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Weekly Startup Funding: Sachin Bansal Makes Comeback as a CEO

We are back with our weekly startup funding roundup to tell you about which startups got lucky this week.  And, of course, also to tell you about which investors decided to take the ‘leap of faith’ for seeking long term profit and also possibly to shape the destinies of some of biggest companies to grace Indian corporates in the coming years. So without wasting any further time, here are the top 10 startup funding of this week.

Chaitanya Rural Intermediation Development Services (CRIDS): The name of the first startup in our list doesn’t boast a very fancy name and its core business area of ‘rural micro-finance’ rarely makes top headline in the startup world. But try explaining this to Sachin Bansal, who is actually the new owner of this company. Flipkart’s co-founder and former CEO invested whopping $104 million (nearly 739 crore) to pick up a majority stake in CRIDS. This deal marks the comeback of Sachin Bansal in the role of CEO after a long hiatus.

OfBusiness: Closely following CRIDS was OfBusiness, which raised this week’s second biggest funding round. The Gurgaon based Fintech startup raised $34 Mn from Norwest Venture and existing investors Falcon Edge Capital and Matrix Partners. Today OfBusiness is among scores Fintech startups that offers credit to loan deprived SMEs and small businesses. The company was founded in 2015 by Asish Mohapatra, Bhuvan Gupta, Chandranshu Sinha, Nitin Jain, Ruchi Kalra, Ruchi Kalra, Srinath Ramakkrushnan, Vasant Sridhar.

Darwinbox: HR management platform Drawinbox scooped up $15 Mn from Sequoia India. Existing investors Endiya Partners, Lightspeed India Partners and 3one4 Capital also pumped funds in the funding round. Headquartered in Hyderabad, Drawinbox plans to use the latest capital infusion to ramp up growth in Asian markets as well as for investing in product innovation purposes.  This four year old startup operates in a space that is marked with intense competition, facing tough competition from the likes of Oracle, Workday, and SAP.

WhistleDrive: Employee transportation startup WhistleDrive secured $11 funding in a series B round from Chicago-based Colosseum. Based in the tech city of Hyderabad, WhistleDrive offers tech empowered fleet services to corporates. Following the latest round, the company reportedly plans to use the funds to enter two new markets with major focus on entering the National Capital Region (NCR). The company claims that it currently makes 100,000 vehicle trips every month.

To tell you more about, Techpluto will soon publish an exclusive interview with WhistleDrive’s founder and CEO Rakesh Munnanooru., India’s only internet aggregator for cancer care, secured $7 Mn in series A funding round. Accel, Chiratae Venture and and Dream Incubator led the funding round.  The company said it will utilize the funds to ramp up team, scale up operations and expand customer outreach across India as well as international markets.     

Blu Smart: Electric Vehicles are still far from making a debut on the Indian roads but Blu Smart has already started helping people in hiring electric vehicles. And now the company has got a glamorous investor in its board of director team – Deepika Padukone. Deepika Padukone’s office family office Ka Entreprises along with JITO Angel Network, Kalpavriksh Trust and Survam Partners pumped $3 Mn in the ride hailing startup. Cofounder of Micromax Rajesh Agarwal, and the MD of Bajaj Capital Sanjiv Bajaj also participated in the round.       

Rivigo: Logistic startup Rivigo raised $4.97 from South Korean based KB Global platform fund. According to reports,  no other investors participated in the round. Following the latest funding round, Rivigo become the latest unicorn to join the ever growing list of Indian unicorn companies. The company commanded a market valuation of little over $1 Bn in the latest funding round.  Founded in 2014, the company was earlier known as TruckFirst.

ShopClues: Embattled e-commerce platform ShopClues got much needed funding boost of Rs 7.86 from its U.S. based parent company Clues Network Inc. Once labeled as one of the poster boys of India’s e-commerce industry, today ShopClues is struggling to keep itself afloat. The company said that it will use the funds to focus on profitability. The Gurgaon based e-commerce company has already reduced its workforce substantially to cut down on its losses.

Aquaculture: Chennai headquartered aquaculture Platform Aquaconnect raised $1.1 Mn seed capital funding from Omnivore and HATCH. Aquaconnect’s FarmMojo app helps in simplifying Shrimp and aquaculture farming. The company will be using the funds for further improving its AI based platform and increasing their omnichannel marketplace fulfillment capabilities.         

AdvaRisk: Mumbai headquartered Fintech startup AdvaRisk secured $700,000 in seed funding round from Sprout Venture Partners. SEA Fund along with clutch of independent investors also participated in the funding round. The company helps in reduction of fraud cases in financial dealings and thereby aids in combating the NPA issue.  The firm said that it will use the latest capital infusion for product development and to increase the workforce counts in its sales and business development teams.      

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