Here's a lowdown of the top deals from the startup space.
Pine Labs to seek $500 million in US IPO
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Backed by Sequoia India and Mastercard, merchant payments player Pine Labs is said to have confidentially filed for a US listing, seeking to raise about $500 million, as per a Bloomberg report. The fintech firm could list at a valuation of about $5.5 billion to $7 billion, as per sources cited in the news report.
Serving over 150,000 merchants across India, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia, the company is currently valued at $3 billion, according to Venture Intelligence. It counts Temasek, Sequoia Capital, Actis, PayPal, Mastercard, Fidelity Management, BlackRock, Ishana, Tree Line, and Neuberger Berman Investment Advisers among its investors.
Last year, it raised over $600 million in funding. Most recently, India's top lender — SBI — invested $20 million in Pine Labs. At the time of the fundraising, the company said that it is augmenting its merchant commerce offerings at the offline point-of-sale, looking to invest in scaling Plural (newly launched brand of online payment products) and emerge as an omnichannel partner of choice for merchants. Pine Labs is also expanding its Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) business across India and Southeast Asia.
Zluri raises $10 million led by MassMutual Ventures
Zluri, a SaaS management platform Zluri, has raised $10 million in Series A funding led by MassMutual Ventures with participation from existing investors Endiya Partners and Kalaari Capital. Zluri had previously raised $2 million from Endiya Partners and Kalaari Capital in its seed round last January.
The company plans to use the additional capital to continue its growth momentum and further strengthen its product's capabilities. It also plans to expand its teams in the core markets of Asia and North America.
Founded in 2020 by Ritish Puttaparthi, Sethu Meenakshisundaram and Chaithanya Yembari, Zluri offers a platform for IT teams to manage all SaaS applications from a single dashboard. Since its inception, it claims to have grown 100% (MoM), attracting over 100 new customers globally in 2021. Some of its clients include ChargeBee, MoEngage, Guesty and Whatfix.
"We will continue our investments to extend our lead in this space and the current round of #funding will help us further accelerate our global growth and product innovation," said Ritish Reddy, co-founder, Zluri.
Power Gummies raises $6 million in Series A from 9Unicorns, Wipro and Others
Power Gummies, a dietary supplements startup, has raised $6 million in Series A funding led by 9Unicorns, with participation from Vcats, DSG Consumer Partners, WIPRO Consumers, Sharpp Ventures (Marico Family office) and NB Ventures.
Founded by Divij Bajaj in 2018, Power Gummies offers dietary supplements in a chewable form instead of capsules & tablets. Currently, the brand has four variants and plans to launch 45 more.
"Power Gummies is all set to mark its space at global nutraceutical industry podium with this newly raised funding round. We are extremely excited to roll out new projects such as introducing new variants and expanding overseas," Divij Bajaj, Founder & CEO, Power Gummies. The nutraceuticals industry has been growing due to the increasing preference of a nutrient-rich diet among consumers.
"People have also now realised the role of nutraceutical products like Power Gummies which are gluten-free and vegan. These vitamins and proteins are transformed into edible gummies that can help in various disease prevention. With the huge demand that the sector has been garnering, we will continue to invest in preventive health products,” said Apoorva Ranjan Sharma, co-founder, Venture Catalyst and 9Unicorns.
The ePlane Company raises $5 million in Pre-Series A
The ePlane Company, a flying taxi startup, has raised $5 million in pre-Series A funding led by Speciale Invest — a deep-tech venture capital firm — and Micelio — an EV and climate-focused fund.
A consortium of investors including Naval Ravikant, 3one4 Capital, UTEC (University of Tokyo Edge Capital), Anicut Capital, Infoedge, Prashant Pitti (co-founder of Easemytrip), Thought Ventures, Java Capital and Firstcheque.vc also participated in the round.
Launched in 2019 by Professor Satya Chakravarthy & Pranjal Mehta to enable aerial mobility, the startup is building electric planes which can be used for faster commuting within cities and moving cargo in remote and rural areas. The startup has raised $1 million in its seed round of funding in March last year. The fresh capital will be used to hire top-tier talent, R&D and product development to gain airworthiness provision and initiate local certification.
“We have currently tested a scaled-down prototype and expect to have our first cargo plane ready as early as next year. The cargo carrier is expected to be rolled out by February 2023. The passenger version is expected by December 2024," said Satya Chakravarthy, co-founder, The ePlane Company.
Bliv.Club raises undisclosed funding from Polygon co-founder Sandeep Nailwal
Non-fungible Token (NFT) derivative startup Bliv.Club has announced that it has raised undisclosed pre-seed funding from Sandeep Nailwal, — the co-founder of blockchain scalability platform Polygon. "Bliv is extending the ambit of the NFT ecosystem. It is allowing a common person to get the exposure of a complex market in a much more easy and meaningful way,” said Nailwal.
NFTs are unique virtual tokens on Blockchain infrastructure that represents ownership, proof-of-existence, and allow traceability of any digital or non-digital item. The market size of NFTs reached $22 billion in 2021. However, the NFT marketplace is complex to navigate for people with limited technical knowledge.
Bliv.Club is a platform that aims to diminish this barrier of entry via various new-age instruments as well as facilitate liquidity into the NFT ecosystem via derivatives, said the company statement. It seeks to allow the average person to participate in the NFT market with a small ticket size. Founded by Vikas Singh, Abhishek Kumar Gupta, and Mohammed Sirajuddin in 2021, Bliv.Club is in talks with a number of investors to raise a larger round in the near future.
Crib raises pre-seed funding to build a co-living app
Crib, a SaaS-based marketplace for co-living, has raised $400,000 in its pre-seed round led by Pranay Gupta (Co-founder, 91Springboard) through his AngelList syndicate 91Ventures.
The round also saw participation from BlackSoil Capital along with marquee angels like Shashwat Nakrani (Co-Founder, BharatPe), Jasminder Singh Gulati (Co-founder, Nowfloats, acquired by Jio), Ajay Yadav (Founder, Roomi), Sarath Sura (Ex-Director, Allahabad Bank), Abdul Paravengal (ex-CBO, Shipper), Rahul Jindal (Director, Google), Uday Arya (Partner, BlueLotus Ventures), Panna Lal Bhansali (ex-President, Guwahati Stock Exchange), Kushal Khandwala (Director, KIFS Housing Finance Ltd.), Tushar Anand (Alkem Pharma Family & Founder, Cheferd Foods) and others.
Founded by Sunny Garg and Shaifali Jain, Crib is creating a full-stack solution for co-living including property management software bundled with a reseller platform. It runs on a SaaS-based marketplace model. It will utilise the current raise to build its engineering team, boost product development, and onboard the first set of properties from Bangalore, Pune, Hyderabad, Mumbai, and Delhi NCR.
"While running an asset-heavy business in a competitive landscape, operators face multiple operational challenges. With Crib, we will automate their business processes and enable them to acquire, manage and retain tenants digitally,” said Sunny Garg, co-founder and CEO, Crib.
(Edited by : Jomy Jos Pullokaran)
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