Amazon chief Jeff Bezos’ $1 billion investment announcement last week seems to have upped spirits in India’s technology startup market. This week, investors put nearly $550 million (excluding undisclosed deal values) to work in new funding rounds, a sharp jump from last week.
Amongst the 19 deals that were closed this week, about a third involved startups raising money at the seed stage while almost all of the remainder were growth stage startups.
The startups that topped the deal charts this week included SaaS (software-as-a-services) startup AppsFlyer, which raised $210 million in growth round from private equity firm General Atlantic. Following up was IoT solutions startup Skylo, scooping in $103 million in a Series B round from Softbank Group.
Another significant infusion was into scooter rental startup Bounce that picked up $8 million along with $97 million raised a fortnight ago, taking the total to $105 million by investors B Capital and Accel.
Another mega event concluded this week with leading food delivery platform Zomato acquiring Uber Eats -- a food delivery extension of ride hailing giant Uber.
Top funding deals
AppsFlyer: SaaS mobile marketing analytics and attribution platform AppsFlyer raised $210 million in a growth round led by New York-based private equity firm General Atlantic. Existing investors, including Israel-based venture capital firm Qumra Capital, Goldman Sachs Growth, private equity firm Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners, and venture capital firms Pitango Venture Capital and Magma Venture Partners, participated in the round.
Skylo: California-based global machine connectivity solution company Skylo Technologies raised $103 million in a Series B round led by SoftBank Group. Existing investors, US-based venture capital firms DCM, Innovation Endeavors and New Moore Strategic Ventures participated in the round. The company has raised $116 million in total funding till date. With the funds, it will scale customer implementations first in India and other emerging markets.
Bounce: Wickedride Adventure Services, the Bengaluru based startup that owns and operates dockless scooter rentals platform Bounce, closed its Series D funding round at $105 million. Venture capital firm Accel and Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s global technology fund B Capital Group led the round. Existing investors including Chiratae Ventures, Falcon Edge, Maverick Ventures, Omidyar Network India, Qualcomm Ventures and Sequoia Capital India also participated in the round. TechCircle had reported earlier this month about the first close of Bounce’s Series D round when it raised $97 million from B Capital and the existing investors.
Konfinity: Artificial intelligence (AI) powered edtech platform Konfinity, raised an undisclosed sum in a seed round led by AngelList. Limited Liability Partnership firm FirstCheque, mCarbon CEO Rajesh Razdan, Jugnoo ClickLabs CEO Samar Singla, founders of healthtech startup Curofy, Amit Kapoor, faculty at Harvard Business School also participated in the round. Singh founded Noida-based Konfinity Infotech, the company that owns the platform, in January last year with Kamal Pandey. The capital raised in this round will be used to expand to over 100 colleges across 12 cities in the next six months.
Digit Insurance: Cloud-based general insurance firm Digit Insurance is raising $84 million in its first external finance round from A91 Partners, Faering Capital and TVS Capital. As part of the round, 72 Digit employees also invested $4.34 million in the company.
LogiNext: California-headquartered transportation automation platform LogiNext Solutions raised $39 million from Tiger Global Management and Steadview Capital. The round values the company at close to $100 million, with the company raising $50 million across multiple rounds to date. A few early investors in the company have exited as part of the round.
Zoomcar: Sequoia Capital-backed self-drive car rental startup Zoomcar raised $30 million as part of an ongoing $100 million ongoing growth funding round from new and returning investors. Sony Innovation Fund by IGV, a venture capital fund backed by Japanese electronics major Sony Corporation among other investors, joined the round as a new investor. The latest infusion comes nearly two years after Bengaluru-based Zoomcar last raised a major funding round. It raised $40 million in February 2018 in a Series C round led by Mahindra & Mahindra.
INDWealth: Goibibo founder Ashish Kashyap’s fintech startup INDWealth, a wealth management platform for HNIs (high net-worth individuals), has raised $12 million in a Series C funding round from returning investors Steadview Capital, Tiger Global Management and new investor DF International. Tona Investments also participated in the round. With this round, the company has raised a total of $57 million so far. The company, in its last funding round in August 2019, raised $15 million from New York based alternative investments firm Tiger Global, and said it would use the funds to grow its AI (artificial intelligence) capabilities, boost research and development, and expand the advisory team, along with investing in marketing and customer acquisition programmes.
Phenom People: India-focused investment management firm WestBridge Capital led a $30 million series C round at a global technology-based human resource company, marking its first technology-based startup bet of the year. The fresh infusion at Philadelphia, United States-based Phenom People brings total investments at the company to $61 million.
Park+: Smart parking solutions startup Park+, founded by former Paytm vice president Amit Lakhotia, raised $11 million in a funding round co-led by Sequoia India and Matrix Partners India. The stage of investment was unspecified. Angel investors, including MakeMyTrip founders Deep Kalra and Rajesh Magow, BookMyShow co-founder Ashish Hemrajani, Cred founder Kunal Shah, and Snapdeal founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal, participated in the round. Currently under development, Park+ aims to digitise parking.
Samya.ai: An emerging technologies-based SaaS (software-as-a-service) for revenue growth, Samya.ai, raised $6 million seed funding from Sequoia India. The fresh infusion will be allocated into product development, R&D, enterprise customer development, data and technology partnerships. The Chicago-headquartered company has an office in London and a main product R&D centre in Bengaluru.
Samosa Singh: Bengaluru-based fast food brand Samosa Singh raised $2.7 million in a Series A funding round led by She Capital. New investors Equanimity Investments, AET Fund Japan and AL Trust participated in the round with returning investor Fireside Ventures. The company will utilise the capital to scale up operations, increase production capabilities and expand to multiple cities through its cloud kitchen model for business-to-consumer supply. The company plans to set up 100 cloud kitchens by the end of 2020.
Pine Labs: Merchant commerce platform Pine Labs raised an undisclosed sum from global payments solution company Mastercard. “The investment is part of a partnership to continue the rapid growth of convenient electronic payment options for consumers across the region,” Pine Labs and Mastercard said in a joint statement. The financial details of the deals were not disclosed.
Nupay: Nupay, a neo-banking business payments platform for large enterprises, governments and SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises), raised an undisclosed amount of funding from early-stage incubator Venture Catalysts. The funding round also saw the participation of angel investors including HDFC Bank ex-country head of branch banking Navin Puri, and ValueFirst CEO and founder Vishwadeep Bajaj. Owned and operated by Entellus Business Solutions, Nupay aims to use the funds for geographical expansion and product optimisation.
She Capital: Anisha Singh, the co-founder of Kinobeo Software, which operates coupon site Mydala.com, announced the first close of her women-focussed venture capital fund, She Capital at Rs 65 crore. The firm is likely to raise Rs 175 crore for its maiden fund from largely Indian institutional investors and family offices.
Sequoia: Sequoia Capital India, the storied Menlo Park, California-headquartered venture capital firm’s local investing arm, is in line to raise its largest country-specific fund yet. The firm is expected to raise a new $1.25 billion fund for India, The Economic Times reported on Friday, citing sources. Sequoia has upped the size of the latest fund by 80%, compared to the $695 million fund, its sixth for this market, which was launched in 2018.
Info Edge: Sanjeev Bikhchandani-led Info Edge formally entered the venture capital business. The Noida-headquartered company launched its maiden venture capital fund, dubbed Info Edge venture Fund or IEVF. Info Edge, which owns popular jobs classifieds platform Naukri, said it would allocate about Rs 100 crore or about $14 million to the new fund.
Uber-Zomato: Food delivery and restaurant discovery platform Zomato acquired ride hailing app Uber’s food delivery business in India, Uber Eats. The all-stock deal gives Uber a 9.99% ownership in Ant Financial backed Zomato. Uber Eats users, restaurants and delivery partners have been moved to the Zomato platform.