(Source: BloombergQuint)

Deal Street: Tendulkar-Backed Firm Raises Funds At Over $100 Million Valuation

Five Indian startups together raised about $29 million in angel, seed or venture capital funding across sectors including fashion, fintech, analytics, real estate and enterprise last week.

However, the total funds raised declined 42 percent as compared to the week prior, when seven startups raised nearly $50 million. Startups in fashion and financial technology led the funding pack.

Celebrity Fashion Startup Universal Sportsbiz Bags $15 Million

File photo of Sachin Tendulkar. (Source: PTI)
File photo of Sachin Tendulkar. (Source: PTI)

Celebrity fashion startup Universal Sportsbiz raised $15 million (Rs 100 crore) from existing investor Accel Partners in a deal that values the company at $100 million (Rs 650 crore), the company said in a statement.

The Sachin Tendulkar-backed company will use the funds to expand product portfolio and retailing capabilities, and enhance geographical reach.

Founded in 2012 by former national-level badminton player Anjana Reddy, USPL, which started as an e-tailing platform, sources and sells sports memorabilia and has expanded to omni-channel fashion brand platform.

It owns brands such as Wrong and Imara endorsed by cricketer Virat Kohli’s Wrogn and actor Shraddha Kapoor respectively. The company also sells celebrity fashion accessories and merchandise of iconic players like Sachin Tendulkar, Cristiano Ronaldo and Rafael Nadal, among others on online platform Collectabillia.

USPL operates more than 15 retail stores across the country. It is also available on online fashion portals like Myntra, Jabong and Flipkart, and counts shoppers stop as its offline channel partner.

Vertex Ventures Leads $8.25 Million In Fintech Startup Active.Ai

An employee works at a laptop computer. (Photographer: Akos Stiller/Bloomberg)  
An employee works at a laptop computer. (Photographer: Akos Stiller/Bloomberg)  

Financial technology startup Active.Ai raised $8.25 million (Rs 54 crore) in a Series A funding round from Vertex Ventures, Creditease Holdings and Dream Incubator.

Existing investors Kalaari Capital and IDG Ventures India also participated, the startup said in a statement.

Founded in 2016, Active.Ai uses artificial intelligence to provide virtual assistance for banking services. Its AI engine, Triniti, helps banks and other financial institutions to engage with customers with the help of platforms such as messaging, voice and Internet of Things devices.

“The threat of fundamental disruption is very real in the financial services space, and companies such as Active.Ai are making it easy for incumbents to not just remain relevant, but to get ahead in an ever-evolving market,” Ben Mathias, managing partner of Vertex Ventures, the venture capital arm of Singapore state investment firm Temasek said in the statement.

As part of the deal, Ben Mathias and Kalaari Managing Director Vani Kola will join the company’s board of directors while Anju Patwardhan from Creditease will join as a board observer.

Wi-Fi Analytics Startup Raises $3 Million

More and more telcos are offering WiFi to the public. (Photo: iStockphoto)
More and more telcos are offering WiFi to the public. (Photo: iStockphoto)

Delhi-based Wi-Fi analytics startup, Information to Every One (i2e1), raised $3 million (about Rs 20 crore) in Series A funding led by impact investment firm Omidyar Network, according to a company statement. Auxano Ventures, 3one4 Capital, a Mohandas Pai-backed early-stage venture capital firm and other existing investors also participated in this round .

The startup will use the funds to scale existing operations and launch a mobile application.

Incubated in IIT Delhi, i2e1 helps offline merchants provide free branded Wi-Fi access to customers and taps the data collected to provide information to retailers. Using the data from brick-and-mortar establishments, the company creates an analytics suite which includes real-time footfall and engagement. It then provides intelligent segmentation of consumer behaviour and targeted messaging to offline businesses.

The company had last raised $500,000 in seed funding in December 2015 from GrowX ventures, Pai, Rajan Pandhare, Debasish Mitter and Singapore Angels.


Mumbai and Delhi-based Easyrewardz, an enterprise focused end-to-end customer engagement platform, secured $2 million in Series A funding, , the company said in a statement. The investment was led by TransContinental Venture Fund, and existing angel investors Jitendra Gupta, managing director of PayU and Vinay Chatlani, managing director and and chief executive officer of Soch.

End-to-end property management startup Reniso raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from a consortium of high net-worth individuals, VCCircle reported.