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Deal roundup: BYJU’s on acquisition spree; Droom turns unicorn; D2C draws more investors

Deal roundup: BYJU’s on acquisition spree; Droom turns unicorn; D2C draws more investors
30 Jul, 2021

India’s largest edtech company BYJU’s has added two more acquisitions to its portfolio, shelling out a total of $750 million a week after it snapped up US-based digital reading platform Epic for $500 million.

On Monday, BYJU’s announced it would buy Mumbai based Toppr and Singapore based Great Learning, taking its shopping spree this year alone to seven acquisitions worth more than $2.3 billion.  

Toppr, a schools focused test preparation platform, has been acquired for $150 million, TechCircle learned while BYJU’s said it acquired upskilling platform Great Learning for $600 million. Both transactions involve a combination of cash and stock.

Rival Unacademy also made an acquisition as it looks to tap into new growth channels. Unacademy snapped up Rheo TV, a platform that helps professional game streamers livestream their gameplays and monetise those feeds, and enabled exits for all of its existing investors.

A total of $646 million was raised across 40 deals this week, while 10 startups did not disclose details of transactions. BLURB

Meanwhile online automobile marketplace Droom Technology has achieved the unicorn tag – or a billion-dollar-plus valuation. On Wednesday, the company said it raised part of a $200 million pre-IPO funding round at a valuation of $1.2 billion. The funds were raised from new investors including 57 Stars and Seven Train Ventures as well as existing investors. The company is looking to list either on Nasdaq or in the domestic market next year.

Read: Droom founder Sandeep Aggarwal on turning unicorn and IPO plans

Mohalla Tech, which owns and operates Indian language social media platform ShareChat and short video platform Moj, bagged an additional $145 million as part of its Series F funding round led by Temasek and Moore Strategic Ventures. The investment comes just around four months after ShareChat achieved unicorn status when it raised $502 million from Tiger Global Management, Snap Inc and existing investors such as Twitter Inc at a valuation of just over $2.1 billion.

The week also saw significant action in the direct-to-consumer (D2C) space where three brands together raised about $134 million.

Personal care brand Mamaearth landed $50 million from European investment firm Sofina Ventures SA and Sequoia Capital at a valuation of about $730 million. The round also saw a secondary sale by early investors like Fireside Ventures, Stellaris Venture Partners, Sharp Ventures and Titan Capital. The company plans to deploy the funds to drive brand growth through aggressively expanding their offline distribution and explore inorganic growth opportunities in beauty and personal care.

The D2C beauty products brand MyGlamm closed its ongoing Series C funding round at $71.3 million this week. The startup raised $47.7 million in the latest tranche, which was led by venture capital firm Accel India. MyGlamm had started raising the Series C round in March this year. It raised Rs 175 crore from Ascent Capital, Amazon, and Wipro.

Bengaluru based GOAT Brand Labs, co-founded by Flipkart’s former fashion head, secured a $36 million in a Series A funding round led by Tiger Global and Flipkart Ventures, the early-stage venture fund of the homegrown ecommerce major. The three-month-old company, founded by Rishi Vasudev and Rameswar Misra, acquires lifestyle D2C brands and helps them build as well as grow online.

In another notable transaction, IPO-bound travel and hotel booking service provider ixigo raised about $36.5 million in a funding round led by Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC.

On the mergers and acquisitions front, Cashify, Sonata Software and Uniphore made strategic acquisitions.

Cashify, which sells used smartphones and other electronics, acquired omnichannel retail solution platform UniShop. The acquisition is expected to enable Cashify to diversify its e-commerce offerings by empowering mobile retailers to get a web presence.

IT services firm Sonata Software signed definitive agreements to acquire 100% stake in Silicon Valley based Encore Software Services. Encore provides user experience, data insights, and real-time collaboration driven digital transformation services to clients in financial services, hi-technology, life sciences, and retail and logistics sectors.

Conversational AI technology company Uniphore announced on Tuesday that it has agreed to acquire contact center automation software Jacada. A low code/no code platform, Jacada, solves contact center challenges and empowers design and implementation of customer experiences. With the Jacada platform, Uniphore’s conversational automation platform will empower businesses to easily automate key interactions across self-service and agent-assisted customer engagements.