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Funding Rundown: ZestMoney raises $50 million from Zip, FrontRow gets $14 million & Pentathlon Ventures announces close of maiden fund at Rs 76 crore

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

Funding Rundown: ZestMoney raises $50 million from Zip, FrontRow gets $14 million & Pentathlon Ventures announces close of maiden fund at Rs 76 crore
ZestMoney raises $50 million in Series C investment from Australia’s Zip Co
Buy now pay later (BNPL) startup ZestMoney has raised $50 million from Australian BNPL fintech Zip. This is a part of a larger Series C fundraise which will see participation from existing investors. The Zip will acquire a minority shareholding in the company and a board seat as part of the investment, the company said. Founded in Australia, Zip has a presence in 12 markets across five continents, serving more than 7.3 million customers and over 51,000 merchants.
The company plans to deploy the funds to expand the product suite, deepen the transaction network, strengthen its balance sheet capacity, and launch new business lines in insurance and savings. "The shift towards pay later solutions is a global phenomenon and represents young digital consumers looking for transparency, honesty and no hidden charges in financial products," said Lizzie Chapman, CEO and co-founder, ZestMoney.
Chapman added that India will leapfrog traditional products like credit cards, along with many other emerging markets, going straight to digital payment solutions. ZestMoney offers the entire spectrum of BNPL offering from 30 days to 24 months, and ticket sizes ranging from Rs 50 to Rs 5 lakh. It is a completely digital omnichannel BNPL player in the country, allowing customers to transact at 10,000+ online sites and 75,000 physical stores across the country.
FrontRow gets $14 million in Series A round from Eight Roads Ventures & GSV
Learning and community platform FrontRow has raised $14 million in Series A round led by Eight Roads Ventures and GSV, with participation from existing investors Lightspeed and Elevation Capital. The round also saw participation from angels such as Vishal Dhadlani, Raftaar, Kunal Shah, Gaurav Munjal, Farid Ahsan, and multiple leaders across the startup and entertainment world.
Launched just nine months ago, the startup said it has scaled to 50K+ paid learners across 2,000+ cities across the world, with users spending over a million hours learning on FrontRow. The startup had earlier raised a $3.2 million seed round led by Lightspeed, Elevation, and Deepika Padukone’s Family Office. FrontRow plans to use the funds to scale to 10+ categories and 300+ courses over the next year.
Blockchain startup New Street raises $4 million
Blockchain technology enabler New Street Technologies has bagged $4 million funding in a follow-on round. The round saw participation from a group of private investors led by Vittal Kadapakkam in the US, prominent Indian bankers, and existing investors including Unitus Ventures and Mohit Davar, Chairman of International Association of Money Transfer Network. The total fund-raise to date by New Street is $5.5 million. With operations in India, UAE and parts of Asia, New Street now plans to enter the US, Europe, and Africa.
New Street enables businesses to transform their legacy infrastructure by leveraging blockchain and other modern technologies such as AI, ML & IoT.
The company's flagship blockchain-based middleware – MiFiX, is one of the early commercially successful blockchain ecosystems for the BFSI sector. The startup said it is also in conversations with multiple central banks to develop BCT ecosystems for the BFSI sector in their countries.
Used two-wheeler etailer BeepKart raises $3 million in seed funding
BeepKart, a full-stack online retailer for used two-wheelers, said it has raised a $3 million seed round led by Stellaris Venture Partners and Chiratae Ventures.
The round saw participation from Varun Alagh of Mamaearth, Sahil Barua of Delhivery, Vivekananda Hallekere of Bounce, Kunal Shah of CRED, Ramakant Sharma of Livspace and Rajesh Yabaji of Blackbuck.
The startup is aiming to bridge the gap in experience between buying and owning new and used two-wheelers. Currently, the company is based in Bengaluru and is looking to expand to three more locations over the next 12 months.
Leverage Edu raises undisclosed amount from Vijay Shekhar Sharma, OYO's Rohit Kapoor & others
Edtech startup Leverage Edu has raised an undisclosed amount of growth capital from Vijay Shekhar Sharma (founder of Paytm), Rohit Kapoor (CEO of Oyo - India and Southeast Asia), Amanpreet Bajaj (Southeast Asia head, Airbnb), Lalit Singh (former COO at Udacity), and Mohit Garg (founder of MindTickle), and others.
The company said it will use the fresh funds to expand teams in India and abroad. Leverage Edu also forayed into Europe with the launch of its UK office in London. The company is backed by a consortium of investors such as Blume Ventures, Tomorrow Capital, DSG Consumer Partners, Trifecta Capital.
Pentathlon Ventures announces close of maiden fund at Rs76 crore
Pentathlon Ventures, an early-stage B2B SaaS focused venture capital firm, has announced the close of its first fund, which has secured investments totalling Rs 76 crore. The fund has been oversubscribed. Pentathlon plans to invest in 20+ B2B SaaS startups in a year and make investments between Rs 75 lakh and Rs 3 crore on average.
The firm invests in companies that have a proven product-market fit, possess strong intellectual property, and display the potential for market disruption. As such, the Pentathlon fund serves as a critical link between the seed round and series A/B funding. The fund said it will continue to focus on early-stage B2B SaaS startups.
Fintech startup HappyCredit secures Rs 5 crore
Fintech startup HappyCredit has raised Rs 5 crores in a pre-seed round to accelerate its growth. The funding round saw participation from Kunal Shah (founder and CEO, CRED), Krishna Kumar (founder and CEO, Simplilearn), as well as the US and Canada-based investors like Goodwater Capital, Magic Fund, MyAsiaVC, Alex Lin (CEO, Outlier), Jeremy Cai (CEO, Italic), Chris Ye (CEO, Uken Games), Saad Siddiqui (CEO, Bonsai), Andrew Ladouceur (COO, Bonsai), Charlie Feng (co-founder, Clearco), among others. The fresh funds will be used to launch new products, build talent and enhance the company’s growth, the firm said. HappyCredit is an online shopping app that offers shoppers rewards, credit, and shopping inspiration.
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