Deal Roundup: Unicorn India exits Boxx.ai; Lokal, Urban Ladder draw investors in muted week for startup funding

Deal Roundup: Unicorn India exits Boxx.ai; Lokal, Urban Ladder draw investors in muted week for startup funding
Photo Credit: 123RF.com
8 Nov, 2019

The sea-saw with respect to funding activity in India’s technology startup market continued into November. The opening week of the month saw most of bellwether investors remain on the sidelines after a somewhat busy week at the end of last month. 

Against more than $200 million raised across nine deals last week, this week reported seven deals worth $19 million. It should be noted, though, that the value of several of those deals was undisclosed. 

Another factor for the overall lower deal value was that almost all the startups that raised capital this week were relatively early stage where ticket sizes are smaller. Even furniture etailer Urban Ladder, a growth stage company, managed to garner just $2.1 million as part of an ongoing growth round. 

Separately, SaaS startup Freshworks reportedly raised a $150 million growth round from returning investors Google, Sequoia Capital and Accel. The company did not confirm the deal.

While funding activity was muted, more early stage capital got pumped into the system with IAN Fund announcing the close of its $53 million maiden fund.

Top funding deals

Gradeup: The test preparation platform raised $7 million in a Series A round from returning investor Times Internet. Earlier, it had raised $3 million from Times Internet, a subsidiary of Bennett, Coleman and Company.  

Lokal: The company, which owns vernacular news and classified app Lokal, raised $3 million in a funding round led by venture capital firms India Quotient and 3one4 Capital. California-based seed accelerator Y Combinator, Mountain View, RB Investments and Soma Capital also participated in the funding.  

BeYouPlus: The Gurugram-based company has raised $3.2 million in Series A round led by venture capital firm IvyCap Ventures. Other investors include Madison Capital and Singapore Angel Network. The startup provides skincare consultations online.

Urban Ladder: The company, which operates online furniture portal Urban Ladder, raised $2.1 million from returning investors Sequoia Capital, Steadview Capital and SAIF Partners in a growth round.

PiggyRide: The Bengaluru-based firm transport startup raised $1 million in a seed funding round from Tokyo-based venture capital firm JAFCO Investment Asia Pacific along with individual angel investors. The company provides air-conditioned transport facility to commute kids to and from school.  

Paying Guest Online: The hostel and co-living booking platform raised $2 million in a seed round from Sreeni Musani, chief managing director of realty company Ektha Group and Narsi Reddy Posham,  director of IRA Realty Tech.  

Trell Experiences: The video blogging startup raised $304,268 from early venture capital firm Beenext via compulsorily convertible debentures. The Singapore-based investor had infused $1.25 million in the company in 2018 along with Sprout Venture Partners and WEH Ventures.


Boxx.ai: Mumbai-based venture capital firm Unicorn India Ventures scored an early exit when SaaS firm Netcore acquired city-based AI startup Boxx.ai in a cash and stock deal. Unicorn had invested $500,000 in the startup back in 2016.

Xeraphin: Used cars marketplace Droom acquired NBFC Xeraphin Finvest for an undisclosed sum to strengthen its lending arm. 


IAN Fund: The largest organised angel network in the country closed IAN Fund, its maiden seed and early stage fund, raising $53 million as against targeted corpus of $50 million. Investors in the fund included entities such as SIDBI’s fund of fund for startups, IIFL, Wadhwani Foundation, Grey Matters Capital. Infosys founder Kris Gopalakrishnan, former Google India head Rajan Anandan, and Mphasis founder Jerry Rao also invested in the fund.