In the first week of April, there was a significant surge in venture funding in the Indian startup ecosystem. However, this increase was largely due to a single transaction.
During the week, venture funding in the Indian startup ecosystem amounted to $525 million, with DMI Finance being responsible for a significant portion of the total amount. In contrast, the previous week saw only $104 million in VC funding.
The early-stage category of investments continues to receive the most attention from investors. This is because venture funding remains challenging, and investors are keen to identify potential winners in the early stages of a startup’s development.
It is unlikely that there will be a sharp recovery in venture funding inflows this year, given the prevailing macroeconomic environment and various uncertainties. Nonetheless, VCs are still interested in investing in very early stage startups, as they do not want to miss out on any future successful ventures.
According to market intelligence platform Tracxn the first quarter of 2023 saw a significant decline in equity funding for the tech space in India, with funding plummeting over 75% to $2.8 billion compared to $12.1 billion in the same quarter in 2022.
The number of total equity funding rounds decreased by 63% YoY to 298 in Q1 2023. The B2C e-commerce sector raised the most money, while SaaS and enterprise software companies led in Q1 2022.
MAJOR FUNDING DEALS
DMI Finance – DMI Finance, a pure-play digital lender in India, has raised $400 million in an equity investment round led by Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group through its subsidiary MUFG Bank, with participation from existing investor Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank.
DMI Finance uses technology to optimize lending processes and sources customers through digital channels such as Samsung, Google Pay, and Airtel. The company covers 95% of India’s pin codes and is projected to disburse over $2.5 billion in FY24.
Curefoods – Curefoods, a could kitchen startup, has raised Rs 300 crore in a funding round led by Three State Ventures, with participation from IronPillar, Chiratae Ventures, ASK Finance, and Winter Capital.
The funds, which include primary and secondary equity and debt, will be used to diversify the company’s brands into offline formats and expand its presence in northern and western India. Curefoods operates over 150 kitchens across 15 cities in India, with a revenue of Rs 88.4 crore in its first year of operation.
Avanti Finance Series B – Bengaluru-based NBFC Avanti Finance has raised $24m in Series B funding from Rabo Partnerships and IDH Farmfit Fund, with existing investors Oikocredit and NRJN Trust also participating.
The investment will be used to develop the firm’s platform, partner network and co-lending programs with financial institutions. Avanti has already served 275,000 households and disbursed over INR13bn ($174m) to date, with 180 loan products offered through 75 partners in 24 states and 300 districts across India.
Magenta Mobility – The Indian e-mobility startup, has raised $22 million in equity funding from bp and Morgan Stanley India Infrastructure. The startup plans to expand its fleet to 4,000 electric vehicles and expand to eight more cities in India over the next two years.
Magenta Mobility works with ecommerce, food, and online delivery companies, providing last-mile delivery logistics. Jio-bp will be the exclusive EV charging partner for Magenta Mobility’s fleet.
Spendflo – The all-in-one SaaS buying and management solution, has raised $11 million in a Series A funding round led by Prosus Ventures and Accel, bringing the total funds raised to $15.4 million.
The company plans to use the funds to fuel product growth and accelerate global expansion, with a focus on the North American market. Spendflo has grown 30% month on month since the start of 2022 and aims to broaden its North American footprint through the hiring of regional market leads and deploying on-ground activity.