Here's a lowdown of the top deals from the startup universe.
CarDekho turns unicorn with $250 million fundraise
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Car search platform CarDekho has announced a $250 million round of funding that included $200 million Series E equity and $50 million debt in its pre-IPO round. With the latest fundraising, CarDekho joins the unicorn club with a valuation of $1.2 billion. The funding round was led by LeapFrog Investments, a global impact investor focused on financial services and healthcare access.
It is the largest fundraise by CarDekho and the company said the proceeds will be used to accelerate CarDekho’s growth in the Used Car transactions, financial services and insurance businesses, and to build product and technology functions, increase brand awareness, and expand into new markets. CarDekho team is currently present in India, Indonesia and the Philippines and aims to use the funds to expand internationally. The company’s auto and non-auto products are currently used in more than 30 countries globally.
Digital payment service MobiKwik turns unicorn ahead of IPO
Fintech platform MobiKwik's valuation has crossed the $1 billion mark, making it the 33rd Indian start-up to become a unicorn this year. The development comes after MobiKwik’s staff exercised their employee stock ownership plan (Esop) in a secondary sale. The sale was led by Mathew Cyriac, former Blackstone India head.
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According to media reports, Cyriac bought shares at almost twice the price he had invested in the start-up earlier this year. Earlier this week, the startup received Sebi's go-ahead to roll out a Rs 1,900 crore initial public offering (IPO). In its draft red herring prospectus (DRHP), MobiKwik had revealed that it reserved 4.5 million equity shares for Esop. Its public offering is expected to hit the market before Diwali.
D2C brand Fraazo raises $50 million in Series B round: Reports
D2C brand in the fresh fruits and vegetable category Fraazo has raised $50 million in a Series B funding round led by WestBridge Capital. Existing investors Sixth Sense Ventures, Equanimity Investments, Apar Group, along with leading Indian family offices, including Manish Choksi of Asian Paints, also participated in the funding round.
As per reports, the funding round is a mix of equity and debt. After witnessing 5X growth over the last quarter, Fraazo is gearing up to reach 10 million monthly orders in the next 12-18 months. It aims to create a network of over 500 dark stores across the top 15 cities.
Melorra secures $24 million in fresh funding
D2C jewellery brand Melorra has raised $24 million, as part of a fresh funding round, from 9Unicorns, Symphony International Holdings Limited, Value Quest, Venture Catalysts, Param Capital and family offices. The fresh capital raised will be used to upgrade the company's technology stack, ramp up brand marketing, and expand Melorra’s experience centres across India, the company said in a statement.
"We will be focusing on enhancing our operations and marketing and expansion of our experience centre footprint across the country," said Saroja Yeramilli, founder and chief executive officer (CEO), Melorra. The brand has delivered to over 2,700 towns in India so far and clocked 200 percent year-on-year growth, Melorra said in a statement.
SaaS startup Toch.ai bags $11.75 million in Series A round
AI-driven SaaS platform Toch.ai has raised $11.75 million of funding in a Series A round led by Moneta Ventures, Baring Private Equity India, Binny Bansal, Ventureast, 9Unicorns, Anthill Ventures, Cathexis Ventures, SOSV, Artesian, and Innoven Capital.
As per the startup, the fresh funds will be used to scale up its technology infrastructure and venture expansion into global markets with a specific focus on foreign markets. Founded in 2016, Toch uses artificial intelligence technology to process video content including live sporting events, television shows, or library-based content, automatically and instantly.
Fintech startup Niro gets $3.5 million from Elevar Equity
Niro, a consumer lending focused fintech startup, has raised $3.5 million (around Rs 26 crore) in a seed funding round led by Elevar Equity. The round also saw participation from Kunal Shah of Cred, Nitin Gupta, Bala Parthasarathy, the Patni Family Office, R. Ramaraj, and Aseem Dhru among others The company will use the funds to expand the team and develop their offerings. Founded in March, Niro will provide embedded credit products to consumer internet brands, who can then offer it to their customers.
Blockchain startup Arcana gets $2.3 million from Republic Crypto, Woodstock & others
Blockchain startup Arcana Network has raised $2.3 million in a funding round led by Republic Crypto and Woodstock Fund. Other investors such as Digital Currency Group (DCG), Hyperedge, Sahil Lavingia's shl.vc, Fenbushi Capital, LD Capital, and Paradigm Shift VC. also participated in the round. The round also saw participation from Ganesh Swami, CEO of Covalent, Ajeet Khurana, Buidlers Tribe, Nishal Shetty of WazirX, Ajit Tripathi from Aave, along with Arcana’s seed investors AU21 and Arcanum Capital who’ve also invested in this round.
With this fundraise, the company expects to expand its squad, strengthen its product portfolio and soon launch Arcana’s XAR token apart from investing in community building. Founded in 2019, Arcana Network aims to be the most developer-friendly decentralized storage option amongst the other storage platforms such as IPFS, Filecoin, Storj, Sia… and gives developers a privacy stack in addition to storage to help apps securely manage data with complete privacy preservation.
Inflection Point Ventures invests Rs 11.6 crore in AnKa SumMor
B2B supply chain startup AnKa SumMor has raised Rs 11.6 crore in Pre-Series A funding round led by Inflection Point Ventures. Angel investors like Pratul Shroff from Waao Partners, Brijesh Agrawal of IndiaMart, and others have also participated in the round. According to the company, the funds will be primarily deployed into geographical expansion, building its tech stack and to enhance its capabilities.
The startup will also invest in increasing infrastructure and resources to increase the number of outlets serviced to deliver growth for brand partners. In April, AnKa SumMor raised Rs 3 crore as a part of its pre-Series A round and now with this new additional investment of Rs 8.6 crore the round is closed at Rs 11.6 crore.
Edtech startup Playto Labs gets Rs 4 crore in seed funding from IPV
Edtech startup Playto Labs has raised over Rs4 crore in a seed round led by Inflection Point Ventures. The round also saw individual participation from partners of the upcoming fund Disruptors Capital, including Raj Snehil Juneja (Chief Investment Officer), Krishna Kumar (Founder, Simplilearn), Kunal Walia (Founder, Simpliwork), and Shashwat Kumar (Managing Partner, Khetal Advisors), and entrepreneurs including Tonmoy Shingal and Ketan Kapoor (Founders, Mettl), Sachin Sharma (Founder, Townscript), Rajesh Razdan (Founder, Devtron Labs), and Kuldeep Dhankar (SVP, CleverTap) among others.
The funds raised will be used in building a strong team and expanding its customer base, the company said in a statement. Playto Labs has a combination of hardware toys and online 1-1 sessions with teachers who act as facilitators. Their pedagogy makes students feel like they are playing while studying. Within a year of launching, Playto Labs' products for kids already have to pay customers from 33 countries, and have seen strong month-on-month growth, the firm added.
Wiingy raises $400K in angel round
Robotics edtech startup Wiingy has bagged $400,000 in an angel funding round. The round saw participation from investors such as Aroa Ventures (Family Office of Oyo Founder Ritesh Agarwal), Abhinav Sinha (Global Chief Operating Officer, OYO), Maninder Gulati (Global, Chief Strategy Officer, OYO), Kavikrut (Chief Growth Officer, OYO), Rohit Kapoor (CEO, India-South-East Asia, OYO) and Ashish Goel (Founder CEO, Urban Ladder), along with Vineet Nanda (Founder Sift Capital) and Manish Chopra (Global Leader, Genpact).
According to Wiingy, the fresh capital will be used to develop, scale its robotics kits supply chain, and build an early team with technology, product, teaching, and design skills. The company provides robotics kits and 1:1 live classes on coding and advanced sciences for children aged between 5-15 years.
(Edited by : Jomy Jos Pullokaran)