Smart showers on Monday afternoon may have promised more rains, but the sun played peek-a-boo with denizens of the India’s Silicon Valley through the week. Also, there was just about one major investment, with small deals and consolidation being the flavour of the week.
Three start-ups raised undisclosed amounts and a fourth an investment of $21 million. Among the investors in two of these startups was Anupam Mittal, a well-known Angel investor and chief executive of the People Group, which runs matrimonial site Shaadi.com and real estate portal Makaan.com, among others.
Mittal, along with Vineet Sekhsaria, head, real estate investing, Morgan Stanley; and Japanese gaming firm Akatsuki Inc, took part in StayAbode’s pre-Series A round of funding. The startup, which is building co-living spaces, currently has 15 properties across Bengaluru, with 950 beds live, raised an undisclosed amount. It claims to operate at 97% occupancy and intends to expand to other cities.
Mittal also took part in another funding round on the LetsVenture platform, this time for photo-sharing app Vebbler, in which he is an existing investor.
Vebbler raised an undisclosed amount in the pre-Series A funding round from a consortium of angel investors. They are Ambiga Subramanian, former chief executive, Mu Sigma; actor Dino Morea; disc jockey Nikhil Chinapa; Anurakt Jain, vice-president, OEM operations at InMobi; Sanjay Ramakrishnan, former senior director-product at Flipkart; and Pranay Jivrajka, founding member at Ola.
The funding also saw the participation of Vebbler’s another existing investor, Sharad Sharma, co-founder, iSPIRT Foundation, among others.
Vebbler, which was selected for FbStart—Facebook’s programme to help early stage mobile startups build and grow their apps—in 2017, claims to be the first photo-collaboration app developed indigenously. It allows people to generate shared albums and sync photos with one another in real time. The Bengaluru-headquartered startup claims to have a presence in over 108 countries.
In another investment, The Ken, a subscription-based news startup raised $1.5 million in its latest round of funding. The Series A round was led by Omidyar Networks, Yuj Kutumb—the family foundation headed by Xander Group founder Sid Yog—and angel investors.
In what is the probably the only large investment this week in India’s Silicon Valley, education technology company Unacademy raised $21 million in its Series C funding from marquee investors such as Sequoia India, SAIF Partners, Nexus Venture Partners and Blume Ventures. All four investors had invested in the company’s Series B funding last year. With the latest round, the three-year-old education platform has raised nearly $38.6 million.
In two separate strategic moves in the city this week, food tech startup SmartQ acquired Goodbox’s cafeteria business for an undisclosed amount in an all-cash deal, to increase its customer base. Goodbox is backed by Nexus Venture Partners.
Menawhile, Flipkart-backed digital payments firm PhonePe has acquired Zopper Retail, a hyper local point-of-sale (POS) platform for small and medium businesses. According to the terms of the transaction, Zopper Retail will be absorbed into PhonePe. The affinity and extended warranty programmes of Zopper will, however, continue to operate under Surjendu Kuila, who co-founded Zopper.
Watch this space for more next week.