Here are the top headlines from the startup space.
Medikabazaar raises $65 mn from Lighthouse India Fund
Healthtech startup Medikabazaar has raised $65 million in a new funding round led by Lighthouse India Fund.
Lighthouse has $30 million in the B2B medical supply platform and existing investors Creaegis, Health Quad, Ackermans & van Haaren, British International Investment (formerly CDC) and KOIS Holdings, also pitched in.
The startup plans to utilise the fresh capital to further strengthen its technological capabilities, deepen the supply ecosystem and digital driven distribution channels, bolster digital operating capabilities to help improve efficiency of healthcare sector in India and expand their global operations.
In September 2021, the company raised $75 million in its Series C round led by Creaegis, along with CDC Group.
Medikabazaar claims to have grown its sales at 25x over the last three years. The company will look to scale up its existing product verticals and infrastructure with a technology interface and pursue domestic and international acquisition opportunities.
SaaS startup Mesh raises $11 mn in Series A round from RTP Global
Performance management startup Mesh has secured $11 million in Series A funding round led by RTP Global.
The new capital raised will be used for building a global team for further expansion in the US and APAC markets, the firm said in a statement. It claims to have clocked16X growth in revenue since inception in 2016.
The platform manages companies like ShareChat, CRED, Groww, Pipefy and others.
“Mesh helps modern companies scale a culture of real time performance and growth conversations across peers, managers and teams. Our vision is to enable 30 million people to achieve their full potential at work by 2030,” said Gaurav Chaubey, Co-founder and CRO, Mesh.
Tiger Global, Accel invest $10.5 mn in Securden
Securden, a security startup, has bagged $10.5 million in a Series A funding round led by Tiger Global. The round also saw participation from Together Fund and existing investor Accel.
The company intends to use the fresh funding to scale R&D, sales, and marketing operations, grow the team across streams globally, accelerate executive hiring, and expand the product portfolio, it said in a statement.
Securden offers an innovative and highly differentiated privileged access governance platform trusted by hundreds of organizations — SMBs, large enterprises, and Fortune-500 companies. Headquartered in the United States at Wilmington, Delaware, it has its R&D center at Chennai.
Healthtech startup HBox.ai raises $700K from Arali Ventures
Healthtech startup HBox.ai has secured $700,000 in a seed funding round led by Arali Ventures. The firm said it will deploy the funds to increase its market penetration and build out its product stack.
Founded in 2021, HBox went live with one clinic in March 2021 with its first offering ‘Remote Patient Monitoring-as-a-service.’ Since then, HBox has grown rapidly signing customers in eight US States, resulting in a contracted base of 2,00,000 medicare patients.
In the first year, the startup witnessed a growing CAGR of 30 percent on a MoM basis. This virtual care solution brings a generational shift through which primary care and specialty care providers can continue to provide services to its patient population proactively.
Leaf Round bags $300K in Pre-Seed round
Fintech startup Leaf Round has received $300,000 in its pre-seed round from micro VC firm Upsparks, Superb Capital and senior business leaders from McKinsey, Bain, Barclays and Adobe.
The firm will use the fresh funds to further its product building efforts and create market awareness about the company and its offerings.
It will also be doubling down on its efforts in hiring the right talent, building a highly scalable tech stack and focusing on content driven marketing to enhance the understanding of the product, the company said.
Leaf Round is a platform where investors can buy and rent assets such as furniture, IT equipment and more, to earn high yields in the form of monthly rentals. In its private beta stage, the investments have been growing by 50 percent MoM with an average ticket size of Rs 54,000 and repeat rate of 29 percent, the firm added.
IPO-bound Pine Labs acquires majority stake in Mosambee
IPO-bound merchant commerce platform Pine Labs has made a significant investment in Mosambee, an end-to-end payment solution provider, acquiring a majority stake in the company.
This new investment will now value Mosambee at upwards of $100 million. The leadership team at Mosambee will continue to operate independently and use its proprietary tech platform that has served well to the needs of their clients across diverse industry verticals, the firm said in a statement.
“At Pine Labs, we continue to focus on deep technology and SaaS. Ever since its founding, Mosambee has made tremendous in roads into elevating the merchant experience through cutting-edge fintech solutions. They were a natural fit for us due to our shared purpose of making innovative fintech products accessible to all and driving forward the digital payment revolution in India,” said Amrish Rau, CEO, Pine Labs.
As of March 2022, Pine Labs has more than 2.50 lakh merchant relationships across over 6.75 lakh merchant network touchpoints in India and Southeast Asia. With more than 25 issuers on its platform at present, Pine Labs has a leading presence in the offline Pay Later segment in India.
In February 2022, Mosambee had announced the acquisition of Benow, a digital payments and EMI technology platform.
Early stage investments hit $594 million in 2021: InnoVen Report
Early-stage funding in India has surged to 63 percent in 2021, with investors pouring $594 million in startups at seed and pre-Series A rounds across 316 deals, according to a report by InnoVen Capital.
The growth was driven by 30 percent increase in early stage deal volume and a 20 percent increase in average deal size, the report showed.
Titled ‘Early-Stage Investment Insights Report: 2022’, it added that over 67 percent of the respondents surveyed invested more last year against 2020, with a majority of investments being in $500,000 to $1 million range.
Respondents said that fintech, B2B platforms, and SaaS were the top 3 sectors where they invested in 2021. More than 30 percent of the startups funded in 2021 were at the pre-revenue stage, which demonstrates the ability of great founding teams to raise seed capital at a concept or early traction stage, the report added.
Valuations of seed deals continued to go up, with 56 percent of deals being done within a range of $5-10 million valuation. The number of repeat founders also increased, with 29 percent of investors having more than 30 percent repeat founders in deals concluded in 2021, according to the report.
PhonePe crosses 100 million transactions a day
Digital payments and financial services company PhonePe has touched a milestone of processing more than 100 million transactions in a single day.
UPI processed transactions worth $1 trillion in FY23, and crossed a milestone of five million transactions in March this year. However, PhonePe’s transactions also include bill payments, insurance purchases, and investments done through its platform.
The company is a leader in the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) with a 47 percent share in monthly volumes. It currently processes over 2.5 billion transactions a month at an annual total payments volume run rate of $780 billion.
CoutLoot launches platform to connect sellers with manufacturers
Social commerce platform CoutLoot has launched a platform to connect offline and online sellers directly to small and medium manufactures across India.
Through this platform, sellers and merchants can source fast moving products directly from the manufactures, eliminating the need of middlemen and increasing profit.
The platform would help over seven lakh sellers source their products faster and also boost their earnings three-fold, it said in a statement. Over the past year, CoutLoot helped over six lakh small shops and sellers expand their business online, it said.
“The platform is tailormade for smaller retailers and sellers coming from beyond the metro cities of India. The wholesale SAAS
Nearly 70 percent of Coutloot’s users are in smaller towns. The wholesale platform currently lets sellers chose from over 5000 SKUs from across 240 small and medium factories in India. The plan is to have around 60,000 SKUs over the next two months.
Rario and BlockTrust sign deals with Cricket Australia and Australian Cricketers’ Association
Rario and BlockTrust have signed an official licensing deal with Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) that will see digital collectibles or NFTs (non-fungible tokens) from Australian cricket and play-to-earn virtual gaming made accessible to over a billion cricket fans globally.
The multi-year exclusive CA/ACA partnership will introduce NFTs to cricket fans using eco-friendly blockchain technology. The partnership will support the growth of the game along with supporting past and present players through their historic achievements being featured in NFT moments, a statement said.
“Yet again Australia has led the way in cricketing innovation by entering the Metaverse with Rario and BlockTrust. This historic collaboration is a first in the cricketing world, where a national board (Cricket Australia) and player’s association (ACA) have come together to define the future of fandom with NFTs. Rario is a global cricket NFT platform with partners across Australia, Asia, Caribbean and the Americas. With this partnership, we are excited to give cricket lovers the opportunity to own a part of the sport they love, collect memorable moments and player cards and indulge in cricket NFT based games in the Rario metaverse,” said Ankit Wadhwa, co-founder and CEO of Rario.
GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY & STARTUP NEWS
Elon Musk sued by shareholders over delay in disclosing Twitter stake
Elon Musk was sued by former Twitter shareholders who claim they missed out on the recent run-up in its stock price because he waited too long to disclose a 9.2 percent stake in the social media company, Reuters reported.
In a proposed class action filed in Manhattan federal court, the shareholders said Musk, the chief executive of electric car company Tesla, made “materially false and misleading statements and omissions” by failing to reveal he had invested in Twitter by March 24 as required under federal law.
Twitter shares rose 27 percent on April 4, to $49.97 from $39.31, after Musk disclosed his stake, which investors viewed as a vote of confidence from the world’s richest person in San Francisco-based Twitter.
Former shareholders led by Marc Rasella said the delayed disclosure let Musk buy more Twitter shares at lower prices, while defrauding them into selling at “artificially deflated” prices.
Crypto firm MoonPay raises $87 mn from Justin Bieber, Maria Sharapova, others
Cryptocurrency payments startup MoonPay has raised $87 million from more than 60 high-profile investors including singer Justin Bieber, rapper Snoop Dogg, tennis player Maria Sharapova and actor Bruce Willis as the role of NFTs in content creation and fan engagement expands.
As per Reuters, the investments are part of the firm’s Series A round, disclosed in November last year which valued the company at $3.4 billion.
Other investors in the company include rapper Aubrey Drake Graham and Adel Future Nur’s company Dreamcrew, Gwyneth Paltrow-led Kinship Ventures, Ashton Kutcher, Guy Oseary-backed venture capital firm Sound Ventures, singer Abel Tesfaye, better known as The Weeknd and his manager Amir Esmailian.
Meta to take nearly half of sales made by its metaverse creators as fees
Facebook parent Meta Platforms will charge creators around 47.5 percent on sales of digital assets and experiences made inside the company’s virtual reality platform Horizon Worlds.
The overall charge comprises of 30 percent hardware platform fee for sales made through Meta Quest Store, where it sells apps and games meant for its virtual reality headsets, and a further 17.5 percent cut as its Horizon platform fees, a Meta spokesperson told Reuters.
On Monday, the tech giant said it would start testing tools for creators to sell digital assets and in turn make money on Horizon Worlds, a key part of its plan for creating a metaverse.
Google to invest $9.5 bn in US offices, data centers this year
Google said on Wednesday it plans to invest about $9.5 billion across its U.S. offices and data centers this year, up from $7 billion last year.
Google said the investment will create at least 12,000 full-time jobs in 2022 and focus on data centers in several states including Nevada, Nebraska and Virginia. The company will open a new office in Atlanta this year, and expand its data center in Storey County, Nevada, it added.
Google will continue to invest in offices in its home state of California and support affordable housing initiatives in the Bay Area as part of its $1 billion housing commitment.
Walmart taps PayPal’s finance chief John Rainey as CFO
Walmart has appointed PayPal Holdings finance head, John Rainey, as chief financial officer (CFO). Rainey will take over as CFO effective June 6, replacing Brett Biggs, Walmart’s finance chief since 2015, who announced his exit late last year.
Rainey, who announced his departure from PayPal after almost seven years with the payments firm, joins Walmart at a time when retailers across the board are rushing to beef up their e-commerce businesses following the pandemic-led shift to online shopping.