The Tech Panda takes a look at recent funding events in the tech ecosystem, seeking to know where the cash is flowing.
Amount: US$12 million
Led by: Sequoia Capital
Freight rate management SaaS platform Freightify has raised $12 million in Series A round of funding led by Sequoia Capital India with participation from TMV and Alteria Capital. The round also includes participation from previous investors Nordic Eye Venture Capital and Motion Ventures. The funding round involves a mixture of equity and debt.
The company will use the funding to strengthen product offerings and add new functionalities, expand the sales presence globally, build channel partnerships, strengthen marketing to drive growth and increase its brand awareness globally as they expand into new geographies and segments. They will be actively hiring across geographies, especially Chennai.
Mayank Porwal, VP, Sequoia India, added, “The freight forwarding industry is a cornerstone of the global trade economy and despite the massive size, much of the industry remains constrained by manual processes and runs on paper, excel sheets and phone calls. Freightify, a vertical SaaS platform, is solving this problem by helping freight forwarders automate rate management and make every day operational workflows fast and efficient so that they can focus on serving their customers and growing their business. We are glad to be a part of this journey with Raghav and the team at Freightify.”
Existing investor at Freightify, Nordic Eye’s Investment Partner and Manager, Ib Drachmann said, “We have been impressed by the common vision of the company to democratize technology for the freight forwarding ecosystem. We are happy to see the scale at which Freightify has been growing, adding new logos globally and strengthening their product capabilities. Hence, we are doubling down on backing Freightify.”
Amount: US$1.5 million
Led by: Picus Capital, Saison Capital & Force Ventures
Almost half of the 20,000 US companies created on Stripe’s Atlas incorporation platform alone (of which almost 10,000 were formed in the year leading up to June 2021) were created by non-US-based founders. In helping these founders (and those based in the US) navigate the US regulatory environment, human chat-based US CPA SaaS product Inkle is today announcing a $1.5 million pre-seed funding round to help these companies handle bookkeeping, tax, and compliance filings through its software solution for US cross-border companies. Picus Capital, Saison Capital and Force Ventures participated in the funding round.
Florian Reichert (Partner and Managing Director at Picus Capital), added, “Given the obligatory nature and zero default requirements in accounting, tax and compliance software tooling is a major customer need and hence also in the current economic climate indispensable. With its full-stack SaaS offering Inkle sits at the intersection of customers, CPAs, accounting tools and authorities clearly making workflows more efficient and less error-prone. We are impressed by what Anand and the team has built in a very lean manner and are thrilled to be supporting Anand on his journey to revolutionize how cross-border companies manage their accounting, taxes and compliance.”
Led by: Inflection Point Ventures
Blockchain-based certificates verification platform TheRollNumber has raised $165K USD as a part of seed round led by Inflection Point Ventures. The funds raised will be used to reinforce the technology stack, improve the platform, and make greater use of data stacks, as well as to expand the team and operations.
Vikram Ramasubramanian, Partner, Inflection Point Ventures says, “Blockchain technology has disrupted many niche sectors. TheRollNumber is cutting down the hassle of verifying the certificate/documents manually. We witness Lakhs of admission to institutions, especially in peak season and employment is an ongoing process and post-pandemic where scanned documents are shared with employers, one can leverage the TheRollNumber platform and verify the credibility in less time without spending much. Centralization of sensitive information led us to invest in TheRollNumber. Time-saving and cost effective approach of TheRollNumber has determined us to back their vision.”
Sector: Social learning
Amount: US$3.5 million
Led by: Elevation Capital & Lightspeed
India’s first social learning platform, Bluelearn, announced the funding of $3.5 Million in a seed round led by Elevation Capital and Lightspeed. The round also saw participation from Titan Capital, 2am VC, along with angel investors Vidit Aatrey and Sanjeev Barnwal (founders of Meesho), Awais Ahmed (Founder of Pixxel), Vivek Mohan (Private equity), and others. This is in addition to the previous rounds led by Lightspeed and 100x VC.
Shreyans Sancheti, Co-founder, Bluelearn said, “People are at the core of everything we do, from our team to the entire community. With the new capital we plan on accelerating our market expansion to newer and previously untapped markets in India and globally. By strengthening our core tech and product teams we will continue building impactful products that help people grow in their careers and lives.”
Amit Aggarwal, Principal at Elevation Capital said, “We are firm believers that the future of learning will be social, as learners are actively engaged and it’s just more fun in a collaborative setup. Bluelearn is uniquely building both a social network and a learning destination by bringing together communities of young learners, anchored around shared interest areas. We envision that Bluelearn will be the social learning destination for networking, upskilling and discovering the first employment opportunity for Gen Z.”
Bluelearn plans to use the funds to further strengthen the product and team as well as to grow their community user base by 10x within the year. The brand is actively hiring across functions such as product, tech, marketing, and operations and plans to almost double the team size by the end of the year.
Startup: Avenue Growth
Sector: Jobs market
Led by: India Accelerator
Avenue Growth, an on-demand workforce platform has recently raised a new round of funding led by India Accelerator – India’s only seed accelerator program with Global Accelerator Network. The investment round also witnessed participation from other prominent ventures including Growth Opportunities Fund, IAES Ventures LLP and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (Meity).
The company is aggressively expanding its service portfolio and planning to launch new verticals in the GIG Workforce space. The platform plans to allocate the acquired funds to the growth of new verticals. Apart from this, the platform is also planning to utilize these funds to further strengthen its technology platform and expand its leadership team.
Rachit Mathur- Founder and CEO said, “We are delighted to partner with India Accelerator. They are the first institutional investors who are joining us on this journey and we are honoured to have them onboard. The team has been very supportive and is continuously helping us unlock more opportunities. This is the beginning of a new business journey and we look forward to working with them and building a strong business.”
Deepak Nagpal, Managing Partner, India Accelerator, said, “India is an emerging gig economy, gaining overwhelming traction. Post the pandemic, the demand for the workforce started turning towards a mature side and it becomes imperative to make the market ready for disruption. There is an increasing demand for an on-demand workforce and we look forward to seeing Avenue Growth bridging the supply-demand gap while revolutionising the market for on-ground skilled workers.”
Startup: Intents Mobi
Sector: Geospatial intelligence
Amount: INR1.5 crore
Led by: Prominent executives from various organizations
Intents Mobi, a Gurgaon based geospatial intelligence startup raised Rs 1.5 CR. The funding was raised on “The Barbershop with Shantanu” helmed by Shantanu Deshpande, Founder – The Bombay Shaving Company. The round saw participation from prominent executives from various organizations.
Tabrez Alam, Founder, Intents Mobi, said, “The new funds will be utilised to ensure the continual growth of products. We shall invest in the two major aspects of the product, which are data and solutions. With this round we expect to launch 2 new products that are aimed at making location intelligence accessible to Market Research and Fleet Management companies”
Shantanu Deshpande said, ‘Tabrez and Naresh are building a disruptive technology company out of India and it is very exciting for us. They have credibility as founders, knowledge of the space and drive. We are thrilled to partner with them on this journey.’
Intents Mobi will deploy the current fundraise to ensure ongoing pace in its continual growth. The company is also looking at raising 3 million dollars for expedited growth.
Startup: Indrones Solutions Pvt. Ltd.
Led by: MapmyIndia
MapmyIndia (C.E. Info Systems Ltd.) (NSE: MAPMYINDIA, BSE: 543425), an Indian deep-tech digital mapping, geospatial software & IoT company, announced that it has made a strategic investment in Indrones Solutions Private Limited (Indrones), a leading end-to-end drone solutions startup. Indrones has been a leading drone company and drone service provider in the country and with the new funding, the company will scale up operations, expand its thousands of hours of flying experience, be able to deliver more and larger projects for customers, and build next-gen autonomous and reliable drones that push the boundaries of what is possible with drone technologies.
“We are thrilled to have MapmyIndia onboard who shares our vision of contributing to the growth of India’s digital economy,” said Pravin Prajapati, Founder & CEO of Indrones. “Drones today are solving some of the most complex problems across industries like mining, construction, oil & gas, infrastructure, agriculture, etc., and Indrones is here to be a part of the digital transformation journey of its customers while leveraging indigenous software maps, geospatial software and IoT technologies developed by MapmyIndia” he added.
Rakesh Verma, CMD of MapmyIndia said “Drones are a sunrise industry, with incredible potential and market opportunity. Our strategic investment in Indrones is in-line with the vision of our Prime Minister’s vision of Aatmanirbhar Bharat and making India a drone hub by 2030. The Indrones team is highly experienced, and we are certain that together we would be able to be a leading player in the Indian and global drone industry. We are excited to work with Indrones strategically to further augment our solutions and offerings based on drones, through which we can deliver on more use cases and needs of both our large based of enterprise customers across industry verticals and to consumers through cutting-edge capabilities of drones”, he added.
MapmyIndia will now be able to offer customers industry-leading drones and drone-based solutions. MapmyIndia’s consumer-facing Mappls app will offer more high-definition and 3D maps, based on drone-collected data, offering unparalleled immersive and metaverse experiences to users of the Mappls app.