News Post

Funding and acquisitions in Indian startups this week [01-06 Apr]

Entrackr

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This week as many as 30 Indian startups raised $172.71 million in funding. These deals include eight growth-stage deals and 16 early-stage deals. As many as six early-stage startups did not disclose the amount raised. Last week, about 17 early and growth-stage startups collectively raised around $125.73 million. [Growth-stage deals] Among the growth-stage deals, eight startups raised $130.1 million in funding this week. Bhavish Agarwal-led Ola Electric led the list with $50 million in debt funding. The list was followed by hyperlocal marketing-to-commerce software platform SingleInterface, NBFC Infinity Fincorp, housing finance company Nivara Home Finance, payment gateway and point of sales (PoS) provider Innoviti, and digital banking infrastructure firm M2P Fintech which raised $30 million, $26 million, $10 million, $4.8 million, and $4.2 million funding, respectively. Further, D2C personal care brand Bombay Shaving Company and D2C luggage brand Assembly also secured funds this week. [Early-stage deals] Subsequently, 16 early-stage startups scooped funding worth $42.61 million during the week. D2C health and wellness brand Traya spearheaded the list followed by full-stack retailer of used two-wheelers BeepKart, AI platform SiftHub, deep-tech startup Planys, and full-stack metal supply-chain platform Metalbook. The list further includes the provider of in-school adventure programs Rocksport, construction and home improvement platform Wify, generation artifical intelligence (AI) startup Vodex, and Agritech startup ONO. For more information, visit TheKredible. [City and segment-wise deals] In terms of the city-wise number of funding deals, Bengaluru-based startups led with 11 deals followed by Mumbai, Delhi-NCR, Chennai, and Hyderabad. The complete breakdown of deals across cities and segments can be seen below: [Series-wise deals] During the week, Series A funding deals are on the top spot with eight deals while Seed deals are on the second position both forming around 55% of the total funding. Further, Pre-Series A, Debt, and Pre-seed are next on the list among others. [Week-on-week funding trend] On a weekly basis, startup funding surged 37.4% to $172.71 million as compared to $125.73 million raised during the previous week. The average funding in the last eight weeks stands at around $252 million with 26 deals per week. The week-on-week funding trend can be seen below: [Departure] This week Indian startups witnessed around seven key exits. Notably, Sumit Mathur, CMO of Paytm, Kunal Kashyap, Risk Management Head of CRED, and Karan Arora, VP and Head of Supply Chain Management of Swiggy Instamart resigned from their respective positions. [Fund launches] Three startup-focused funds were launched this week. Centre Court Capital introduced a Rs 350 crore maiden fund for sports and gaming startups. Finance influencer Sagar Sinha initiated a Rs 10 crore fund for startups and budding entrepreneurs. Navy Veteran Navneet Kaushik established an early-stage fund to support defense tech startups. Visit TheKredible to see series-wise deals along with amount breakup, complete details of fund launches, and more insights. [Layoffs] Troubled edtech giant BYJU’S has fired 500 employees amid funding challenges and a legal battle with investors. The layoffs, part of an ongoing restructuring, were executed without a performance improvement plan (PIP) or notice period. Pune-based fintech SaaS startup Lentra also reportedly conducted a restructuring exercise, resulting in layoffs across departments, affecting approximately 70-80 employees. [ESOP Buyback] Audio series platform Pocket FM completed its first ESOP buyback worth $8.3 million, following a $103 million Series D funding round. Meanwhile, men-focused premium innerwear and lifestyle brand XYXX announced its first Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) buyback. [Mergers & Acquisitions] Zeno Health acquired online pharmacy startup Tablt Pharmacy in an all-stock deal. This acquisition allows the firm to expand its presence in West Bengal, Odisha, Bihar, and Jharkhand, where Kolkata-based Tablt operates, focusing on Tier 2 to Tier 6 geographies. In another development, listed business services provider and private sector employer Quess Corp Limited has acquired Bengaluru-based gig economy platform Taskmo for an undisclosed amount. [New launches] ▪️ Founders of CoinSwitch launch wealth-tech platform Lemonn ▪️ Zomato pilots new service for last-mile deliveries across corporate parks [Financial results this week] ▪️ Four-year-old Wiz Freight posts Rs 1,243 Cr revenue in FY23 ▪️ LS Digital nears Rs 700 Cr revenue in FY23; profits jump 3X ▪️ Winzo ends FY23 with Rs 674 Cr revenue and Rs 126 Cr PAT ▪️ Probo turns profitable as it posts 32X growth in FY23 ▪️ Bijnis records 100% growth in FY23; losses touch Rs 100 Cr ▪️ Bambrew’s revenue spikes 4.7X to Rs 44 Cr in FY23 [News flash this week] ▪️ Purplle is looking to mop up $100 Mn funding from ADIA ▪️ Rapido to raise $100 Mn from WestBridge and other existing investors ▪️ Sachin Bansal-led Navi in talks to raise funds at $2 Bn valuation ▪️ Zepto to raise fresh funds at $3 Bn valuation ▪️ RBI to incorporate an agency to curb illegal lending apps ▪️ Zomato receives an order to pay a service tax of Rs 92 Cr [Conclusion] After a significant drop in funding, the weekly funding again increased by over 30% this week. The week saw three fund launches namely Centre Court Capital, Sagar Sinha’s fund, and The Jamwant Venture Fund. The week also witnessed two layoffs as troubled BYJU’s and Lentra reportedly fired a part of their workforce. As per media reports, growth-stage players including Purplle, Zepto, Rapido, and Sachin Bansal’s Navi Technologies are looking to score some larger funding rounds. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is considering the establishment of a public register of whitelisted lending apps to combat illegal lending practices. The central bank aims to create the Digital India Trust Agency (DIGITA) to oversee the lending ecosystem and ensure credible operations. Lending apps without a ‘verified’ signature from DIGITA would be deemed unauthorized and face strict action. This initiative follows incidents of suicides linked to predatory lending practices. Additionally, Zomato faced another challenge as it was ordered to pay a service tax of Rs 92 crore. This comes after receiving a GST notice of Rs 23.26 crore for FY19 from Karnataka tax authorities.

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