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This article is more than 2 month old.

Funding Rundown: apna and MPL newest unicorns of 2021, BetterPlace raises $24 mn, Amagi secures $100 mn, Eupheus Learning gets $10 mn & Vahan raises $8 mn in Series A

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

Funding Rundown: apna and MPL newest unicorns of 2021, BetterPlace raises $24 mn, Amagi secures $100 mn, Eupheus Learning gets $10 mn & Vahan raises $8 mn in Series A
apna turns unicorn, secures $100 million Series C funding led by Tiger Global at $1.1 billion valuation
Jobs and professional network platform for the rising workforce, apna has secured $100 million in series C funding led by Tiger Global. The round also saw participation from Owl Ventures, Insight Partners, Sequoia Capital India, Maverick Ventures and GSV Ventures. With this round, apna has attained a total valuation of $1.1 billion making it a unicorn within 21 months of product launch.
The company plans to use the proceeds to further strengthen its presence in the existing 28 cities and expand to 300 cities and 4000 towns in India by the end of 2021. The team also plans to double down on its edtech platform for skilling and invest in hiring talent and building world-class engineering and product capabilities. apna plans to build a global enterprise by venturing into new markets such as the USA, South East Asia, Middle East and Africa starting in 2022.
Mobile Premier League joins unicorn club; valued at $2.3 billion
Mobile Premier League became India’s second gaming unicorn after raising funds at a $2.3 billion valuation. The Series E funding round was led by Legatum Capital. Existing investors including Sequoia, SIG, RTP Global, Go-Ventures, Moore Strategic Ventures, Play Ventures, Base Partners, Telstra Ventures, and Founders Circle Capital also participated in the round. The firm didn’t disclose the funding but according to Bloomberg News, MPL has raised $150 million. MPL will use the fresh infusion of capital to finance its global expansion, invest in its home-grown technology, and drive continued growth in the Indian market.
BetterPlace raises $24 million in Series C round
BetterPlace, a technology platform for blue-collar workforce management, has raised $24 million in Series-C funding led by CX Partners and Singapore-based Jungle Ventures. This comes after the firm had raised a Series-B of $10 million in late 2020.
CDC Group and Capria Ventures have also participated in this round alongside existing investors Unitus Ventures and 3one4 Capital. The company will use the fresh funds to continue to invest in technologies and products to support its exponential growth as well as aggressively pursue inorganic growth opportunities, it said in a statement.
Purplle eyes $500 million valuation amid Nykaa IPO: Report
Beauty products platform Purplle is in talks to raise $50-75 million, valuing the company at over $500 million, according to Moneycontrol. Investors including Norwest Venture Partners, Kedaara Capital, Venturi Partners and South Korea’s Mirae are jostling to invest in Purplle, while Sequoia India will double down on its stake, the people said requesting anonymity.
Purplle is still deciding the allocations for investors, the report added. Purplle, pitched earlier to investors and executives as a ‘Nykaa for tier 2-3 cities and beyond,’ was valued at about $300 million in March, when it raised $45 million from Sequoia, Verlinvest and others. Nykaa is gearing up for a record-breaking public share sale that could value the company at as much as $8 billion.
Amagi secures $100 million from Accel, Premji Invest and others
Media-focussed SaaS, or software-as-a-service, company Amagi has raised $100 million in investment from Accel, Avataar Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, and existing investor Premji Invest. As part of the investment, the venture funds have bought out the stake held by KKR’s Emerald Media and Mayfield Fund.
Nadathur Holdings continues to remain invested in Amagi. Amagi works with broadcast and connected TV media clients such as A+E Networks UK, beIN Sports, CuriosityStream, Discovery Networks, Fox Networks, Fremantle, Tastemade, Tegna, Vice Media, and Warner Media and offers solutions for content creation, distribution, and monetisation. The company will use the funds to expand its global footprint.
Jungle Ventures raises $225 million to invest in India, South Asia startups: Report
Jungle Ventures raised $225 million in the first close of its fourth fund as the venture capital firm seeks to replicate its successes in startups across Southeast Asia and India, Bloomberg News reported. Many of its existing investors including Temasek, International Finance Corp. and German development finance institution DEG, participated in the round.
The new fund has a planned size of $350 million. Since launching its first early-stage fund in 2012, Jungle Ventures has become one of the fastest-growing local VC firms in the city-state with assets under management of about $600 million, the report added.
MODIFI raises $24 million in equity to create global trade management hub for SMEs
Global fintech company MODIFI has raised $24 million in Series B, which brings its valuation to more than $120 million. The round was led by new investor Heliad Equity Partners with a co-investment from Neva SGR, the venture capital investment vehicle of Italy’s leading banking group Intesa San Paolo.
Existing investors also participated significantly, including Global Founders Capital, Maersk Growth and Picus Capital. The funds will be used to grow MODIFI’s digital trade finance platform for SMEs into a global trade management hub. MODIFI’s Indian business has represented 36 percent of the company's financed volume so far in 2021, maintaining the country’s lead as the largest single market for MODIFI.
Pyxis One raises $17 million from Celesta Capital, Premji Invest
Codeless AI-platform Pyxis One has raised $17 million in a Series B funding round co-led by investment firm Celesta Capital and Premji Invest. The round also saw participation from existing investors - pi Ventures, Chiratae Ventures, and Exfinity Venture Partners. The California-based company will use the funds from the round to develop the product and expand in new geographies. So far, the startup has raised $24 million.
Eupheus Learning secures $10M from Lightrock India
B2B edtech startup Eupheus Learning has raised $10 million in Series C funding from private equity firm Lightrock India. The startup plans to use the funds to scale faster, expand geographical reach, pursue acquisitions and expand its product portfolio.
Eupheus Learning is a school-focused distribution platform with a classroom-first curriculum approach. Earlier this year, the company had raised $4.1 million in Series B funding led by Kuwait-based United Education Company (UEC) and Al Rayan Holding Company for domestic and international expansion.
Gemba Capital launches $10 million micro VC Fund; to invest in 24 companies in the next 2 years
Gemba Capital on Wednesday announced the launch of its maiden Micro VC fund of $10 million. The newly launched fund will invest in 24 high potentials, early-stage startups across SaaS, consumer-tech, fintech, and deeptech, with the first cheque of $250,000 and about 35 percent reserve ratio for making follow-on investments, the company said in a statement.
Gemba Capital has been actively investing in the seed and pre-seed rounds in tech startups in India. Out of the 30 portfolio companies, few notable ones include insurtech startup Plum and BimaPe, SleepyCat (D2C mattress); Gripinvest and Strata (fintech); Unnati (agritech); Crejo (edtech); Zuper and ClickPost (SaaS).
Vahan gets $8 million in Series A funding led by Khosla Ventures
Jobs platform for blue-collar workers Vahan has raised $8 million in a Series A round led by Silicon Valley investor Khosla Ventures. The round also saw participation from Bharti Airtel, Pioneer Fund, Spike Ventures, and SHAKTI VC, which counts Google founder Eric Schmidt as one of its limited partners.
Prominent angels and executives including, Paytm founder, Vijay Shekhar Sharma; Verizon Media’s group chief executive officer (CEO), Guru Gowrappan; and Harvard Management Company executive, Kevin Shannon, among others also participated in the round. The startup will use the funds to further scale its recruitment business and build new product offerings for its fast-growing customer base. In the long run, the company aims to enable better livelihoods for the next billion internet users.
BharatAgri gets $6.5 million from Omnivore, India Quotient in Series A
Agritech startup BharatAgri has raised $6.5 million in a Series A round led by agri-focused fund Omnivore. The startup said it will use this Series A funding to expand its subscriber base beyond Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, accelerate the growth of its inputs marketplace, and refine the existing technology offering.
In October 2020, the company had raised an undisclosed amount as part of its pre-Series A funding round Binny Bansal-backed 021 Capital and existing investor India Quotient, Better Capital and Ajay Prabhu. The company plans to launch its Series B round in January 2022. BharatAgri offers farmers an app-based platform for AI-based agronomy services on a paid subscription basis, which increases farm incomes through the systematic implementation of scientific farming techniques.
Healthtech startup Ayu Health secures $6.3 million
Healthcare startup Ayu Health has raised $6.3 million in a Series A funding round from Singapore-headquartered Vertex Ventures and Stellaris Venture Partners. The round also saw participation from serial entrepreneur and angel investor Ashish Gupta, Mamaearth's co-founder Varun Alagh, and Rajat Goel, Founder of Gurugram-based EyeQ Super Speciality Eye Hospitals.
The startup said it will use the funds to expand its hospital network, as well as improve technology solutions, procurement and quality management. Ayu Health also expects to expand its bed capacity to over 5,000 beds across six cities by December 2022, according to the company.
Anar raises $6.2 million in seed round
B2B business networking platform Anar has raised $6.2 million in seed funding co-led by Elevation Capital and Accel India. The round also saw participation from First Cheque and Utsav Somani, iSeed and Partner, AngelList India, along with some of the best engineering and product-centric founders, including Ranjeet Pratap Singh, Co-founder and CEO, Pratilipi, Farid Ahsan, Co-founder, ShareChat, Vidit Aatrey, and Sanjeev Barnwal, co-founders, Meesho, and Shashvat Nakrani, Co-founder, BharatPe. The funds will be used to strengthen its product and tech capabilities, the company said in a statement.
Liquor startup Boutique Spirit Brands raises Rs 80 crore
Liquor startup Boutique Spirit Brands on Thursday said it has raised Rs 80 crore through a combination of equity and debt. The funding round saw participation from TradeCred, IIFL Private Equity, Anicut Angel Fund, Kae capital and investors like Narendra Madhusudan Murkumbi and Vikramaditya Mohan Thapar Family Trust, the company said in a statement. "The investment will help to launch new products, scale-up and expand retail footprint as well services to customers across India," it added.
Hexahealth raises Rs 33 crore from Omidyar, others
Healthcare startup Hexahealth on Tuesday said it has raised Rs 33 crore in funding led by impact investor Omidyar Network and Chiratae Ventures.
The seed funding round, which aims to transform surgery experience for patients, also saw participation from 3one4 Capital, while healthcare professionals like Viren Shetty, Rohit MA and Rehan Khan of Merck India have come in as angel investors.
"Once a patient has been recommended surgery, they struggle with the next steps. Surgery is a stressful time for the patient when they need maximum support," its co-founder Ankur Gigras said, adding the company aspires to be the one-stop platform to cater to a patient's hospitalisation.
Titan Capital leads $340K pre-seed round in WickedGud
WickedGud, a D2C food brand has raised $340,000 in a pre-seed round led by Titan Capital. The round also saw participation angels and marquee investors, including Archana Priyadarshini (Partner at Point One Capital), Gaurav Ahuja (MD at Chrys Capital), Amit Chaudhary (Founder, Lenskart), Aman Gupta and Sameer Mehta (Co-founders, boAt), Harsh Vakharia (Founder, Invideo), and Jorge Fernandez Vidal (Investment Director at Liechtenstein Group).
According to the startup, the proceeds will be used for building the brand across D2C channels and strengthening its team to support initial growth.
FUDR raises $140K from US-based accelerator Expert Dojo
F&B-focused SaaS platform FUDR has raised $140,000 from US-based accelerator Expert Dojo and angel investor Aditya Sanghi. He will be joining the board. The company has also been selected in the summer cohort 2021 run by Expert Dojo.
The company currently works with over 500 F&B outlets across 50 cities to help them generate an annualised GMV of $3 million. It is growing at 25 percent MoM, adding 300 new F&B brands monthly, the company said in a statement. The SaaS platform helps small, medium cafes and casual dining restaurants reach and retain customers through omnichannel engagement and pass benefits of the D2C model.
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