The Week that Was: Indian Startup News Overview (8th May - 12th May)
The growth of the start-up ecosystem in India has also led to the emergence of several supporting stakeholders, including incubators, accelerators, co-working spaces, and other organizations that provide much-needed support to young companies. These organizations offer mentorship, networking opportunities, and other resources that help start-ups navigate the challenges of building a successful business. The country is poised to continue to attract entrepreneurs and investors from around the world. With a large and growing consumer market, access to talent and funding, and a supportive regulatory environment, India is well-positioned to be a leading player in the global start-up ecosystem.
This week, we saw Aqex technologies India (Aqex) saw Hindustan Media Ventures Ltd. take the lead and contribute roughly USD 7.5 million to the funding pool; and Fundly.ai, a finance startup based in Mumbai, said that Accel led a $3 million seed investment round for the company. Multiply Ventures and other angel investors participated in the round as additional investors. Here is the compilation of top 5 startups that raised million dollar funds this week.
Aqex Technologies India (Aqex) saw Hindustan Media Ventures Ltd. take the lead and contribute roughly USD 7.5 million to the funding pool. Later this year, Aquarius Exchange, a top-tier cryptocurrency trading platform, will launch in South Asia (with an emphasis on India). With Aquarius Financial Technologies UK, a shareholder and technology partner of the business. Aqex has also forged a strategic alliance with CQG, a well-known name in trading technology on a global scale.
With the introduction of Aquarius Exchange, the platform seeks to introduce expert trading technology to South Asian virtual digital asset markets. High fees, unreliable platforms, and inadequate infrastructure are some of the problems that Aquarius' ground-breaking proprietary matching engine was designed to address in the crypto trading industry. Aquarius Exchange is one of the quickest systems in the market, with a matching capability scalable to more than 100 million transactions per second (tps).
Consumer-focused venture investment fund Fireside Ventures led the $40 million funding round for Bengaluru-based startup Ripplr, a tech-enabled distributor of FMCG goods. Along with previous investors 3one4 Capital, Zephyr Peacock, and Japanese conglomerate Sojitz Corporation, the round also included new investors such as snack manufacturer Bikaji and sauce and dip producer Neo Foods.
Stride Ventures, Alteria Capital, Northern Arc Investments, and Trifecta Capital are some of the debt investors. The co-founder of Ripplr, Santosh Dabke, stated that only about $12 million is in debt and the rest is equity. He claimed that because these businesses are also clients of Ripplr, the investment from Bikaji and Neo Foods is of a strategic nature.
Castler, a fintech startup based in New Delhi, announced that it has secured $5 million (about 41 crore) in pre-Series A funding from Info Edge's Capital 2B fund and IIFL fintech fund. Stride Ventures and Piper Serica joined current investors Zerodha, Venture Catalysts, 9Unicorns, and Faad Network in the round.
Castler will use the additional funding to broaden its banking alliances and global reach. Vineet Singh and Dinesh Kumar founded Castler, a global escrow platform for businesses that provides domestic and international escrow solutions. The business states that it collaborates with 10 banking partners and manages monthly transactions worth more than Rs 5,000 crore.
Ah! Ventures, the investment round's lead investor, secured $440,185 (Rs 3.6 crore) for Sugar Watchers, an FMCG company that aims to manage diabetes and obesity. Other investors, such as Chennai Angels, Mumbai Angels, Keiretsu Forum, Chandigarh Angels, and Sanjiv Rangrass (ex-ITC), also participated in the round.
The Mumbai-based startup intends to utilise the funds to expand exports to the United States, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, and Israel markets in addition to enhancing distribution and marketing in the Indian market. Sugar Watchers, a division of Good Brands for a Healthy Life Pvt Ltd, was established in 2019 by Treman Singh Ahluwalia, Arvind Sharma, Karan Jain, and Ananya Raniwala.
Fundly.ai, a finance startup based in Mumbai, said that Accel led a $3 million seed investment round for the company. Multiply Ventures and other angel investors participated in the round as additional investors. The pharmaceutical supply chain startup that assists distributors and retailers also provides them with the financial tools they need to manage better cash flows and boost their margins. According to Fundly.ai CEO Amit Chawla, the firm wants to concentrate on expanding in its current markets, which are in southern and western India.
Fundly.ai was started by Chawla and Shreeram Ramanathan in 2021 and is now operational in nine Indian cities. Throughout 2018 and 2019, the pair worked for InCred. "With this new funding, we are excited to expand our reach and explore untapped markets, bringing our vision of a more effective and efficient pharmaceutical supply chain to an even larger demographic," added Chawla.
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