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Deal Roundup: Tatas expand digital footprint; Whatfix, GoMechanic draw investor dollars

Deal Roundup: Tatas expand digital footprint; Whatfix, GoMechanic draw investor dollars
Photo Credit: Reuters
11 Jun, 2021

The Tata Group, India’s largest conglomerate, took significant steps towards its ambitious digital superapp play this week with the acquisition of e-pharmacy and health technology platform 1mg and an investment in health and fitness startup Cure Fit Healthcare. 

The week kicked off with Tata Digital, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Group holding entity Tata Sons, announcing an investment of up to $75 million in CureFit Healthcare. As part of the transaction, Mukesh Bansal, co-founder and CEO of CureFit, will join Tata Digital in an executive role as president while continuing in his leadership role at the health-tech firm. Later, on Thursday, Tata Digital acquired a majority stake in 1mg. Tata Digital had made an investment commitment of nearly Rs 100 crore in the company in April this year.    

The two deals came days after the automotive-to-technology services group acquired majority ownership of online grocery platform BigBasket in the last week of May.   

Overall, a little over $300 million was deployed by investors across 24 deals this week (a total of 30 deals were struck during the week, of which six did not disclose funding amounts). 

Enterprise software platform Whatfix received the largest investor cheque. It raised $90 million as part of a growth round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 with participation from Eight Roads Ventures, Sequoia Capital India, Dragoneer Investment Group, F-Prime Capital and Cisco Investments. 

Automobile maintenance and servicing startup GoMechanic pocketed about $34 million in a round led by new investor Tiger Global with participation from returning investors Sequioa Capital, Orios Venture Partners and Chiratae Ventures.  

Marketing intelligence Slintel and digital payments platform MobiKwik raised $20 million each from GGV Capital and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) respectively. Salary app Refyne Tech raised 16 million from partners of DST Global, RTP Global and others.  

Besides the big bang 1mg acquisition, the week also saw four other companies making strategic bets. 

Following the investment from Tata Digital, Curefit’s sister brand cult.fit announced the acquisition of TREAD, a Bengaluru-based connected fitness startup that recently launched a smart fitness bike. The acquisition will enable Cult.fit to launch its hardware-at-home business vertical. After several reorganisation efforts to survive the Covid-19 pandemic, Cure.fit  renamed its health and fitness umbrella brand Cure.fit to Cult.fit after its flagship fitness vertical last month.

Payments and financial services startup BharatPe made its first ever acquisition this week as it snapped up multi-brand loyalty programme PAYBACK India from American Express and ICICI Investments Strategic Fund.  

Digital banking platform Niyo acquired personal finance platform Index and edtech startup Masai School bought Design Shift Academy this week.