More startups picked up funds this week compared to the previous week, with Mary Meeker’s growth-stage fund Bond betting on edtech major Byju’s— its first bet in India. The other key deals include Aye Finance, Nextbillion.ai and Milkbasket.
Bond’s Byju bet
Bond’s investment in Byju’s is likely to be under $100 million, valuing the Bengaluru-based company at $10.5 billion, people in the know said. The latest financing comes after Tiger Global had ploughed $200 million into Byju’s at about $8 billion valuation in January this year. At the time, ET had reported that the online learning platform was likely to raise further funding of $1 billion through the course of this year and was in talks with multiple investors, including certain US-based endowment funds.
Why it’s important
Meeker, a former partner at marquee Silicon Valley venture firm Kleiner Perkins and known for her comprehensive Internet Trends reports, launched Bond, a $1.25 billion growth investment fund last year. This is Meeker’s first investment in India. Read more.
- Google’s private equity arm CapitalG has led a fresh investment round of Rs 210 crore ($27 million) in Aye Finance, a non-bank lender which caters to small businesses. The fundraising also saw participation from other existing backers including LGT Lightstone, Falcon Edge Capital, A91 Partners and MAJ Invest. With this investment, Aye’s total equity funding since inception exceeds Rs 690 crore. Read More.
- Nextbillion.ai has raised $7 million in Series A funding, led by Lightspeed India Partners and Falcon Edge Capital. The company, which builds mapping and other AI-based services for emerging markets, was founded earlier this year by Ajay Bulusu, Gaurav Bubna and Shaolin Zheng, all former employees of Southeast Asian ride-hailing giant Grab. Nextbillion.ai is looking to build AI-based hyperlocal solutions, starting with mapping as its core offering. Read More.
- Fullife, which manufactures and retails sports nutrition supplements under the brand name Fast&Up, has raised Rs 50 crore ($6.6 million) in a fresh financing round, in the process, bringing on board, Amansa Capital, the Singapore-headquartered investment firm founded by ace stock picker Akash Prakash, as a new investor. Mumbai-headquartered Fullife’s existing investors, Dalal Street bull Rakesh Jhunjhunwala and consumer-focused early-stage investment firm Sixth Sense Ventures also participated in the fundraising. Read More.
- Co-working startup 91springboard has raised Rs 45 crore ($5.9 million) crore in funding from its existing investors including Singapore-based marketing technology company Freakout and Shinsei Bank of Japan among others. The fundraising comes at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic has forced companies to reduce office spaces and renegotiate rental agreements to slash costs. Some are also toying with the idea of making work from home a permanent feature to cut long-term overheads. Read More.
- Grocery delivery startup Milkbasket has raised $5.5 million in a funding round led by Inflection Point Ventures along with existing investors. Founded in 2015 by Anant Goel, Ashish Goel, Anurag Jain and Yatish Talvadia, the startup delivers groceries to over 130,000 households in cities including Gurgaon, Noida, Dwarka, Ghaziabad, Hyderabad and Bangalore. The company has so far raised over $38 million. Read More.