After a dull start to 2020, the second week of the new year saw technology startups rack up 17 deals worth $557 million. The funding boom was driven by technology unicorns Byju’s and Zomato, who together accounted for two thirds of overall investments this week.
Edtech startup Byju’s topped the charts with a $200 million funding round, while foodtech player Zomato raised $150 million.
Another heavy-hitter this week was shared mobility player Bounce which picked up close to $100 mn.
Also among other key developments, early stage venture capital fund Mantra Capital raised $24 million in the first close of its $60 million cross-border maiden fund.
Top funding deals
Byju’s: Bengaluru-based ed-tech unicorn raised $200 million in a fresh round of investment from New York-headquartered alternative investments firm Tiger Global. The round valued the nine-year-old firm at $8 billion. The company had raised $150 million from Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund Qatar Investment Authority and other investors in July 2019.
Zomato: Online food delivery platform Zomato raised $150 million from existing investor Ant Financial, valuing it at $3 billion. The capital is part of a larger $500-million funding round that is likely to close in the next two months. The funding comes at a time when ride-hailing app Uber is seeking to potentially invest in Zomato, along with selling its food delivery business UberEats in India. Bounce: Bengaluru-based Bounce raised $97 million in a growth round (Series D) led by Saverin’s venture capital fund B Capital. The round also saw first-time investors in Bounce -- Stellenbosch, South Africa-based seed stage investor Alpha Wave Ventures and Chiratae Ventures founder and MD Bruno E Raschle in his individual capacity. Existing investors such as venture capital firms Accel, Sequoia Capital India, Qualcomm Ventures, Chiratae Ventures, IDG Ventures and ON Mauritius also participated in the round. With this, Bounce has raised around $190 million till date, as per data available with VCCEdge.
Elara Tech: Singapore-based real estate tech and advisory company Elara Technologies, which owns Housing.com, PropTiger.com and Makaan.com, raised $70 million from its existing investors News Corp and REA Group. The company will be using the funds to accelerate growth, develop new products and technology and expand its sales team.
Mamaearth: Personal care brand Mamaearth raised $18 million in a fresh round of investment led by venture capital firm Sequoia Capital India. Returning investors Fireside Ventures, Stellaris Venture Partners and Sharp Ventures also participated in the round. Some of its early angel investors exited during this round, clocking over 20 times returns on their investment. The company will use the funds to launch a new range of direct to consumer brands, hire more talent and expand into key markets in Southeast Asia to push its internet-first growth strategy, targeting new-age and millennial consumers. It aims to build a 500 crore brand by acquiring 5 million new consumers over the course of the next three years.
Testbook: Edtech company Testbook, raised $8.3 million in a Series B round led by venture capital firm Iron Pillar. Returning investors including early-stage investment firms Matrix Partners India, Better Capital, and AngelList India, Reliance Jio Infocomm president Vikas Choudhury also participated in the round. The company was founded in 2014 by IIT-Bombay and IIT-Delhi graduates Ashutosh Kumar, Narendra Agarwal, Yadavendra Champavat, Abhishek Sagar, Manoj Munna and Praveen Agarwal. The platform provides online learning, practice and assessment to students preparing for competitive exams.
Axio Biosolutions: Bengaluru-based wound care products maker Axio Biosolutions, raised $5.2 million in a Series B-1 round of funding led by Omidyar Network India to fuel its global expansion plans. The round takes the total funding raised by the company till date to about $15 million. In its last funding round, the startup had raised $7.4 million in a Series B round led by RNT Capital Advisors in January 2018. It will use the fresh funds to expand its global footprint, especially in the USA and western Europe.
Rivigo: Gurugram-based logistics technology company Rivigo Services raised $3.4 million in a debt funding round from venture debt firm Trifecta Capital. The debt funding came with a Series F round of $20 million from existing investors SAIF Partners and Spring Canter Investment. Of the $20 million, around $11.5 million came from Spring Canter and SAIF Partners poured in about $8.1 million. With this round, the total amount raised by Rivigo reaches $257.4 million, mostly from SAIF Partners and Warbug Pincus. When the company last raised funds in September 2019, it was valued at approximately $995 million, just a tad short of the $1 billion Unicorn status.
Rheo: Online e-sports streaming and community platform Rheo raised $2 million in a seed funding round from marquee venture capital firms Lightspeed India, Sequoia Capital India and nine HNIs (high net-worth individuals). The company will use the capital to further develop our product, produce more vernacular content on the platform and make key hires. Rheo was part of the second cohort at Surge, Sequoia’s 16 month-long flagship accelerator programme for early-stage startups in the Indian and Southeast Asian regions.
Generico: Retail pharmacy chain Generico raised $1.39 million in a venture debt funding from Alteria Capital. The transaction is part of Generico’s Series A round of funding. Founded by Siddharth Gadia and Girish Agarwal in 2017, Generico has so far raised an aggregate equity funding of $16 million. The startup currently has 49 outlets in Mumbai from where it sells generic and branded medicines. The company plans to increase its footprint to 150 outlets by 2021.
High Street Essentials: Delhi NCR-based High Street Essentials, which owns omni-channel women’s fashion brands FabAlley and Indya, raised approximately $1.1 million (Rs 8 crore) in a debt funding round from Trifecta Capital. This is Trifecta Capital’s second round of debt infusion into the company. It had previously invested Rs 5 crore in the startup in January 2018. Started in June 2012 by Shivani Poddar and Tanvi Malik, FabAlley is a women’s western wear label, which claims to identify global fashion trends and convert them into affordable apparel, jewellery, accessories, shoes and bags for Indian women. The company then launched Indya, an ethnic-fusion brand, in 2016, to address the contemporary Indian wear market.
Chai Kings: Tea retailer Chai Kings, raised $1 million in a seed round led by returning investor and local angel investment network Chennai Angels. The round also saw participation from new investors -- also angel investment networks -- Hyderabad Angels and TiE India Angels. This is the second round of investment at the Chennai-based startup, which last raised an angel fundraise of about $0.3 million (Rs 2 crore) in 2018.
IncubateHub: Early-stage incubator Venture Catalysts made an undisclosed investment in management-as-a-service platform IncubateHub. It will use the funds to increase operational capacity and expand its global footprint. Founded by Mukherjee, Uday Vipra and Pradeep V, IncubateHub connects large companies with deep-tech startups to accelerate solution development, drive digital transformation and improve build capacity.
Harappa Education: James Murdoch-led private investment firm Lupa Systems has acquired a majority stake in ed-tech startup Harappa Education. The New York- and Mumbai-headquartered firm had, in 2019, invested in the US and the UK, including media companies Tribeca Enterprises and Vice Media, virtual and augmented reality startup The Void and data analytics firm Percepient.ai. Through the funding, Harappa Education plans to speed up its product development, invest in high-quality curriculum creation and significantly scale its operations.
Rage Coffee: Fast-moving consumer goods brand Rage Coffee, raised an undisclosed amount from a clutch of investors led by early-stage venture capital firm Refex Capital. Members of angel network, Keiretsu Forum Chennai, founder and MD of Wazir Advisors Harminder Sahni and former joint MD of CavinKare TD Mohan, also invested in Rage Coffee. The freshly-infused capital will be used to launch new products, scale up production, strengthen the team and expand the company’s omni-channel distribution presence.
Skilancer Solar: Noida-based clean-tech startup Skilancer Solar raised an undisclosed amount in a seed round from early-stage accelerator platform Venture Catalysts. The funding comes seven months after the company raised funds in a funding round from venture capital firm Alfa Ventures. With the latest funds, the company plans to expand its product services to potential customers like solar plant owners, EPC (Engineering procurement and construction) contractors and solar operations and maintenance companies.
Indegene: Bengaluru-based healthtech company Indegene, announced Syneos Health as a strategic collaborator and minority investor in Indegene Omnipresence, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Indegene. Syneos Health invested an undisclosed amount in Indegene Omnipresence.
Mantra Capital: Early-stage venture capital firm Mantra Capital raised $24 million for its maiden fund. The final close for the $60 million Atlanta, US-headquartered fund is likely to be concluded by summer 2020.