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.
Amount: US$3.5 million
Led by: Inflection Point Ventures, 9Unicorns, Wavemaker & Kunal Shah
Hospals, a cross border health benefits and travel platform that enables international patients to access healthcare across India, UAE, Turkey & Thailand, announced part raise of its Pre-Series A investment from Inflection Point Ventures, 9Unicorns, Singapore based Wavemaker and prominent angels like Kunal Shah, Sanjeev Mishra and Razorpay founders. Existing investor Venture Catalysts has also participated in the current round.
The funds raised will be used for expanding geographically to reach US$900 million in GMV, serving 1.5 million subscribers & patients to get quality medical & cosmetic treatments across the world.
Sector: Assistive Technology
Led by: SucSEED Indovation & Social Alpha
SucSEED Indovation Fund invested in assitivetech startup Flexmotiv Technologies Pvt Ltd (Flexmo), in a seed round led by Social Alpha. Keiretsu Chennai & Singapore, Hyderabad Angels and CCAMP (under AIC) also participated in the round.
Arvind S.A., the Founder and CEO of Flexmo said, “This investment will allow us to expand our sales team and target wider audiences, across geographies, along with working on expanding our product portfolio.”
Amount: INR 3.1 crore
Led by: Titan Capital
Khelgully, online gaming platform that organizes tournaments of various games like Call Of Duty, Freefire, Clash Royale, BGMI, Valorant, Apex Legend, Fantasy Cricket among others has raised INR 3.1 crore in seed round from Titan Capital.
The online platform that aspires to empower the gaming community to take up gaming as a career in the nearby futurewill be utilizing the funds for product and team building. Besides the lead investor, Titan Capital, the funding round also had Sujeet Kumar, Co-Founder, Udaan, Neil Bahl, Co-Founder, Negen Capital, Sumit Shah, Co-Founder, Dukaan, Rishabh Karwa, Co-Founder, GoMechanic, Prabhkiran, Co-Founder, Bewakoof.com among others.
Amount: US$103 million Series B
Led by: Intel Capital
MinIO Inc., creators of the MinIO multi-cloud object storage suite, raised US$103 million in Series B funding at a US$1 billion valuation. The investment was led by Intel Capital with participation from new investor SoftBank Vision Fund 2, and existing investors Dell Capital, General Catalyst and Nexus Venture Partners. The latest financing brings MinIO’s total funding raised to US$126 million.
“MinIO’s ability to solve the multi-cloud storage challenges faced by developers is impressive and we are delighted to continue supporting their mission through investment from Intel Capital,” said Greg Lavender, Chief Technology Officer; Senior Vice President, General Manager, Software and Advanced Technology Group for Intel Corporation.
Amount: INR 100 crore
Led by: Trifecta Capital & Northern Arc
In its latest investment round, Kissht has raised INR 100 crores in funding led by Trifecta Capital and Northern Arc. The company has so far raised over INR270 crores in equity and over INR1,200 crores in debt investments. In the current round, Trifecta and Nothern Arc have each subscribed to INR 50 crores of Non Convertible Debentures (NCD’s).
The company will utilize the funds to expand its scale of operations, further enhance its product offerings including credit cards for small business/shops and further improve underwriting capabilities to extend credit to New to Credit (NTC) segment using AI and machine learning even in smaller tier towns of India where instant credit is still a dream to many.
Added Rahul Khanna, Managing Partner, Trifecta Capital,“We at Trifecta are pleased to partner with Kissht in the next leg of its growth journey, as it establishes itself as the leading credit and payments platform for small and micro-business owners and the new-to-credit segment.
Startup: Social Swag
Sector: Celebrity/ influencer commerce platform
Amount: US$3.5 million in a Pre Series A
Led by: IMEF and Unicorn India Ventures
New age content platform Social Swag, which is a collective brainchild of Akshay Kumar, Rana Daggubati Collective Artists and Mahesh Bhupathi has announced raising US$3.5 million in a Pre Series A round. The round has been led by IMEF and Unicorn India Ventures, which has made its maiden announcement in a content creator economy specialist platform.
Some other HNI’s who participated in the round are Vinay Agarwal, Ritesh Deshmukh, Raghu Subramanian, Edward Menezes, The Shekama Family Trust, and The Blume Founders fund.
Amount: US$6.5 Million Pre-series A
Led by: Arkam, Tribe, and Bolt
Mudrex, a Bengaluru and San Francisco-based Y Combinator-backed crypto investing platform, raised US$6.5 million in a pre-series A round from Arkam Ventures, Tribe Capital, and Bolt by QED Investors to make investing easy for the new wave of retail investors joining crypto.
The pre-series A round follows a US$2.5 million seed funding the startup raised 4 months back led by Nexus Venture Partners, Village Global with participation from Kunal Shah, Anand Chandrashekharan, and Anjali Bansal.
Mudrex has clocked a 450% user growth in 4 months and currently has more than 100,000 users from over 100 countries. The funding round will help Mudrex accelerate user acquisition, licensing and expand rapidly in geographies like India, the US, Europe and Latin America.
Sector: Social Media Networking
Amount: US$ 1 Million
Led by: Beenext
Continuing its successful run, MemeChat (MC), a next-generation homegrown social media networking app, secured more than US$ 1 million in its second round of funding led by Beenext, Singapore-based venture capital firm. The angel investors in this round included Stanford Angels & Entrepreneurs, 9unicorns, Founders Room Capital, Gaurav Munjal, Roman Saini and Abhishek Goyal.
“Memes are the default social engagement platform for gen next. MemeChat aligns with our thesis of investing in platforms that blend web3.0 and experiences seamlessly.” expressed Uday Sodhi, Co-founder Founders Room Capital
Commenting on the company’s funding, Kyle Fernandes, CEO & Co-Founder of MemeChat, said, “With a little over two years, Memechat has experienced an exponential growth and an unwavering faith from a strong investor base. Leveraging the dynamism of technology and strong social media community, Memechat has ensured to never fail its growing user base. As a company, we will continue to focus on building a greater creator economy, innovate our product portfolio, strategically leverage brand partnerships and a lot more.”
Sector: Food Video Commerce
Led by: SucSEED Angels
Hyderabad based food video commerce startup Sortizy has secured Seed funds from SucSEED Angels Network, Campus Fund, and other angel investors.
Sagthi Prakash, the Founder of Sortizy said, “The pre-seed funding we raised from SucSEED, Campus Fund and such established Angel Investors will help us enhance our product and technology capabilities, strengthening our team and accelerate growth”.
Deepthi Ravula, CEO, WE Hub, said ”Sortizy is a great example of how a student idea can be scaled, developed and reached to an accelerator stage by getting access to the right support at the right time. When the founders strive to put all the effort in, access to funds at the right time is always an added advantage. Sortizy has time and again proved itself by showing the right caliber by raising funds through Aha and SISFS through WE Hub. Glad that SucSEED is supporting them in the same mission, looking forward to see sortizy scale up and progress.”
Amount: US$30 million in Series B
Led by: Glade Brook Capital
Headout, home to world’s most exceptional real-life experiences, has raised additional US$30 million in Series B financing round in addition to the US$12 million in September ’21, bringing the total round size to US$42 million.
The investment is led by existing investor Glade Brook Capital with the participation of existing investors Nexus Venture Partners, FJ Labs and 500 Startups, among others. A number of founders and operators also participated, including Sriharsha Majety (CEO, Swiggy), Ankit Sobit (CTO, Postman) and Ranjeet Pratap Singh (CEO, Pratilipi), among others.
The funding will further Headout’s mission to get people out in the real world experiencing this incredible planet we live on. The funds will be used to accelerate its journey to US$1 billion in annual sales by expanding to 500 cities in the next 24 months, launching new verticals for domestic short-haul travel and building the next generation of technology products to make real-life experiences immersive and affordable.
Sector: In-app merchandising
Led by: Arka Venture Labs
In-app merchandising platform Rucept has raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding led by Arka Venture Labs with participation from prominent Silicon Valley angels. Rucept is democratizing physical product supply chains for video games and the metaverse. The funds will be used to expand team, build operations and infrastructure and for validating the market.
Mudit Khurana, Founder & CEO, Rucept, said, “We’re extremely excited and humbled to have added value to some of the iconic games and studios in the industry and are looking forward to delighting more than 3 billion players in the world with ‘real-world’ items from their most cherished games.”
Aditya Nishtala, Arka Venture Labs, commented, “Gaming is rapidly becoming the most engaged form of entertainment and merchandising is at the core of this experience. Gaming studios are finding it hard to offer a customized merchandising experience at scale. Rucept is bridging this gap between manufacturers and studios and building ‘Merchandising-as-a-service’ to make and sell custom merchandise and blockchain based digital merchandise inside their app/website via an SDK utterly simple. We’re excited to partner with Mudit and team Rucept in their journey to build a much- needed solution in this space.”
Amount: Pre-Seed US$750,000
Led by: Massimo Vita, Udaya Kumar, & Seetharaman Babu
Elever, the goal-based investing app that aims to help every single person achieve their lifestyle goals, has raised funds of USD 750k from a group of 19 Angel Investors, including Massimo Vita (Executive Director – Asia Impact SG), Udaya Kumar (MD & CEO – CreditAccess Grameen), and Seetharaman Babu (Regional Engineering Director in a Multinational OEM in Automation Industry).
Commenting on the fundraise, Anshul Sharan, Co-Founder & CEO – Elever, said, “The funds raised will help validate product-market fit and build our team. We are lucky to have investors who believe in our vision and also have a long-term perspective.”
“I have invested in Elever for two main reasons. First, Elever’s purpose and vision to make it simple and affordable to invest directly in market securities for non-HNIs is very inspiring and makes a great business case. Second, I have a strong trust and deep respect for Anshul, one of the promoters, as a person and as a professional, having collaborated with him for many years. I am sure that promoters, thanks to their experience and skills, will be able to make their vision come to life, so impacting the lives of millions!” – Massimo Vita, Executive Director – Asia Impact SG, also added.
Startup: Cercle X
Sector: Waste Management
Amount: INR 1.9 crore
Led by: Inflection Point Ventures
New-age waste management platform Cercle X raises INR 1.9 crore in a Seed round led by Inflection Point Ventures. The funds raised will be utilised towards marketing, operations, and technology.
With the funding in place, Cercle X plans to expand into key southern Indian cities + Top tier-1 cities as a part of its growth plan.
Vishnu Vardhaan, Co-Founder & CEO, Cercle X, says, “Waste is a global pandemic with absolutely no solution in sight. With Cercle X, we work with the world’s most sustainable brands to handle their waste streams, to create circular solutions that’ll save the planet’s resources for the future generations. Our vision is to enable brands to achieve zero waste through circularity. IPV offers much more than just funds – they believe and support our vision and go above and beyond to help us strengthen our presence in the market. Their wide network across sectors will help us scale rapidly.”
Amount: US$300 million
Led by: Blackstone, TPG, & ChrysCapital
Xpressbees, India’s fastest growing third-party end-to-end logistics provider raised US$300 million in a Series F funding round led by private equity funds Blackstone Growth, TPG Growth and ChrysCapital. Existing investors, Investcorp and Norwest Venture Partners, also participated in the Series F round. With this round, the total amount of funds raised by Xpressbees exceeds US$500 million. Avendus Capital acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Xpressbees on this transaction.
The capital will be used to achieve Xpressbees’ vision to evolve into a full-service logistics organization, support the business in its next phase of growth, product development, and hiring talent.
Announcing the funding, Amitava Saha, Founder, and Chief Executive Officer, Xpressbees said, “We are excited to welcome our new partners Blackstone Growth, TPG Growth, and ChrysCapital in our growth journey. With their vast network and operational expertise, we believe that they will further fuel our efforts in pursuing newer opportunities and will help expand our footprint.”
Led by: Shashidhar Sinha
Voyaah, the tech-led luxury travel organisation has recently received its seed funding of US$500,000 from a well-known name in advertising, Shashidhar Sinha, Principal CEO, IPG Mediabrands, India. The fresh funds will be used for expanding into newer areas, enhancing the product and technology in addition to hiring relevant talent.
Speaking about the investment, Sharmistha Chakraborty, Founder and CEO, Voyaah, shared, “Despite the pandemic looming large, we have recorded a significant growth in the recent months and this funding will further accelerate our efforts to expand into new markets and upgrade our offerings with digital technologies for enhancing customer experience.”
Speaking on the investment, Shashidhar Sinha, Principal CEO, IPG Media brands India said, “Given the huge opportunity in the experiential and luxury travel space, I believe in Voyaah’s potential and approach in delivering unique travel experiences to the niche, but growing market. I am proud to support Voyaah’s expansion plans and its preparations in catering to a larger target audience.”
Amount: US$12 million Series A
Led by: Dell Technologies Capital
Oloid, creator of the world’s first software-based physical access technology, a self-install SaaS model, closed its US$12 million Series A funding round, led by Dell Technologies Capital with participation from Honeywell Ventures, Okta Ventures and other previous investors. The funding, which brings Oloid’s total raised since inception to US$17 million, will be used to help expand Oloid’s retrofit access control products portfolio and the team in Bangalore and Silicon Valley.
Oloid intends to use the fresh funds to enhance its products and to pool in tech talent in India. The objective is to double their workforce. The startup raised its seed round of US$5 million in August 2019 from Emergent Ventures and Jyoti Bansal, Co-Founder and Entrepreneurial Partner at Unusual Ventures.
Mohit Garg, Co-founder and CEO of Oloid. “This round of financing will enable us to extend the compatibility of our product with a wider range of badge readers and access control systems and build direct and indirect sales channels across the nation.”