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Funding roundup: Smart e-scooters, social commerce in spotlight as dealmaking gathers steam

Funding roundup: Smart e-scooters, social commerce in spotlight as dealmaking gathers steam
Poto Credit: 123RF.com

There was a significant uptick in startup-related dealmaking activity as the month of May drew to a close, with the value of deals more than doubling to $92.03 million and volume increasing too after a subdued showing in the previous week.

In all, a total of 20 deals -- up from 13 last week -- were inked across stages and segments, with seed level (six deals) and consolidation (four deals) accounting for half of the volume.

The investments were spread across 14 diverse sectors including enterprise-tech,

clean-tech, meat delivery, media-tech, social media marketing, home services,  social commerce, smart mobility, agri-tech, data analytics, and sports-tech among others.

Sachin Bansal bets on smart e-scooters

Ather Energy Pvt. Ltd, which makes smart electric scooters, raised $40 million (Rs 279 crore) through a mix of equity and debt.

Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal led the round with $32 million in equity infusion while InnoVen Capital accounted for $8 million in venture debt.

Motorcycle major Hero MotoCorp Ltd, which had invested $19 million in Ather Energy in the form of compulsorily convertible debentures last year, has converted the debt into equity as part of this round, taking the total size of the round to more than $58 million.

The company will use the funds to ramp up production capacity and operations besides geographical expansion.

UrbanClap to get $15 mn 

Delhi-based home services marketplace UrbanClap Technologies India Pvt. Ltd will raise $15.3 million (Rs 107 crore) in top-up funding from its three co-founders: Abhiraj Bhal, Varun Khaitan and Raghav Chandra.

According to the company’s filings with the ministry of corporate affairs, the founders will contribute Rs 35.6 crore each as part of the infusion. The infusion will be over and above the $50 million Series D funding raised in November last year, which was led by Hong Kong-based hedge fund Steadview Capital and previous investor Vy Capital.

TechCircle had pegged UrbanClap’s valuation then at $445-450 million, up from the $165 million at which the company had raised its Series C round in 2017.

Social commerce 

Two social commerce startups, operating in different industry verticals, collectively bagged around $13 million from a clutch of investors.

Bengaluru-based  GlowRoad raised $11.5 million (Rs 80.3 crore) in a Series B funding round led by Korea Investment Partners (KIP) and Singapore-based Vertex Ventures. The round also saw participation by Chinese private equity firm CDH Investments and returning investor Accel.

The capital will be leveraged to increase hiring across functions in the startup.

Airblack, a social commerce startup for travel, secured $1.5 million (Rs 10.4 crore) in a seed funding round from SAIF Partners. The New Delhi-based platform, which uses WhatsApp and Instagram to connect travellers with influencers, is currently in private-beta mode.

The seed round will be used for launching consumer products, ramping up the traveller community and hiring of the core team.

Airblack was started in February this year by Pulkit Pujara and Videt Jaiswal -- both were earlier a part of the investment team at SAIF Partners. 

FreshToHome bags $11mn

Freshtohome Foods Pvt. Ltd, which operates an online platform for ordering meat and fish, raised $11 million (Rs 76.4 crore) in a Series A round of funding led by UAE-based Crescent Enterprises Ventures.

Das Capital,  Kortschak Investments, TTCER Partners, Al-Nasser Holdings, M&S Partners and other investors based in Silicon Valley and Asia had also participated in the round. Kortschak had backed FreshToHome in the past while the rest are new investors.

Bengaluru-based FreshToHome  will leverage the fresh capital to further strengthen the sourcing supply chain by extending its patent-pending sourcing technology to fishermen and farmers across the country.

Roposo, Happay get fresh capital

Gurugram-based Roposo, a multilingual platform for creating and sharing short videos, is set to raise $5 million (Rs 34.7 crore) from returning investor Tiger Global Management, according to regulatory filings.

Mayank Bhangadia, co-founder and CEO of the venture, said that the latest infusion was part of a new fundraising exercise.

The development comes five months after the firm had raised $10 million in December last year from Tiger Global and Bertelsmann India.

TechCircle was the first to report that Happay, an expense management platform for enterprises, had secured $3 million (Rs 20.77 crore at current rates) in a fresh round of funding.

VA Tech Ventures Pvt. Ltd, which operates Happay, raised the aforementioned sum earlier this month from Greyhound Capital, a London-based growth equity investor which typically backs technology-enabled ventures.

Other deals

TheMathCompany, founded by a group of former Mu Sigma employees, raised an undisclosed amount of investment from Patni family scion Arihant Patni.

Agri-tech startup FreshVnF, which operates a technology platform driven by machine learning, received $2 million (around Rs 14 crore) in a round led by Mumbai-based investment firm Equanimity Ventures.

Homescreen Network, a multilingual media production startup, raised $2 million (around Rs 14 crore at the current exchange rate) in Series A funding from venture capital firm Saama Capital.

Bengaluru-based startup Zaasna Proptech Pvt. Ltd on Friday said it had raised seed funding worth Rs 2 crore ($290,000 at current exchange rate) from global investors in Singapore, West Asia and the US.

TechCircle was the first to report that Clairco, an Internet of Things-driven clean-tech solutions startup, had raised an undisclosed sum in a pre-seed funding round through investment syndication platform AngelList.

Alfa Ventures, a proprietary fund launched by angel investor and serial entrepreneur Dhianu Das to make seed investments in startups, invested in clean-tech solutions provider Skilancer Solar Pvt. Ltd.

Consolidation

There were four consolidation-related deals in the last week of May. While some of them were buyouts, a couple of thes deal turned out to be acqui-hires.

Info Edge (India) Ltd, the parent of job portal Naukri.com and real estate website 99acres.com, is acquiring white-collar recruitment portal iimjobs.com for $11.58 million (Rs 80.82 crore). The acquisition will help the firm further consolidate its position in the online recruitment solutions segment and complement flagship brand Naukri.com.

Yuvraj Singh-backed Healthians, an online platform that provides medical and diagnostic services at home, acqui-hired Healthy Labs, which offers logistics support for medical diagnostics centres .

Blume Ventures-backed retail print chain Printo Document Services Pvt. Ltd bought out Chennai-based online custom printing marketplace Inkmonk.

DeHaat, a Gurugram-based online marketplace for farm products and services, acquired VezaMart, a platform that builds farm management solutions for farmers.

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