Funding Galore: Indian Startup Funding Of The Week [09-14 Sept]

This includes Lightspeed Venture Partners India and the US and New York-based investment fund Tiger Global. The company claims it has been …

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

One of the biggest funding this week was raised by Walmart-owned Flipkart. The company raised INR 1616.12 Cr ($224.9 Mn) from its Singapore-based entity, Flipkart Private Limited. The development comes at a time when ecommerce marketplaces are gearing up for festive season sales.

In another important development, Gurugram-based ecommerce logistics startup Delhivery raised $115 Mn in fresh funding from the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB). Following this investment, CPPIB will have one seat on Delhivery’s Board. The investment was speculated to be a secondary market investment picking up 8% stake.

In all this week, 16 startups raised $256.26 Mn funding and one startup acquisition took place in the Indian startup ecosystem.

Important Indian Startup Funding Of The Week

OkCredit: Bengaluru-based digital application provider for micro-merchants OkCredit raised $67 Mn in a Series B funding round from existing investors. This includes Lightspeed Venture Partners India and the US and New York-based investment fund Tiger Global. The company claims it has been growing 100% month-on-month for the last six months with more than 1.7 Mn active merchants now on board.

B: Live: Goa-based electric vehicle tourism startup B:Live has raised INR 4 Cr ($563.18K) in a fresh funding round from DNA Entertainment Networks, which the latter called a strategic investment. The funds are expected to be used to expand B:Live’s presence in the country and strengthen its technology platform

Heads Up For Tails: Delhi-based pet care and products retailer Heads Up For Tails raised $10 Mn Pre-Series A funding round. The investment was led by a group of family offices, HNI’s and existing promoters. The investment will be used towards strengthening the company’s operations and expanding the retail as well as its ecommerce business.

Qdesq: Gurugram-headquartered flexible workspace provider Qdesq raised an undisclosed amount of funding from JLL Spark. The fresh funds will help the company invest heavily in the analytics capabilities of its technology platform. It will also allow commercial asset owners to create viable coworking and flex spaces within commercial complexes. NA Shah Associates and Fortitude Law were advisors to the transaction.

Truebil: Mumbai-based car marketplace Truebil raised $1 Mn in a fresh funding round from Japan-based Spiral Ventures. It plans to use these additional funds to strengthen the technology stack.

Marsplay: Delhi-based fashion ecommerce platform Marsplay raised an undisclosed amount of Pre-Series A funding. The investment was led by Venture Highway with participation from Alvin Tse from Xiaomi; Jonathan Lau, partner, Cadorna Ventures. Existing angel investors such as the personal offices of Shailesh Rao, a partner with TPG Growth, and Nikhil Mohta, director, ICICI Ventures also followed on in this round.

Glance: Bengaluru-based unicorn InMobi’s content platform Glance raised $45 Mn in a fresh funding round from Mithril Capital. With this funding, Ajay Royan from Mithril Capital has joined the board of Glance. The funds will help Glance to launch multiple new platforms, including Glance TV; Glance Gaming; Glance Shopping; and Glance Nearby. The company will also use the funds to expand into Southeast Asia in the coming months.

Fitso: Delhi-NCR-based full-stack sports facilities provider Fitso raised $1.5 Mn in Pre-Series A funding from a group of investors including SRI Capital, Sprout Capital, IPV Capital, Zomato’s cofounder Pankaj Chaddah, and cofounder of Helion Venture Partners, Ashish Gupta. The startup will invest these funds in expansion, hiring good talent and developing technology to boost its operations.

Kawa Space: Mumbai-based spacetech startup Kawa Space raised an undisclosed amount from Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma as part of its Pre-Series A funding round. The spacetech startup has launched one satellite in orbit, and the launch of 18 others are underway. It has brought on board 30 strategic suppliers, which contribute in manufacturing, payloads and rocket construction.

Whitehat Jr: Mumbai-based edtech startup WhiteHat Jr raised $10 Mn (roughly INR 72 Cr) in a Series A round. The funding round was led by existing investors Nexus Venture Partners and Omidyar Network, along with Owl Ventures. The company will use the funding to further strengthen its technology platform, add more courses to the curriculum, and boost its marketing and branding efforts.

Hungry Foal: Gurugram-based FMCG startup Hungry Foal raised an undisclosed amount of Pre-Series A funding led by Singapore-based Madison Capital. Innerchef cofounder Rajesh Sawhney, Startupbuddy’s CEO Amit Singhal and senior corporate executives also participated in the round. The company plans to use the funds for product development, scaling the distribution and building the brand.

Nocca Robotics: Pune-based cleantech startup Nocca Robotics raised INR 12.4 Cr ($1.7 Mn) in a seed funding round led by Indian Angel Network Fund. The angel investors of IAN also invested in the round. Nocca Robotics will use the funds to set up a robust manufacturing facility. The company will also use the funding to bolster its research and development and strengthen the production team.

SoStronk: Bengaluru based E-Sports gaming platform SoStronk raised an undisclosed amount of funding from IP Ventures. The startup will utilise the funds for R&D and growing the team, with a focus on marketing, development and QA.

Paytm Entertainment: Paytm Entertainment, the entertainment arm of Noida-headquartered digital payments giant Paytm raised INR 31.68 Cr from its parent company. The investment was first alerted by Paper.vc, which said that post-investment, Paytm Entertainment’s valuation has reached $81 Mn.

Acculi Labs: Bengaluru-based early-stage diagnostic company Acculi Labs secured undisclosed pre-seed funding from a group of angels and Bengaluru-based consultancy and services firm, Startup Basket. The startup will use the funds to complete all the necessary steps needed to secure the IP and certification before mass commercialisation of its product, Lyfas.

Indian Startup Acquisitions Of The Week

  • Entering into four-star hospitality segment, OYO Hotels and Homes reportedly acquired ITC Hotels-managed Fortune Select Metropolitan Jaipur for INR 35-40 Cr from UAE-based property developer group Emaar Properties. Emaar has been refraining from giving any media statements until the acquisition is complete.

Other Developments Of The Week

  • Early-stage venture investment firm Good Capital announced a $25 Mn fund. The venture fund, founded by brothers Rohan and Arjun Malhotra, had completed its first close at $12 Mn two months ago. It is expected to have a final close in 10 months.
  • Mumbai-based audio streaming platform JioSaavn received $19.77 Mn (INR 140.35 Cr) from its parent entity Reliance Industries Limited. In March 2018, Reliance’s Jio Music and Saavn merged to jointly strengthen their foothold in the Indian music streaming market and their combined valuation was pegged at $1 Bn at the time of the merger.
  • Delhi-based agritech-focused incubator Indigram Labs announced the launch of Adhunik Gram, a smart village programme to empower agribusinesses in India. Indigram Labs’ smart village programme is focussed on the upliftment of the rural economy in a bid to help India reach the goal of $5 Tn economy.
  • Fintech major Paytm is reportedly looking to invest in a private bank, YES Bank. The deal is said to be under discussion and will only be finalised after Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) approval.
  • Pune-based food maker and delivery app Rebel Foods is looking to raise nearly INR 524.98 Cr ($73.22 Mn) from New York-based technology hedge fund Coatue Management in its Series D round.
  • Entrepreneur-turned-investor Binny Bansal is now planning to roll out a venture capital fund to target corpus of $300-$400 Mn. The fund’s primary focus will be on Indian startups, however, entrepreneurs in Southeast Asia won’t be left aloof.
  • Reliance Industries is planning to fund and are scouting around for all technology available for waste segregation, recycling and waste to energy.
  • TechXchange is all set to give a boost to the global startup community by providing a platform to Indian startups to interact with international stakeholders. This is an initiative under the India UK Partnership programme of 2018. The event will be jointly organised by the High Commission of India and Indian business organisation FICCI UK in London between 16 to 20 September 2019. Around 15 startups have been selected to attend the five-day event.
  • Higher Education Institutions (HRIs) have been asked to create an ‘innovation fund’ to support innovation and startup related activities. According to the new guidelines, which were announced on September 11 by the Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry, the institutions will have to set aside at least 1% of their annual budget for the same.
  • Venture capital fund Chiratae Ventures is reportedly all set for the first close of its fourth India-focussed fund at $150 Mn. The venture fund plans to raise $275 Mn for the fund. So far, its Fund IV has raised 60% of its capital from Indian investors.

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

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Local.Bitcoin.com Gathers 56K Accounts and $200M Worth of Trades Initiated

Bitcoin.com and one of the most important to a lot of people is that it’s a private way to purchase bitcoin cash. Another reason to use our BCH trading …
Local.Bitcoin.com Gathers 56K Accounts and $200M Worth of Trades Initiated

Three months ago, Bitcoin.com launched its over-the-counter BCH marketplace on June 4. Since then, Local.Bitcoin.com has aggregated more than 56,000 accounts, hundreds of bustling users every day and thousands of BCH trade offers.

Also Read: Plans to Build $50M Bitcoin Cash Tech Park Revealed

56,000 Local.Bitcoin.com Accounts and Growing

Over the last few months, the peer-to-peer marketplace Local.Bitcoin.com has seen steady growth when it comes to registered accounts and liquidity. At the time of publication, the noncustodial trading platform has more than 56,000 accounts stemming from cities and towns all around the world. Some of the most popular Local.Bitcoin.com trading regions include the U.S., China, Venezuela, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, and various countries throughout Europe. Since the launch on June 4, accounts that have successfully traded have risen to 2,612% as of Sep. 12, 2019. The number of active offers continues to rise and the marketplace has seen an 8.7% increase since the marketplace launch. Global trade volume on Local.Bitcoin.com has expanded by 2,917% over the three months as well.

Since June 4, 2019, Local.Bitcoin.com trade volume has increased by 2,917%.

This month new accounts have been coming from Russia, Venezuela, the U.S., Canada, and Great Britain. The local fiat currencies tied to these regions are some of the top currencies traded for, or used to sell, BCH every day. Other popular domestic currencies traded on the peer-to-peer marketplace include CNY, EUR, INR, NGN.

Since the inception of Local.Bitcoin.com, there have been $200 million trades initiated.

There are a lot of traders with diverse methods of exchange as many active traders choose to use payment transfers through banks and Paypal, while you can also find lots of traders utilizing in-person cash trades. Other prevalent methods of trade include cash deposits, Western Union, Money Gram, gift cards and Venmo. Users can set up active trades for other cryptocurrencies and stablecoins and even trade BTC for BCH through Square’s Cash app, as well.

Sign Up Today and Check Out the Benefits of Over-the-Counter Trading

If you haven’t yet, the process to sign up for Local.Bitcoin.com takes less than a minute. After getting an account you can access a BCH marketplace that fosters privacy with encrypted communications and over-the-counter traders in nearly every region. You can immediately create offers or trades on Local.Bitcoin.com in no time at all. The exchange is protected by two-factor authentication, a wallet backup, and a blind escrow system for secure trading. The blind escrow allows people to trade without worrying about a third party or even Bitcoin.com touching the funds. You release the funds when you want to settle a trade and it’s technically impossible for our website to spend BCH held in escrow. Local.Bitcoin.com can provide mediation for dispute resolution but the blind escrow system ensures only the buyer or seller authorizes a withdrawal.

There are many benefits to using an OTC marketplace like Local.Bitcoin.com and one of the most important to a lot of people is that it’s a private way to purchase bitcoin cash. Another reason to use our BCH trading platform is that it offers a large variety of payment methods and more so than the traditional crypto exchange today. For instance, some exchanges will let you purchase crypto through your bank or a credit card but that’s about it. Local.Bitcoin.com has a variety of payment options to choose from and traders can use any payment route they desire. Another unique attribute of Local.Bitcoin.com is that it’s available in hundreds of countries and in some global regions, it’s the only avenue people have to purchase bitcoin cash.

Peer-to-peer trading platforms can offer better arbitrage opportunities than traditional exchanges as well. Arbitrage is an approach to buying bitcoin cash at cheaper OTC rates and then selling the BCH later when the price is a few percentages higher. Essentially, at Local.Bitcoin.com, you make the rules as to how you want to trade, and you can always rest assured you’re in control of your money with our professional noncustodial services.

What do you think about Local.Bitcoin.com? Have you signed up for our peer-to-peer trading platform yet? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.


Image credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, and Local.Bitcoin.com


How could our Bitcoin Block Explorer tool help you? Use the handy Bitcoin address search bar to track down transactions on both the BCH and BTC blockchain and, for even more industry insights, visit our in-depth Bitcoin Charts.

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GrabOnRent Accedes To Delhi HC Order On Trademark Infringement By GrabOn

PolicyBazaar had obtained an ex-parte injunction in a trademark infringement case against Acko in May. In the case of keywords for AdWords, …
GrabOnRent Accedes To Delhi HC Order On Trademark Infringement By GrabOnGrabOnRent Accedes To Delhi HC Order On Trademark Infringement By GrabOn

In an agreement before the Delhi High Court Mediation and Conciliation Centre, GrabOnRent entered into a settlement with GrabOn and agreed that it shall refrain itself and its vendors, distributors, sellers, etc. to sell, advertise or deal in goods or services under the mark “GrabOnRent”, “GrabOn” or similar trademark and domain name within the agreed timeframe.

The settlement came in the light of trademark infringement case filed by Hyderabad-based deals and coupons startup GrabOn against Bengaluru-based on-demand product rental marketplace GrabOnRent.

GrabOnRent was founded in September 2015 by Manish S. Sugandhi, Shubham Jain and Aditya Sharma. It helps users in renting products online across categories. GrabOn was founded in September 2013 by Ashok Reddy and offers coupons and deals.

What Went Wrong?

GrabOn filed a lawsuit against GrabOnRent in the Delhi High Court, on the grounds of misusing the former’s goodwill and causing confusion due to the deceptively similar brand names. The company claimed that new users are often confused between the names “GrabOn” and “GrabOnRent”, resulting in the wrong attribution in customer reviews, feedback and queries.

GrabOn further claimed that it has been bearing the brunt of negative customer reviews and complaints which were actually intended for GrabOnRent but diverted to GrabOn due to confusing brand names.

Under the settlement agreement, GrabOnRent agreed to place a disclaimer on each and every page of their website and mobile app mentioning that they have no relation with GrabOn.

The decree further demands that GrabOnRent has to destroy all the article/goods including visiting cards, tags, labels, dies etc., bearing the mark “GrabOnRent” or any other mark deceptively similar to “GrabOn” by July 31, 2020. GrabOnRent has also paid damages to GrabOn.

Inc42 queries on the matter sent to GrabOnRent didn’t elicit any response till the time of publication. Ashok Reddy, founder and CEO of GrabOn said, “I’m pleased with the quick resolution we got out of this lawsuit. It takes an immense amount of effort, time and capital to build a brand like ours.”

Trademark Issues In The Startup Ecosystem

Customers recognise and relate a product through the company’s logo, brand name, slogan, and more. Trademark registration enables a company to secure the legal right to a particular brand name and logo, along with control over how and where these elements are used.

However the bigger a brand, the higher the chances of it being imitated by other companies looking to benefit from the recall value. The Indian startup ecosystem has witnessed several instances of trademark violations, however, it’s not always smaller entities being dragged to court. There have also been instances wherein major companies such as Flipkart have been forced to defend their products.

For instance, in December 2018, MakeMyTrip (MMT) filed a case against five companies for using “deceptively similar-sounding names”. In its complaint, MakeMyTrip reportedly alleged that the five companies — MakeMyYatra, MakeMyJourney, Make My Happy Journey, Pick My Trip and Superb My Trip — have used similar names and some have also copied its logo.

In October 2018, Delhi-based electric appliances maker Marc Enterprises filed a case against ecommerce company Flipkart’s private label MarQ. Prior to this, Metro Shoes, a multi-brand footwear chain in India, accused Flipkart of selling a private label by the brand name of Metronaut, which is deceptively similar to Metro’s eponymous brand.

Most recently in June 2019, the Delhi High Court fined PolicyBazaar INR 10 Lakh after it emerged that the company had concealed facts from the court against Binny Bansal-backed insurance company Acko. PolicyBazaar had obtained an ex-parte injunction in a trademark infringement case against Acko in May.

In the case of keywords for AdWords, in October 2018, ShareChat had dragged Helo to the court accusing it of inappropriately using its name to get a higher ranking on search words and placing bids on the ‘ShareChat’ keyword on Google’s advertising platform. According to legal experts, normally such lawsuits are dealt under trademark law.

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Chiratae Ventures Set To Close First Round Of Fund IV At $150 Mn

The company, then known as IDG Ventures India, had launched a Fund I of $150 Mn in 2007 with investment from media, data and marketing services …
Chiratae Ventures Set To Close First Round of Fund IV at $150 MnChiratae Ventures Set To Close First Round of Fund IV at $150 Mn

Venture capital fund Chiratae Ventures is reportedly all set to for the first close of its fourth India-focussed fund at $150 Mn. Last week on Wednesday, the company had raised $20 Mn from World Bank’s private investment arm International Finance Corporation (IFC).

The venture fund plans to raise $275 Mn for the fund. So far, its Fund IV has raised 60% of its capital from Indian investors. The company’s existing limited partner (LP), the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has committed $21 Mn (INR 150 Cr) for the fund. In addition, industrial houses and Indian family offices have also shown interest, according to the report.

Chiratae (formerly known as IDG Ventures), launched in 2006 by Sudhir Sethi, TCM Sundaram and Manik Arora, focusses on early-stage Indian startups. The company has invested in over 75 ventures, including Nestaway, Myntra and Bounce.

Chiratae Ventures did not respond to Inc42queries, till the time of publishing.

The Fund IV will be utilised to invest in seed rounds, early investment and expansion stages for startups in Tier 1 cities. The company claims that the current fund has seen much more interest from the India investors, compared to around 40% contribution from domestic investors for Fund II and Fund III.

The company, then known as IDG Ventures India, had launched a Fund I of $150 Mn in 2007 with investment from media, data and marketing services company IDG. It launched a $95 Mn second fund, the IDG Venture Fund II, in 2013.

The Fund III closed at $208 Mn in 2017 exceeding the initial target of $200 Mn. In the round, IFC invested $20 Mn and approximately INR 90 Cr (approximately $1.2 Mn at today’s exchange rate) from SIDBI. The fund had also received commitments from corporate venture arm of Cisco.

Currently, Chiratae has $470 Mn in total assets under its management. Two of the company’s investees also plan to list themselves in an initial public offering (IPO), according to unconfirmed media reports.

Its last disclosed investment was in Mumbai-based robotics startup Emotix, which raised $2.69 Mn (INR 18.58 Cr) from Chiratae and Yournest. And in January 2019, Chiratae Ventures invested in Bounce, a bike and scooter rental platform in its $7 Mn Series B round.

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Crypto’s Moment of Fame on India’s Popular Show- ‘KBC’?

Two months ago, United States-based venture capitalist, founding partner of Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ), Draper Associates, and the founder of …

Regardless of India’s regulatory sternness around the cryptocurrency industry, the boom around the new age cryptocurrency couldn’t be ignored. An Indian television show- ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ which runs parallel to the concept of the popular show- ‘Who Wants to be A Millionaire’; recently mentioned cryptocurrency during the show. The show is hosted by a very revered legendary actor of the Indian Cinema sector- Mr. Amitabh Bachchan. During the show, a millennial contestant aged- 19 years, was asked-

“What is Libra, proposed by Facebook?”

The options were-

  1. Artificial Intelligence Camera
  2. Instant Messenger App
  3. Short Video Platform
  4. Cryptocurrency

The millennial took no time to answer this question correctly. It is an interesting insight that a country which is tussling with the ‘yay or nay’ for the cryptocurrency, the millennials of the same country are keenly aware of it which expresses their interest in the cryptocurrency. On this incident, ‘[email protected]’ had the following view to share-

CRYPTO had its first TELEVISION MOMENT in India. The best thing, the young KBC participant knew the answer! Every youth of India is getting involved in Crypto because it’s the future of finance & innovation. Thank you @SrBachchan Dear @narendramodi @nsitharaman #IndiaWantsCrypto

India is a developing country and has a massive population to handle. The growth of the country is promising and the caliber in the young country is also very promising. In such a growth curve with the huge population in the presence of issues such as corruption, the Govt. of India is being very cautious on whether to allow the crypto industry to enter into the Indian Markets or not.

On the other hand, recently, India’s Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) the committee that focuses on the FinTech industry submitted a report which included cryptocurrency as its one of the topics. The committee was constructed and was headed by the former DEA Secretary- Subhash Chandra Garg. In the report, the benefits of the cryptocurrency have been discussed. Things such as-

  • How it can help resolve the ‘multiple currency issue and capital compliance costs.’
  • The blockchain technology backed crypto industry can also prove to help manage all scales of payments, as well as making the payment system much more efficient.
  • Thirdly, the issue such as liquidity risks can also be handled well upon opening the doors to the cryptocurrency in India.

The mention of the crypto world in India’s leading show, admit the fact the most of the Indians are not well versed with the concept of cryptocurrency, shows an attempt to shake things up. It shows that people in the country are pro cryptocurrency. What will be the future of cryptocurrency in Yoga Land remains a mystery.

The Indian ban on the cryptocurrency-

Two months ago, United States-based venture capitalist, founding partner of Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ), Draper Associates, and the founder of Draper Venture Network and Draper University- Timothy Draper expressed rather jittery views on India’s resistance towards cryptocurrency. He expressed that India is going backward by not embracing cryptocurrency when the entire world is progressing with it.

During this time, a blockchain advocate- Varun Sethi opened up about a draft on- ‘Banning of Cryptocurrency & Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2019.’ The government of India published the same in no time. There was no support expressed for the cryptocurrency in the report. The report rather declared imprisonment for those who will-

  • Mine cryptocurrency or crypto tokens.
  • Hold any possession of cryptocurrency in any direct or indirect way.
  • Involvement with any Crypto-Exchange, direct, or indirect ways.
  • Involvement in any kind of crypto trading.

The report further elaborated that any such involvement with the crypto industry or cryptocurrency can lead to some very serious consequences. Upon involving oneself with the cryptocurrency, one can face-

  • One year to ten-year-long imprisonment.
  • A penalty of 50 Cr. INR (7,255,000 USD approx.)

The Future of Crypto in India?

Well, it is an interesting question which many are seeking an answer for. Maybe with time, as the crypto industry offers more stability, and credibility, India may open her arms for the new age currency. Until then, the people in support of the cryptocurrency will continue shining light on the importance and the need of the cryptocurrency.

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