Deal Roundup: November startup funding closes on a high with Paytm’s big haul
After a dull three-week run, November closed with a bang in terms of funding activity in India’s technology startup market. The rally was chiefly on the back of a massive $1 billion funding round that One97 Communications, the Delhi headquartered company that owns payments platform Paytm, scooped up from new and returning investors.
Overall, funding in the closing week of the month stood at $1.05 billion, a significant jump from the less than $500 million raised during the first three weeks of the month combined. The number of deals reported this week was slightly lower at 12.
Apart from Paytm, the other notable funding-related development during the week was the approval of OYO’s $1.5 billion fundraising round. The Gurugram headquartered hospitality company will receive the capital from founder-promoter Ritesh Agarwal and existing investor SoftBank Group Corp. Following the completion of the transaction, Softbank’s stake will reach its maximum limit of 49.99% and RA Hospitality will hold a 8.60% stake in the company.
Aside of OYO and Paytm, deal activity during the week remained largely concentrated at the angel and seed stages.
It was a busy week in terms of mergers and acquisitions with four deals coming through, including FirstCry’s acquisition of Oi Playschool, and InMobi arm Glance’s acquisition of multi-lingual short video platform Roposo.
Top funding deals
Paytm: Digital payments company Paytm raised $1 billion in a fresh round of funding from existing and new investors, including US-based asset management firm T RowePrice. The round also saw participation from returning investors Ant Financial, SoftBank and Discovery Capital. The company will use the funds to grow its payments and financial services business.
Tookitaki: Regulatory-tech startup Tookitaki Holding raised an additional $11.7 million in its extended Series A funding round led by Viola Fintech and SIG Asia Investment. With this funding, the company’s total size of Series A investment reaches $19.2 million. The company had raised $7.5 million in March 2019 as the first part of the Series A round.
Mosaic Wellness: Consumer brand Mosaic Wellness raised $10 million in its first funding round from Matrix Partners India, Sequoia Capital India and SAIF Partners. The startup, which is yet to launch its products, plans to go live next year. The company is founded by Revant Bhate and Dhyanesh Shah, both former venture capitalists with Kalaari Capital and Eight Road Ventures respectively.
Yulu: Bengaluru-based shared micro-mobility startup Yulu Bikes raised $9.5 million in its Series A round led by two-wheeler maker Bajaj Auto. The investment will enable Yulu to leverage Bajaj’s manufacturing operations and allow it to explore vehicle financing arrangements for its fleet. With the latest infusion, the total equity capital raised by the company reaches $16.5 million.
BlackBuck: Logistics solutions platform, BlackBuck, run by Bengaluru-based Zinka Logistics Solutions, bagged $7.85 million in a combination of debt and equity infusion by venture lender Trifecta Capital. This round took the company’s overall valuation to $230 million.
Zumutor Biologics: Biotech startup Zumutor Biologics raised $4 million led by venture capital firm Bharat Innovation Fund and existing investor Accel. The company is developing immunotherapies to fight cancer. With the latest infusion, the total capital raised by the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company, touches $20 million.
HoliSol: Delhi-based logistics solution provider, Holisol Logistics, in an asset financing round, grabbed $2.8 million from Mumbai based non-banking financing firm, BlackSoil Capital. The 2009 founded company claims warehouse area of one million square feet across 27 centres in the country.
FirstU: Vehicle maintenance solutions provider FirstU raised an undisclosed amount of funding in a seed round from venture capital firm India Quotient, startup accelerator FirstCheque, Farooq Adam, co-founder at e-commerce company Fynd and other angel investors.
WonDRx: Mumbai-based prescription digitisation company WonDRx raised an undisclosed amount in a seed round from Venture Catalysts and NB Ventures. The company provides doctors with a digital pen and Smart Rx paper.
Oi Playschool: Pune-based baby products retailer FirstCry entered the pre-primary education business with the acquisition of Oi Playschool. The financial details of the transaction were undisclosed. FirstCry acquired Oi Playschool, part of the Hyderabad-based People Combine Group, through Edubee Education.
Roposo: A subsidiary of advertising technology firm InMobi, Glance has acquired multi-lingual short video platform Roposo. The deal happened shortly after the company received major funds from Peter Thiel’s Mithril Capital. The acquisition will give Glance access to Roposo’s content creators, users, video technology, platform and brand, InMobi said in a statement.
Flyrobe: Online fashion rental platform Rent It Bae merged with Mumbai-based fashion rental startup Flyrobe to expand its omnichannel footprint. The deal is a combination of cash and stock and the new business is now valued at $8.4 million. The new company will operate under the brand Flyrobe. Former CEO of Rent It Bae, Anchal Saini, will head the new company.
Quikmile: Telecommunications giant Bharti Airtel acqui-hired Gurgaon-based logistics solutions platform Quikmile. While both the parties refrained from disclosing the deal amount, Airtel did reveal that post acqui-hire, Quikmile’s team will be merged within Airtel’s X Labs.
P&G India: The Indian arm of American consumer goods giant Procter and Gamble has set up a Rs 200 crore ($ 27.8 mn ) fund to invest into companies offering environmentally sustainable business solutions. Calling it the ‘Environmental Sustainability Fund’, the company intends to screen potential investees at the two day P&G vGROW External Business Partner Summit, a P&G India company statement revealed.