Funding activity in India’s technology startup market remained dull into the second week of October, continuing with a downtrend that started in late September.
Investors put $59.4 million to work across 12 deals last week. The money was spread across sectors such as ecommerce, fintech, health-tech and analytics. While the overall capital invested may have been low, the upside is that early stage deals, angel to Series A, accounted for more than half the number of deals closed.
Making news again last week was OYO. RA Hospitality, a company owned by Ritesh Agarwal, founder of budget hospitality chain OYO, is scheduled to infuse $700 million into OYO Hotels and Homes, as part of an ongoing $1.5 billion growth funding round, according to regulatory filings. The $1.5 billion round has been one of the more talked about deals this year, chiefly because a founder-led buyback of this scale in India’s startup sector is a bit of a rare occurrence. The buyback is expected to deliver generous exits to OYOs’ early backers Lightspeed Venture Partners and Sequoia Capital India.
Top Funding Deals
Melorra: The digital-only jewellery brand raised $12 million in a Series C funding round led by returning investor Lightbox. Venture lender Blacksoil Capital, also a returning backer, participated in the round along with a clutch of new investors.
DealShare: The Jaipur-based social commerce platform raised $11 million in seed and Series A rounds led by venture capital firm Matrix Partners India and hedge fund Falcon Edge. Founded in 2018, DealShare offers grocery and home care products to middle and lower income consumers in Tier II and III towns.
Hevo Data: The Bengaluru-based data analytics startup raised $4 million in a seed round from Surge and venture capital firm Chiratae Ventures. Surge is the India and Southeast Asia focused startup accelerator backed by Sequoia Capital India. Also read about the 12 Indian startups that made it to the second cohort of the accelerator programme.
U Gro Capital: The Mumbai-based technology-focused small business lending platform raised $10.6 million from Flipkart founder Sachin Bansal and Poonawalla Finance.
Vahdam Teas: The Delhi-based premium tea etailer raised $10.5 million in a Series C round led by venture capital firm Sixth Sense Ventures. Other investors in the round included The Mankind Group family office, Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan and Zomato co-founder Pankaj Chaddah, apart from returning investor Fireside Ventures. The startup, founded by fourth generation tea entrepreneur Bala Sarda, will enter new markets and beef up R&D following the latest round.
Symtten: The Gurugram-based ecommerce startup raised $1.5 million in a seed round led by venture capital firm Roots Ventures. Prior investors in the startup include former Google India chief Rajan Anandan and Livspace CEO Anuj Srivastava. It currently has operations in Ahmedabad from where it ships all orders and plans to set up more such facilities in the southern part of India.
Venture Capital Funds
Inventus: The Bengaluru based venture capital firm announced the final close of its third fund at $52 million. The fund is Inventus’ first India-specific fund, led by partners Parag Dhol, Samir Kumar and Rutvik Doshi. The firm is expected to complete making new investments from the fund over the next 2-3 years, Dhol told TechCircle.