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Technology

Fractal Turns Unicorn, Delhivery Invests In Falcon Autotech, Udaan Raises $250 Mn & Reliance Takes 26% Stake In Dunzo For $200 Mn

Here’s the lowdown of the top deals from the startup space this week.

AI tech startup Fractal turns unicorn after $360 mn investment from TGP

Artificial intelligence technology startup Fractal has received a $360 million investment from private equity firm TPG through its Asia focused investment platform.

Sources told CNBC TV-18 that the investment has pushed the AI company’s valuation to over a billion dollars, thus turning it into the second unicorn of 2022.

TPG’s involvement in Fractal includes a mix of primary investment and a secondary share purchase from funds advised by buyout firm and existing investor Apax Partners. The share purchase deal will close by the first quarter of this year, following which Apax will continue to remain a major shareholder of the startup.

Open to be next unicorn after investment from TVS Capital Funds?

Neobank Open is the next in line to join the unicorn club with its upcoming funding round that will value the company at over $1 billion. Moneycontrol learns from sources that the round will be led by TVS Capital Funds, the term sheet for which has been signed.

The round will also see participation from existing investors and is a mix of primary and secondary fundraising. Of the $100 million, the fresh (primary) fundraise is in the range of $50-75 million, according to the report.

Open is in talks with sovereign funds Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) and Qatar Investment Authority as well, but they may join only in the next round, the report added.

IPO-bound Delhivery invests in Falcon Autotech

IPO-bound logistics firm Delhivery has invested an undisclosed amount in Falcon Autotech, a logistics automation solutions provider.

This investment is in line with Delhivery’s stated objective of sustained investments in future-ready hardware solutions in its operations, the company said in a statement. With this partnership, Delhivery expects to work closely with Falcon Autotech to design and implement new automation solutions for transportation and warehousing operations.

The partnership will also enable the bundling of the hardware automated solutions along with Delhivery’s SaaS platform, one of the proposed growth verticals for Delhivery in the national and international market, the startup added.

Udaan Raises $250 mn via convertible note and debt

Business-to-Business ecommerce company Udaan has raised $250 million in fresh capital via convertible note and debt. The firm that helps retailers secure inventory and working capital picked up $200 million in convertible note and the rest through debt.

A convertible note is short-term debt that converts into equity and will help the company as it prepares for an initial public offer in the next 18-24 months.

In an email to employees reviewed by CNBC-TV18, Udaan’s CFO Aditya Pande said, “We are excited and glad to share that we have 5 new marquee investors coming onboard the udaan juggernaut, as part of our recently concluded convertible note financing. round was oversubscribed 2x and also saw participation from our existing investors, including those who bought into the company through the secondary (ESOP) round in H1 2021.”

Reliance Retail picks 25.8% stake in Dunzo, leads $240 mn in hyperlocal delivery startup

Reliance Retail has bought a 25.8 percent stake in Dunzo, leading quick commerce player, for $200 million as it looks to expand its presence in online grocery delivery business.

Dunzo raised $240 million in its latest round led by Reliance Retail, existing investors Lightbox, Lightrock, 3L Capital and Alteria Capital.

The funding will help to further Dunzo’s vision to be the largest quick commerce business in the country, enabling instant delivery of essentials from a network of micro warehouses. It will also expand its business-to-business (B2B) business vertical to enable logistics for local merchants in Indian cities.

AI & computer vision startup Avataar gets $45 mn from Tiger & Sequoia

AI and computer vision startup Avataar has raised $45 million in its Series B funding led by Tiger Global, and existing investor Sequoia Capital.

This is one of the largest fundraising rounds in the applied 3D and artificial reality space, the firm said in a statement.

Avataar’s platform acts as an ‘inside engine’ powering multiple user experience shifts to interactive life-size Web 3.0, also known as the Metaverse.

Exotel secures $40 mn in Series D funding from Steadview Capital

Customer engagement platform Exotel has secured $40 million in Series D funding round from Steadview Capital.

The firm has raised a total of $100 million in the last 15 months across multiple debt and equity rounds.

The fresh funds will be used to invest more in the Middle East and Southeast Asia markets for potential acquisitions that can add more omnichannel and full-stack capabilities to the platform and enable its growth, the company said in a statement,

B2B payments app Rupifi Raises $25 mn from Bessemer, Tiger Global

Business-to-business (B2B)-focused payments app Rupifi has raised $25 million in a series-A round funding, led by Bessemer Venture Partners and Tiger Global.

Existing investors Quona Capital and Ankur Capital also participated in the funding round, along with Better Capital.

Rupifi co-founder and chief executive Anubhav Jain said that with this investment, the firm plans to build further towards its goal of disrupting B2B payments and transactions.“With the latest funding, we are now moving towards building the complete B2B checkout product for marketplaces and omnichannel mobile-first B2B payments solutions for merchants, distributors and sellers,” he added.

SBI invests $20 mn in IPO-bound fintech startup Pine Labs

Fintech startup Pine Labs has raised $20 million from the commercial bank State Bank of India.

Earlier in 2021, the IPO-bound startup had raised a total round size of $600 million from a marquee set of new investors and followed it up with a $100 million fundraise from US-based Invesco Developing Markets Fund.

In addition to augmenting its merchant commerce offerings at the offline point-of-sale, Pine Labs is now looking to invest in scaling Plural, its newly launched brand of online payment products and emerge as an omnichannel partner of choice for merchants, the company said in a statement. Pine Labs is also expanding its Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) business across India and Southeast Asia

Zuddl secures $13.35 mn in Series A funding round

Virtual and hybrid events platform Zuddl has closed $13.35 million in Series A funding, led by Alpha Wave Incubation and Qualcomm Ventures.

The round also saw participation from existing investors GrowX and Waveform Ventures.

The company will use the funds raised to accelerate product development and scale globally, with a particular focus on the United States market, it said in a statement.

Living Food bags $7.5 mn in Series A round from Amasia

Living Food, a digital marketplace focused on fresh food, has raised $7.5 million in Series A funding round led by global venture capital firm Amasia.

SOSV, Blume Founders Fund besides Xander Group founder Sid Yog and Nexus Venture Partners co-founder Sandeep Singhal, also participated in this fundraise.

The startup plans to expand to Mumbai and other cities this year and will utilise the funds to hire talent, improve logistics and tech offerings, and launch new brands, it said in a statement.

B2B e-commerce startup Geniemode bags $7 mn from Info Edge

B2B cross-border e-commerce company, Geniemode, has raised $7 million in Series A funding led by Info Edge Ventures.

The new funding round comes just four months after the startup raised $2.25 million seed round.

The new infusion of capital will be utilized to scale the company’s tech platform, expand geographically, increase its design capability and expand buyers and vendors base on the platform, it said in a statement.

iD Fresh Food gets Rs 507 cr from NewQuest Capital Partners

Foodtech startup iD Fresh Food has raised Rs 507 crore in Series D funding round led by NewQuest Capital Partners along with its existing investor Premji Invest and others.

Early investor Helion Ventures exited with a 10x return, the company said in a media statement.

The company plans to use the funds raised to foster product innovation, build capacities and expand its presence across key markets in India, the UAE, and the US. The company is also looking to expand to new markets such as Singapore and Malaysia, it added.

Bombay Shaving Company bags Rs 160 cr; Rs 300 cr additional fundraise, IPO & aggressive M&A strategy on the cards

Direct-to-consumer grooming and personal care startup Bombay Shaving Company (BSC) has bagged Rs 160 crore in a Series C round of funding which was led by a local hedge fund, Malabar Investments.

The funding round also saw participation from Patni Advisors, Singularity AMC, and other HNIs. The fresh investment comes 11 months after the company raised Rs 45 crore from UK-based consumer goods giant Reckitt.

The round also saw an ESOP buyback and early investor exits worth Rs 45 crore.

CASHe raises Rs 140 cr in equity funding from TSLC Pte

Digital lending platform CASHe has raised Rs 140 crore of equity funding from its Singapore-based holding company TSLC.

With this fresh capital, the company will continue to boost its profitability, enhance its existing product lines such as personal loans, BNPL (Buy Now Pay Later), credit line and embedded card business, it said in a statement.

It aims to launch new offerings in WealthTech and ramp up its investments in operations, product development, data sciences, and technology. The company seeks to expand its loan book to Rs 3,000 crore and upscale its user base to 1 million from the current 4 lakh customers in FY 2022-23, it added.

Innoviti gets Rs 80 cr in first close of its Series D funding round

Fintech platform Innoviti Payment Solutions has raised Rs 80 crore in a first close in its ongoing Series D funding round which was a mix of debt and equity led by Trifecta Debt Fund, Patni Advisors and Bessemer Venture Partners. Angel investors like Sanjoy Bhattacharya, Bharat Jaisinghani, and others also participated in this funding round.

According to the company, Innoviti’s valuation has multiplied 2.5X from its Series C round closed a few months ago.

Innoviti is looking to raise Rs 400 Cr in primary funding in Series D to fuel its growth with a plan for a listing in the next two to three years.

BlackSoil Capital raises Rs 70 cr via secured NCDs issue

New-age, sector-agnostic, alternative credit platform, BlackSoil has raised Rs 70 crore through an issue of non-convertible debentures (NCDs) for its non-banking finance company (NBFC).

These NCDs have been issued to ultra-high networth individuals (UHNIs), HNIs and family offices, of which 65% were existing investors. This marks the final capital raise via NCDs in calendar year 2021 for the NBFC, which has managed securing Rs 100 crore from over 100 UHNIs, HNIs and Family Offices, during this period, the company said.

The capital raised through the latest fundraise will be deployed for lending activities, across a variety of debt products, to fund mid and growth-stage enterprises in the startup ecosystem.

Moneyboxx raises Rs 14.41 cr equity to fund AUM growth & branch expansion

Moneyboxx Finance, a BSE-listed Non-Banking Finance Company (NBFC) has raised equity capital of Rs 14.41 crore by way of private placement from non-promoter investors.

The company plans to use the funds for expanding its scale of operations and tap growth opportunities given the huge unmet credit gap for micro enterprise.

The firm’s AUM will cross Rs 100 crore in January 2022, supported by growing business at existing branches, and the fundraise would further augment AUM expansion by additional Rs 75 crore, it said in a statement.

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