Deal Roundup: MPL, ShareChat score in a tepid week for startup funding

Deal Roundup: MPL, ShareChat score in a tepid week for startup funding
Photo Credit: 123RF.com
25 Sep, 2020

After the blockbuster funding period in early September, the technology startup segment in India saw a massive slump this week.

Eleven startups raised a total of $211 million against $431 million across 16 deals last week. Two companies did not disclose the amount raised. Fantasy gaming platform Mobile Premier League (MPL) and homegrown social media company ShareChat topped the funding chart.

In other major news, about a fortnight after bringing private equity giant Silver Lake to its cap table, edtech major Byju’s raised an undisclosed amount of investment from a new set of large global investors.

Mukesh Ambani led Reliance Industries has signed a second large investment deal with New York headquartered private equity firm KKR this week.

The More supermarket chain raised Rs 275 crore ($37.4 million) from ecommerce major Amazon and private equity firm Samara Capital.

IT services firm Tech Mahindra sold about 18.5 million shares of its investment in telecom software services provider Altiostar Networks for $45 million to Japanese firm Rakuten.

In startup consolidations, Japanese industrial supply ecommerce company MonotaRO signed a joint venture deal with business-to-business (B2B) ecommerce platform Industrybuying and Unacademy has acquired UPSC exam preparation platform Coursavy.

Funding

MPL: Mobile esports platform MPL raised $90 million in a Series C funding round to accelerate growth. Pennsylvania headquartered private equity firm SIG, Moscow-based early stage technology investor RTP Global, the corporate venture capital unit of Indonesian telecom major Telkom Indonesia MDI Ventures, and Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm Pegasus Tech Ventures led the round.

Sharechat: Bengaluru-based social media ShareChat secured $40 million in a growth round from returning investors Twitter, Lightspeed Venture Partners, SAIF Partners and India Quotient. New investors in the round include the family trust of CEO and chairman of Hero MotoCorp Pawan Munjal and Ajay Shridhar Shriram who has invested through the DCM Shriram Promoters Family Office.

Hopscotch: Online kid’s clothing label Hopscotch landed $25 million in an investment round led by Singapore headquartered private equity firm, EE Capital. Returning investors IIFL Seed Ventures Fund I, RPG Ventures, Techpro Ventures, LionRock Capital and Rise Capital also participated in the round.

Servify: After-sales services platform for electronic devices Servify bagged $23 million in a Series C funding round led by returning investor Iron Pillar. New investors in the round include global alternative investor 57 Stars and strategic investors Sparkle Fund, SF Roofdeck Capital, Go Ventures, Singularity Ventures and Synergy Capital Partners.

Melorra: Digital-only jewellery brand Melorra raised $12.5 million in the latest tranche of the Series C funding round. Private equity firms Symphony Asia, Lightbox Ventures and venture lender Alteria Capital, among other family offices, invested capital in the round. Returning investors in the round included Lightbox, Dabur’s Burmans and the Jeejeebhoy family office.

Classplus: Edtech startup Classplus raised $10 million in a funding round, dubbed a Series C round, led by Alpha Wave Incubation and returning investors Blume Ventures and RTP Global Investments.

Other startups that raised VC money this week include personal care brand  mCaffeine, healthtech startup BestDoc, influencer marketing  services provider ClanConnect.ai,online test preparation platform EduGorilla, software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform Rephrase.ai Mestastop,  and edtech startup Byju’s.

M&A

Industrybuying-MonotaRO: Tokyo Stock Exchange-listed MonotaRO has entered into a joint venture with Emtex Engineering, the company that owns B2B ecommerce platform Industrybuying, to further its growth in this market. As part of the transaction, MonotaRO will invest $15 million to pick up a 51.6% stake in the joint venture which comprises Industrybuying's small and medium enterprise (SME) business.

Unacademy- Coursavy: Edtech platform Unacademy acquired UPSC exam preparation platform Coursavy for an undisclosed amount. Coursavy developed a learning platform and process, which focuses on solving the lack of discipline among students. It claims to have replicated on its platform the personal guidance and engagement a student receives in the offline setup.

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