Here’s the lowdown of the top deals from the startup space.
GEM commits $200 mn investment in IPO-bound Instoried
Instoried, an AI pre-publication sentiment analysis tool startup, has received an investment of $200 million from Luxembourg-based private alternative investment group GEM Global Yield (GEM).
The firm has signed an agreement with GEM, under which the latter will provide a Share Subscription Facility of up to $200 million, to be drawn at the option of Instoried, for a 36-month term following a public listing. Instoried seeks to go public via SPAC or traditional IPO.
The announcement comes after the startup raised $8 million in its Series A funding round led by Pritt Investment Partners and 9 Unicorns, last year. The firm said this fresh capital infusion has made it the fastest growing deep tech startup led by a woman founder.
The firm intends to use the fresh capital to expand their global marketing efforts, primarily in the United States, and invest in its technology to add a Google Chrome extension, a WordPress plug-in, and other elements to its product portfolio. Instoried is actively looking to add US based roles including head of sales, growth hacking, and operations.
Additionally, the team has aggressive plans to grow its executive team and presence to double down on their mission to help writers, marketing agencies, students, professionals and more to use Instoried to write more empathetic, original, and more lively content.
For the India market, Instoried said it will focus on hiring for leadership and technology roles, develop the tech stack to launch their own content generation tool and invest in marketing in India and Asia markets.
P2P rural commerce startup Rozana bags $2.5 mn in pre-Series A round
Social commerce platform Rozana has raised $2.5 million in a pre-Series A funding round co-led by 3one4 Capital and Europe’s IEG-Investment Banking Group.
The round also saw participation from notable angel investors like Manisha Girotra, CEO, Moelis and Board Member, Prosus (formerly Nasper) and SK Jain, Co-Founder, Sequoia & Westbridge Capital.
The funds will primarily be used to strengthen the platform’s tech capabilities and further expand Rozana’s presence in targeted geographies across the country including Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Karnataka, the startup said in a statement.
Rozana is a full-stack tech solution that enables micro entrepreneurs to give wider, innovative and competitive offerings to their end users. The entrepreneurs use the platform to onboard customers, share latest deals and help them place online orders, making last mile delivery efficient.
The platform said it is working on a roadmap to onboard 300 million users in the next 2 to 3 years. In nine months, Rozana has reached over 4 lakh households and is working on a steady month-on-month growth, the firm added.
D2C food brand WickedGud raises $1 mn from Mumbai Angels and others
D2C food brand WickedGud has secured $1 million in a seed round led by Mumbai Angels and other marquee investors.
Mumbai Angels has invested $350,000 as part of their portfolio expansion initiative backing promising and high potential startups. Rest of the investment was made by NB Ventures, Dholakia Ventures, Jalaj Dani Family Office, Ashutosh Valani and Priyank Shah (Founders -- Renee Cosmetics, ex-Beardo), Ravi Shroff (MD -- Excel Industries Ltd), Ravi Nigam (ex-MD -- Tasty Bite), Ashwini Deshpande (Co-founder -- Elephant Design), Jorge Fernandez Vidal (Investment Director -- Liechtenstein Group) and Akshay Gurnani (CEO -- Schbang), among others.
As per the firm, the fresh capital will be used for brand and community building across D2C channels, acquiring more customers online, strengthening the core team and international expansion.
“Packaged food companies are displaying mere tokenism across multiple categories. Our aim is to build a large, clean-label, comfort food brand with ambitious aspirations of disrupting global markets,” said Bhuman Dani, Founder, WickedGud.
HR tech startup InCruiter raises debt funding from GetVantage
Interview as a Service (IaaS) based HR tech startup InCruiter has raised an undisclosed amount of funds in the revenue-based funding (RBF) round, led by GetVantage.
The debt funding round is aimed at helping the company move on an exponential growth trajectory, the firm said in a statement. The company plans to allocate the fresh capital for product development and is also planning to release multiple products in the HRTech segment by June.
“With the recently acquired funds, we will be adding new products to our existing portfolio to build the hiring solutions for the next billions,” said Anil Agarwal, co-founder of InCruiter.
The company claims to have grown sevenfold in the last three months in terms of expanding its team from four members in December 2020 to more than 35 members in the last 10 months. It is planning to grow its team size to 100 members by March 2023.
InCruiter has clocked a revenue of $250,000 in FY20-21 during the COVID-19 pandemic and crossed over $1 million in FY22. The company has partnered with large-scale corporates and planning to generate a revenue of over $5 million in the next one year, it said in a statement.