Rapido raises $180 million in Series D funding round led by Swiggy
Bike-taxi platform Rapido has secured $180 million in a Series D funding round led by food and grocery delivery company Swiggy. TVS Motor Company, Westbridge, Shell Ventures, and Nexus Ventures, also participated in the round. Swiggy leading Rapido’s latest fundraise assumes significance in the former’s plans to expand into a logistics-led model.
"Swiggy and Rapido share a vision to build a logistics platform that empowers riders through more opportunities and higher earnings. While we’ve already been working together, this investment facilitates closer alignment to leverage the synergies between the platforms and improve the value we provide to both consumers and delivery executives/captains across the country,” said Swiggy co-founder and CEO Sriharsha Majety.
The funds will be used to increase overall supply to create an enhanced consumer experience across a larger audience base in metros, tier 1, 2, and 3 cities, and ensure seamless last-mile connectivity, Rapido said in a statement. Also, the amount will be leveraged to bolster Rapido’s technology, and amplify and strengthen its teams across diverse sets of capabilities.
The startup said it will be investing the funds in all its three categories - bike-taxi, auto, and delivery, to enhance its captain (driver-partners) earnings, and improve customer experience in over 100 cities the company operates in.
SaaS startup ITILITE bags $29 million in Series C round
SaaS startup ITILITE has raised $29 million in a Series C round led by Tiger Global and Dharana Capital. Existing investors Matrix Partners India and Tenacity Ventures also participated in the funding round. ITILITE offers travel and expense management solutions to other companies. It claims to offer 8X ROI to its customers including Automation Anywhere, Praj HiPurity, Page Industries, Byjus, Swiggy, and Zetwerk.
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The firm said it has clocked 5X growth since its Series B round in 2020. Currently, it has more than 500K users from over 300 companies in India and the US. "We are excited to have Tiger Global on our side and will aggressively double down on our momentum in the India and US markets. With the new round, the company will continue to invest more in product innovations, brand building, and scaling up its go-to-market teams," said Mayank Kukreja, Founder and CEO, ITILITE.
Microsoft invests additional $25 million in Udaan’s $200 million + debt funding round
B2B e-commerce startup Udaan has received an additional investment from Microsoft in its debt financing round of over $200 million. A company spokesperson told CNBC-TV18 that Microsoft has invested $25 million in Udaan along with other investors such as M&G Prudential, Kaiser Permanente, Nomura, TOR, Arena Investors, Samena Capital and Ishana Capital. With this, Udaan has raised a total of $275 million through debt and convertible notes. The news was first reported by the Economic Times.
Swiggy, Zomato invests in UrbanPiper’s $24 million Series B round
UrbanPiper, a restaurant management platform has raised $24 million in a Series B funding round led by existing investors Sequoia Capital India and Tiger Global. New investors Swiggy and Zomato along with a slew of angel investors including Pankaj Chaddah (Shyft), Ankit Nagori (Curefoods), Saahil Goel and Vishesh Khurana (Shiprocket), Khadim Bhatti and Vara Kumar (Whatfix), among others, also participated in the funding round.
The company plans to use the fresh funds to scale its product and engineering teams, strengthen its platform capabilities, as well as broaden its offerings to enable more services to restaurants. It is already live in 27,000+ restaurant locations across eight countries.
The firm currently processes 14 million orders per month, which equates to approximately $750 million of estimated order value annually. UrbanPiper plans to launch in more regions across India, MENA and EU with the aim of onboarding 200,000+ restaurant locations on the platform in the next two years, it said in a statement.
UrbanPiper counts several marquee restaurant chains such as McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, KFC, Subway, Cure Foods, Taco Bell, Rebel Foods and others, among its user base. It currently processes over 18 percent of all online food orders placed each month in India, and claims to have achieved 10X growth over the past two years.
Legalpay along with Naples Global launches $5 million fund to resolve founder-investor disputes
LegalPay, a litigation and interim finance provider has partnered with Florida-based hedge fund Naples Global to launch a $5 million fund for Indian founders to protect their rights during any kind of board-related disputes.
As per the firm, this is the first of its kind of fund to have launched in the interest of Indian founders. The fund has primarily committed $5 million (about Rs 37 crore) to deploy with an option to increase the exposure for funders who are looking out for fighting their litigations and arbitration.
"Founders put their blood and sweat to build start-ups but often find investors arm twisting them on several fronts. Since most founders are first-generation entrepreneurs, they lack the financial muscle to assert their legal rights,” said Kundan Shahi, CEO, LegalPay.
The US hedge fund is looking forward to expanding its asset allocation as the fund grows its US business and service into new international markets.
Kelly Morris, a partner at Naples Global said, “Our investment philosophy is rooted in supporting exceptional teams to grow valuable businesses.”
HR tech SaaS platform Expertia AI bags $1.2 million from Chiratae and Endiya
Expertia AI, a deeptech virtual recruitment platform has raised $1.2 million in a seed funding round led by Chiratae Ventures and Endiya Partners with participation from Entrepreneur First and angel investor Archana Priyadarshini. Entrepreneur First, the UK-based Talent Investor has doubled down on their previous pre-seed funding into the startup last March.
The startup plans to use the funds for assembling a team of artificial intelligence (AI) researchers and software engineers and creating a brand, and product awareness in the Indian market, it said in a statement.
"We are targeting 100 Job Board integrations in FY 23 up from 25 currently and improve the accuracy of our Top Talent recommendation up from 75% to 85 percent by the end of the year surpassing the abilities of a trained recruiter.
We will also focus on acquiring and employing publicly available meta data at scale to help us go beyond what is written in a job description and resume, understand business needs and hiring preferences and offer curated candidates for higher conversion and retention," said Akshay Gugnani, Co-founder and CTO, Expertia AI.
Expertia AI offers a one-click hiring solution to SMEs that helps them automatically source and identifies the top ten candidates from a pool of applicants invited from 25-plus job boards. It currently has over 500 companies, 1,000 recruiters, and over one lakh professionals actively using the platform.
IEG Investment Banking Group invests in Prakriti E-mobility
Electric cab firm Prakriti E-mobility on Monday said it has secured investment from Europe’s IEG Investment Banking Group as part of its $5 million Pre-Series A round. With this investment, the company plans on implementing technological advancements, expansion of EV fleet and empaneling EV charging stations into its mobile application across India, it said in a statement.
Prakriti E-mobility is an asset-light EV cab service provider for customers across B2C and B2B segments. It is currently operational in Delhi NCR through its flagship mobile application ‘Evera.’ "In a short span of 2.5-years, Prakriti E-mobility has clocked 8 million green KMs across Delhi NCR with highest per employee revenue earned in this segment in India. The recent funding will be utilized to make holistic upgrades to the Evera application and launch across the B2B and intercity travel segments," said Nimish Trivedi, co-founder and CEO - Prakriti E-mobility.
"The EV industry in India is picking pace with 100% FDI possible, new manufacturing hubs, and increased push to improving charging infrastructure. We are enthusiastic to further drive our expansion by adding more EVs in Delhi NCR and then venture out to tier 2 cities The company will also be empaneling public charging stations on the EVERA app Pan-India so that even if we are not operating the cabs there, the consumer can still download and take advantage of locating a charging station," added Trivedi.
First Published: IST