Dunzo, DeHaat shine in a dull dealmaking week

Dunzo, DeHaat shine in a dull dealmaking week
Photo Credit: 123RF.com
22 Jan, 2021

Continuing the muted dealmaking trend from the second week of 2020, technology startups rounded up $141 million across 16 deals in the third week of January. The year opened with a stellar first week, with 22 startups raking in $421 million -- amounting to more than the combined value of the second and third week deals. 

In the current week, deal volumes were predominantly driven by late-stage investments, followed by four seed funding rounds and three debt rounds. Four startups did not disclose deal values. 

Hyperlocal delivery startup Dunzo topped the fundraising charts, securing $40 million in a growth funding round from Google and Mumbai-based venture fund Lightbox. Evolvence, LGT Lightstone Aspada, Alteria Capital and Hana Financial Investment also participated in the round, which took the total capital raised by Dunzo till date to $121 million.

Close on Dunzo’s heels was Gurugram-based agritech startup DeHaat, which scooped up $30 million in a Series C round, led by Prosus Ventures. The 2012-founded startup recently acquired Lennon Agritech, a deal that saw its projections spike. The company said that it will use the fresh funds to boost technological infrastructure and expand its presence in India.

Coming up at a distant third and fourth position were BharatPe and DarwinBox, which picked up $19.3 million and $15 million, respectively. While the former bagged the funds in two debt rounds – one from homegrown venture debt fund Alteria Capital and another from Trifecta Capital, the latter secured an undisclosed amount from Salesforce Ventures

Other significant deals that shaped up the tail included New Delhi-based EV (Electric Vehicle) battery startup Lohum that picked up $7 million, and cleantech and cloud telephony platform Exotel that raised $5.5 million. 

Merger and acquisition (M&A) activity maintained the momentum this week, with four deals.

Health and wellness startup Cure.fit acquired Onyx, a San Francisco, California-based fitness company, to improve its computer vision technology for its at-home fitness product. 

 Real estate services firm Anarock Group acquired society and apartment management platform ApnaComplex from home rental network platform NestAway Technologies for an undisclosed amount.  

Palo Alto, California-based conversational artificial intelligence (AI) solutions provider Uniphore acquired Spanish video and emotion AI startup Emotion Research Lab for an undisclosed amount. As part of the deal, Emotion Research Lab employees will join Uniphore to create voice and video combined AI products, which will be released in the second half of 2021. The acquisition will also help Uniphore tap into the European market and expand its footprint in the continent by financial year 2021-22. 

Zomato has also reportedly acquired Jogo Technologies, which operates sports facilities provider Fitso. The food delivery and restaurant aggregation platform, as per media reports, bought 100% of the company in an equity and cash deal. The deal size is reported to be in the range of Rs 80-100 crore. 

Separately, Kerala announced that it was mulling a venture capital fund for startups in the state, even as it opened the government market for startup consortiums and hiked up the special development fund for such firms. The announcements were made by Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan during an interaction with startup founders at a Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM).