Weekly Startup Investment Insights (August 22nd to August 28nd), 2016

Every business needs money to run its operations. Especially for startups it is more than a daily need. Getting funds for a startup business is not an easy task. The founders try their best to convince investors to get the funds. Here is the list of startups that got funding last week.


Runnr: Runnr, a food delivery platform, has raised around $7 million in a recent funding round led by Nexus Venture Partners and Blume Venture Partners. Runnr was formed after the merger of two of the most high-profile startups of last year, Roadrunnr and TinyOwl. Post TinyOwl’s acquisition, Roadrunnr morphed into a food delivery play with a bigger focus on the consumer side, unlike its previous business-to-business avatar. It’s going to be a tough market for Runnr as it competes with bigger rivals like Swiggy, Zomato Order and Foodpanda.


Mitra Biotech: A biotech company, Mitra Biotech, has raised $27.4 million (approximately INR184 crore) in a Series B round of financing led by Sequoia India and Sands Capital Ventures. Other investors such as RA Capital Management and the company’s existing investors Accel Partners and Tata Capital Innovations Fund also participated in the round. The company develops and provides technologies that personalize cancer treatment. The startup is engaged in supporting personalized oncology therapy selection and drug development. Founded in 2010, Mitra is based in Boston, and maintains a significant research and laboratory presence n Bengaluru. Mitra will utilize Mitra will use the funds to expand the availability of its CANScript service, which predicts personalized responses to cancer treatments and has demonstrated an extremely high correlation to actual clinical response.


Paytm: Online payment and shopping site Paytm is close to raising between $300 million and $350 million (approximately INR 2,000 crore to INR 2,350 crore). MediaTek, Goldman Sachs, and Temasek are said to be in talks with the One97 Communications Ltd, which runs Paytm. Foxconn of Taiwan, GIC Pte from Singapore and Chinese investor Fosun are also likely to participate in the funding round, along with Alibaba Group and SAIF Partners, which have already invested in the startup. The company will use the funds for its payments business, a payments bank it plans to set up and its online shopping arm.


Krishi Star: Krishi Star, Agri-business venture, has recently secured a seed funding from Artha Venture Challenge, Menterra Social Impact Fund, and Upaya Social Ventures. The startup was founded in 2014 in Mumbai which collaborates with small farmers who own a part of the processing facility apart from supplying raw materials. By aggregating existing farmer assets and providing a brand, the company aims to increase the efficiency and quality of India’s food supply chain and bring a large portion of this created value to farmers.


Witworks: Bengaluru based, Witworks Consumer Technologies Pvt. Ltd. has recently received an undisclosed amount of seed funding in a funding round led by Fireside Ventures, Investopad and Manish Singhal, founding partner pi Ventures, who has invested in his individual capacity. The round also saw participation from P39 Capital along with a group of angel investors including Anupam Mittal (, founder), Pranay Jivrajka (Chief Operating Officer, Ola), Maninder Gulati (Chief of Strategy, OYO Rooms), Abhinav Sinha (Chief Operating Officer, OYO Rooms), among others. Founded in 2014, Witworks, a consumer technology company makes connected devices in the home and lifestyle segment. The company will use the funds raised for the development and launch of its wrist-wearable device called Blink.


NearFox: NearFox, a local lifestyle content and discovery platform has recently raised an undisclosed amount in an angel round led by Globevestor Angel Fund and a clutch of other investors including Devendra Rane, CTO at CoverFox, Ravi Jain, cofounder of GenY Medium, and Arpan Nagdeve, vice-president, products, at Craftsvilla. NearFox, which features hyperlocal and city news, city-wide events and a discussion platform for neighbor interaction, will use the proceeds to expand its team and enter more geographies.


NephroPlus: NephroPlus, a dialysis service provider has raised INR 100 crore in Series C funding led by SeaLink Capital Partners (SCP) and International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group. Further to this funding round, Heramb Hajarnavis, Managing Partner, SeaLink Capital Partners (SCP), is joining the Board of Directors of NephroPlus. The funds raised recently will help company meet the growing need for kidney disease management services in the country and for the expansion of NephroPlus’ network. Over the next 5 years, the Hyderabad-based company aims to provide over 4 million treatments per year and create around 5,000 jobs. The expansion plan will also witness NephroPlus network growing to 500 centres.


Zoomcar: Zoomcar, a self-drive car rental company, has received funding of $24 million in a deal led by Ford Smart Mobility, a subsidiary of Ford Motor Company. The current deal was also seen a participation from company’s existing investors Sequoia Capital, Nokia Growth partners and Empire Angels. Zoomcar is currently present in seven cities with a fleet of over 2,000 cars and will be expanding its presence to additional 10-15 cities soon, many of which will be tier-II cities. Zoomcar has also created proprietary hardware and software to monitor real-time data on performance of the vehicle as well as driving. With the recent funds, the company plans on expanding its Zoomcar Associate Program (ZAP) which allows users to buy cars registered in the name of Zoomcar.


Cult: CureFit, a healthcare and fitness startup has invested $3 million for a controlling stake in Cult, a company that provides training without using machines. After the current funding, Cult will continue to run as an independent company. Founded by fitness trainer Rishabh Telang last year, Cult is focused on training fitness enthusiasts without using traditional gymnasium equipment. It has two centres and plans to open 25 more in Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Mumbai in the next few years. CureFit raised $15 million from IDG Ventures, Kalaari Capital and Accel Partners in July.


Beyond Evolution: Beyond Evolution, a technology solutions startup which recently launched its internet of things (IoT) based home solutions, has secured an undisclosed amount as seed funding from investors including Vineet Taneja, former Micromax CEO and Kamal Puri, chairman of UAE’s Skyline Group. The company will use the raised funds for its product development, as it progresses from the stage of a minimum viable product to product feature enhancement, and for product marketing. The company is also working on, and will soon be launching, an array of products that will help the customers use the new features without the need of upgrading their technology.


Unacademy: A free online learning platform, Unacademy, run by Sorting Hat Technologies Pvt. Ltd, has received $1 million funding from Flipkart co-founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Blume Ventures, Stanford Angels India, WaterBridge Ventures and Traxcn Labs. Existing investors like former Flipkart executive Sujeet Kumar, TaxiForSure co-founder Aprameya Radhakrishnan and Phanindra Sama of redBus also participated in the round, according to a Times of India report. Unacademy offers free video courses and competes with companies such as Khan Academy, Coursera, and EdX. The startup claims to have more than 300,000 students for over 2,400 online lessons and specialized courses through the platform.


Advenio & GuaRented: Advenio Technosys and GuaRented have raised funding from Kstart, a seed platform run by VC firm Kalaari Capital. Kstart has put in $100,000 in Advenio and $500,000 in GuaRented. Advenio, which provides artificial intelligence-based computer assisted detection for diagnostic clinical imaging, plans to use the funds for enhancing the product and for clinical validation. GuaRented, which provides appliances such as refrigerators, televisions, microwave ovens and washing machines on rent, plans to use the funds to scale up supply and build the technology platform.


Shaadisaga: Shaadisaga, an online wedding platform, has raised an undisclosed amount in its pre-series A investment round from Anupam Mittal, founder of matrimonial website, Freecharge founders Kunal Shah and Sandeep Tandon, and Dheeraj Jain, partner at UK-based hedge fund Redcliffe Capital. ah!Ventures and Rohit Chokhani of White Unicorn Ventures were among the other investors who participated in the round. The company will utilize the funds in technology enhancement and expanding its partner base. Founded by Himanshu Kapsime and Manish Garg, Shaadisaga offers couples wedding planning services, providing photographers, make-up artists, marriage venue and so on. It claims to have 2,500 service providers across different categories.


Vyome Biosciences: A clinical-stage specialty bio-pharmaceutical company, Vyome Biosciences, has raised $14 million Series-C financing round recently. This financing round was led by Perceptive Advisors, a leading New York based life sciences fund and, Romulus Capital, a Boston-based venture capital firm, along with participation from existing investors including Kalaari Capital, Sabre Partners and Aarin Capital. Vyome has a pipeline of novel drugs for antibiotic resistant acne, other opportunistic pathogens and antifungal agents in dermatology. Vyome’s lead programme, VB 1953 for antibiotic resistant Acne has successful approval of IND application from USFDA and will soon initiate clinical trials. The Company will utilize the raised funds predominantly to advance the clinical development of its lead product, VB 1953.


Nykaa: Online beauty retailer is in talks to raise INR 80 crore by end of this year to push growth as it aims to double sales to INR 720 crore by 2017-18. At present, the company sells bath and body products and nail paints and operates four outlets in DELHI, Mumbai and Bengaluru and plans to add three more outlets this year. Online beauty retailer is also looking at omni-channel presence to achieve growth targets and plans to open about 26 more retail outlets by 2020.

Puro Wellness: A wellness initiative of Ruchir Modi, Puro Wellness, has secured INR 250 crore from Torrent -the holding company of Gujarat-based conglomerate Torrent Group -in its pre-revenue stage. With this investment, Torrent has taken a significant stake in Puro Wellness, which aims to develop nutritional supplements that are meal replacements for salt, sugar, spice, rice and other products. The company will utilize the funds mainly for a marketing blitzkrieg campaign, R&D and working capital.


Meesho: Y Combinator- backed Meesho, an app which helps merchants in India to manage their e-commerce businesses on WhatsApp and Facebook has raised an undisclosed amount of funds from a group of angel investors apart from the $120,000 it picked up from the famed Silicon Valley accelerator. VH Capital, and entrepreneurs like Kashyap Deorah, Rajul Garg, Arjun/ Rohan Malhotra, Oyo Rooms’ Maninder Gulati, Abhishek Jain and Jaspreet Bindra have invested in the Bengaluru-based startup. The company will utilize this money in marketing and enhancing technology.


Snapdeal: India’s second largest online e-commerce firm Snapdeal has raised $21 million from Luxembourg-based fund Clouse SA. The fund raised was a part of Snapdeal’s Series J round initiated in February this year. The funding round was crucial to Snapdeal amid rising competition due to Flipkart and Amazon. Snapdeal plans on spending over Rs 200 crore on a 360-degree marketing campaign over the next 60 days.


Intsights: Wipro, the country’s third largest software services firm has bought minority stake in Israeli cybersecurity company, Intsights Cyber Intelligence for $1.5 million. In this transaction, Wipro has picked up a minority stake “of less than 20% on a fully diluted basis” in Intsights. Tel Aviv, Israel-based Intsights was founded in 2015 by Israeli entrepreneur Guy Nizan and offers a software platform to clients that is capable of detecting cyber-attack threats early.


EnCashea: EnCashea, a Bangalore-based scrap collection and recycling startup, has secured an undisclosed amount in seed funding from FreeCharge co-founders Kunal Shah and Sandeep Tandon, Tracxn Labs and a group of unnamed investors. The company is now in advanced talks to acquire its city-based rival RaddiMan. The startup enables users to schedule scrap pickup both on its website and Android app. It collects segregated, recyclable scrap from both households and corporates and sells directly to paper mills and e-waste recyclers, thus becoming the only middleman between scrap generator and scrap recycler. It currently operates only in Bangalore, but plans to expand to either Chennai or Hyderabad post the next round of funding.


TAC Security: A cybersecurity solutions provider to corporate clients, TAC Security Solutions has raised an undisclosed amount of funding in a pre-Series A round from Vijay Kedia. Kedia is a stock market investor, managing director of Kedia Securities Pvt. Ltd and director of three-wheeler maker Atul Auto Ltd. The company now plans to close its Series A funding of $10 million within this financial year. Founded in 2013 by 21-year-old Trishneet Arora, a cybersecurity expert and ethical hacker, TAC counts Reliance Industries Ltd, Gujarat Police, Punjab Police, International Tractors Ltd, Amul, Avon Cycles, and the Central Bureau of Investigation as its clients.


Zzungry: Zzungry, Bangalore-based food startup that offers freshly prepared Indian cuisine, has raised a round of seed funding from Silicon Valley-based entrepreneurs Satish Vasudeva, Madhusudhan Jujare and other individual investors. The funds raised will be used for expansion and building revenue channels. Zzungry plans to enter retail with a new category of offering and will explore avenues like malls and tech parks to reach out to a larger consumer base.


Pikkol: Pikkol, a relocation service provider based out in Bangalore, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Indian Angel Network led by Angel investor, CEO & managing trustee Bangalore Political Action Committee (BPAC), Revathy Ashok and Raj Rathi. Rathi will join the board of the company as a part of the investment. The company plans to use the funds raised in its product development and expansion.


Urban Ladder: Urban Ladder Home Décor Solutions Pvt. Ltd, an online furniture store, has raised $3 million in venture debt from Trifecta Capital, joining a growing breed of start-ups which, after raising substantial funds during the funding boom last year, are seeking venture debt to meet their working capital requirements amid the current slowdown in funding. Venture debt is becoming popular among start-ups, as venture capital firms are tightening their purses, raising questions over unproven business models of start-ups. Urban Ladder is one of the most well-capitalized online furniture businesses, backed by TR Capital, Sequoia Capital, Steadview Capital, SAIF Partners and Kalaari Capital.


UberDreams: Mumbai-based startup UberDreams, an online platform for fulfilling users’ dreams thonline auctions, has raised $500,000 funding from the Mascot Group. The startup plans to utilize the funds raised to expand its list of offerings and ensuring awareness and conversions through Digital Marketing Platforms, the company said in a statement. Founded in May 2016, Uber Dreams, owned by Dreamatic Innovations Pvt. Ltd is an experiences curator and auctions technology platform that has various dreams listed on the website, which can be redeemed by a registered user at a nominal fixed cost.


ConveGenius: ConveGenius has raised an equity investment of $900,000 from Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. The company will utilize the funds in providing engaging, impactful education for the masses. ConveGenius is a mobile first, product company focused on digitizing education and making it affordable, fun and rewarding. A mobile-based education venture aims to become a market leader in Edutainment. The company aims to create disruption in the knowledge and digital media segment by providing affordable educational solutions for both the existing and the emerging mobile users globally.


Fitternity: Fitternity, an online fitness discovery platform, has received commitment to raise fresh investment of around $2 million from existing investors women-focused Saha Fund, Exfinity Venture Partners and couple of other angel investors based out of India and Silicon Valley. The startup will utilize the funds to add new business verticals to sports, diet plans and preventive healthcare apart from marketing and brand building. The Mumbai-based fitness platform follows a marketplace model and enables users to purchase sessions or membership of different fitness programmes, including gym sessions, yoga and Zumba classes and personal trainers, among others.


Notesgen: World’s first and fastest growing peer-to-peer notes eXchange platform for students to learn and earn, Notesgen, has raised $100k in angel funds. With this fund raising, the startup enhanced its product to become the first platform to offer personalized notes feed for each student based on their preferences, keywords and field of study. Notesgen is an EdTech startup focusing on building a notes eXchange platform where students can upload their study notes so that other students can benefit from the same. The platform has crossed 400k users till the date.


NearU: Deal discovery startup, NearU which is based out in Mimbai, has raised an undisclosed amount in funding from Goutam Challagalla, a professor of marketing at business school IMD, Switzerland. Founded in June 2015, NearU is a location-based mobile app for deal discovery. The startup follows an online-to-offline model connecting users to outlets. The NearU app has streamlined the offers into nine categories—apparel, accessories, food & beverage, electronics, health & beauty, entertainment, home & living, hotels and automobiles. The startup has its presence in eight major cities across India.

30 has recently raised $200K in a Seed funding round  led by a host of angel investors, which included Rohan and Arjun Malhotra (Investopad); Rahul Khanna (Trifecta Capital); Rakesh Agrawal (US based- seed in Lyft, Cruise, Shyp, Poshmark and Lendup), Sidharth Rao (WebChutney), Outbox Ventures, Rajan Navani; Gautam Gandhi (Ex-Google, Angel Investor); Jaspreet Bindra; and Gagan Duggal. was initially a platform for fully automating a company’s internet marketing needs (push notifications, personalized feeds, etc.) and now later it is an analytics platform built for Machine Learning. The Octo founders aim to push Internet marketing to the next level much beyond the basic software stack, where machines are autonomously taking actions based on user behavior insights.


EngineerBabu: Indore-based B2B IT service aggregator, EngineerBabu, has raised seed round of an undisclosed amount led by Scale Ventures. The startup plans to utilize the funds to expand its client base in US, China, Japan and other potential countries. Launched in 2014, EngineerBabu offers services such as web development, mobile app development, web designing, logo designing, and digital marketing services.


Plix: Plix, a photo and video sharing app that alerts users to their photos taken by their friends, has raised between $500,000 from Instalabs, an apps incubator. Plix allows people to share entire albums with friends with the added feature of auto-suggesting names of people in the pic based on face recognition software. It also lets users know which of their friends have pictures or videos which were never shared, with a link to request the same. The Gurgaon-based startup will use the funding to build more features in the product and innovating on technical solutions in image management and data processing. It plans to get into the business-to-business market in future.


MobiKwik: Gurgaon-based One MobiKwik Systems Pvt. Ltd, which owns and operates the virtual wallet MobiKwik, is all set to raise $40 million from Nasdaq-listed firm Net1, as part of a strategic partnership. MobiKwik allows users to load money into a digital wallet using cash, loyalty points, debit card, credit card and net banking, after which it can be utilized to make purchases online. It enables users to discover retailers (brick-and-mortar stores, e-commerce websites, m-commerce apps, billers etc.) and then start paying them. In coming three years, the company has targeted having 150 million users and half a million merchants, and the introduction of our various technologies is expected to enhance their value proposition and differentiation to users, online and offline merchants, increase acceptance, and accelerate growth.


MyDidi: MyDidi, the leading home and commercial cleaning services provider in Mumbai, has recently raised USD 550,000 as a pre- series A funding from international VC’s and Angels, including Ex Mkinsey Directors and Partners. is an on-demand, hyper-local platform for excellence in high-frequency services (for now House cleaning, deep cleaning and commercial cleaning) by trained, apprenticed and tech-enabled women entrepreneurs. MyDidi recently got selected in AWS Activate (Amazon web services), Microsoft BizSpark Plus, and Google Launchpad Accelerator due to its technological innovations and sustainable business plan.


Crownit: A local merchant discovery and privileges platform, Crownit, has secured undisclosed amount of money from FreeCharge founders Kunal Shah and Sandeep Tandon, Freshdesk founder Girish Mathrubootham and ex-Snapdeal CPO Anand Chandrasekaran. Crownit has emerged as one of the largest players in the direct consumer discounts and deals category in India by targeting the offline merchants’ segment. Crownit has over 9,00,000 users and has over 15,000 merchants listed on the O2O platform.


LoanTap: Fintech platform LoanTap has secured $3 million in a first strategic round of funding (Series A) from high net worth individuals (HNIs) Abhishek Pandey and Jaysukh Sapra. The company will utilize the most of the funding for onward lending by the platform, while a part of the remaining capital will also be used to augment its technology and distribution frameworks. LoanTap will also utilize the raised capital to expand its operations in NCR, Mumbai Metropolitan Region, Pune and Bangalore.

Weekly Startup Investment Insights (August 22nd to August 28nd), 2016
1 Comment

1 Comment

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