Indian business-to-business e-commerce startup, Udaan had raised $280 mn from existing investors — Chinese tech giant Tencent, Lightspeed Venture Partners, DST Global, and new investors — Octahedron Capital and Moonstone Capital. Udaan, a Bengaluru based firm founded in 2016, offers everything from consumer goods to fruits and vegetables is now valued at $ 3 bn. Udaan, to date, has now raised $1.15 bn.
BharatPe has picked up Rs 60 cr in debt financing from Innoven Capital, as part of its plan to raise $ 500-700 mn of debt capital over the next two years to strengthen the lending business. The Delhi-based fintech also announced the appointment of Sumeet Singh as the General Counsel and Head- Corporate Strategy. BharatPe specialises in onboarding merchants with QR codes and has facilitated loan disbursement of over Rs 500 cr to its merchants.
Venture Catalysts has led Rs 4.5 cr seed investment in agritech startup qZense Labs. The round was led by Manish Modi, MD, Mastermind Capital and Vedant Loyalka Chairman, Curae Health, 9Unicorns, The Chennai Angels, Entrepreneur First, London based VC and Lumis Partners. Founded in 2019, by Rubal Chib and Dr Srishti Batra, qZense aims to transform the fresh food supply chain industry with its end-to-end IoT-based solution.
Edtech unicorn Unacademy has acquired NeoStencil, a test preparation platform focused on government jobs, making it its fifth acquisition of 2020. Code Chef, K-12 learning platform Mastree, PrepLadder and Coursavy were the other purchases of Unacademy of the year. The NeoStencil acquisition will strengthen Unacademy’s pole position in the test preparation segment and increase presence in Tier II and III cities.
Nasscom and Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council have jointly launched a contest, JANCare, to develop tech solutions for the delivery of health care solutions in small towns and rural part of the country. The aim is to identify up to 25 health-tech start-ups and SMEs to provide pilot test-beds in collaboration with state govt at PHCs, CHCs and industry to help validation and scale-up for adoption.
Indian startups are ending 2020 with about $9.3 bn, much lower than $14.5 bn fundraised last year. This is the first time since 2016 that Indian startups have raised less than $10 bn in a year. The total number of deals fell from 1,185 in 2019 to 1,088 in 2020. Rounds with deal size $100 mn or larger fell from 26 in 2019 to 20, and similarly rounds with a deal size of $50 mn to $100 mn fell from 27 to 13. 11 Indian startups, however, became a unicorn this year.
Flipkart’s Wholesale app registered a 75% MoM growth in customer base and posted 90% MoM in transactions since September launch. The app currently offers fashion products including clothing, footwear and accessories to retailers across 23 cities. It recently added the grocery category in NCR. The e-commerce company added that 20% of customers on Flipkart Wholesale are from tier 2 or tier 3 cities.
Josh, a TikTok copy app, has raised more than $100 mn from investors including Google and Microsoft. Josh is one of several home-grown short-video platforms that have mushroomed after India blocked TikTok and other Chinese apps in June. The app is owned by Bengaluru-based VerSe Innovation, valued at over $1 bn following the investment. The funds will be used to scale up Josh. VerSe owns multiple Indian languages news and content platform Dailyhunt.
Cisco India announced a competition with prize money of Rs 2 cr to find agri-tech start-ups with innovative solutions. The Challenge is being co-hosted by Principal Scientific Adviser to the GoI K, Vijay Raghavan while conceptualised and managed by NGO — ‘The Nudge Centre for Social Innovation’. The challenge will run in stages over a year and the prize money will support participants in developing, testing, and scaling solutions to address the farming-related issues.