My Funding Picks For Last Week (W34)
Every Monday, I sit with my team to review the funding activity of the previous week. From that list, I pick out three companies that I would have loved to invest in or find founders that are doing similar things. Click here to know about my rationale behind this weekly exercise.
Last week, the ecosystem dropped below the 2 equity deals/day average, with 9 startups raising $12 million. It is the second week in a row that the weekly funding has dropped below $15 million this financial year.
The drop comes as a bit of a surprise for me. There is significant value creation in the digital economy, and many startups are delivering at the top end of their revised projections. If this drop off continues for a couple more weeks, it could be a cause for concern.
This week 7 deals were in the early-stage rounds (compared to 9 last week), which made the cut for my weekly analysis. After sifting through the news (aggregated from Tracxn, Inc42, and YourStory), I pick these three as my favorite funding news from last week!
Name: Bobble AI
Amount Raised: Undisclosed from Affle
What does Bobble AI do?
Edited from Tracxn: Bobble is an AI-based keyboard app that has a facial recognition feature that gets used to convert selfies into GIFs and stickers. Its other features include multilingual language support, glide typing, custom fonts, themes, voice typing, and autocorrection. The app integrates with Facebook, Snapchat, and Whatsapp Messenger platforms. The features work in real-time with its ability to match facial expressions and facial tones with the sticker’s emotion and theme.
Why do I like Bobble AI?
First of all, I must admit that I like the story of founders taking a valuation cut to restructure the business and then raising around a significantly higher valuation – creating value for all stakeholders.
On the business side, Bobble’s product offering is perfect in a world where digital conversations have become the first port of call. How Bobble monetizes, this traction will be interesting to track.
Amount Raised: $1m from Orios Venture Partners
What does CityCash do?
Edited from Tracxn: CityCash offers NFC-enabled payment cards. They provide cards to purchase tickets, which can get used in buses, payments for Municipal and SmartCity payments. These also include amounts for utilities, taxes, parking and tourism, and micropayments. They offer Economic NFC POS solutions.
Why do I like CityCash?
Last year, after a trip to Hong Kong, I had written about the opportunity for an Octopus card for a city like Mumbai. CityCard is doing what the Octopus card does for Hong Kong, and they list Octopus on their website as someone they emulate!
Amount Raised: $500K from Venture Catalysts
What does Instoried do?
Edited from Inc42: Instoried provides end-to-end solutions to content marketers, helping them target particular emotions based on its identification of the brand’s emotional quotient. With this, the tool can give tailor-made recommendations of words and phrases. Instoried has launched a web app and sells licenses of the tool for multiple language users. It is currently available in English and Hindi,
Why do I like Instoried?
Interestingly, I have a personal bias in all the funding pics for this week.
I had picked Instoried as one if my favorite funding news when they raised their seed round in January 2020. I am happy to see them continue to flourish and grow!