Funding round-up: Ola Electric’s $250mn deal with Softbank tops the charts
The first week of July was pale compared to the first few days of June, which had seen the extension of the bull run seen in late May .
Nevertheless, investor sentiment was not completely disappointing as Softbank pumped in a quarter of a billion dollars into the Ratan Tata-backed electric vehicles arm of Ola.
Go-Jek, the Indonesian counterpart to Ola and a ride-hailing unicorn, invested $5 million in Rebel Foods.
Uniphore, a software recognition platform, raised just under $40 million in its Series- C round of funding.
In all, 14 deals were announced during the week raising $332.37 million compared to $356.8 million in 16 deals during the last week of June.
Ola Electric valuation triples
Ola Electric Mobility Pvt Ltd, a unit of ride-hailing platform Ola, raised $250 million (around Rs. 1,725 crore) from SoftBank. As per TechCircle estimates, Ola Electric’s valuation rose three times to nearly $960 million, just shy of a unicorn valuation. The electric mobility company, which was made a separate entity in April 2018 by ANI Technologies Pvt Ltd, last garnered funding in March in a round led by Tiger Global Management and Matrix Partners India.
Food-tech gets fresh investments
Rebel Foods, which operates cloud kitchens platform Faaso's raised $5 million from Indonesia-based ride-hailing unicorn Go-Jek. The fund injection is part of the cloud kitchen's Series-D round. The investment was made through Go Ventures, the ride-hailing platform's venture investment arm.
Another player in the food-tech sector, Daalchini Technologies, raised $500,000 (around Rs. 3.5 crore) in a seed round led by early-stage venture capital firm Artha Venture Fund. The startup said it will harness the funds to expand its product offerings, improve logistics, build on brand identity and bolster recruitment in management.
Healthcare also attracted funding
Homegrown health-tech startup mfine raised Rs. 31 crore (around $4.5 million) in venture debt from Alteria Capital. The AI-driven startup had earlier raised $17.2 million in series-B funding from SBI Investment, SBI Ven Capital, Stellaris Venture Partners and Prime Venture Partners.
MedTrail raised Rs. 6.37 crore (about $950,000) from Strive, formerly known as GREE Ventures. Other participants in the funding round for the healthcare services platform included LetsVenture, Miten Sampat, vice-president of corporate development at Times Internet, Jamil Khatri,partner at KPMG and a Dubai-based family fund Diverse Middle East FZE.
Frontier technologies spark investor interest
An artificial intelligence (AI)-based speech recognition software startup Uniphore Software Systems Pvt Ltd has raised $38 million (around Rs. 263 crore) from multiple investors. California-based investment firm March Capital Partners led what is likely to be termed Uniphore’s series-C round. London-based National Grid Partners Ltd, Sistema Asia and existing investor Chiratae Ventures also participated in the funding round.
Internet of Things (IoT)-driven startup Intugine Technologies raised an undisclosed amount of funding from IP Ventures’ angel investors. The Bengaluru-based startup said that it plans to deploy the freshly raised capital to strengthen its core operations and also expand its sales team.
Freight logistics, marketplace attract investors
B2B logistics-technology platform FreightTiger raised $8 million (around Rs. 55 crore) in a round of funding led by existing investor Lightspeed Venture Partners. Alstom Industries, Dalmia Group’s cement grinding unit, and Pawan Munjal Family Trust also participated in the funding round.
Gizmobaba.com, a cross-border marketplace for curated gadgets and accessories, has raised $250,000 (around Rs. 1.72 crore) in a pre-series A round of funding led by LetsVenture. Alok Chawla, co-founder of Gizmobaba.com, said that the marketplace platform aims to scale up the online business and franchise stores in tier-2 and tier-3 towns.
SuperZop, an agri-commerce platform based in Ahmedabad, raised Rs. 8 crore (around $ 1.2 million) from SIDBI Venture Capital, IIM Ahmedabad’s technology incubator and angel investor Gurumurthy Raman in a pre-Series A round of funding. Vipul Patel, vice-president for investments at IIM-Ahmedabad’s Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) said that the funds will be harnessed to scale up the platform’s operations in Mumbai and bolstering its technology platform.
Insurance and education financing
Propelld, an education financing platform based in Bengaluru, has raised Rs. 15 crore (around $ 2.2 million) from Stellaris Venture Partners and India Quotient, among other investors. Existing investor Indian Angel Network fund also participated in the round along with other investors including Raghunandan G, co-founder of TaxiForSure, and Ramakant Sharma, co-founder of Livspace, both of whom participated as members of the Stellaris’ Founder Network.
Venture capital firm Lok Capital and IIFL Asset Management led a Series B funding round in insurance products aggregator RenewBuy, which is owned by D2C Insurance Broking Pvt Ltd. The platform raised Rs. 130 crore (around $19 million) in the round in which existing investor Amicus Capital also participated.
Singapore-based data platform Atlan raised Rs. 18 crore (around $2.6 million) in a funding round led by early-stage venture capital firm WaterBridge Ventures. Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus of Tata Sons, US-based 500 Startups, Singapore-based venture capital firm Hatcher and the Bhagchandka family fund are some of the investors in the data services platform.
Professional skilling platform Caymus Technology Ventures Pvt Ltd raised Rs. 1.2 crore (around $174,000) in an angel round of funding from a clutch of investors based in India and Silicon Valley. Rob Solomon, chief executive officer of social fundraising platform GoFundMe participated in the round and will be joining the advisory board of the Mumbai-based startup. Kavita Mehta, founder of Caymus Tech, said the freshly raised capital will be deployed for hiring and marketing.
CohortPlus, an online community for product managers and data science enthusiasts, was acqui-hired by professional and vocational education startup upGrad.
The consumer insights yielded by CohortPlus will enable upGrad to augment its offerings for learners, the company said in a statement.
The acquired platform provides a platform to post questions and get perspectives from industry professionals aside from seeking assistance for job interviews on the platform.
Digital marketing platform Monk Media acquired SocialGIZ, a boutique social media and website development agency.
The entire team of SocialGIZ, comprising of 10 people, will join Monk Media, the company had said in a statement.
The founder of SocialGIZ, Ameya Adhikari, will join Monk Media Network as a member of the board and hold the designation of vice-president - finance.