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[Weekly funding roundup] Venture investment gets a boost in second week of November

Venture funding into the Indian startup ecosystem made a strong comeback in the second week of November with a five fold jump over the comparable previous seven day period.

The total venture investments for the second week stood at $197 million which received a big boost from the funding into logistics startup Xpressbees of $110 million. The funding in the first week of the month was $32 million.

There were 21 deals during the week with 18 of them in the early-stage category, one in late and two in growth. Debt funding made a comeback during the week with a single deal of $5.2 million.

Key deals

Xpressbees, a logistics startup, raised $110 million in Series E venture round led by Investcorp, Norwest Venture Partners and Gaja Capital. The company, which is backed by Alibaba, will use this funding for expansion and investment into product development.

Ratan Tata

Mr. Ratan Naval Tata, Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons made an investment in a healthcare startup.

Two-wheeler electric mobility startup Ather Energy raised $35 million in its latest round of Series D round led by Sachin Bansal, who invested $23 million. Hero MotoCorp also invested $12 million in this round. Ather will use this fresh capital for its expansion activity.

Other transactions

Ahmedabad-based dry waste management company Let’s Recycle’s parent company Nepra Resource Management Private Limited raised $18 million in Series C round, led by Aavishkaar Capital, and Circulate Capital. The funding will be used by Nepra to expand its capacity and manage dry waste across the country.

Mumbai-headquartered retail pharmacy chain Wellness Forever raised Rs 130 crore in funding led by UAE-based Allana Group and Serum Institute CEO Adar Poonawalla with participation from existing investors. This funding will be utilised for store expansion and strengthening their private label brands.

FrontRow, a learning and community platform focused on creative arts and sports, raised a seed round of $3.2 million led by Lightspeed and Elevation (formerly SAIF Partners), along with Deepika Padukone’s Family Office.

Social commerce platform Citymall raised $3 million in seed funding led by Elevation Capital (previously SAIF Partners). Waterbridge ventures, Arun Tadanki’s private syndicate on LetsVenture, also participated. The funding will be used for market expansion and hiring talent.

School communication platform Uolo Technologies raised Rs 20 crore in a Pre-Series A funding round led by Omidyar Network India and Blume Ventures. The funding will be used for enhancing its product and operations.

Manufacturing giant Bosch has invested Rs 14.8 crore in Bengaluru-based B2B SaaS platform Routematic. The company had raised $2.5 million in Pre-Series A round of funding and is backed by Blume Ventures, VAMM Ventures.

BitClass, a Bengaluru-based PaaS (Product-as-a-Service) startup raised $2 million in seed funding led by Venture Highway with participation from AET Japan, Figure Eight Investments, and Waterbridge Ventures. The startup will use the funding for investments into technology and scale the business.

Jaipur-based Kirana King raised a Pre-Series A funding round of Rs 7 crore from Rajasthan Venture Capital Fund (RVCF). This startup has a grocery retail network of more than 200 stores in Jaipur and plans to expand its operations.

Ahmedabad-based SaaS startup Clientjoy (earlier known as Gridle) raised $800,000 in a Pre-Series A funding round from GVFL (Gujarat Venture Finance Limited), an early-stage venture capital firm.

Gurugram-based agritech startup MoooFarm raised a Rs 4.3 crore pre-seed funding round from Rockstart and Navus Ventures and Venture Capital. The startup plans to use the funding to strengthen their product-market fit and hire key technology talent to launch new services to farmers.

Mumbai-based influential celebrity commerce platform Gonuts raised Rs 3.5 crore in seed funding led by marquee investors Sweta Rau and Archana  Priyadarshini. Gonuts aims to bridge the gap between celebrities and their fans.

Rapawalk, a Bengaluru-based online footwear brand raised $300,000 in a seed funding round led by Inflection Point Ventures (IPV). The fresh capital will be used for scaling up its business.

Delhi-based premium beverage and mixers brand Jade Forest raised $250,000 in seed funding led by marquee angels across India. The funds raised will be utilised for sales and marketing.

Movie start Kajal Aggarwal has made an undisclosed investment in Okie Gaming. This Mumbai based startup will use the funding to increase the number of games on the platform and hire talent.

Kajal Aggarwal

Movie start Kajal Aggarwal has made an investment in a gaming startup

Bengaluru-based LAVAL, a luxury natural and organic skin, body and hair care brand founded in 2016, raised an undisclosed amount in pre-Series A round from Jazal Group. The brand hopes to create a pan India presence through its website and on ecommerce portals.

Kolkata based healthtech startup iKure has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus of the Tata Group. The startup plans to rapidly scale its operations across India and globally.

India connect

Singapore-based B2B sales productivity startup Nektar.ai has raised seed funding of $2.15 million led by Nexus Venture Partners. The round also saw participation from Insignia Venture Partners, Arka Venture Labs, Better Capital, and Vietnam Investments Group. 

AI-led automated employee service desk platform Rezolve.ai has raised $500,000 led by Venture Catalyst. The round also saw participation from other angel investors.

US and India based AI culinary startup Kovechef raised $1 million in Pre-Series A funding led by Venture Catalysts. The others who participated include JPIN VCATs SOSV NB Ventures and angel investors.

M&A

Gabbardeals, a Pune-based online-to-offline (O2O) platform acquired InstaOne Software, SaaS startup focused on the retail segment. This acquisition will allow Gabbardeals to build a full-stack of PoS systems for better last-mile connectivity and delivery of consumer electronics.

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