The Tech Panda takes a look at recent funding events in the tech ecosystem, seeking to know where the cash is flowing.
Startup: Octanom Tech
Led by: Shankar Vailaya, Ex-Director of Sharekhan Ltd, Nitin Gupta (Founder & CEO, Asymmetrique)
Algorithm-based InvesTech startup, Octanom Tech, has raised an undisclosed amount at a pre-money valuation of $2.2 million in its pre-seed round led by Shankar Vailaya, Ex-Director of Sharekhan Ltd, Nitin Gupta (Founder & CEO, Asymmetrique) among other angel investors.
“The Octanom team is making proprietary Algorithmic, A.I. based research advisory and innovative investment avenues accessible to the retail participants like never before,” said Shankar Vailaya.
The fresh capital raised will be deployed towards the launch of Octanom’s maiden platform next month along with investments in core technology, to expand and bolster leadership and talent.
Startup: e-TRNL Energy
Sector: EV battery
Amount: INR 7.5 crore
Led by: Speciale Invest
A battery tech startup, e-TRNL Energy, announced raising a pre-seed round of INR 7.5 Crs from multiple investors to further its mission of bringing revolutionary energy technology to the market. The round was led by Speciale Invest, a deep-tech venture capital firm. Other investors include Micelio Mobility, a clean mobility fund, and CIIE, the innovation continuum built at IIM Ahmedabad.
e-TRNL Energy intends to utilize this investment for accelerating the product cycle reducing the timelines to deliver the products to its customers. The company has developed advanced battery technology, which is safe, withstands the harsh conditions of electric mobility especially in the Indian climate, and still provides value add with fast charging and cost efficiency.
Vishesh Rajaram, Managing Partner at Speciale Invest, said, “We at Speciale Invest believe that climate and sustainability are increasingly becoming business drivers in India as well as globally. We are focused on partnering with like-minded businesses and founders using technology to disrupt this sector. We are excited to be a part of e-TRNL journey and look forward to seeing them succeed.”
Amount: US$3.5 million
Led by: Speciale Invest
GalaxEye Space, a SpaceTech startup focused on earth observation, announced that it has successfully raised a $3.5 million round of seed round of funding led by Special Invest, a deep-tech venture capital firm. This raise is historic for the India SpaceTech market given the funding amount and speed with which the round was closed.
The new round also had participation from investors including Artha India Ventures, Veda VC, Anicut Capital, Upsparks and a consortium of entrepreneurs including Nithin Kamath (Founder/CEO of Zerodha), Prashant Pitti (Founder/CEO of EaseMyTrip), Abhishek Goyal (Founder/CEO of Tracxn) and Ganpathy Subramaniam (Partner at Celesta Capital).
The fresh funding will help bolster the hiring of top-tier talent and accelerate the launch of the world’s first multi-sensor satellite for earth observation. This will also mark the beginning of commercialization with GalaxEye customers across the US, Europe and Africa.
“GalaxEye is one of the unique companies with the vision to democratize access to space for the small satellite market. Their team has a distinctive mix of domain strength and tenacity that will get them to space, making India self-reliant. This investment aligns with our vision of backing visionary founders with disruptive companies to solve global problems via tech innovations. We wish the team continued success,” said Vishesh Rajaram, Managing Partner, Speciale Invest.
The company previously raised an undisclosed amount in a pre-seed funding round led by Speciale Invest in May 2021. This investment facilitated completing Proof of Concept and Prototype Development and Demonstration.
Led by: Silverneedle Ventures
Early-stage technology fund, Silverneedle Ventures announces its investment in a Pune-based startup, ThingsUp, a low-code platform helping businesses to build and deploy IoT applications in a short duration of time. The startup has raised $600K in a Seed round from Silverneedle Ventures, Udyat Ventures, Lead Angels, GSF (an existing investor), and other angel investors. The investment will be used to double down on the product development, sales & operations teams.
Pranav H Naiknavare, Co-Founder & CTO of, ThingsUp said, “ThingsUp will be utilizing these funds to add further integrations and analytics to current products, which will allow customers to get more data insights and improve operational efficiencies on global scale.”
Abishek Balendran, Investment Partner, Silverneedle Ventures on the investment said, “The IoT platform SAM for ThingsUp is ~$5.0 Bn+ and use cases within subsegments such as EV mobility and smart devices are expected to grow at ~30%+ CAGR over the next 5-7 years. Hence, the market is large enough for Akshay and the team to be able to gain a fair share of the pie. Additionally, with offerings around the entire IoT tech platform (low code, on-premise deployment support, pre-built templates etc.) + an end-to-end IoT app and the core tech platform being fairly sector agnostic, we believe, ThingsUp has created a local product but with a fairly wide-range and comprehensive global application”
Startup: Battery Smart
Led by: BlackSoil
Leading venture debt firm, BlackSoil has invested $5 Mn in three startups including, Battery Smart, a battery-swapping network; amongst the largest in India.
Ankur Bansal, Co-Founder and Director of BlackSoil said, “We are delighted to announce our new investments. Keeping in-line with our underwriting thesis, we continue to build our presence in new age businesses such as EV, while still maintaining our strong presence in the financial services/fintech space. These businesses have shown great resilience and tenacity in the face of changing macro as well as global events.”
Tiger Global backed Battery Smart is a Gurgaon-based battery swapping startup that provides advanced lithium-ion batteries for electric two and three-wheelers. Depleted batteries are swapped with fully charged ones in just two minutes at any swapping station of the company. Presently, the company has more than 12,000 customers across 12 cities in North India, including Delhi-NCR, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Jaipur, Karnal, Panipat, and Lucknow.
The swappable batteries are one of the enablers to rapid adoption of electric mobility in India, particularly empowering electric two-and three-wheeler vehicles which are capable of utilising this technology that alleviates range anxiety and enhances vehicle uptime.
Battery Smart was co-founded by IIT-Kanpur graduates Pulkit Khurana and Siddharth Sikka. Additionally, the company is also backed by investors such as Orios Venture Partners and Blume Ventures. As of Nov-22, the company has built a network of 400+ swapping stations, enabled 5.5+ Mn battery swaps, and powered 160 Mn emission-free kilometers.
Startup: Upmove Capital
Led by: BlackSoil
Leading venture debt firm, BlackSoil has invested US$5 Mn in three startups including Upmove Capital, the NBFC arm of SmartCoin, a consumer lending startup focused on providing micro loans.
Lightrock backed Upmove Capital is the NBFC arm of SmartCoin, a consumer lending startup focused on providing micro loans to the underserved middle / lower income segments. Incorporated in late 2015, SmartCoin is a mobile app-based lending platform with product offerings such as small-ticket personal loans to micro merchants, self-employed, small retailers, blue-grey collared workers and salaried individuals. Additionally, the company is also backed by investors such as Unicorn India Ventures. Till Sep-22, the company has disbursed $115+ Mn across 1 Mn loans.
BlackSoil currently manages an alternative credit platform consisting of an RBI-registered NBFC and four SEBI-registered AIFs. Through multiple platforms, it has built a quality loan book by deploying $350+ Mn across 130+ deals and having an AUM of $100+ Mn. Some of BlackSoil’s noteworthy investments include 9 unicorns
Led by: BlackSoil
Leading venture debt firm, BlackSoil has invested $5 Mn in three startups including Revfin, a digital lending startup focused primarily on financing EVs.
Green Frontier Capital backed Partners Revfin is a digital lending startup based in Delhi focused primarily on financing electric vehicles. It identifies underserved segments and underwrites them using alternate techniques of biometrics, psychometrics, and gamification to make lending convenient and accessible to all individuals. Started in 2018 by Sameer Aggarwal.
Additionally, backed by investors like Green Frontier Capital. The company has funded over 12,000 EVs and has NPAs of less than 2%. The vehicles financed by Revfin have driven 250+ Mn green kilometres, resulting in a reduction of 27,400+ metric tons of carbon emissions. The group has tie-ups with 15+ OEMs and 550+ dealers across 15 states. Having recently closed its Series A round, the company is eyeing to expand its presence to 25 states by the end of Mar-23 and reach a market share of 10%.
Startup: Uniqus Consultech
Amount: US$12.5 million
Led by: Nexus
Uniqus Consultech Inc., a tech-enabled global platform that offers ESG and Accounting & Reporting Consulting, announced the launch of its operations by raising US$12.5 mn in Series A funding for a minority stake sale.
Nexus Venture Partners, a leading Silicon Valley-India VC firm with multiple category-creating investments in digital India and the global technology sector such as Delhivery, Postman, Zepto, Turtlemint and others, led the funding round. The investment also marks the first investment for Sorin Investments, an early-stage tech fund founded by private equity veteran Sanjay Nayar, Former Chairman of KKR India. Prominent global business and consulting leaders including Pirojsha Godrej, Anant Goenka, Apoorva Patni, Keki Mistry, Ranu Vohra, Dhanpal Jhaveri, Vijay Malhotra, Bala Swaminathan, and Sridar Iyengar also participated in the round.
The funding will primarily be used for investments in technology and scaling the business operations and teams in the US, India and the Middle East.
Nexus Venture Partners’ Anup Gupta stated, “There is a large market need to enable enterprises in their journey of adopting leading ESG and financial accounting & reporting practices. Uniqus is addressing this opportunity by using technology to leverage top-notch global talent. We are excited to partner with Jamil, Sandip, Anu and Team Uniqus.”
Sorin Investments’ Sanjay Nayar said, “Uniqus’ cutting-edge offerings are the culmination of work done by professionals with strong backgrounds and track records who have factored in what clients need holistically across the ESG and financial reporting domains.”
Jamil Khatri, Co-Founder & CEO of Uniqus, said, “We thank our investors for their faith in us. Together, we’ll create the consultancy of tomorrow.”
Amount: US$1.2 million
Led by: Inflection Point Ventures
Suraasa, a skill-tech startup focussed on preparing teachers for national and international career opportunities by upskilling them, has raised $1.2 million from notable investors. It has been founded by Rishabh Khanna (CEO, Cognitive scientist, and recognised expert in the global teacher education sector), Ankit Khanna (CTO) NIT alumni, ex-Smart Cubes), and Sahil Makker (Chief Strategy Officer, INSEAD & Thapar alumni, ex-Booz Allen).
The round was led by Inflection Point Ventures, one of India’s leading Angel Funds, and saw participation from NB Ventures from the UAE, SuperMorpheus from Singapore, Vinners and SucSEED Innovation from India. The established reputation and respected presence of Suraasa in India and the UAE brought in well-known names such as Manan Khurma (Founder & CEO, Cuemath), Kunal Shah (Founder, Cred), Kiran Karunakaran (Partner, Bain & Co), Anuj Saraiwala (Partner, Elluminate Ventures), owner of a large chain of schools, amongst many others in the seed round.
Ankur Mittal, Co-Founder & COO of Inflection Point Ventures said, “We are delighted to partner with Suraasa, which is working tirelessly to change the way people perceive teaching as a career. The team is passionate about solving this large problem to ensure every 21st-century child gets mentored by a competent & motivated 21st-century teacher. The solution they have not only aligns with the changes being envisioned by the National Education Policy in India but also fills the huge demand-supply gap for teachers internationally, including the US and other western markets.”
Led by: Kulmeet Bawa
SpeakIn, an Asian digital platform for 1:1 coaching and group learning sessions, has announced a fresh infusion of capital to accelerate its SaaS platform and global expansion.
Its new investors include Kulmeet Bawa, President and Managing Director, SAP Indian subcontinent. With this new infusion of capital, the company is targeting expansion to North America in the next 12 months and to build a deeper engagement with 400+ enterprise existing clients across APAC.
Deepshikha Kumar, the Founder and CEO of SpeakIn, described the fresh investment as another milestone in the company’s product growth story. “Kulmeet is one of the most respected names in technology leadership in APAC. This comes at a time when we are taking giant steps towards expanding SpeakIn in APAC, having moved our operations to Singapore, and the launch of GROW – our mobile SaaS platform.”
“I am excited to be a part of the SpeakIn journey as they build the learning and development ecosystem across Asia and beyond. Having been coached and now coaching and mentoring the next of leaders, I understand how this can be a game changer both on the professional and personal front. SpeakIn is a clear leader in this space helping address the larger global learning need. Whether it is their web platform or the intuitive mobile application, the ability to provide 1:1 coaching and 1-to-many sessions with the world’s best leaders, is truly impressive.”
Kulmeet joins SpeakIn investors including Vinod K. Dasari, former Managing Director of Ashok Leyland; Aditya Ghosh, Co-Founder of Akasa Air and former President of Indigo Airlines; Richard Rekhy, former CEO of KPMG India; and Aarti Gupta, one of India’s top women investors and the FICCI FLO Chairperson for startups.
Amount: US$1 million
Led by: Reputed industry leaders
Cypherock, a hardware wallet startup with a mission to accelerate web3 adoption, has raised $1 million from an array of reputed industry leaders including Consensys Mesh, Infinite Capital, Gnosis, Stefan George (Gnosis), Sandeep Nailwal (Polygon), Mahin Gupta (Zebpay & Liminal), OrangeDAO, Prasanna Sankar (Rippling), and Furqan Rydhan (Thirdweb & F Inc) amongst others. The round witnessed participation from esteemed names hailing from the emerging technology industry itself.
Rohan Agarwal, Founder & CEO of Cypherock affirmed, “We appreciate the support of all investors who believed in our product. The investment increased our team’s confidence and unquestionably contributed to the development of our business, enabling us to grow our operations and launch the product earlier than the scheduled date. Additionally, we are making a concerted effort to expand the demand for our product line and attract clients in India as well as in the international markets.”
“Cypherock offers the most convenient and secure hardware-based multisig wallet. An intuitive way to increase security for your crypto assets.” – Stefan George, Gnosis.