Here’s the lowdown of the top deals from the startup space.
Ola raises $500 million through Term Loan B
Ride-hailing platform Ola has raised $500 million debt from marquee international institutional investors.
The company has raised the amount via Term Loan B (TLB). Institutional investors that seek higher yields and can stay invested over longer investment horizons compared to traditional banks offer such loans. TLBs usually have a floating interest rate with tenures of 5-7 years.
The proposed loan issuance received a staggering response from investors with interest and commitment of approximately $1.5 billion, the company said.
Ola will utilize the term loan to fuel its vision for the future of mobility across its various businesses including ride hailing, vehicle commerce, delivery with foods, quick commerce and financial services, it further added.
S&P and Moody's had rated Ola's first lien term loan as B- and B3 respectively, with a 'stable' outlook, on the back of strong unit economics and profitability in its market leading Indian ride hailing business.
Sharechat raises $266 mn, valued at $3.7 bn
Mohalla Tech, the parent company behind Moj and ShareChat, has raised $266 million as part of its Series G round.
At a valuation of $ 3.7 billion, the investment has been led by Alkeon Capital with participation from new and existing investors including Temasek, Moore Strategic Ventures (MSV), Harbourvest and India Quotient.
This is the third round of funding for the startup in 2021, which has cumulatively raised US $913 million this year. The company is expected to raise the second tranche of this round in a few months, with the valuation expected to cross $5 billion, as per sources.
The company said the funding will help it build deep capabilities on priority areas such as social and live commerce, growing its AI/ML team which is now over 100-strong. Since January 2021, the company claims to have grown to over 2,000 employees.
Venture Catalysts plans to invest $108 mn in Indian startups in 2022
Early-stage startup investor Venture Catalysts has plans to invest $108 million in about 300 startups in 2022.
Founded in 2016, the Venture Catalysts group closed as many as 207 deals in 2021, and invested in 178 unique startups.
The integrated startup incubator said it will continue to in sectors such as FinTech, EduTech, AgriTech, FMCG, e-commerce, logistics and supply chain management.
“We expect D2C and DeepTech to dominate in 2022 and many of these startups to emerge from small towns," said Apoorva Ranjan Sharma, Co-Founder and President, Venture Catalysts Group.
Some of the investments of Venture Catalysts for the year include BluSmart, Dukaan, Klub, Melorra, Kala Gato, Mitron TV, Rage Coffee, Power Gummies, Coutloot, Prescinto, Resolve AI, Toch, Zingbus, RoundLabs, and Stage, amongst others.
SaaS startup for SMEs TranZact bags $7 mn in Series A round
A SME-focused SaaS startup, TranZact has raised $7 million in Series A funding from Tribe Capital along with the participation of Prime Venture Partners, Gemba Capital and Kae Capital.
Angel investors such as Suhail Sameer of BharatPe; Sriram Krishnan, ex Spotify/Tinder; Zetwerk co-founders; OfBusiness co-founders; Devendra Rane, Paytm; Giridhar Malpani, Climber Capital; and Krishna Khandelwal of Locus.sh also participated in this funding round.
This funding will help accelerate TranZact’s vision of onboarding over 1 million SMEs in the next 12 months. TranZact also plans to invest in new talent and expand its team across all functions, it said in a statement.
Since its inception in 2017, TranZact claims to have onboarded more than 20,000 SMEs across industrial, electrical, and electronics, chemical, and packaging sectors.
Nexprt raises $5 mn in seed round from Sequoia Capital India & others
B2B manufacturing and commerce startup Nexprt has raised $5 million in Seed funding from Sequoia Capital India and Lightspeed.
The round also saw participation from early backers, Titan Capital and other notable angel investors.
The company plans to use the proceeds to scale the existing business and launch new business verticals in the manufacturing domain, it said in a statement.
While in 2021, the startup was focused on identifying growth levers, the focus in 2022 is to rapidly grow in the home decor category, the firm added.
Automated investing app Stack raises $4.5M
Stack, an automated investing app for millennials, has raised $4.5 million in a Seed round led by global marquee investors such as Y Combinator, Harvard Management, Goodwater Capital, Soma Capital, Uncommon Capital and Earlsfield Capital.
Other investors that participated in the current round include Magic Fund, Side Door Ventures, Dragon Capital, Emles Ventures, Grand Park Ventures, Chandaria Capital, Cleo Capital, AngelList, West Quad, and Olive Tree Capital.
The fintech platform has also recently launched its investment app on the Playstore. The app provides customised investing solutions to the users.
Stack aims to make investing extremely easy and simple so that everyone can become an ‘expert investor’. It can build a custom plan for users, keeping their risk appetite and goals in mind, to make a fully balanced globally diversified portfolio which is automatically rebalanced and adjusted over the time.
WeSkill secures over $400K in a pre-seed funding round
Edtech startup WeSkill has raised over $400,000 from angel investors and syndicates, as part of its pre-seed round of funding.
The round was led by Shrishti Sahu from Swadharma Source Ventures (SSV). Umang Vohra (Managing Director and Global Chief Executive Officer, Cipla), Arpan Sheth (Senior Partner, Bain & Company), Nikhil Srivastava (Partner and MD, Head of India Private Equity at PAG), Renu Satti (Chief Operating Officer, Paytm), Narendra Rathi (Investments VP, SoftBank vision fund), Raj Shastri (ex-partner, Kaizenvest), Sayan Ghosh (venture capitalist at International Finance corporation) and IIT Madras professors, among others also participated in the round.
The platform will use the fresh funds to advance its product offerings (launch new course categories and build new tech-enabled learning experiences), explore new channels for growth and build a team that can deliver on the platform’s vision to democratise holistic education for more than 270 million K12 learners in India, the firm said.
ShopMyLooks gets $200K from Capital A and Collective Artists Network
Digital platform for automating the monetisation efforts for influencers, ShopMyLooks, has raised $200,000 co-led by Capital A and Collective Artists Network.
“The influencer economy is such that only the leading names with millions of followers are able to effectively monetise their content. About 90% of Instagrammers with great content, but lesser reach, remain uncertain about their monetisation and lose out on potential earnings. This is where ShopMyLooks is going to be the game-changer,” said Rohit Jaiswal, founder, and CEO, ShopMyLooks.
The startup aims to help fashion influencers on Instagram and automate their monetising efforts on Instagram. The platform’s AI tools take care of aspects such as creating, managing and updating the influencers’ IG shops.
Genevra Associates invests in B2C carbon-minimal marketplace HOSH
Carbon-minimal B2C marketplace HOSH has raised an undisclosed capital from London-based Reformer Hedge Fund, Genevra Associates.
The fund will support the company’s plans of promoting, marketing and launching products for cottage industry and small-batch artisan makers as well as educating consumers on making sustainable and conscious shopping choices, the firm said.
As an extension to development, HOSH will also be creating eco-friendly packaging and carbon-neutral delivery solutions for the vendors, it added.
HOSH is a conscious online marketspace that promotes sustainable, fairtrade, handcrafted, eco-friendly, cruelty-free, organic and biodynamic products and ensures zero to negative carbon emissions.
Frangipani raises undisclosed funds in Series A round from G.O.A.T Brand Labs
Frangipani, a kidswear label, has raised Series A funding from Thrasio-style startup G.O.A.T Brand Labs.
The brand is one of the first partnerships that G.O.A.T Brand Labs has ventured into.
The stakeholders from the two companies will join forces to expand the brand presence across the length and breadth of India and also set foot in new international markets. G.O.A.T Brand Labs will act as an extended arm of Frangipani with their valuable expertise in digital marketing, operations, and channel expansion, the company said.
It said it will use the funds for growth capital and exponentially grow the brand presence locally and globally.
Antler India invests in protein foods brand Gladful
Gladful, an online protein foods brand has raised an undisclosed sum in pre-seed funding from Antler India.
The round also included Huddle Accelerator, Shiprocket via their programme RocketfuelXHuddle and other angel investors such as Ankita Vashistha from StrongHer Ventures, Encubay Angel Network and Paavan Nanda, co-founder WinZO Games.
“We are co-building with nutritionists and moms across the country to seamlessly fit protein in daily diets and tiffin boxes. We want kids to reach for our products, instead of being forced on them. Since kids snack frequently throughout the day, we want this to be the entry point. Protein deficiency is a very real, but invisible challenge facing India and we’re on a mission to solve that by developing pioneering products,” founder Parul Sharma said.
(Edited by : Vijay Anand)