We are once again back with our weekly ritual to enlighten our readers about the top 10 startup funding activities of this week. This week once again saw the return of Sachin Bansal on the investment horizon as he continues his fixation with the Fintech sector. This week also saw niche sectors like social commerce and online jewelry attracting investment from investors. To tell you more about this and other funding activities, here is a quick recap of the top funding activities transpired during the last five days of this week.
U Gro: It seems that Sachin Bansal can’t stop his love affair with Fintech startups. Barely a week after investing Rs 740 crore in the microfinance company Crids, this week the Flipkart co-founder followed it up by investing Rs 100 in the Mumbai based Fintech company U Gro. Poonawalla Finance (part of the Poonawalla family) also took part in the funding round.
Interestingly, U Gro is already a publicly listed company. Like most of today’s Fintech startups, U Gro also offers easily accessible credit to fund starved SME industry.
Club Factory: This week, Club Factory, defied the notion that India’s e commerce industry is on a consolidation mode. This after the Chinese e-commerce platform raised massive $100 Mn from Qiming Venture Partners and other investors. The other investors included Bertelsmann, IDG Capital, and Fortune 500 companies from the United States and Asia.
The Chinese platform has a tough task at its hand as it will have to dent a market that is dominated by big players like Flipkart and Amazon
ZoomCar: Self–drive rental platform Zoom Car raised nearly 55.7 crore from it parent company. WeWork’s India CEO Karan Virwani also participated in the round by infusing Rs 7.53 crore in the funding round.
Zoom Car boasts high profile investors like Mahindra & Mahindra and Trifecta among other investors. The Bengaluru based company has so far raised Rs 120 crore since the beginning of this year.
Melorra: Online jewelry store Melorra bagged $12 Mn Lightbox Ventures and BlackSoil Capital. Other investors that participated in the round included the likes of Ravi Sheth, the Burmans of Dabur, Rainmaker Ventures and the Jeejeebhoy family office.
Melorra claims to be among India’s leading online jewelry store and also claims to have inhouse designers based in India, the US and the UK. The company says that as of today it delivers jeweler across 1300 Indian towns.
Razorpay: Fintech startup Razorpay got a fresh fund infusion of Rs 130.15 this week. However, the funds were not infused by any external investors but by its own US based parent company – Razorpay Inc. Razorpay will use the fresh capital for consolidating its neo banking platform Razorpay X and lending arm Razorpay Capital.
The Sequoia Capital funded startup specializes in Payment gateway and competes with established players like Billdesk and CCAvenue. The company was recently in news for acquiring fraud detection AI startup Third watch.
Dealshare: Dealshare, an e-commerce platform that targets India’s hinterland, raised $11 million in its series A round. Matrix Partners India and Falcon Edge Capital spearheaded the round while DST Global, Omidyar Network India and clutch of independent investors also participated in the round. The e commerce platform said that it will use the funds for geographic expansion, ramping up AI solution and improving logistic facilities.
Dealshare is aiming to become the preferred e commerce platform for online shoppers living in India’s non-metro cities.
Hevo: Data analytic startup Hevo raised $4 Mn in seed funding from Sequoia Capital and Chiratae Ventures. The startup, which has headquarters in Bengaluru and San Francisco, uses complex data emanating from various channels to help companies to improve their customer experience and overall productivity. The company was founded in 2017 by Sourabh Agarwal and Manish Jethani; Manish is an IIT graduate who previously founded foodtech startup SpoonJoy, which was later acquired online grocery platform Grofers.
OneOneDay : Hong Kong headquartered adtech startup OneOneDay raised $1.3 Mn in pre-series A round. Chinese investors led the round but their names were not disclosed. By the way, OneOneDay has a strong India connection through its app Ooodies, which helps users to watch advertisement of their choice and facilities them to earn cash reward.
The company will use the latest capital infusion for ramping up its sales operation and further improving the platform.
Juno: Blockchain and cryptocurrency startup Juno raised $3 Mn or Rs 21 crore from Sequoia Capital’s accelerator programme Surge. Polychain Capital – a cryptocurrency focused investment platform – also participated in the round. This is Sequoia’s first investment in the cryptocurrency space, which off late has been lacking in investment due to regulatory problems.
Built on Ethereum blockchain, Juno aims to build an open and decentralized global financial system that is apparently more transparent than the prevalent financial system.
Vahan.ai: Artificial intelligence enabled online job portal Vahani.ai raised undisclosed amount from Silicon Valley investors Khosla Ventures, Founders Fund and Pioneer Fund. Vahan.ai’s founder Madhav Krishna said that the company will use the capital to scale up and expand operations. The company claims that so far 25,000 people have secured blue collar jobs through their platform.