7 rising startups in India – April 29, 2017
Three healthcare startups make the cut in this roundup of rising Indian startups that have raised funding in a tough environment. The biggest funding round for a co-working space and Xiaomi founder Lei Jun’s backing of a gaming startup are other highlights.
Sequoia India has bet US$20 million on co-working space Awfis in a series A round. This is the biggest funding round in India for co-working spaces, and Sequoia is the solo investor. The round is bigger than the combined capital raised by the remaining top 10 highest funded co-working startups in India, which gives Awfis the opportunity to take the lead.
Y Combinator, 500 Startups, Blume Ventures, Anthill Ventures, and Facebook have backed other Indian co-working spaces like Innov8, BHive, 91Springboard, and MyHQ. “Awfis is playing on two significant global trends – sharing economy and communities. This being delivered through a superior user experience at a lower total cost makes it more exciting,” says Abhay Pandey, managing director with Sequoia India.
Shunwei Capital, founded by Xiaomi boss Lei Jun, has led a series A investment of US$5 million along with Accel Partners in Bangalore-based gaming startup Mech Mocha. Early investor Blume Ventures also participated in the round.
Even though monetization has been hard so far in the Indian market for mobile games, there’s been a surge in downloads of games, with India climbing to fifth globally. The ongoing smartphone boom has encouraged investors to back Mech Mocha to take the lead in the market. Shunwei Capital made a debut in India earlier this year with an investment in used car marketplace Truebil.
Bangalore-based healthcare AI startup Niramai has raised seed funding led by Pi Ventures, with participation from Axilor Ventures, 500 Startups, Ankur Capital, and Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal. The startup is also part of the current summer batch of Axilor accelerator.
Niramai uses machine learning and artificial intelligence, with cloud-based software, to make breast cancer screening more accessible and affordable. It uses a low-cost device that takes high-resolution thermal images which require no radiation. Artificial intelligence is applied to the images on the cloud to detect breast cancer.
Digital community site Popxo aimed at millennial Indian women has announced fresh funding of US$3.1 million led by IDG Ventures India and Kalaari Capital. This round also had participation from Gree Ventures of Japan and Summit Media of the Philippines. Priyanka Gill, a graduate of King’s College London, and Namrata Bostrom, who studied at London Business School, launched the site in 2014 with a focus on pop content for “modern Indian women.”
Mumbai-based on-demand delivery startup Scootsy has raised US$3.6 million from Bangalore-based Angus Capital and Singapore-based Khattar Holdings. It aims to launch its own kitchens and a new service to deliver food to corporate offices.
The food delivery space in India, which is already crowded, is expected to face a new challenge with the launch of UberEats soon.
Online pharmacy Myra has raised an undisclosed amount in a series A round led by Matrix Partners and Times Internet. The two-year-old startup buys medicines from manufacturers and stores them in its warehouses scattered across cities. This inventory-based model, backed with data analytics, allows it to control logistics and promise customers delivery within an hour. It hopes to leverage the model to disrupt a huge industry.
“Despite advances in technology, the US$15 billion Indian pharma market continues to be largely unorganized,” points out Tarun Davda, MD of Matrix India.
Mumbai-based health content startup Sepalika has raised seed funding of US$750,000 from Accel Partners. Sepalika provides guidance on lifestyle, diet, and exercise to prevent or cope with chronic diseases. It was founded last year by IIM Bangalore MBA Sharda Agarwal and former journalist Mahesh Jayaraman.