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Deal Roundup: Aroa Ventures backs Stockal in first India bet, Mahindra Group buys Meru

Deal Roundup: Aroa Ventures backs Stockal in first India bet, Mahindra Group buys Meru
Photo Credit: 123RF.com
7 May, 2021

After a month of frenzied deal making, technology startup dealmaking took a breather in the first week of May. Out of the 18 startups that announced new funding rounds during the week, 15 raised a total of $58.3 million. Three did not disclose deal values. 

All the 18 deals this week were early stage transactions. In comparison, last week, three startups -- Urban Company, upGrad and Stanza Living -- raised more than $100 million each, taking the weekly startup dealmaking value to $487.3 million.   

In the two-week period prior to that, Razorpay, Druva, Chargebee, and Byju’s secured large growth rounds.  

Digital teaching platform Teachmint received the largest investor cheque this week, raising $16.5 million in a Series A funding round, led by San Francisco based edtech focused venture capital firm Learn Capital. CM Ventures and returning investors Lightspeed and Better Capital participated in the round. The fresh funding comes in less than a year from its seed round. 

Among notable deals, OYO founder Ritesh Agarwal’s investing vehicle Aroa Ventures got off the ground with Indian investments this week. Stockal, a platform that enables Indian retail investors to trade in listed US securities, bagged $3 million in a pre-Series A funding round led by Aroa Ventures, TechCircle reported exclusively earlier in the week. 

The round saw participation from Cadenza Capital Management, wealth management platform Kristal.ai, startup data platform Tracxn Labs, July Ventures and Credence Family office. 

On Monday, Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) said it would acquire ridesharing company Meru Travel Solutions by buying out existing shareholders, including private equity investor True North, and promoters shares from Neeraj Gupta and Farhat Gupta. M&M will pay nearly $13.15 million as part of the buyout. 

A unit of the diversified Mahindra Group, M&M had acquired a controlling stake in Meru in 2019 for a cash consideration of Rs 103.5 crore. It currently holds 43.20% in Meru.  

Meanwhile, vernacular esports platform WinZO said it had provided a complete exit to early investor Hike with a four-fold return on investment at $12 million.  

Kavin Bharti Mittal-founded Hike Global, parent of a now defunct eponymous messaging service, had acquired a stake in the gaming platform in a $5 million funding round in May 2019. Kalaari Capital had co-led the round. In early 2021, Hike launched a conflicting gaming app Rush, similar to WinZO. Post a Series B round of funding in September 2020, WinZO waived off the non-compete for Hike and withdrew access to the board and the company. 

Dallas-based consulting firm Credera, focused on strategy, transformation, data and tech, said it will acquire a majority stake in Hyderabad-based Areteans for its digital marketing capabilities. Following the deal, Credera will be able to use Areteans’ services around Pegasystems. These services relate to digital transformation, digital marketing, and e-commerce.