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The Tech Panda looks at the funding alerts this fortnight.

Startup: CertifyMe

Sector: SaaS

 Amount: Undisclosed

Led by: Callapina Capital

CertifyMe, a digital credential management platform raised an undisclosed amount of seed fund led by Callapina Capital, an investment firm founded by Anas Rahman Junaid, Founder and MD of Hurun India and Vinod Jose, partner of Konglo Ventures, along with other individual investors. The funds will be utilised in expanding CertifyMe’s range of SaaS products in the digital credentials space besides investments in venturing into new domains such as ecommerce, luxury and HR Tech.

Commenting on the growth plans and fund raising, Ranjith Tharayil, Founder and CEO, CertifyMe, said, “We thank our investors for sharing our vision and look forward to work with them in expansion of our product and solution offering as well as further market penetration.”

Anas Rahman Junaid, Founder, Hurun India said, “I am very stoked about backing CertifyMe and Ranjith’s vision, and plausibly witness the creation of a world-class company, Made in India.”

Vinod Jose, founding partner of Konglo Ventures added, “Ranjith’s deep understanding of this space has helped Certifyme gain early global recognition such as being ranked among Top 4 players in G2 quadrant for digital credentials. We are excited as Certifyme has the potential to become a truly world-class product coming out of India.” 

Startup: Hasura

Sector: Low Code

 Amount: US$100 million Series C

Led by: Greenoaks

GraphQL innovation leader Hasura has secured US$100 million in funding in a round led by Greenoaks with participation from existing investors Nexus Venture PartnersLightspeed Venture Partners and Vertex Ventures. The Series C round brings the total capital raised by Hasura to US$136.5 million and the company’s valuation to US$1 billion.

Hasura plans to use the funding to accelerate R&D and expand go-to-market activities globally for the company’s GraphQL Engine.

Neil Shah, partner at Greenoaks, said, “We are thrilled to partner with Hasura as they become a core primitive for building cloud-native applications.”

“This funding enables Hasura to greatly increase our innovation velocity, which in turn allows our rapidly-expanding user base to deliver software even faster,” said Hasura CEO Tanmai Gopal. “With this funding round, our investors and the Hasura team are doubling down on our vision to solve data access and unlock the next decade of developer productivity. We’re going to be addressing the needs of our users by adding support for their favorite data systems much faster. The Hasura GraphQL Engine lets developers of all types, regardless of their GraphQL experience, start building GraphQL APIs without delay. We look forward to seeing what amazing things they build next using Hasura.”

Startup: Testsigma

Sector: Open source test automation

 Amount: US$4.6 million

Led by: Accel and STRIVE

With a mission to make test automation simple and scalable, Testsigma has secured a US$4.6 million seed funding led by Accel and STRIVE, with participation from BoldCap and a host of well known entrepreneurs and operators. These include Shanmugam Krishnasamy, co-founder and CTO of Freshworks; Kiran Darisi, co-founder and VP of engineering at Freshworks; Parsuram Vijayasankar, co-founder and principal engineer at Freshworks; Vetri Vellore, CEO of Ally.io; Nitesh Banta, CEO at B12; Ioann Fainsilber, Co-Founder at Pintek, and others.

Testsigma will use the capital to strengthen the core engineering and product team and to build alongside and for a global community of testers, test automation engineers, and developers.

“We are very excited to partner with Testsigma. It is an incredibly comprehensive, easy-to-use test automation platform that caters to every testing requirement of an organization.”, said Abhinav Chaturvedi, Partner at Accel.

“These are dev-founders who are building for other devs. Test automation has a problem of fragmentation and we need a collaborative approach to solve this if we are to ship good software. The team’s open-source approach to build a platform for quality seems to be the perfect recipe” added Nikhil Kapur, Partner at STRIVE.

Startup: Dexalot

Sector: FinTech

 Amount: US$7 million

Led by: Blizzard Fund

Dexalot, a new project building a decentralized order book exchange on Avalanche, has collected US$7 million in funding led by Avalanche’s Blizzard Fund and with participation from a number of Avalanche ecosystem players and DeFi investors.

In addition to Blizzard, Avalanche ecosystem investors include Avalaunch, Colony, Benqi, AVentures, and Avascan. Other partners who joined are Republic Capital, GSR, Muhabbit Capital, Woodstock Capital, Maven Capital, and IPC.

“We’re very excited to receive support from everywhere across the Avalanche ecosystem,” said Nihat Gurmen, CEO of Dexalot.

“Dexalot is pioneering a new generation of decentralized exchanges, enabling users to trade any asset with low fees, zero slippage, and efficient price discovery. Most chains lack the capacity and velocity to maintain an on-chain order book, forcing users to settle for poor trade execution. Dexalot capitalizes on Avalanche’s speed to deliver a peerless user experience,” said Emin Gün Sirer, Director of the Avalanche Foundation.

“As a central limit order book, Dexalot introduces new functionality to the ecosystem and seizes the opportunities unlocked by Avalanche’s near-instant finality. The Blizzard Ecosystem fund is excited to support Dexalot as it is quickly positioning itself as a crucial application for users across the Avalanche community,” added Lydia Chiu, Blizzard the Avalanche Fund.

Startup: ClaimBuddy

Sector: Healthtech

 Amount: US$3 million in pre-series A

Led by: Chiratae Ventures & Rebright Partners

ClaimBuddy, a healthtech startup, has raised US$3 million (INR 21 crores) in a pre-series A round of investment. The round was co-led by Chiratae Ventures and Rebright Partners. Existing investors like Titan Capital and Relentless Ventures, including other private investors, also participated in the round.

Talking about their investment, Ranjith, MD, Chiratae Ventures, added, “This investment is driven from a challenging personal experience. A friend needed almost 10 hours after receiving the discharge summary to actually get discharged from the hospital. This is not an uncommon experience for patients despite choosing empanelled hospitals. Claimbuddy’s combination of technology and process can enhance the patient experience multifold, at the same time making the workflow efficient across all stakeholders.”

Brij Singh, General Partner, Rebright Partners, said, “The current in-patient experience is broken especially during the claim processing and settlement. ClaimBuddy can improve this by providing a cashless-claim experience at hospitals by leveraging their technology and operational excellence; we are excited to back Khet and Ajit in this journey and build it out together.”

Startup: Locofast

Sector: Supply Chain Platform

 Amount: US$15 million in Series A

Led by: Stellaris Venture Partners & Chiratae Ventures

Locofast, a full-service tech-first supply chain platform for fashion manufacturers and lifestyle brands, raised US$15 million in Series A, a round co-led by Stellaris Venture Partners and Chiratae Ventures with participation from Kris Gopalakrishnan’s fund – Axilor Ventures.

The round also saw participation from notable angel investors including Suhail Sameer (CEO, BharatPe), Amit Lakhotia (Founder & CEO, Park+), Nitin Gupta (Founder & CEO, Uni) among others. Alongside equity, the company has also raised debt from strategic partners such as Stride Ventures and BlackSoil Capital.

With this fund, Locofast will invest in technology, expand reach to more than 15 cities in India and launch three new product categories while enabling SMEs to scale their business. Furthermore, the company will also continue to expand its workforce while also focusing on growth for existing teams.

Deepak Wadhwa, Founder & CEO, Locofast said, “Our team is excited to have the confidence of our investors as we work towards our mission of revolutionizing the supply chain in the textile industry.”

Commenting on the investment, Rahul Chowdhri, Partner, Stellaris Venture Partners said “Locofast’s value proposition of better prices with good quality and reliable service has resonated well with its customer base. The founders, Deepak Wadhwa and Mohit Piplani possess a great deal of expertise building marketplaces. These factors have helped them scale rapidly and we are confident they will continue in their growth trajectory.”

Ranjith Menon, Partner and Executive Director at Chiratae Ventures said, “Our excitement is that Locofast is attempting to bring more technology to this traditional space creating value to all stakeholders across the value chain.’’

Startup: Macmerise Celfie Design Pvt Ltd

Sector: Ecommerce

 Amount: US$1 million in Pre-series A

Led by: Inflection Point Ventures

Macmerise Celfie Design Pvt Ltd has raised US$1 million in a pre-series A round led by Inflection Point Ventures, one of India’s largest angel investment platforms. Other investors who participated in the round include Amitabh Bachchan, Tarun Katial, Ajmera Group, NAFA Capital amongst others.

Funds raised will be utilized towards improving tech infrastructure, onboarding more brands / celebrities to launch their merchandise, reaching a wider audience, and developing new innovative products.

Mitesh Shah, Co-Founder, Inflection Point Ventures says, “Creative and expressive merchandise is fast emerging as a preferred category for GenZ and millennials who are looking for brands that speak their lingo. Within e-comm, we see the creative fashion and accessories space becoming bigger and by the very nature of their business it will drive higher customer loyalty. MCD as a company aims to tell your story through your accessories and as investors, we find this proposition promising in terms of growth and scale.”

Sahil Shah, Founder and CEO, MCD, says, “IPV is the perfect strategic partner and mentor in our entrepreneurship journey. Having such credible names on board backing us, we are determined to scale MCD to greater heights as envisioned.

Startup: Apollo

Sector: SaaS

 Amount: US$110 million in Series C

Led by: Sequoia Capital

Apollo.io, the integrated B2B sales intelligence and engagement platform, closed US$110 million in a Series C round of funding led by Sequoia Capital, along with existing investors Tribe Capital, Nexus Venture Partners, and NewView Capital.

With this funding round, Apollo.io will accelerate its product-led growth, increasing its investment in product and engineering by nearly 300% to continue to build the best platform in its category. Apollo.io has raised over US$150 million to date.

This Series C round of funding comes at a pivotal moment for Apollo.io. Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) has nearly tripled in the past 12 months. Since announcing its Series B round of funding three months ago, Apollo.io expanded its paid customer base by nearly 60% to over 15,000 paying customers.

“Apollo.io simplifies the convoluted and manual processes of sales prospecting—ultimately, making smart, data-driven GTM simple and accessible to all,” said Sonya Huang, Partner at Sequoia. “Tim and the Apollo team have built a product-led tool that is beloved by thousands of customers. We couldn’t be more excited to partner with Apollo on their journey to help every company reach its full potential.”

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