#Asia 4 startups and VC firms to watch in India

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Photo credit: Pictures of Money

Photo credit: Pictures of Money

Today’s investments in India take it a little closer to home. Recent funding has given a boost to electric bikes, a local news publication, and other venture capital firms. Here are the four that have made our list:

Blume Ventures

Today, Blume Ventures announced that it has raised over US$30 million for the close of its Fund II. The amount has an overall goal of US$60 million, which it hopes to achieve at its second and final close slated for next quarter. Iconiq Capital led the round and was joined by IIFL Wealth and the Indian government’s India Aspiration Fund, which is administered through SIDBI.

Founded by Karthik Reddy and Sanjay Nath in 2010, Blume Ventures is a venture capital firm that seeks to partner with select tech entrepreneurs at seed and early stages. Its portfolio includes Grey Orange Robotics, ecommerce site Zopper, beauty site Purplle, and small business hosting site Nowfloats. The firm is based in Mumbai.

Unicorn India Ventures

Early-stage venture capital fund Unicorn India Ventures locked in US$6 million for the first part of its early-stage VC fund today. Sources say its original goal was for US$9 million and that it may have more interim closures before it completes its fundraising process by mid-2016.

The announcement comes the same day the firm has announced that it will commit close to US$ 800,000 to four startups in the areas of beauty and wellness, digital media, cloud, and healthcare.

Founded in 2014, Mumbai-based Unicorn focuses on businesses that perform transactions with other businesses, particularly within the social media, analytics, and cloud segment. It launched its maiden early stage fund in August.

The News Minute

Bangalore-based The News Minute, a digital content site that focuses on local news in the five southern states of India, bagged an undisclosed amount of funding in an angel round. Raghav Bahl and Quintillion Media led the round.

Author-journalist Chitra Subramaniam, Dhanya Rajendran, and Vignesh Vellore run The News Minute. The site hosts news ranging from breaking news to opinions and blogs. It hopes to expand to become a digital advertising platform as well.

Ampere

Late yesterday, news emerged of electric bike startup Ampere raising funding from a group of angel investors, including US$1.2 million from Infosys’s co-founder and former CEO Kris Goplalakrishnan.

Founded by current CEO Hemalatha Annamalai in 2007, Ampere produces electric bikes and two-wheelers to be used to traverse short distances, often on rural ground.

The startup plans to use the funding for hiring and operations, particularly expanding its presence from four states to 10. It also aims to build an e-cycle factory that employs only women sometime in the next three years.

We’ve been bringing you cool Indian startups regularly. Check them out here.

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