Start-ups continue to attract record fund flows even as the year that saw an unprecedented funding boom is drawing to an end. In the week of December 20 to 24, a total of $1.25 billion was raised in key rounds.
The week saw record funding rounds with fintech Razorpay bagging its largest round, more than all of its previous rounds put together. Business-to-business (B2B) commerce and lending platform OfBusiness too raised $325 million with a valuation jump of 4x in this year.
We also saw a $100-million round by 10-minute grocery delivery platform Zepto led by 19-year-old entrepreneurs. The round was the largest funding by growth-stage investor YC Continuity in an Indian start-up so far.
Here’s a roundup of the key deals in the week gone by.
With a $375-million Series F round, Razorpay’s valuation more than doubled to $7.5 billion from $3 billion during its previous round. The company has seen a 7x jump in valuation from $1 billion in just 14 months.
The round, led by Lone Pine Capital, Alkeon Capital and TCV also saw participation from the US-based Growth Investor, and other existing investors such as Tiger Global, Sequoia Capital India, GIC and Y Combinator. This will also make Razorpay, one of the most valued fintechs in India, only behind Paytm, which is now listed on the public markets.
Even so, Razorpay co-founder and CEO Harshil Mathur told Moneycontrol that the start-up has still not touched the funds raised in its last round. This reflects the fundraising momentum seen for fintechs in 2021 and companies making the best of the strong liquidity scenario.
The fintech will use the funds to scale up its neo banking arm RazorpayX, and will also look at acquisitions and global expansion.
In another large round, B2B commerce and lending platform OfBusiness raised $325 million led by existing investors Alpha Wave Global, Tiger Global Management and SoftBank. With this round, the company’s valuation has grown to $5 billion.
In an interview with Moneycontrol, OfBusiness Co-Founder and CEO Asish Mohapatra said that the company is aiming to go public in the latter half of 2022. It will look to appoint investment bankers for the initial public offering (IPO) by June 2022.
“We are profitable, and going public is the natural next step. Our commerce and lending businesses will continue to grow at 4x and 2x the year after next as well,” Mohapatra said.
Online used cars marketplace Cars24 raised $400 million last week in its third funding round in a span of little over a year. The company’s valuation nearly doubled to $3 billion from $1.8 billion during its previous round in September 2021.
The round was led by returning investor Alpha Wave Global, formerly known as Falcon Edge Capital, and participation from other existing investors. It comprises $300-million equity financing and $100 million from diversified financial institutions in India, Australia and the UAE.
The company plans to use the funds to accelerate its global expansion in the Middle East, Australia and Southeast Asia and further strengthen its foothold in the Indian market. The proceeds will also be used to improve its technology.
Zepto, led by 19-year-old Stanford University dropouts Aadit Palicha and Kaivalya Vohra raised $100 million in a Series C round led by growth-stage investor YC Continuity and also saw participation from new and existing investors, including Glade Brook, Nexus Venture Partners, Breyer Capital, Lachy Groom, Global Founders Capital and Contrary Capital.
The round values the quick commerce platform at $570 million and comes only a couple of months after the start-up’s previous fundraise of $60 million.
This is the largest funding YC Continuity has made in an Indian start-up so far. The funds will be used to grow Zepto’s footprint across the country and ramp up hiring in functions, including operations, supply chain, marketing, finance, product, engineering and human resources.
B2B food and grocery e-commerce platform Jumbotail raised $85 million in a Series C round led by the Invus Group and Ajax Partners. The round saw partial exits by existing investors Nexus Venture Partners and Kalaari Capital.
Jumbotail will use these funds to grow its presence to 100 cities and towns in India and accelerate tech, marketing, finance and management hiring. According to reports, the company also plans to invest in expanding its network of J24 stores and large-scale kirana entrepreneur skill development initiatives.
B2B seafood marketplace Captain Fresh raised $40 million in a Series B round led by Tiger Global and Prosus Ventures at a valuation of $200 million. Existing investors Accel India, Matrix Partners India, Ankur Capital, and Incubate Fund also participated in the round.
The start-up will use the funds for international expansion in the US, European markets and also for domestic expansion in states like Kerala, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.
The company also said it will invest in building deeper tech integrations across the supply and demand-side networks such as a real-time trading marketplace, pricing and quality standardisation using artificial intelligence, application of robotic automation to move massive volumes, and hiring and growing its team.“We work with the entire spectrum of retailers and fulfill demands in terms of quality, volume, etc. But, we want to be an open ecosystem and work more with microentrepreneurs,” the start-up’s founder and chief executive Utham Gowda said in an interview with Moneycontrol.