The Tech Panda takes a look at recent funding events in the ecosystem, seeking to know where the cash is flowing.
Startup: Autify Network
Amount: US$1.5 million
Led by: Loop Ventures
Autify Network, a startup developing a trust protocol to make commerce and supply-chain more transparent through blockchain, AI & computer vision, is raising a $1.5 million pre-seed round led by Loop Ventures and others. The amount raised through this campaign will be added to the $400K in grants and angel investments they have secured from the NEAR foundation, Filecoin Foundation and others. The company was also selected for the India Blockchain Accelerator by the Government of Telangana, Loop Ventures incubation & ZilHive incubation by Zilliqa.
Startup: Peer Robotics
Amount: US$2.3 million
Led by: Kalaari Capital
Peer Robotics, an exciting new mobile robotics solution transforming manufacturing, announced that it has raised $2.3 million in seed funding led by Kalaari Capital, with participation from existing investors Axilor Ventures, Connecticut Innovations and Innopact VC.
“Cyber physical systems are ushering a new era where collaborative robots with contextual intelligence, low implementation time, and negligible integration cost will lead industrialization in every sector.” said Ravinder Pal Singh, Partner, Kalaari Capital. “Peer Robotics’ navigation module and heuristic feedback-based learning, offers manufacturers the next generation of smart, content driven and affordable robotic platforms,” he added.
Sector: Procurement management
Amount: INR 51 crore
Led by: GMO Venture Partners, Alarko Ventures, Esas Ventures, FounderBank Capital, Anchorage Capital
Procurement management software Procol has INR 51cr in funding from GMO Venture Partners, Alarko Ventures, Esas Ventures, FounderBank Capital, Anchorage Capital with participation from existing investors Blume Ventures, Beenext, Sequoia Surge. Angels who participated are Kunal Shah (CRED founder), Mars Shot Ventures (Razorpay Founders), Deb Deep Sengupta (former SAP India MD), Srinath (Zetwerks Founder), Ashish Dave (Mirae VC), Ankush Grover (Rebel Foods CEO), Aaryaman Vir Shah (Prophetic Ventures), Ankit Sethi (Fung Investments) etc.
The capital raised will be used to build and enhance solutions to solve India’s procurement problems through Procol’s procurement software and B2B marketplace.
“With a great team and great product, Procol has the solution to solve the long-lasting pain in India’s $500 BN procurement market. It is our honor to be part of the journey”, added Ryu Muramatsu, Director & Founding Partner of GMO VenturePartners.
Sector: Gig platform for sales
Amount: US$ 1 million
Led by: Orbit Startups, Blume Founders Fund, WeFoundersCircle
PickMyWork a startup that assists digital companies to acquire end customers (individual users and merchants), has announced raising USD 1Mn in Seed round. The round led by SOSV’s Orbit Startups witnessed participation from an array of esteemed investors including Soonicorn Ventures, Upaya Social Ventures, Blume Founders Fund, Venture Catalyst, Mumbai Angels, 888 Network, Imperier Holding and WeFounderCircle. The round also saw investment from prominent CXOs in the startup ecosystem Akash Gupta, CEO – Zypp Electric, Gaurav Chopra, CEO – IndiaLends and Prajakt Deolasee, CTO – Turtlemint.
“We have known Vidyarthi for a couple years now – really like the team and hence backing them through the Blume founders fund initiative. On one hand Pickmywork is helping digital businesses go to market quickly and on the other hand, it is providing opportunities to gig workers. We do believe businesses will have to adopt a combination of GTM strategies to penetrate into smaller towns and PickMyWork is well positioned to provide them with the right platform to do so,” Sarita Raichura, Vice President (Blume Ventures).
PickMyWork plans to use the raised funds in growing its network of agents in various geographies pan India. A part of the raised investment will also be utilised in strengthening the technology backbone which will further increase the efficiency of the distribution.
Sector: Deep tech
Amount: US$7 million
Led by: Inflexor & Exfinity
Tech-focused VC funds, Inflexor Ventures and Exfinity Venture Partners, led the Series A round in Awiros, a deep-tech startup that develops an AI-based computer-vision platform primarily for video processing. The current round of funding also saw participation from VedaVC, leading family offices and UHNIs.
The company aims to utilize the funding towards product enhancement, building its developer community, and business growth in India and overseas markets. This funding round will allow Awiros in augmenting the India and US teams, both in technology and sales-related functions.
Jatin Desai, Managing Partner at Inflexor Ventures added, “We are very excited to partner with Vikram, Yatin and the team at Awiros as they take their patented deeptech/AI-based Computer Vision operating system and app store to global markets and continue to grow in the domestic market. As cameras become even more ubiquitous globally there will be a huge addressable market for their products. Awiros investment fits very well with Inflexor’s deeptech/tech IP theme and backing solid founders in this space”.
Sector: Smart parking
Led by: We Founder Circle
We Founder Circle (WFC), an early-stage start-up investment platform led by a global community of successful founders and strategic angels, has announced leading the seed round in ParkMate, a start-up that delivers smart parking solutions. ParkMate has secured an undisclosed funding facilitated through EvolveX, Global accelerator programme by We Founder Circle. WFC has partnered with several strategic angels to help the start-up rise to market challenges while also gaining a competitive advantage over other players.
On the investment in ParkMate Bhawna Bhatnagar, Co-founder of We Founder Circle affirmed “We are delighted to have invested in ParkMate, which has demonstrated the ability to solve the saturation problem of parking spaces due to disproportionate demand and supply.”
“The ParkMate team and subscribers are thrilled to have WFC as a strategic investing partner. Our technology and innovation are what we believe in, and now with WFCs guidance, we are sure to grow in the right direction. We are confident that this investment will pay off and contribute to our mission and help us scale quickly” said Dhananjaya Bharadwaj, Co-founder and CEO, ParkMate.
The brand plans to exhaust funds in expanding its team and acquiring talent under different profiles. It also intends to use a part of the fresh investment in strengthening the technology backbone of the solution.
Amount: INR 2.5 crore
Led by: Inflection Point Ventures
Fintech platform MoneyPlanned has raised over 2.5 Cr. in a Seed Round led by Inflection Point Ventures. The round also saw participation from Expert Dojo, Joseph R Saviano (Partner at Dot Capital, Newyork), Sameer Khan (Executive Director Corporate Treasury, DBS Bank, Singapore) along with a clutch of other strategic Angel Investors. The funds raised will be utilized towards marketing and user acquisition, deepening the tech infrastructure and expanding the tech and business teams.
Vinay Bansal, Founder CEO, Inflection Point Ventures, says “India has a large base of salaried people with more youngsters joining the workforce every year. Financial planning is not a luxury anymore but a necessity, that’s one of the biggest learning from the Covid pandemic. Thus, from a market opportunity perspective, MoneyPlanned’s platform is built to offer a personalised service at scale. At IPV, we invest in businesses that have the ability to scale while maintaining a healthy business matrix.”
Startup: Uma Robotics
Led by: We Founder Circle
We Founder Circle (WFC), an early-stage start-up investment platform led by a global community of successful founders and strategic angels, has announced leading the pre-seed round in Uma Robotics with an Undisclosed amount.
Uma Robotics is one of the 6 start-up WFC funded from its first cohort of EvolveX, Global accelerator programme. WFC has collaborated with several strategic angels to help the start-up stabilise its operational capabilities to meet market barriers while also gaining a competitive advantage over competitors.
Bhawna Bhatnagar, Co-founder of We Founder Circle affirmed “In the era of Industry 4.0, automation and efficient logistics are critical factors for the growth of any industry. Large companies are gradually adopting automation, but it is far beyond the reach of mid-sized and smaller businesses, as well as other industries such as mining, construction, and agriculture. Seeing Uma Robotics’ potential to be a major disruptor in this sector, we are excited to have invested in the start-up and we promise to provide support to its mission in all aspects.”
Suchit Sharma, Founder and CEO, Uma Robotics said “We wish to acknowledge WFC’s and all other investors’ confidence in our model and concept. This fundraise not only brings us the resources but also the fine mentorship of an array of reputed investors. Their support will help us achieve more milestones.”
The start-up will utilized the raised funds to increase the size of the Engineering Team, Business Development, Building Infrastructure, and Hardware/ Software for RND and Development.