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Funding Rundown: Indian startups raised $30 bn in FY21, Upstox to be the next unicorn & Dream Sports raises $840 mn

Funding Rundown: Indian startups raised $30 bn in FY21, Upstox to be the next unicorn & Dream Sports raises $840 mn

Funding Rundown: Indian startups raised $30 bn in FY21, Upstox to be the next unicorn & Dream Sports raises $840 mn
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By Aishwarya Anand  Nov 26, 2021 9:45:58 PM IST (Published)

Indian startups have set another record by raising $30 billion in the 11 months of 2021. Privately held startups have raised $31.2 billion, nearly three times 2020’s $11.2 billion. The number of deals however has increased in a less significant way, from 877 deals in 2019 to 930 in 2021 so far.

Here’s a lowdown of the top deals from the startup space this week.

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NoBroker becomes unicorn with $210 million funding
Real estate platform NoBroker.com has raised $210 million in funding in its latest round and has turned into a unicorn at a $1 billion valuation. The round was led by General Atlantic, Tiger Global Management and Moore Strategic Ventures. This brings the total funding raised by NoBroker to $361 million.
"One of the key uses of this fund-raise will be to invest in NoBrokerHood, our community app and marketplace. We have signed 10,000 societies till now and the objective would be to aggressively grow and reach 1 lakh societies in the next two years," said Amit Agarwal, co-founder and chief executive officer of NoBroker.com.
Upstox to the next unicorn with new funding round led by Tiger Global
Online stockbroking platform Upstox is all set to join the unicorn club with a fresh round of funding led by US investment giant Tiger Global. Upstox valuation post this round is expected to be in the range of $3-3.5 billion, according to sources aware of the development.
According to regulatory filings, Tiger Global has invested Rs 185 crore or $24.7 million in Upstox. However, the total quantum of funds raised in the round is not yet known. Entrackr was the first to report on this development.
Spinny turns unicorn with $285 million fundraise
Online used car marketplace Spinny has turned unicorn after raising $285 million in its Series E funding round, led by Abu Dhabi-based ADQ and New York-based investment firm Tiger Global.
Tiger Global and Abu Dhabi Growth Fund have invested Rs 739.7 crore each. Somerville SPV and Aveni Spinny have put in the remaining amount, as per Entrackr. Spinny is expected to use the capital to invest in developing tech and product capabilities, for branding and to expand geographical reach, the report added.
Dream Sports raises $840 million at a valuation of $8million
Sports technology company Dream Sports, the parent firm of fantasy sports platform Dream11 has completed an investment of $840 million at an $8 billion valuation, led by Falcon Edge, DST Global, D1 Capital, Redbird Capital and Tiger Global.
The round also saw participation from existing investors like TPG and Footpath Ventures. Avendus Capital was the exclusive financial advisor to Dream Sports on the transaction. This comes after Dream Sports closed a $400 million secondary funding round in March, which valued the company at around $5 billion.
Sharechat set to raise $500 million at $5 billion valuation
Social media platform Sharechat's parent company, which also runs short-video platform Moj, is in the process of raising $500 million and will be valued north of $5 billion, as per sources. The round will be led by new and existing investors, though CNBC-TV18 could not confirm the names of the new investors. Sharechat counts Temasek, Snap Inc, Tiger Global, Moore Strategic Ventures and Twitter among existing investors.
Sharechat’s valuation is expected to cross $5 billion post-funding, two people aware of the matter said. Sharechat was last valued at $2.8 billion in July post $145 million fundraise. The company had turned unicorn in April when it was valued at $2.1 billion in April.
WaterBridge Ventures closes its Fund II at $150 million
Early-stage VC firm WaterBridge Ventures has raised $150 million for its Fund II, 50% more than the planned size. The second fund seeks to invest $500,000 to $3 million each in 25 startups across seed and Series A rounds. It will also reserve capital for follow-on investments in best-performing companies. As per a report by The Mint, the fund has made 10 bets already and has more than $250 million in assets under management.
The final close has come within a year for the firm which announced its first close in 2020. The fund, which has backed companies such as Atlan, Bijnis, CityMall, Chalo, DoubtNut, Magicpin, PocketPills and Unacademy among others, now has a total AUM of more than $250 million.
Purplle closes $140 million Series D funding round, adding Premji Invest to cap table
E-commerce marketplace for beauty products Purplle has raised $65 million in a Series D funding round led by Premji Invest, at a valuation of about $600 million. The company earlier raised $75 million funding, led by Kedaara Capital, alongside Sequoia Capital India and Blume Ventures.
The fresh infusion will accelerate the company’s growth, it said in a statement. The company grew its marketing investments by two times to build brand Purplle and has doubled its new customer acquisition. The company claims that 65-70 percent of revenue comes from returning users while its loyalty programme, contributes to 25 percentof the platform’s revenue.
Blume Ventures marks first close of fourth fund at $105 million
Early-stage venture capital firm Blume Ventures has made the first close of $105 million of its fourth fund. The company is looking to close the fund at about $200 million by March-April next year, making it Blume’s largest fund so far.
From the new fund, the firm will continue investing in pre-seed to Pre Series A technology startups in sectors such as consumer internet, small and medium business marketplaces, as well as global opportunities in software and enterprise technology.
Indifi raises Rs 340 crore in Series D equity and debt funding
Online lending platform Indifi has raised Rs 340 crore in a mix of equity and debt as part of its Series D round. CX Partners and OP Finnfund Global Impact Fund I, along with existing investors CDC Group, Omidyar Network, Flourish Ventures, Elevar Equity and Accel, have invested Rs 140 core. in Series D round of Equity Capital raise for Indifi Technologies.
Indifi has also secured Rs 165 crore in debt financing from Vivriti, Northern Arc, SIDBI, along with other lenders. Additionally, the United States International Development Finance Corporation has guaranteed Rs 35 crore of funding to Indifi.
Zenwork bags Rs 1,200 crore in funding from Spectrum Equity
Zenwork, a SaaS platform for digital tax compliance and regulatory reporting for global businesses, has raised over Rs 1,200 crore from a US-based growth equity firm. The funding comes at a time when the company is looking to expand its operations beyond the US and into Europe and Asia.
As per reports, the company said it will invest heavily in growing the capabilities of its Tax1099 and Compliancely platforms, while hiring between 100-150 people across roles of engineering, sales, product management to help make this happen.
Biryani By Kilo bags $35 million in Series B round led by Falcon Edge: Reports
Biryani By Kilo has bagged $35 million in a Series B round led by Falcon Edge Capital, with participation from SBI and existing investor IvyCap Ventures.
As per reports, the food startup will use the funds to expand its biryani brand nationwide, targeting over 200 outlets by the end of 2024.
In addition, BBK is looking to foray into international markets. "BBK would also be looking at acquiring other F&B cloud kitchen brands which can be scaled pan India with our expertise in the supply chain, technology & marketing," said founder Vishal Jindal.
True Balance raises $30 million in debt for financial arm
True Credits - the NBFC and an affiliate of an RBI-authorised lending company True Balance – has announced a debt fundraise of $30 million (about Rs 223.2 crore) from investors, including Northern Arc, Arthmate, Shine Star and others. With this, the total debt fund raised stood at $55 million in FY2021.
This third round of investment has come from the mix of new and existing investors namely, Northern Arc, Arthmate, Shine Star, E clear and Hinduja, and other Korean investors to support the company's growth in India, the firm said in a statement. The company intends to cater to customers within the monthly income bracket of Rs 10,000 to Rs 40,000.
Parking solutions platform Park+ raises $25 million from Sequoia and Matrix
Parking solutions platform Park+ has bagged $25 million as part of its Series B funding round led by Sequoia Capital India, Matrix Partners India, and Epiq Capital. Existing and new investors, including AdvantEdge, Fund II, and Motherson Lease Solution, also participated in the round.
The company said it plans to utilise the funds raised to strengthen its core technology and build out innovative solutions for cars and car owners that can solve all their pain points on a single platform.
Salesken secures $22 million in Series B funding from Microsoft, Sequoia
Sales conversation Artificial Intelligence startup Salesken has bagged $22 million in a Series B round of funding, led by M12, Microsoft's Venture Fund and participation from existing investor Sequoia India. Abhi Kumar, Partner at M12, will be the new member of the board at Salesken.
The startup plans to use the funds raised to accelerate expansion into the North American market and further invest in its deep-tech product. "SalesKen has dramatic outcomes on sales conversions, improving top-line by 20-25 percent within a few months of use. This RoI impact has seen us grow by over 300 percent in the last year," said SalesKen co-founder Surga Thilakan.
EV maker Simple Energy gets $21 million funding
EV maker Simple Energy has raised $21 million (around Rs 156 crore) in a funding round. The aim was to raise $15 million in fundraising, but immense investor interest resulted in the company mopping up more capital in the pre-series investment round, the firm said in a statement.
The over-subscribed funding round was driven by the company's current investors and board members, Manish Bharti of UiPath and Raghunath Subramanian, Non-executive Chairman, UiPath India, respectively. This round also witnessed participation from new investors such as Sattva Group, Athiyas Group and several high net-worth individuals (HNIs).
Haber raises $20 million in Series B funding to further AI for industrial sustainability
AI-driven industrial robots maker Haber has raised $20 million in a Series B funding round led by Ascent Capital. Other investors who participated in the round included Accel, Elevation Capital, BEENEXT, Temasek partner Mukul Chawla and the founders of GreyOrange, another robot as a service company, Samay Kohli and Akash Gupta.
The funds will be used to expand its reach across new geographies and industries, with a goal to save over 400 billion litres of water in the next two years and to deploy over 10,000 eLIXAs in the next 5 years, the startup said in a statement.
Euler Motors bags $10 million in funding led by QRG Investments
Electric vehicle maker Euler Motors has raised additional capital of $10 million (around Rs 74 crore) from a clutch of investors, led by QRG Investments and Holdings. This marks the first investment by QRG Investments and Holdings in an EV brand in India, the company said in a release.
Existing investors Inventus Capital India, Blume Ventures, ADB Ventures, Jetty Ventures and Kailash Trust also participated in the latest round of capital infusion. Euler Motors has now raised a total of $21.6 million since its inception in 2018. The platform also said it plans to raise $50 million in a Series B funding round next year.
The startup launched its first e-three-wheeler cargo HiLoad late last month. The company plans to utilize these funds to scale up and strengthen its production capacity to deliver the strong order line-up for HiLoad and also prepare to cater to the strong demand from the retail segment.
GetSetUp raises additional $10 million to bring health and wellness solutions to seniors
Older adults upskilling startup GetSetUp has raised $10 million in seed-extension funding from Cowboy Ventures and LightShed Ventures. This follows an $11 million seed round last October led by edtech investing firm Rethink Education with participation from Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang’s AME Cloud Ventures.
The funding comes in the form of “simple agreement for future equity” (SAFE) contracts where the investor is given rights to receive equity of the startup in the case of certain triggering events like future rounds of funding or sale of the company.
Shield-IoT gets $7.4 million in Series A Funding
Israel-based internet-of-things (IoT) cybersecurity startup Shield-IoT has raised $7.4 million in a Series A funding round led by NextLeap Ventures and Bloc Ventures.
Atlas Ventures, Akamai Technologies, Springtide Ventures, DIVEdigital and Janvest Capital Partners also participated in the funding round. The company intends to use the funds to expand operations and its business reach.
D2C startup Sleepy Owl secures $6.5 million in Series A funding
D2C coffee brand Sleepy Owl has raised $6.5 million in a Series-A funding round. It was led by existing investor Rukam Capital, followed by DSG Consumer Partners, also an existing investor. Dexter Capital was the exclusive financial advisor to the deal.
The company said that it is slated to close with an ARR of Rs 60 crore by March 2022. Sleepy Owl aims to solidify their core team, build a robust distribution network across India for increased demand of its brews, and firm up its marketing initiatives. "We plan to utilize the funds to go deeper into our existing retail markets across India and add as we grow,” said Ajai Thandi, who co-founded Sleepy Owl.
Karan Johar, Yuvraj Singh invest in Carl Pei’s Nothing
Consumer tech brand Nothing, which announced funding of $50 million as part of its Series A last month has disclosed that film producer and director Karan Johar, cricketer Yuvraj Singh, and fashion designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee also joined the round as investors.
The digital content creator and entrepreneur Ranveer Allabadia and independent music composer and singer Jasleen Royal have also come on board as backers of Nothing, the company said on Tuesday. Nothing was launched by OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei late last year. It has so far raised a total of $74 million.
In December last year, the company had raised $7 million in seed financing from prominent investors, including Tony Fadell (inventor of the iPod), Casey Neistat (YouTuber), Kevin Lin (co-founder of Twitch) and Steve Huffman (CEO of Reddit). In February this year, the company raised $15 million from GV (formerly Google Ventures.).
GlobalBees adds three more new-age brands to its portfolio
Thrasio-style direct-to-consumer (D2C) venture GlobalBees has added three more startups to its portfolio list. The company has picked up a majority stake in Healthyhey (dietary supplements maker), Rey Naturals (hair care products brand) and Intellilens (eyewear brand) for undisclosed amounts. With the current investments, the company now has a portfolio across homecare, personal care, nutrition and wellness, health and sports supplement and intelligent eyewear categories.
Global Bees has earlier this month onboarded Yellow Chimes, a leading fashion jewellery brand, and Absorbia, an innovative home care brand, to its portfolio. Prior to that, it had invested in homegrown millennial skincare brand - Prolixr, women's health solutions company - &ME, and home care products company - The Better Home - in August this year, this will take its total acquisitions to 8 in just four months.
Zenity raises $5 million for low-code/no-code security
Tel Aviv-based Zenity, a developer of a platform for securing increasingly prevalent low-code/no-code applications, has emerged from stealth with $5 million in seed funding. The round was led by Vertex Ventures and UpWest, and also included investments from Gerhard Eschelbeck, formerly the vice president of security at Google, and Tom Fisher, the former CIO of SuccessFactors.
The startup said the funding will go toward the expansion of R&D, marketing, and sales activities. Zenity currently has a staff of 15 and plans to double its headcount in 2022.
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