The Week that Was: Indian Startup News Overview (30th July-05th August)
By Team Startupcity | Friday, 05 August 2022, 07:39 Hrs
Startup Initiative was primarily focused on addressing the most vital issues faced by entrepreneurs during various stages of their businesses and developing the Indian startup ecosystem into one of the most significant startup ecosystems globally. The Indian startup ecosystem has been progressing well. It has enabled 39 regulatory reforms with the help of various ministries tailored for entrepreneurs and ecosystem stakeholders to ease the regulatory burden and incentivize capital inflow into startups. India’s startup domain is poised to gain further momentum after the unprecedented funding boom created 20 unicorns or private firms valued at $1 billion. By 2025, the Indian startups ecosystem is to witness three-fold growth in valuation and a substantial rise in the number of Unicorns.
This week, Indian startups once again awed us, with some raising millions of dollars while also acquiring other companies, with some startups focusing on expanding their presence in several other cities. This week, Smartphone brand OPPO India launched a new initiative Vihaan to boost small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and Logicserve Digital, one of India's largest integrated digital marketing agencies, has raised Rs 80 crore from Florintree Advisors.
Here is a list of the top five startups that performed exceptionally well this week!
Smartphone brand OPPO India launched a new initiative Vihaan to boost small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to amplify their operations and, in turn, strengthen the local supply chain for a robust smartphone eco-system in the country. Under this programme, the company said it will invest $60 million in the next 5 years.
"The forward-looking, industry-friendly policies of the Indian Government have created an enabling environment which nurtures and promotes innovation, unleashing the electronics manufacturing industry," Vivek Vasishtha, Vice-President, Public Affairs, OPPO India, said in a statement.
Rewards and loyalty startup Twid has raised $12 million as part of its Series A round led by Rakuten Capital. Google, JAFCO Asia, January Capital, ICMG Partners, Reddy Futures Fund and existing investors Beenext and Surge, the accelerator programme of Sequoia Capital India, also participated in the funding round. The company said it would use the funds to grow its merchant acceptance network, hire more talent across data science and analytics functions as well as drive further technological innovation.
The company is also planning to double its headcount by the end of the current fiscal year. Founded in 2020, Twid brings together different rewards points systems across issuers to a single platform. With Twid, consumers can access their entire rewards points from banks, brands, travel, and dining on one platform and make payments for their daily spends.
VOIZ, a Bangalore-based marketplace for gig working professionals, has raised $2 million in funding led by Omidyar Network. It will use the funds to improve its tech stack and expand its presence across the country. Launched in July last year by Rajesh Bernard, Vineet Patil, and Sandeep Nyamati, VOIZ helps businesses recruit gig workers for online roles such as customer service, tele-calling, sales, and data entry and recruitment, among others.
“There are very few platforms building for the future of work. Our vision is to disrupt the grey-collar gig workforce economy and create employment for over 3 million independent professionals in the next five yrs. We are excited to partner with Omidyar Network India in our next phase of growth,” said Bernard.
Rural-focused agri-fintech startup Jai Kisan said it has raised $50 million (Rs 390 crore) in a combination of equity and debt as part of the first tranche of its ongoing Series B round. The round saw participation from new investors GMO Venture Partners, Yara Growth Ventures and DG Daiwa Ventures. Existing investors Blume, Arkam Ventures, Mirae Asset, Snow Leopard Ventures and others also took part.
Jai Kisan raised debt funding from investors such as Northern Arc, Alteria and MAS Financial. The company said it would use the proceeds to expand its product suite and enhance the customer journey. "The funding will also help accelerate the growth of existing products, strengthen talent, and boost data science and engineering capabilities,” it added.
Logicserve Digital, one of India's largest integrated digital marketing agencies, has raised Rs 80 crore from Florintree Advisors, an alternative asset management firm, and is already in talks to raise a series B round of around Rs 200 crore in the next 3-4 months at a valuation of Rs 1,000 crore, said Prasad Shejale, founder and CEO, Logicserve Digital.
"We have big plans. We are not just an agency but a transformative platform, which is why we are also rebranding the company as LS Digital. It’s a platform that will provide brands with integrated solutions across the consumer's journey,” Shejale added. Florintree Advisors, which picked up 35% in LS Digital for its investment, has funded startups such as ideaForge, Satin Creditcare, Freight Tiger and FreshMenu. It is headed by Mathew Cyriac, former MD at Blackstone.