The week that Was: Indian Startup News Overview (8th May- 13th May)
India holds a unique position in the world for several reasons, and having one of the youngest populations is perhaps the most pivotal. With 62 per cent of the population in the working age group and 54 per cent below the age of 25, we have the advantage of leveraging the skill and ability of our youth to drive the nation forward through productive output and innovation. There is no doubt that India holds a strong position in the field of technology, innovation, entrepreneurship & startups & new businesses are capitalising on the technology boom that has been in place for over two decades.
It was yet another stunning week for the Indian startups, with multiple fundraising and acquisitions taking place. Recognizing their significance, we have prepared a list of the top 5 startups that were best this week.
Tiger Global led a $10 million funding round for ApnaKlub, a business-to-business (B2B) wholesale platform for fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG).The funds will be used by the startup to expand into the credit and supply-chain financing segments, where it will serve kiranas and wholesale partners. It will also use the funds to expand the number of merchant partners on its platform and expand into new markets such as northern India. ApnaKlub, founded by Manish Kumar and Shruti, connects India's retailers, such as kirana and general stores in semi-urban and rural areas, to a diverse range of consumer goods and brands through its digitally connected wholesale partners.
"We are adding new tools to our platform, such as credit and supply chain finance.""We will also enter the North Indian market and use the funds for hiring," Shruti explained.The company's new supply chain finance platform is being developed in collaboration with non-banking finance firms (NBFCs).The names of the startup's NBFC partners were not disclosed." We work with a lot of kirana stores and understand how much unorganised credit there is..."We will make loans to our merchants through NBFCs at a reasonable interest rate," Shruti said.
Diesel delivery to your door Humsafar India announced on Thursday that it plans to expand its services to 200 more cities in the country during the current fiscal year in order to gain a larger market share in the segment.The company also stated that it is in talks with several companies about entering the e-mobility charging station business.The company provides services in approximately 100 cities across India. According to a press release, the company has devised a strategy to further penetrate the market, in addition to exploring opportunities in international markets. As per Sanya Goel, cofounder of Humsafar India, the doorstep fuel delivery model has grown rapidly across the country and scaled up even faster in the post-COVID era, owing to factors such as global supply chain issues and fuel trade economics, structural constraints of the existing distribution model, changing consumer buying behaviour, and technological disruption."We currently have 20% of the market share for diesel at doorstep service and plan to capture 30% during the current fiscal year," she added.Putting diesel on wheels through mobile petrol pumps was one of the company's major achievements, she said, adding that "we want to reach every corner of India and revolutionise the distribution of all kinds of energy in the future.” She also stated that the company's newly launched product, 'Safar,' a 20-litre tamperproof metallic jerry can, has received an overwhelming response in a short period of time, selling over 30,000 containers in the previous fiscal year."We have devised a strategy to further penetrate the market, and we expect to double our numbers this year, as well as export it," she said.
Furthermore, Humsafar's smart static diesel storage, which was launched late last year, has found market acceptance, and the company anticipates doing brisk business targeting segmented customers during the current fiscal year, she added.
AssetPlus raised $3.6 million in funding led by Bhupinder Singh of InCred and Nithin Kamath of Rainmatter, the firm announced on Wednesday. Venture Catalysts, Swaroop "Kittu" Kolluri, Amit Nanavati, Kedar Kulkarni, and other angel investors also participated in the funding round. According to the firm, the Chennai-based fintech firm intends to use the funding to expand its business and include more financial products on the platform. AssetPlus, founded in 2018 by two IIT-Madras graduates, Awanish Raj and Vishranth Suresh, focuses on providing digital-first solutions to financial advisors and mutual fund distributors.
The firm is trusted by over 1,500 advisors across the country and is equally suitable for budding and seasoned consultants. The founders, Vishranth Suresh and Awanish Raj, aim to streamline the processes of investing in mutual funds by offering a platform with a plethora of features, including multi-portfolio support, unbiased research, digital marketing functionalities, and more. By reinventing the traditional approach to handling multiple clients, the platform offers a cost-free lifetime registration to all registered ARN-holders to expand their services to geographies with a single dashboard.One of the primary investors in this round of funding, Bhupinder Singh, Founder and CEO of the InCred Group, said, “AssetPlus is a fantastic example of the breed of young entrepreneurs who have become a disruptive force in the Indian wealth and lending industries in the last few years. I am incredibly excited about joining at this stage of its journey and look forward to AssetPlus becoming a multi-billion dollar company in the near future.
The Anand group, which has successfully run over a dozen joint venture businesses in India for over six decades, is already looking for acquisitions, including partnerships in the UK, Europe, Israel, and Japan, among other markets, to participate in the entire value chain of electric vehicles, from battery, motors, and charging systems for two wheelers to cars.The group aims to be one of the top three players in the country in the EV component segment, with a business potential of $500 million in the next five years.
The group is in talks with companies in the United Kingdom, Israel, Germany, and Japan about a possible acquisition, alliance, or joint venture, and its group president, Sunil Kaul, who is in charge of future mobility, has begun meeting with prospective partners all over the world."We are looking for acquisitions and strategic alliances."We are in the midst of discussions with multiple companies that will help us accelerate our penetration into the future mobility or clean mobility space," Kaul explained, adding, "We are going all out to participate in the fast transition electric two and three-wheeler space."As a result, we are preparing ourselves by entering into partnerships, engineering parts, testing, and sourcing in order to generate a significant portion of our total business in the future."
Electric two-wheeler maker Ather Energy on May 12 announced that it has raised $128 million funding, led by India's sovereign wealth fund National Investment and Infrastructure Fund Limited's (NIIFL) Strategic Opportunities Fund (SOF), and Hero MotoCorp among others.This will be NIIFL's first direct investment in the manufacturing sector and in electric mobility. The investment will enable NIIFL to play a role in mainstreaming the electric two-wheeler sector in India at an early stage of development and support first generation domestic entrepreneurs in building a new product with a high level of indigenisation, a company statement said.
"Aligned to India's green transition mission, the electric two-wheeler industry is expected to grow significantly in the coming years. Ather Energy has indigenously designed and developed products with a high degree of domestic sourcing of components and adaptability to Indian conditions" said Padmanabh Sinha, Executive Director & Chief Investment Officer - NIIFL."We are excited to partner with Ather Energy’s founders and management team who have developed deep expertise in the industry, developed a robust IP portfolio, and built strong manufacturing and distribution capabilities. We are also impressed with Ather Energy’s partnerships for component manufacturing, charging infrastructure and customer financing," Sinha added.With this investment, the Bengaluru-based company has raised over $230 million financing to date. It also counts Tiger Global and Flipkart cofounder Sachin Bansal among its investors.
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