Deal Street: Tendulkar-Backed Smaaash Raises $14 Million
Funding activity on the deal street dipped by almost two-thirds last week as 10 startups raised about $36 million in angel, seed and venture capital funding. That compares with nine startups that had raised around $57 million in the previous week.
Startups in the areas of education, lending, local delivery, sports and entertainment, and weather, among others, mopped up funds.
Tendulkar-Backed Smaaash Bags $14 Million
Sports entertainment company Smaaash raised $14 million (Rs 90 crore) from a group of high-net-worth individual clients of Avendus Capital’s wealth management arm, the startup said in a statement.
The company didn’t disclose the names of wealthy individuals who participated in the round. “The equity raise will accelerate our growth plans to provide world-class sports and immersive experiences in India,” Shripal Morakhia, founder of Smaaash Entertainment, said. The company, backed by cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and sports investment fund FidelisWorld, started in 2012.
Smaaash owns and operates sports-centric digital entertainment centres that offer cricket, football, racing, bowling and other recreational activities and has about 12 gaming arcades in India.
Executive Education Startup Springboard Raises $9.5 Million
Online education startup Springboard raised $9.5 million (Rs 62 crore) in an early funding round led by U.S.-based early-stage venture capital firm Costanoa Ventures, with Learn Capital and Appdynamics founder Jyoti Bansal taking part, the company said in a statement. Existing investors Blue Fog Capital, Rocketship.vc and Moneta Ventures invested too.
Springboard said it will use the funds to expand into new verticals and regions, especially in India. The U.S.- and India-based company also plans to invest in technology that enables personalised learning and build an alumni community.
Springboard’s online, distributed model is scalable globally and across industries, said Bansal, who sold Appdynamics to Cisco for $3.7 billion.
Founded in 2013, the education technology firm offers one-on-one mentoring and professional online courses for early and mid-level professionals. It offers courses in areas such as data science, digital marketing, UX design, and other new-economy fields where the demand for talent exceeds supply.
Online Peer-To-Peer Lending Startup Faircent Raises $4 Million
Faircent raised $4 million (Rs 25 crore) in early-stage funding led a Belgium-based impact investor Incofin Investment Management, Rajat Gandhi, co-founder of Faircent, told BloombergQuint over the phone.
Non-banking finance company Muthoot Fincorp, New York-based early-stage investment fund Elevate Innovation Partners, Japanese investment fund Das Capital, and Singapore-based early-stage investor Starharbor Asia Pte Ltd, also participated in the round. Existing investors including JM Financial Services, 3one4 Capital, M&S Partners Pte Ltd., and Aarin Capital too participated.
The Delhi-based five-year-old company said it will use the funds to enhance its financial product offerings, strengthen its technology platform, and to market and promote P2P lending.
Founded in 2013, Faircent marketplace connects curated and verified borrowers with lenders. The company uses a proprietary automated feature that matches a lender’s investment criteria with the borrower’s requirements such as loan tenure, amount, and risk profile and sends proposals to the borrower on behalf of the lender.
Hero Electric Promoter Backs Last-Mile Delivery Startup NOW
Last-mile on-demand delivery startup NOW raised an undisclosed amount from Naveen Munjal, managing director of Hero Electric, the electric two-wheeler maker of of the Hero Group.
Vinay Goyal, angel investor and founder of truck aggregator Instavans, joined as a new investor in the round, Bharat Khandelwal, co-founder of NOW, told BloombergQuint over email.
Existing investors including Maple Capital Advisors; Abhinav Grover, director at Maple Accelerator; the promoting family of the Jaipuria Group; and Anuj Sanghi, director of automobile parts firm Supreme Motors, also participated in the round, a statement said.
NOW said it will use the funds to build a voice-based platform, hire for its tech and business verticals and expand to other geographies
Founded in 2015, the startup facilitates deliveries from restaurants, pharmacies, grocery stores. It also provides last-mile delivery fleet to partner merchants to manage local deliveries. NOW says it operates in Delhi NCR region and has more than 500 rider partners and hundreds of merchants on its platform.
It counts KFC, Burger King, Ferns n Petals, Fortis and Apollo, among others, as its clients.
Mobile operating system developer Indus OS raised $4 million (around Rs 26 crore) in a new round of funding from existing investors including Omidyar Network, Ventureast, and JSW Ventures, the firm said in a statement.
YourQuote, a user-generated content platform, raised $1 million (around Rs 6.6 crore) in a seed funding round led by IDG Ventures India with participation from Atul Goel of the Essel City Group, and Axilor Ventures.
Education counselling startup Univariety raised $1.9 million (around Rs 12 crore) from online classifieds platform Info Edge that runs job portal Naukri.com, real estate site 99acres and matrimonial portal Jeevansaathi. With this, Info Edge acquired a minority stake in the education technology startup.
Online poker startup 9Stacks raised $1.5 million (Rs 10 crore) from a group of angel investors, the company said in a statement.
Weather monitoring and agri-risk solutions provider Skymet Weather Services raised an undisclosed amount from German government’s InsuResilience Investment Fund by selling 26.8 percent stake, the company said.
Unilever Ventures, the investment arm of consumer packaged goods company Unilever Plc, picked up an undisclosed stake in a Mumbai-based software-as-a-service startup Peel-Works, in its maiden investment in India, a press statement said.