Deal Roundup: Startup dealmaking sees sharp drop after brief post-lockdown recovery

Deal Roundup: Startup dealmaking sees sharp drop after brief post-lockdown recovery
Photo Credit: VCCircle
23 Oct, 2020

Startup funding volumes crashed 90% week-on-week to $20.7 million in the third week of October, which saw no growth stage or large deals.  

Dealmaking activity had slumped to $20.5 million in the second week of March when Covid‐19 was declared a pandemic by the WHO. Investment volumes increased at a moderate pace in the following months to hit $689.6 million in September -- the year’s highest weekly total. This week's slump is likely a blip rather than a return to the stale dealmaking scenario of March.

Ten early stage startups landed venture capital investments this week, four of which did not disclose the capital raised.

No-code artificial intelligence platform Signzy, vernacular audiobooks platform Pocket FM and marketing analytics startup Slintel together scooped up 73% of the total investments this week.

The period also witnessed Sydney-based software solutions provider Atlassian announcing a $50 million fund to tap into the Indian startup and developer community.

Additionally, Walmart-owned Flipkart Group invested $204 million in Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail for a 7.8% stake. The latter owns lifestyle brands Louis Philippe, Van Heusen, Allen Solly and Peter England. 

Funding:

PocketFM: Gurugram-based Pocket FM secured $5.61 million from Tencent Cloud Europe, a unit of Chinese technology conglomerate Tencent Holdings, along with venture capital firm Lightspeed India and media house BCCL. The Tencent subsidiary led the round with $3.16 million infusion, while Lightspeed India put in $1.53 million and BCCL, which owns multiple news outlets, invested about $1 million.

Signzy: No-code AI-based banking solutions platform Signzy bagged $5.4 million from venture capital firm Arkam Ventures and fintech major Mastercard. Returning investors Kalaari Capital and Stellaris Venture Partners also participated in the round.

Slintel: Bengaluru-based sales and marketing intelligence platform Slintel raised $4.2 million in a fresh funding round led by returning investor Accel. The round saw participation from new investor Sequoia Capital India and existing backer Stellaris Venture Partners.

Genius Teacher: Mumbai-based edtech platform Genius Teacher landed $2 million in a fresh funding round. The round saw participation from two institutional investors, Whiteboard Capital and VKG Ventures, as well as about 50 marquee angel investors, including WhatsApp India CEO Abhijit Bose, Cred CEO Kunal Shah, Freecharge co-founder Sandeep Tandon and PropTiger CEO Dhruv Agarwal.

Fashion ecommerce platform Limeroad, electric mobility startup Ultraviolette Automotive, online-first cosmetics brand Sugar, online learning platform AhaGuru, and snacks brands Snackible and Tagz Food also raised investments this week.     

Fund

Atlassian Ventures: Atlassian has launched a $50 million fund to support cloud-based solutions and back firms building products in the overall Atlassian ecosystem. With the fund, dubbed Atlassian Ventures, the Australian firm will back early-stage startups building apps for Atlassian’s cloud products such as Jira, Confluence, Bitbucket and Trello. It also aims to partner with institutional investors to back larger, more established ecosystem product partners looking to scale their businesses, targeting post Series A rounds.

M&A

FanCode-FanDuniya: Dream Sports (Sporta Technologies)-run FanCode has acquired sports research platform FanDuniya to accelerate the growth and development of its multi-sports research and statistics service. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

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