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Funding and acquisitions in Indian startups this week [04-09 Mar]

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This week, equivalent to 27 Indian startups raised funding amounting to nearly $307.8 million. These deals include seven growth-stage deals and 17 early-stage deals. The early-stage deals also include three startups that kept their transaction details undisclosed.

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Last week, about 32 early and growth-stage startups collectively raised over $384 million, including five undisclosed deals.

[Growth-stage deals]

Among the growth-stage deals, seven startups raised $141 million in funding this week. D2C skincare and nutrition brand The Ayurveda Experience spearheaded with a $27 million Series C funding round. ID verification platform IDfy also shared the top spot with its Series E funding worth $27 million. D2C Craft beer brand Bira 91, B2B construction equipment supplier Zetwerk and education software company Educational Initiatives (Ei) also made it to the top five with their respective fundraises.

Further, edtech startup PlanetSpark and electric vehicle financing platform Mufin Green also raked in funding this week. For more information, visit TheKredible.

[Early-stage deals]

As many as 17 early-stage startups scooped funding worth $166.8 million during the week. Surprisingly, an early stage startup mPokket led the overall funding chart with its $60 million debt this week. Generative AI startup Ema followed the list with social media startup Hunch, rural commerce startup Rozana, and D2C skincare brand Foxtale.

The list further includes business tools provider Exly (formerly MyScoot), Sales enablement platform Louisa AI, and D2C coffee chain abCoffee among others.

The list of early-stage startups also includes three startups which kept the amount undisclosed. The startups are Azimuth AI, Swizzle, and Onramp Money.

[City and segment-wise deals]

In terms of the city-wise number of funding deals, Delhi-NCR-based startups led with 10 deals followed by Bengaluru with 9 deals, collectively amounting to 65% of the total fundraise during the week. This was followed by Mumbai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Surat, Lucknow, and Hyderabad.

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The complete breakdown of the city and segment can be found at TheKredible.

[Series-wise deals]

This week, nine startups raised funding in their seed round followed by five Series A deals. While three startups raised funding in pre-Series A, this was followed by debt, Series E, and Series B funding with 2 deals each.

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[Week-on-week funding trend]

On a weekly basis, startup funding shrank 20% to $307.8 million as compared to $384.16 million in the previous week.

The average funding in the last eight weeks stands at around $216 million with 26 deals per week.

[Fund launches]

The week witnessed four startup-focused fund launches.

GetVantage has launched the Rise-Up Fund, dedicating Rs 100 crore to supporting women entrepreneurs’ businesses with capital, aiming to deploy the funds within the next 12 months.

Colossa Ventures, a SEBI-registered venture capital management company, announced the first close of its Colossa WomenFirst Fund at Rs 100 crore. Additionally, climate tech venture studio NOW has officially launched in India with a dedicated $2 million fund to invest in early-stage Indian deeptech startups, aiming to support and nurture innovation in the deeptech space.

An early-stage venture capital firm Navam Capital, focused on backing startups in frontier technology sectors, has also made the first close of its maiden investment vehicle.

[ESOP Buyback]

Community management app MyGate announced employees stock buyback program for more than 50 employees. The buyback came on the back of improved financial results for the Bengaluru-based company in the past couple of years. MyGate announced the buyback plan of 20% of vested shares for employees who have completed four years at the firm.

Visit TheKredible to see series-wise deals and amount breakup, complete details of fund launches, and more insights.

[New launches]

▪️ Flipkart launches UPI services to counter third-party apps

▪️ Cashfree unveils a new payment solution for software platforms

▪️ Gupshup rolled out Conversation Cloud to facilitate AI-backed B2C conversations

▪️ OYO to launch self-operated premium hotels under the ‘Palette’ brand

▪️ ZestMoney’s ex-CEO Lizzie Chapman to launch new venture, SwiffyLabs 

[Financial results this week]

▪️ Ergos gross revenue crosses Rs 200 Cr in FY23; losses stagnant

▪️ Yubi posts Rs 328 Cr revenue and Rs 482 Cr loss in FY23

▪️ Trell revenue plummeted 94% to Rs 5 Cr in FY23; losses stood at Rs 59 Cr

▪️ BigHaat’s gross revenue nears Rs 700 Cr in FY23

▪️ Healthians posts Rs 224 Cr revenue and Rs 184 Cr loss in FY23

[News flash this week]

▪️ Infibeam Avenues receives RBI’s final nod for Payment Aggregator license

▪️ Flipkart to take on Zepto, Blinkit with quick commerce foray

▪️ Google agrees to temporarily restore delisted apps

▪️ Karnataka withdraws the electric bike taxi scheme citing its misuse

▪️ Tech Fini partners with NPCI to offer credit line on UPI

▪️ NITI Aayog to roll out the initiative to create DPI for policymaking and governance

▪️ Antfin offloaded a 2% stake in Zomato via bulk deals worth Rs 2,827 Cr

▪️ BlackBuck to raise $300 million, gearing up for IPO

▪️ Meesho to raise funds from Peak XV, Tiger Global via a secondary transaction

[Entrackr’s analysis]

The weekly funding slipped nearly 20% to $307.8 million as compared to $384.16 million the previous week. Fortunately, there was no news of major layoffs, shutdowns, or departures in the startup ecosystem. Additionally, four firms launched startup-focused funds to support Indian entrepreneurs.

Google announced that it would temporarily restore applications removed from the Play Store due to policy compliance issues last week. This decision followed intervention by the Indian government after IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw criticized the delisting of select Indian apps. He later disclosed that he had engaged with Google representatives and app developers to address the issue.

NITI Aayog is set to launch NITI for States, a digital cross-sectoral knowledge platform, to create a digital public infrastructure for policymaking and governance. The platform, accessible on various devices including mobile phones, aims to support the digital transformation of governance by providing practical knowledge and insights to improve decision-making for government officials, district collectors, and block-level officials across states and UTs.

In another development, e-commerce giant Flipkart is gearing up to enter the quick commerce sector, with infrastructure ramp-up already underway.

Meanwhile, Flipkart-backed logistics startup BlackBuck is preparing for an IPO in the next fiscal year, aiming to raise up to $300 million. 

Additionally, investors like Peak XV Partners and Tiger Global are reportedly eyeing a stake in e-commerce unicorn Meesho through a secondary transaction. Some angel and early investors of Meesho may offload shares worth around $200 million, with the deal expected to value between $3.5 billion and $3.9 billion based on final terms.

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