Deal Roundup: KreditBee, Shiprocket score in a tepid week for startup funding

Deal Roundup: KreditBee, Shiprocket score in a tepid week for startup funding
Photo Credit: 123RF.com
19 Feb, 2021

Fintech platform KreditBee and logistics technology firm Shiprocket led the technology startup funding this week. Also making the headlines were Tata Group’s imminent acquisition of BigBasket and Byju’s potential purchase of Toppr.

Technology startups raised a total of $174 million across 14 deals this week, while four startups did not disclose the amount raised. Last week, 13 startups raised a total of $413.5 million, while transaction values of 10 deals were undisclosed. 

At $75 million, the largest investment this week was in KreditBee, a fintech company focused on consumer lending. It was backed by PremjiInvest, the investment firm set up by Wipro’s Azim Premji; Mirae Asset Naver Asia Growth Fund; Alpine Capital, an India-focused investment firm; and Arkam Ventures, a technology-focused investor. The fundraise was a combination of primary and secondary transactions.

Ecommerce focussed logistics technology firm Shiprocket, in an extended Series C funding round, raised $27 million from returning investors Tribe Capital and Bertelsmann India Investments; and new backers March Capital and DST Global partner Rahul Mehta.

The week also saw TaxiForSure founder Raghunandan’s neobank startup Zolve Innovations raising $15 million in a seed funding round led by Accel and Lightspeed. The startup aims to ease access to financial services for users travelling from India to the US or vice versa. The round also saw participation from Blume Ventures and angel investors including Ashish Gupta, former managing director of Helion; Greg Kidd, angel investor in Twitter and Ripple; Kunal Shah, founder of Cred; Rahul Mehta, managing partner at DST Global; and Rahul Kishore, senior managing director, Coatue Capital. It is also the first investment of the Founder Collective, which has backed Airtable and Uber, in an Indian startup.

In what could be a sign of a rebounding mobility market, shared scooter rental startup Vogo bagged $11.5 million in an extended Series C round of funding from returning investors. Lightrock (formerly LGT Lightstone Aspada), Kalaari Capital, Matrix Partners India and Stellaris Venture Partners participated in this round.

Two US emerging tech startups, 1Kosmos and Zomentum, founded by Indian entrepreneurs, secured Series A rounds this week. Cybersecurity startup 1Kosmos raised $15.1 million led by ForgePoint Capital, a venture investor for early-stage cybersecurity companies, while information technology (IT) sales acceleration platform Zomentum landed $13 million in a round by Elevation Capital, Accel and Greenoaks Capital, with participation from Eight Roads Ventures. 

Edtech startups Leverage Edu and Eupheus Learning too secured fresh capital this week. 

Meanwhile, it was a busy week for startup consolidations. Edtech unicorn Unacademy continued its acquisition free, with its latest buy being professional networking and consulting platform TapChief. Post deal, Blume Ventures-backed TapChief was valued at Rs 100 crore. TapChief calls itself a ‘future-of-work’ platform and leverages a host of technology solutions to enable professionals to interact and learn from experts, develop their personal brand and land contracts and projects with businesses.

Open, a neo-banking platform focused on small and medium businesses acquired tax filing automation platform Optobizz for $5 million. Optobizz offers end-to-end GST and financial automation solutions, including account receivables and payables, as well as reconciliation for tax practitioners and SMEs. The acquisition is expected to help Open strengthen its position in the SME-focused neo-banking space and enhance product capabilities on automating GST and tax compliance. 

Clean transportation startup Ohm Mobility acquired CloudNBFC, a Nagpur-based firm that develops management software for financiers to enhance its technological infrastructure to make electric vehicle (EV) financing easier for lenders. 

Real estate brokerage firm Square Yards acquired data intelligence and asset management firm PropsAMC. The deal will help the former add data intelligence and asset management capabilities to its integrated real estate ecosystem.