The Week that Was: Indian Startup News Overview (3rd July-8th july)
Launch events, Investments & funding in startups is a defining feature of 2022, with private investors committing over $30 billion to Indian startups, up from $14.5 billion in 2021, according to the Indian Tech Unicorn report 2022. In addition, the country officially introduced unicorns at an unprecedented rate, adding 46 in the last year alone, doubling its unicorn tally to over 90. India now holds the distinction of being the world's third-largest unicorn hub.
This week, Indian startups once again wowed us, with some launching new products, others raising millions of dollars while also acquiring other companies, with some startups focusing on expanding their presence in several other cities. This week, spacelabs, the city's first aerospace startup, launched its first software, dubbed 'Astra,' and innoviti, a fintech startup, closed its Series D round with an additional $25 million in funding from investors led by Singapore's Panthera Growth Partners.
Here is a list of the top five startups that performed exceptionally well this week!
Spacelabs, the first aerospace startup firm in the city, has developed its first software titled ‘Astra’. The software can be utilized to optimize configuration of space vehicles, find out the payload and find the trajectory which the vehicle has to follow. The firm, which started working from April 2021, waited more than a year to mark their first milestone.
ISRO chairman S Somanath inaugurated the new office of the institution at Thamburan Mukku in Karimanal. Speaking at the inaugural address, Somanath said that the country is paying more attention to aerospace research other than concentrating on the business scopes of the sector.“India is contributing less to the sector and more startups can bring the nation forward,” he said.
Online movie ticketing and events platform Bookmyshow (BMS) has invested around Rs 10 crore in Popclub, a new direct-to-consumer marketplace startup, regulatory filings sourced from business intelligence platform Tofler showed. The startup housed under Preebee Lifestyle will rely on BMS’ large user base to source traffic to the marketplace, according to sources aware of the matter.
BMS is also likely to create a tab on its platform for Popclub that will direct users to the new marketplace, as per current discussions. Founded by The Label Life founder Preeta Sukhtankar, Popclub is in active discussions to onboard multiple D2C brands on its platform. Each brand will have a digital storefront on Popclub.
According to a presentation by Popclub, the platform is pitching four value propositions: Bookmyshow’s customer base, premium creator and celebrity access, a loyalty currency (pop coins); and a free sample giveaway programme called Pop Minis, to onboard brands. It is targeting people with high spending power in tier 1 cities. The platform will charge a 20-25% marketplace commission depending on the category.
Gurgaon and Bengaluru-based insurtech startup Ensuredit has raised $4.2 Mn in its Pre-Series A funding round led by Cover Genius. The round also saw participation from 9Unicorns, NexStep Discovery Pte, CP Ventures, Venture Catalysts and IPV.
Ensuredit will use the funds in ramping up product offerings and expanding its technology team. It will also invest in artificial intelligence, machine learning and computer vision-based products that will streamline customers’ experience, optimise sales teams, provide business analytics and prevent leakage in financial reconciliation.
Commenting on the fundraising, Amit Boni, cofounder and CEO of Ensuredit, said, “We are passionate about delivering innovative technology and digitization solutions to the insurance industry, with a special focus on insurance intermediaries and distributors. We believe that empowering them with this technology is critical to the industry’s goal of making insurance available to every Indian.” Founded in 2019 by Amit Boni, Rohit Sadhu, and Vikas Ranga, Ensuredit is a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) model that facilitates brokers, corporate agents, insurance marketing firms, and insurers in boosting their revenue generation. Its offerings include digital onboarding, end-to-end sales suite, different payment mechanisms, policy issuance and post-sales management.
Omni-channel eyewear brand Lenskart has been valued at $ 4.5 billion-- rising by over a third—as it closed a $200 million funding round led by Alpha Wave Global (previously Falcon Edge), according to a person briefed on the matter. This in an 80% expansion in value for the firm, which was last valued at $ 2.5 billion following the close of a $315 million round in July 2021 that was led by Singapore’s Temasek, which has also invested in the latest funding.
Other existing investors like Epiq Capital, Avendus Future Leaders Fund II too have participated in this round with funds being released in tranches, sources said. As per a report Lenskart was in the final stages of closing a new round and that it could be valued at between $ 4.5 -5 billion.
“The round has closed at $200 million and money has been coming in tranches from investors. They are not looking at more capital in this round,” said the person cited above.
With this, the eyewear platform, which was started in 2010, has raised a total of around $1 billion, including secondary share sales. In a secondary financing, existing investors sell their shares to new investors and the money does not go to company coffers.
Payments focussed fintech startup Innoviti has closed its Series D round with an additional $25 million funding from investors led by Singapore’s Panthera Growth Partners. This takes the total Series D funding to $45 million, a senior executive said. Panthera has invested $15 million from its recently announced Fund II, along with new investors including Alumni Ventures, Patni Family Office and existing investors FMO and Bessemer Venture Partners. Its valuation has increased 3x from its Series C round last year, cofounder and chief executive Rajeev Agrawal said, without disclosing the exact number. The company has so far raised $75 million, including the latest round.
It had previously raised $20 million from investors such as FMO, Trifecta Debt Fund, in a mix of debt and equity. According to Agrawal, the company will use the capital to expand its mid-market product lines in electronics, fashion, and grocery.
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