October has not started well for the Indian startup ecosystem as the weekly venture capital funding saw a decline compared to the previous week. In fact, in the month of September, total VC funding touched $1.8 billion.
The first week of October saw total venture funding of $82 million spread across 18 deals, which was a 63 percent decline when compared to the previous week, where the figure stood at $224 million. This drop in funding goes back to the date where the weekly funding raised was less than $100 million, which has been the trend since the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
The majority of venture deals during this week was in the early-stage, with just a single deal in the growth stage. There were no debt deals during this week.
Public, a location-based social network founded by news curator Inshorts, which enables people in Tier I, II, and III cities to record and share happenings around them and provide real-time local updates, secured funding of $35 million (Rs 260 crore) from venture capitalist Lee Fixel’s Addition, SIG Global, and Tanglin Venture Partners.
This is the first investment into an Indian startup by Lee Fixel’s new firm – Addition. Lee is the famed investor who made early bets into India’s consumer internet story by backing unicorns such as Flipkart and Ola while he was with private equity firm Tiger Global.
MonotaRO Co Ltd, a MRO B2B ecommerce company from Japan, invested $15 million in a joint venture with Emtex Engineering to grow the latter's SME ecommerce business in India. Emtex Engineering operates Industrybuying.com, which has two businesses — SME ecommerce and large enterprise. MonotaRO will own 51.6 percent stake in the JV while the rest will be held by Emtex.
Bengaluru-based capital markets infrastructure startup smallcase raised $14 million in Series B financing round led by DSP Group along with existing investors Sequoia Capital India, Blume Ventures, Beenext, and WEH Ventures. The round also saw participation from Arkam Ventures; Utpal Sheth, CEO at Rare Enterprises, owned by Rakesh Jhunjhunwala and Kunal Shah (Founder, CRED). The funding will be used to continue enhancing smallcases' infrastructure stack, add more investment products and partners to the platform, and expand its technology and product teams.
Sunstone Eduversity raised Rs 24 crore in Series A funding round led by Saama Capital. The round also saw participation from Ashish Gupta, MD, Helion Advisors; and Pankaj Bansal, Co-founder and CEO, PeopleStrong. Prime Venture Partners, Rajul Garg, and Purvi Capital also participated in the round. The funding will be used for hiring, curriculum building, and building of its tech platform. It will also be used to strengthen Sunstone's efforts to create industry-ready professionals. The platform aims to build a deeper network of colleges across different cities.
Bengaluru-based cleantech startup GPS Renewables raised $3 million in a Series A funding, led by Netherlands based Hivos-Triodos Fund and Hyderabad-based Caspian. The funds will be used for talent hiring and R&D.
Google-incubated education fintech startup Financepeer raised $3 million, led by a Jaipur-based NBFC, MS Fincap. The other key investors in the round were Danube, Aar Em Ventures, Angelbay Holdings, JITO Angel Network, and HEM Angels. The funding will be used to expand its partnership with educational institutions, product development and growth initiatives.
Etrio, an EV technology and product startup, raised $3 million from a set of HNI investors in Singapore. The Hyderabad-based startup's funding round was led by serial investor Janardhan Rao, Founder of Triumph Global Group – a Singapore-headquartered international commodity trading house. It plans to use this funding for customer acquisition, product development, and sales.
Bengaluru-based edtech startup StayQrious raised $2 million in seed funding round led by Learnstart, Draper Associates, Y Combinator, Nitin Sharma (First Principles VC), Lavni Ventures, and Dream Incubator (Japan). The startup will primarily use the fresh funds to build the product, coach tools, and instructional content.
SaaS-based retail visual intelligence startup Infilect raised $1.5 million in pre-series A funding led by Mela Ventures and 1Crowd, with participation from The Chennai Angels (TCA). The company will use the funding to boost its sales and marketing and R&D.
Kolkata-based legaltech startup Legal Salah raised $1 million in a seed funding round led by I2I Capitals, a family fund that comprises of angel investors. Legal Salah is a platform where one can seek legal and tax related advice, services and assistance.
Gurugram-based agritech startup AgroWave raised close to $500,000 in funding from US-based investor Sekhar Puli. It plans to use the funds to scale its product for the agricultural sector and expand its team.
ECOSTP Technologies, a startup that develops sanitation solutions through bioengineering secured an investment of $250,000 from Terwilliger Centre for Innovation in Shelter. It plans to use this funding for market expansion of its self-sustainable sewage treatment technology.
Sapio Analytics, a data driven government advisory firm with presence in the UK, the US, and India, raised $150,000 through an association with Indeed Smart City, a unit of Dentsu Aegis Network Communications India Private Limited.
Delhi-based B2B ecommerce startup ShipsKart raised $2,25,000 in its Pre-Series A funding round led by Betatron. This fresh round of funding will be used for market growth and capacity expansion.
Undisclosed value deals
Fitness-tech startup Oga Fit raised an undisclosed amount in Pre-Series A round of funding from US-based Joyance Partners. The funds will be used towards strengthening marketing efforts, content creation, and product development.
FanPlay, a Delhi-based real money gaming startup, raised an undisclosed amount in a seed round from Redcliffe’s Dheeraj Jain, Anupam Mittal, Core91 Fund, LetsVenture platform and other marquee angel investors. This funding will be used for product market fit and scaling operations.
Codeyoung, a Bengaluru-based edtech startup, raised an undisclosed amount in a seed round of funding led by Guild Capital. This funding will be used to scale international operations, strengthen technology and hiring talent.
San Francisco and New Delhi-based sales acceleration startup SquadStack raised $5 million in a Series A funding round led by Chiratae Ventures, with participation from existing investor Blume Ventures. This funding will be used for product growth and hiring talent.
Gurugram-based online marketplace for buying and selling of automobiles, Droom, acquired Delhi-NCR based AR startup Visiolab Ideas for an undisclosed amount. As part of the acquisition, Visiolab co-founders will join the Droom team.
Edited by Megha Reddy
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