Funding alert: Startups that raked in moolah this fortnight
The Tech Panda takes a look at recent funding events in the ecosystem, seeking to know where the cash is flowing.
Led by: Alpha Wave Ventures
Bliv.Club, a Web3 FinTech startup aimed at democratizing access to Web3 Ecosystem to the masses, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Alpha Wave Ventures and other prominent Investors. With the current angel round, Bliv.Club will work towards building a seamless, high-tech platform and easy to use and thus aid a common person in entering the retail space in Web3.
Tushar Behl, Alpha Wave Ventures, stated, “Bliv.Club is creating disruptive financial products on NFTs, creating unique financialization opportunities on top of the NFT asset class. We are excited by the vision and experience of the founding team and are looking forward to this journey.”
Abhishek Kumar Gupta, Co-founder Bliv.Club said, “We are thrilled to have such diverse and prominent investors backing us. Their insights, experience and learning will add immense value to Bliv.Club.”
The angel funding round saw the participation of Alpha Wave Ventures (Global VC Fund), Sumit Ghosh (Co-Founder Chingari), Ajeet Khurana (Founder Reflexical), Rahul Pagidipati (CEO Zebpay), Prashant Pitti (Co-Founder, EaseMyTrip.com), Shabir Momin (MD & CTO One Digital Entertainment), Ritesh Malik (Founder Innov8, Founder & Trustee Plaksha University), Ankush Nijhawan (Co-Founder Travel Boutique Online), Anshul Dhir (Co-Founder, EasyFi Network), Mohit Madaan (Co-Founder OroPocket & Unifarm), Ankit Mehrotra (CEO & Co-Founder Dineout), Tanmay Maheshwari (Director, Amar Ujala Publications), Harshit Agrawal (Angel Investor, Shanti Group), Akshay Chhugani (Kisho Capital), Maharshi Ganatra (Maharshi Ganatra & Associates) and others.
Sector: Internet services
Amount: US$11.5 million
Led by: Existing & new European tech investors
Excitel, an Indian fibre broadband network, raised US$11.5 million in equity from existing and new tech investors based out of Europe. The freshly raised capital will help Excitel accelerate its mission to become one of the largest Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) service providers in the country. From a current subscriber base of 0.7 Million, Excitel aims to increase its customer base to 10 Million while also expanding operations to 100 cities by the end of 2022.
Vivek Raina, CEO & Co-Founder, Excitel, said, “The fresh round of liquidity that we have raised from existing and new investors will go a long way in helping the brand’s journey to becoming the leading internet service provider in the country.”
With the raised funds, Excitel will also be making significant investments to enhance its technology stack as well as its customer experience, along with foraying into newer markets.
Excitel has expanded its operations to Mumbai and the Western region in Q1 FY23 to provide world-class FTTH services at competitive prices. Excitel will also be investing towards onboarding talent to strengthen its operational and technical capabilities.
Amount: US$2.8 million
Led by: Inflection Point Ventures
FREED, India’s first comprehensive consumer debt relief platform has raised US$2.8 million in a Pre-Series A round led by Inflection Point Ventures. The round saw participation from Multiply Ventures, Chandigarh Angels Network, Lead Angels, Hyderabad Angels, The Chennai Angels, and a clutch of HNIs.
The funds raised will be utilized to bolster the team across verticals, build the tech stack to roll out new and differentiated debt relief products/services to scale up customer acquisition and brand promotion initiatives.
Vinay Bansal, Founder & CEO, Inflection Point Ventures, says, “FREED is the only debt relief platform in India that enables a person to clear their debt smoothly and even reduces the payment amount with their domain expertise, thus giving the customer a chance to improve their credit rating and ultimately be debt free. IPV aims to extend their support in helping FREED strengthen their services and marketing plan.”
Amount: US$ 2 million
Led by: ICICI bank-led group of investors
Bizzo, a Covid-born tech startup launched to empower digitisation of small and independent service businesses, has received the financial backing of US$ 2 million from a strong investor community led by ICICI Bank and Orios Venture Partners. With this fresh funding infusion, Bizzo will accelerate its plan to help service-preneurs to digitally build, scale and organise their businesses.
Viineit Toshniiwal, CEO and Co-Founder at Bizzo said, “We are delighted to have ICICI Bank and Orios on board as investors in Bizzo’s vision to digitally empower India’s vast SMB ecosystem. India’s service businesses don’t need middlemen, they need a medium, thus, Bizzo’s ultimate goal is to become the go-to solution provider for SMB businesses looking to join the digital mainstream and enjoy the perks of digitisation. This funding is the first step towards achieving our dream,” added Toshniiwal.
Anup Jain, Managing Partner, Orios Venture Partners said, “At Orios, we always back tenacious and visionary founders, especially those who are determined to become change-makers. Bizzo’s plan to empower the SMB services ecosystem is in line with our overall thesis of backing ideas that use technology to disrupt traditional ecosystems, thus, benefitting all stakeholders. We are excited to partner with Bizzo in this mission.”
Startup: Foreign Admits
Amount: INR 3.26 crore
Led by: Unicorn India Ventures
Data-driven study abroad assistance platform ForeignAdmits has raised Rs 3.26 crore from Unicorn India Ventures and other marquee investors like SEA Fund, Beerud Sheth (Founder CEO, Gupshup, Zishaan Hayath (Founder CEO, Toppr) and Keshab Panda (Former CEO, L&T Infotech) also participated in the round.
This is the second investment by UIV in Foreign Admits. The Company raised a seed round from Unicorn India recently, taking the total funding raised to over $1 million. The funds raised in the current round will be used for enhancing the tech platform to provide better experience to the students and partners and ongoing business development efforts.
Anil Joshi, Managing Partner, Unicorn India Ventures, says, “ForeignAdmits has demonstrated a strong growth track record since we last invested in the company. As the world opens up and students look for higher education opportunities in top global universities, we want to back the company as it goes full steam ahead with foreign admission season.”
Startup: FirstCure Health
Led by: Undisclosed
Noida-based healthcare startup FirstCure Health (‘FirstCure’) raised US$350K in the Pre-Seed funding round. The round has seen participation from various angel investors.
The funding will enable FirstCure to expand deeply into the segment of HealthCare Service offerings, both in terms of geography and operations. Further, with commitment of another $300 K in next 6 months, the startup plans to expand its presence strongly in North India and enter Southern regions of India by the end of the year.
Nikhil Bansal, Founder of FirstCure Health, said, “We want to make the best use of the incoming funds to strengthen our presence, offerings and to achieve even higher customer satisfaction. By providing the right treatment by the right doctors at the right price at a hospital near the user, we want to be a healthcare provider of choice which people from India and outside India trust for high-quality safe surgeries at the right prices.”
Startup: Dr. Agarwal’s Health Care Ltd.
Amount: INR 1,000 crore
Led by: TPG Growth & Temasek
Chennai-based Dr. Agarwal’s Health Care Ltd. (DAHCL) has closed a landmark fund raise of INR 1,050 crore from TPG Growth, the middle market and growth equity platform of alternative asset firm Texas Pacific Group which is one of the leading investment firms based out of the US, and from existing investor Temasek, a global investment company headquartered in Singapore.
The investment round, which is India’s largest fund raise in the eyecare space, will also provide significant capital to fuel the company’s expansion plans and pave the way for an exit for existing investor, ADV Partners. The company also raised ?270 crores investment from Temasek in 2019.
Said Ankur Thadani, MD of TPG Growth, “We are delighted to be working with Dr. Agarwal’s Group of Eye Hospital’s exceptional and experienced management team to drive the company’s growth, expansion, and service enhancements. The healthcare sector in India is a core focus for TPG, and we are proud to be partnering with the number one private eyecare chain in the country to continue delivering critical eyecare to a market that has a disproportionately high incidence of visual impairment.”