The worst seems to be over in India’s funding winter. Last year saw a steep fall and although mega rounds of investment were back earlier this year, there was still a bottleneck in the series A, B, and other mid-growth stages. But now we’re seeing some serious action in those stages – and across different domains .
Today’s round-up, for instance, has an US$80 million investment for a cloud data protection #startup targeting global markets as well as a US$45 million round for a fintech startup focused on India.
Druva has been helping global enterprises – including NASA, Louis Vuitton, and the University of California, Berkeley, in the West to Fujitsu, Petronas, and the National University of Singapore in the East – to back up and secure their data on the cloud and servers. It announced a fresh funding round of US$80 million, led by Riverwood Capital, to speed up its research and development as well as market expansion.
Three engineers of Veritas Software, which merged with Symantec, quit and founded Druva in Pune, nine years ago. What really paid off for them is the digital data explosion and security needs that emerged out of it. The company also foresaw the shift from shipping and installing security software on enterprise servers to the cloud. “The first time we launched a public cloud focused backup, in 2012, even the analysts did not like it. They said, ‘maybe, owning your own data centers makes sense.’ They penalized us for using the public cloud,” founder and CEO Jaspreet Singh told Tech in Asia.
“We felt that if we could adapt to the public cloud platform, there would be no looking back. This was a good pivot we made – when the whole world was focused on hardware and software,” he said.
Druva is now headquartered in California and has raised total funding of around US$200 million. This includes the latest US$80 million round in which its earlier investors Sequoia Capital India, Nexus Venture Partners, Tenaya Capital, and others took part.
Alternative lending platform Capital Float was one of the first online lending startups in India. It is registered with India’s central bank – Reserve Bank of India – as a non-banking financial company (NBFC) and operates a hybrid marketplace model, where banks and NBFCs co-lend alongside the company’s own balance sheet to fund borrowers, which are mostly small business owners. It has partnered with ecommerce marketplaces like Amazon, Flipkart, and Alibaba, travel aggregators like Yatra and Via, and ride-hailing services like Uber and Ola.
“Banks do not have the means to go into granular data for individual loan seekers, like we do for our borrowers. Moreover, our system is automated. The system runs an assessment and tells us how much can be lent at what risk,” Gaurav Hinduja, co-founder of Capital Float, told Tech in Asia in an earlier interview. Hinduja co-founded the company in 2013 along with Sashank Rishyasringa. So far, Capital Float has disbursed loans of over US$327 million to around 12,000 borrowers across 300 Indian cities, according to the founders.
Capital Float raised US$45 million in series C round, led by Silicon Valley-based Ribbit Capital. Its existing investors SAIF Partners, Sequoia India, and Creation Investments participated in the round. The startup has also raised around US$67 million in debt from banks and NBFCs.
Groceries-on-subscription startup Milkbasket was founded by Anant Goel, Ashish Goel, Anurag Jain, and Yatish Talvadia in Gurgaon in 2015. Initially, it only delivered fresh milk everyday to its subscribers and then expanded to cover the entire groceries category.
“We only deliver once a day, before seven in the morning, and use latent capacity of people as the delivery team only works from 4 am to 7 am. Plus, we deliver in clusters of households, so we can deliver a large number of orders at a low cost like a newspaper vendor,” Anant Goel, CEO and co-founder of Milkbasket, told Tech in Asia in an earlier interview.
“We believe that customers are earned and retained on consistent service experience and not on discounts and hence we own the entire logistics all the way to a customer’s doorstep,” he explained. Milkbasket claims to have completed 1.5 million orders so far.
The startup’s seed round of US$500,000 was led by EVC Ventures. Chinese investors Zhu Dao Investments and YeahMobi CEO Peter Zou participated in the round. Last December, a few of Milkbasket’s customers participated in the company’s second round of funding together with Empower Investment, Hofan Capital, and Draphant. With the latest round, EVC and a few other angel investors exited the company.
Aggregator app Flochat embedded popular service and content providers to save its customers the hassle of installing multiple apps. Food delivery company Zomato, ride-hailing apps Ola and Uber, deals platforms Dineout and CouponDunia, and movie-ticketing app BookMyShow as well as YouTube, Microsoft Bing, and Tenor are some of its partners.
Flochat is primarily an instant messenger, which has an AI-powered personal assistant, Floda, to guide users in discovery and navigation. Flochat lets users edit sent messages, recall a text message after it was sent, and program messages to self-destruct automatically from the devices of both parties.
Flochat was founded by MBA grad Prateek Lal in 2015 and currently has a 25-member team. The startup raised an undisclosed amount from iSquare Global, the venture capital arm of Apex Advisors, VCCircle reported.
Bombay Shaving Company
Online subscription service for men’s grooming products Bombay Shaving Company has raised US$2.3 million in a pre-series A round of funding, VCCircle reported. The round was led by early-stage fund Fireside Ventures.
The startup was founded in 2015 by Delhi-based Shantanu Deshpande, Raunak Munot, Rohit Jaiswal, and Deepu Panicker. It raised US$600,000 in seed funding last year from a group of angel investors, including McKinsey India managing director Noshir Kaka. Former Tata Consultancy Services CEO Subramanian Ramadorai and former Tech Mahindra CEO Kiran Deshpande also participated in that round.
- Converted from Indian rupees at the rate of US$1 equals INR 64.13.