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Funding rundown: Groww raises $251 mn, Teachmint bags $78 mn, Clear raises $75 mn


Here's a rundown on the start-ups that have raised funds

Funding rundown: Groww raises $251 mn, Teachmint bags $78 mn, Clear raises $75 mn
A lowdown of the top deals from the start-up space:
Groww raises $251 mn in Series E funding led by Iconiq Growth
Wealth management and investment start-up Groww has raised $251 million as part of its Series E funding round, led by Iconiq Growth, tripling its valuation to $3 billion.
The round also saw participation from investors like Alkeon, Lone Pine Capital and Steadfast. Existing investors, including Sequoia Capital, Ribbit Capital, YC Continuity, Tiger Global and Propel Venture Partners, too invested in the round.
With this fresh influx of funds, the company is looking to expand its technology infra and widen its reach to under-penetrated regions. It will also be using the funds in creating financial education and spreading awareness about investment products, Groww said in a statement.
Edtech start-up Teachmint bags $78 mn in Series B investments
Education infrastructure start-up Teachmint has secured $78 million in Series B round led by and Vulcan Capital.
New investors such as Goodwater Capital and Epiq Capital also joined existing investors like Learn Capital, CM Ventures, Lightspeed India and Better Capital in this round. The latest fundraising takes the 16-month old start-up’s raise to $118 million.
The start-up said that it will use the funds to strengthen its proprietary classroom technology and also to expand to international markets. The ed-infra platform has a user base of over 10 million in India and has plans to scale this to over 100 million users globally in the near term.
The company aims to grow its teams and hire skilled talent across products, technology and design. Teachmint wants to double its workforce in the next six months, and stated that it will announce its ESOP buyback plan to reward and recognise the contributions of the team.
Fintech startup Clear raises $75 mn in Series C round; eyes global expansion
Fintech start-up Clear (previously known as ClearTax) has raised $75 million as part of its Series C fundraise, led by Kora Capital, with global fintech Stripe, Alua Capital, and Think Investments participating in the round.
US-based Stripe’s investment in Clear comes just days after it made its first acquisition in India of reconciliation software provider Recko.
The company said it will use the funds to accelerate expansion into B2B credit and payments segments as well as to expand into the international market. Clear also aims to take its product suite to the international market, which is also witnessing similar shifts in payments and credit. It aims to serve more than 10,000 large enterprises and 10 million small businesses over the next couple of years.
The fintech’s SaaS platform has witnessed a 5X growth in the last 18 months and added more than 3,000 large enterprise customers, it said. It saw a surge in usage with over one million small businesses on the platform, stated the company in a statement. ‍It currently processes 10 percent of India’s business invoices with a GMV of over $400 billion, the company said in a statement.
Logistics firm Porter raises Rs 750 cr from Tiger Global and others
Tech-based, on-demand, intra-city logistics company Porter has raised ​Rs 750 crore in its Series E funding round, led by Tiger Global Management and Vitruvian Partners, with participation from existing investors Sequoia Capital India and Lightrock India.
The company said in a statement on Monday it will leverage this capital infusion to consolidate its position, focus on acquiring talent and expanding operations to enter the top 35 cities of India by 2023.
Porter said it now has presence in 13 cities across India with more than 50 lakh customers, and two lakh-plus owner-drivers on board.
BharatPe raises Rs 100 cr in debt from MAS Financial Services
Fintech unicorn BharatPe has raised Rs 100 crore (about $14 million) in debt from MAS Financial Services.
This is the eighth round of debt fundraise for the company in 2021. BharatPe has raised over Rs 600 crore (about $84 million) in debt this year, the company said.
"BharatPe has been bullish about its lending vertical, having clocked 10x growth in the last financial year. In total, it has facilitated disbursals in excess of $400 million in unsecured loans to over three lakh merchants, since the launch of the product," it added.
BharatPe has raised Rs 500 crore in debt financing this year from venture debt funds (Alteria Capital, InnoVen Capital and Trifecta Capital), banks (ICICI Bank and Axis Bank), NBFCs (Northern Arc Capital) and wealth management companies (IIFL Wealth and Asset Management) in the earlier rounds.
The company said it is on track to meet its debt-raise targets for FY22. BharatPe Chief Executive Officer Suhail Sameer stated that the recent debt-raises will give the company the raw material to build its merchant lending vertical more aggressively.
BharatPe has raised over $650 million in equity and debt, till date.
Visual content production start-up Dresma secures $3 mn in seed round
AI/ML powered SaaS visual content platform Dresma has raised $3 million in its seed round led by SVQuad. Inventus Capital Partners and Thinkuvate have also participated in the new round.
The funds will be used in expanding its presence globally, enhancing products and in R&D, the company said in a statement.
Founded in 2019, Dresma has its corporate headquarters in Cupertino, USA, and its global development and support team in Gurugram, India. With Dresma’s solution, online sellers can make the AI/ML-based technology  a part of their businesses’ DNA.
Its flagship product, DoMyShoot claims to be the simplest solution for online sellers to take control of their eCommerce images and is used by over thousands of online sellers across Amazon, Reliance and Walmart.
Performing arts academy Kafqa Academy gets $1.3 mn
Performing arts academy, Kafqa Academy, has secured $1.3 million in seed funding from institutional investors and tech entrepreneurs.
The funding round was led by Global Founders Capital (GFC) and saw participation from institutional investors such as Enzia Ventures and Better Capital. Angel investors who participated in the round include Kunal Shah, Founder and CEO of CRED; Ashish Hemrajani and Parikshit Dar, Founders of BookMyShow; Umang and Virendra Gupta, Founders of Josh and DailyHunt; Vikram Chopra, Founder and CEO of Cars24; Kumar Aakash, SVP at Hotstar; and Alexander Peter, SVP, Founders Office (People and Strategy) at Bukukas.
Founded by Shariq Plasticwala, former Director at Amazon India, Kafqa Academy aims to serve artists from their first step in the performing arts to their success on the largest stages in the world. The Academy focuses on outcome-based learning with performances and certification at the end of every course.
The company aims to create a community of 50 million active learners.
Stellapps completes first pre-series C round; raises $18 mn
Dairy-tech start-up Stellapps has completed the first close towards its pre-series C round from investors led by global animal nutrition and aquaculture company, Nutreco. The total size of the round was $18 million.
The round also saw participation from existing investors Qualcomm Ventures, Celesta Capital, and ABB Technology Ventures.
Stellapps is an international farm-to-consumer dairy digitisation service provider, improving productivity and quality, while ensuring end-to-end traceability across the dairy supply chain. The company plans to employ the funds to rapidly scale its traceability network and extend its digital footprint across India.
According to the company, the Indian market for dairy sector accounts for about 6.5% of India GDP, a market worth about $225 billion. India is the largest milk producer in the world and contributes to 22% of global milk production.
Stellapps said its technology aims to ensure that farmers gain access to its services like farm improvement, cattle nutrition, credit, and insurance, to deliver assured quality across the dairy supply chain.
Influencer marketing start-up Wobb raises Rs 2.1 cr in pre-seed round
Influencer marketing automation platform Wobb has raised Rs 2.1 crore in pre-seed round from lead investors Titan Capital led by Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal (Snapdeal founders) and Point One Capital.
The round also saw participation from marquee group of angel investors including Alok Kohli (Senior Director, PepsiCo), and Sanjeev Bhargava (ex-Managing Partner, JWT), among others.
As per the start-up, the funds will be used to ramp up its product roadmap journey with better experience for its influencers and marketers.
Wobb is aimed at simplifying influencer hiring and improving measurability. The company claims to have completed 5,000 influencer campaigns since launch and is working with over one million micro, macro, and category A influencers across 100+ categories.
Glance invests in Collective Artists Network
Glance, a part of SoftBank-backed InMobi Group, on Monday said it has made an investment in talent management organisation, Collective Artists Network. The company, however, did not disclose any financial details.
This collaboration is expected to give Glance strategic access to India's top creators and celebrities, while providing disruptive and sustainable monetisation opportunities for the country's entertainment talent, the company said in a statement.
Glance is already in advanced discussions for partnerships with some of these celebrities and creators as a result of this investment. These partnerships are expected to help power live content on Glance lock screen, and drive entertainment-led commerce on Roposo (short video platform that is part of Glance), it added.
InMobi Group co-founder and Glance president and COO Piyush Shah said creator-led live content and commerce is the future of entertainment and e-commerce.
Glance delivers artificial intelligence-driven personalised content to the lock screen of Android smartphones. It has over 150 million active users in India, and an estimated 25 million in Southeast Asia.
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