Unicorns BigBasket, Ola and others secure large cheques from marquee investors

Unicorns BigBasket, Ola and others secure large cheques from marquee investors
Photo Credit: Photo Credit: VCCircle

India’s startup ecosystem saw some heavyweights being backed by marquee investors.

More than a dozen startups raised nearly $800 million across sectors such as grocery, insurance, health and fitness, fintech, mobility and hyperlocal services among others.

Companies like BigBasket, Curefit, PolicyBazaar and Ola received large cheques from investors such as Mirae Asset, Alibaba Group, CDC Group, Accel, Kalaari Capital and Chiratae Ventures to name a few.

Ola scores a big round from new investors

Bengaluru-based ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd, which operates ride-hailing service Ola, has raised $351.50 million in a funding round led by South Korean automotive major Hyundai Motor Company.

New investors who participated in the round include Mirae Asset, Swedish investment firm DIG Investment and US-based Deshe Holdings.

By TechCircle’s estimates, Ola’s post-money valuation following the latest infusion now stands at $6.2 billion.

South Korea's Mirae Asset backs BigBasket

Online grocer BigBasket, owned by SuperMarket Grocery Supplies Pvt. Ltd, confirmed that it raised $150 million in a fresh funding round led by South Korean firm Mirae Asset. The UK government’s development finance institution CDC Group and existing investor Alibaba Group also participated in the round.

TechCircle had reported the development in March and estimated that the investment will increase the Bengaluru-based company’s valuation $2-2.3 billion.

The company plans to use the capital to penetrate further into its existing markets by investing more into first-time delivery, scaling up its supply chain and developing new reseller channels.

BigBasket had achieved unicorn status in February last year when it raised $300 million in its Series E round of funding led by Alibaba. Though BigBasket had crossed $1.6-1.8 billion in valuation by TechCircle estimates at the time, a person close to the company had pegged it at $950 million.

Health and fitness segment on the rise

Health and fitness startup Cure Fit Healthcare Pvt. Ltd, founded by Myntra co-founder Mukesh Bansal and former Flipkart executive Ankit Nagori, raised $75 million (Rs 520 crore) in its Series D round of funding from existing and new investors.

CureFit will use the fresh capital to expand the operations of the company, its subsidiaries and joint ventures.

CureFit, which is one of the best-funded early-stage startups, aims to address preventive healthcare through a combination of engagement, coaching and delivery, using both online and offline channels. Founded in 2016, it has four verticals: Cult.fit, Eat.fit, Mind.fit and Care.fit.

Another Mumbai-based online fitness discovery platform Fitternity Health E-solution Pvt. Ltd raised $4 million from consumer-focussed venture capital firm Sixth Sense Ventures this week.

Fitternity was founded in 2013 by Neha Motwani and Jayam Vora. It has built a tech-enabled marketplace-cum-subscription platform, which allows users to purchase sessions or memberships of different fitness programmes, including gym sessions, yoga and Zumba classes. It also allows users to take trial classes of various programmes. The company claims to have been clocking annual sales of over $5 million for the last two fiscal years.

In another development, omnichannel health products store HealthKart raised $25 million in fresh capital from Belgium-based investment company Sofina.

The Gurugram-based company's omnichannel platform currently has an online portal and more than 110 offline stores spread across 40 cities. Its flagship brand -- MuscleBlaze -- which caters to the sports nutrition segment, has achieved double-digit market share, the company said.

Investors pump funds into PolicyBazaar's account

ETechAces Marketing & Consulting Pvt. Ltd, the operator of online insurance selling platform PolicyBazaar.com and lending marketplace PaisaBazaar.com, secured $152 million in the first tranche of its Series F funding round announced last year.

The latest infusion takes the total capital raised by the company so far to nearly $300 million.

Last year in June, the company received more than $200 million for its Series F round led by Japanese conglomerate SoftBank. Its existing investor InfoEdge had also participated in the round.

According to the company’s latest filings with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, SoftBank, through its wholly-owned subsidiary SVF India Holdings (Cayman) put in $67.95 million (Rs 473.27 crore), InfoEdge invested $59.38 million (Rs 413.59 crore) while True North poured in $24.74 million (Rs 172.27 crore).

PolicyBazaar offers various financial products, including insurance policies and loans, and helps consumers select a scheme based on an analysis of products, price, quality and key benefits.

Ratan Tata bets on Ola Electric

Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus of Tata Sons, invested an undisclosed sum in the electric vehicles arm of homegrown ride-hailing firm Ola.

Ola Electric Mobility Pvt. Ltd secured this investment as part of its ongoing Series A funding round.

Tata was an early investor in ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd, the parent arm that runs Ola.

Ola Electric Mobility was set up in April 2018 as an independent entity and as an extension of Ola’s Mission Electric programme. The company had run a pilot with automobile manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra to test its electric vehicles in Nagpur.

The entity is led by Ola executives Anand Shah and Ankit Jain and primarily deploys charging and battery-swapping networks for the commercial electric vehicles segment. It is also running pilots to test battery charging solutions as well as electric two-wheeler and three-wheeler services.

Other startup funding deals:

  • Kalpavriksh, the private equity arm of financial services firm Centrum, invested Rs 5 crore ($720,000) in Dunzo Digital Pvt. Ltd. which runs task management app Dunzo.
  • Ed-tech startup CollegeDekho, owned by Girnarsoft Education Services Pvt. Ltd, raised $8 million (around Rs 56 crore at current exchange rate) in its Series B round of funding.
  • Peel-Works Pvt. Ltd, a grocery business-to-business (B2B) commerce platform, raised $5 million (Rs 34.5 crore) in its Series B round of funding led by Equanimity Ventures.
  • The Indian Angel Network (IAN) invested in Wizikey Technologies Pvt. Ltd, which offers software-as-a-service for the public relations and social media sectors.
  • Digital lending platform Stashfin, operated by Delhi-based EQX Analytics Pvt. Ltd raised $15 million from financial services firm Fullerton India.
  • Skillenza, a software-as-a-service-based online hiring firm, raised $1 million (approximately Rs 6.96 crore at current exchange rates) in a pre-Series A funding round led by CBA Capital’s Education Catalyst Fund.
  • CapBuild Clinical Skills Private Limited, a healthcare analytics startup, secured an undisclosed sum of money from incubator HealthStart.
  • Mumbai-based mobile games developer Nazara Technologies Ltd invested in vernacular social contests platform Bakbuck.

Consolidation

The week yet again witnessed three acquisitions, with the gaming, ed-tech and health-tech segments grabbing the spotlight.

Digital gaming platform Mobile Premier League acqui-hired Pune-based software development company Crevise Technologies Pvt. Ltd in its first takeover for an undisclosed sum.

Operated by Galactus Funware Technology Pvt. Ltd, MP said the acquisition will help the firm strengthen its platform and improve customer experience.

In another development, healthcare services platform Medlife International Private Limited bought out medicine-delivery app Myra Medicines in a cash and stock deal.

Myra – run by Metatrain Software Solutions Private Limited – was earlier in talks with ANI Technologies Private Limited-run Ola Cabs, according to The Economic Times. However, those negotiations fell through following which talks with Medlife began.

The full integration of Myra’s services is expected to take up to six months.

Medlife was founded in 2014 by Tushar Kumar and Prashant Singh and began operations with online drug deliveries before expanding into online consultations with medical professionals and diagnostics.

The week also saw Adda247, a test preparation platform for government and public sector exams, acquire YouTube channel Success Ease for an undisclosed sum.

Owned by Metis Eduventures Pvt. Ltd, Adda247 said that the acquisition will help it strengthen its test-preparation offerings for technical jobs.

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