Deal Roundup: PharmEasy, Ola, Pine Labs lead $1.9 bn technology startup funding rally

Deal Roundup: PharmEasy, Ola, Pine Labs lead $1.9 bn technology startup funding rally
(From L-R), Dhaval Shah, Harsh Parekh, Siddharth Shah, Hardik Dedhia, and Dharmil Sheth, co-founders of PharmEasy
9 Jul, 2021

Private capital investments in technology startups surged to $1.9 billion this week as unicorns Ola, PharmEasy and Pine Labs mopped up large growth funding rounds enroute to their respective initial public offerings (IPO). 

The three unicorns -- startups valued privately at $1 billion or more – were among a total of 32 startups that found investor cheques during the week. Of those, eight startups did not disclose the sizes of their funding rounds. 

Ride hailing platform Ola on Friday said private equity firms Temasek Holdings and Warbug Pincus affiliate Plum Wood Investment would invest $500 million in its parent ANI Technologies ahead of its upcoming IPO. Temasek, Fort Canning, and Warburg Pincus have separately filed proposals with the Competition Commission of India (CCI) this week to invest in ANI Technologies. Ola chairman and group CEO Bhavish Aggarwal, who is the controlling shareholder of ANI Technologies, is a part of both proposals and seeks to increase his rights in the company.

Healthtech unicorn PharmEasy, which also plans to go public soon, closed a Series F funding round worth $500 million at a valuation of $4 billion, TechCircle reported exclusively this week.

Seven private institutional investors -- Think Investments, TPG Growth, Temasek, B Capital, Prosus Ventures, Orios Venture Partners and Kotak Private Equity Fund -- participated in the round, co-founder and CEO Siddharth Shah told TechCircle. The round also includes Thyrocare Technologies promoter A Velumani’s imminent investment of about Rs 1,500 crore (approximately $200 million) in PharmEasy parent API Holdings for a 5% stake. PharmEasy recently announced the acquisition of a majority stake in Thyrocare for Rs 4,546 crore ($613 million). 

Mastercard backed payments unicorn Pine Labs, which is expected to launch an IPO in 2022, closed its latest growth round at $600 million with a final tranche of $385 million. US-based asset management firm Fidelity Management and Research Company, BlackRock, Ishana, Tree Line, and a fund advised by Neuberger Berman Investment Advisers LLC -- pooled in cash in this round. IIFL AMC, via its Late-Stage Tech Fund, and Kotak Funds also took part in the round. 

Jaipur based social commerce startup DealShare and Benguluru-headquartered furniture rental platform Furlenco also drew in three-digit funding rounds. While DealShare secured $144 million in its Series D round funding led by Tiger Global Management, Furlenco raised $140 million in a mix of equity and debt led by Zinnia Global Fund.  

In other notable deals, foodtech Zomato, whose IPO is scheduled to open next week, invested $100 million in SoftBank backed e-grocery platform Grofers. Last month, the food delivery and restaurant discovery platform had filed a proposal with the CCI to acquire a 9.3% stake in Grofers. Zomato said it will soon relaunch grocery services on its platform. 

The week also saw strong mergers and acquisition activity.  

Noida-based online B2B commerce platform Moglix acquired used machinery re-selling startup Vendaxo for an undisclosed amount. Moglix said that the acquisition is a step towards high value capital goods at economical prices for manufacturers.  

Recruitment firm Naukri’s parent Info Edge said it would buy DoSelect, a skill assessment platform for hiring and learning and development, for a consideration of about about $2.8 million.

Cross-border remittance API provider Nium, previously known as InstaRem, announced its plan to acquire Singapore registered Wirecard Forex India, a foreign currency exchange, pre-paid card and remittance service provider. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

Apax Partners owned Healthium Medtech (formerly Sutures India) on Wednesday said it has purchased VitalCare Group, a UK based manufacturer of urology consumable care products. The acquisition will help Healthium boost its urology franchise in Europe and other developed markets. 

Health and fitness platform HealthifyMe acqui-hired the team behind Under45 -- a platform providing vaccine slot alerts on Telegram. The move, HealthifyMe said, is aimed at strengthening its VaccinateMe platform, which originally enabled users to sign up for open slot alerts and now allows them to find and book vaccine slots directly, without ever going to CoWin.