Here’s a lowdown of the top deals from the startup space.
Dataloop gets $33M in Series B round from NGP Capital and Alpha Wave Ventures
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Dataloop, an AI data management and annotation platform has raised $33 million in a s Series B funding round led by NGP Capital and Alpha Wave Ventures.
Existing investors including Amiti Ventures, F2 Venture Capital, and global crowdfunding venture firm, OurCrowd, also participated in the round.
The brings the company’s total fundraise to $50 million. The startup will use the capital to expand globally, specifically by building teams in the US, Europe, and India, a statement said.
“The Dataloop platform helps businesses of any size to move their AI project into production from start to finish. We are working to break through the limitations of AI development and create efficient workflows, easy-to-use management systems, and accurate annotation tools, so teams of all industries can use them,” said Eran Shlomo, CEO of Dataloop.
8i Ventures announces first close of its second fund at $25M
Early stage venture capital firm 8i ventures has marked the first close of its second fund at $25 million. The company expects to mark the final close of the $50 million fund, which was announced in 2021, by March 2023.
The VC firm got investments for 8i Ventures Fund-II largely from family offices like Salgaocars and Kothari (DSP), who also invested in 8i Venture’s first fund, it said in a statement.
8i ventures will invest in early stages B2B fintech startups and e-commerce enablers and will sign average cheques of $1.5 million - $2 million. However, this could go up to $10 million across subsequent rounds, the company added.
“Our key insight when we launched Fund I, was that consumer payments and commerce is a trillion-dollar opportunity. Since then, digital payments have swelled from US$200 billion a year to US$720 billion now. With Fund II, we have an added focus on B2B fintech and commerce - which we believe to be the next trillion-dollar market in India,” said Vikram Chachra, Founding Partner, 8i Ventures.
8i ventures has backed startups like fintech unicorn Slice, M2P Fintech, Blue Tokai, among others. The VC firm said it gave 36x returns to its LPs on its two-year-old seed investment in M2P Fintech.
The Sleep Company raises Rs 177 Cr in Series B funding round
The Sleep Company, an online retailer of mattresses, has bagged Rs 177 crores in a Series B funding round led by Premji Invest and Fireside Ventures. The round also saw participation from venture debt fund Alteria Capital.
The startup will use the capital for brand building, omnichannel and international expansion, and strengthening its team to build a global business, a statement said. The firm is looking to expand across Japan, the UK, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The brand added that it has been growing 400 percent year-on-year and is eyeing the Rs 1000 crore in revenue within the next five years.
“We have just touched the tip of the iceberg and our R&D team is relentless in their pursuit of further innovations. Needless to say, part of this investment will be dedicated to product and technology development, which is key to meeting our larger goal of changing the way the world sleeps and sits,” said Priyanka Salot, Co-founder, The Sleep Company.
Microsoft-backed Affle invests Rs 130 Cr in CashKaro
CashKaro, a cashback and coupons app, has receives Rs 130 crore in a Series C funding round led by Affle Global.
With the addition of this round, CashKaro has thus far raised over Rs 255 crore from prominent investors such as Kalaari Capital, Ratan Tata, Korea Investment Partners and more.
The company plans to use the money to develop new products and technologies, as well as to expand the CashKaro and EarnKaro brands, a statement said.
“We are excited to welcome AGPL as our shareholder. This investment would strategically strengthen our unique Business-to-Consumer (B2C) engagement model as we scale CashKaro from our current 20 million user base to 100 million+ over the next few years," said Rohan Bhargava, co-founder, CashKaro and EarnKaro.
"This deal will augment our position as the largest savings destination in India that provides the best deals, price comparison, coupons and highest Cashback to our members and enable us to offer more data driven solutions to online shoppers in India," he added.
Today, the company claims to have almost 20 million members and is affiliated with more than 1,500 e-commerce sites including the likes of Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra, Mamaearth, Boat, Tata 1mg and Nykaa. In FY22, CashKaro said it drove gross merchandise value worth Rs 4,000 crores to these partners.
SolarSquare raises Rs 100 Cr Series A round from Elevation Capital, Lowercarbon
Solar installation and financing startup SolarSquare has raised Rs 100 Crore in a Series A round led by Elevation Capital and Lowercarbon, Chris Sacca’s climate-tech fund.
The round also saw participation from existing investors Good Capital, Zerodha’s Rainmatter and angel investors such as Vidit Atrey and Sanjeev Barnwal of Meesho.
The startup will use the fresh capital to expand operations pan-India in the next 18-24 months. Currently the company operates in Bengaluru, Delhi, Gujarat, Hyderabad, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. SolarSquare plans to invest extensively towards launching its in-house NBFC to give 5-min loan approvals to residential solar buyers.
It also plans to develop a consumer app for monitoring solar electricity generation, back-end technology dashboard for customer service, and apps for sales partners.
Hitwicket raises $3M from Prime Venture Partners
Prime Venture Partners has made an investment of $3 million in Hitwicket, a multiplayer cricket gaming app, marking its first investment in the gaming sector.
The startup will use the fresh funds to add more features that revolve around multiplayer access where gamers can strategize in real-time and play against each other, it said in a statement. Hitwicket is looking to venture into NFTs & Blockchain gaming and plans to make India a prime hub for e-sports championships.
The firm has also launched ‘Hitwicket Superstars’ that allows gamers don the hat of a team manager.
The app has over three million gamers across 100 countries with more than 30 percent users from outside India and from over 200 cities in India. It logs 1.3 million minutes of game play each day, with an average user session lasting 45 minutes as opposed to the global average of 23 minutes.
BattRE secures seed capital from investors led by Agility Ventures and others
BattRE a two-wheeler electric mobility startup has raised an undisclosed capital in its seed funding round from a group of investors led by Agility Ventures along with former Tata Motors’ top executive, Gajendra Chandel.
“Our electric two-wheelers (E2W) are riding on our strategic differentiators – deep distribution, competitive pricing with advanced features. With our ‘ahead-of-the-curve’ products, we aim to reach every Indian district by 2025. The seed fund will help us plan and execute this goal and enable the next phase of our growth,” said Nishchal Choudhary, Founder and CEO, BattRE.
The company aims to clock a Rs 1000 crore revenue by 2025. Currently, the startup has a network of 400 plus dealerships in 21 states and 276 towns, across the country.
First Published: IST