(Source: BloombergQuint)

Deal Street: Content Aggregator NewsDog Raises Rs 340 Crore From Tencent, Others

Five Indian startups raised just under Rs 500 crore in angel, seed and venture capital funding last week. Startups in news and entertainment, hyper-local delivery, and consumer goods received the bulk of the investments.

Content Aggregator NewsDog Raises $50 Million

Source: NewsDog Facebook page. 
Source: NewsDog Facebook page. 

NewsDog, a mobile-based news and entertainment aggregator platform, raised Rs 340 crore ($50 million) in its growth round of investment led by Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings.

Other investors, including California-based venture capital firm DHVC, Chinese VC company Legend Capital, and Hong Kong-based app developer Dotc United Group, also participated in the round, the company said in a statement.

Owned by Hong Kong-based Hacker Interstellar, the platform collates short-form news stories in English and vernacular languages, including Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, and Marathi. It said to have about 50 million users across 10 languages.

The company says its machine learning capabilities enable a personalized content feed for users.

NewsDog presently has two offices in India, in Pune and Gurugram, and plans to set up offices across the country in 2018. Besides, it has also launched a content platform WeMedia, which enables users to submit content. At present, WeMedia has over 30,000 contributors.

Micro-Delivery Startup Milkbasket Raises $7 Million

An Indian housewife shops for powdered milk at a New Delhi department store. (Photographer: Sondeep Shankar/Bloomberg News)
An Indian housewife shops for powdered milk at a New Delhi department store. (Photographer: Sondeep Shankar/Bloomberg News)

Micro-delivery grocery startup Milkbasket, raised Rs 47 crore in fresh round of funding led by early-stage investment firm Kalaari Capital.

Singapore’s BeeNext and existing investors Unilever Ventures and Blume Ventures also participated in the round, a company statement said.

The company said it will use the funds to boost its supply chain and last mile logistics. A pat of investment will also be used to expand into other geographies while penetrating deeper in existing markets.

“This funding will help us to continue investing in the 3Ts that we hold close to our hearts – talent, technology and territory, and in achieving our vision to create the most convenient grocery fulfilment model for today’s busy households,” Anant Goel, chief executive of the venture, said.

Founded in 2015, the startup offers milk, perishables as well as household items through its own warehouse and supply chain and has a reach of over 40,000 households in 180 plus communities in Gururgram.

BetterPlace Raises $3 Million From 3one4 Capital, Others

Online platform for the blue-collar workforce, BetterPlace raised Rs 20.4 crores (around $3 million) in fresh funding round from 3one4 Capital, and existing investors Venture Highway and Unitus Ventures.

The Bengaluru-based start-up expects to add new solutions to its portfolio of services and expand into new verticals, a company statement said.

Founded in 2015 to digitally manage the lifecycle of a blue-collar worker, right from on-boarding and background verification, to training, assessment and financial services, the company works across sectors ranging from private security to facility management and on-demand services to retail.

“A significant part of the funds will be utilised to strengthen the existing ecosystem using frictionless solutions powered by AI and machine learning,” Pravin Agarwala, co-founder and chief executive officer of BetterPlace said.

The company has helped employers hire over 1.5 million people with the right skills and credentials and has also helped 1.2 million people become credit-ready by using its proprietary trust-scoring algorithms. It said it's adding 8,000 new individuals every day.

Others

Organic cold-pressed juice and beverage maker Raw Pressery raised Rs 65 crore (about $10 million) from existing investors, including Sequoia Capital, Saama Capital and DSG Consumer Partners, as it looks to expand its footprint across international markets, the Economic Times reported.

Edyoo, an e-commerce platform which sells products used by school-going children, raised Rs 6.8 crore ($1 million) in a fresh round of funding from RS Shanbag, chairman and managing director of the diversified Valuepoint Group, the company said in a statement.