Deal Roundup: Seed stage startups draw investor dollars amid muted funding week

Deal Roundup: Seed stage startups draw investor dollars amid muted funding week
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14 Aug, 2020

Funding in the startup ecosystem was slow in the second week of August, with a total of just $29 million raised across 15 deals.

A majority of these investments were seed (67%) -- the largest being a debt infusion worth $6.7 million. Four startups did not disclose funding amounts. 

Total funding saw a 31% drop from last week. Edtech, fintech, agritech, artificial intelligence and short video app startups saw most fundraises.

Among other newsworthy events this week were early-stage venture capital firm Rocketship.vc announcing the close of its $100 million Fund II and Endiya Partners receiving a $10 million commitment from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector investment arm of the World Bank.  

Funding:

UpGrad: Mumbai-based edtech platform UpGrad Education raised Rs 50 crore ($6.7 million) in debt funding from IIFL Income Opportunities Fund (Series II).

Eduvanz: Online student loans platform Eduvanz Financing secured $5 million in an extended Series A round led by venture capital firm Sequoia India. Existing investor venture capital firm Unitus also chipped in during the round.

Verloop: Bengaluru-based Magiclane App Services, the parent of conversational artificial intelligence (AI) platform Verloop, is raising $3.54 million in a Series A round from Alpha Wave Incubation, Pratithi Investment Trust, and Parampara Early Stage Opportunities Fund.

HomeLane: Bengaluru-based Homevista Decor and Furnishings, which operates the interior design solutions marketplace HomeLane, received a commitment for Rs 27.86 crore ($3.72 million) from its existing investors Evolvence India Fund (EIF), JSW Ventures, Sequoia Capital India and Accel.

BigHaat: Agricultural ecommerce platform BigHaat Agro raised $2.2 million in a bridge funding round, dubbed a pre-Series A round, led by Tokyo based Beyond Next Ventures.

ZipLoan: Online lending platform ZipLoan, operated by Delhi-based Blue Jay Finlease, raised $2 million (Rs 15 crore) in a debt round from venture debt firm Stride Ventures.

HungerBox: Bengaluru-headquartered Eat Good Technologies, which owns and operates B2B (business to business) foodtech service HungerBox, has received commitments to raise Rs 11.67 crore ($1.56 million) from existing investors, according to regulatory filings. Returning investors One97 Communications will lead the round.

Terra.do: Online climate school Terra.do raised $1.4 million (Rs 10.47 crore at current exchange rates) of seed funding led by angel network Stanford Angels & Entrepreneurs (India), Singapore-based venture capital firm Beenext, and Zerodha-backed startup incubator and fund Rainmatter Capital.

Chingari: Short video content app Chingari has raised $1.3 million in a seed round from AngelList India, Utsav Somani’s micro fund iSeed and venture capital firms Village Global and LogX Ventures. 

CityCash: Tap Smart Data Information Services, which runs fintech startup CityCash, has raised $1 million in a seed funding round from early stage venture capital fund Orios Venture Partners. 

Text Mercato: Bengaluru based Text Mercato Solutions, which runs an eponymous cataloguing and content management platform, has raised Rs 4.85 crore ($646,000) in a funding round led by equity crowdfunding platform 1Crowd. 

Four startups -- Bobble AI, Dave.ai, Winuall and Cusmat -- did not disclose the funding amounts.  Among these, Bobble AI raised an undisclosed amount from digital advertising platform Affle India. The investment amounts to an 8% ownership in the Gurugram-based startup. Under the agreement, Affle has an option to purchase an incremental ownership interest in Bobble AI based on attainment of certain key performance targets within the next three years. 

M&A

InCred- Vishuddha Capital Management: Financial services platform InCred has acquired equity focused alternative investment fund (AIF) Vishuddha Capital Management to enter the asset management business. 

ConveGenius- Gray Matters India: Noida-based edtech social enterprise ConveGenius has acquired education assessment and analytics platform Gray Matters India (GMI). The acquisition is expected to help ConveGenius integrate GMI’s measurement science to arrive at remediation requirements for students on the ConveGenius platform. 

Venture Capital Funds

Rocketship.vc: Los Altos, California headquartered early stage venture capital firm Rocketship.vc, which has backed Indian startups like Khatabook and mobility startup Yulu, announced the final close of its $100 million second fund (Fund II) this week. The fund counts private equity major Vulcan Capital, global private funds manager  Adam Street Partners as well as the family office of Marc Andreesen and Chris Dixon as investors.  

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