The Tech Panda takes a look at recent funding events in the tech ecosystem, seeking to know where the cash is flowing.
Sector: b2b eCommerce
Led by: EvolutionX Debt Capital
Growth stage debt financing platform EvolutionX Debt Capital (“EvolutionX”) has committed investment into udaan, an Indian b2b eCommerce platform with over 3 million retailers across various categories including lifestyle, electronics, home & kitchen, staples, fruits & vegetables, FMCG, pharma and general merchandise. EvolutionX’s investment, alongside udaan’s recent capital raise, will improve the company’s financial strength as well as continue to drive its operational efficiencies with an enhanced focus on achieving profitable growth.
This investment into udaan is the second investment in India committed by EvolutionX since the platform’s launch and entry into the Asian growth debt space in late 2021.
Rahul Shah, Partner and Co-Head leading investments across India and Southeast Asia for EvolutionX, said, “We continue to focus on our strategy of providing an alternative source of debt financing for technology companies to accelerate their growth and continue on their path to profitability. While venture debt has become a growing asset class in India, there is a clear gap in the growth debt space with EvolutionX emerging as a leading player to bridge this gap and has already committed approximately US$85m (~INR 680 crore) in this quarter to category-leading technology companies led by promising founders and reputed investors. We believe that udaan’s business model holds immense growth potential while keeping technological innovation at its forefront. We look forward to supporting the company’s journey of transforming and improving India’s huge ecosystem of retailers, traders, and wholesalers through innovative digitalised solutions”.
Amount: US$7.5 million
Led by: DSG Consumer Partners & IDEO Ventures
Global Indian Icon Deepika Padukone’s self-care brand 82°E announced that it had raised $7.5M in seed funding in early 2022. DSG Consumer Partners and IDEO Ventures along with other prolific angel investors participated in the round. 82°E will utilise the funds raised to grow its team, scale R&D and launch new products.
Deepika Padukone, Co-Founder, 82°E said “Jigar and I envisioned this brand as an extension of my personal as well as professional journey. We set out to launch products which are high-quality, high-performing and an authentic reflection of my beliefs and practices. In this endeavour, we aim to make the practice of self-care simple, joyful and effective for all. With our launch category of skincare products, we have rigorously sourced, carefully crafted and clinically tested our products to achieve lasting results. I am honoured to have investors of global repute join us in our vision to establish 82°E as a modern self-care brand born in India for the world.”
Deepak I. Shahdadpuri, Founder & Managing Director, DSG Consumer Partners says, “Over the last decade, we’ve worked with consumer founders to build world-class enduring brands, and with 82°E we are excited to partner with this passionate, goal driven founder duo. We are highly impressed by Deepika and Jigar’s uncompromising dedication, and commitment to building 82°E brick by brick.”
Startup: Zoivane Pets
Sector: Pet grooming
Amount: INR 5 crores
Led by: GVFL, Ahmedabad
Zoivane Pets, a Gujarat-based pet training and grooming brand, announced that it has raised INR 5 crores in a seed round led by GVFL, Ahmedabad. This brings the startup’s total funding to Rs. 5.54 crore to date. The startup is backed by We Founder Circle and notable angel investors including Hitesh Dhawan (Founder of Neuronimbus), Dhrumil Patel, Joy Gnanamony and Abhishek Gupta (CEO, APAC & Middle East of Turbotic) in its previous round. Zoivane Pets intends to utilize the funds primarily on product development, increasing quality work force and marketing its various product lines to spread knowledge about them.
Mihir Joshi, President, GVFL said “This was in line with its strategy of investing in start-ups that continuously innovate through R&D and Zoivane Pets is a perfect example of that. Zoivane Pet is an emerging brand that has launched a number of innovative products in an affordable range for Pet care and we envision to penetrate the market together.
Nishma Singhal, Co-founder of Zoivane Pets affirmed, “In the recent past, Zoivane Pets has dominated the Indian pet care industry. We were able to introduce products that filled gaps in the market and created new categories. By integrating our industry expertise, we seek to become a permanent part of people’s lives as pet parenting partners.”
Sector: Construction tech SaaS
Amount: US$1.50 million
Led by: Artha Venture Fund, Foundamental, Madhumala Ventures
Onsite, a Construction Tech startup, has raised $1.50 million in a seed round from Artha Venture Fund, Foundamental, and Madhumala Ventures, amongst others. The company will use the funds to accelerate its product development and expand its market footprint. The Delhi-based startup empowers small and mid-size construction businesses across 200 cities by standardizing an otherwise unorganized construction ecosystem. This move marks Artha Venture Fund’s 22nd investment from its ?225 crores micro-VC fund.
Sipika Nigam, Principal – Artha Venture Fund, said, “Akshansh, Dheeraj, and Sumit make a strong founding team with proven experience in construction and technology. Their ability to counter complex challenges with simple yet effective solutions is noteworthy. Considering that over 66% of construction companies in India are leaning towards digital transformation, we are confident that Onsite will play an integral role in benchmarking the Indian construction ecosystem with its international counterparts.”
Startup: Amikus AI
Amount: INR 96 lakhs
Led by: Inflection Point Ventures
AI-powered legal-tech platform Amikus AI has raised over ?96 lakhs in a Pre-Seed round led by Inflection Point Ventures (IPV). The funds raised will be utilized to expand the product team, including employing more front-end, back-end, and machine-learning developers.
Madhukar Bhardwaj, Vice President (BD & Investments), Inflection Point Ventures says, “Legal documentation has always been a time-consuming and tedious process for lawyers. To achieve the right draft manually, draft contracts usually undergo several edits which more often create anxiety for clients who are eager for closures. With its path-breaking technology, Amikus AI aims to put this lengthy procedure to an end. The AI-powered platform will ensure not only time efficiency with its ready-to-sign contracts but also accuracy in their pre-vetted and attorney-approved drafts. We at IPV appreciate the infusion of AI technology into the legal world. With our strategic inputs, we look forward to expanding their business across the globe.”
Sector: Enterprise gifting
Amount: INR 7 crores
Led by: Info Edge Ventures
Swageazy, one of India’s all in one enterprise gifting platform has raised INR 7 crores in a seed funding round led by Info Edge Ventures. The round also saw participation from Anicut Capital (Through their Angel fund arm), Huddle Ventures, and other prolific angel investors including Ankur Agarwal, Co-founder, Dunzo, Dhruv Toshniwal, CEO & Founder, The Pant Project, and Kartik Mandaville, CEO, Springworks amongst others. The freshly raised funds will be used by the start-up to acquire talent, and bolster product development as well as technology, with a vision to further expand its customer portfolio.
Speaking on their investment in Swageazy, Rishabh Katiyar, Principal at Info Edge Ventures said, “Anyone who has ordered swag or gifts for their employees, customers, prospects or key stakeholders knows how broken and inefficient the entire process is. Swageazy offers one of the most comprehensive end-to-end gifting platforms with a marketplace of curated vendors, ability to customize giftpacks, seamless integration with existing HRMS/CRM tools, global fulfilment and deep analytics. In a short span of time, Swageazy has become a trusted partner to enterprises like Amazon, Linkedin, Coursera, Chargebee, Pidilite, among others. The team has executed well in a bootstrapped manner so far and we are very excited to partner with them on this journey of scaling Swageazy into a brand that becomes synonymous with swag/gifting.”
Amount: US$135 million
Led by: Temasek
HealthKart, Indian consumer nutrition platform, announced that it has raised 135MM USD in a funding round led by Temasek, with participation from A91 Partners and Kae Capital. Capital raised will be deployed towards the growth of in-house D2C brands, increase offline distribution, expand international operations, and make select acquisitions. Avendus Capital acted as the exclusive financial advisor to HealthKart for the transaction.
VT Bharadwaj from A91 Partners said, “HealthKart has the opportunity to build the largest and most significant consumer brand in the health and nutritional space. It is a digital first pioneer which has successfully transitioned into an omni-channel business, and achieved market leadership in the past five years in the segments it operates in. We are excited to support Sameer and his team as they double down on their core offering, and expand the health and supplement basket to new categories (high protein food) and new customers (kids)”.