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Deal Street: ClearTax Raises Rs 400 Crore As It Looks To Expand Services

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Five Indian startups raised $82 million or nearly Rs 600 crore in angel, seed and venture capital funding across sectors such as taxation, networking, fintech, among others, last week.

Startups based in Bengaluru led the funding pack last week.

Hong Kong Fund House Leads $50 Million Funding Round In ClearTax

Archit Gupta, Co-Founder of ClearTax. (Source: ClearTax)

Income tax return e-filing platform ClearTax raised $50 million (Rs 400 crore) in a fresh round of funding.

Hong Kong-based investment firm Composite Capital Management led the investment round, the company said in a statement. The investment also marks Composite Capital’s maiden investment in India.

The Bengaluru-based startup said it will use the fresh capital to accelerate growth, ramp up its product and technology platforms and scale up operations.

This takes the overall fund raise by the startup to about $65 million. ClearTax had last raised $12 million (over Rs 80 crore) two years ago in a round led by Ravi Adusumalli of SAIF Partners. The firm, which was also a part of Y Combinator’s 2014 summer batch, counts Paytm and US-based funds, including Founders Fund, Maiden Lane and FundersClub, among its investors.

Founded in 2011, besides e-filing of income tax returns, the firm currently offers a mutual fund investment portal, Goods and Services Tax software, an e-way bill generator, digital signature certificate utility and business compliance services. It also provides chartered accountant-assisted services, including tax planning.

ClearTax says more than 2.5 million users in India and over 20,000 chartered accountants and tax professionals and thousands of businesses use the platform to file their tax returns online.

Times Group Backs Social Networking Platform For Music

App maker-turned-social network for music, Smule, raised $20 million from Times Bridge, the venture capital arm of media conglomerate the Times Group.

The strategic investment comes as Smule looks to aggressively expand its footprint in India, its second largest market. The fresh round follows a $54-million raise in May last year, led by Tencent.

“Indian audiences are passionate about connecting through music. We want to enhance those connections in an authentic way and we are thrilled to partner with Times Bridge to marshal the best of The Times Group on Smule’s behalf,” said the venture’s Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder Jeffrey Smith in a statement.

Restaurant Manager Platform TabSquare Raises $10 Million

(Photographer: Cole Wilson/Bloomberg)  

Artificial intelligence-based restaurant management platform TabSquare raised $10 million (around Rs 73.5 crore) in fresh funding led by Japanese online shopping company Kakaku.

Australia’s soft drink giant Coca-Cola Amatil, Resorts World Inc, and existing investor Walden International participated in this round, the company said in a statement.

The six-year-old company will use the funds to grow its geographic presence across Asia Pacific, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. A part of the investment will go in doubling its manpower and enhance their AI solutions.

TabSquare is said to have deployed over 6,000 devices that serve more than 12 million diners with six million annual orders.


Bengaluru-based VideoKen Inc., which runs an artificial intelligence-powered video-tech platform, raised $930,000 (Rs 6.83 crore) from SRI Capital and Touchstone Equities, VCCircle reported.

Financial planning startup Cube Wealth raised $2 million (around Rs 14 crore) from Singapore-based venture fund Beenext, Japan-based Asuka Holding, 500 Startups and a US-based early stage venture fund, the company said.

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