Weekly Startup Investment Insights (July 25th to July 31st), 2016

Every business needs money to meet its day to day expenses as well as for investing into its long term plans. The money comes to the business in the form of different investments made by different individuals and by the venture capital firms. As a part of our weekly investment section, below is the list of startups which recently got funded in the last week.


Byju: Bangalore based Ed-tech company Think & Learn Pvt. Ltd., which operates Byju’s Learning App has announced on July 24 that it is set to raise $50 million that will be used for inorganic growth through global acquisition and international expansion of its online test preparation platform. The name of the investors is undisclosed. Founded in 2011, Byju offers mobile-based digital K-12 and test prep education services across India and in some parts of the Middle East.


BigDeal:  BigDeal, a discovery platform for students looking for discounts, based out in Delhi, has raised Pre Series-A funding from EVC Ventures. The round was led by Anjli Jain, Managing Partner, EVC Ventures. BigDeal will utilize the raised funds to expand the team, further enhance its technology and pursue customer and merchant acquisition. The company is aiming for a tenfold growth in customers over the next six months and an increase in transactions per customer by 2.5 to 3 times a day.


Fella Homes: Gurgaon-based fully furnished home rental service startup Fella Homes raised a seed funding of $2 Million from unnamed investors. The company has plans to utilize the newly raised capital in acquiring new properties and tenants, team building and product development. Founded in 2015, Fella Homes is described as a branded network of ready ­to ­move rental homes for working professionals in metro cities. It provides fully equipped homes with standardized furniture, appliances and kitchenware, rented on per bed / per room basis.


Zoomcar: Bangalore-based self-drive car rental venture Zoomcar has reportedly raised $25 Million in Series C funding led by Ford Motor Company. Its existing investor Sequoia Capital along with new investor, Reliance Ventures also participated in the round. Zoomcar is a self-drive car rental service which allows users to rent cars by the hour, day, week, or month. It offers a membership-based service that allows individuals to rent vehicles on hourly or daily basis.

AppSay: Business communication platform, AppSay has secured seed funding of $150,000 from Venture Catalysts in an investment round led by Shreyans Shah and Mayank Shah of Toyochem Laboratories. AppSay is a customer engagement platform that helps protect customer information of businesses and also the privacy of its users.The app offers a non-intrusive way of reaching out to organizations such as banks, schools, utilities, NGOs, hospitals, insurers and government departments.


Melorra jewellery: Launched in May 2016, Bangalore-based Melorra jewellery has raised $5 million recently. The startup launches weekly collections to match the new collections launched by high-end brands. In line with its USP, the startup also offers a feature called ‘Style Feed’ which advices its users on accessorizing their new wardrobe styles with Melorra jewellery.


Suma Agro: Chennai-based sustainable agro-input company, Suma Agro raised Rs 60 lakh investment from early stage venture capital fund Ankur Capital. Ankur Capital, one of the rare venture funds founded by women investors, led by Rema Subramanian and Ritu Verma, is focused on sectors like agriculture, healthcare and education. Founded in 2011, Suma Agro has developed humic-acid based soil nutrient solutions which are rich in organic carbon and can help bridge the demand-supply gap by improving soil content and boosting production.


Byndr: Mobile-based learning management platform, Byndr has secured $700,000 in seed funding from the Education Design Studio, an ed-tech accelerator at the University of Pennsylvania, Ben Franklin Technology Partners, and a group of angel investors. The Hyderabad and Philadelphia-based company will utilize the raised funds to expand its sales and development team and grow the product scope in terms of giving students access to more educational content and providing more administrative features for colleges. Through Byndr platform, students can have access to grades and attendance, and have conversation with teachers while colleges can use the app to communicate with the student community.


Square Plums: One of the shared accommodations platform, Square Plums has raised Rs 3 crores from Indian Angel Network led by VGN Prakash, Amitabh Shrivastava, Krishna Jha, and Ravindra Krishnappa. The rental home chain, founded February 2016, allows users search for fully furnished homes and matches them with prospective flat mates. Currently, operating in Bangalore, the company will use the raised funds for onboarding more properties and further building its technology platform for tenants, apartment owners and prospective tenants. The company also plans to launch a mobile app.


Modasta: Digital healthcare content start-up Modasta Technologies Pvt. Ltd., has recently raised $1.5 million in angel funding from a group of Mauritius-based high net worth individuals (HNIs) which includes senior technology and medical professionals. The fund will be allocated for business growth, upgrading technology, talent acquisition and marketing outreach activities. Founded in 2015, Modasta offers multi-lingual health content curated by Indian doctors. The platform provides content in English, Hindi, Telugu and Tamil, in the form of articles, videos and audios contributed by doctors along with online group discussions in health forums.

MaxWholesale: Delhi-based B2B commerce and supply chain platform MaxWholesale has raised $150,000 in a seed round of funding led by investment bank Maple Capital Advisors. The startup plans to use the funds to scale its existing operations and strengthen its technology platform. Abhinav Grover, director at Maple Accelerator, who also participated in this round, will join the board of MaxWholesale. Owned by 99 Algorithms Pvt. Ltd., MaxWholesale was founded in April 2016 and supplies products directly from companies to mom-and-pop stores across the country.


Mezi: Artificial intelligence-powered personal shopping assistant start-up Mezi has secured $9 million from existing investor Nexus Venture Partners and new investors Saama Capital and American Express Ventures, in a Series A funding round. The startup will use the funds to support its growth and accelerate product and artificial intelligence technology development around conversational commerce, natural language processing, and machine learning. Founded in December 2015, Mezi is a personal shopping assistant, powered by chatbots and human guided experts, wherein users can send a message to Mezi whenever they need to buy something and Mezi will take care of the research, present users with options and help them place the order.


IStyleYou: Personalizing styling app IStyleYou has recently raised an undisclosed amount from TV celebrity Rannvijay Singh, who shot to fame with the popular adventure reality show MTV Roadies. Rannvijay will also be endorsing the brand. The Gurgaon-based company will use the funding for branding, marketing, and product expansion. Founded by in November 2015, IStyleYou is a mobile-based platform that delivers personalized styling service by a network of professional human stylists. These stylists help customers buy the apparels and accessories, based on their personal profile and preferences.


Tiyo: Kolkata-based health-tech startup Tiyo has raised $120,000 of angel funding in a seed round, after being bootstrapped for almost a year. The round was led by veteran entrepreneurs from Middle East- Anish K and Ajith Nair, CEO iAdepto Global. The raised funds will be utilized to strengthen the development of team based out of Bengaluru and will help in opening new sales offices in the other parts of the country.  The startup was launched in May 2015 by Ranna Dutta, Sandip Bodak and Sunil Mishra and connects patients with doctors, and facilitates appointment booking through its app.


Neuron: Machine learning platform for text analysis, Neuron has raised an angel round of $200,000 led by Harvinder Bhatia, CFO Netmagic and founder of Radiowalla. The company will use the funds for R&D in machine learning and Natural Language Processing and for hiring talent. “Neuron is a Natural Language Processing platform that provides API’s that help analyses the overall sentiment of a statement, extract the most significant word in a document, help know the similarity/relatedness of two statements, understanding the context of documents and categorizing into topics,” said Veer Mishra, CEO, Neuron told to The Economic Times.


Lemon Leaf: Lemon Leaf, Delhi-based fresh fruit and vegetable supply chain startup, has raised $133,000 in first external round of funding. The startup secured the funding from angel investors, Saurabh Sahni and Tushar Gupta, owner of Daily Delite Super Market. Lemon Leaf will use the funds to develop its manufacturing facility in Dwarka and build up its sales. The company also plans to introduce complete range of vegetables and fruits in the market, having Lemon Leaf exclusive stores and franchisee stores. Since its inception in 2015, Lemon Leaf provides quality and hygienic vegetables and fruits to consumers in both whole and pre-cut form.


e27: Singapore-based technology news platform e27, run by Optimatic Pte. Ltd, has raised $2.2 million in its Series A round of funding led by China’s TechTemple Group. The company previously raised seed rounds, the most recent being a $650,000 raise last summer. The round was led by China-based TechTemple Group with participation from Linear Venture, Indonesia’s Convergence Ventures and Singapore-based duo Venturecraft and venture builder Spacemob. Founded in 2007, the company plans to utilize the funds to hire new staff across the company to grow the editorial and events teams, as well as strengthen newer businesses which include a job listings service, Crunchbase-style database and ‘marketplace’ where third-parties offer bundled deals.


SeaBubbles: The founder of SeaBubbles told ET that the company raised $555,000 from the founder of drone-maker Parrot SA, Partech Ventures and the French government-backed BPI fund. Another round of funding will take place by the end of August to develop a taxi app and docking stations around the pod. The company wants to build battery-powered bubble-shaped ships in Paris that hover a few inches above water and transport as many as five people at a time. The founders intend to be operational by the summer of 2017.


Ovum: Ovum hospitals for pediatric and neonatal care, run by Bengaluru-based Neonatal Care & Research Institute (NCRI), has recently raised Rs 33 crore from IL&FS Investment Managers Limited and Norwest Venture Partners. The company was launched in 2011 and currently runs a paediatric and delivery hospital and an IVF (in vitro fertilization) centre in the city. The recent funds will be utilized by Ovum to expand three more hospitals in and around Bengaluru in the next 18 months.


Voonik: Voonik, a fashion ecommerce platform, owned and operated by Voonik Technologies, has raised $3 million in venture debt financing from InnoVen Capital. The company aims to spend the funds for meeting its marketing costs, particularly towards its television commercials. Voonik had secured $20 million in a Series B round of funding led by existing investor Sequoia Capital, Beenos and others in the month of June 2016. Founded in 2013, Voonik is an online marketplace known for women fashion apparels.


Medinfi: Medinfi, a healthcare content platform which offers verified information about doctors and clinics, has raised $200,000 in an angel round from Mudit Saxena, senior vice-president, Genpact, and Singapore-based angel investor Evan Lim. The funding round saw participation from the existing investors Hemant Kaul, former chief executive officer, Allianz General Insurance, and Ram Kumar Kakani, professor, XLRI. Medinfi will utilize the funds to grow its customer base and expand to newer geographic locations.


HelloDhobi: HelloDhobi Dry-Cleaners Pvt. Ltd, which owns and operates on-demand laundry startup HelloDhobi, has recently secured an undisclosed amount in angel funding from Hong Kong-based investment firm Swastika Company Ltd., and some Mumbai-based affluent individuals. The Pune-based company will utilize the funds to expand operations in Pune and hire staff across verticals. Founded in April 2015, HelloDhobi is an on-demand door-to-door laundry, ironing and dry cleaning service provider with a 24-hour turnaround time, rendering the services that include wash and fold, ironing, dry cleaning, shoe and bag cleaning, commercial laundry, starching, bleaching, dyeing, and stain removal etc.


GoCoop: GoCoop Solutions and Services, a venture that provides an online global marketplace for cooperatives and community-based weavers and artisans, has raised an undisclosed amount from Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan, Saha Fund in its Series A funding. The round saw participation from the existing investors Unitus Seed Fund and Indian Angel Network led by Naga Prakasam. GoCoop plans to use the raised funds to enhance its marketplace technology platform and expand its buyer and seller base.


Lucideus: Cyber Security Lucideus has recently raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Flipkart CFO, Sanjay Baweja. Founded in 2012, Delhi-based Lucideus helps corporates guard against generic information security threats along with combating advanced persistent threats and customized zero day exploits, ensuring an organization stays ahead of the security curve. The startup also serves as information security adviser to businesses, governments, and institutions around the world.


WakoW: WakoW, an online community platform, has secured $141,000 in second round of angel funding from an undisclosed investor. With an aim to revolutionize the way people and businesses connect with and discover each other, WakoW App Technologies has recently launched the WakoW application in India. WakoW is targeted towards people who want to connect with like-minded people in their vicinity. The New Delhi-based startup was founded last month by Bhavya Kohli and his friend Manhar Oberoi. WakoW had also raised $22,000 in seed round of funding in June 2016.

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