WEH Ventures. Complementing its prior funding of $160,000 and a grant of Rs 30 lakhs from the Ministry of Electronics and IT's TIDE 2.0 scale-up program, the company has received further backing through this recent round. SustVest also experienced acceleration support from Gruhas, DLF Family Office, and Anthill Ventures.
The recently acquired funds are designated for the expansion of SustVest’s user base, as outlined in the company's official statement. Established in 2022 by Hardik Bhatia and Devansh Shah, SustVest differentiates itself by enabling users to obtain fractional ownership in renewable energy projects, particularly solar initiatives, with a minimum investment of Rs 25,000. This stands in contrast to platforms requiring notably higher investments, reaching up to Rs 1 crore, for commercial solar projects.
Frendy, an innovative startup establishing a digitally interconnected network of convenience stores tailored for smaller towns and rural areas in India, has successfully secured a bridge funding of Rs 16 crores ($2 million). The investment, spearheaded by Auxano Capital, AT Capital Singapore, Metara Ventures, Apurva Salarpuria family office, and Desai Ventures (an existing investor), marks a significant milestone in Frendy's growth trajectory. Established in 2022 by Sameer Gandotra, Gowrav Vishwakarma, and Harshad Joshi, Frendy aims to transform retail services in Gujarat's Tier 2-6 towns, meeting the requirements of 50,000 customers through a collection of over 4,500+ products available across its operational network of 40+ stores. The startup's distinctive approach involves a network of Franchised Frendy Marts digitally linked with a series of Frendy Micro stores.
In its second year of operations, the company has experienced notable success, achieving a revenue milestone of Rs 82 crores in FY23, marking a doubling of its performance from Rs 40 crores in FY22. This financial achievement is accompanied by a workforce of 100 professionals, including an in-house technology team based in Ahmedabad. The recent funding infusion will be strategically utilized to expand technological offerings, enrich the private-label product assortment, and augment the number of stores. The founders of Frendy are recognized for their emphasis on efficient capital usage and deliberate growth strategies. They anticipate reaching an Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) of Rs 300 crores within the next 24 months, leveraging their existing geographical areas.
PhiCommerce, a Pune-centered omnichannel payment solutions firm, has raised $10 million in a Series A1 funding round led by Singapore's BEENEXT, with participation from Opus Ventures. Established in 2015, the company aims to use the funds for global expansion and improving its range of products. CEO and Co-Founder Jose Thattil explained, "We intend to deploy these funds in the upcoming phase of our expansion to introduce several new products aimed at further simplifying digital payments and enhancing overall efficiencies in the ecosystem".
Thattil, an experienced professional with more than 20 years in retail payments, emphasized PhiCommerce's flagship platform, PayPhi, as a triumph. The API-centric solution seamlessly integrates into existing systems, enabling merchants to manage payments across online, in-store, and mobile channels. As part of its expansion strategy, PhiCommerce aims to broaden its services beyond India.
Fintech startup GrowXCD Finance has secured INR 50 crore ($6 million) in its Series A funding round, led by Lok Capital. The funding is designated for expanding the team, advancing technological innovations, and strengthening its market presence within the next 12 to 18 months. Founded in 2022 by Arjun Muralidharan and Sathishkumar Vijayan, GrowXCD, headquartered in Chennai, aims to establish a credit infrastructure tailored for MSMEs and low-income households. Its objective is to facilitate the smooth flow of institutional capital into retail assets backed by mortgages. The company has obtained a non-banking financial company (NBFC) license from the Reserve Bank of India.
At present, GrowXCD Finance operates through six branches in Tamil Nadu, providing two primary products: GrowShubam and GrowVyapaar, tailored for households and MSMEs, respectively. Lok Capital, established in 2004 by Donald Peck, Rajiv B. Lall, Venky Natarajan, and Vishal Mehta, stands as an impact investor with investments in startups like Affordplan, Equitas, Mintify, and RenewBuy. Their recent investment highlights GrowXCD’s strategic emphasis on utilizing technology to expand financial accessibility in Tier-I and Tier-II cities.
Elivaas, a technology-focused company managing villas and luxury apartments, has disclosed securing $2.5M in seed funding. The investment was led by Peak XV's Surge and included contributions from angel investors. These newly acquired funds aim to expand Elivaas presence in prominent cities across India and enhance its technological infrastructure. Despite the increasing demand for luxury rental accommodations, a significant portion of vacation homes in India remain unlisted on distribution platforms. This gap reflects an absence of organized supply to meet the growing needs of this market segment. Additionally, property owners face challenges in efficiently managing bookings and determining property prices, often influenced by the distribution channel through which the property is listed.
Moreover, managing sales becomes challenging for homeowners due to inquiries stemming from various channels like travel websites, agents, and social media. Vacation homeowners often encounter difficulties ensuring proper maintenance when their properties are enlisted on rental platforms. Elivaas tackles these challenges through a dual-focused strategy, aiding both property owners and renters. The company takes responsibility for maintaining and closely supervising rental properties on behalf of homeowners. Simultaneously, it implements loyalty and referral programs to incentivize bookings. Additionally, through partnerships, cross-promotions, and its website, Elivaas offers a range of services to assist potential renters, primarily independent travelers or families, in finding accommodations that best suit their preferences.
EMotorad, a manufacturer of electric bicycles, secured funding of Rs 164 crore in a recent investment cycle spearheaded by Panthera Growth Partners, a venture capital firm focused on growth-stage companies. This funding round witnessed contributions from xto10x, a startup scaling firm, as well as Alteria Capital, a venture debt fund, alongside continued support from existing investor Green Frontier Capital. Of the total amount, approximately Rs 144 crore was generated through an equity round, with an additional Rs 20 crore acquired in debt funding from Alteria Capital.
EMotora Intends to utilize the funding for research and development endeavors, as well as for broadening its reach. Shilpa Kulkarni, the general partner at Panthera Growth Partners, expressed alignment with the company's vision to establish a leading micro-mobility enterprise in India, targeting global markets. This supports their strategy of endorsing rapidly growing technology-driven ventures that cater to evolving consumption patterns.
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