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The Tech Panda takes a look at recent funding events in the ecosystem, seeking to know where the cash is flowing.

Startup: Wagr

Sector: Pet care app

Amount: INR4.2 crore

Led by: Inflection Point Ventures

Indian pet care app Wagr raised INR 4.2 crore in a funding round led by Inflection Point Ventures and participation from IvyCap Ventures. The round also saw participation from Stanford Angels and Ashish Sharma (MD, Innoven Capital). The funds will be used to expand the pet products available on their e-commerce platform and scale the scope of vet consultations and healthcare offerings for furry friends across India. The company will also be expanding their team and scaling up their customer acquisition efforts.

Ankur Mittal, Co-founder, Inflection Point Ventures says, “Over the years, especially post 2020, there has been a significant rise in pet parents across the country. For Pet Parents, the pets are like family members and hence the growth in this space is expected to mirror the exponential growth we have seen in the Mother & Child space. Wagr has anchored all the pet needs on its platform which is resulting in high stickiness of the pet parents as visible through and large number of returning customers. We see this market to continue its growth momentum, added with the D2C push in the segment.”

Vikram Gupta, Founder and Managing Partner, IvyCap Ventures Advisors Pvt Ltd, says, “We believe that Wagr is a perfect platform for solving all the requirements of pet parents. The credibility of the services ensures that there is an increase in the number of returning customers. Wagr has a strong team and the business model is addressing all the pinpoints. Hence, we will strongly support the team at Wagr.”

Startup: PlayVerse

Sector: Entertainment

Amount: US$1.5 million

Led by: Akatsuki Inc

Technology-enabled entertainment company, PlayVerse, raised US$1.5 million as seed funding from Japanese gaming company Akatsuki Inc. With an aim of increasing cross-border collaborations between India and Japan, PlayVerse looks to maximize the monetization potential of popular Japanese IPs and brands in India.

“Thanks to the advent of blockchain technology and the scalability offered by promising L2 protocols, we have some moonshot ideas of IP monetization that we are exploring. At the moment, we are focused on customer discovery and hypothesis testing to assess product-market fit”, said founder Jaineel when asked about how PlayVerse intends to utilize these funds.

Startup: Futwork

Sector: Sales-as-a-service

Amount: US$1 million

Led by: Blume Ventures & Simile Venture Partners

Futwork, sales-as-a-service platform for companies looking to scale their outbound tele-calling operations has raised US$1 million in funding led by Blume Ventures and Simile Venture Partners. Other participants include Silicon Valley based Riverside Ventures and key angels such as Shivakumar Ganesan (Founder – Exotel) and Phanindra Sama (Founder – RedBus).

The funds will be used to build product and grow the team to provide the best on-demand sales as a service engine for companies, powered by work from home tele-callers. The company will focus on enterprise customers and large outbound calling use cases.

Niranjan Nakhate, Cofounder, said, “The last one year of building Futwork has given us a great view into how we can help companies increase conversions and revenue, with tele-calling at the core. With this round, we aim to build more tools for our customers and to become the de facto black box solution for Indian enterprises to scale up their inside sales.”

Sajith Pai, Blume Ventures commented, “With this new round they will get to invest further in their tech, sales and operations, thereby supporting more enterprises and transforming more lives. Blume has been a proud believer in Futwork’s mission to transform inside sales. We continue to believe in that mission and are proud to be a part of the new round, furthering the mission.”

Startup: FairPlum

Sector: F&B

Amount: US$2 million

Led by: Unicorn India Ventures

FairPlum, a food company which will deliver authentic food to consumers without compromising on health and hygiene, has raised US$2 million in a seed round led by Mumbai-based early stage focused VC Unicorn India Ventures. Reputed angels Vivek Sirohi, VP-R&D, Unilever, Amith Agarwal, Co-Founder & CEO at Agri-Bazaar, Dinshaw Family Office, Anisha Subandh have also participated in the round.

Anil Joshi, Managing Partner, Unicorn India Ventures, says, “FairPlum leverages technology to enhance efficiency and preserve the taste of the food which will be delivered in under an hour. Their ability to adopt the changing trend driven by technology has made the world closer to the consumer. Today, the consumer wants what they see and with immediate fulfilment. The food industry is undergoing a significant revolution especially with its creativity, innovation and cutting edge technologies. We saw a strong pipeline of user base and business traction addressing food nostalgia which is why we decided to invest in them further.”

Rupesh Agrawal, Founder & CEO, FairPlum, says, “We will use the fresh funds to improve consumer experience with innovations in technology and upgrade the infrastructure with expanding the platform to other strategic territories.”

Startup: FlexC

Sector: Talent marketplace

Amount: US$ 1 million

Led by: Fynehand

FlexC, an AI talent marketplace raised funds from Fynehand in pre-series funding round. Fynehand will be investing over US$ 1 million. Siddharth Raisurana from Fynehand has come on board. He is the former COO of ABC Consultants and currently is the Founder and Managing Director of FyneHand.

The company will be using the funds to accelerate the business horizons, for the expansion of agency network and industry verticals beyond IT and BPO like consumer tech, BFSI and retail. It also intends to invest in technology platforms to give a better user experience to its clients and integrate various services including offline video interviews, assessments, BGV etc to create a complete ecosystem.

Speaking on the development, Siddharth Raisurana, Founder and Managing Director of FyneHand, said, “Future of human capital is all about hybrid workplace and hybrid workforce. With FyneHand’s vision of – all things human capital and FlexC’s vision of a platform for people- skill-solutions, this creates great synergy and partnership to approach the market addressing the future of human capital which includes permanent and gig workforce.”

Startup: LamdaTest

Sector: Test Orchestration Platform

Amount: US$45 million

Led by: Premji Invest

LambdaTest, a cloud-based test orchestration platform closed a total of US$45 million in a venture round led by Premji Invest with participation from existing investors Sequoia Capital India, Telstra Ventures, Blume Ventures, and Leo Capital. Sandeep Johri, Ex-CEO and present board member of Tricentis, has also angel invested in this round.

The company will majorly use the capital for new product innovation. A part of the funds will be used to enhance the existing product capabilities and accelerate growth. The company is also looking to hire across multiple roles and geographies.

“This funding round will enable us to keep innovating and accelerating growth. We are on a mission to build the best test execution platform for the developers and testers community,” Asad Khan, chief executive officer, LambdaTest, said.

Founded in 2017, LambdaTest had earlier raised close to $25 million in funding from investment firms such as Sequoia Capital India, Telstra Ventures, Leo Capital Holdings, Blume Ventures, and others.

“LambdaTest is helping businesses orchestrate their test execution by providing them cost-effective and scalable solutions while giving them improved control over their existing infrastructure without the need to add more to it. They are pushing the boundaries of speed, reliability and performance of test execution. We are happy to partner with this super ambitious LambdaTest team that is looking to change the face of test execution,” said Atul Gupta, Partner, Premji Invest.

Startup: Pi Beam Electric

Sector: EV ecosystem

Amount: US$1.7 million in Pre-Series A

Led by: Inflection Point Ventures

Indian vertically integrated EV ecosystem platform startup Pi Beam Electric has raised US$1.7 million in a Pre-Series A round led by Inflection Point Ventures. The round saw participation from prominent family offices including Sattva Group & Nanavati family, syndicates including Sincere Syndication and Conscience Multi-family Office. Industry stalwarts Arshad Sayyad (former India Head Fidelity Investments), Vijay Ratnaparke (CIO of Robert Bosch), Shaji Koshy (former SVP Royal Enfield) and Prof. Ashok Jhunjhunwala (Pioneer of Indian EV industry, Institute Prof IIT Madras and President IITM Research Park, IITM Incubation Cell and RTBI) also participated in this round apart from the existing investors.

The funds raised will be utilized for developing the deployment platform, expanding the team, scaling operations to multiple cities and developing new products.

Ankur Mittal, Co-Founder, Inflection Point Ventures says, “Investment in Pi Beam is the continuation of our focus on the EV sector. They provide green micro-mobility EV solutions for logistics and commute with data driven insights which ensures reliability to any company which requires last mile delivery. As the adoption of EV grows, Pi Beam’s market will also see exponential growth. We are keenly interested in investing in such disruptive technologies.”

Visakh Sasikumar, Founder and CEO, Pi Beam says, “We are delighted to have IPV as our lead investors. Their vast investor, CXO network will help us to scale up the business. It is commendable that they spend a lot of effort in evaluating the right start-ups for their investors to back.”

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