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Deal roundup: India gets first crypto, two more edtech unicorns in torrid dealmaking week

Deal roundup: India gets first crypto, two more edtech unicorns in torrid dealmaking week
Photo Credit: 123RF.com
13 Aug, 2021

The second week of August witnessed the birth of India’s first cryptocurrency unicorn and addition of two more edtech startups to the coveted club.  

A total of $1.5 billion was raised this week across 23 deals, of which three startups did not disclose their funding amount. 

Cryptocurrency exchange CoinDCX achieved the elite status as it raised $90 million in a Series C round of funding at a valuation of $1.1 billion on Tuesday. The investment was led by Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s B Capital Group, with participations from returning investors Coinbase Ventures, Polychain Capital, Block.one, Jump Capital and others.  

It takes the total funding raised by CoinDCX to $110 million. 

Executive education platform Eruditus raised $650 million on Thursday, as a part of its latest Series E funding round led by Accel US and Softbank Vision Fund II. The investment makes it India’s fourth edtech unicorn.  

The round valuing the startup at $3.2 billion has seen an infusion of $430 million as primary funding and another $220 million to give exits to early investors. 
 
Earlier this week, higher learning startup upGrad become a unicorn startup after completing its $185 million fundraise led by Temasek Holdings Ltd at a valuation of $1.2 billion. In the latest tranche, the startup raised an additional $65 million from International Finance Corporation (IFC) and IIFL.   

The company’s valuation has doubled within 60 days since it raised the first tranche.  It had raised $120 million from Singapore-based sovereign fund Temasek in April. 

Other two top unicorns in the edtech space are Naspers and Tiger Global-funded Byju’s and SoftBank-backed Unacademy, which are valued at $16.5 billion and $3.44 billion, respectively.  

In other significant venture capital this week, VerSe Innovation, which operates local language news aggregators Dailyhunt and short-form video app Josh, now reached a valuation of nearly $3 billion after it secured $450 million as a part of its new Series I funding round led by global investors. The round included investors such as Siguler Guff, Baillie Gifford, affiliates of Carlyle Asia Partners Growth II among others as well as existing backers of the company Sofina Group, Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) and BCap.  

Mumbai-based Miko, a robotics firm building emotive products, has raised $28 million (about Rs 208 crore) in a Series B funding round and pet care firm Heads Up For Tails bagged $37 million round for growth this week. 

On the M&A front, Bengaluru headquartered digital adoption solution provider Whatfix announced the acquisition of learning management system (LMS) provider Nittio Learn for an undisclosed amount in a cash and equity deal. The acquisition is expected to help Whatfix accelerate its product roadmap. 

Tokyo Stock Exchange-listed TechnoPro signed an agreement to acquire Udupi-based Robosoft Technologies.  Post the transaction, Ravi Teja Bommireddipalli will continue as the chief executive officer of Robosoft Technologies.  Bommireddipalli has also been elevated to the post of managing director of the Kalaari Capital and Ascent Capital-backed startup. The financial details of the deal, however, were not disclosed.