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Funding and acquisitions in Indian startups this week [26 Feb – 2 Mar]

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As many as 32 Indian startups raised funding amounting to nearly $384 million this week. These deals include nine growth-stage deals and 18 early-stage deals. The early-stage deals also include five startups that kept their transaction details undisclosed.

Last week, about 25 early and growth-stage startups collectively raised over $125 million, including two undisclosed deals.

[Growth-stage deals]

Among the growth-stage deals, nine startups raised $310.7 million in funding this week. Logistics company Shadowfax spearheaded with its $100 million Series E funding round. Customer loyalty and engagement technology platform Capillary Technologies expanded its Series D round with a $95 million raise while D2C jewelry brand Kushal’s secured $34 million.

Further, Omnichannel pharmacy platform Zeno Health, Fintech startup Mswipe, and D2C luggage brand  Mokobara among others also raked in funding this week.

[Early-stage deals]

Equivalent to 18 early-stage startups scooped funding worth $73.46 million during the week. Blockchain startup Avail led the list followed by interview preparation platform Interview Kickstart, renewables EPC company InSolare, energy efficiency startup Smart Joules, cybersecurity provider Silence Labs, and nanotechnology startup Chiral.

The list further includes Business process automation Zvolv, spacetech startup Digantara, business-to-business agri-food startup Farmtheory, security solutions provider CredShields, and foodtech firm TWF Flour among others. For more information, visit TheKredible.

The list of early-stage startups also includes five startups which kept the amount undisclosed. The startups are Knocksense, StepChange, Biggies Burger, Zactor Tech, and Local (Tui Bon Natural).

[City and segment-wise deals]

In terms of the city-wise number of funding deals, Bengaluru-based startups led with 18 deals amounting to 74% of the total fundraise during the week. This was followed by Mumbai, Delhi-NCR, Pune, Jaipur, and Lucknow.

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

[Series-wise deals]

This week, eight startups raised funding in their seed round followed by five Series A deals. While pre-Series A, pre-seed, and Series C deals followed with 5, 5, and 3 deals, respectively.

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[Week-on-week funding trend]

On a weekly basis, startup funding jumped 3X to $384.16 million as compared to $126 million in the previous week.

The average funding in the last eight weeks stands at around $197 million with 27 deals per week.

[Mergers & Acquisition]

This week, online seafood firm Captain Fresh has acquired CenSea Inc., a US-based frozen fish and seafood importer and distributor. According to a report, Captain Fresh has fully acquired CenSea in a cash-and-stock deal, with 90% of the consideration paid in cash.

[Fund launches]

Asset management firm Rockstud Capital has marked the first close of its second alternative investment fund (AIF) at Rs 68 crore or $8.2 million.

With a target corpus of Rs 300 crore ($36 million), Rockstud Capital Investment Fund II aims to help companies fund their bridge rounds, scale products and raise capital from institutional investors.

The fund focuses on sectors, including digitalization, sustainability, financial inclusion, health & safety, and consumption. It invests between $0.5 and $1 million across startups at their Pre-Series A round.

[Layoffs]

WayCool Foods has reportedly fired at least 70 employees over the last month in what was the second layoff exercise at the agritech startup within a year.

The startup, which houses subsidiaries such as WayCool Censa, WayCool BrandNext, also shut its warehouses over the last month.

Surgery-focused hospital chain Pristyn Care has reduced its workforce by 7% as the firm eyes profitability and initial public offering in the next few years.

Pristyn Care said that it is discontinuing three redundant categories and the move will impact less than 7% of the 1,700 employees, with the majority in entry-level and support functions. It has also decided to exit six cities that were not adding adequate value to the business.

[Departures]

Vijay Shekhar Sharma stepped down from his position as part-time non-executive chairman and board member of Paytm Payments Bank Limited (PPBL). The company also announced that it has reconstituted its board of directors with the appointment of former Central Bank of India chairman Srinivasan Sridhar, retired IAS officer Debendranath Sarangi, former executive director of Bank of Baroda Ashok Kumar Garg, and retired IAS Rajni Sekhri Sibal.

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

[New launches]

▪️ Mphasis launches AI intelligence platform for document processing

▪️ Bhavish Aggarwal-led Krutrim launches Its Chatbot

▪️ SaaS platform Zoho launches a new business division, Zakya

▪️ Juspay rolls out a new ride-hailing app Mana Yatri in Hyderabad

[Financial results this week]

▪️ ApnaKlub’s gross revenue spikes 6X to Rs 278 Cr in FY23

▪️ Razorpay posts Rs 2,279 Cr revenue in FY23; bottom line remains stagnant

▪️ Scaler’s revenue climbs 5X to over Rs 300 Cr in FY23, losses up by 90%

▪️ WeWork India posts Rs 1,314 Cr revenue in FY23; cuts losses by 77%

▪️ Bizongo’s scale doubles to Rs 167 Cr in FY23; loss nears Rs 300 Cr

▪️ RailYatri posts Rs 274 Cr revenue in FY23; losses shrink 58%

[News flash this week]

▪️ Paytm terminates inter-company agreements with payments bank unit

▪️ Amazon Pay gets a payment aggregator license from RBI

▪️ Paytm Payments Bank slapped with Rs 5.49 Cr fine by FIU-IND

▪️ Zepto launches a membership programme, Zepto Pass.

▪️ Google delists select Indian apps over violations of Play Store policies

[Entrackr’s analysis]

The weekly funding rebounded after a three-week decline, experiencing a three-fold growth. However, the week also saw two significant layoffs at WayCool and Pristyn Care, affecting approximately 200 employees.

Paytm has terminated inter-company agreements between One97 Communications and Paytm Payments Bank Limited (PPBL), following regulatory actions by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

The RBI imposed business restrictions on Paytm Payments Bank due to non-compliance and regulatory concerns. Separately, the Financial Intelligence Unit-India (FIU-IND) fined Paytm Payments Bank Ltd Rs 5.49 crore.

Additionally, Google delisted several popular Indian apps, including Kuku FM, TrulyMadly, QuackQuack, and Altt, from the Play Store. Apps from Shaadi and Matrimony.com, as well as InfoEdge’s job portal Naukri and real-estate platform 99 acres, were also removed. This action follows Google’s blog post outlining its new app store policies and warning of potential consequences for non-compliance, such as ‘delisting’.

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