Late-stage funding for the Indian startup ecosystem is steadily declining. Evidence of a bear market controlling the private market with a decline after correcting the public market with a declining valuation is now easily seen. In other words, the first week of March saw a total of $223 million in funding spread across 32 deals, with no megadeal above $100 million. Meanwhile, funding for five of the total funded startups remained undisclosed.
The week also failed to create new unicorns. This week’s funding is 68% lower than the previous week, when the ecosystem attracted $699 million across 48 deals and introduced a unicorn. The most active investor(s) this week was Vaibhav Domkundwar’s Better Capital, which handed over three checks. Kunal Shah and Jitendra Gupta, two angel investors, each participated in two transactions.
Here’s a quick rundown of all the best fundraisers for startups:
Pocket FM raises $65 million
Pocket FM, an OTT audio platform, has secured $65 million in a Series C funding round led by Burlingame-based Goodwater Capital, South Korean tech conglomerate Naver, alongside a existing investor, Tanglin Venture Partners. The newly raised funds will be used to strengthen the startup’s leadership position, expand into other regional languages, invest in AI capabilities and build the world’s largest audio creation community, the company said in a statement. communicated. In addition to long-form content, the platform includes audio series, novels, podcasts, stories, and knowledge shows in eight languages. There are currently over 50 million users and around 3 billion monthly listening minutes on the platform.
Volopay pockets $29 million
Volopay, the business-to-business (B2B) financial technology company, has attracted $29 million in funding led by JAM Fund, Accial Capital, Winklevoss Capital Management and others ahead of its foray into the Indian market. The round also saw the participation of Amrish Rau, CEO of Pine Labs, Sweta Rau, founder of White Ventures, Rapyd Ventures, fintech veterans Jeffrey Cruttenden and Jitendra Gupta, founder and CEO of Jupiter; Antler Global and VentureSouq. The investment is a combination of equity and debt capital, according to a statement from the Singapore-based company. Volopay also focuses on the entire Asia-Pacific region, as well as markets in West Asia.
Filo bags 23 million
Filo, an instant live tutoring startup, pocketed $23 million in a Series A funding round from Seattle-based venture capital firm Anthos Capital. The round also featured participation from existing investor Better Capital as well as GSV Ventures, Sapling Capital, among several angel investors. The proceeds will primarily be used for product development as the company deepens large-scale modeling pedagogy, expands its team, enters new categories and expands its base of tutors across the country, according to the company. The startup claims to have received over 1.5 million downloads in a single year and has around 350,000 monthly active users on its platform.
Kuhoo raises $20 million
Kuhoo, a fintech platform, has announced that it has raised a whopping $20 million seed round from London-based private equity firm WestBridge Capital. This fund will be used by the company to revolutionize the fintech segment of student loans. Kuhoo, named after the melodious sound of the cuckoo bird, seeks to provide online loans to students interested in studying at universities in India and abroad. It is also the first student loan company to offer products in areas as diverse as MBA, engineering, online courses, executive education, coaching programs and even new age courses.