Deals Roundup: Amazon buys into Future Retail; technology startup funding slumps to $21 mn

Deals Roundup: Amazon buys into Future Retail; technology startup funding slumps to $21 mn
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23 Aug, 2019

In an unusually lacklustre week for dealmaking, only nine Indian technology startups shored up a meagre $21 million in funding from investors against nearly $350 million raised last week across 19 deals. The poor show is despite investors such as Tiger Global Management and Falcon Edge Capital betting on fintech and data analytics respectively.

A significant funding related development during the week was the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) receiving a go-head from India’s anti-trust regulator to pick up an 8% stake in Gurugram based logistics startup Delhivery. The Economic Times had reported in May, citing sources, that CPPIB was acquiring the stake in a secondary transaction worth $150 million. The company hasn’t yet confirmed the investment ticket size. 

M&A (mergers and acquisitions) deals in the technology sector more than made up for the slowdown in funding activity. Seattle-headquartered ecommerce giant Amazon made another play for the offline retail sector when it acquired an indirect stake in Kishore Biyani owned Future Retail, closing out speculation on a deal that has been doing the rounds since last year. 

Top funding deals

INDWealth: Ibibo Group founder Ashish Kashyap’s latest venture raised $15 million from Tiger Global in what appears to be a Series B funding round. The latest round takes the total capital raised by the 15-month fintech startup to $45 million. INDWealth had raised $30 million in October last year when its platform was still in stealth mode from Steadview Capital, a Hong Kong based hedge fund.

HungerBox: One97 Communications, the parent entity of digital wallet Paytm, invested about $2.2 million in the Bengaluru-based cafeteria services and vendor management platform. The funding was part of an ongoing Series C round. The conversational AI startup raised $321,748 in a seed funding round through angel investment platform LetsVenture. 

vPhrase: Hedge fund Falcon Edge Capital and Bharat Innovation Fund invested $2 million in the Big Data analytics and business intelligence platform’s Series A round. The four-year-old startup had earlier raised an undisclosed sum from Venture Catalysts.

Resonance Data Management: The Gurugram based AI driven enterprise data platform raised an undisclosed sum in an angel funding round from Inflection Point Ventures or IP Ventures. The capital raised will be used to recruit engineers and expand into overseas markets.

Instoried: The Bengaluru based AI driven startup that uses predictive analytics to help brands strategise, execute and deliver content to customers, raised $500,000 from Venture Catalysts in a seed funding round. The startup was founded last year by former Mu Sigma executive Sharmin Ali and Sutanshu Raj.

Mishry: The Gurugram based product review platform raised an undisclosed sum in an angel funding round from foodtech startup EazyDiner co-founder Vir Sanghvi. The platform reviews and recommends products across categories such as groceries, dairy, snacks and kitchen appliances.


Future Retail: Amazon has acquired a 49% stake in Future Coupons, a promoter entity of Kishore Biyani owned Future Retail. The acquisition gives the Seattle-based ecommerce giant an indirect stake in Future Retail. Future Coupons owns about 4 lakh warrants in Future Retail, which when exercised will convert into 7.3% stake in the latter.

SportsKeeda: Mobile games developers Nazara Technologies has acquired a 67% stake in digital sports content platform SportsKeeda for about $6 million. The acquisition adds 25 million active users to Nazara, which claims to currently have nearly 100 million active users on its network.

Vahanalytics: Bike taxi startup Rapido acquired the Mumbai-based data analytics firm in a cash-and-stock deal. The acquisition will enable Rapido to add driver behaviour analysis capabilities to its technology backbone. The Vahanalytics founding team will join the bike taxi startup and build its data science division.