Unacademy, Mfine stand out in a muted week for tech startup dealmaking

Unacademy, Mfine stand out in a muted week for tech startup dealmaking
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15 Jan, 2021

After a robust opening week to the year, technology startup dealmaking went into a slumber, with Unacademy’s $50 million secondary infusion and healthcare platform Mfine’s $33.6 million fundraise being the only later-stage deals in this week.

Tiger Global, Dragoneer Investment Group, Steadview Capital and General Atlantic bought stakes from other existing investors in Unacademy, consolidating their presence in the company. Unacademy is the only other edtech unicorn in India besides Byju’s. Tiger Global and General Atlantic are common investors in Byju’s and Unacademy.

Telemedicine and healthcare platform Mfine, founded by former co-founder of Myntra Ashutosh Lawania and former chief business officer at Myntra Prasad Kompalli, is raising about $33.6 million from returning investors. With the fresh funds, the startup will expand its product features and foray into newer locations by leveraging the spike in popularity that health-tech platforms have received since the pandemic outbreak.

Cryptocurrency investment platform CoinSwitch Kuber’s $15 million Series A funding was another standout deal this week. Palo Alto-based Ribbit Capital and San Francisco-based Paradigm led the round, marking their first investment in an Indian cryptocurrency startup. Returning investor Sequoia Capital India and angel investor Kunal Shah, founder of Cred, also participated in the round.

The investment in the cryptocurrency platform comes at a time when there have been significant inflows in the sector domestically, on the back of the ongoing Bitcoin rally. Although the Reserve Bank of India lifted its blanket ban on cryptocurrency trading in March, the sector has been largely obscured under regulatory haze. India is the second biggest Bitcoin market in Asia after China, and the sixth largest globally after the US, Nigeria, China, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Other significant deals this week included a $10 million round that went into skill-based mobile gaming platform Zupee and packaging materials marketplace Bizongo’s $9.3 million round.

In total, technology startups bagged $153 million this week across 16 deals while seven did not disclose the amount they raised.

In the merger and acquisition (M&A) front, Sequoia Capital-backed online marketplace for farm products and services DeHaat struck its second acquisition. Previously the company had acqui-hired farm management services provider VezaMart.

Saveo Healthtech, a business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce platform focused on pharmacies, acqui-hired Gurugram-based retail startup ShuttrStores. Founded last year, ShuttrStores aims to organise and aggregate the retail pharmacy market to create a chain of tech-enabled stores. Its reach and expertise is expected to help Saveo strengthen its overall ecosystem.

The week also witnessed N+1 Capital, a revenue-based capital fund, roping in investment platform LetsVenture as the founding venture partner for its debut vehicle that seeks to raise $100 million, including a greenshoe option of $25 million. The vehicle is sector-agnostic and will typically write a cheque of Rs 1-15 crore per firm. It will invest in companies that are at least a year-old, clocking annual net revenues of Rs 50 lakh and having positive gross margins.