The Tech Panda takes a look at recent funding events in the tech ecosystem, seeking to know where the cash is flowing.
Amount: INR5 crore
Led by: Inflection Point Ventures
ixamBee, an online learning platform that makes exam preparation 50% faster, has raised Rs.5 crore in a Pre-Series A Inflection Point Ventures (IPV). SAN Angels, other angel investors, existing investors in Mumbai Angels, and Keyur Joshi (co-founder of MakeMyTrip) also participated in the funding round. The funds raised will be utilized in marketing, content development, and technology.
Vinay Bansal, Founder & CEO, Inflection Point Venture says, “The ed-tech market for higher education continues to grow and is one of the fastest-growing segments within ed-tech. ixamBee is addressing an ever-growing market opportunity as lakhs of aspirants appear for competitive exams every year. The preparation for such exams is nothing short of an unrelenting focus. ixamBee is helping millions of students have access to exam papers and notes to prepare for their careers. We are aligned with the purpose of their business and chose to invest in the company.”
Chandraprakash Joshi, Co-Founder, ixamBee, says, “IPV’s due diligence is driven by a deep understanding of the sector. During the process of doing the unit cost analysis, we learned new insights about our business. We have also piloted a new business opportunity by leveraging the data of about 2 million registered students at ixamBee. The current environment is very favorable for the business growth of ixamBee. This funding is going to enable us to grow our reach fivefold and help small students get their dream jobs.
Amount: US$ 150,000
Led by: India Accelerator iAngels
Lawyered – consumer focused Legal-Tech platform has secured USD 150k in the Pre-Series round of USD 1Mn from iAngels. This round of funding is led by India Accelerator iAngels – a well-recognized Angel Investor Network that has invested in Lawyered for the 3rd consecutive round.
Lawyered has raised the pre-series round at a USD 10Mn valuation and is slated to get into the Series-A round of further investments very soon with current projections.
With the recently raised funds, Lawyered plans to further scale up LOTS by building a cutting-edge technology solution using OpenAI. With LOTS (Lawyer On-The-Spot), it aims at disrupting the USD 300Bn logistics industry by providing a one-stop solution to all their on-road legal hassles.
Besides investment in technology, the platform will also strengthen its on-ground operations by building efficient processes as a major step toward achieving organizational excellence. Additionally, it will also be utilizing the funds in reinforcing its sales and marketing efforts to get deeper awareness and penetration in the market.
Mona Singh, co-founder, India Accelerator said, “I’m excited to share that we’ve invested for the third time in Lawyered. We’ve watched Lawyered’s impressive growth from a Legal Marketplace to a consumer-focused legal products company that’s making legal services affordable and creating new markets. LOTS, their product for the mobility sector, is a game-changer, simplifying the solution for on-road legal challenges for the mobility. Lawyered’s innovative approach and deep understanding of legal challenges make them a standout in the industry. We’re proud to support them and believe they have the potential to become a legal industry leader.”
Himanshu Gupta, founder and CEO of Lawyered said, “We are on a mission to revolutionize the legal industry with technology making it accessible and affordable for all. With our pre-series A funding round, we are excited to explore avenues for growth and expansion for our LOTS product. Our passionate team is committed to solving the legal challenges of industry-segment by segment and creating a level playing field for everyone. This is just the beginning of our journey to bring innovation to the legal industry.”
Startup: Ossus Biorenewables
Sector: Green energy
Amount: US$2.4 million
Led by: Gruhas & Rainmatter Climate
Bengaluru based Ossus Biorenewables, a green energy start-up, raised USD 2.4 million in a pre-Series A round from Gruhas and Rainmatter Climate. The funding raised will be used to accelerate the deployment of Ossus’ OB HydraCel across other sectors, including refining, foods, brewing, chemicals, and pharmaceutical industries, and produce 3-5 tons of green hydrogen each day before the end of the year.
Suruchi Rao, Co-founder & CEO Ossus Biorenewables, said, “We are proud of the trust placed in us by our investors to revolutionize the green hydrogen space. We are currently the only company in India, producing and supplying hydrogen at less than a dollar per kilogram using wastewater. With the fresh infusion of funds, we will be poised to exponentially scale up the manufacturing of the HydraCel bioreactors, build enhanced bio-capability with state-of-the-art instrumentation, and most importantly, expand across South Asia, Europe, and the US.”
Nikhil Kamath, Co-Founder Zerodha, Gruhas, and True Beacon commented, “As the world moves towards more sustainable and environmentally friendly energy sources, Ossus Biorenewables is at the forefront of providing clean, green energy solutions. We are optimistic about India’s green energy future and look forward to supporting Suruchi and the entire team at Ossus.”
Abhijeet Pai, Co-Founder of Gruhas, adds, “Our investment aligns with Gruhas’s commitment to supporting companies that have a positive impact on the environment while also promoting young entrepreneurs. We believe that their green hydrogen solutions from effluent is a game changer innovation that can disrupt and help transition to a more sustainable future. We are excited to be a part of that journey with Ossus.”
Amount: US$2.5 million
Led by: Mankekar Family Office & Ramakant Sharma
Apptile, a SaaS startup specializing in no-code mobile app development, has secured $2.5 million in seed funding. The funds will be used to launch Apptile’s innovative platform, allowing Shopify businesses to create customized, high-performance mobile apps without the need for coding or design experience.
The round was led by Mankekar Family Office and Ramakant Sharma, founder at Livspace.com.
“In the past 15 years, the development of mobile apps has not kept up with the widespread adoption of mobile devices. We strongly believe in the potential of mobile apps as a retention channel, at par with email and SMS,” said Rohit Modi, co-founder and CEO of Apptile.
“I am excited to be part of Apptile’s journey to democratize world-class mobile apps, empowering businesses of all sizes to create personalized mobile-first experiences for their customers. So far, owing to the complexity and cost of creating and maintaining mobile apps, this has been a prerogative of major brands only,” says Ramakant Sharma. He added, “This is a large opportunity, and due to the strength of the team and the product, Apptile is well placed to capitalize on it.”
With this latest funding, Apptile plans to expand its team and further develop its platform to offer an unmatched solution for businesses looking to leverage the mobile channel.
Sector: User engagement
Amount: INR40 crore
Led by: Zions Venture Fund
User engagement platform CometChat has raised Rs 40 crore in a Venture Debt round led by Utah based Zions Venture Fund. Funds raised will be used for scaling up its product offerings, strengthening its presence in Europe and expanding data centres strongly in the APAC region. This will also further strengthen CometChat’s position as the startup continues to support its enterprise customers with mission critical real time engagement infrastructure.
CometChat has raised Rs over 145 crore till date and is backed by marquee investors including Signal Peak Ventures, Matchstick Ventures, Range Ventures and Unbound Ventures.
Anuj Garg, Co-founder CEO, CometChat, says, “We are a revenue focused business continuously growing in large international markets. Thus, our business fundamentals and strong balance sheet has enabled us to raise this round as we are in a comfortable position to service the debt. The aim is to raise capital for an extended runway of 5 years as we put our growth plans in the fast lane.”
Startup: Alphasense Technologies
Sector: Market intelligence & search
Amount: US$100 million
Led by: CapitalG
Alphasense Technologies Pvt. Ltd, a market intelligence, and search platform headquartered in New York with office in India raised a funding of $100 million as an addition to its $225 million Series D funding last year. This funding will be led by CapitalG, Alphabet’s independent growth fund, which will increase the company’s valuation to $1.8 billion and add to their existing investors, including the Growth Equity business within Goldman Sachs Asset Management (Goldman Sachs) and Viking Global Investors.
This investment will fuel the continued deployment of AlphaSense’s advanced AI capabilities, including generative AI.
Raj Neervannan, Alphasense’s CTO and Co-founder said, “I am incredibly proud of what AlphaSense has accomplished in just over a decade, building a platform trusted by thousands of the world’s leading businesses. This investment will enable us to continue our mission of pushing the boundaries of technology and accelerating our research and development efforts in India, a valuable innovation hub. With the support of CapitalG and our existing investors, we are committed to further enhancing our product offerings and driving value for our global customers. This wouldn’t be possible without the talent and innovation of our India employees, and I am excited to see this growth continue. “
Amount: US$3.5 million
Led by: Emergent Ventures
SimpliContract, a company in the Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) market with its AI-powered SaaS platform, has successfully closed a pre-series A funding round with $3.5 million raised. The investment was led by Emergent Ventures, with participation from Kalaari Capital, Picus Capital, Foster Ventures, Leslie Ventures, and Sentinel Ventures.
The funds will primarily be used to fuel SimpliContract’s growth and expansion in the US and European markets, with a focus on investing in sales and marketing. The CLM startup assists legal, sales, finance, and procurement teams while also intending to create tailored solutions for various industries such as retail, IT, and business services, by enhancing its AI and automation capabilities.
Ankur Jain, Founding Partner of Emergent Ventures commented “We’re excited to lead this funding round and support SimpliContract’s mission to simplify the contracting lifecycle and establish powerful contract management practices using the power of AI,”.
Sector: B2B2C e-commerce
Amount: INR1.8 crore
Led by: Inflection Point Ventures
B2B2C e-comm startup Direct2U, a brand of Flow Commerce Private Limited, has raised Rs.1.8 Cr in a Seed Round led by Inflection Point Ventures (IPV). Funds raised will be used for technology development, hiring, marketing and expansion plans.
Mitesh Shah, Co-Founder, Inflection Point Ventures, says, “Direct2U has identified a promising white space i.e rural e-comm market and they are disrupting it by bringing in standardised processes which will elevate customer experience, business growth of the brands, generate employment for delivery staff and a safe payment process will give trust and comfort to the customers, many of whom are first time online shopper. Direct2U is solving all the connectivity problems and has created an integrated structure on one platform. We believe their growth trajectory and growth plans along with our support and network will help the Company to establish their leadership in this segment.”
Gaurav Ahlawat, Founder, Direct2U, says, “Great experience dealing with IPV, a team of thorough professionals working closely with founders to understand the business in minute details from all perspectives. The fact that rural commerce, with tech-enabled last mile delivery along with a user friendly frontend platform, can be executed with positive unit level economics is a winning factor. Strict due diligence to build confidence in the startup business. IPV is instrumental in guidance through various mentor investors in supporting the business growth further.”
Amount: US$5.5 million
Led by: OurCrowd & L&T Innovation Fund
CYFIRMA, an external threat landscape management company has raised $5.5mn in a Pre-Series B round funding from Israel’s most active venture fund OurCrowd and India’s multinational conglomerate Larsen & Toubro’s L&T Innovation Fund. With this, these firms join CYFIRMA’s existing investors Goldman Sachs, Zodius Capital, and Z3 Partners. With the closing of this round, CYFIRMA has raised nearly USD18M to date.
The funds raised will be used for product innovation and entering new global markets in North America, Europe and MENA region in addition to growing the existing markets in SEA, including India, Singapore and Japan. The funds will also be utilized for hiring across verticals and in brand building.
Kumar Ritesh, Founder and CEO, CYFIRMA says, “Adding OurCrowd and L&T Innovation Fund to our capital table is exactly what we need to take our company to the next level. We recognize the critical role that Israel plays in the cybersecurity market in delivering groundbreaking technology and OurCrowd has been at the forefront of cybersecurity innovation, with a rich history of making markets and helping create some of the most successful startups in the industry. By partnering with them, CYFIRMA will benefit from an unparalleled wealth of knowledge and experience, allowing us to continue advancing our platforms.”
R Shankar Raman, CFO & Whole-time Director, L&T, says: “At L&T, we harness technology to address pressing challenges facing various industries in their digital transformation journey and we recognize the critical role cybersecurity plays in this. CYFIRMA has a proven record of helping businesses mitigate potentially crippling attacks so that digital innovation can flourish. It is an excellent example of the type of company our fund was built to support. We are now here to accelerate CYFIRMA’s global reach and bring their platform to businesses around the world.”
Sector: Vision AI
Amount: US$4.2 million
Led by: Axilor Ventures, Pi Ventures
SwitchOn, a Vision AI company, secured Series-A funding of USD $4.2 Million led by a Singapore-based fund, Axilor Ventures, Pi Ventures, and prominent angels such as Anuj Bihani, Laxmi Narayan, and others. This investment will allow SwitchOn to continue its rapid growth in India, scale internationally with large enterprises, make key hires in Sales and Technology, and invest in research and development.
“We believe that we have stabilized AI to the point where single-day trials and single-week deployments are finally a reality. We are thrilled to have the support of investors who understand the Industrial B2B SaaS space as we continue to make Zero-Defect a reality for the manufacturing industry,” said Aniruddha Banerjee, Co-Founder, SwitchOn.
“Over the last 4 years, SwitchOn has scaled with multiple Fortune 500 customers globally, by leveraging their innovative AI technology to deliver Zero-Defect to manufacturing. SwitchOn has unlocked the inspection of complex use cases in automotive parts, consumer goods, and pharmaceuticals which shows the robustness and scalability of the platform. Since Day 1, we have been extremely impressed by Aniruddha, Avra, and the entire team at SwitchOn, and are excited to continue supporting them as they build a world-leading Vision AI Company from India ” said Shubham Sandeep, Managing Director at Pi Ventures.
Read more: Initiatives to ease the path for startups & investors