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Indian Startups Raise $122 Million This Week Despite Funding Decline: Key Highlights and Major Developments

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The Indian startup ecosystem, the third largest in the world, witnessed a significant dip in funding activity for the second consecutive week in May. Between May 13 and 18, Indian startups raised a total of $121.8 million across 21 deals, a 45% drop compared to last week’s $220.2 million.

Weekly Funding Highlights: Propelld Leads the Pack

Fintech startup Propelld emerged as the top fund-raiser, securing a hefty $25 million. Fintech dominated the funding landscape, with startups in the sector raising a total of $33.1 million across three deals, the highest at a sectoral level. Gruhas Proptech and Venture Highway were the most active investors, backing two startups each.

Seed funding continued to struggle, with startups at this stage securing only $3.5 million, a steep 58% decline from the previous week’s $8.4 million.

Key IPO Updates

  • TBO Tek: The B2B travel portal made a spectacular debut on the stock market, listing at INR 1,426 on the NSE, a 55% premium over its issue price of INR 920. On the BSE, it listed at INR 1,380, a 50% premium.
  • Zappfresh: The D2C meat delivery startup has transitioned to a public company, setting the stage for its initial public offering (IPO).
  • Digit Insurance: The insurtech unicorn’s IPO was oversubscribed 9.6 times, with 50.76 crore bids against 5.28 crore shares. The IPO includes a fresh issue of shares worth INR 1,125 crore and an offer for sale (OFS) of 5.47 crore shares.
  • Flipkart: Walmart is contemplating the right timing for Flipkart’s IPO, driven by the company’s positive EBITDA growth over the last two quarters.

Major Developments of the Week

  • Amazon: The US-based ecommerce giant invested $199 million in its Indian arm, Amazon Seller Services Pvt Ltd.
  • 9Unicorns Rebranding: The early-stage VC fund has rebranded to 100Unicorns, launching a second fund with a $200 million corpus and a $100 million green shoe option.
  • Battery Smart: The battery-swapping startup is raising $45 million in a Series B round, with participation from Acacia Inclusion, MUFG Bank, and Blume Ventures.
  • KKR and InCred: KKR is divesting a 10% stake in InCred to Japan’s Mizuho Financial Group, potentially boosting the fintech startup’s valuation by 30-40% from its last valuation of $1.2 billion.
  • Orbod and Niyogin Fintech: Orbod is selling its AI platform SuperScan to Niyogin Fintech Ltd, following board approval.
  • Apax Partners: The London-based PE firm is eyeing investments in Indian pharmaceuticals, consumer markets, and consumer derivatives, with a dedicated India-focused team.
  • BizDateUp and Duro Green: BizDateUp Technologies has acquired a 20% stake in waste management startup Duro Green.
  • SoftBank: The Japanese conglomerate is exploring investments in Indian data centers and industrial robotics to strengthen its AI portfolio.

Conclusion

Despite a downturn in funding, the Indian startup ecosystem continues to attract significant investments and witness crucial IPO activities. With leading startups like Propelld driving the fintech sector and major developments across various industries, the landscape remains dynamic and poised for future growth.

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Funding

Centre Injects ₹50 Lakh Each into 7 Startups for Innovation in Technical Textiles

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Centre Injects ₹50 Lakh Each into 7 Startups for Innovation in Technical Textiles

In a groundbreaking move to drive innovation and sustainability, the Centre has approved ₹50 lakh grants for seven promising startups in the technical textiles sector.

Centre Injects ₹50 Lakh Each into 7 Startups for Innovation in Technical Textiles

Massive Boost for Technical Textiles Startups

On Thursday, the Centre announced a significant boost to the technical textiles industry by approving ₹50 lakh grants for seven startups. This initiative, part of the National Technical Textiles Mission (NTTM), aims to foster innovation and sustainability within the sector, according to a statement by the Ministry of Textiles.

Expanding Innovation Horizons

The Ministry of Textiles has ambitious plans to support 150 startups to drive innovation in technical textiles. This recent approval brings the total number of supported startups to eight, with the ministry previously approving one startup. The initiative was first reported by Mint on June 4, highlighting the ministry’s plan to grant up to ₹50 lakh to each startup engaged in technical textiles without seeking any profit share.

Royalty Cap Relaxation

In a move to further ease the growth of these startups, the textiles ministry has relaxed the royalty cap on this scheme. Traditionally, fund providers claim a percentage of profits as ‘royalty’ for their investment, but this relaxation will enable startups to retain more of their earnings, facilitating faster growth and innovation.

Focus Areas and Approved Projects

The approved proposals emphasize sustainability, composites, high-performance textiles, meditech, and smart textiles, promising substantial advancements in these critical areas. The Empowered Programme Committee (EPC), chaired by Textiles Secretary Rachna Shah, sanctioned these projects.

Transformative Innovations

The grants, distributed under the NTTM’s Grant for Research and Entrepreneurship across Aspiring Innovators in Technical Textiles (GREAT) scheme, are set to catalyze transformative innovations. Among the approved projects are initiatives focused on developing braided composites for military applications, Radmone integrated IFF antennas, surgical simulation models made of composites for doctor training, and nano-fiber infused textiles for energy generation and sensing.

Strengthening Technical Education

Beyond startup funding, the EPC has approved a ₹6.4 crore grant to IIT Guwahati. This funding will be used to introduce new subjects in technical textiles and enhance the Civil Engineering Department’s laboratory infrastructure, further bolstering India’s position in technical textile research and education.

India’s Growing Technical Textiles Market

Launched in 2020, the NTTM aims to position India as a global leader in technical textiles by promoting research, innovation, and widespread application across various sectors. According to a KPMG report, India’s technical textiles market is the 5th largest globally, valued at $21.95 billion in 2021-22. The market has been growing at 8-10% per annum over the past five years, and the government aims to accelerate this growth to 15-20% over the next five years.

Global Market Projections

The global technical textiles market, estimated at $212 billion in 2022, is projected to reach $274 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 5.2% during this period. This growth is driven by increasing demand across industries and rapid development of new applications.

Expert Insights

“The synthetics eco-system in India needs a big boost in both textile and apparel. Technical textiles are one part of the synthetics ecosystem, so the government recognizes this gap,” said Rahul Ahluwalia, co-founder of the Foundation for Economic Development. “Startups have a role to play, but the government will also need to focus on big investors that can bring scale to synthetics.”

What are your views for the same?

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Skye Air Secures $4 Million to Revolutionize Drone Delivery in India

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Skye Air Secures $4 Million to Revolutionize Drone Delivery in India

In a significant move for the drone delivery industry, Skye Air has raised $4 million in a funding round led by prominent investors, signaling a new era for last-mile logistics in India.

A Game-Changing Investment

Drone delivery startup Skye Air has successfully secured $4 million in its latest funding round. The round was spearheaded by Mount Judi Ventures, Chiratae Ventures, Venture Catalysts, Windrose Capital, and Tremis Capital. Additional participation came from Faad Capital, Misfits Capital, Hyderabad Angels, Soonicorn Ventures, and other existing investors.

Expanding the Last-Mile Network

The fresh capital will be strategically used to expand Skye Air’s last-mile delivery network in Gurugram and other major cities. The focus areas include healthcare, e-commerce, and quick-commerce deliveries. This expansion aims to enhance the efficiency and speed of logistics, crucial for industries that rely on timely delivery.

Founder’s Vision

“We are excited to embark on a growth journey along with our existing and new partners who believe in our vision. This is a testament to our amazing team and the relentless hard work they put in every day to create real change in making last-mile logistics faster and more efficient,” said Ankit Kumar, founder and CEO of Skye Air.

Innovative Solutions and Technological Edge

Founded in 2019 by Ankit Kumar and Chandra Prakash, Skye Air is a SaaS-based company that specializes in sustainable last-mile logistics solutions using drones. The company operates across various sectors, including healthcare, e-commerce, quick-commerce, and the food industry. A notable innovation from Skye Air is the Skye UTM, an unmanned traffic management system. This system regulates drone traffic, ensures safety, and enables efficient communication between drones and air traffic control.

Previous Funding and Market Impact

Skye Air’s journey of innovation and growth was previously supported by a $1.7 million funding round led by Chiratae Ventures in November 2022. The company’s consistent progress and technological advancements position it as a leader in the drone delivery space.

Investor Confidence

Ali Shariff, partner at Mount Judi Ventures, emphasized Skye Air’s pioneering role: “Skye Air commands the first-mover advantage in the hugely disruptive drone delivery industry. It is revolutionizing the last-mile logistics space in India through their end-to-end autonomous navigation capabilities.”

Apoorva Ranjan Sharma, founder and managing director at Venture Catalysts, highlighted the sector’s potential: “With India’s drone industry projected to soar from ₹2,900 crore in 2020 to an impressive ₹81,600 crore by 2025, we at Venture Catalysts are extremely optimistic about the sector’s potential. Our investment in Skye Air aligns with our strategy of backing sunrise sectors. We are confident that Skye Air’s SaaS-based logistics services will profoundly transform the logistics landscape over the next 2-3 years.”

The Future of Last-Mile Delivery

With this substantial funding, Skye Air is set to transform last-mile delivery, making it faster, more efficient, and sustainable. The company’s innovative approach and technological advancements are poised to reshape the logistics industry in India and beyond.

What are your thoughts on the future of drone delivery? Do you think Skye Air’s innovative approach will revolutionize last-mile logistics? Share your insights in the comments below!

 

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Clodura.AI Secures $2 Million in Pre-Series A Funding to Revolutionize Sales Prospecting

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Secures $2 Million in Pre-Series A Funding

In a remarkable leap forward for the sales technology sector, Clodura.AI, a pioneer in AI-driven sales prospecting solutions, has successfully raised $2 million in its pre-Series A funding round. This significant investment was led by the Bharat Innovation Fund, with additional backing from Malpani Ventures.

The fresh capital infusion will be utilized to enhance Clodura.AI’s cutting-edge platform, which harnesses the power of Large Language Models (LLMs) and generative AI to streamline the entire sales process, from prospecting to closure.

Founded by the innovative entrepreneur Kapil Khangaonkar, Clodura.AI is revolutionizing the sales landscape by equipping sales professionals with the tools they need to identify decision-makers, gather actionable sales intelligence, automate outreach campaigns, and create a 10X sales pipeline. The platform’s ability to deliver consistently updated, high-quality data ensures precise targeting and effective communication, setting it apart from traditional sales tools.

One of Clodura.AI’s standout features is its email cadence capabilities, which significantly boost interaction rates and meeting bookings. By automating the creation and sending of sales outreach emails and follow-ups, Clodura.AI eliminates the tedious, time-consuming tasks that often burden sales professionals, allowing them to focus on closing deals and driving growth.

With this new injection of capital, Clodura.AI is poised to further innovate and expand its platform, continuing to empower sales teams worldwide with advanced AI-driven tools.

Which AI startups do you think are currently growing as a boom?

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