Welcome to VCBay Weekly News Roundup. Here are some important developments in the startup space and major funding rounds this week –
On 24th May 2021, Fireflies, an Ai assistant and Voice intelligence provider, announced that it raised USD 13.7 Million in Series A funding round. This round was led by Khosla Ventures with the participation of Canaan Partners, which was also the lead investor in the company’s seed round.
UK-based startup Cervest, the creator of one of the world’s first AI-powered Climate Intelligence (CI) platforms, raised € 24.6 million in Series A round on 20 May 2021. The funding round was led by Draper Esprit. Existing investors Astanor Ventures, Lowercarbon Capital (Chris Sacca) and Future Positive Capital participated in the oversubscribed round. The new investors included UNTITLED, the venture fund of Magnus Rausing and TIME Ventures, the venture fund of Marc Benioff. The total funding raised by Cervest to date stands at around € 29.7 million.
Mumbai based UpGrad, an online platform for higher education, has acquired Impartus, which is a video-learning platform in USD 20.5 million in cash and stocks deal on 23rd May 2021. The motive behind this acquisition is to distribute its courses to other colleges and educational institutions.
On Tuesday 25th May 2021 Avalon’s community platform Scenes, announced that it raised an undisclosed amount in pre-series A funding round. This round was led by angel investors like Kunal Shah, Tanmay Bhat, Kalyan Krishnamurthy and Gaurav Munjal as well as investment giants like Better Capital, Whiteboard Capital, iSeed Ventures, Blume Ventures, and Tanglin Ventures.
2. Indian alternative to Twitter Koo receives investment from Tiger Global
Indian alternative to Twitter, Koo raised US$ 30M in a funding round on 26 May 2021. Investors are now backing Koo at a time when tension is brewing between the social media giants like Twitter and the Indian Govt over new Media policies. The funding round was led by Tiger Global Management. Other participants included Mirae Asset, IIFL’s venture capital fund and existing investors 3one4 Capital, Blume Ventures and Accel. The Bangalore-based startup is now valued at over US$ 100 million, up from about US$ 25 million in February.
On Thursday, 27th May, Clensta a New Delhi based startup, which focuses on personal care and homecare space, is backed by IIT Delhi, announced that it raised USD 688 K in debt fund round. This funding round was led by the N+1 Capital.
US-based Whatnot, a live streaming platform and marketplace that enables collectors and enthusiasts to connect, buy and sell verified products, raised US$ 50M in Series B funding round. The funding round was led by Anu Hariharan of Y Combinator Continuity Fund and backed by Andreessen Horowitz, Animal Capital and a number of angels. The total funding raised by the company stands at US$ 74.7M.
Crypto and Blockchain
India-based blockchain technology company Polygon raised an undisclosed amount of funding from US-based tech billionaire and serial startup investor Mark Cuban on 27 May 2021. Cuban will integrate Polygon crypto into Lazy.com, a portfolio company that allows people to easily display non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Mumbai based fintech startup Kodo announced that it raised USD 8.75 Million in a seed funding round on Thursday, 28th May 2021. The funding round saw participation from investors like Brex, Pioneer Fund, and Goat Capital. Some of the silicon valley investors also took part in the round.
FanCode, a digital sports platform, announced that it raised USD 50 Million in a funding round on Thursday (27.05.2021). The funding round was led by Dream Sports investments (DSI), an investment arm of Dream Sports. Dream Sports is the parent company of FanCode.
1. US-based Aurora Solar raises US$ 250M in Series C round
US-based Aurora Solar, a software platform for solar sales and design, raised US$ 250 million in a Series C funding round on 24 May 2021. The funding round was led by Coatue, with participation from existing investors ICONIQ Capital, Energize Ventures and Fifth Wall.
US-based Tiv, a new payments platform dedicated to the gaming community, raised US$ 3.5 million in a seed funding round on 26 May 2021. The funding round was led by 4490 Ventures. Other participants in the round include Silverton Partners and many angel investors. The funding represents the first institutional capital raised after self-funding the company since inception.
Taiwanese e-scooter brand Gogoro registered the Gogoro Viva electric scooter in India by joining hands with India’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer Hero MotoCorp, to create an electric vehicle ecosystem. It has also expanded to China, where its swappable smart batteries will be used in scooters made by Dachangjiang Group (DCJ), one of China’s biggest motorcycle makers, and Yadea, one of its top electric two-wheel companies.
US-based Kodiak Robotics, a self-driving truck startup, announced on 26 May 2021, that it is partnering with the South Korean conglomerate SK group. It is looking forward to expanding and deploying its autonomous vehicle technology in Asia.
Bengaluru based, Get My Parking (GMP), a mobility and smart parking startup, announced that it raised USD 6 Million in a funding round on 27th May 2021. The funding round was led by IvyCap Ventures. The round saw the participation of the IAN Fund, which are existing investors in the company. Masterkey Holdings was the investment banker in this round.
On Wednesday 26th May 2021, Cuvette Tech, a Bengaluru-based Intern Hiring startup announced that it raised USD 180,000 in a seed funding round. The round was led by Titan Capital. The round saw the participation of angel investors like the Co-founder and CEO of Mamaearth Varun Alagh; Lumenci’s co-founder Harish Daiya and some others.
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