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Weekly Musings – Big start-up updates for the week to February 09, 2024

12 Feb 2024 , 07:33 AM

The week saw $168 Million raised by start-ups, led by River, Astrotalk, OTO, Keus, DevX, Pandorum, and Wishlink.

After raising $1 Billion in December 2023 and $550 Million in January 2024, the start-up funding story was relatively stronger in the week to February 09, 2024. The week to February 02, 2024 was the first week of sub-$100 Million start-up fund raising after a gap of 3 weeks. That is rectified in the latest week with collections of $148 Million. In the 4 weeks prior to the current week, the start-up collections were to the tune of $48 Million, $170 Million, $136 Million, and $145 Million. In the latest week to February 09, 2024, start-ups raised just $168 Million across just 25 start-up deals. Once again, the start-up story was dominated by a handful of names in the segment, with a number of large sized deals thrown in. The latest week is affirmation of the start-up ecosystem in India being robust.

The number of deals in the latest week were also higher at 25 deals, compared to 8 deals, 13 deals, 21 deals, and 25 deals respectively in the previous four weeks. That is indicative of a slew of mid-ticket deals in the vicinity of over $6-8 Million on an average. Compared to the average of the last 5 weeks, the start-up funding in the latest week was +50.8% higher. On a month-on-month (MOM) basis the start-up collections were +250% higher. Here is the story of start-up fund raising over last 6 weeks; with appropriate comparisons.

Funding Week

Start-up funding raised

Week ending January 05, 2024$58 Million
Week ending January 12, 2024$145 Million
Week ending January 19, 2024$136 Million
Week ending January 26, 2024$170 Million
Week ending February 02, 2024$48 Million
Average of previous 5 weeks$111 Million
Week ending February 09, 2024$168 Million

The start-up funding for the latest week ended February 09, 2024 was higher on a month-on-month basis; as well as compared to the average of the previous five weeks. That can be attributed to the return of confidence post the interim budget announcement, which continues to remain pro-startups. Also, with the global interest rate scenario stabilizing, there is a greater willingness on the part of PE funds and VCs to commit fresh investments.

E-Scooter company, River, raises $40 Million from Yamaha

River, the e-scooter manufacturer, has just raised $40 Million (₹335 Crore) from Yamaha to build next generation products and to expand the distribution network. Apart from Yamaha, the funding round also saw participation from Al-Futtaim Automotive, Lower Carbon Capital, Toyota Ventures, and Maniv Mobility. The plan for River is to expand its presence to 100 cities by the year 2026. This includes a presence in major cities like Chennai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Surat, Pune, Kochi, and Trivandrum in the near future. 

Astrotalk looks to raise $20 Million from Left Lane Capital

Astrotalk, the online platform that syndicates astrologers, tarot readers, numerologists and Vaastu experts and links them up with prospective customers, is raising $20 Million (₹163 Crore). As part of the funding deal, Astrotalk will issue 11,211 Series-A cumulative convertible preference shares (CCPS) at an issue price range of ₹138,601 to ₹145,531 per CCPS to Left Lane Capital. Astrotalk currently has a pool of 13,000 astrologers, tarot readers, numerologists, and Vaastu experts on its platform. The company is projecting revenues of ₹2,000 Crore on the platform by FY26. 

Keus raises $12 Million from OAKS Asset Management

The smart home automation solutions company, Keus, has raised $12 Million (₹100 Crore) from the OAKS Asset Management Customer Fund. This fund raising will enable Keus to launch experience centres in major cities and strategically develop new products for the premium home segment. Keus has already implemented its smart home solutions to more than 1,500 architect designed premium homes in Hyderabad. Apart from OAKS Asset Management, the company promoters (Brijesh Chandwani and Subram Kapoor) also participated in the funding round. 

OTO raises $10 Million from GMO Venture Partners

OTO, the vehicle financing start-up has raised $10 Million (₹83 Crore) funding from GMO Venture Partners. The funding round also saw participation from Turbostart, and from KL Rahul, ace Indian cricketer, and son-in-law of Sunil Shetty. The company will use the funding round to drive its expansion plans and establish presence in more than 30 Indian cities. It will sharpen its focus on the financing two-wheeler EV purchases, Apart from the above investors, the round also saw participation from Prime Venture Partners, Matrix Partners, 9Unicorns and others.

Pandorum raises $8 Million for sharper biotech focus

Biotech start-up, Pandorum Technologies raised $8 Million (₹65 Crore) from stock market ace, Ashish Kacholia; with participation from Everest Finance, Fast Mover Advisory, and others. Ashish Kacholia will bring in over 70% of the funding in this round. Against the funding, the company will issue a total of 43,000 Series-A CCPS to the investors. Pandorum was initially backed by 021 Capital of Binny Bansal and by Sunil Kant Munjal of the Hero group. Pandorum essentially focusses on tissue technology and regenerative medicine. 

DevX raises $7 Million funding to scale up its co-working space story

The Gujarat based start-up, DevX, has raised $7 Million (₹58 Crore) to scale up its co-working space playbook in India. Floated in 2017, DevX is focused on nurturing innovative startups by partnering them in growth phase by providing them the right ecosystem. The funding round will allow DevX to sign up inventories of more than 2 Lakh square feet (SFT) across geographies. The funding largely came from family offices and individuals, with the family offices of Urmin Gala and Bidiwala families participating in the round. 

Wishlink Raises $7 Million from Elevation Capital 

Wishlink has raised $7 Million (₹58 Crore) to help social media creators to consistently grow their brand engagement. While Elevation Capital led the funding round, there was participation from Fundamentum and a slew of other angel investors too. Wishlink offers the space to social media creators to collaborate with the brands of their choice. These are facilitated through personalised links helping brands enhance visibility across social media audience. It does this facilitation without infringing on the freedom enjoyed by the content creators in the process. Several individual angel investors like Vidit Aatrey of Meesho and Ghazal Alagh of Mamaearth also participated in the funding round. 

VerSe Innovation raises $6.25 Million debt from Alteria Capital

VerSe Innovation, the parent company of Dailyhunt, has raised $6.25 Million (₹50 Crore) in debt from Alteria Capital. This funding was raised through the issue of 5,000 Series-C debentures at an issue price of ₹1 Lakh per debenture. The company will use the fresh funds to fuel business growth and expansion plans as well as for general corporate purposes. For the latest fiscal year FY23, the company has reported net loss of ₹1,910 Crore, which is lower than the previous year. 

Metafin raises $5 Million to finance solar power installations for business

Metafin has raised $5 Million (₹37.50 Crore) from Prime Venture Partners and Varanium Capital. Metafin is a cleantech based financing company. It plans to use the funds to expand across India and to grow its loan book. In addition, it will also use the funds to enhance its technology and IOT stack and hire key talent. The idea is to facilitate the rooftop solar adoption and financing in rural India. 

Khyaal nets $4.2 Million funding to enable senior citizens digital push

Khyaal, an app for senior citizens has raised $4.2 Million (₹35 Crore) in funding to empower senior citizens with greater digital flexibility. The funding round was led by 62Ventures, SV Quad, and Inventus Capital. The app intends to make digital platforms and facilities a lot simpler and accessible to the senior citizens. Apart from the funding leaders mentioned above, the round of funding also saw participation from entrepreneurs and individual investors like Glen Tullman, Kanwal Rekhi, Raju Reddy and Raj-Ann Gill, and others.

upliance.ai Bags raises $4 Million From Khosla Ventures for its AI engine

upliance.ai has just raised $4 Million (₹34 Crore) in an investment round led by Khosla Ventures and others. The idea is to scale up its AI-Powered home appliances play. The company extensively uses artificial intelligence in its solutions. The funds will be utilized to ramp up the production of its AI-powered cooking assistant. The start-up also plans to scale up its revenues to ₹150 Crore by end of year 2024. Upliance.ai was founded by Mahek Mody and Mohit Sharma and has the backing of Rainmatter, the start-up funding vehicle of Nikhil Kamath of Zerodha. The latest round of funding has pegged the valuation of upliance.ai at ₹143 Crore. The names of the other investors were not disclosed.

Cashinvoice raises $3.4 Million from Pravega and HDFC Bank

Cashinvoice has raised a sum of $3.4 Million (₹28.20 Crore) to assist and aid new businesses in supply chain financing. The funding round will support the company to introduce new products in the supply chain finance (SCF) ecosystem to help small businesses. The company plans to disburse loans worth $2.4 Billion to micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) by March 2025. Cashinvoice offers a digital invoice discounting marketplace, that offers tailor-made supply chain financing (SCF) solutions to small businesses. The point of contact is the large corporate and indirectly the MSMEs doing business with them get funded. The funding came from Pravega Ventures, HDFC Bank and Accion Venture Labs, which is already an existing investor in Cashinvoice. It will also invest money into the technology stack.

Bombay Shirt Company raises $3.2 Million from Singularity Ventures

Apparel company, Bombay Shirt Company, has raised $3.2 Million (₹26.90 Crore) from Singularity Ventures. This funding round comes nearly 4 years after its last funding round of $8 Million from Lightbox. The company has already passed a resolution to allot 201,543 Series B cumulative convertible preference shares (CCPS) the investors. This is more in the form of a bridge funding round for the apparel company. Apart from Singularity Ventures, Mithun Sacheti of Carat Lane also participated in the funding round. 

ControlZ gets $3 Million to boost automation and tech stack

ControlZ, which specializes in component-level renewal of pre-owned devices to increase its life cycle, has bagged $3 Million (₹24.90 Crore) from 9 Unicorn and Venture Catalysts. The company will use the funds to fortify its automation excellence initiative and benchmarking towards advanced testing labs on par with the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). 

Adventum Student Living raises $3 Million to facilitate global study

Adventum Student Living (ASL) has raised $3 Million (₹24.90 Crore) from Brand Capital. The funds will be used to facilitate disruption in education opportunities by enhancing accessibility to international study opportunities. This comes at a time when the Indian edtech sector has been hit by a funding slowdown, a downturn in the market and serious corporate governance issues. ASL offers a study abroad platform has got these funds from Brand Capital, the strategic investment arm of the Times of India group. 

Snap-E Cabs gets $2.50 Million to expand EV fleet

Snap-E Cabs has raised $2.50 Million (₹20.70 Crore) from Inflection Point Ventures. The funds will be used for talent acquisition, technology upgrades, and expanding operations of EV cabs into new geographies. Snap-E Cabs, offers a Kolkata based ride hailing platform with a fleet of 600 cabs and likely to be expanded to 1,000 cabs this year. This is a pre-series A funding round. Apart from expanding its offerings, the company will also enhance its tech stack and introduce new tech-enabled services in order to scale up its operational footprint. Snap-E Cabs offers an eco-friendly and affordable commuting service with zero emissions. It also offers added facilities like zero-cancellation fee and zero-surge fees for passengers. 

Neodocs raises $2 Million for health test kit offerings

Neodocs, founded by Nikunj Malpani, Anurag Meena and Pratik Lodha, is into the business of offering quick testing kits. It has just raised $2 Million (₹16.60 Crore). It has recently launched two urine test kits called the kidney care kit and the UTI care kit. The funding round saw participation from Kunal Shah of Cred, Varun Alagh of Mamaearth, Vivek Gambhir of Boat and Harshad Reddy of Apollo Hospitals. Neodocs will use the funds to expand globally and enter the markets of Europe, Australia, the Middle East, and the US.

Apart from these, there were smaller funding rounds raised by Rupyz, Aarogya Tech, SportVot, Swirl and Piscium too.

Related Tags

  • Astrotalk
  • DevX
  • Ecommerce
  • Fintech
  • Keus
  • OTO
  • Pandorum
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