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    Funding Rundown: Bertelsmann to invest $500 million in startups; Google leads $40 million round in Progcap; ah! Ventures launches angel fund & Open Secret raises funds from Ananta Capital

    Funding Rundown: Bertelsmann to invest $500 million in startups; Google leads $40 million round in Progcap; ah! Ventures launches angel fund & Open Secret raises funds from Ananta Capital

    Funding Rundown: Bertelsmann to invest $500 million in startups; Google leads $40 million round in Progcap; ah! Ventures launches angel fund & Open Secret raises funds from Ananta Capital
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    By Aishwarya Anand   IST (Published)


    Funding Rundown brings you a quick wrap of all the best deals struck in the startup space.

    Here’s the lowdown of the top deals from the startup space.
    Bertelsmann to invest $500 million in tech startups, eyes early-stage investments
    Bertelsmann India Investments (BII), the venture capital arm of German media company Bertelsmann, has announced a new fund of around $500 million to invest in new startups as well as follow-on investments.
    Under its Boost 25 strategy, the BII fund plans to invest between 5 billion and 7 billion euros by 2025, with a view to further increasing the group’s level of revenues and profits.
    Additionally, indicating an intent to foray into early-stage investments, the VC firm said that it will look at making select Series A investments.  Bertelsmann is looking to deploy capital across 6-8 companies every year. It plans to focus on investments in the healthtech, enterprisetech, future of work, fintech, agritech, and other sectors, a statement said.
    BII has invested in more than 17 companies and the current portfolio includes the likes of Eruditus, Licious, Shiprocket, Pepperfry, Agrostar, and Lendingkart, among many others. It has invested a total of about $285 million in startups to date.
    Panthera Growth marks first close of $250 million second fund
    Growth investment firm Panthera Growth Partners (PGP) has announced the first close of its second fund. The company has secured commitments for over 50 percent of the $250 million fundraise target.
    The firm expects to secure the total funding by the end of this fiscal year.  The fund will offer up to 100 percent of fund commitments in co-investment opportunities, it said in a statement.
    Singapore-based Panthera will write cheques of approximately $20 million for 10-12 Indian and Southeast Asian startups.
    With the funds, it had backed Zebra Technologies’ Antuit AI, Tata-backed BigBasket, research firm Markets and Markets, B2B marketplace OfBusiness, foodtech FreshMenu, furniture marketplace Pepperfry, D2C women’s lingerie brand Zivame and deeptech startup Medgenome.
    Google leads $40 million round in fintech startup Progcap
    Google has invested in Indian startup Progcap that caters to small and medium-sized businesses, as it raised $40 million in its Series C funding round.
    The funding into Progcap, which serves more than 700,000 small retailers by extending a revolving credit line of $10,000 to $12,500 to them, was led by Creation Investments and Tiger Global.
    Existing investors Sequoia India and Southeast Asia also participated in the round. The fundraise was an extension of the company`s Series C round and values the company at $600 million. Earlier, it raised $30 million from Tiger Global and Creation Investments.
    Progcap said it will use the new funds to support its expansion and accelerate product development. The startup has facilitated credit disbursals worth over Rs 6,500 crore, working with over 7,00,000 small and medium businesses.
    ah! Ventures launches angel fund with Rs 100 crore corpus
    Investment platform ah! Ventures has announced the launch of its maiden angel fund to empower startups with Glocal ambitions.
    The Sebi-registered Category I AIF-VCF-Angel Fund, with a target corpus of Rs 100 crore (about $14 million) and a greenshoe option of up to Rs 50 crore ($6 million), will focus on early-stage, Pre-Series A startups across India.
    While the first close is expected within the next 60 days, the team’s target is to be fully invested by the third year with potential winners. The new fund will be sector-agnostic and aims to invest an average of Rs 3-5 crore each in 30-35 Pre-Series A startups.
    ah! Ventures has invested in several early-stage enterprises across more than 25 sectors in the past, and has a total investment portfolio of over Rs 285 crore ($37 million), 14 exits, and 28 follow-on rounds.
    Mekr raises Rs 5.8 crore in seed round from Better Capital and Titan Capital
    Mekr, one stop source for complete electronics product manufacturing, has raised Rs 5.8 crore from Titan Capital and Better Capital in seed funding round which also witnessed participation from 2AM VC.
    The funds raised will be utilised in strengthening sales, supply chain, tech and project management team and working capital requirements, a statement said.
    The company is currently working for many leading organisations across industries ranging from EV, Fintech, Telecom, IOT, agri-tech and home appliance industries to fulfil their hardware product manufacturing requirements.
    NutriTap raises Rs 4 crore lease finance from Grip Invest
    Retail tech startup NutriTap Technologies has announced that it has signed up with Grip Invest for a leased financing deal of Rs 4 crore.
    As part of the deal, Grip Invest will enable its retail investors/users to lease assets such as smart retail kiosks and other machines needed in running an unmanned 24/7 retail store, providing an opportunity to invest in the retail space.
    NutriTap currently operates more than 250 smart retail kiosks across Tier-1 metro cities. With Grip, it plans to expand it to 12 cities by end of this year.
    hav. raises $400k in a funding round led by StartUp Health
    Rewards based health tech platform hav. has raised $400,000 in a round led by US-based VC StartUp Health.
    The round also saw participation from marquee angels including Sudheer Nair (Chairman, Navio Group), Vijay Seshadri (ex-Board Member, Chargebee), Sudi Navile (Ex-Divisional CIO, Oracle), Shihab Muhammed (Founder, SurveySparrow & ex-Co-Founder, Freshworks), Rahul Nambiar (Board Member, Dentsu Indonesia), Stan Kuruvilla (ex-PayPal) Madhu Bhaskaran (Samagra), Faiz Mohamed Haneef (CEO, NeoITO), Navin Jain (Country Head - Indonesia, Mastercard), Akshit Goyal (JKGA Law), Senu Sam (Founder, Mykare) & K Gopalakrishnan (IAS).
    As per the company, the funds raised will be used for growing the user base and achieving PMF. The company has launched its India operations formally with co-branded cards in partnership with Pine Labs and RuPay. hav. has already clocked 1 million downloads in India and Indonesia.
    Open Secret raises undisclosed funding from Ananta Capital
    Health snack startup Open Secret has raised an undisclosed sum in a Series B funding round led by Ananta Capital. The round also saw participation from existing investors — Sixth Sense Ventures and Matrix Partners India — along with Gautam Kumra, Chairman-Asia, McKinsey & Company.
    The D2C firm plans to use the fresh capital to launch more products, build capacity, strengthen the team, scale up the capabilities in tech, and expand its omnichannel distribution presence, it said in a statement.
    The firm claims to have experienced 10X growth over the past year, driven by strong consumer demand across its expanding portfolio of products.
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