Strategic investors stepped in this week to move the needle on dealmaking in India’s technology startup funding market.
South African internet and media conglomerate Naspers made its presence felt in two deals -- fintech startup Fisdom and logistics startup ElasticRun. While its Euronext-listed arm Prosus invested in ElasticRun, though Prosus Ventures, the investment in Fisdom was made by Prosus-owned payments company PayU.
Among other strategics, Chinese technology conglomerate Tencent Holdings wrote out a big cheque to Times Internet owned OTT video content firm MX Player. And Japanese automobile major Toyota Motor Corporation got on the mobility bandwagon in India with an investment in Shuttl.
The bets by these strategic investors shored up overall funding during the week to over $208 million across 9 deals, a significant improvement from last week.
Funding aside, the most notable deal this week was the acquisition of troubled ecommerce firm ShopClues by Singapore-based Qoo10.
Funding apart, the other notable deal this week was the acquisition of troubled ecommerce firm ShopClues by Singapore-based Qoo10. The deal brings to a close a prolonged bid by the Tiger Global backed firm to find a buyer as it ran out of momentum and capital over the past couple of years, even as it grappled with founder-related strife. ShopClues’ acquisition -- the deal reportedly values the company at less than $100 million -- marks the implosion of yet another homegrown ecommerce unicorn after its Gurugram-based peer Snapdeal.
Top Funding Deals
MX Player: Video streaming platform MX Player raised $110 million in a growth funding round from Tencent, in a development post two years since Times Internet bought the South Korean platform for $147 million.
ElasticRun: The Pune-based digital logistics platform scored a $40 million Series C fundraise led by Naspers-owned Prosus Ventures. Venture capital firms Kalaari Capital and Avataar Ventures also participated in the round.
Fisdom: The Bengaluru-based wealth management app raised $11 million in a funding round led by digital payment solutions firm PayU. Returning investors Saama Capital and Quona Capital also participated in the round.
Shuttl: The Gurugram-based bus aggregator’s parent holding, Super Highway Labs, raised $18 million in a Series C round from Toyota Motor Corporation and Mirai Creation Fund. The latest infusion takes the total capital raised by the startup to nearly $60 million.
Woovly: The Bengaluru-based social discovery platform raised $2.5 million in a second seed funding round led by venture capital firm Duane Park, an investment firm set up by India Equity Partners co-founder Anurag Bhargava.
Fasal: The Bengaluru-based agri-tech platform, owned by Wolkus Technology Solutions, raised $1.6 million in a seed funding round from new and existing investors. New investors in the round included impact venture capital firm Omnivore and Singapore-based early stage investor Wavemaker Partners.
ShopClues: Former ecommerce unicorn ShopClues merged with Singapore headquartered ecommerce platform Qoo10 in an all stock deal, enabling Qoo10 to expand its presence in the Indian market as a cross-border ecommerce platform.
The deal valued ShopClues at about $70 million, an Economic Times report said citing sources. At its peak, the Gurugram headquartered ecommerce firm was valued at $1.1 billion. The deal will likely see most of ShopClues investors write off their investments.
Jungle Ventures: The Singapore-headquartered venture capital firm announced the final close of its $240 million third fund, dubbed Jungle Ventures III. The firm has backed companies such as home decor company Livspace, SME focused commerce platform Moglix, and marketing and analytics platform for food and beverage industry Mobikon.
IIT Delhi: The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi launched its global alumni endowment fund with an initial committed corpus of about $35 million. The fund aims to achieve a target corpus of $1 billion over a seven-year period. Alumni who committed more than a million dollars each to the fund included Flipkart founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, WestBridge Capital founder Sandeep Singhal, ICRA director Arun Duggal, Udaan co-founder Sujeet Kumar, and Sashi Reddi, founder of SRI Capital.