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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: Buyofuel

Sector: Energy & fuel

Amount: INR11.5 crore

Led by: Inflection Point Ventures

Online alternate fuel marketplace Buyofuel has raised over INR 11.5 Cr in a Pre-Series A round led by Inflection Point Ventures (IPV). The round also saw participation from Venture Catalysts, LetsVenture, Lead Angels Fund, and Gruhas Proptech. The funds raised will be utilised towards expanding the services across geographies, development of product offerings as well as technology.

Ankur Mittal, Co-founder & COO, Inflection Point Ventures says, “Biofuels are a powerful alternative fuel substitute for most of the mainstream fossil fuel options whether diesel, petrol or even CNG. Buyofuel has an ambition to scale its business and make the adoption of clean fuel options seamless and more efficient. At IPV, we are keenly watching the ESG and Cleantech segment and have made bets across different business models. We back the vision of Buyofuel founders and want to help them scale up faster.”

Kishan Karunakaran, Founder and CEO, Buyofuel says, “Buyofuel looks to mainstream biofuels as a major fuel in India’s energy mix by ensuring that biofuels contribute to more than 10% of India’s fuel consumption, Buyofuel’s journey for a green India has been tremendously supported by IPV. IPV has continuously engaged with Buyofuel on a regular basis and has played a big part in the growth of Buyofuel. We are glad that Buyofuel got to benefit from the tremendous experience that IPV team brings with it.”

Startup: Soptle

Sector: SaaS

Amount: US$300,000

Led by: Kube VC & Soonicorn LLP

Soptle, a technology platform for manufacturers to grow their businesses, has raised US$300k in an angel round led by global early-stage venture firm Kube VC and Soonicorn LLP.

A clutch of industry veterans such as Vaishnav Shetty (Executive Director of All-Cargo Group), Pirojshaw Sarkari (CEO of Gati Ltd), Ankur Agarwal (Co-founder of Dunzo), Saurabh Aggarwal (Co-founder of Fitso), Himanshu Periwal (Co-founder of Unlu), and others also participated in the round.

Founder Pravas Chandragiri said, “This is just day one for us. We have empowered 45,000+ retailers and manufacturers in just six months of launch and have seen a consistent 3x month-on-month growth for the last six months. Being backed by top industry veterans gives us a sense that we are heading in the right direction.”

He added that the funds would be utilized for growing 100x from here in the next two years, expanding its team and further enhancing its product and technology. In August, the startup had raised an undisclosed amount in an angel round led by Soonicorn LLP and a clutch of marquee logistics leaders.

Startup: The Ayurveda Co. (T.A.C.)

Sector: Wellness

Amount: US$15 million

Led by: Kajal Aggarwal

D2C omnichannel Ayurveda brand, The Ayurveda Co. (T.A.C.) has launched its Series A Funding round with Kajal Aggarwal (leading Tollywood & Bollywood actor) as the first investor in this round.

Having delivered stellar growth with its first (seed) round led by Azim Premji’s Wipro Consumer Care Ventures & HNIs, T.A.C is now raising Series A of $15mn starting with Kajal’s investment, making her a long-term partner in T.A.C’s growth journey.

Talking about the relationship she shares with T.A.C, Actor & Investor Kajal Aggarwal explained her journey of discovering the brand. “When I was expecting my son, Neil, like most mothers-to-be, I wanted only the safest, purest and natural things for my baby, right from his clothes to his everyday care products. That’s when I learned about T.A.C.’s Dashapushpadi range and tried it on myself before using it on him. The brand stands out because of its honest, ethical & hand-picked Ayurvedic formulations. I truly believe that Ayurveda holds the power to transform this world, making it a better, kinder place, which is why I joined T.A.C.’s mission to heal the world with Ayurveda.”

Startup: RapidBox

Sector: Lifestyle

Amount: US$4.5 million

Led by: SIG Venture Capital

RapidBox, a fast-growing, young, direct-to-consumer venture that is active in footwear, sports, and casual fashion categories, announced that it has secured US$4.5 million in a Series A funding round. 

The latest funding round was led by SIG Venture Capital, the Asian venture capital arm of the Susquehanna International Group of Companies (“SIG”), Tanglin Venture Partners, India Quotient, and Ananya Goenka. The full-stack tech-driven company will use the funds to expand its product range, enhance customer experience, and for brand building.

Arun Paliwal, co-founder of RapidBox, said, “The latest round of investment reinforces investors’ faith in RapidBox’s growth story. As a young brand, we see a lot of room for growth as we cater to growing footwear and fashion needs of consumers who are aspirational and early achievers.”

“RapidBox was launched to close the market gap in the footwear industry with a focus on uplifting product quality and consumer experience. With the continued support of our investors and consumers, we are looking forward to excelling with product and price innovation,” he further added.

Startup: Fresh From Farm

Sector: Agtech

Amount: INR3.2 crore

Led by: Inflection Point Ventures

Food-agri business startup Fresh From Farm has raised over INR3.2 crore in seed round led by Inflection Point Ventures. The funds raised will assist the company in team building, inventory management, capital expenditure, R&D and branding.

Vinay Bansal, Founder & CEO, Inflection Point Ventures says, “The customers are increasingly getting aware about what they eat, where is it sourced from and its nutritional value. The farmers and retailers on the other hands deal with the supply chain challenges resulting in million of tonnes perishables getting wasted every year. We liked Fresh From Farm’s approach of leveraging tech to solve the challenges that directly impacts the three key stakeholders of the fruit and vegetables ecosystem. Their tech and the platform with predictive qualities prompted us to invest in the Company.”

Rohit Nagdewani, Founder & CEO, Fresh Form Farm says, “Our AI based system currently has a confidence rate of 89% allowing us to predict the exact quantities and qualities of fruits that can be sold at particular touchpoints. This has enabled us to reduce the wastage to 2-3% while the industry standard is 20-22%. We aim to achieve a 95% accuracy rate over the next 18 months.”

Startup: Intugine

Sector: Supply chain

Amount: INR 19 crores

Led by: Mela Ventures

Intugine, a real-time multimodal supply chain visibility startup, has raised INR 19 Crores in a pre-series A round led by Mela Ventures and co-financed by Kaleesuwari Group and Innoport. Round also saw participation from marquee investors, including SaaS founders Harsh Shah, Co-founder of Fynd; Anshul Rai, Co-founder and CEO of Happay; and Kashyap Deorah, Founder and CEO of HyperTrack. Existing investor Kanav Hasija, Co-founder of InnovAccer, also participated in this funding round. The funds raised will be deployed to fuel product development, explore global markets and expand its team across Product, Data and GTM functions.

Harshit Shrivastava, Co-founder and CEO, Intugine, says, “Enterprise supply chains are rapidly evolving to support omnichannel buying and distribution, making operations increasingly complex and cost-intensive. We have built a technology platform that gives enterprises end-to-end visibility of their shipments and greater control over their logistics operations. With improved visibility, enterprises can substantially reduce their operational costs, improve their margins and deliver exceptional customer experience.”

Krishnakumar Natarajan, Managing Partner, Mela Ventures, says, “The dynamic and evolving logistics landscape has made the need for visibility into supply chain networks a necessity for success.  It is high time for brands to invest in sophisticated technology to support their consumers’ rapidly changing purchasing behaviour. We are excited to partner with Harshit, Mrinal and Ayush in their quest to digitally transform global supply chains and be an integral part of their growth story.”

Startup: Gamerji

Sector: Esports

Amount: US$3 million

Led by: GVFL & Unicorn India Ventures

Indian esports tournament platform Gamerji has raised $3 million in a Pre-Series A round from GVFL (formerly Gujarat Venture Finance Limited) and Unicorn India Ventures, which has backed Gamerji from its early stages. Funds raised will be used for growing the platform in recently launched international markets within the MENA region along with launch plans for SEA starting with Indonesia and Philippines. The Company also plans to use these funds towards developing tech solutions and EaaS (E-sports as a service) to enhance the online gaming experience.

Soham Thacker, CEO & Founder, Gamerji says, “Gaming landscape in India has changed drastically. The stakeholders and aspiring gamers are spending more time understanding the gaming industry. This has resulted in fast growth of the sector. Gamerji has had a head start and we have already launched in the Middle East. We are also in the process of rolling out in newer geographies and fresh infusion of capital will help us meet our growth targets ahead of timelines.”

Kamal Bansal, Managing Director, GVFL, says, “Gamerji is India’s leading platform for esports gaming tournaments and we are excited to support such a dynamic organisation. Gaming is one of the fastest-growing industries in India with mobile gaming dominating the sector, accounting for more than 90% of it. Together, we aim to help them expand their footprint and digital presence across the globe.”

Bhaskar Majumdar, Managing Partner, Unicorn India Ventures, says, “Gamerji’s vision to provide a credible platform for amateur gamers as they aspire to become pros is a large untapped market. Right from the start, Soham has worked towards this mission and we have seen the merits of it resulting in Unicorn India doing 3 rounds of funding in the Company. And we continue to support Gamerji’s growth story.”

Startup: Flash, (Flash.co)

Sector: Ecommerce

Amount: US$5.8 million

Led by: GFC, White Venture Capital, Zinal Growth, Soma Capital, Emphasis Ventures, Peer Capital Growth

With the mission to revolutionize the online shopping space globally, Flash, (Flash.co) announced raising $5.8 Million in a Seed round led by global funds like Global Founders Capital (GFC), White Venture Capital (a fund by Jitendra Gupta & Amrish Rau), Zinal Growth, Soma Capital, Emphasis Ventures, Peer Capital, and a host of India’s top angel investors including Binny Bansal – Ex-Co-founder, Flipkart, Kunal Shah – Founder, CRED, Arpan Sheth -Senior Partner, Bain & co, Sujeet Kumar – Co-Founder, Udaan, Nikhil Srivastava – PAG Venture, Lalit Keshre – CEO, Groww, Rishi Vasudev – Co-Founder, GOAT Brand Labs and others founded by former Flipkart Senior Vice President, Ranjith Boyanapalli, Flash aims to elevate the shopping experience of online power shoppers across the world.

Roel Janssen, Partner, Global Founders Capital said, “We are excited to back a founder like Ranjith who has extensive experience building great consumer products. Power shoppers are an important consumer segment and their challenges are bound to magnify with increasing eCommerce penetration in India and globally. We are impressed with the Flash team and product, and are confident that they will make a significant impact over the coming years.”

Ranjith Boyanapalli, Founder and CEO, Flash said, “We are aiming to onboard two million users in our first year. With an elite guild of VC Funds and Angel investors on board, who have put their trust in us and supported us with their experience, we hope that Flash can undoubtedly change the way we shop.”

Flash will be looking to direct the corpus toward product development, hiring, and global expansion.

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