It's raining money for Indian tech startups as a clutch of companies have raised over $300 million in funding on Wednesday. These tech companies work on myriad spaces, from messaging technologies to artificial intelligence (A.I.) and augmented reality. Wednesday also saw the launch of a $85 million venture capital fund led by some of India’s leading tech entrepreneurs to back homegrown startups in the software-as-a-service (SaaS) business.
Messaging bots startup Gupshup said that it has raised $240 million in funding from a group of investors including Fidelity Management and Research, Tiger Global, Think Investments, Malabar Investments, Harbor Spring Capital, and others. This fresh funding comes close on the heels of the enterprise messaging platform raising $100 million from Tiger Global in April at a valuation of $1.4 billion. However, Gupshup—which counts Facebook, Amazon, Citigroup, and Twitter as its clients—did not specify its valuation in the latest funding round.
“We see substantial growth in India’s digital economy,” says Shashin Shah, Managing Principal at Think Investments. “Gupshup’s platform is an essential tool for businesses building a digital footprint. We’re excited to partner with Gupshup, given its market-leading position, innovation-led growth and attractive financial profile.”
The other key funding announcements of the day was from Blaize, an A.I.-backed startup. Blaize raised $71 million in a Series D funding round led by Franklin Templeton and existing investor Temasek. The company—which develops products for the automotive, mobility, and enterprise computing markets—will use the funds to ramp up its Hyderabad operations in the next 12-18 months.
Flam, an augmented reality-based social media networking startup also announced its seed funding round on Wednesday. The startup raised $3.5 million in funding led by Silicon Valley Quad and Inventus Capital Partners SV, 9Unicorns, and Kwaish Ventures. Some angel investors also participated in the round. Founded in May this year by BITS Pilani graduates, Shourya Agarwal, Malhar Patil, and Rajat Gupta, the startup aims to build its augmented reality-backed social media networking platform for a global market.
Also A.I.-backed fitness gamification startup, Insane A.I. raised $873,000 in a seed funding round led by Pi Ventures, an early-stage venture capital fund. A clutch of angel investors, including Anupam Mittal and others, also participated in the funding round. The startup plans to utilise the funds in product development and in ramping up its tech team.
Besides tech startups, the day also saw Mumbai-based health food brand The Whole Truth raise $6 million in a Series A funding round led by Sequoia Capital India. The round saw participation from existing investors Matrix Partners India and Sauce.Vc, along with a clutch of angel investors such as Kalyan Krishnamurthy of Flipkart, Sujeet Kumar of Udaan, and Ashneer Grover and Shashvat Nakrani of BharatPe. Started by Shashank Mehta, a former Unilever executive, the food startup has previously raised money from angel investors such as Nithin Kamath of Zerodha, Sriharsha Majety of Swiggy, and Jaydeep Burman of Rebel Foods. The fresh capital will be utilised to expand its manufacturing capabilities and foray into new food categories.
To back homegrown tech startups especially operating in the SaaS space, an $85 million venture capital fund called Together was also launched on Wednesday by Girish Mathrubootham, founder and CEO, Freshworks, Manav Garg, founder and CEO, Eka Software, Shubham Gupta, ex Matrix, and Avinash Raghava, former Accel.
The fund will invest anywhere between $2,50,000 and $3 million across seed, pre A or Series A rounds. “The founders typically like to be the first institutional investor so that they can do the heavy lifting in terms of helping entrepreneurs build the product and achieve product-market-fit for the crucial zero to one part of the startup journey,” the release says.