VCBay Weekly News Roundup

Welcome to VCBay Weekly News Roundup. Here are some important developments in the startup space and major funding rounds this week –

The National Restaurants Association of India moves the Competition Committee of India over competition issues between Swiggy and Zomato

While investors are eagerly waiting for Zomato’s US$ 1.2 billion IPO, a troublesome event has occurred for the Indian food delivery giant. The National Restaurants Association of India (NRAI) has filed information with the Competition Committee of India (CCI) against Zomato and its rival Swiggy. NRAI claims that their practices have an “appreciable adverse effect on competition”.

NRAI’s submission highlights issues such as bundling of services, data masking, deep discounting, lack of transparency and exorbitant commission.

Noida-based startup, Pine Labs seals latest fundraise at $600 million, valuation to $3 billion

Digital payments providing platform Pine Labs has raised $315 million in latest capital as a part of its open-ended fundraising and secured $600 million, the company verified on Tuesday. With this venture, the valuation of the firm stands at $3 billion.

The new investors’ funds are managed by BlackRock, Fidelity Management & Research Company, Ishana, Tree Line, a fund recommended by Neuberger Berman Investment Advisers LLC. IIFL AMC, through its ‘Late-Stage Tech Fund’ and Kotak, is also engaging in this investment round, subject to consent from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). The business is upheld by Sequoia Capital, Temasek Holdings, Actis, PayPal and Mastercard, amongst other global investors.


  1. Egypt-based e-commerce marketplace MaxAB raises US$ 40M

MaxAB, an Egypt-based B2B e-commerce marketplace that connects food and grocery retailers to suppliers, raised US$ 40 million in a Series A funding round on 5 July 2021.

The funding round was led by Impact investor RMBV, with participation from the IFC, Flourish Ventures, Crystal Stream Capital, Rise Capital, and Endeavour Catalyst and existing investors Beco Capital and 4DX Ventures. This round brings the company’s total investment to US$ 46.2 million to date.

  1. France-based startup ManoMano raises US$ 355M in Series F round

French startup ManoMano, an online marketplace for DIY, home improvement, and gardening products, raised US$ 355 million in a Series F funding round on 5 July 2021. With funding, the valuation of the company has reached US$ 2.6 billion.

The funding round was led by Dragoneer Investment Group with participation from Temasek, General Atlantic, Eurazeo, Bpifrance’s Large Venture fund, Aglaé Ventures, Kismet Holdings and Armat Group.

  1. India-based, furniture subscription startup, Furlenco raises $140 million in series D led by Zinnia Global Fund

Furlenco, a furniture subscription startup, has raised $140 million (Rs 1,000 crore) in series D round in a mix of debt and equity as a share of its latest funding round led by Zinnia Global Fund, the founder said on June 5, 2021. Current investors Lightbox Ventures, CE-Ventures and angel investor Saket Burman were also witnessed in this round.

  1. Hindustan Times invests US$ 2.14 Million in lifestyle e-commerce startup Tjori

Delhi-based artisanal ethnic D2C brand Tjori has confirmed on June 5, 2021, of an equity deal of US$ 2.14 Million (INR 16 Cr) with the publisher of English dailies, Hindustan Times. Apart from funding, HT will also assist Tjori in building brand recognition in India and accelerating growth globally. Mansi Gupta, a Wharton University graduate, founded Tjori in Delhi-NCR in 2013 with a personal savings of $13387.

  1. Mumbai-based D2C fresh food delivery startup Fraazo raises $11 Million in series A round

Online fruit and vegetable delivery startup Fraazo, on June 2, 2021, raised $11 million in Series A funding led by Sixth Sense Ventures and NABARD backed NABVENTURES. It attempts to scale the movement ‘pan-India’. Current investors Equanimity Ventures, Asian Paints Limited’s Manish Choksi, Vice and Apar Group were also witnessed in the round.

The startup has also welcomed interest from developing finance institutions and multilateral companies for an added $5 million of funding for improving its procurement area with the North-northeastern farmers in India, said in a statement. The investment round is a mix of equity and debt, the startup said.


  1. Healthtech startup BeatO raises US$ 5.8M from PharmEasy

India-based Healthtech startup BeatO, which specialises in diabetes-related solutions, raised US$ 5.8 M in a funding round on 6 July 2021.

The funding round was led by US-based venture capital firm W Health Ventures with participation from healthtech unicorn PharmEasy, Merisis VP and existing investors Orios VP, Leo Capital and others. This investment from PharmEasy comes after the healthtech unicorn acquired diagnostics chain Thyrocare recently.


  1. Toronto-based growth capital startup Clearco raises funding from SoftBank

Canadian growth capital startup Clear Finance Technology Corp., which operates under the name Clearco, raised US$ 215M in investment on 8 July 2021.

The funding round was led by Tokyo-based SoftBank through its Vision Fund 2, with participation from Intuit Inc., Bow Capital and Park West. In April, Clearco was valued at nearly US$ 2 billion after a Series C funding round.

Artificial Inteligence

  1. India-based AI startup Fountain9 raises US$ 1.9M in seed round

India-based startup Fountain9, an innovative AI-led startup in the predictive inventory planning space, raised US$ 1.9 million in a seed funding round on 7 July 2021.

021 Capital, Y Combinator, Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal-backed Titan Capital, US-based new-age VC firm Globevestor, Harvard Seed Fund and climate change mission-driven German investment firm Blue Impact Ventures.


  1. Workforce management and scheduling platform Skedulo raises US$ 75M

US-based Skedulo, a workforce management and scheduling platform for deskless workers, raised US$ 75M in its series C funding round on 7 July 2021, led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2.
Skedulo has raised over US$ 115 million in funding to date from Softbank, Microsoft’s venture firm M12, Costanoa Ventures and Blackbird. Skedulo will utilize the funding to continue developing and scaling its platform, expand internationally and help deskless workers across various industries.


  1. Insurance infrastructure startup Lula raises US$ 18M in Series A round

US-based Lula, an insurance infrastructure startup, announced on 8 July 2021 that it has raised US$ 18 million in a Series A round of funding.

The round was co-led by Founders Fund and Khosla Ventures, with participation from SoftBank, hedge fund manager Bill Ackman, Shrug Capital, Steve Pagliuca (Bain Capital co-chairman and Boston Celtics owner), Tiny Capital’s Andrew Wilkinson. Existing investors – Nextview Ventures and Florida Funders also invested.


  1. France-based Power Z raises USD 8.3 Million in funding

France-based Power Z, a video game startup, announced that it raised USD 8.3 Million  (EUR 7 Million), including USD 1.2 Million (EUR 1 Million) in a debt funding round on 09.July.21. The startup is a mixture of video games and edtech startups.

The investors in this round were RAISE Ventures, Bayard, and Bpifrance Digital Ventures. The existing investors Hachette Livres, Educapital, Michael Benabou, and Pierre Kosciusko-Morizet also participated in this round.


  1. Hong Kong-based logistics startup Pickupp secures US$ 15M in Series A+ funding

Pickupp, a Hong Kong-based tech-equipped logistics platform offering efficient and low-cost delivery solutions, has secured US$ 15 million in a Series A+ investment round co-led by Cornerstone Ventures and PChome on 5 July 2021.

The funding round featured PChome and Cornerstone Ventures as the lead investors with participation from Swire Properties, Cathay Venture, DRIVE Catalyst and many more investors. 

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Komal writes about the startup ecosystem on VCBay. She is an Economics Hons. graduate from Miranda House, Delhi University, and is passionate about the world of entrepreneurship and finance.


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