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    Funding Rundown: ACKO turns unicorn, Drip Capital secures $175 million, Lovelocal bags $18 million in pre-series B & Avanti Finance raises $15 million

    Funding Rundown: ACKO turns unicorn, Drip Capital secures $175 million, Lovelocal bags $18 million in pre-series B & Avanti Finance raises $15 million

    Funding Rundown: ACKO turns unicorn, Drip Capital secures $175 million, Lovelocal bags $18 million in pre-series B & Avanti Finance raises $15 million
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    By Aishwarya Anand   IST (Published)

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    Here’s a lowdown of the top deals in the startup space.

    Digital insurance startup ACKO turns unicorn; raises $255 million in Series D
    Direct-to-consumer insurance startup ACKO has turned unicorn after raising a $255 million Series D funding led by private equity majors General Atlantic and Multiples Private Equity. The funding round also saw participation from Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Lightspeed, a global technology-focused investment firm. Existing investors Intact Ventures and Munich Re Ventures too invested in the round.
    Barclays was the exclusive financial advisor to ACKO on this fundraising. With this fresh influx of capital, the startup’s valuation has soared to $1.1 billion. The transaction however is subject to approval by insurance regulator IRDAI. The startup said it will invest over $150 million in the health business in the near future and scale its team, particularly within technology, product and data science.
    Drip Capital secures $175 million in a funding round
    Fintech startup Drip Capital has raised $175 million in fresh capital to power its next phase of growth. Funds raised include a $40 million Series C equity investment and $135 million in warehouse debt facilities. To date Drip Capital has raised about $525 million in equity and debt funding, it said in a statement.
    San Francisco-based TI Platform led the Series C investment round alongside participation from new and existing investors including Accel, Sequoia, Wing VC, Irongrey, and GC1 Holdings. The new capital also includes a $100 million warehouse credit facility with Barclays Investment Bank (Barclays) and a $35 million increase in the existing facility (initially $40 million) with East West Bank (EWB).
    Drip Capital will use the new funding to scale its business over the next 18 months. It will invest in products and technology and accelerate go-to-market in existing and new geographies like South Asia and Latin America. The startup currently serves SMBs in India, Mexico, and the US, according to a statement.
    Lovelocal bags $18 million in pre-series B round led by Vulcan Capital
    Hyper-local e-commerce platform LoveLocal has raised $18 million (Rs 143 crore), in a Pre-Series B investment round led by Vulcan Capital. The round also had participation from Klarna Founder & CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski’s Flat Capital, Alumni Ventures Group and Commerce Ventures.
    Angel investors Nami Zarringhalam, Co-founder of Truecaller, Sriram Krishnan, General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz, Anna Lambert, Director of Product Acceleration at Shopify, Sarah Jones Simmer, CEO of Found & ex-COO of Bumble, Arpan Sheth, Senior Partner at Bain & Company, and others also participated.
    Existing investors — Blume Ventures, AC Ventures, HenkelX Ventures, and Chiratae Ventures — also invested, with Candy Ventures significantly increasing its ownership in this round. Founded by Akanksha Hazari, LoveLocal claimed that this funding round marks the largest round ever raised by a solo woman tech founder in India.
    LoveLocal empowers local retailers and helps digitise the $1.1 trillion unorganised retail market. The startup claims to have grown 40X since its inception. Over the last 18 months, LoveLocal has signed up more than 100,000 retailers and fulfilled more than 1 million orders. The company aims to onboard 1 million merchants in the next three years.
    Healthtech startup Zini.ai raises Pre Series A funding from Solarus Group
    Healthtech startup Zini.ai has raised an undisclosed amount in its Pre Series A funding from Private Equity firm Solarus Group. This funding has pushed the company’s valuation to Rs 101 crore. The funds will be used towards enhancing existing technology, new business development and expanding into new geographies, the company said in a statement.
    Zini.ai is an AI-powered, voice-based virtual physician designed by a team of experienced doctors and techies. Accessible through an app, Zini allows users to ‘Talk to Zini’ about any medical symptom or health issues.
    Avanti Finance raises $15 million in Series A extended round
    Technology-led non-banking finance company (NBFC) Avanti Finance has raised $ 15 million (around Rs 111 crore) as part of its Series A extended round from existing investors Oikocredit, Nomura, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Dr K R Shroff Foundation.
    With this, Avanti has completed its Series A fundraise and has raised $41 million as a part of the round in equity and debt mix. According to the company, the funds will be used to strengthen its deep tech platform, bolster data science, enhance the product suite and expand the team to further credit operations.
    It will further strengthen its ecosystem to partner with mission-aligned social enterprises and foundations, financial institutions, business correspondents and agtech innovators across the country, who can leverage Avanti’s platform to serve users in a digital-first manner providing for scale and sustainability.
    Legaltech startup Vakilsearch bags $10 million from InCorp India
    Vakilsearch, a legaltech startup, has secured $10 million from InCorp India. The transaction also saw the exit of earlier investor Kalaari Capital. Earlier in 2015, private equity firm Kalaari Capital had invested $2 million (Rs 15 crore) in Vakilsearch. It had also raised an undisclosed sum from Udaan co-founder Sujeet Kumar in 2020.
    The company said it will use the fresh infusion to accelerate tech and product development and marketing, sales, and talent acquisition. Vakilsearch said it has catered to over 80,000 small businesses among other clients, including over 30,000 businesses since the start of the pandemic, it has enabled over 10,000 new incorporations and over 8,000 trademark filings.
    D2C pet care brand Wiggles.in secures $5.5 million
    Direct-to-consumer (D2C) pet care brand Wiggles.in has raised $5.5 million in a pre-Series A funding round led by Anthill Ventures, with participation from Panthera Peak Ventures and a few other new and existing investors. The company also saw investment from Varun Alagh, founder of Mamaearth, Nikhil Bhandarkar, Ubiquity Capital, Nachiket Deshpande, chief operating officer, L&T Infotech, Siddharth Sikchi, promoter of Clean Science and Technology and other HNIs in individual capacities.
    The fresh capital will help the brand to increase its investment in research to develop and launch new products and also go beyond its two markets where it currently offers services, it said in a statement. The company had previously raised about $1 million in a seed round and claims to have 20 full-time veterinarians and 6,000 affiliate doctors that recommend its products.
    Virohan raises an additional $1.3 million from existing investors ahead of the Series B round
    Healthcare edtech startup Virohan has received an additional $1.3 million in funding before the Series B fundraise. Investors who participated are Keiretsu Forum, Priya Shah, general partner at Theia Ventures, Better Capital, Vikas Gambhir, partner at Grant Thornton, and Joydeep Bhattacharya, partner - Bain & Co.
    Virohan is planning to utilise these funds to expand to new geographies PAN India, develop newer training programs, content in vernacular languages and develop their technological forefront. The startup aims to scale its current omnichannel training platform infrastructure and develop new features to further increase learning outcomes for students. The company to date has raised $4.3 million and seeks to raise $7-$10 million in Series B later this year.
    SaaS startup SupplyNote secures $1.2 million in Pre-Series A round from Venture Catalysts
    B2B SaaS platform SupplyNote that helps food and beverages (F&B) businesses digitize and automate their supply chain and procurement, has raised $1.2 million in pre-Series A round led by Venture Catalysts. The investment round saw participation from US-based Astor Management, SOSV, Riso Capital, and Manjal Investments, Angelbay, SucSEED Ventures, DevX Fund, Sarcha Advisors, and Faad Network.
    The brand has raised a total of $ 2.8 million since its inception in 2015. "For the last six years, we have been working with some of the top F&B players of India, digitizing their supply chain and enabling rapid growth for them. During the year of pandemic (FY 2020-21), we’ve witnessed a growth of 800 percent in digital procurement through our platform, with our presence in 41 cities in three countries," said Kushang, co-founder and chief executive officer, SupplyNote.
    The company said it is working towards further refining its tech offerings, and strengthening its presence within the F&B ecosystem in new geographies. By the end of the fiscal, the startup is aiming at widening its footprint in India, West Asia, and Southeast Asia.
    Language Curry raises $600k seed round from Lets Venture, IAN & others
    Regional language app Language Curry has raised $600K in its seed funding round led by LetsVenture, IAN, Varsha Rao (CEO, Nurx and Former Head of Global Operations AirBnB), and Rebalance. Angels investors who participated in this round include Ajay Rajgharia, Nitin Zamre, Shashvat Nakhrani, Co-founder, BharatPe, Karan Tanna, Founder, Ghost Kitchens India, and Rohit Chanana amongst others.
    The company will use the funds towards team building, building new superior products and expansion to other geographies, it said in a statement. The startup claims to have grown over 500 percent in the past 6 months and has witnessed 8,00,000 downloads.
    myTutorHub raises undisclosed amount in its pre-seed round
    Edtech platform myTutorHub has raised an undisclosed amount in its pre-seed round. myTutorHub will focus on creating a Student-Teacher Community. The advanced search feature of myTutorHub will give them both the power to choose.
    The Mobile-first App will allow the students to connect with the tutors, select the preferred time to study, and get access to the best online study material. The Tutor/Coach can establish their online presence, create their own brand, and decide the batch size and time while expanding their reach and business," Ashish Dixit, co-founder of myTutorHub.
    myTutorHub offers digital educational platforms to Coaching institutes and Online learning platforms to students. They also act as a digital distribution platform for educational Content and Products, enabling tutors to set up their channel, helping to monetize it, and doubling their business by allowing them to run ad campaigns.
    AiRTH raises seed funds from Whiteboard Capital and others
    AiRTH, a company that manufactures Antimicrobial Air Purifiers, has raised seed funding from Whiteboard Capital, Syrma Technology, and FIRST (IIT Kanpur). The company plans to use the funding to bolster its production lines to meet the PAN India demand and modernize its after-sales services to provide the utmost convenience to its customers.
    AiRTH was founded in June 2020 to counter the deadly effects of unseen viruses and germs in the air. Its key product is the world's first antimicrobial air purifier that works on a unique DCD (Deactivate-Capture-Deactivate) mechanism to provide real-time deactivation of unseen viruses and germs in our surroundings.
    Unlike any other air purifier that becomes a source of a breeding ground for captured germs, the anti-microbial air purifier from AiRTH offers complete protection. The technology has been tested for the reduction of SARS-CoV-2 sized particles, i.e. 100nm at CSIR-NPL, 99.99% deactivation of germs in the air in 10 minutes at FICCI Research & Analysis Centre, and deactivation of captured germs in the device at TUV Rheinland, the company said.
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