Deal Roundup: Startup funding jumps 2.5X with Swiggy, Unacademy at the fore

Deal Roundup: Startup funding jumps 2.5X with Swiggy, Unacademy at the fore
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24 Feb, 2020

The third week of February saw investors double down on mature investments. About 50% of the deals during the week were follow on investments from returning investors.  

Overall, startups scooped up a total of $401 million (value of disclosed deals) in investments, a 2.5 times increase from last week’s $135 million. 

The top deals of the week included Swiggy and Unacademy.  The online food delivery platform picked up $112.5 million from South African conglomerate Naspers’ arm Prosus and online test preparation platform Unacademy secured $110 million from social media giant Facebook and private equity firm General Atlantic. 

Other major funding deals from the week included startups such as Digit Insurance and Whatfix.

Apart from the funding bonanza, the week also registered two entries in the M&A account. Sequoia-backed Voonik merged its business-to-business arm with Dhaka-based B2b platform ShopUp while the B2C single brand retail business will be merged into Bengaluru-based Schoolay. Shriram Automall India, which acquired its peer BlueJack, operated by New Delhi headquartered Four Wheel Group India, marked the second acquisition deal of the week.

Top Funding Deals

Swiggy: Food delivery platform Swiggy raised $112.5 million in a growth round from returning investors Prosus, Meituan-Dianping and Wellington Management.  The growth round, dubbed Series I, now has Prosus hold over 40% of the company’s preferential shares.  The Bengaluru-based startup last raised funds in its over $1 billion worth Series H round led by Naspers in December 2018.

Unacademy: Bengaluru-based test preparation platform Unacademy raised $110 million in a growth funding round from General Atlantic and Facebook. Existing investors Sequoia Capital India, Nexus Venture Partners, Steadview Capital and Blume Ventures participated in the round. The capital infusion takes Unacademy’s total funding to $187 million, according to data available with VCCEdge.

Digit Insurance: Cricketer Virat Kohli and actor and producer Anushka Sharma have joined cloud-based general insurance company Go Digit General Insurance’s first external financing round. The company has raised a total of $84.85 million from a consortium of investors including A91 Partners, TVS Capital and Faering Capital. Talent management company Cornerstone Sport and venture capital firm UBR Capital also participated in this round. The funding round values Go Digit General Insurance, which owns new-age non-life insurance platform Digit Insurance, at $765 million.  

Whatfix: Business-to-business (B2B) digital adoption solutions provider Whatfix raised $32 million in a Series C round of funding led by Sequoia Capital India. Returning investors Fidelity International backed venture capital firm Eight Roads Ventures; Cambridge, Massachusetts-based venture capital investor F-Prime Capital; and Cisco Investments participated in the round. The company plans to use the latest funding for expansion of product offerings globally.

Onsitego: OnSite Electro Services, which owns and operates after-sales services platform for electronic devices Onsitego, raised $19 million in a Series B led by Zodius Growth Fund. 

Onsitego’s sole existing investor Palo Alto, California headquartered venture capital firm Accel participated in the round. In 2015, the Mumbai-based company raised $2 million in a Series A round from Accel, according to data available with VCCEdge. The investment will be used to consolidate the company’s market position in the device protection market, and expand into annual maintenance contracts, home protection and on-demand services.

Carbon Clean Solutions: Cleantech startup Carbon Clean Solutions Limited (CCSL), raised $16 million in a funding round from Boston-based private equity firm WAVE Equity Partners, US-based venture capital firm Chevron Technology Ventures, and Japanese early stage investor Marubeni Corporation. The United Kingdom headquartered startup, which runs an engineering center in Mumbai, had raised its first institutional capital from Blume Ventures in 2011. The latest capital infusion will be used to deliver an existing pipeline of global projects and develop a containerised solution that the company says will be able to bring down the cost of CO2 capture to $30/tonne by 2021. It will also use the capital to expand its customer base.

Dunzo: Hyperlocal logistics platform Dunzo raised $11 million in a debt round from existing investor Alteria Capital.  The latest infusion takes the total capital, equity and debt, raised by the company so far to $87.23 million, according to VCCEdge. “In this journey, as markets turn profitable, we are able to fuel our growth with debt while having a significantly higher return on investment for customers and stakeholders,” Kabeer Biswas, CEO and co-founder of Dunzo, said in a statement.

Zvesta: Gurugram-based proptech company Zvesta raised $5.5 million in a Series A funding round from Hindustan Media Ventures. The company will use the capital to build its brand and collaborative marketing for real estate aggregation. Its primary focus is to build partnerships across India and strengthen its technology product. Founded by Dang and Anushree Srivastava in 2016, Zvesta is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform for buyers, sellers, developers and brokers to search, list, advertise, sell, buy and rent properties.

Shuttl: Gurugram-based bus aggregator platform Shuttl raised $3 million in a fresh funding round from Tokyo headquartered industrial conglomerate Sojitz Corporation. The latest infusion follows a $8.1 million round that the company raised in January this year. Overall, the company has raised $60 million from investors including Lightspeed India Partners, Sumitomo Mitsui Corporation and Trifecta Capital, according to data available with VCCEdge.

MaxWholesale: Business-to-business (B2B) ecommerce and supply chain platform MaxWholesale, raised $3 million in Series A round led by IAN Fund and Al Falaj Investment Company (AFI), the Abu Dhabi-based private family office focused on venture capital and private equity investments. Returning investor Abhinav Grover of Maple Capital also invested in his personal capacity, as did former CFO of Naukri.com parent Info Edge (India) Ambarish Raghuvanshi and managing director of women's ethnic wear brand Biba, Siddharth Bindra. With the latest investment, the company plans to hire talent to develop its technology and accelerate growth.

Invideo: San Francisco-headquartered do-it-yourself (DIY) video platform Invideo raised $2.5 million in a funding round from Sequoia Capital India’s accelerator programme Surge. Former Facebook executive Anand Chandrasekaran, who has invested in startups such as NoBroker and MoEngage, and Gokul Rajaram, a lead product developer at fintech firm Square, participated in the round. With the latest round, the company has raised a total funding of $3.2 million till date.

Sanfe: New Delhi headquartered hygiene brand Sanfe (Sanitation for Female) raised $1.1 million in a seed funding round from venture capital firm SucSEED Venture Partners, Snapdeal founders Rohit Bansal and Kunal Bahl-run venture capital unit Titan Capital, the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) and pharmaceutical company Elixir Pharma. Redroom Technology, which owns and operates Sanfe, plans to use the fresh capital to strengthen its team.

PlanetSpark: Gurugram headquartered edtech startup PlanetSpark raised approximately $448,000 in a seed funding round from Indian Angel Network, Lead Angels and Hyderabad Angels. The round also saw participation from returning investor FIITJEE, a test preparation platform backed by Matrix Partners India. Winspark Innovations Learning, which owns and operates PlanetSpark, will use the funds to expand its business into new geographies. It plans to increase enrolments by ten times in the next 12-15 months.

M&A

Voonik-ShopUp: Sujayath Ali and Navaneetha Krishnan, founders of ecommerce startup Voonik Technologies joined ShopUp, a Dhaka-based B2B platform for small and medium businesses, as co-founders. Voonik’s B2B business and technology platform is being merged with ShopUp while the B2C single brand retail business is being merged with Bengaluru-based Schoolay. “Voonik's B2B business and tech platform has merged with ShopUp. The entire team is absorbed by ShopUp. Kiran Hiriyanna will be heading the Voonik's B2C single brand retail business -- this business has been spun out and merged with Schoolay,” Ali told TechCircle.

Shriram Automall-Blue Jack: Shriram Automall India, a sister concern of online automobile marketplaces CarTrade and CarWale, acquired its peer BlueJack, operated by New Delhi headquartered Four Wheel Group India. Although the financial details of the deal were not disclosed, the acquisition will likely provide an exit route to BlueJack’s investors, including venture capital firm Westbridge Ventures, Singapore Angel Network, Quintillion Media, which is the owner of news platform The Quint, and some angels. BlueJack is a consumer-to-dealer platform that sells cars primarily to used car dealers. So far, it has conducted 2,500 transactions and evaluated over 10,000 cars, as per information on its website.

Funds

Blume Ventures: Homegrown venture capital firm Blume Ventures closed its third fund, dubbed Blume Ventures Fund III, at $102 million, taking the firm’s total capital under management to about $220 million. The final close of the fund, which the firm started raising in late 2018, was completed in December last year. The first close, at $45 million, was completed in October 2018. With the larger corpus, Mumbai-based Blume aims to own larger stakes and stay invested longer in investee companies that it identifies as breakout businesses within the portfolio.

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