Here’s a lowdown of the top deals from the startup space.
Refyne raises $82 million in Series B led by Tiger Global, others
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Earned Wage Access (EWA) platform, Refyne has announced the closing of its $82 million Series B funding. The round was led by Tiger Global with significant contributions coming in from existing international investors - QED Investors, partners of DST Global, Jigsaw VC, XYZ Capital, RTP Global, and new investor Digital Horizon participating in the round.
Within 10 months of being operational, Refyne has raised a total of $106 million. The company claims it has pioneered EWA for the Indian workforce, establishing a stronghold as the leader for on-demand pay in the market. In less than a year, Refyne’s transacting user base has grown 68x and the platform recorded a 165x increase in the number of transactions over the period, underscoring the liquidity gap being addressed by EWA.
The Series B will propel Refyne’s position as an innovative product in India’s fiercely competitive fintech space that is simplifying personal finance for the masses on a mega scale. The funds will be used for product development, expansion of the team, and to ramp up various business functions.
Curefoods raises $62 million, to acquire major cloud kitchens
Cloud kitchen platform Curefoods has raised $62 million and will continue to acquire major cloud kitchen brands across the country. The platform owns multiple brands and runs over 100 cloud kitchens in 12 cities. The latest round saw participation from Iron Pillar, Chiratae Ventures, Sixteenth Street Capital, Accel Partners and Binny Bansal.
While $52 million came in equity funding, $10 million came in debt financing from Alteria Capital, BlackSoil Capital and Trifecta Capital, Curefoods said.
"Over the next decade, there will be an opportunity to build multiple food brands across cuisines and geographies.
With the fund infusion, we plan on expanding across geographies, and meeting newer customer expectations," said Ankit Nagori, founder of Curefoods. Additionally, the company expects to make further inroads by geographically expanding its multi-brand kitchens across the country and building a D2C platform for all its brands.
Fintech firm FPL Technologies raises $75 million, valued at $750 million
Fintech startup FPL Technologies has bagged $75 million as part of its Series C funding led by existing investor QED Investors along with Janchor Partners, Sequoia Capital India, Matrix Partners and Hummingbird Ventures. With this round, the company’s valuation now stands at $750 million. The latest fundraise comes within 10 months after FPL Technologies raised its Series B funding of $35 million.
FPL Technologies plans to utilise the proceeds from the fresh capital infusion to strengthen its consumer value proposition, scale up its product teams, grow the issuance of OneCard, and expand its consumer base aggressively, it said in a statement.
Founded in 2019, FPL Technologies operates OneScore, which is a digital credit score platform. The company has a total of 10 million registered users, utilising OneScore. The platform's offerings comprise physical and virtual credit card, OneCard, which the company issues in partnership with banks.
Game streaming and e-sports platform Rooter Raises $25 million in Series A round led by Lightbox and others
Game streaming and e-sports platform Rooter has raised $25 million in a Series A funding round led by Lightbox, March Gaming, and Duane Park Ventures. 9Unicorns, ADvantage Sports Tech Fund, Capital-A, and Goal Ventures also participated in the round along with existing investors, including IeAD Sports & Health Tech Partners.
The company currently has 1 million unique users creating gaming content on its platform and is aiming to emerge as the dominant player in India’s creator economy by building a base of the next 500,000 professional game streamers through its gaming and e-sports platform, it said in a statement.
According to a report by RedSeer and Lumikai, India is expected to be home to 700 million gamers by 2025. Through this funding round, the company has also facilitated the secondary sale for a few of its shareholders and an exit route for a few employees through ESOP buyback. Rooter is looking to almost double its team size by hiring across divisions to add to its 55-member team based in Delhi.
Anicut Capital closes 2nd debt fund at Rs 875 crore, plans to invest in growth-stage startups
Venture debt firm Anicut Capital has marked the final close of its second debt fund at Rs 875 crore ($118 million). Anicut secured SEBI approval for its second debt fund which had a target corpus of Rs 700 crore, and a green shoe option to raise an additional Rs 300 crore. Grand Anicut Fund - 2 (Category II Alternative Investment Funds (AIF)) saw massive interest for its subscription with successful investments across 12+ early-stage startups, with an average deal size of Rs 15-100 crore.
According to the investment firm, it will invest in about 30 early/growth stage companies across sectors such as consumer brands, technology, F&B, fintech, among others under categories of acquisition financing, promoter/buyback financing, growth capital, and capital restructuring. "In the next two quarters, the 2.0 version of Grand Anicut Fund will invest in diverse upcoming entities across various sectors like technology, consumer goods, financial services, education, healthcare and others," said Ashvin Chadha, co-founder & managing partner, Anicut Capital.
The companies that Anicut has lent to from the second fund include Wow Momos, ASG Eye Care Hospital, Akna Medical (acquired by Pharmeasy), B9 Beverages (Bira), Azure Hospitality, and Wingreens of which BSB and Wingreens have already seen successful exits.
Fintech startup Kaleidofin gets $10 million in Series B funding round
Fintech platform Kaleidofin has secured $10 million in series B funding, led by the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. Existing institutional investors Oiko Credit, Flourish Ventures, Omidyar Network, Blume Ventures and Bharat Fund also participated in the round. The current round takes the total funding raised by the neo-bank to $18 million to date.
"We look forward to scaling up the Kaleidocredit business line and driving deep loan product innovation focused on the informal customer and nano business. To this end, we will deepen our investments in developing our technology, risk management and data science capabilities,” Kaleidofin founders Sucharita Mukherjee and Puneet Gupta, said in a statement.
The neo-bank also named two founding members, Natasha Jethanandani (CTO) and Vipul Sekhsaria (Chief Networks Officer), as co-founders.
Neobank Muvin bags $3 million from WaterBridge Ventures
Neobank Muvin has raised $3 million as a part of its pre-Series A funding round led by WaterBridge Ventures, along with participation from Debt fund Alteria Capital and Krishna Bhupal, Co-Founder, Rational Pricing Technologies and board member of GVK Power & Infra.
The company will use the fresh funds for product development and to more than double its team size from the existing 25 in the next 12 months, it said in a statement. Muvin caters to both teens and young adults through its prepaid card and mobile app. Headquartered in Bengaluru, it currently has over 50,000 registered users and aims to grow to one million customers in the next 12 months.
"We are looking forward to growing our team and enhancing our tech product to address our customers’ needs and will be ramping up our marketing initiatives to onboard users pan-India over the next 18 months. We will be introducing several features on our card and mobile app over the next two-three quarters that will substantially upgrade our users’ experience. We are very bullish about our growth and with this funding, the journey ahead looks very exciting as we work towards growing into India’s leading youth-focused neobank," said Mukund Rao, co-founder of Muvin.
Edtech startup Freadom raises $2.5 million from Capital A, Tiger Shroff and others
Edtech startup Freadom has raised $2.5 million in a funding round led by Capital A, along with existing investors, including Unreasonable Capital, Quantiphi founding team, and Singapore Angels group. Marquee investors including Bollywood star Tiger Shroff, BharatPe Founder Ashneer Grover, VMart Retail Founder Lalit Agarwal, and Global PayU CFO Aakash Moondhara, among others too participated in the funding round.
The funding will be used in product, distribution and to further strengthen Freadom’s vertical presence across stakeholders for English as a second language, the company said in a statement.
"The success of Freadom lies at the intersection of our innovative pedagogical approach and advanced AI technology that makes language learning accessible for every child between the ages of 3 and 12. The goal is to create impact at scale and prioritize long-term learning outcomes over short-term gains,” said Nikhil Saraf, Founder of Freadom. The startup claims that it is on track to reach 10 million readers and contribute 2 billion reading minutes to its mission in 2022.
Praan raises $1.56 million in seed round led by Social Impact Capital
Deep-tech startup Praan said it has raised $1.56 million capital in a seed round led by Social Impact Capital, along with participation from Better Capital, Paradigm Shift Capital, and Avaana Capital and Quality of Life Investments Texas (Angel Syndicate).
The round also saw participation from several angel investors, including Dr Maulik Majmudar (chief medical officer Amazon, Biofourmis), Surya Panditi (CEO – EnelX), Dr. Ritesh Malik (Founder - Innov8), Akshay Singhal (Founder and CEO - Log9 Materials), Mehul Shah (Director - DSP Design Architects, Ashwin Kandoi (Co-Founder Winjit, Dhruv Chitgopekar (Co-Founder Collective).
The firm said it will deploy the fresh funds for expanding its footprint across India. It will also bring the patent-pending core technology to large-scale trials via B2B deployments, stabilise production and democratise the technology to provide clean air for Rs 1 per person a day. The company also wants to ramp up efforts in-direct air CO2 capture across India and the United States, it said in a statement.
Founded in 2017, Praan aims to help people breathe cleaner air in urban-dwelling, with the help of AI-powered filter-less air purification systems. The company uses scientific first principles along with cutting-edge hardware and software to make clean air accessible to all.
ToolJet secures $1.5 million in seed funding from Nexus Venture Partners
ToolJet, open-source low-code software for building internal tools has raised $1.5 million in a seed funding round led by Nexus Venture Partners. Ratio ventures, Better capital, Alan Rutledge as well as enterprise founders, operators, and investors, including Rohan Murty (founder of Soroco), Sony Joy (head of Enterprise at Truecaller), Vipul Amler (founder of Saeloun), Mohammed Hisamuddin (founder of Entri) and Abhi Kumar of M12 Ventures, also participated in the funding round.
The company said it will use the funding for team expansion to accelerate the development of the core platform of ToolJet. ToolJet’s technology enables companies to build their internal tools with minimum engineering effort. ToolJet’s platform is still in its early days but it has already been adopted by hundreds of startups, scale-ups and even unicorns. ToolJet currently has integrations with more than 15 data sources such as MongoDB, PostgreSQL, Google Sheets and AWS S3.
(Edited by : Jomy Jos Pullokaran)
First Published: IST