Euro, British pound sterling and U.S. dollar symbols sit on an advertising board. (Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg)

Deal Street: Bengaluru Startups Led The Funding Race Last Week  

Bengaluru-based startups led the funding activity last week as they bagged the most number of cheques. Of the 12 startups that received funding in the week gone by, seven were based out of India’s IT hub. Delhi-NCR ranked second in terms of funding activity.

The big-ticket deal was inked by Singapore and Bengaluru based education-tech startup XSEED, followed by self-drive rental company Revv which raised $9 million in Series A funding.

In all, around $33 million was raised by various startups last week.

Belgium Investment Firm Backs Ed-tech Startup XSEED

Singapore and Bengaluru-based ed-tech startup, XSEED Education secured over $10 million in Series B funding from Belgium’s family-owned consumer-sector focused investment company, Verlinvest SA, the startup said in a statement.

Ashish Rajpal, founder and Chairman, XSEED. (Source: XSEED)
Ashish Rajpal, founder and Chairman, XSEED. (Source: XSEED)

XSEED plans to use the funds to scale up its footprint and try to reach 10 million children by strengthening the technology platform, international footprint, and brand in the K-8 (kindergarten to Class 8) elementary education space, the company said.

We will deploy this capital in areas critical to quality and to our growth - build a world-class technology-enabled learning platform for children and schools, take our work international, and continue to invest heavily in research and product development to stay ahead of “me-too” competition.
Ashish Rajpal, Founder and Chairman, XSEED said in an email

Founded by Harvard alumni, Rajpal in 2008, XSEED’s core area lies in learning, teaching, and assessment of K-8 children. The company said its flagship school program educates over one million children, through 75,000 teachers who have been specifically trained to use the software, in close to 3,000 schools across eight countries.

In India, XSEED’s program and materials are aligned with CBSE, ICSE, and various state-boards.

Self-Drive Rental Revv Raises Series A Funding

Bangalore-based self-drive care rental platform Revv raised funding worth $9 million from Edelweiss Private Equity and debt from Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services Ltd. and car leasing platform LeasePlan India Pvt. Ltd, the company said in a statement.

We believe Revv’s approach to creating use-case based products will meet customers’ needs without compromising convenience and flexibility of owning the vehicle, while allowing for better utilisation of assets on the supply side. 
Pranav Parikh, Managing Partner, Edelweiss Private Equity

Founded in 2015 by ex-McKinsey executives Anupam Agarwal and Karan Jain, Revv lets customers order a self-driving car at their doorstep and have it picked up later from the same place. It provides self-drive rentals on hourly, daily, weekly and monthly basis.

The company aims to use the funds to expand to newer markets, improve its technology platform and launch new products, Revv said in a statement. The service is currently available in Delhi-NCR, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chandigarh.

Kalaari Backs Fashion E-Tailer StalkBuyLove

Fashion e-commerce firm StalkBuyLove raised around $6 million in Series A funding led by Kalaari Capital, the company disclosed in its filings with the Registrar of Companies. Germany’s VCDE Venture Partners and investment firm TTM Holding AG also invested in this round.

The Delhi-based startup, founded in 2013 by Rocket Internet alumni Tushar Ahluwalia, Nishrit Srivastva, Aashna Chopra and fashion expert Shikha Ahluwalia, sells women’s clothing and accessories.

An email query sent to StalkBuyLove, Kalaari, and TTM Holding AG did not elicit any response at the time of filling this report.

GoMechanic Raises Seed Funding From Venture Catalysts

Gurugram-based automobile servicing platform GoMechanic raised $250,000 in seed funding from investment and innovation platform Venture Catalysts.

The money will primarily be utilised to build tech infrastructure and expand the team, co-founder, Amit Bhasin said in an email.

We also aim to have a chain of 40-plus garages in Delhi/NCR and over 400 verified service providers on board our platform. This will allow us to achieve a strong leadership position in the region’s fragmented automobile maintenance and spare parts market.
Amit Bhasin, Co-founder, Go Mechanic

Founded in April this year by IIM-Ahmedabad alumni Bhasin and Kushal Karwan, the startup connects users with automobile repair and maintenance service providers based on the user’s location and provides original spare parts for all the services booked at its partner service centers. The company provides services at a price which is 30-50 percent lower than normal service stations, Bhasin added.

Doctor Insta Secures $2.5 Million From RoundGlass Partners

Video medicine startup Doctor Insta has secured $2.5 million in a fresh round of funding led by RoundGlass Partners, the company said in a media statement.

The latest equity financing round also saw participation from Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm, BrahmaX Ventures.

The Gurugram-based firm aims to use the funds to market their new products – Health ATM and Insta Wall. A part of funds would also be used for product development, expansion of its team, and launch of omni-channel healthcare networks across India and other countries, the company said.

India is a huge potential market wherein the size of the healthcare industry is $126 billion and the total addressable market is $25 billion.We have been growing in high double digits month over month and are planning to penetrate deep into the urban and rural areas of the country.
Amit Munjal, Chief Executive Officer, Doctor Insta

Launched in 2015, the startup provides medical consultation through video conferencing. The app-based pay per visit voice and video medical consultation platform enables customers to seek consultation from doctors, psychologists, pediatricians, among others and offers treatment in 15-30 minutes.

PayU Backs Digital Lending Platform ZestMoney

Consumer lending startup ZestMoney has raised $6.5 million in a Series A funding led by Naspers-owned online payments firm PayU, reported VCCircle.

Existing investors Ribbit Capital and Omidyar Network also participated in the round, according to the report.

ZestMoney allows online shoppers to open accounts instantly with banks providing loans. Users can then avail equated monthly installments to make purchases without having to use a credit card.

An email query sent to PayU, ZestMoney, Ribbit Capital, Omidyar Network did not elicit any response at the time of filing this report.

Artificial Intelligence Startup Niki.ai Raises $450,000

Bengaluru-based artificial intelligence startup Niki.ai has raised $450,000 in fresh round of funding led by Haresh Chawla, a partner at India Value Fund Advisors (IVFA), as per the company filings with the Registrar of Companies

Niki.ai, operated by Techbins Solutions Pvt. Ltd was founded in April 2015 by four IIT Kharagpur alumni – Sachin Jaiswal, Keshav Prawasi, Nitin Babel and Shishir Modi. The startup runs a chat-based artificial intelligence powered shopping assistant, named Niki, that lets users order anything through a chat interface.

It leverages natural language processing and machine learning technologies to converse with customers over a simple chat interface, and places their orders with partner businesses within seconds.

UrbanPiper Bags Seed Funding

Team UrbanPiper.  (Source: UrbanPiper)
Team UrbanPiper.  (Source: UrbanPiper)

UrbanPiper, a software-as-a-service platform that enables offline businesses go online has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Axilor and a group of angel investors, including Ram Yalamanchili, a Silicon Valley angel investor.

The company aims to use the funds for tech enhancement and expanding its services to overseas market, co-founder Anirban Majumdar said over the phone.

We want to take our offerings to overseas markets, starting with emerging markets like Middle East, UAE, and Philippines. In two months, we will be have our first expansion with a retailer in Oman.
Anirban Majumdar, Co-founder, UrbanPiper

Founded in 2014 by Saurabh Gupta and Anirban Majumdar, the startup offers a one-stop solution for retailers and enables them to move online and manage their business. It offers a host of services like white-label mobile apps, Website, in-store management tools and customer relationship manager.

It counts Chili’s, Papa Johns, Mamagato, Chai Point, and others as its clients.

Food-tech Startup Mr. Hot Foods Raises Funding

Food delivery startup Mr. Hot Foods Pvt. Ltd has raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from angel investor Pawan Raj Kumar through the IvyCamp platform, the company said in a statement.

Mr. Hot Foods was founded in 2014 by IIT Kharagpur alumni Pankaj Sharma and Achal Bansal.

The startup delivers food ordered via its app from local restaurants and tiffin centres in standardised packaging. The startup operates in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, and Kota, Rajasthan. It claims to deliver nearly 1,300 meals a day.

WittyParrot Raises Seed Investment From Mumbai Angels

Cloud-based talent management and sales effective platform WittyParrot has raised $450,000 in seed investment from Mumbai Angels and a few Silicon Valley-based angel investors, to expand its sales team and grow its footprint in the U.S. and India, the company said in a statement.

The San Francisco-based company, which has a development centre in Bengaluru, is a knowledge automation, collaboration and communication platform that enables marketing, sales and support professionals to communicate and collaborate better by delivering intelligent content via analytics.

WittyParrot is built on a profound, but simple idea. To make it easy to find relevant information in bite-size and then to use it, so that anyone can communicate faster, more effectively, and more consistently.
Anil Jwalanna, Founder and CEO, WittyParrot

Bike Rental Startup ONN Bikes Bags Seed Funding

Mumbai-based bike rental startup ONN Bikes secured an undisclosed amount of seed funding from Grace Capital Ventures and four other individual investors, Co-founder Namit Jain told BloombergQuint.

The company aims to use the money to enhance technology and expand services to Hyderabad and Pune, Jain said. A part of it will be used to procure licences to venture into other states.

Founded in May 2016 by Namit Jain and Shanky Munoth, the startup offers bike rental services through an app to businesses and end consumers.

Online Hypermarket urDoorstep Bags $1.4 Million

Bengaluru-based online hypermarket operator urDoorstep Eretail Pvt. Ltd has secured $1.4 million in funding, reported The Economic Times.

urDoorstep runs an online hypermarket and delivers groceries, kitchen appliances, furniture and apparels. The company sources produce from farmers across India. Currently, the services are available at 66 pin codes in Bengaluru.

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