Every Monday, I sit with my team to review the funding activity of the previous week. From that list, I pick out a few companies that I would have loved to invest in or find founders doing similar things. Here is my rationale behind this weekly exercise.
A bug in my blog led to a critical error that stopped me from posting a new blog. Therefore I missed out on sending my weekly picks for the last 5 weeks. As a result of this, I aggregated the choices (in no specific order) for this period.
The last 5 weeks have just increased the enthusiasm glocal investors have for Indian startups. With a unicorn getting announced every 2 weeks this year (so far), it begets the question that… the best is yet to come!
After sifting through the news (aggregated from Tracxn, Inc42, and YourStory), I picked 14 as my favorite funding news!
Amount Raised: $1.36M from Ankur Capital
What does Numen do?
Edited from AngelList: Numen Health lets consumers manage their chronic conditions (15 conditions and counting) through an organized, AI, and Human assisted personal healthcare plan led by their trusted doctor. Typical programs are for 3 months or more to see clinically valid outcomes in patients. Use these personalized plans to recover faster from major surgery or progress more quickly on crucial health markers. It’s easy, personal, and with the satisfaction of a trained doctor behind the plan at all times.
Why do I like Numen?
The revival of the pandemic has again focused upon the severe lacuna in the availability of trained medical professionals despite upgrading medical infrastructure. Therefore, technology could play a critical role in filling that gap by increasing the current professionals’ productivity and enhancing their ability to manage more patients, especially those that need chronic patient care.
With the US expenditure on chronic disease management exceeding 6% of its GDP, India will not be far behind, making this a grim and necessary problem to solve.
Amount Raised: Undisclosed amount from Matrix Partners India and angel investors.
What does Antwak do?
Edited from Tracxn: AntWak is a provider of educational videos by professionals. It provides resources on user experience, product management, digital transformation, data science, brand management, digital marketing, and many more. It is available on Android as well as iOS.
Why do I like Antwak?
There are many upskilling platforms out there, but I got hooked by the online sales training curriculum. It is the sort of program that I would love each of my sales guys to attend to acquire or sharpen their skills. If they can match the curriculum’s quality with execution, it will most definitely cause a flutter in the ecosystem!
Name: The WorldGrad
Amount Raised: $1M from LINC Education
What does The WorldGrad do?
Edited from Tracxn: The WorldGrad is an online platform providing admission assistance solutions for abroad studies. The platform enables students to enroll, complete the first term online, and progress further on overseas campuses. The platform offers live classes on business & analytics, commerce & finance, hospitality, tourism, and more.
Why do I like The WorldGrad?
I must admit that while I love these weekly sessions with my team, this was the first time that I got out of my chair and (almost) ordered my team to get in touch with the founders for a tête-à-tête. Their program is a no-brainer for middle-class Indian families that stretch their budgets to educate their children – especially when budgets are tight and traveling overseas is difficult.
Amount Raised: Rs 6 crore from Strive VC, Firstcheque, Ramakant Sharma & Syndicate, and angels
What does SuperK do?
Edited from Tracxn: Provider of store retail chain solution for Tier 2 towns. The retail partners join as franchises and benefit from procurement, marketing intelligence, and customer engagement to scale the business. The products (food grains) are sourced directly from farmers and processed in their warehouses. It also offers payments, offers/discounts, loyalty rewards, automatic AI-based stock replenishment, billing & inventory systems, branding, promotions, and more.
Why do I like SuperK?
I believe that Kirana store owners must band together to improve their purchasing power and their customer experience. There is a significant play like the one created by the Circle K franchise stores proliferating across South East Asia. The key will be to educate the store owners on following brand guidelines while ensuring that they make a better living than they do at the moment.
Amount Raised: $2.1 million from Stellaris Venture Partners, Omidyar Network India, and Flourish Ventures.
What does CredFlow do?
Edited from Tracxn: CredFlow is an online B2B platform for invoice financing. The platform connects vendors, buyers, and financial institutions over a single platform to manage & increase cash flows via receiving credit against their receivables/payables. The company leverages proprietary algorithms & NBFC data to underwrite & define credit limits, develops credit programs, and enables automated cash flow management.
Why do I like CredFlow?
A primary cause for the financial stress and low profitability of Indian SMEs is them not getting paid on time (over 60% of invoices get delayed beyond 60 days). Platforms that could solve this puzzle for them would be invaluable, which is where Credflow comes in.
Amount Raised: $750,000 from Pi Ventures and Stellaris Venture Partners.
What does LimeChat do?
Edited from Tracxn: Provider of an AI chatbot for eCommerce applications. The company provides a complete automatic chat solution from pre-purchase queries to checkouts using AI. Their answer is to increase the sales experience, improve the analytics platform, and offer a single dashboard to view all the conversations. The conversation engine gets powered by First-of-its-kind Level 3 Conversational AI. The bot uses NLP, ML, contextual assistant, etc. to provide a quality experience with limited human intervention.
Why do I like LimeChat?
In an increasingly digital world, the importance for brands to interact with customers through multiple mediums and channels is increasing. Limechat offers a one-stop solution that reduces the redundancy that brands would have and would increase productivity and sales.
Amount Raised: Rs60 lakh from DCB Bank
What does TechFino do?
Edited from Tracxn: TechFino is an online marketplace for financial products. It offers personal loans for education, healthcare & utilities, credit cards, general insurance, and more. It provides products and services to consumers by extending liquidity support based on various selection criteria and the onboarding process.
Why do I like TechFino?
Consumer credit will be the backbone on which the B2C economy is going to get built. TCPL like services that help customers get these consumer credit loans have a magnificent potential, and we, too, are actively looking for innovative startups in this space.
Amount Raised: $3 million from NB Ventures and IAN Fund.
What does Sinora do?
Edited from Website: Sinora is an award-winning product innovation brand committed to solving those intimate and menstrual hygiene issues for women, which do not get adequately addressed in India.
Why do I like Sinora?
We’ve looked at many companies that offer female hygiene products like sanitary pads and reusable sanitary pads; what I like specifically about Sirona is that their offerings include a whole spectrum of services, like nutraceuticals, to help through the period. They’re going after this space more holistically, making them a solutions company versus a product company – I am a big fan of this approach!
Amount Raised: $850,000 from Shaun Neff, Anil Advani, Vaibhav Domkundwar, and angels
What does Evo do?
Edited from Yourstory: EVO Foods has developed Asia’s first plant-based liquid egg product. It seeks to revolutionize India’s plant-based, sustainable food market and target the overseas market, including the US.
Why do I like Evo?
Although this is a pre-product at this stage, plant protein-based eggs would find takers in even the vegetarian audience that consume eggs as a protein source. Therefore Evo is in an exciting space that IMHO has better prospects for the Indian audience than plant-based meats. I’d love to try out the product once it is out!
Amount Raised: Rs 18.2 crore from Indiamart
What does Shipway do?
Edited from Tracxn: Shipway is a courier tracking tool offered as a plug-and-play model, which can get integrated with existing backend software of e-tailers where users can track shipments and get notified by SMS or email. Merchants can use Shipway for courier tracking on their website and send courier notifications to their customers. Other features include notifications for shipment booked, out for delivery, and shipment delivered. The company also provides a dashboard for analytics and reporting. Claims to have 550+ couriers integrated, with 10K+ registered companies on its platform
Why do I like Shipway?
D2C will be a $100+ billion market by 2025. To achieve the $100 billion number, there will be many billions of packages getting sent across the 7th largest country (by land) in the world. A SaaS platform that allows founders to manage their shipping can save them a lot of time and add tons of value. I will be following Shipway closely as many of our D2C founders would be potential customers for them!
Amount Raised: Undisclosed amount from Arali Ventures.
What does FinBox do?
Edited from Tracxn: Finbox provides open banking API solutions. The company offers API-based solutions that provide data to build financial products. The company provides BankConnect that lets users connect their bank accounts with businesses via PDF upload or net banking login. It also offers DeviceConnect to connect their mobile device data with financial institutions to avail customized financial products.
Why do I like FinBox?
Embedded finance will be the next frontier in fintech, and FinBox is an exciting solution for the credit-starved Indian ecosystem. We have a strong thesis at Artha that the key for the consumer ecosystem to grow is the consumer credit ecosystem has to grow and penetrate further. Therefore, I’m pretty excited about platforms like FinBox as they will be the essential pillars for catalyzing the consumer space in India.
Amount Raised: Undisclosed amount from Rainmatter, Kunal Shah, and angels
What does GoalTeller do?
Edited from LinkedIn: GoalTeller is a bootstrapped fintech startup that provides financial planning tools to individual investors. GoalTeller is a part of the fintech industry and is currently under the development stage.
Why do I like GoalTeller?
Goal-based investment apps have been my favorite for a long time. While this app is still in beta, getting Raimatter (Zerodha’s investment arm) as an investor is quite interesting. I have registered for their beta plan would love to see what they have to offer.
Amount Raised: $16.5 million from Lightspeed India, Better Capital, MV Opportunity Fund, and Angels.
What does Teachmint do?
Edited from Tracxn: Teachmint provides a tutor management software platform. It offers virtual classrooms with assignment and notes sharing, administration management, student information management, progress tracking, etc. It works on subscription-based pricing models. It provides its application for the Android platform.
Why do I like Teachmint?
Unless something genuinely spectacular occurs with treating the COVID19 virus, this year will be another one where kids will get taught online. Therefore, platforms like Teachmint would get another year to penetrate deeper into the teaching community and attempt to make permanent shifts in the way things get taught.
While I have had my reservations about this crowded edtech space, certain plays (like Teachmint) have solid potential if they could capitalize on the next 12-18 months while schools continue to keep their doors shut.
Name: 6 Degree
Amount Raised: $1 million from SucSEED Indovation Fund, Keiretsu Forum, SucSEED Angel Network, and AngelBay.
What does 6 Degree do?
Edited from Website: 6Degree is India’s leading fashion business platform founded in 2014 by Amit Bhardwaj and Nikhil Hegde. There was a gap in the fashion business space that Amit and Nikhil set out to bridge – the absence of a platform that unifies the fashion industry. Thus, 6Degree emerged. A one stop shop for people in the fashion industry for all fashion business needs.
Why do I like 6 Degree?
Like I mentioned above, with D2C getting another lease of life due to the ongoing lockdowns, startups like 6 degree’s will be in demand. They help fashion sellers navigate a fragmented ecosystem that got further fragmented during this lockdown.
While I expect them to have their hands full due to a perfect storm of conditions in their favor, whether they will capitalize on that will be watched closely!