Startup ecosystem enabler Marwari Catalysts (MCats) said on Thursday that it plans to raise $4 million from private equity (PE), family funds, and ultra-high net worth individuals at a valuation of $25 million.
MCats has backed several startups in the ed-tech, fintech, and D2C space. It said it will use the fresh funding to reinforce its current portfolio, accelerate the progress towards a digital and self-reliant India, and engage more with growth-stage startups.
“India is minting startup unicorns at a record pace in 2021. And many more could be on the way to the billion-dollar-mark before the year wraps up. So, the global funds are keeping an eye towards India, signaling a positive sentiment in India’s rapidly evolving startup ecosystem,” Devesh Rakhecha, founder and director at Marwari Catalysts, said.
So far, the accelerator has incubated over 200 startups, including Virtual Coffee Table, Mentorkart, and Book Café. It owns a stake in 30+ startups.
Mathew Cyriac backs WealthDesk
Investment technology platform WealthDesk said it has raised an undisclosed sum from former Blackstone partner Mathew Cyriac, closing its pre-Series A round at $3.2 million.
The investment comes as the second tranche in the round, which first saw investment from senior leaders at global banks, market participants, and technology-based corporations.
WealthDesk, which is run by Mumbai-based Wealth Technology and Services, had not disclosed the identities of the investors. Founded in 2016 by Ujjwal Jain, the company’s business-to-business-to-consumer (B2B2C) platform captures the entire investment management value chain on top of equities and exchange-traded funds and bundles them into products called WealthBaskets. These products are then distributed through its broking partners.
“We plan to use this funding to hire great talent, invest in R&D and further build out the technology to expand business, i.e., platformization of Asset and Wealth Management on top of Broking, as this will be the future of the Investment Management Industry,” Jain said in a statement.
“We are also keen to continue to work on the Optimiser tool which will help vertical integration and ARPU (average return per unit) expansion significantly. On the B2C front, we will focus on offering premium WealthBasket portfolios at a low cost by leveraging our technology and distribution strengths,” he added.
In the past six months, WealthDesk has doubled the number of its investment advisors and brokers to 20 and 30, respectively. It continues to onboard new partners every month.
LegalPay secures undisclosed funding
Mumbai-based litigation finance platform LegalPay said it has raised an undisclosed sum from former Thomas Cook CEO Ashwini Kakkar and accelerator VC fund 9Unicorns.
The round, according to a statement, follows last month’s seed funding and will be utilized to expand the company's product and service offerings.
Founded in 2020 by seasoned investor Kundan Shahi, LegalPay aims to tap into an estimated $20 billion legal expenses market in the country. The platform draws funds from investors and eases the financial burden of litigations cases -- shareholder and IPR related disputes -- for businesses/entities. In exchange, it share any potential monetary recovery, which translates into returns for the investors.
LegalPay gathers data from government-based websites and focuses mainly on late-stage cases which have financial requirements in the range of Rs 20 lakh and Rs.3.5 crore.
"We are thrilled with the early traction witnessed on our platform,” Shahi said in a statement. “Continuous interest from investors in this segment will enable us to unlock new opportunities. LegalPay’s unique ability to identify the investment themes along with the deep domain expertise of the risk underwriting team will ensure the turnaround of target companies,” he added.
With this round, LegalPay has also announced its entry into interim financing and onboarded Satinder Kapur, partner at SKAA, as advisor and empaneled lead for dispute resolution.
Professional networking platform CoffeeMug.ai raises $625,000
Singapore-based professional networking platform CoffeeMug.ai said it has raised $625,000 in pre-seed funding.
The investment, a statement said, was led by Paradigm Shift Capital and AngelList India, with participation from Point One Capital general partner Archana Priyadarshni, IIM Indore alumni angel fund, 100X.VC co-founder Yagnesh Sanghrajka, and Ixigo CEO Aloke Bajpai.
CoffeeMug said it will use the capital to refine its AI-based matchmaking algorithm, double its global user base, and connect them with genuine business opportunities.
Founded in 2020 by serial entrepreneurs Abhishek Sharma and Dipti Tandon, the startup creates networking opportunities by offering 1:1 interaction with high-growth entrepreneurs, investors and business leaders. It has already roped in 50,000 users and continues to draw over 15,000 members every month with plans to expand presence in South-East Asia and the US over the coming months.
“Warm introductions are everything in business, and our model of making relevant connections virtually breaks down the barriers of traditional networking,” Sharma said. “CoffeeMug is poised to address this globally, helping people grow professionally by unlocking all types of opportunities including switching jobs, raising or investing money or meeting business experts to address challenges.”