Deal Street: WhatsApp Rival Backs Digital Payments Startup True Balance
Fund raising by Indian startups picked up pace last week as six startups together raised Rs 512 crore or $77 million in angel, seed or venture capital funding.
Financial technology startups raised the most money.
True Balance Raises Rs 150 Crore
SoftBank-backed Mobile balance-checking app True Balance raised $23 million (Rs 150 crore) in fresh funding from Line Ventures Corporation, the venture capital arm of Japanese mobile messaging firm Line Corp.
Its South Korean affiliate Naver, Korean lender Shinhan Bank, and TS Investment also participated in the round, True Balance said in a statement. The latest round takes the total fund raising to $42 million.
The Gurugram-based company aims to use the funds to expand its team and offer new products such as utility bill payments and micro loan services to its customers in India.
True Balance, which started as an application to check balance and do quick top-ups for telecom companies, is now planning to offer multiple payment options including bill payments and recharges. Last year it had received its wallet licence from the Reserve Bank of India.
Online Insurance Platform Raises Rs 144 Crore Led By IFC
Online insurance platform Coverfox raised Rs 144 crore (around $22-million) in its growth funding round led by International Finance Corporation, the investment arm of the World Bank. U.S.-based corporate venture capital firm Transamerica and other existing investors also participated in the funding round, Coverfox said in a statement.
The company will use the funds to strengthen its product and technology capabilities, speed up geographic expansion and expand its product portfolio.
Founded in 2013, Coverfox aggregates insurance products offered by banking and other financial institutions on its platform where users can compare, discover, and apply for plans online. Apart from offering insurance products, it also handles insurance claims and settlements through its platform. The company said it has so far processed 11,000 claims.
Chai Point Raises $20 Million In Fresh Funding
Mountain Trails Foods Pvt. Ltd, which owns the Chai Point chain of tea and snack stores, raised Rs 133 crore ($20 million) led by private equity firm Paragon Partners.
Chai Point’s existing investors including Saama Capital India Advisors LLP, DSG Consumer Partners and Fidelity International Ltd’s investment arm Eight Roads Ventures also participated, the company said in a statement.
“This funding round is primarily aimed at further strengthening the brand’s multi-channel go-to-market,” Amuleek Singh Bijral, founder and chief executive of Chai Point said in the statement. Bijral added that a substantial portion of the investment will go towards deepening sales, marketing, and service operations for their automated hot beverage dispending business — boxC.in.
Chai Point, at present, has about 100 outlets across Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Pune, and plans to enter Chennai and other cities.
Delhi-based fintech startup Afford Plan that makes healthcare services accessible through planned savings for non-emergency treatments, raised around Rs 65 crore ($10 million) in fresh funding led by Lok Capital and Omidyar Network. Existing investors, Kalaari Capital and Prime Venture Partners also participated in the round.
Expense management startup Fyle raised over Rs 7 crore ($1.1 million) in fresh funding from existing investors Pravega Ventures and Beenext, a Singapore-based venture capital firm.
Early-stage investment firm DSG Consumer Partners invested Rs 3.5 crore (around $540,000) in Delhi-based Sleepy Owl Coffee which sells cold brew coffee. The company said in a statement that it plans to use the seed funding to expand its product portfolio and grow its footprint across the country.