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    FUNDING RUNDOWN: Zetwerk turns unicorn post $150-mn funding; Vedantu to join unicorn club, says report

    FUNDING RUNDOWN: Zetwerk turns unicorn post $150-mn funding; Vedantu to join unicorn club, says report

    FUNDING RUNDOWN: Zetwerk turns unicorn post $150-mn funding; Vedantu to join unicorn club, says report
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    By  IST (Published)


    Indian startups received about $6.5 billion in funding in the April-June 2021 quarter, while 11 of them entered the coveted unicorn club, a report by Nasscom-PGA Labs said.

    Here are the top deals locked in the startup universe on August 23.
    Zetwerk turns unicorn after $150-mn funding led by D1 Capital
    Zetwerk, a contract maker of consumer and capital goods, has raised $150 million in its Series E round, led by D1 Capital Partners.
    The funding values the company at $1.33 billion post-money, making it a unicorn.
    New investors Avenir and IIFL also participated in the funding round, along with existing ones Greenoaks Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Sequoia Capital and Accel.
    The funding round comes six months after the company raised $120 million in its Series D round from investors led by US-based Greenoaks Capital and Lightspeed Venture Partners. The round had valued the company at around $600 million.
    Vedantu to turn unicorn with $100-mn funding: Report
    Edtech firm Vedantu is in advanced talks to raise $100 million, valuing it at a billion dollars, post-money according to Moneycontrol.
    About $60 million will be contributed by existing investors -- Coatue Management, GGV Capital and Tiger Global Management -- while an Asian private equity fund is expected to invest $40 million. The report also said the firm has held no acquisition talks with Byju's as was widely reported.
    The deal will make Vedantu India’s fifth online education unicorn, after Byju’s, Unacademy, UpGrad and Erudtius.
    Founded in 2011, Vedantu currently provides live coaching classes for K12 students, including for entrance exams such as IIT JEE Main and Advanced for engineering and NEET for medical colleges. The company reportedly has 27 million monthly visitors on its website and 68 million monthly views on YouTube.
    DealShare eyeing $1-bn valuation: Report
    Social commerce startup DealShare is in talks with new and existing investors to raise a fresh round at over $1 billion valuation, as per an Entrackr report.
    According to the report, DealShare is raising a larger round of $150-200 million at a valuation of $1-1.2 billion. It will see participation from new and existing investors, including Tiger Global and Alpha Wave Incubation
    In July, the startup scooped up $144 million in Series D round led by Tiger Global at a valuation of $455 million. If the deal goes through, the company will also become the second startup in the social commerce space after Meesho to attain a unicorn status.
    FMCG e-commerce startup Kirana247 raises $1 mn
    B2B FMCG e-commerce startup Kirana247 has raised $1 million in its pre-Series A round led by large financial institutions and serial entrepreneurs.
    According to the company, the funds will be deployed to ramp up its fulfilment network and to establish 40 micro-warehouses to serve its over 100,000 kirana stores across Delhi NCR, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, and Rajasthan.
    Kirana247 is a wholesale distributor of consumer goods. It provides a website and a mobile app for purchasing and delivers items to its clients.
    Kirana247 provides an online interface for businesses like kirana stores, department stores, pharmacies, clinics and hospitals, hotels and restaurants and offices to place an order on a self-serve basis.
    The startup claims to have onboarded over 5,000 retail partners on its platform and has partnered with major manufacturers such as Hindustan Unilever, Marico, Reckitt Benckiser, Godrej, Dabur, and Pepsi, among others.
    Indian startups raised $6.5 bn in April-June 2021: Nasscom-PGA Lab
    Indian startups received about $6.5 billion in funding in the April-June 2021 quarter, while 11 of them entered the coveted unicorn club, a report by Nasscom-PGA Labs said.
    During the second quarter, 160 funding deals were closed -- up 2 percent from the January-March period. Funding raised in June quarter was at $6.5 billion, up by 71 percent quarter-on-quarter.
    The biggest deal during the quarter was the $800 million fund raised by food delivery platform Swiggy, followed by ShareChat ($502 million), Byju's ($340 million), PharmEasy ($323 million) and Meesho ($300 million), the report said.
    Pine Labs raised $285 million, Delhivery $277 million, Zeta $250 million, Cred $215 million and Urban Company $188 million in the June 2021 quarter.
    "The Indian startup ecosystem, that generated 53 unicorns till June 2021, has made great strides in the April-June quarter. From recording most funding deals to adding the most number of unicorns in a quarter, investors' confidence in good-quality digital businesses has strengthened like never before," said PGA Labs Director, Competitive Intelligence Abhishek Maiti.
    Fintech was the most funded sector, accounting for 27 percent of the total deal value in the reported quarter. This was followed by foodtech (13 percent), enterprise tech (11 percent), edtech (10 percent), and media and entertainment (8 percent). Growth stage funding accounted for 61 percent of the total deal value, it added.
    About 100 startups received funding in the early stage, accounting for 9 percent of the total funding raised.
    The June 2021 quarter also saw the rise of 11 unicorns (companies with $1 billion valuation) -- Urban Company, Cred, Meesho, Groww, ShareChat, PharmEasy, Zeta, BrowserStack, Moglix, Gupshup and Chargebee. This has taken the total number of unicorns in the country to 53 as of June 2021.
    About 27 percent of the unicorns added in the second quarter of 2021 were fintech startups, while 18 percent each belong to SaaS (software as a service) and social commerce, the report said.
    Interestingly, Tiger Global has invested in 64 percent of the unicorns during the second quarter of 2021.
    The report noted that B2B startups raised over $1.9 billion across 85 deals, with an average deal size of $22 million. The top three B2B funded startups were Zeta, Razorpay and Axtria.
    B2C startups raised over $4.2 billion across 75 deals, with an average deal size of $56 million. The top three B2C funded startups were Swiggy, ShareChat and Byju's, the report added.
    Meanwhile, DeepTech startups raised $450 million across 29 deals.
    Tencent in talks to lead funding in India’s audio-based content marketplace Pocket FM: Report
    Chinese tech conglomerate Tencent is in talks to lead a funding round in Indian media startup Pocket FM.
    According to a report by TechCrunch, this investment in Pocket FM is expected to be valued at around $20-25 million. Apart from Tencent, Lightspeed India and Times Internet’s Brand Capital are also expected to participate in the round.
    Prior to this round, Tencent also led a Rs 41-crore (about $5.61 million) funding round in the Gurugram-based Pocket FM back in October, 2020. That round also saw participation from venture capital firm Lightspeed India and media house BCCL.
    Pocket FM is an online marketplace for audiobooks and podcasts. The platform, as per its website, offers over 10,000 hours of audiobooks and podcasts, with both free and paid versions, in Hindi, Tamil and Bengali.
    Blockchain startup XREX gets $17 mn: Report
    Taiwan-based blockchain startup XREX has raised $17 million in pre-Series A funding led by CDIB Capital Group, as per TechCrunch.
    The round also saw participation from SBI Investment (a subsidiary of SBI Holdings), Global Founders Capital, ThreeD Capital, E.Sun Venture Capital, Systex Corporation, MetaPlanet Holdings, AppWorks, BlackMarble, New Economy Ventures and Seraph Group.
    XREX’s last funding was a $7-million seed round in 2019.
    Part of the new round will be used to apply for financial licences in Singapore, Hong Kong and South Africa, and partner with banks and financial institutions, like payment gateways, the report adds.
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