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Policybazaar, Rupeek land growth rounds; D2C brands draw investor dollars

Policybazaar, Rupeek land growth rounds; D2C brands draw investor dollars
Photo Credit: 123RF.com
19 Mar, 2021

Three startups -- Policybazaar,  Rupeek Fintech and Leap -- operating in the larger financial technology ecosystem attracted a major chunk of this week’s startup funding. 

Overall, 20 startups raised a total of $207 million, significantly higher than the $64 million raised across 11 deals last week.

Online insurance aggregator Policybazaar led the pack with a $75 million fundraise

The round, led by New York-based hedge fund Falcon Edge Capital, was especially raised to strengthen its UAE business. The new round comes just weeks after Bay Capital invested an undisclosed amount in the Gurugram-based company via a secondary deal. Policybazaar became a unicorn in 2018 when it secured $200 million in a growth funding round led by SoftBank. 

Bengaluru-based online gold loans marketplace Rupeek Fintech bagged $33 million in the first tranche of its new growth round, led by existing investor GGV Capital. New investors Vostok Emerging Finance and High Sage Investments participated in the round along with existing investors Bertelsmann BV and Gemini Investments. Last year, Rupeek raised $30 million from Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal’s BTB Ventures and GGV Capital. 

Leap, an overseas education-focused guidance and financing platform, secured $17 million in a Series B funding round. The investment was led by Singapore-based Jungle Ventures, with participation from Sequoia Capital India and Owl Ventures. This infusion comes after the company raised $5.5 million in March 2020 in a round led by Sequoia Capital India. Other participants in that round included InCred’s Bhupinder Singh and Cred’s Kunal Shah. 

This week saw direct-to-consumer (D2C) startup MyGlamm and OZiva attracting significant VC backing as well.  

Beauty brand MyGlamm raised around $24 million in a Series C round of funding led by Ascent Capital, Amazon, and Wipro Consumer. The deal marks Amazon’s first bet in the domestic beauty segment. The company claims to be India’s fastest-growing D2C beauty brand, with a range of over 600 cruelty-free and vegan products across categories such as makeup, skincare, and personal care.  

OZiva, a plant-based nutrition brand, bagged $12 million in a Series B round, only nearly nine months after it undertook a Series A exercise. The round was led by Eight Roads Ventures with participation from F-Prime Capital and existing backer Matrix Partners India. In June, the company secured $5 million in its Series A round, which was led by Matrix Partners India. OZiva operates a portfolio of plant-based products across categories including healthcare, skincare, and general wellness. 

In other significant deals, payments infrastructure platform YAP raised a $10 million round co-led by Flourish Ventures and Omidyar Network India; higher education services provider iNurture Education Solutions landed $10 million from returning investor Kimera; https://www.techcircle.in/2021/03/19/returning-investor-kimera-writes-fresh-cheque-for-edtech-firm-inurture and digital lending firm IndiaLends secured $5.1 million in a round led by returning investors ACP Partners and DSG Consumer Partners. 

In the M&A front, Square Yards made its second acquisition of the year. The company bought PropVR, an AI-based platform specialising in creating digital property experiences using 3D technologies, virtual reality and augmented reality (VR and AR). 

San Francisco-based cloud communications firm Twilio acquired ValueFirst, a communications-platform-as-a-service provider, to deepen its presence in India. The acquisition comes nearly a year after Twilio began operations in the country. 

Get My Parking, which provides an interoperable smart parking platform that connects all parking and mobility stakeholders, bought Mobilytics for an undisclosed sum.  

The week also saw wealth-tech platform CashRich acquiring Bengaluru-based WealthApp’s mutual fund distribution business in an all-cash deal.  CashRich looks to strengthen its position in India with the acquisition.