The Week that Was: Indian Startup News Overview (28 June-02 July)

The Week that Was: Indian Startup News Overview (28 June-02 July)

This week, we bring you stories about Indian Startup ecosystems and the most impactful funding rounds that took place. Aavishkar Capital, KraftonInc, Info Edge Ventures, Elevation Capital, Atelier Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz and many more investors have invested across Indian startups this week. Look into the stories below to know more about the startups these investors recently invested in.

The week saw the startups raising funds for expansion of their products into new market, and one such is GoBolt, a logistics startup based in Mumbai, which has raised $20 million in a Series B round led by Paragon Partners Growth Fund II. Aavishkaar Capital, an existing investor, also participated in the funding round.

According to co-founder and CEO Parag Aggarwal, the company is looking to raise another $10 million as part of its extended Series B round and is in talks with other investors.In 2018, the company raised $5-$6 million in its Series A round from investors led by Aavishkar Bharat Fund. In 2016, it raised $1 million from angel investors.The company, founded in 2015 by Aggarwal, NaitikBaghla, and Sumit Sharma, has seen revenues grow to Rs 200 crore for the fiscal year ending March 31.

Week by week we can see the healthtech startups are gaining acceleration. PharmEasy, which recently acquired diagnostics company Thyrocare, has raised $300 million from existing investors. The funds will be used to continue Thyrocare's acquisition process. Once the transaction is completed, the online pharmacy plans to list the company on the Indian stock exchanges.

Siddharth Shah, CEO of PharmEasy parent API Holdings, led the negotiations for Thyrocare acquisition. He stated that all options for the proposed listing are being considered but will not be finalised until the Thyrocare deal is officially closed. JM Financial and Kotak Investment Banking are expected to assist the company with its IPO. The same entities were the advisers for the Thyrocare deal.

Indian video game streaming platform Loco has raised $9 million in funding from investors including South Korean gaming company Krafton Inc. in its first fundraising effort to capitalize on the growing popularity of games-based entertainment in the South Asia. Loco will utilize the funds to upgrade its technology and content, said the Mumbai based startup in a statement.

Loco had previously received backing from investors such as Lumikai Ltd., India’s first gaming media fund, London-based Hiro Capital and early stage investors including 3one4 Capital &Axilor Ventures.

This week saw the investments that were made into makeup and beauty learning platforms such as Airblack, which has raised $5.2 million in a Series A round led by Info Edge Ventures and Elevation Capital.Atelier Ventures, founded by Li Jin, a former partner at Andreessen Horowitz, also participated in the funding round. Elevation Capital led a $1.5 million seed funding round for the company in April 2019.

According to founder VidetJaiswal, the funds will be used to accelerate the expansion of 'Beauty Club,' launch new 'clubs,' and invest in products, engineering, and brand.

The week also saw a startup investment platform We Founder Circle (WFC) in continuation of its mission to fund early-stage startups, participate in the $100K (debt and equity combined) worth Seed funding round in Nestroots, a home décor startup. Gurgaon based startup, Nestroots currently sells from multiple platforms including its own website, and other renowned marketplaces catering to Furniture, Dining and Tableware categories.This is the first round raised by the startup.

The startup plans to exhaust funds in digital marketing, building a better UI UX for its customers, facilitating association with vendors, and building more product categories.

As the pandemic continues the edtech platforms surges and one such is Quizizz, a student engagement platform that has raised $31.5 million (approximately Rs 206 crore) in a Series B funding round led by Tiger Global. Existing investors Nexus Venture Partners, GSV Ventures, and Eight Roads Ventures participated in the round, as did new investors such as Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang.

The funding will be used by the Bengaluru-based company to expand its team in both India and the United States. According to a statement, it will also invest in key partnerships to accelerate expansion in international markets.The fundraising comes after a Series A announcement in March.Investors have so far contributed $47 million to the company.

In the same week there was one more edtech startup that has raised funds. Nalanda Learning Systems, an edtech startup has raised Rs 40 crore from Aavishkaar Capital to expand its operations nationally.

Nalanda's comprehensive digital platform includes engaging digital content, live classes, and interactive games, allowing early learners to develop critical literacy and cognitive skills while also expanding imagination, promoting creativity, and fostering engagement.

 Nalanda intends to not only ensure long-term learning and development outcomes for children, but also to revitalise and upskill the pre-schooling industry, as well as to provide comprehensive, contemporary, and early learning programmes.

The week saw the female founders taking part in fifth cohort of Surge, Sequoia Capital India's startup accelerator programme. It announced its fifth and largest cohort of 23 early-stage startups, and has invested a total of $55 million in this current batch with co-investors.

The majority of the 23 companies work in the domains of fintech, payments, communications, logistics, and Software as a Service (SaaS). Surge's fifth cohort includes ten female founders, making it the startup accelerator's largest cohort to date.

Since its inception in March 2019, Sequoia India has amassed a community of 203 founders across 91 startups in 15 sectors. The programme began with a $200 million initial corpus.

Treebo Hotels announced a $16 million (Rs 118 crore) Series D funding round from a group of investors led by French hospitality giant Accor, even as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the travel and tourism industry. The funding comes nearly nine months after the company raised a $6 million bridge round from existing investors.

Accor's investment is part of a larger partnership with Treebo in which the hospitality company will deploy its cloud-based hotel management software at various Accor hotels around the world.

Restaurant discovery and food-delivery platform Zomato, has applied to India's anti-monopoly watchdog for permission to invest in e-grocer Grofers. The IPO-bound company notified the Competition Commission of India of its intention to acquire a 9.3 percent stake in Grofers. According to the CCI document, Zomato has stated that the transaction will have no effect on the competitive landscape.

Earlier Grofers has closed a $120 million investment from Zomato and Tiger Global, valuing the company at slightly more than $1 billion, solidifying its place in the growing pool of unicorns. Tiger GlobaL is a joint investor in both companies.

Online fresh meat and seafood brand Licious also raised a whopping $192 million in series F funding led by Temasek, the Singapore-based investment firm, and Multiples Private Equity. The round also saw participation from existing investors3one4Capital, Bertelsmann India Investments, Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India, and Vertex Growth Fund along with Brunei Investment Agency coming onboard as a new investor.

A few early-stage investors have also exited the company with this round of funding. Post this round, Licious has become the highest funded player in the fresh meat delivery segment.