Thimmaya Poojary ( )
Venture capital funding into Indian startups saw a sharp turnaround in the last week of April from the double-digit low of the comparable previous week.
The last week of the month saw venture funding of $124 million, cutting across 19 deals. This was quite a revival from the previous week when the inflow had dropped to a meagre $18 million.
The boost this week came from the secondary transaction in Xpressbees from the sovereign wealth fund of Malaysia, signalling a global interest in the Indian startup ecosystem. There were few other transactions in the $10 million – $15 million range.
However, the challenges posed by the current funding winter are unlikely to go away anytime soon. This drought is largely affecting late-stage startups, which require large amounts of capital and the investors are unlikely to open their purses.
In addition, the financial results of leading technology companies such as Microsoft, Amazon and Meta have sent mixed signals. While most of these companies have shown an increase in revenues, the broad indicators point towards the prospect of a slowdown.
Logistics services startup Xpressbees raised a $40 million investment from Khazanah Nasional Berhad in a secondary transaction.
Lokal, a hyperlocal content, community, and classified platform, has raised Rs 120 crore ($14.6 million) from Global Brain, Sony Innovation Fund, and India Quotient.
Fintech startup Niro raised $11 million from Elevar Equity, GMO Venture Partners, Rebright Partners, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance VC, and InnoVen Capital.
Cloud kitchen startup Rebel Foods has raised Rs 75 crore (~$9.1 million) in debt funding from investors Northern Arc and Stride Ventures.
Adventum Student Living (ASL), the parent company of UniScholars, UniCreds, and UniAcco raised $5 million from Cornerstone Ventures and existing investors.
Career engagement platform for women, HerKey (formerly JobsForHer) raised $4 million from Kalaari and 360 ONE Asset.