Deal Roundup: Mahindra drives into the ride hailing market; startup funding slumps again to $106.3 mn

Deal Roundup: Mahindra drives into the ride hailing market; startup funding slumps again to $106.3 mn
Photo Credit: Photo Credit: VCCircle
6 Sep, 2019

Two outsized Series A stage deals -- 75F and Atomberg Technologies -- were among the 13-odd early stage technology deals that drew a total of $106.3 million from investors this week. Compared to last week, both the volume and value of deals saw a decline. 

Mumbai-based Matrix Partners scored two deals during the week, both in the fintech sector -- Yelo and First Principle Labs. Kedaara Capital, the Mumbai based private equity firms, announced its entry into the consumer internet sector with a secondary investment in eyewear retailer Lenskart.

In other notable deal news, Flipkart founder Binny Bansal sold shares worth $14 million to Tiger Global Management, the Walmart owned ecommerce company’s longtime backer.

The big deal of the week, however, was an M&A transaction. The diversified Mahindra Group entered the competitive ride hailing market with the acquisition of a controlling stake in Mumbai based radio taxi operator Meru.

Top funding deals

75F: The IoT-based building automation startup raised $18 million in an outsized Series A funding round from Breakthrough Energy Ventures, the venture capital arm of the Breakthrough Energy Coalition that is backed by Michael Bloomberg, Mukesh Ambani, Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, among others, and Climate Initiative. 75F uses IoT, cloud computing and machine learning to enable commercial buildings to improve operational efficiencies. 

Myelin: The deep-tech startup raised $1 million in a seed round from Endiya Partners and angel investors. Founded by former Tata Sons group CTO Gopichand Katragadda, Myelin applies AI algorithms to unstructured data on the edge to deliver outcomes across sectors such as entertainment, health and wellness and national security.

Atomberg: The Mumbai based smart fans maker raised an unusually large Series A round led by A91 Partners, the private equity firm founded recently by a group of former Sequoia Capital India partners. The startup, which uses IoT to connect electrical appliances, will use the $10 million it raised to grow its R&D team and strengthen its intellectual property.

Lenskart: Private equity firm Kedaara Capital is slated to invest $15 million in the Delhi based eyewear etailer in a secondary transaction. Lenskart’s existing investors PremjiInvest and Chiratae Ventures (earlier known as IDG Ventures India) are expected to book partial exits through the transaction. 

Cashflo: The Mumbai based fintech startup raised $3.3 million from venture capital firm SAIF Partners, Ashish Iyer, former senior partner at Boston Consulting Group, and Arpan Sheth, partner and managing director at Bain & Co. 

Yelo: The Mumbai based neo bank raised an undisclosed sum in a seed round from Matrix Partners and Omidyar Network. Existing investor Better Capital participated in the round. The startup will use the capital to build native language capabilities into its platform.

GOQii: The Vishal Gondal founded wearable devices maker raised $6.2 million from media and publishing major Bennett, Coleman and Company. The latest infusion follows an undisclosed sum that the startup raised in June from actor Akshay Kumar as part of its ongoing Series C round.


Meru: The troubled Mumbai-based radio taxi operator found a new home in Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) with the latter acquiring a controlling stake in the company. The transaction will also give Meru’s existing investors -- Brand Capital and True North -- an opportunity to liquidate their stakes in the company. With the acquisition, M&M, through Meru, enters the booming ride hailing market, currently dominated by Bengaluru-based Ola and San Francisco headquartered Uber.

Danamica: Soon after buying a hotel in Las Vegas, budget hospitality chain OYO acquired Copenhagen based Danamica, a data science company with machine learning and business intelligence capabilities. OYO plans to use the acquisition to enhance its capabilities to use pricing as a differentiator across its properties.