Weekly Startup Investment Insights (August 8th to August 15th), 2016

Business needs money to run as a vehicle needs fuel. Every business enterprise has its own requirement of capital depending on its size and scale of operations. Especially, for startups, getting or securing this money or capital or funding is a symbol of success. Here we present the list of startups got funded last week.


Fusion Microfinance: New Delhi-based Fusion Microfinance has raised INR 162 crore from US-based private equity firm Creation Investments in a fourth strategic round (Series D) of funding. Other investors which participated in the funding round include a new investor GAWA and existing investors BIO and Oikocredit. The company will utilize the funds to boost up its organic growth momentum as well as consider interesting inorganic opportunities in the microfinance and new products. The firm works on a social vision and business orientation which aims to provide underprivileged women with economic opportunities to transform the quality of their lives.


Doux Dentistry and Zeolr: IIM Ahmedabad’s Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) has recently invested undisclosed amounts in two health tech startups, Doux Dentistry and Zeolr.  Zeolr, is an IoT based healthcare startup that is developing solutions to aid in better management of chronic diseases by patients and availability of information to physicians for regular supervision, revision and reinforcement. Doux Dentistry Pvt. Ltd, which owns and operates Mobident, is a dental care start-up which aims to make dental care affordable & accessible for patients at their homes under the brand name Mobident. It already has presence in four cities – Bangalore, Pune, Mysore, and Ahmedabad.


91springboard: 91springboard, Delhi-based co-working space provider, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Khattar Holdings, ThirtyThree Investments and others. The other participants in this round of funding include angel investors Soumitra Sharma, Deepak Sharma, former Chairman of Citi Private Bank, and Sumit Dayal, Global head corporate finance at Standard Chartered Bank also participated in the round. The firm have plans to utilize the raised funds for its expansion, building the tech capabilities, and to increase operational efficiency and enhance the community building.


ReNewBuy: ReNewBuy, a web based motor insurance platform, plans to raise USD 1.5 million in its next round of funding from Singapore-based Mount Nathan. Mount Nathan is an investment and advisory firm with interest in financial services business. They had earlier invested in Sanctum Wealth, which bought out the Wealth Management business of RBS in India. Earlier, ReNewBuy had raised USD 1 million from Mount Nathan through its investment entity Havelock Road LLP. ReNewBuy, a platform with more than 7,000 car and bike insurance policies monthly, will use the funds to finance its future growth.


Bombay Shaving Company: Men’s grooming startup Bombay Shaving Company has recently raised INT 4 crore in seed funding from a clutch of angel investors that includes McKinsey India MD Noshir Kaka, and Subramanian Ramadorai, an advisor to the prime minister. Other participants in the current funding round included eleven McKinsey partners, Kiran Deshpande, former CEO of Tech Mahindra, Pankaj Gupta, Head of Operations of USL Diageo, Ravi Nigam, MD of Tasty Bite, and Maninder Gulati who heads strategy for Oyo. The 10-month-old internet first company, with its differentiated six-part shaving regimen product range which it sells through a subscription model, is looking to tap the largely monopolized and growing men’s grooming market of worth INR 3,991 crore.


Vebbler: Bengaluru-based camera and photo sharing app Vebbler will receive the funding of $500,000 from founder Anupam Mittal led consortium of 16 investors. The list of investors includes Sharad Sharma, founder of industry think tank iSPIRIT, and Pranav Rai, son of former Infosys board member Mohandas Pai, along with a string of high net worth individuals from the US, West Asia and Singapore. The startup will utilize the funds towards expanding its team, which comprises 15 people, and in marketing campaigns.


Genext Students: Genext Students Pvt. Ltd., a Mumbai-based education technology company has recently secured INR 1.4 crore from 1Crowd, a crowdfunding portal run by Zeva Capsol Pvt. Ltd. The company said that it will utilize the funds to accelerate its product-technology development and enhance its marketing efforts along with strengthening its core team. Founded in 2013, Genext Students offers a combination of private home tutoring and technology-enabled learning for national and state level educational boards in English as well as Hindi.


Gigstart: Delhi-based entertainment startup Gigstart has recently sold its 85% stake to celebrity management firm Kwan Entertainment & Marketing Solutions for an undisclosed amount. Kwan will operate Gigstart as a marketplace-cum-discovery platform for the creative community. It has launched a mobile app to fill the gap between a plethora of entertainment talent across the country and consumers who are looking to curate events themselves. Gigstart has over 4200 verified artists on board and growing. Its interface enables users to browse through artist categories and book talent via their phones.


Zenoti: The Seattle-based startup, Zenoti has raised $15 million in a funding round led by Norwest Venture Partners to help salons run their businesses. Zenoti which is a cloud-based management platform helps spa chains with everything from billing to inventory management. They aim to create a tailored enterprise software experience for what they believe to be an under-served industry. The firm plans to use the funds to expand its operations to new regions, including Europe.


Travelyaari: Online bus booking platform Travelyaari, which is owned and operated by Mantis Technologies Pvt. Ltd. has raised $7 million in Series B round of funding led by media company Bennett Coleman and Co. Ltd and existing investor Gujarat Venture Finance Ltd (GVFL). The firm will use the fresh fund into its product development and boost up its service network. Founded in 2007 by Aurvind Lama, Travelyaari provides a platform that enables online bus ticketing processes. Travelyaari also offers business-to-business solutions to nearly 2,000 bus operators through its Bus ERP product, BusCRS.


Faircent: Run by Fairassets Technologies India Pvt. Ltd., a peer-to-peer lending portal has recently raised $1.5 million from Brand Capital, the ad-for-equity investment arm of the conglomerate, Bennett Coleman and Co. (BCCL). is a peer-to- peer lending market for individual and business loans which was founded in 2014. Currently, the firm has over 6,000 and 26,000 registered lenders and borrowers, respectively.


Innovaccer: California-based big data startup, Innovaccer has raised $15.6 million in Series A funding which was led by Westbridge Capital Partners with participation from other angel investors. Sumir Chadha, Managing Director of Westbridge, will be joining the board of Innovaccer. The company will use the funds to accelerate its presence in the healthcare market. Co-founded by Abhinav Shashank, Kanav Hasija and Sandeep Gupta, Innovaccer allows large enterprises to bring distributed data assets together on its integrated big data platform and improve data driven decision making processes.


AdPushup: AdPushup, an Adtech startup, has recently raised an undisclosed amount in a Series A funding round led by Japanese ad tech company Geniee Inc, along with Purvi Capital and other existing investors. In its strategic partnership with Geniee, AdPushup aims at extending services to Japan and other parts of Southeast Asia, with plans of collaborating on proprietary ad optimization technologies. The startup’s optimization platform allows web publishers and bloggers to create and test different ad placements, sizes, and types on their web page, thereby increasing ad revenue.


Wefly: Mumbai-based Wefly Indoor Skydiving LLC, has secured an undisclosed amount in investment from Hong Kong-based investment firm Swastika Company Ltd. Swastika will get a 20% equity stake in the venture and Vaibhav Jain, director at Swastika, will come on board as a partner for the startup. The fund will be used for fabrication and assembly of machinery. Wefly manufactures axial fans for indoor skydiving equipment. It also develops and promotes activities related to aerosports.


Zipgrid: ZIPGRID, a unique community services platform, has raised more than $200,000 in equity financing from 1Crowd, an ecosystem for startups. Zipgrid’s platform provides comprehensive technology-led services to housing and commercial communities. Having its footprints in Mumbai and Ahmedabad, Zipgrid currently serves over 70 housing communities. With the current funding the startup is looking to expand its footprint and invest in strengthening its technology and operations. Zipgrid community solutions optimize costs, deliver convenience and combined with collective commerce solutions; delivers significant cost savings and value addition.


Joolz: Jewellery-focused community marketplace Joolz has recently raised around $500,000 in a pre-Series-A round which was led by two prominent early-stage venture capital firms, Silicon Valley-based Powerhouse Ventures and Japan’s M&S Partners. The Mumbai-based startup will use the funds to boost its operations, products, marketing and further building up its team. Joolz aims at connecting jewellery lovers with exclusive brands shares India’s unique craftsmanship and culture of fine jewellery with the entire world.


Crofarm: Agritech venture Crofarm has raised seed funding of $1.5 million from Mukul Singhal and Rohit Jain, former principals at SAIF Partners. The current round was also participated by some angel investors that includes Himanshu Aggarwal, Co-founder & CEO of Aspiring Minds, Ashish Gupta, Former COO at Evalueserve and Sunil Goyal, Vice-President at Paytm. The agritech firm aims to create a supply chain which links farmers with businesses and plans to establish its presence in tier-2 markets and hope to operate in 10 cities over the next year.

Funcastic: Delhi-based B2C vernacular podcast aggregator platform Funcastic has secured seed funding from a startup accelerator launched by HT Media Ltd. and US-based investment firm North Base Media. The firm will utilize the funds into technology development and product marketing. Founded in 2015 by Vivekraj Shah and Surpreet Singh, Funcastic claims to be India’s first branded mobile podcast aggregator that allows users to listen to the content of their choice through its app.


Cuberoot: A preeminent data driven technology company, Cuberoot Technologies, has recently raised around $ 0.5 million from undisclosed investors. The company will use the funds to expand its business across the country. The funds shall further be utilized in scaling up growth parameters such as expansion of technology team, enhancing product technology, investing in better infrastructure and strategic acquisitions. Cuberoot is geared to launch its flagship product;  an Audience Management Platform also known as Cuberoot in the Indian market in the coming months, expanding to other cities in the upcoming months. Also, the company will be incorporating bases in Asia – Pacific market over the next 12-18 months.


Weekly Startup Investment Insights (August 8th to August 15th), 2016
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