Funding rundown: Picsart turns unicorn, Peak secures $75 mn in Series C, Northern Arc Capital raises $50 mn from JICA, Skit gets $23 mn in funding & AppsForBharat raises $10 mn from Elevation

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Here's a look at all the top deals locked in the startup universe this week.

Funding rundown: Picsart turns unicorn, Peak secures $75 mn in Series C, Northern Arc Capital raises $50 mn from JICA, Skit gets $23 mn in funding & AppsForBharat raises $10 mn from Elevation
Razorpay in talks to raise about $250 million; eyes $4 billion valuation: Report
Fintech unicorn Razorpay is in talks with large global funds to raise $200-250 million at a valuation of around $4 billion, Mint reported. The payments platform is in talks with Tiger Global Management, Coatue Management, D1 Capital Partners and other technology-focused funds, including DST Global, Dragoneer Investment Group and Falcon Edge Capital, the report added.
The company counts Sequoia Capital, Matrix Partners and Rabbit Capital among its backers. It wasn’t clear whether any of the existing investors would sell their stakes in the upcoming transaction.
AI startup Peak secures $75 million in Series C
UK-based artificial intelligence startup Peak has raised $75 million in Series C round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, with participation from existing investors, including MMC Ventures, Oxx, Praetura Ventures, Arete, and Octopus Ventures. This brings Peak’s total funding raised to date to $119 million. This latest funding will fuel an ambitious global expansion, with new offices opening in both the USA and India, as well as increasing R&D investment in Peak’s Decision Intelligence software, stated the startup.
Northern Arc Capital raises $50 million from JICA
Debt platform Northern Arc Capital has raised $50 million debt from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in external commercial borrowing.
The company said it will use the proceeds to cater to the credit demands of women borrowers or towards products that disproportionately benefit women. Since the onset of the covid pandemic, the debt platform has raised funds from reputed international investors including USDFC, Asian Development Bank, FMO and Calvert Impact Capital.
Skit raises $23 million in Series B led by WestBridge Capital
Voice AI company Skit (formerly called Vernacular.ai) has secured $23 million as part of its Series B funding, led by WestBridge Capital. Kalaari Capital, Exfinity Ventures, Angelist syndicate led by Aaryaman Vir Shah from Prophetic Ventures and Letsventure syndicate led by Sense AI too participated in the funding round. The capital will be used for sales and marketing, building delivery capabilities, R&D. The company plans to double down and scale operations in both Indian and global markets.
Teachmint in talks to raise fresh funds at over $500 million valuation: Report
Edtech startup Teachmint is in talks with new and existing investors to raise a new round that will push the company’s valuation to half a billion dollars, Entrackr reported. As per the report, Teachmint is raising over $70 million in a new round at over $500 million valuation from new and existing backers including Learn Capital and Lightspeed. New investors are likely to put in $30-40 million followed by existing investors. The round could go up to $90 million as inbound interest from investors in the company is very high, the report added.
Bikayi raises $10.8 million in Series-A funding
Bikayi, a mobile e-commerce startup has raised $10.8 million in Series-A funding round, led by Sequoia Capital India. In August last year, the startup had raised $2 million as a part of its seed round led by Y Combinator. Aiming at scaling product offerings, Bikayi plans to use the funds to accelerate product development, acquisition, and talent hiring.
AppsForBharat raises $10 million in Series A led by Elevation Capital and others
AppsForBharat, a product studio for spiritual and devotional content has scooped up $10 million in a Series A funding round led by Elevation Capital. Existing investors Sequoia Capital India, BEENEXT and Matrix Partners India, too participated in the round.
Apart from that, angel investors including Tiger Global’s Scott Shleifer, DST Global’s Saurabh Gupta and Meesho’s cofounders Vidit Aatrey and Cred’s founder Kunal Shah also pitched in. The company said it will use the funding for creating content IPs, building the product, and hiring talent across the product, data, and engineering verticals.
Magicpin valued at $165 million post fresh funding from Ritesh Agarwal: Report
Offline discovery and reward platform Magicpin has raised around $3 million in a new tranche led by Oyo’s founder Ritesh Agarwal through his personal special purpose vehicle (SPV) RA Holdings, Entrackr reported. Existing investors Lightspeed, The Bunting Family and Moonstone have also participated in the tranche. This is the second infusion by the trio in the past 15 months. They invested $3.9 million in the Gurugram-based startup in May 2020. Lightspeed and Agarwal have invested $1 million each in the company while The Bunting Family and Moonstone have put in the remaining amount.
Accel launches Atoms programme to back early-stage startups
Accel India will launch the Atoms programme to identify and target early-stage startups at the pre-seed level. Through this programme, Accel will reportedly invest $250,000 in startups without taking any stake in the company. Through the initiative, Accel is also looking to offer one-to-one mentoring for startups, instead of a cohort approach taken by the accelerator programmes of VC firms such as Sequoia Capital and Lightspeed Venture Partners, the company said in a blog post. The company has invested in 150 companies so far in India.
Fintech startup Skeps raises $9.5million
Global PoS fintech startup Skeps has raised $9.5 million in Series A funding led by Bertelsmann India Investments. Existing investor Accel also participated in the round. The startup will use funds to expand the sales, marketing, engineering, and product teams; grow its merchant and lender client base; and broaden services offered to its customers.
Invest-tech platform dezerv. secures $7 million
dezerv., an expert investing platform, has raised $7 million in a seed funding round co-led by Elevation Capital and Matrix Partners India, with participation from investors such as Whiteboard Capital and Blume Founders Fund.
This round also featured tech founders including Kunal Shah (CRED), Ramakant Sharma (LivSpace), Asish Mohapatra and Ruchi Kalra (Ofbusiness), Vidit Aatrey and Sanjeev Barnwal (Meesho), Varun Dua (Acko), Nitin Gupta (Uni), Anurag Sinha (OneCard), Shashvat Nakrani and Suhail Sameer (BharatPe), Revant Bhate (Mosaic) along with marquee family offices including Taparia (FamyCare), RK Kedia (Manjushree), CJ Shah and Neeraj Goenka (Texport) and industry professionals like Akash Saxena (Hotstar), K Rangarajan (Five Star) and Aashish Sommaiyaa (WhiteOak). The startup plans to use the funding to continue to build a strong team, launch and scale its invest-tech product platform and re-define investment experience for working professionals in India, it said in a statement.
Automotive financing startup OTO Capital raises $6 million
OTO Capital, a two-wheeler buying and financing startup, has raised Series A funding of $6 million in a round led by Matrix Partners India. The round also saw participation from existing and new investors such as Prime Venture Partners, 9Unicorns, Better Capital, and marquee angel investors like Asish Mohapatra of OfBusiness, Ramakant Sharma of Livspace, Kunal Shah, K Ganesh, and Ashneer & Suhail of BharatPe.
OTO said it will use the funding to scale its user base and to become the default app for two-wheeler buying and financing for 20 million Indians who purchase two-wheelers every year. OTO will double its team size by March 2022 and plans to hire aggressively across verticals, especially technology, product, marketing, and operations, the company said.
Apna in talks to raise fresh round at over $1 billion valuation: Report
Professional networking platform Apna is in late-stage talks to raise a new round that is likely to push the company’s valuation at over $1 billion, according to Entrackr. Tiger has been in conversation to lead over $100 million in Apna. Existing backers Lightspeed, Sequoia, Insight Partners will also double down the stake in the company, the report added. With the fresh round, Apna will gain the status of a unicorn. So far, the Indian startup ecosystem has seen 26 unicorns this calendar year.
Soothe Healthcare raises Rs 100 crore in extended Series C round
Homegrown personal hygiene startup Soothe Healthcare has raised Rs 100 crore or about $13.6 million in its extended Series C round led by Gulf Islamic Investments (GII), Northern Arc and KKR-backed Incred. With this round, the firm’s total funding stands at $31.5 million including its recent Series C funding of Rs 130 crore led by PE fund A91 Partners. According to the company, the funds will be used to ramp up its growth plans including expansion of manufacturing capabilities and investments in marketing and distribution.
D2C sports brand Elevar raises Rs 19 crore in Series A
D2C sports brand Elevar has raised Rs 19 crore in a Series A round of funding, led by Kalaari Capital, with participation from Dream Capital, the corporate venture capital and M&A arm of Dream Sports. Elevar will utilise the funds towards expanding its product portfolio, increasing its marketing efforts, and building its team, the company said in a statement.
Peppermint secures Rs 5 crore funding from Venture Catalysts, others
Peppermint, an industrial robotics startup, has raised Rs 5 crore in a new financing round from Venture Catalysts and Indian Angel Network. The round also saw participation from Vinners Group and a group of angel investors led by Naveen Kumar Kshatriya.
The capital will be used to enhance the production facility and ramp up its production capacity, a part of the funds will be allocated towards R&D, the company said in a statement. The firm will also scale its business in India and the middle east.
Dream11 eyeing $8.5 billion valuation: Report
Dream Sports, the company that runs fantasy sports platform Dream11, is in talks to raise at least $400 million in a round with participation from both new and old investors, Entrackr reported. This round is expected to value the company at $8.5 billion, a massive jump from the $5 billion number it attained during the previous fundraise five months ago. This new funding round is likely to be a pre-IPO one, the report added. Dream Sports last raised close to $400 million from investors such as TCV, D1 Capital Partners and Falcon Edge in March. ​
Picsart turns unicorn with $130 million funding led by SoftBank
Picsart, a photo and video editing app, turned unicorn after SoftBank Vision Fund 2 led a $130 million funding round, valuing the company at over $1 billion.
Venture capital firms GSquared and Tribe Capital also took part in the Series C round, along with existing investors Sequoia Capital, DCM, Graph and Siguler Guff. The company said funds raised from the latest round will be used for acquisitions, developing user tools and expanding its artificial intelligence-driven technology. The company plans to hire up to 100 employees for its India operations.