Who says there is a funding slowdown for startups in India? From craft and jewelry stores to apps that will book a doctor for you, startups of many hues are bagging a slice of the funding pie. Here are the seven that caught our eye.
Indian craft store Caravan Evolved Craft has raised a fresh round of funding of INR 85 million (US$1.3 million) from existing investor Unitus Seed Fund and others. The total amount of equity has now gone up to INR 120 million (US$1.8 million). Alongside, the company has raised debt worth INR 140 million (US$2 million) from the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC).
Caravan was launched in 2013 with its first retail store in Bangalore and it now has outlets in Pune and Mumbai. The company taps into the skill-sets of local artisans and sells apparel, jewelry, home decor, gifts, and toys.
HeyPillow, an online real estate marketplace, has secured US$3 million in series A funding from Hampton Capital. The firm aims to compete with existing online real-estate models like MagicBricks, 99acres, and Housing. The funds will be used for expansion, it announced.
MindTickle, which offers online training solutions, has raised US$12.5 million in a series A round led by New Enterprise Associates. The company was founded four years ago with the aim of reducing training time for salespeople who need to be aware of rapidly changing products and help them handle potentially difficult sales situations better. The funds will be used for cloud-based software that promises to fix sales team problems.
Sensegiz, a two-year-old maker of smartwatches in India, has raised US$500,000 from Karnataka Semiconductor Venture Capital Fund (KARSEMVEN), becoming one of the first hardware companies to get funds from a venture capital firm. The company plans to sell 100,000 units by next year, all of which will come from its manufacturing facilities in Mysore. Sensegiz makes a device tracker called Find, and a smartwatch called Star that is sold through US-based retailers such as Target.
Medinfi, a location-based app that helps find patient-reviewed clinics in the vicinity and books doctor appointments, has raised an angel round of INR 20 million (US$302,160) from a group of investors.
This round saw participation from Pradeep K. Jaisingh, chairman of Healthstart, Sunil TV, co-founder of IVFA, Vijay Ghadge of logistics firm Gojavas, former CEO and MD of Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Hemant Kaul, Dr Ram Kumar Kakani, professor at XLRI, and Gurmeet Chahal of HCL Technologies.
Medinfi operates in Bangalore, Delhi-NCR, and Mumbai, covering a network of 3,000-plus clinics and doctors.
Indian Angel Network (IAN) has invested INR 30 million (US$453,240) in Gurgaon-based jewelry portal Fourseven. The round was led by Rajiv Mehta and Sumit Dhingra from IAN who will also be on the board of the year-old company.
The funds will be used to upgrade back-end technology, hire people, market the brand in other cities, and build offline channels for the brand.
New Delhi-based Truelancer, a platform for hiring skilled people and finding work, has received seed funding from the US-based Blackstone Valley Group led by Raghu Vohra, Aditya Dev Sood, Kamal Bansal, and other angel investors.
The year-old startup claims to have more than 200,000 skilled freelance professionals who can be hired as developers, designers, content writers, virtual assistants, growth hackers, and social media experts. The company is focused on the rapidly growing Asian market.
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