Nifty outlook & top investment bets by Naveen Kulkarni, Reliance Securities

After rallying for three straight days, equity market once again slipped into the negative territory on Wednesday as fears of global recession kept …

SI Reporter | New Delhi Last Updated at August 29, 2019 10:05 IST

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ChrysCapital leads Series D funding round for co-working startup Awfis

Commercial real estate is as large a market, if not larger, than any other shared economy,” said Ishaan Mittal, principal, Sequoia Capital India Advisors …

Delhi-based Awfis Space Solutions Pvt. Ltd, which offers shared working spaces, said it has closed a Series D round of fundraising led by private equity major ChrysCapital.

The funding round of $30 million (about Rs 212 crore at current exchange rate) also saw participation from existing investors: Venture capital firm Sequoia and The Three Sisters: Institutional Office, which is the family office run by Radha Rana Kapoor, Raakhe Rana Kapoor, and Roshini Rana Kapoor, the three daughters of Yes Bank founder Rana Kapoor.

The proceeds would be used to introduce new products/services and further establish new micro markets in India while enriching the experience for community members.

“The additional capital raised will support us in expanding our footprint in India with 400 plus centres and 200,000 seats over the next 36 months. Our focus is to fortify our base in Tier-I cities and further enter newer markets with expansion into Tier-II cities,” said Amit Ramani, founder and chief executive officer, Awfis.

Awfis currently has 30,000 seats across 63 centres in 9 cities, with a member base of 25,000 plus customers. Awfis services over 1,500 companies with a varied clientele portfolio across corporates, startups, SMEs/MSMEs, and large enterprises. It forms its coworking community in India with companies like Syngenta, Dun &Bradstreet, Duff & Phelps, Hinduja Global Services, Vodafone, Reliance, Hitachi, Blazeclan, Zomato, and Practo. The company currently has a total real estate portfolio of two million square feet across India.

Awfis was founded by Amit Ramani in 2015 with initial funding from The Three Sisters: Institutional Office and himself. In 2017, Sequoia partnered Awfis to back the firm’s aggressive expansion plans. They received further backing from InnoVen Capital, Sequoia and The Three Sisters: Institutional Office in 2018.

“Sequoia has invested in companies capturing the shared economy market across the world — Airbnb, Uber and Ola are just some examples. Commercial real estate is as large a market, if not larger, than any other shared economy,” said Ishaan Mittal, principal, Sequoia Capital India Advisors.

Maple Capital Advisors, a New Delhi-based investment banking firm, acted as the sole financial advisor for this round of funding. Maple had also worked on getting Awfis its first investor – Sequoia.

Deals in the co-working segment

Co-working as a segment has taken off in recent years, with startups and established firms seeking to differentiate themselves by providing access to features which are economically flexible, and are not found in traditional working spaces.

Last month, the SoftBank-backed OYO Hotels & Homes acquired co-working space provider Innov8 to expand in the fast-growing segment. The move is part of the hospitality unicorn’s strategy of entering new areas to diversify its operations.

Similarly, in October last year, Delhi-based office-sharing firm One Co.Work bought Mumbai-headquartered IShareSpace for about Rs 3.5 crore ($475,000).

Recently, co-working startup GoHive raised Rs 2.5 crore (about $359,175 at current exchange rates) in a pre-Series A funding round.

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[Funding alert] Coworking startup GoHive raises Rs 2.5Cr in Pre-Series A

GoHive, a coworking startup in Delhi-NCR, has raised Pre-Series A funding of Rs 2.5 crore in a round from undisclosed angel investors to fuel its …

GoHive, a coworking startup in Delhi-NCR, has raised Pre-Series A funding of Rs 2.5 crore in a round from undisclosed angel investors to fuel its growth and expansion plans.


The company has seven centres in Delhi-NCR with about 2,500 seats as of now. It is coming up with a new centre at Golf Course Extension Road in Gurugram next month. With this funding, GoHive aims to double its current size and reach to 5,000 seats within a year, with a presence in NCR, Bengaluru and Mumbai.


Mishu Ahluwalia, Founder & CEO, GoHive, said,

“The round has showcased investors’ confidence in our business strategy and our initiative to make spaces more accessible and suitable to different business needs, empower young companies, and enable deeper business inclusion in the ecosystem.”

GoHive aspires to be one of the most preferred choices for collaborative workspace across India for startups and enterprises with strong community engagement and inspiring workspaces.


The coworking space segment is ever-growing in India. According to real estate advisory firm CBRE, India’s flexible workspace saw a 277 percent jump in leasing to reach nearly three million sqft in the first quarter of the calendar year 2019.

According to a JLL report, in the coming years, coworking spaces will take over conventional office spaces owing to the growing demand. On their part, entrepreneurs – a large number of them being millennials – seek convenience, ease of setting up office, and several amenities, all of which coworking business centres provide

Players like SoftBank-backed hospitality unicorn OYO is also now looking at the coworking segment. Recently, OYO Hotels and Homes acquired Delhi-NCR-based Innov8 for Rs 220 crore, and made its entry into the coworking space.

Innov8 is now part of OYO’s larger segment – Oyo Workspaces, led by Rohit Kapoor, CEO, New Real Estate Businesses. Being a fully controlled workspaces solutions provider, it is designed to meet the needs of over 80 percent of the working population in the country. 

Some industry experts say that India is at the cusp of a coworking revolution with domestic and global players like WeWork and CoWrks aggressively pushing the India market. Last year, coworking space provider Awfis garnered a whopping $20 million in a single fund raise led by Sequoia Capital.

(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)

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Funding Galore: Indian Startup Funding Of The Week [15-20 July]

As a part of these transactions, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Sequoia India, are selling part of their shareholding in OYO to help Agarwal increase …
Funding Galore: Important Indian Startup Funding Of The WeekFunding Galore: Important Indian Startup Funding Of The Week

We bring to you the latest edition of Funding Galore: Indian Startup Funding Of The Week!

One of the biggest funding rounds in the Indian startup ecosystem was Seattle and Pune-based software company Icertis. It raised $115 Mn in a funding round led by US-based venture capital firm Greycroft and PremjiInvest.

Existing institutional investors including B Capital Group, Cross Creek Advisors, Eight Roads, Ignition Partners, Meritech Capital Partners and PSP Growth also participated in the round. With this round, the company has achieved a valuation above $1 Bn and joins the ranks of SaaS unicorns such as Freshworks and Druva.

The company said it will utilise the capital to strengthen its product, invest in new technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, and machine learning and expand its global footprint.

In total, this week, 11 startups raised $136.5Mn funding and three startup acquisitions took place in the Indian startup ecosystem. (This funding report is based on startups that disclosed funding amount.)

Indian Startup Funding For The Week

Grofers: Gurugram-based online grocery delivery startup Grofers received an infusion of INR 97.58 Cr (around $14.2 Mn) from its Singapore-based entity, Grofers International. With this investment, Grofers International has been allotted 812 equity shares in the grocery delivery startup. The company has also raised an additional $10 Mn in its ongoing Series F round. This investment has come from an Abu Dhabi-based entity Capital Investment LLC.

Paytm Mall: Noida-based ecommerce platform Paytm Mall raised an undisclosed amount from US-based ecommerce company eBay. In a strategic partnership, eBay picked up a 5.5% stake in the Indian ecommerce marketplace. Through this partnership, eBay inventory will be made accessible to the active customer base of Paytm Mall, a subsidiary of the Indian fintech unicorn Paytm. It would also enable eBay sellers to reach new customers in the rapidly growing Indian market.

Teabox: Bengaluru-based online premium tea brand Teabox raised an undisclosed amount of funding. Teabox founder Kausshal Dugarr told Inc42 that Dubai-based NB Ventures, the family office of Neelesh Bhatnagar has invested in the round. The company’s existing investors such as Accel partners also participated in the round.

BoAt: Electronics maker, boAt received a commitment of INR 20 Cr (about $2.9 Mn) in venture debt from BAC Acquisitions, which was cofounded by the Flipkart founder Sachin Bansal. boAt claims to have acquired over 1.2 Mn consumers, and is currently selling over 8K units per day at an average of 5 units per minute.

Akiva Superfoods: Delhi-based organic and health products startup Akiva Superfoods raised $2 Mn (INR 13.6 Cr) in a Series A funding round. The round was led by Alkemi Venture Partners. The startup plans to use the funds in expanding the portfolio by adding a wide range of innovative superfood-based products across categories and getting the right talent across functions. It will also invest towards expanding in new markets and bolster retail channels through high impact marketing.

Ambee: Bengaluru-based environmental intelligence startup Ambee raised INR 3.22 Cr ($470.8K) in a funding round from investors such as Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Rajan Anandan among others. Founded in 2017 by Akshay Joshi, Jaideep Singh and Madhusudan Anand, Ambee provides data about hyperlocal air quality which is accessible to developers, consumers, health researchers and media companies.

SARVA: Mumbai-based fitness startup SARVA raised funding from Rajinikanth’s daughter, Aishwaryaa R. Dhanush. The investment comes on the heels of recent investments in SARVA by celebrities such as Malaika Arora, Jennifer Lopez, Alex Rodriguez, Shahid Kapoor, and Mira Kapoor. With this investment, Aishwaryaa joins hands with Malaika Arora to become a core part of the Diva Yoga team, leading its growth in the South. Diva Yoga is the yoga wellness arm of SARVA.

Toch: Mumbai-based interactive video platform Toch raised an undisclosed amount of funding in a Pre-Series A round led by investors from Hyderabad Angels and other HNIs from various networks in their individual capacity. The startup plans to use the funds to enhance technology, scale their team and operations.

Agrahyah Technologies: Mumbai based software company Agrahyah Technologies closed a pre-series A round of $1 Mn in funding from undisclosed investors. The funds will be used to fuel growth and expansion of its products Ashutosh Ghanekar of ANG Capital has joined as investment banker to have a professional approach for corporate finance including raising further rounds in the immediate near future to accelerate the exponential growth path.

Procol: New Delhi-based all-in-one procurement platform Procol raised a seed round of $1Mn from Blume Ventures and Rainmatter Capital (Zerodha). The funding will help Procol scale their procurement platform and start deploying other applications around it. Procol helps food retail and FMCG companies reduce their procurement and related supply chain costs.

Indian Startup Acquisitions Of The Week

  • Mumbai-based data analytics firm Ugam has been acquired by the US-based data-driven marketing agency Merkle, which is owned by the digital marketing multinational Dentsu Aegis Network. Post acquisition, Ugam will become a Merkle company and the company’s cofounder and CEO Sunil Mirani will report to Merkle’s America head. Further, reporting structures for the rest of the management team of Ugam will remain unchanged.
  • US-based software company Ebix and Gurugram-based travel and ticket booking platform, Yatra Online have signed a definitive agreement for a merger. For the merger, each ordinary share of Yatra will be entitled to receive 0.005 shares of a new class of preferred stock of Ebix. Following the completion of the transaction, Yatra will become part of Ebix’s EbixCash travel portfolio alongside Via and Mercury and will continue to serve customers under the Yatra brand.
  • Pune-based cloud data protection firm Druva acquired a hybrid cloud data protection and migration company CloudLanes, which enables seamless and secure movement of data from on-premises to cloud. By integrating CloudLanes, Druva will bring all the benefits of its cloud capabilities to these on-premises environments, providing instant recovery and enhancing data security without requiring any hardware.

Other Developments Of The Week

  • Hong Kong-based hedge fund Steadview Capital is reportedly looking to invest $500 Mn in growth-stage companies in India over the next two years. The fund is reportedly looking to invest $20 Mn – $40 Mn per deal. Steadview could invest up to $100 Mn in a single firm if the company’s financial metrics justify heavy capital. The fund is also reportedly planning to increase focus on India by increasing its headcount here and is looking to hire one more person in India.
  • Chinese media giant ByteDance is reportedly looking to invest in Indian content startups. This move will help it create a bouquet of apps to target new audiences, a successful strategy from its Chinese growth. For this, the company has set up a team to scout for companies in content, social commerce and education technology.
  • Kolkata-headquartered conglomerate, ITC Limited, is now looking to invest directly in Indian startups, with a focus on fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG). ITC chairman Sanjiv Puri reportedly said that the company already invests in alternative investment funds (AIFs), which, in turn, invest in startups. ITC has invested in Fireside Ventures and is closing an investment round in another fund.
  • Bengaluru-based food delivery unicorn Swiggy is reportedly in talks with South Korean venture capital funds including the likes of Korea Investment Partners, Mirae Asset Management, STIC Investments and Neoplux for a $500 Mn funding round. Existing investor Naspers will lead the round, which would value Swiggy at around $4 Bn.
  • Flipkart cofounder Sachin Bansal has reportedly infused INR 200 Cr (around $29 Mn) into Ajay Piramal owned Piramal Enterprises. The funds were routed through non-convertible debentures issued by Piramal Enterprises. Piramal Enterprises will use this funding for its financial services business.
  • Prolific angel investor Sanjay Mehta has now expanded his horizons with setting up a new venture capital firm called 100X.VC. The firm is looking to invest in early-stage startups and wants to be the first institutional investor in its portfolio companies. 100X.VC aims to invest in 100 startups every year. The team said that it goes beyond funding and opens network, expertise and resources that assist founders in crafting a scalable business model.
  • Mumbai-based venture fund Unicorn India Ventures launched its second equity fund worth INR 400 Cr. The early stage venture fund will focus on investments in Pre Series A and Series A rounds across sectors such as SaaS, fintech, healthtech, robotics, gaming and digital content. Unicorn India Ventures will be raising capital for Fund II from institutional and large family offices in India and overseas and deploying it by the end of 2019. The fund is also expected to reach the first close of INR 150 Cr by the end of 2019.
  • Flipkart cofounder Sachin Bansal is reportedly foraying into the mutual fund space with plans of acquiring Essel Mutual Fund. According to a media report, multiple meetings have already taken place between both the parties in Mumbai. With this deal, Sachin Bansal is said to planning a digital asset management platform.
  • OYO in a statement said that Ritesh Agarwal, through RA Hospitality Holdings (Cayman), has signed a $2 Bn primary and secondary management investment round, supported by global institutional banks and his financial partners, subject to regulatory and shareholder approvals. As a part of these transactions, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Sequoia India, are selling part of their shareholding in OYO to help Agarwal increase his stake while remaining invested and committed to the company’s long-term mission.
  • Aditya Birla Group is inviting applications from Indian fintech startups for the newest edition of Bizlabs Fintech 2019, an accelerator-like platform for Indian startups. BizLabs gives startups access to market and new customers, which they can leverage to rapidly scale up with support from the conglomerate’s global reach and business expertise.
  • In collaboration with Facebook, Hyderabad state-backed T-Hub has shortlisted 10 artificial intelligence startups for the second edition of their India Innovation Accelerator programme. The final cohort of 10 AI startups has now been selected from over 140 applications received from across India. This includes Signzy, Ftcash etc
  • Early stage investment firm Anthill Ventures and Bengaluru-based cancer care provider HealthCare Global (HCG), have shortlisted six startups for their healthtech focused accelerator program, Lumos Health. The selected startups include AI-enabled radiology diagnosis solution Alixir, pulse diagnosis application AyuRythm, equipment trading platform BiMedis, human cell sampling tool C-Test Medicals, wound and tissue analysis system Kronikare, and non-wearable sleep and breathing baby monitor Raybaby.
  • Delhi-based gaming company Wi nZo games has announced a $1.5Mn fund to support game developers and acquire content for the platform. WinZO would use the funds, set aside to develop localized content for the platform in partnership with cherry picked game developers in India and around the world.

Stay tuned for next week’s edition of Funding Galore: Indian Startup Funding Of The Week!

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