Tags:  Startup news, Startup India, funding, mergers, acquisitions

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Startup News

Missing out on updates from the startup scenes in India? - We got you covered! This podcast will provide a 5 minute highlight reel of all that happened in the startup ecosystem last week.

Last week in Startups - India

This week, seven startups raised $23.37 Mn funding and two startup acquisitions took place in India. Good times!

Let’s start with the biggest funding of last week, raised by Gurugram-based used car marketplace Spinny. It raised $13.2 Mn in Series A funding round led by Accel and SAIF Partners. Existing investors such as Blume Ventures and Simile Ventures had also participated in the round. The fresh funds will be used to strengthen its team across functions, improving inventory assortment and expanding the coverage and presence to newer locations.

Noida-based edtech startup XploraBox raised $1 Mn in a Pre Series A funding round from Green Shoots Capital, Sucseed Ventures, JITO Angel Network, SWAN Angel Network and other angel investors including IIM alumni. Existing investor Metaform Ventures, USA, also participated in this round. The funds will be used to scale up in India, US and GCC countries.

Bengaluru-based end-to-end home design and decor service provider Livspace raised an undisclosed amount from IKEA group franchisee, Ingka Group (Ingka Holding B.V and its controlled entities) for a minority stake. The funds will be used by the startup to develop new home interior solutions and products, market expansion and expanding offline retail footprint.

Delhi-based fleet management startup BT TechLabs, the parent company of LocoNav, raised $4 Mn(INR 28 Cr) in a Series B round of funding. According to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs filings, the investment has come in from the company’s existing investor Sequoia Capital in two tranches from January to May 2019.
Mumbai-based Online Media Network Private Limited, parent company of The Viral Fever (TVF), raised $4.97 Mn (INR 34.67 Cr) in a Series D round. The fresh funding has come in from existing investor Tiger Global. In a media report, paper.vc founder Vivek Durai said that TVF’s valuation is $82 Mn post this round. However, this doesn’t account for new Series D participants.

Moving on to acquisitions:
Chennai-based SaaS unicorn Freshworks which is where I’m recording this podcast from, acquired Silicon Valley-based customer success management software Natero for an undisclosed amount. Freshworks’s Natero acquisition would help the former strengthen its customer success vertical and create more visibility for customer needs among its operational teams.
RP Sanjiv Goenka Group-owned Spencer’s Retail Limited is acquiring 100%stake in Godrej Industries Limited-owned Nature’s Basket. The transaction is, however, subject to approval of the shareholders of both the companies. Both the companies believe that with the acquisition of Nature’s Basket, Spencer’s will get access to the West of India through its 36 stores in Mumbai, Pune and Bengaluru.
What else caught our eyes?

New Delhi-based ecommerce platform Snapdeal is inching closer to acquire its rival, ShopClues in an all-stock deal. If the 100% buyout deal is successful, all of ShopClues’ investors, including Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC, Helion Venture Partners, Tiger Global, Nexus Venture Partners and Unilazer Ventures will move to Snapdeal.

India has moved up one place to rank as the world's 43rd most competitive economy on the back of its robust economic growth, a large labour force, and its huge market size, while Singapore has toppled the US to grab the top position.
Economists regard competitiveness as vital for the long-term health of a country's economyas it empowers businesses to achieve sustainable growth, generates jobs and, ultimately, enhance the welfare of citizens. The IMD World Competitiveness Rankings, established in 1989, incorporate 235 indicators from each of the 63 ranked economies to evaluate their ability to foster an environment where enterprises can achieve sustainable growth, generate jobs, and increase welfare for its citizens.

Markets watchdog Sebi has proposed a 'regulatory sandbox' for financial institutions wherein exemptions could be provided from various regulations for developing new products and services.

"Sebi plans to introduce a framework, to be called the 'regulatory sandbox'. Under this sandbox framework, financial institutions regulated by Sebi shall be granted certain facilities and flexibilities to experiment with fintech solutions in a live environment and on real customers," the regulator said in a discussion paper.
By participating in the sandbox regime, companies will get an opportunity to test their solutions on real customers/investors. On the other hand, it may help Sebi to frame policies that may reduce the time and cost of deploying new investor-centric solutions in the capital market.