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Funding rundown: Vahdam raises Rs 174 crore, Leap bags $55 million from Owl Ventures & CollegeDekho secures $26.5 million

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Funding rundown: Vahdam raises Rs 174 crore, Leap bags $55 million from Owl Ventures & CollegeDekho secures $26.5 million
Vahdam bags Rs 174 crore in funding
D2C teas, spices and superfoods startup Vahdam has raised Rs 174 crore in its Series D funding round, led by IIFL AMC’s private equity fund. Existing investors Sixth Sense Ventures, the Mankind Group Family Office, Infosys co-founder Kris (S) Gopalakrishnan’s Family Office, Urmin Group and White Whale Ventures also participated in the round. To date, the company has raised over Rs 290 crore, including the latest round.
The D2C brand said it will use the funding to increase online and offline penetration, enter new geographies and develop new product categories. "With the current fundraising, we plan to continue deepening our distribution in key markets, both online and offline. We will also look at entering new categories, new markets, invest heavily in R&D, and further strengthen our management team," founder Bala Sarda said.
The startup also claims to have crossed Rs 160 crore in net revenue for FY21 from Rs 75 crore in FY20. Vahdam is also growing 110 percent year-on-year and also claims to be net profitable. The tea brand, which is recommended by personalities including Oprah Winfrey and Mariah Carey, is targeting Rs 500 crore in revenue in the next three years. Founded in 2015, Vahdam India procures teas directly from plantations and manufactures in-house. The startup operates in the wellness space with turmeric, matcha, and immunity-boosting teas, among other categories.
Edtech startup Leap raises $55 million from Owl Ventures
Overseas education company Leap, which runs LeapFinance and LeapScholar has raised $55 million in Series C funding led by Owl Ventures. The round also saw participation from Harvard Management Company, Inc, along with returning investors Jungle Ventures and Sequoia Capital India. The round comes less than 6 months after Leap raised its Series B which was led by Jungle Ventures, bringing the total equity capital raised by the startup to date, over $75 million.
Leap will utilise the new capital infusion for multi-dimensional growth. The company intends to extend its service suite to students across SE Asia and MENA regions and enable them to pursue their global education aspirations across more than 20 destination countries. Further, Leap intends to broaden its product portfolio to offer more innovative solutions to international students. Some of the products in the pipeline include an international student credit card and insurance products. The company is also building a suite of offerings to help international students succeed on campus once they have made the move abroad.
Commenting on the company’s plans, co-founder Arnav Kumar stated -” We are building the rails for global student mobility. Over the past year, we have built the product suite to cover an international students’ lifecycle. We have also put in place a scalable playbook that is replicable across geographies. This shows in our rapid growth across product lines. We will continue to build new product lines and deepen the existing ones to offer delightful experiences to international students across the globe."
Founded in 2019, Leap runs a million-member strong community of international study aspirants in South Asia and has helped over 60,000 students in their study abroad journey over the last 18 months. Leap’s product suite caters to the end-to-end needs of the community right from international test preparation, professional admissions counselling, student loans, international student bank accounts, foreign currency remittance, and international career guidance.
CollegeDekho secures $26.5 million in Series B round
CollegeDekho, a college admissions and education services platform, has raised $26.5 million in an ongoing Series B funding round, led by Winter Capital Partners, ETS Strategic Capital and Calega. Existing investors, Man Capital and Rajeev Chaba also participated in the funding round. This series B funding round has been advised by IBIS Capital and Cilix Capital.
The startup plans to use the funding to further improve its offerings for students and colleges, increase its investment in product and technology, expand internationally, and grow new verticals like Ed-Fin-Tech and student accommodation. "With this fundraise, we plan to invest in making our products and services even more lovable for our students and colleges, as well as expand into new geographies and business verticals," Ruchir Arora, founder and CEO, CollegeDekho said.
The startup had earlier raised $8 million in May 2019 led by existing investors GirnarSoft, London-based Man Capital, and others. Both the investors had also led a $2 million Series A round in CollegeDekho in 2018. CollegeDekho operates a Common Application Form (CAF) platform that enables students to apply to multiple colleges with a single click. For studying abroad, CollegeDekho offers a range of services across profile building, test preparation, application assistance, university selection and visa assistance.
Financial services startup WeRize raises $8 million
Full-stack financial services provider, WeRize, on Wednesday said it has raised $8 million as a part of its Series A funding round, led by 3one4 Capital, Picus Capital, Kalaari Capital, and Orios Ventures. The startup has raised $10.25 million so far, including the latest round.
WeRize will use the fresh capital to ramp up investments in technology, data science, product development and grow its partner network to over 50,000 in the next two years. "The full-stack approach of owning both the product and the distribution gives us unique insights about our customer segment that becomes an unbeatable competitive advantage," Chopra and Gupta said.
Launched by former Lendingkart executives, the firm claims to be a full-stack provider, both developing and distributing a wide portfolio of customised credit, group insurance and savings products. The company says it has acquired more than 500,000 families since launch and registered a revenue growth of 10x in the last year. At present, WeRize has 10,000 social partners who sell financial products to customers in tier-II cities.
Agritech startup Intello Labs scores new round led by Avaana: Report
Artificial intelligence-focused agricultural technology startup Intello Labs has raised Rs 37.3 crore or $5 million in a round led by Avaana Capital which takes the company’s valuation to around Rs 246 crore or close to $34 million, as per Entrackr. The round also saw participation from existing backers Saama Capital along with Nexus Ventures and Omnivore Partners.
The company has also passed a special resolution in its memorandum of association which says that it will carry on the business of trade, assembly, re-assembly, packing, purchase, leasing, renting of all kinds of hardware, machines used for packing and sorting of various commodities through the use of AI, in India and abroad, the report added. In May last year, the company had raised $5.9 million in its Series A funding round led by Saama Capital.