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    Funding Rundown: Apollo.io gets $110 million in Series C round, Pocket FM bags $65 million, Mela Ventures closes maiden fund at Rs 320 crore & Ninjacart launches $25 million Agri Seed Fund

    Funding Rundown: Apollo.io gets $110 million in Series C round, Pocket FM bags $65 million, Mela Ventures closes maiden fund at Rs 320 crore & Ninjacart launches $25 million Agri Seed Fund

    Funding Rundown: Apollo.io gets $110 million in Series C round, Pocket FM bags $65 million, Mela Ventures closes maiden fund at Rs 320 crore & Ninjacart launches $25 million Agri Seed Fund
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    By Aishwarya Anand   IST (Updated)

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    Funding Rundown brings you the lowdown of all the best deals in the startup space

    Here’s a lowdown of the top deals from the startup space this week.
    Apollo.io gets $110M in Series C round from Sequoia Capital and others
    B2B sales intelligence and engagement platform Apollo.io, has raised a $110 million Series C round led by Sequoia Capital along with existing investors Tribe Capital, Nexus Venture Partners, and NewView Capital.
    The fresh capital will be used by the startup to accelerate its product-led growth, increasing its investment in product and engineering by nearly 300%, it said in a statement.
    The firm claims that its annual recurring revenue (ARR) has nearly tripled in the past 12 months.
    Pocket FM bags $65M in Series C funding round
    Audio OTT platform Pocket FM has raised $65 million in a Series C funding round led by Goodwater Capital, Naver, and an existing investor - Tanglin Venture Partners.
    The freshly raised capital will be invested in strengthening its leadership position, expanding into new languages, investing in AI capabilities, and building the largest audio creator community, the startup said.
    The platform offers 100,000+ hours of enriching long-format content, audio series, stories, novels, podcasts, and knowledge shows in 8 languages. It currently has over 50 million users and 3 billion+ monthly listening minutes.
    Mela Ventures closes its maiden fund at Rs 320 Crore
    Early-stage venture capital firm Mela Ventures has marked the close of its maiden fund MV Core Tech Fund-1 at Rs 320 crore, exceeding its initial target by 1.6x times.
    The capital commitments were made by a diverse group of global investors, government institutions, tech professionals, and family offices — including investments from Nippon India Digital Innovation AIF (NIDIA) and SIDBI Fund of Funds for Startups, the company said in a statement.
    With this fund corpus, the Fund expects to invest in 14-18 startups. It has already invested in four startups and will be investing in three more in the next 30-45 days. The ticket size of the investment per company that Mela Ventures will make is around $1.5 million to $2 million, it said in a statement.
    Accel raises $650 million for new fund: Report
    Early-stage venture capital firm Accel has launched a $650 million seventh fund to back startups across India and Southeast Asia, according to a report by the Economic Times.
    The new fund comes three years after it raised up $550 million. The VC firm will continue to focus on early, seed and pre-seed stage startups, the report added.
    The total commitments for Accel in the region have now crossed $2 billion, ET said.
    Volopay raises $29 million in Series A from Winklevoss twins and global decacorn
    Corporate cards and payable management start-up, Volopay, announced on March 1 that it had raised $29 million in Series A, a mix of equity and debt, from the Winklevoss twins - Cameron and Tyler along with a global decacorn among others to enter the Indian market.
    The round included participation from JAM Fund, Winklevoss Capital Management, Accial Capital, Rapyd Ventures, fintech veterans Jeffrey Cruttenden - CEO of Acorns, Sweta Rau - Founder of White Ventures, Amrish Rau - CEO of Pine Labs and Jitendra Gupta - Founder & CEO of Jupiter, along with Antler Global and VentureSouq.
    The part of Series A funds will be put towards their forthcoming market launches, building and innovating new technology to complement their existing product.
    Ninjacart launches $25 million Agri Seed Fund
    Agritech platform Ninjacart has launches a $25 million Agri Seed Fund - to support emerging and new-age startups in the agriculture sector.
    With an aim to boost tech innovation and accelerate disruption, Ninjacart will make seed investments in startups, entrepreneurs and tech innovators who present unique, sustainable and tech-enabled solutions, it said in a statement. In addition, the firm will also invest in teams that have great tech abilities but may lack a solution or an idea at the moment.
    Along with capital support, Ninjacart will also lend these budding startups access to the agri-platforms extensive technology infrastructure and data pools as well as growth-stage advisory support, the company added.
    Live tutoring startup Filo gets $23 million in Series A funding from Anthos Capital
    Instant live tutoring startup Filo has raised $23 million in Series A round led by Anthos Capital. The round also saw participation from existing investor Better Capital along with GSV, Sapling Capital, and several angel investors.
    The startup said it will use the funds primarily for product development as it goes deeper into modeling pedagogy at scale, expanding the team, tapping new categories, and scaling its tutor base across the country.
    In the next 12 months, the platform plans to onboard over 200,000 tutors across India and conduct 2 million live classes every day, it said.
    Education focused fintech startup Kuhoo raises $20 million seed fund from WestBridge Capital
    Student loan fintech platform Kuhoo has raised $20 million in its seed funding round led by WestBridge Capital.
    With the institutional funding, the startup said it is looking to partner banks and non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) as well as top colleges to provide credit to students.
    Kuhoo provides digital loans to students applying to universities in India and abroad. At present, it focuses on providing loans for higher education courses, including engineering, business administration, executive education, online courses, among others.
    Menswear brand DaMENSCH bags $16.4 million in Series B round, aims to hit 3x growth by FY23
    Men’s clothing D2C brand DaMENSCH has bagged $16.4 million in its series B funding round led by A91 Partners. Existing investors Saama Capital, Matrix Partners and Whiteboard Capital also participated in the round.
    As per the startup, the fresh funds will be used to make investments in technology and to strengthen and diversify the product portfolio.
    “Our products are addressing a big white space in the wardrobe of the modern man. We have clocked 100Cr ARR in 2021 making us the fastest D2C apparel brand to reach this milestone, on the back of our strong consumer proposition”, said Anurag Saboo, Co- founder DaMENSCH.
    Sixth Sense Ventures invests $10 million in supply chain startup Prozo
    Supply chain and warehousing startup Prozo has raised $10 million (Rs 76 crore) in its Series-A funding round led by Sixth Sense Ventures.  Jafco Asia and several HNIs also participated in the funding round.
    As per the company, the funds will be used to expand Prozo’s warehousing and fulfillment footprint, client base, and technology and analytics capability.
    Prozo provides end-to-end supply chain solutions that helps them replicate Amazon Prime’s promise of same day or next day delivery to to SMEs, D2C brands and Enterprises. The firm’s clientele list includes Reliance JioMart, McGraw Hill, Lavie, WinMagic Toys and others.
    Fintech company Snapmint bags $9 million in Series A round
    Snapmint, a fintech startup has raised $9 million in its Series A funding from a clutch of marquee investors and industry leaders led by Prashasta Seth, CEO and CIO of Prudent Investment Managers.
    The round also saw the participation of 9 Unicorns, Anicut Capital, Negen Capital, Livspace founder Ramakant Sharma, Usama Fayyad - Chairman of Open Insights and head of Institute for Experiential AI at Northeastern University, among other angel investors.
    With this round of investment, the startup plans to expand its network of merchants, launch a suite of innovative BNPL products and power the purchases of over 450 million consumers in India, it said.
    Decentralized exchange Dexalot secures $7 million from Avalanche’s Blizzard Fund
    Decentralized exchange Dexalot has raised $7 million in a funding round led by Avalanche’s Blizzard Fund.
    Other investors including Avalaunch, GSR, Muhabbit Capital, Republic Capital, Woodstock Capital, Maven Capital, Colony, IPC, Avascan, Benqi, and AVentures, also participated in the round.
    The funds will help Dexalot increase its footprint in the Avalanche ecosystem and help solve some of the current inefficiencies, the firm said in a statement.
    Junio raises $6 million in Pre-Series A round led by NB Ventures
    Digital payments and kids pocket money app has raised $6 million in Pre-Series A funding round, led by UAE-based firm NB Ventures and Rajiv Dadlani Group.
    The fintech startup intends to utilize the freshly raised capital to bolster its team, roll out new product features, and scale up customer acquisition initiatives, it said in a statement.
    In 2021, Junio raised $2 million in funding from marquee angel investors such as Kunal Shah and Yashish Dahiya, Venture Catalysts, and family offices led by the Rajiv Dadlani Group.
    Investor Radhesh Kanumury launches Suvan Ventures to back B2B and SaaS startups
    Industry veteran and former managing partner at Arka Venture Labs, Radhesh Kanumury is launching a new venture fund, Suvan Ventures. The fund will be focused on B2B early-stage and Indian cross-border SaaS startups.
    The fund size is expected to be $10-15 million, making 20-25 investments, a statement said.
    Suvan Ventures will identify and invest in companies early in their lifecycle and help them scale by providing mentoring, as well as invaluable connections to investors, partners, subject matter experts, system integrators and potential customers, it added.
     
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