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

Startup: Illumine-i

Sector: Sustainable design & engineering

Amount: INR 17 Crore

Led by: Anicut Capital

Illumine Industries Private Limited (Illumine-i), a sustainable design and engineering firm, raised funding from Anicut Capital to scale its operations. With this fundraise, Illumine-i is poised to double down on its vision of ‘developing assets for communities by empowering builders’ by focusing on automation, digitization and improving asset caliber. The investment would also help in Illumine-i’s expansion into new markets.

“We’re thrilled to have the backing of Anicut Capital as we enter our next stage of growth,” said Nithish Sairam, Founder & CEO of Illumine Industries Private Limited. “They resonate with our commitment of developing high-value community assets. In the next 12 months, our goal is to introduce tech-based solutions, which would directly translate into reduced risk, reduced cost and improved quality of assets for our customers.”

“Illumine-i is at the intersection of a fast-growing global market and India’s talent pool to deliver for such a market. Nithish and Sudarsan have built a very strong and scalable business in the renewable energy market ” said Adithya Bharadwaj, Vice President at Anicut Capital. “We look forward to supporting them as they expand into newer geographies, new products and continue improving the end-to-end journey for customers.”

Startup: Ghost Kitchens India

Sector: Food-tech

Amount: US$5 million

Led by: GVFL Limited

Food-tech platform Ghost Kitchens India has raised 5 million USD in Series A funding, a mix of equity and debt. The round was led by GVFL Limited with participation from NB Ventures, LetsVenture, and Lead Angels. Existing investors Yuj Ventures, Dholakia Ventures, and actor Rana Daggubati also participated in this round.

The fund raised by Ghost Kitchens from this round will be utilized to scale business operations and foray into retail stores of its existing hero brands and new celebrity brands. Simultaneously, it will also help to upgrade the partner program and increase the footprint of company owned and operated cloud kitchens and QSR stores.

Karan Tanna, Founder and CEO, Ghost Kitchens, said, “We are happy that investors have appreciated and backed our plans to build a profitable F&B company led by innovation in technology. We have created 10X value for our earlier investors and we are sure to continue with this performance for new backers. We are excited for coming years where we will focus on building iconic brands through customer loyalty and love for our food.”

Chef Vicky Ratnani said, “I joined hands with Ghost Kitchens a year ago and their infrastructure to scale brands has helped SpeakBurgers to evolve tremendously. I wish Ghost Kitchens and all its backers a huge congratulations and with the new capital in place, Ghost kitchens can realise its dream of an IPO in next 5 years. Most importantly, I am glad that we will be able to spread love to more customers through good food.”

Startup: Reo.Dev

Sector: Revenue intelligence

Amount: US$1.2 million

Led by: India Quotient

Reo.Dev, a revenue intelligence firm for developer-focused GTM, has successfully raised $1.2 million in pre-seed funding, with India Quotient leading the investment round. The funding round saw participation from notable angel investors within the developer infrastructure industry, including Adam Frankl, ex-VP marketing at JFrog and Sourcegraph, Savin Goyal of Netflix and Outerbounds, and Shraddha Gupta of Hasura.

Reo.Dev is building an AI-powered marketing stack which is a pioneering product designed to empower tech companies, where developers play a pivotal role in product purchase decisions, by leveraging AI to analyze developer intent signals sourced from millions of open-source, public, and first-party data. This advanced approach enables companies to accelerate their sales processes and effectively cater to the evolving dynamics of the modern tech market.

Achintya Gupta, Co-founder and CEO of Reo.Dev, highlighted the shifting landscape of sales processes, stating, “The sales processes for new age tech companies are changing. Historically, there was just the business buyer who was a key decision maker. But now there is an additional, increasingly influential buyer – the developer or the tech user. We feel the sales tooling for this changed GTM motion will be fundamentally different and we are building for that”

Anand Lunia, General Partner at India Quotient, expressed confidence in Reo.Dev’s potential, stating, “Developers are driving the next trillion dollar infra and AI wave. We have seen changing buyer behavior always calls for new sales software and we felt Reo.Dev will be the right team to build this”.

Startup: Pumpumpum

Sector: Fintech mobility

Amount: INR 2 crores

Led by: Inflection Point Ventures

Inflection Point Ventures has announced an investment of INR 2 Crores in Pumpumpum- a Fintech mobility startup. The funds will be allocated for growth in operations, geographical reach, technological advancements, marketing endeavors and overall organizational development for greater visibility, and sustained success of the enterprise.

Vinay Bansal, Co-Founder, Inflection Point Ventures says, “India is now a country with the highest population, the biggest need one has after roti kapda aur makaan is transportation. Two-wheeler for a bachelor and 4-wheeler for a family is not a convenience but a necessity. However, only about 8% of Indian households (approximately 1 in 12) own cars. Hence the notion of leasing out pre-owned cars is bound to succeed. And Pumpumpum is category creator and leader, in the market of leasing pre-owned cars”.

Tarun Lawadia, Founder & CEO, Pumpumpum says, “IPV’s second round of funding with PumPumPum highlights our commitment to revolutionizing auto leasing and amplifying mobility options for all. This investment underscores our shared vision of making car leasing accessible, convenient, and affordable, while leveraging PumPumPum’s unique selling proposition to redefine industry standards.”

Startup: Vijya Fintech Private Limited (VFPL)

Sector: Fintech

Amount: INR 7 crore

Led by: Various

Vijya Fintech Private Limited (VFPL), a B2B Fintech Specialist, secured an additional INR 7 crore bringing the total investment in the company to INR 15 crore. Among the investors are Lemon Tech, Lemon Emerging Ventures, Veloce Fintech, and Tech Experts, comprising CXO-level executives from leading global tech firms in the USA.

VFPL’s initial funding round in 2022 saw an influx of investments (INR 8 crore) that were deployed towards product development and team expansion, enabling it to recruit top talent from prestigious institutions such as IITs and IIMs. Meanwhile, the funds from this round will be strategically utilized to propel growth initiatives, bolster go-to-market strategies, and expand market reach.

The newly raised funds will catalyze the launch of MIDASX, an innovative B2B2C Marketplace poised to transform financial interactions. In addition, major efforts will be directed towards integrating Data Analytics through the Account Aggregator framework, venturing into a new era of investor behavior and money management. Furthermore, the company’s roadmap includes incorporating AI capabilities to provide enhanced insights and personalized solutions for its customers, further enriching their experience.

Startup: MyCaptain

Sector: EdTech

Amount: INR14 crore

Led by: Inflection Point Ventures

Inflection Point Ventures has invested in EdTech startup MyCaptain which aims to enable everyone to pursue a career they love. Some other investors in this round are MyNavi, Piper Serica, Super Capital and Ankur Capital.

Securing funds for strategic growth, MyCaptain plans to expand their hybrid programs into diverse cities, establishing 4+ regional sales centers. Additionally, they aim to enrich their course offerings, introducing new programs to reach a portfolio milestone of 50+ beginner courses and 5+ placement readiness programs.

Mitesh Shah, Co-Founder, Inflection Point Ventures says, “Digital era has brought sweeping transformation across all industries. However, the education sector remains the same. While traditional fields like medicine, engineering, and CA remain vital, they cannot sustain the demands of modern society. There is an urgent need for individuals proficient in web design, social media management, content writing & digital marketing strategies, yet these courses are far from being integrated into mainstream education. MyCaptain addresses the gap by offering courses like Artificial Intelligence, Business Analytics Course, Digital Marketing and more to ensure students are well-prepared for the evolving professional landscape. With the Indian Ed-tech market projected to reach 10.4 billion U.S. dollars by 2025, MyCaptain’s focus on practical skill development position it as a leader in creating an Ed-tech platform that focuses on job readiness compared to others that focuses on pre-K-12 and K-12 segment.”

Mohammed Zeeshan, Co-Founder & CEO of MyCaptain says, “With this fresh round of funding, we continue our focus on building out a full stack career platform for your early career journey. Our platform has courses designed for career discovery and exploration as well as Job Focussed Bootcamps being run in Classroom Centres and Online.

Startup: BNZ Green

Sector: Green tech

Amount: US$ 100,000

Led by: Climate Detox

Blockchain-based climate solutions startup BNZ Green secures its pre-seed funds worth USD 100K from Climate Detox and Others. The round is led by Climate Detox with participation from some angle investors.

Mumbai based startup presents a distinctive opportunity for project developers, traders, businesses, and individuals to trade and retire carbon credits, marking a remarkable departure from traditional markets seamlessly, transparently, and cost-effectively.

The fund raised will be utilized strategically for platform development and marketing initiatives. A significant portion of the investment will enhance the capabilities of the BNZ X platform, ensuring it remains at the forefront of technological innovation. The focus is on improving user experience, functionality, and scalability, with an emphasis on refining both user interfaces and backend infrastructure.

Simultaneously, a substantial share of the funds will be dedicated to comprehensive marketing initiatives. These efforts aim to increase brand visibility and engage with the target audience effectively. Marketing strategies will include digital campaigns, strategic partnerships, and a multifaceted approach across online and offline channels. The goal is not only to attract new users but also to foster a sense of community around the BNZ Green platform.

Gaurav VK Singhvi from Climate Detox expressed, “Decisive climate action is indispensable to mitigate the extensive impacts of climate change, safeguarding ecosystems and promoting sustainable economic development. The pivotal role of carbon credits in combating deforestation therefore cannot be overstated. Meeting the ambitious targets outlined in the Paris Agreement necessitates a substantial 15-fold expansion of carbon markets by 2030, forming a critical pathway to a sustainable future. BNZ Green stands as a trailblazer, utilizing cutting-edge technology and blockchain to revolutionize the voluntary carbon market. This strategic approach not only enhances liquidity and transparency but also channels capital directly into crucial conservation initiatives, reforestation projects, and ecosystem restoration efforts. Additionally, BNZ Green actively champions innovative removal and reduction projects in developing regions”.

Startup: Bull AgriTech

Sector: Agri-Supply Chain

Amount: US$ 100,000

Led by: Akassh Patel & Nilesh Bhalala

Agri-Supply Chain startup Bull AgriTech raised $ 100k funding from leading infrastructure luminaries, led by Akassh Patel & Nilesh Bhalala (Founders, BuilditIndia), Shashin Patel (MD, SCC Infrastructure) & others. The company has raised a total of 1.5 CR in the last 4 months as part of the pre-seed round. Bull Agritech is an agri-supply chain startup focussed on creating India’s largest commodity supply chain by leveraging technology and their network of farmers & commodity processors.

Hit Desai – Founder, Bull Agritech, said, “The funding comes at a time when we are poised for strategic growth. We will be deploying the funds to expand into new regions, double the number of collection centers and broaden commodity portfolio. We will build scalable internal technology for efficient data analysis and onboard top-tier talent to drive operational efficiency and innovation. The current non-perishable agri-trade system is inefficient and outdated, costing farmers valuable income. We believe social technology holds the key to unlocking a new era of market access, price discovery, and logistical efficiency, directly benefiting farmers.”

Akassh Patel, CEO, BuilditIndia, “Bull Agritech has distinguished itself with its forward-thinking approach and exceptional vision for transforming the agricultural supply chain. We are deeply impressed by the dedication and ambition demonstrated by the founders, whose innovative model for oil seeds has already garnered significant acclaim.”

Startup: Jewelbox

Sector: Lab-grown diamonds

Amount: INR 3.5 crores

Led by: JIIF

JITO Incubation and Innovation Foundation (JIIF), the only community-based angel network in India, has led the funding round for Jewelbox. The start-up raised INR 3.5 crores, with contributions from JIIF, close friends, and family members, with JIIF contributing 2.97 crores.

The company pioneers in the creation of exquisite jewellery with lab-grown diamonds. The infusion of funds will be used for team building and expanding by opening more retail stores.

Rajat Mehta, Chairman, JITO Incubation and Innovation Foundation, said, “Jewelbox’s innovative approach in exquisite crafting jewellery with lab-grown diamonds resonates with today’s conscious consumers. We believe that their dedication to quality and sustainability will drive remarkable growth in the industry, enhancing both quality and sustainability.”

Nipun Kochar, Co-founder of Jewelbox, said, “We are excited to receive mentorship with industry veterans who have joined in this round. Building Jewelbox has been an incredible adventure, driven by our shared passion for redefining luxury with lab-grown diamonds. Our dedication to quality and sustainability fuels every facet of our business, and through this investment we’re eager to see our impact ripple through the industry.”

Startup: Angel One

Sector: Fintech

Amount: INR15,000 million

Led by: Undisclosed

Angel One, a technology-led financial services company providing broking and advisory services, raised Rs 15,000 million through QIP to fund the company’s growth. This fund raise through Qualified Institutional Placement (QIP), strategically positions fintech player Angel One for its growth trajectory, by way of funding the working capital requirements for funding the margin obligations that are fulfilled on behalf of their clients and the margin trading facility provided to their clients; and future growth requirements.

Dinesh Thakkar, Chairman and Managing Director, Angel One said: “The successful completion of this QIP marks a significant milestone in our journey, as we capitalise the business for its future growth trajectory, thus strengthening our position in the industry. The capital market landscape has undergone significant changes in recent years, with a robust outlook and deepening penetration, driven by digitisation. We are witnessing continuous engagement of Indian retail investors, as evidenced in our performance metrics. Key indicators such as gross client acquisition, number of orders, average daily turnover, turnover market share and financial performance are consistently creating newer benchmarks. I am grateful to all our investors and stakeholders, for the trust they have placed in our vision. As we embark on this growth journey, I am confident that we are well positioned to continue to seize opportunities and drive success for our company.”

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