(Source: BloombergQuint)

Deal Street: Aamir Khan Turns Investor; Rakesh Jhunjhunwala Picks Up Stake In Gaming Startup 

Nine Indian startups raised around $57 million (around Rs 379 crore) in angel, seed or venture capital funding across sectors, including gaming, rental, furniture, micro-lending and others last week.

Bollywood star Aamir Khan became the latest celebrity to don the hat of an investor as he infused around Rs 2 crore in a furniture rental startup, joining the likes of Virat Kohli, Alia Bhatt, and Sachin Tendulkar.

Jhunjhunwala Infuses $27 Million In Nazara Technologies

Private investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala. (Photographer: Santosh Verma/Bloomberg News)
Private investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala. (Photographer: Santosh Verma/Bloomberg News)

Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, star investor and founder of stock trading firm Rare Enterprises Pvt., acquired a minority stake in Mumbai-based mobile games developer Nazara Technologies Pvt. for $27 million (Rs 180 crore), the company said in a statement.

The transaction comes days after IIFL Special Opportunities Fund bought a minority stake in the developer for $51 million.

“We are delighted to have Rakesh Jhunjhunwala as an investor in Nazara, and it is a great validation of value augmentation delivered by Nazara for its existing shareholders,” said Managing Director and Founder, Nitish Mittersain.

“Nazara is a leading company in the mobile games business. Nazara has a consistent track record of delivering profits, cash flows, along with efficient use of capital and high return on investment. I see growth potential in the company,” said Jhunjhunwala.

The company is planning to list on the stock exchanges next year.

HomeLane Raises $10 Million To Fuel Expansion

Source: Homelane
Source: Homelane

Online furniture marketplace HomeLane raised $10 million from venture capital firms Accel Partners, Sequoia Capital and RB Investments.

The Bangalore-based company will use the funds to fuel expansion, strengthen technology innovation and operations, it said in a statement. The company has reached operational profitability and is close to breaking even, it said.

Founded in August 2014, HomeLane offers homebuyers a range of kitchen, wardrobe and wall unit combinations.

Specialty Tea Startup Teabox Raises $7 Million

Workers hand-pick tea leaves at the Simulbari Tea Estate in Darjeeling district, West Bengal, India. Photographer: Sanjit Das/Bloomberg
Workers hand-pick tea leaves at the Simulbari Tea Estate in Darjeeling district, West Bengal, India. Photographer: Sanjit Das/Bloomberg

Specialty tea e-tailer Teabox raised $7 million in a Series B round of funding from Singapore-headquartered investment firm RB Investments and existing investors. Southeast Asian banking and financial services company DBS Bank Ltd. also participated in this round through venture debt, the company said in a statement.

The company will use the funds to expand its back-end infrastructure, including cold chain processing centres.

Founded in 2012, Teabox ships Indian tea directly to customers across 112 countries, including the U.S. and Russia, besides catering to the domestic market.

“We are perhaps the only global tea brand to have an extremely strong digital presence,” said Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Kaushal Dugar.

This investment will help further the firm's "multi-channel approach to create a 360-degree experience for the customer through offline formats", Dugar added.

Aamir Khan Backs Online Furniture Startup Furlenco

(Source: Aamir Khan’s Official Twitter Handle)
(Source: Aamir Khan’s Official Twitter Handle)

Online furniture rental startup Furlenco, raised Rs 7.7 crore (around $1.2 million) in debt funding from Bollywood actor Aamir Khan and four other individual investors.

Vamsi Krishna Bandi, director of Hyderabad-based pharma company Hetero Drugs, led the round by putting in Rs 5 crore, while Aamir Khan invested around Rs 2 crore, according to documents filed with the registrar of companies.

It couldn’t be ascertained whether the investment was part of an old round or a fresh round the firm is raising.

Furlenco, which had last raised $30 million in a Series B funding round led by existing investor LightBox Ventures, designs the furniture it offers for rent on its platform.

Others

Video-sharing platform Clip raised an undisclosed amount in a series A round led by Matrix Partners India, the company said in a statement. Existing investors Shunwei Capital and India Quotient also participated in the round. While the company did not disclose the size of funding, a person familiar with the matter said it raised $6 million.

Delhi-based microlending platform Cash Suvidha raised $2.7 million in debt funding, a company statement said. The startup said six financial institutions participated in the round but did not reveal the identity of the lenders.

FinBucket, a New Delhi-based online marketplace for loans, raised $1.8 million from Impanix Capital, an early-stage venture capital firm.

Mumbai-based beauty products and services marketplace Purplle.com, raised $537,00 in a fresh funding round from a clutch of investors led by Singapore-based Mountain Pine Capital and Suncoast Investments.