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Funding Rundown: WeWork makes its first investment in Zoapi, Pillow raises $18 mn in Series A round, Ankur Capital backs biotech startups MyoWorks & D NOME

Funding Rundown: WeWork makes its first investment in Zoapi, Pillow raises $18 mn in Series A round, Ankur Capital backs biotech startups MyoWorks & D-NOME

Funding Rundown: WeWork makes its first investment in Zoapi, Pillow raises $18 mn in Series A round, Ankur Capital backs biotech startups MyoWorks & D-NOME
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By Aishwarya Anand  Oct 13, 2022 9:09:08 PM IST (Published)

Here's a lowdown of the top deals from the startup space.

WeWork India makes its first investment in Bengaluru-based Zoapi

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Flexible workspace provider WeWork India has made its first investment in the country, in Bengaluru-based conferencing and collaboration platform Zoapi for an undisclosed sum.
Co-founded by Prashanth NS and Chaitanya Vasantarao in 2019, Zoapi is a member of the Intel IoT Solution alliance. The enterprise software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution provider combines four basic needs of a meeting room -- wireless screen sharing, video conferencing, online calendar, and room scheduler.
"From an adoption perspective, it is affordable and compatible with numerous video conferencing platforms and devices. With its unique capabilities, this homegrown product has the potential to grow into a global player, implemented across all industries," said Karan Virwani, CEO of WeWork India.
Pillow raises $18 million in Series A round from Accel and others
Cryptocurrency investment platform Pillow has raised $18 million in a Series A funding round co-led by Accel, Quona Capital and Jump Capital. The round also saw participation from existing investor Elevation Capital.
The platform plans to use the fresh capital to accelerate the adoption of crypto services in emerging economies like Africa and Southeast Asia. The firm has already expanded to some emerging markets including Nigeria, Ghana, and Vietnam, among others.
"At Pillow, we aspire to create and reward a culture of disciplined personal finance, including savings and investments powered by access to digital assets, that enable young, hardworking, ambitious people to take control of their finances, achieve life goals and work towards financial freedom.
We are creating a suite of high-quality, secure, and transparent financial products that will grant our users access to global economic opportunities and let them take control of their financial future," said Arindam Roy, CEO of Pillow.
Nona Lifestyle bags $1.4 million in Pre-Series A round
Nona Lifestyle, a global textile supplier brand has raised $1.4 million in a Pre-Series A funding round from LC Nueva and other HNIs (High-net worth Individuals).
The brand, specializing in uniform and safety wear, will use the fresh capital to develop its backend technology and managed marketplace platform. The firm which already has a presence in Dubai is now looking to tap into the European markets.
Nona Lifestyle is also eyeing expansion in Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Chennai, and Hyderabad. With this funding, Nona Lifestyle also plans to be innovative in its products across the safety, workwear, and white-label categories.
Lumikai Fund leads $1.1million Pre-Seed round in Supernova
Supernova, a platform for live quizzes and interactive gamified formats based on CBSE math topics, has received $1.1 Million in a pre-seed funding round led by Lumikai, a gaming and interactive media VC. The round also saw participation from Kae Capital, All In Capital, Goodwater Capital and several strategic angel investors.
The firm will use the fresh funds to further develop and scale the product to incorporate multiplayer formats, strengthen its leadership team and deploy strategies that will amplify product lead user acquisition over the next 18 months, a statement said.
"Our product is an ultra-fresh take on edtech that leverages the power of interactivity & systems of play. We are rethinking everything from pedagogies to price points to distribution channels. This funding round will help us go a long way with this much-needed disruption," said Maharishi RB, co-founder of Supernova.
Venture Catalysts back health food brand WickedGud
WickedGüd, a D2C healthy food brand, has raised an undisclosed capital from Venture Catalysts and marquee angel investors such as Bunty Sajdeh (MD Cornerstone Sport & Entertainment), Sahil Gilani (MD Gits Foods), Binoy Khimji (MD UBR Capital), and others.
As per a statement, the round comes in as an addendum to the $1 million seed round secured by the brand earlier this year. With this investment, WickedGud has raised a total of $ 1.6 million since its inception a year ago. The brand claims to have sold more than 25,000 packs across India in little less than 6 weeks.
Ankur Capital backs biotech startups MyoWorks and D-NOME
Early-stage venture capital firm Ankur Capital has announced that they have invested seed capital in two early-stage biotech startups - MyoWorks and D-NOME. MyoWorks is building edible fungal mycelium-based 2D and 3D scaffolds which will support the production of cultivated meat products.
"This fundraise will be instrumental for us to achieve our technological milestones which will play a crucial role to help bring cultivated meat from the lab bench to people’s tables," said Nihal Singh, co-founder, MyoWorks.
Meanwhile, D-NOME is developing a molecular diagnostic platform solution based on loop-mediated isothermal amplification technology (D-LAMP) with applications in human infectious diseases, livestock screening, agriculture molecular techniques and next-generation genomic sequencing.
"As D-NOME is working towards building an effective disease diagnostics tool utilizing synthetic biology and genomics, the current fundraise takes us to the next milestone closer to our vision of bringing affordable personalized diagnostics to all," said Divya Sriram, co-founder of D-NOME.
With climate change, the pandemic, and various concerns around food security and the growing population, biotech has the potential to offer solutions to some of the most pressing problems being faced by the world today which makes it an attractive focus area for Ankur Capital, a statement said.
Actor Anita Hassanandani’s Better Beauty bags $200,000 from Lotus Herbal
Personal care and cosmetic startup Better Beauty has raised $200,000 in a fresh funding round led by Lotus Herbal. The brand is available exclusively on the clean beauty marketplace Vanity Wagon.
Co-founded by actor Anita Hassanandani, the D2C brand aims to use the fresh capital to strengthen its tech research resources, marketing, brand building, team expansion, private label acquisitions and expansion of the product line. The firm is also looking to build its R&D and increase its offline footprint.
The company is also looking to achieve EBITDA positivity within the next 1.5 years and is also eyeing a 5x jump in valuation in the next year. Additionally, Better Beauty is aiming to achieve Rs 7.2 crore ARR and grow to a product portfolio of 10 within a year.
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