Here’s the lowdown of the top deals from the startup space.
Ather Energy raises $128 mn funding from India's sovereign wealth fund
Electric two-wheeler maker Ather Energy has raised $128 million in a funding round led by India's sovereign wealth fund National Investment and Infrastructure Fund Limited's (NIIFL) Strategic Opportunities Fund (SOF), and Hero MotoCorp among others.
This is NIIFL's first direct investment in the manufacturing sector and in electric mobility.
The company plans to use the funds raised to expand its manufacturing facilities, invest in research and development, charging infrastructure and to grow its retail network.
Vivriti Capital raises $30 mn from TVS Capital as part of Series C round
Vivriti Capital, a lender to mid-market enterprises, has raised an additional $30 million as part of its Series C round from TVS Capital Funds. The investment was made through TVS Capital Funds' TVS Shriram Growth Fund 3.
The Chennai-based company had already raised $55 million in the first close of its Series C funding in March, from existing investors Lightrock and Creation Investments. This infusion takes the total amount of funds raised by the company from external investors to $195 million.
The firm said it will deploy the funds between Vivriti Capital and its subsidiary Vivriti Asset Management, which manages closed-ended debt funds investing in mid-sized corporates. The purpose of the equity raise is to focus on the vast opportunity in the mid-market debt space, where Vivriti Capital and Vivriti Asset Management have emerged as the only credible players, bringing global and domestic investors to mid-sized enterprises at scale, the company added.
The funds will also be utilised for business expansion, as well as technology for customer acquisition, product delivery and portfolio management.
“The Indian performing credit space has displayed great potential, especially in the months following the pandemic. The latest round of funding will enable us to deepen our engagement with our clients as well as invest in technology and product development,” said Vineet Sukumar, Founder and CEO, Vivriti Capital and Vivriti Asset Management.
Tiger Global invests $10 mn in FMCG wholesale platform ApnaKlub
FMCG wholesale platform ApnaKlub has bagged $10 million in its Series A funding round led by Tiger Global. In August 2021, the firm had raised $4 million from Sequoia India’s Surge, Blume Ventures, Whiteboard Capital and Flourish Ventures.
ApnaKlub focuses on social sellers and Kirana-store owners from tier 2 and tier 3 cities. The funding will be used to deepen infrastructure in key states, expand the platform from 5000 to 20,000 partners and build out the credit product, it said in a statement.
“This is a $100 billion consumption market and ApnaKlub’s approach addresses the pain points of 40 percent of the market. With ApnaKlub, wholesalers increase profits and sale volumes by winning over a large share of their customer’s wallet and get access to over 1000 SKUs. New wholesalers get training, inside knowledge of the market and a zero money investment model,” said Manish, Co-founder and COO, ApnaKlub.
AIF expands to Africa; invests in re-commerce startup Badili
Artha India Ventures (AIV), has forayed into Africa after making an undisclosed investment into Kenya-based online buy-back platform for smartphones Badili. With this, AIF’s international investments have gone up to 11 across Israel, the USA and now Africa, and the overall total investments to 75.
The company now aims to expand its investment portfolio across 7-8 countries across the African continent and will invest in 25 more startups by 2024, with a cumulative fund allocation of over $20 million in Africa through direct, GP, LP and syndicated investments, it said in a statement.
AIV will invest in seed to series A rounds across fintech and lending, media infrastructure and consumer-tech sectors, depending on the proposition at hand, it added.
“We have received a tremendous response from the African startup ecosystem and look forward to investing in 4 to 5 Africa-focused startups every year. Moreover, we are not limited to seed rounds and have expanded our investment strategy to include pre-series A and series A rounds for this important continent,” said Anirudh A Damani, Director, Artha India Ventures.
BLinC Invest marks final close of Fund-II at Rs 100 crore
Venture capital firm BLinC Invest has announced the final closure of its Fund II at Rs 100 crore.
Fund-II saw participation from Indian and global limited partners (LPs who are sponsors in the fund) across various categories including high net worth individuals, family offices, corporates, and institutional investors.
The Mumbai-based firm plans to make 5-7 investments across edtech and fintech startups, with an average cheque size of Rs 10-20 crore.
Last year in April, BLinC Invest announced the launch of a Rs 100-crore SEBI registered Category-II Alternative Investment Fund (AIF) and its first close of Rs30 crore. The Fund has also made its first investment in an Insurtech startup, Vital, and led its Series A round.
Fintech startup BharatX raises $4.5M from Y Combinator and others
Fintech startup BharatX has raised $4.5 million in a seed funding round led by Y Combinator, 8i Ventures, Multiply Ventures, Soma Capital and other investors. Existing investor Java Capital along with several angels also participated in the round.
The funds raised will be used to build and expand the team, enhance and develop the product further and for market expansion, the startup said in a statement.
Powered with a “credit approval rate” of 45 – 55%, BharatX aims to increase the credit stack on offer by launching new product verticals such as UPI Credit, Pay in 3 and 15/30 day cycle products like Credit Cards, it added.
ParallelDots gets $4.5 mn in Series A round from by Btomorrow Ventures
ParallelDots, an AI company that offers advanced image recognition solutions to CPG manufacturers and retailers, has raised $4.5 million in Series A funding round led by Btomorrow Ventures, the corporate venture arm of BAT.
The round also saw participation from existing investor Multipoint Capital. The investment will help the company accelerate its product development roadmap and fuel global expansion.
ParallelDots will also use the fresh capital for product innovations that bring simplicity, leverage evolving technology, and harness the power of artificial intelligence to help CPG manufacturers grow and navigate digital disruption better. ParallelDots aims to invest in new talent and expand its team across all verticals.
Bytebeam raises $3 mn seed round from Together Fund, Accel and STRIVE VC
Bytebeam, a company that focuses on simplifying IoT product management, has raised a seed round of $3 million from Together Fund, Accel and STRIVE VC.
The round also saw participation from AdvantEdge VC backed by the Motherson Group, Phanindra Sama, Founder of Redbus, Tanmai Gopal, Co-founder of Hasura, Vimal Kumar, Founder of Juspay, Mekin Maheshwari, Ex-CPO at Flipkart, Deepak Anchala, Founder of Slintel, Aakrit Vaish, Founder of Jio Haptik, and other angel investors.
The funds raised will be deployed towards building technical expertise in the team, evolving the platform offering and establishing a business with reach across verticals like Electric mobility, agri tech, drone tech, smart appliances and more, the startup said.
Fanztar secures Rs 5 crore from India Quotient, ShareChat founders
Fanztar, a web3 platform for the creator economy has secured Rs 5 crore in seed funding round led by India Quotient.
The fundraise also saw participation from ShareChat Founders - Ankush Sachdeva, Bhanu Pratap Singh & Farid Ahsan along with Sarthak Misra (Softbank India), Manohar Charan (CFO, ShareChat) and Tarsame Mittal (TM Ventures).
The startup intends to utilize the funds towards product development to cater to the evolving market demands. Additionally, the Web3 platform will also expand their technology and business teams and empower breakthrough creators across the nation. Fanztar will also allocate the funds towards product innovation and launching the industry-led product in the market to drive the future of creator monetization, it said.
Cloutflow raises seed funding from Aroa Ventures
Cloutflow, an open platform for influencer marketing has raised an undisclosed investment from Aroa Ventures, an investment initiative of Ritesh Agarwal's family office.
The fresh capital will be used for the advancement of technology, ramping up of marketing initiatives and attracting new talent and to scale up brand expansion to meet market demands, the firm said.
The company said it has fulfilled the influencer marketing needs of more than 20 percent of the top 100 D2C brands in India and has also collaborated with over 100k+ creators for various brand campaigns.