Funding Rundown: Reliance takes 26% stake in Dunzo for $200 mn, Bombay Shaving Company bags Rs 160 cr & Chalo eyeing $200 mn fundraise, says report

Funding Rundown: Reliance takes 26% stake in Dunzo for $200 mn, Bombay Shaving Company bags Rs 160 cr & Chalo eyeing $200 mn fundraise, says report

Funding Rundown: Reliance takes 26% stake in Dunzo for $200 mn, Bombay Shaving Company bags Rs 160 cr & Chalo eyeing $200 mn fundraise, says report
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By Aishwarya Anand  Jan 6, 2022 8:16:08 PM IST (Published)

Here's a lowdown of the top deals from the startup space.

Reliance Retail picks 25.8% stake in Dunzo, leads $240 million in hyperlocal delivery startup

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Reliance Retail has bought a 25.8 percent stake in Dunzo, leading quick commerce player, for $200 million as it looks to expand its presence in the online grocery delivery business. Dunzo raised $240 million in its latest round led by Reliance Retail, existing investors Lightbox, Lightrock, 3L Capital and Alteria Capital.
The funding will help to further Dunzo’s vision to be the largest quick commerce business in the country, enabling instant delivery of essentials from a network of micro warehouses. It will also expand its business-to-business (B2B) business vertical to enable logistics for local merchants in Indian cities.
Dunzo is currently present in seven metro cities and is looking to use the money to expand to 15 cities. Dunzo also has an instant grocery delivery model called Dunzo Daily, where it competes with players such as Swiggy Instamart, Blinkit and Zepto. Dunzo Daily, it said, is seeing 20 percent week-on-week growth.
"With this investment from Reliance Retail, we will have a long-term partner with whom we can accelerate growth and redefine how Indians shop for their daily & weekly essentials. We’re excited by the traction and velocity that Dunzo Daily has achieved and over the next 3 years, we aim to establish ourselves as one of the most reliable quick commerce providers in the country,” said Kabeer Biswas, CEO and co-founder, Dunzo.
In addition to this investment, Dunzo and Reliance Retail will also enter into certain business partnerships. Dunzo will enable hyperlocal logistics for the retail stores operated by Reliance Retail, further adding to Reliance Retail’s omni-channel capabilities. Dunzo will also facilitate last-mile deliveries for JioMart’s merchant network, it said in a statement.
"Through our partnership with Dunzo, we will be able to provide increased convenience to Reliance Retail’s consumers and differentiated customer experience through the rapid delivery of products from Reliance Retail stores. Our merchants will get access to the hyperlocal delivery network of Dunzo to support their growth as they move their business online through Jio Mart," said Isha Ambani, director, Reliance Retail Ventures.
Bombay Shaving Company bags Rs 160 crore; Rs 300 crore additional fundraise, IPO & aggressive M&A strategy on the cards
Direct-to-consumer grooming and personal care startup Bombay Shaving Company (BSC) has bagged Rs 160 crore in a Series C round of funding which was led by a local hedge fund, Malabar Investments. The funding round also saw participation from Patni Advisors, Singularity AMC, and other HNIs.
The fresh investment comes 11 months after the company raised Rs 45 crore from UK-based consumer goods giant Reckitt. The round also saw an ESOP buyback and early investor exits worth Rs 45 crore. Founded in 2016 by former McKinsey & Co consultant Shantanu Deshpande, BSC started as a D2C men’s shaving and grooming products startup.
However, in 2010, the company forayed into diverse hair removal and hair care categories including a women’s hair removal range, which now accounts for nearly 25 percent of the firm's total business and is its biggest bet. With this fresh influx of funding, BSC is looking to expand its portfolio of personal care and hair removal products. The company is also aiming to scale operations to Rs 500 crore top line with omni-channel presence in the next two years.
"We will scale our store presence from 50,000 to 200,000 selling points across India and aim to grab a 15 percent + share in hair removal in these stores. We also have a pipeline of 30+ innovative products in 2022 and are keen to deeply invest in the brand as well," said Deepak Gupta, chief operating officer, BSC.
The firm said it will also expand its international presence, invest in brand building and hire talent across positions. The investment will further bolster the brand’s ambition to deliver 10X growth in the next five years, it said in a statement. BSC also intends to acquire brands in adjacent categories and content platforms and said it is in advanced talks to raise additional Rs 300 crore for acquisitions.
What else is on the cards for the company in 2022? A possible IPO in the works? Commenting on this, Shantanu Deshpande, founder and CEO of BSC said, "We are singularly focused on building a brand that owns hair removal. As we scale from Rs 150 crore to Rs 500 crore and Rs 1,000 crore, we needed an investor group that could guide us on building an IPO-able company."
Chalo looks to raise $200 million: Report
Transport solution startup Chalo is looking to raise $200 million, or around Rs 1,500 crore, to invest in technology and expand in India and in a few other countries, as per a report by the Economic Times. The fundraise could value the daily commute solutions startup at about $800 million, or Rs 6,000 crore, sources told ET. The company has reached out to some of its existing investors about the fresh investment plans, it added.
"The plan is to invest in technology that would make using public transport convenient for young Indian consumers. If it’s possible to track the arrival time of Uber or Ola and how long it takes to reach one’s destination, then that can be done for public transport as well," another source told ET. The company had raised $40 million, or Rs 297 crore, in October 2021. The fresh investment is set to provide an exit for some of the early investors in the company, the report added.
Green Tech packaging startup Bambrew bags $2.35 million in Pre-Series A round
Packaging startup Bambrew has secured $2.35 million in pre-Series-A funding led by Blue Ashva Capital and Supack Industries. The round also saw participation from Mumbai Angels and other angel investors. As per the firm, the fresh capital will be deployed to source green packaging, boost supply, expansion in multiple cities and investment in research and development of new sustainable materials.
Over the past two years, the company claims to have seen 50x growth and is now looking to increase its footprint and supply capacity across metros like Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata, as well as global markets including the US, Europe, and the Middle East.
Fintech startup LivFin gets $2 million from BlackSoil in venture debt
SME-focused fintech platform LivFin has secured $2 million venture debt from alternative credit platform BlackSoil. The company has raised over $35 million in debt from more than 15 lenders to date. According to a statement, the startup plans to disburse over $85 million in the financial year 2022-23.
LivFin is a fintech NBFC that provides supply chain finance to mid-to-large corporates by setting up programmes to lend to their suppliers, vendors and distributors, dealers, retailers through an 'Anchor'-based financing model. The company is backed by SAR Group promoters and has attracted investments from German DFI - DEG. It has disbursed over $285 million to date and there have been no write-offs, the firm added.
Courseplay raises Rs 3 crore from Inflection Point Ventures
SaaS-based employee growth enablement platform Courseplay raises Rs 3 CR in a Seed funding round led by Inflection Point Ventures. The funds raised will be used to focus on customer acquisition and bringing new AI-powered capabilities to the market. The company will continue to expand operations across India, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East, it said in a statement.
"The last year has been special for us at Courseplay, and we are looking forward to commencing our next stage of growth. We are ready to capitalise on the wave of digital transformation and accelerate our expansion plans across emerging markets like India, Southeast Asia and the Middle East,” said Arjun Gupta, founder and CEO, Courseplay.
Courseplay provides end-to-end solutions in training delivery, employee engagement, workflow automation and impact measurement. In 2020, the startup claims to have engaged almost 400,000 employees across India, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East.
Quantum tech firm QNu Labs raises undisclosed sum from Speciale Invest and others
Quantum-safe cybersecurity technology company QNu Labs has raised an undisclosed amount from deeptech venture capital firm Speciale Invest.
WAOO Partners LLP and another venture capital fund along with marquee angel investors and promoters also participated in the funding round.
QNu Labs plans to utilize the investment for extensive R&D advancements, extending products and technology to a wider customer base through key Go To Market associations in the US and Europe and building partnerships for Satellite-based Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) technology, it said in a statement.
The company has plans to hire seasoned product and technology industry experts to strengthen their core team extensively. QNu Labs said that it plans to cater to sectors including defence, government, healthcare, financial institutions and telecommunications among others.
Founded in 2016 by Sunil Gupta and Srinivasa Rao Aluri, the company provides cybersecurity solutions to safeguard organisational data on the internet, in data centres and in the cloud.
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