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Startup Funding News: A Mayday or Mayday, Mayday?

Indian startups feeling the funding freeze? Not so fast! May saw a dip, but early-stage deals are heating up Drones, cleantech, and young companies are taking flight - is this a startup spring or just a blip? Watch TICE Funding Index for the full story!

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Swati Dayal
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Despite a chilly funding environment in 2023, May 2024 witnessed a surge in startup investments across various sectors in India. May 2024 saw a 20% decrease in startup funding compared to May 2023, according to data from Venture Intelligence. Total funding Startup Funding in May dropped from $1.019 billion to $812 million, with a decline in the number of deals from 68 to 52. 

Indian Startup Funding Dips in May, But Early Signs of Recovery Emerge

Despite the dip, there are reasons for optimism. Early-stage funding appears to be picking up steam, with a rise in smaller deals. This suggests that investors are starting to place their bets on promising young companies.

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Here's a quick look at the numbers:

May 2024 May 2023 Percentage Change
Total Funding $812 million $1.019 billion -20%
Number of Deals 52 68

While the overall funding picture is mixed, the increased activity in early-stage deals points towards a potential revival for Indian startups in the coming months.

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TICE Startup Funding Index: Key Startup Funding Rounds | Funding Data From Last Week of May 2024

This week, we're diving deep into the world of startup funding, where there's been a lot brewing despite some chilly weather. Let's have a look at EV financing, fintech, drones, cleantech, and a whole lot more!

Startup

Fund Raised

Investor(s)

Purpose

About the Company

Turno

$6 million

BII, Stellaris, Others

Expand footprint in India, build battery technology platform, enter new categories of EVs, pilot new projects in commercial buses segment

Founded in 2022, Turno is a commercial EV marketplace selling used three-wheeler EVs from brands like Mahindra & Mahindra, Piaggio, and Euler Motors.

Vegapay

$5.5 million

Elevation Capital, Eximius Ventures

Enhance product suite, focus on product development and regulatory compliance, hire software developers, designers, engineers

Founded in 2022, Vegapay is a B2B fintech startup enabling regulated entities and fintechs to issue and increase the penetration of cards and lending products. It works with over six banks, including a major public sector bank, and plans to expand globally.

TechEagle

Not specified

VSS Investco, Inflection Point Ventures, Navam Capital, Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Venture Catalysts, others

Expand operations across India, launch higher payload drones for mid-mile and inter-city deliveries

Founded in 2017 by IIT-Kanpur alumni, TechEagle specializes in autonomous drone deliveries for its clients, focusing on last-mile logistics. It utilizes BVLOS drone operations and has notable clients like AIIMS and various state governments.

EcoRatings

$1 million

We Founder Circle, 888 VC, Vinners, Indigram Labs Foundation, Google

Acquire paid data sources, increase the number of tokens, introduce multi-modal capabilities

Founded in 2023, EcoRatings is a cleantech startup utilizing AI/ML and big data to quantify the environmental impact of products and services. Its platform, based on UN's Sustainable Development Goals and ESG norms, assists organizations in achieving sustainability targets.

Gravity

$1 million

Kettleborough VC

Strengthen engineering, build product, onboard Indian banks, consider international expansion

Founded in March 2024, Gravity is a B2B banking tech startup enabling interoperability among various banking software systems, allowing banks to develop customized products. It aims to onboard 4-5 Indian banks this year and expand internationally.

Sorin Investments

Rs 1,350 crore

Henry Kravis, Munjal family, Caravel Group’s Banga family, SIDBI-sponsored Fund of Funds for Startups (FFS) scheme, Uttar Pradesh state government startup fund

Back startups looking for Series A funding

Sorin Investments, founded by Sanjay Nayar, closed its maiden fund at Rs 1,350 crore, with investments from notable individuals and organizations, aiming to support startups in their Series A funding rounds.

FarMart

Rs 24 crore

ResponsAbility Investments

Reduce food loss and waste in India through software as a service (SaaS)

FarMart, a B2B food supply platform, raised Rs 24 crore in debt from ResponsAbility Investments. It aims to raise additional equity funding to further its mission of reducing food loss and waste in India.

Fyllo

$4 million

IndiaQuotient, SIDBI Ventures, Triveni Trusts, IAN, KIAORA

Not specified

Fyllo, an agtech startup, raised $4 million in funding led by IndiaQuotient and SIDBI Ventures, with participation from existing investors. Details about the purpose of funding were not provided.

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Funding Frenzy: EVs, Fintech, and Drones Take Flight! 

  • Let's kick things off with some big news in electric vehicles. Turno, a marketplace for commercial EVs, just secured $6 million to expand their reach and improve their battery tech platform. This means more electric three-wheelers on the road, and potentially even bigger commercial vehicles like buses in the future!
  • Speaking of hot wheels, let's shift gears to fintech. Vegapay, a startup providing B2B financial solutions, just raised $5.5 million. They're using this cash to develop even cooler tech for banks, like card management systems and loan collection tools. They're even planning to take their services global, so watch out Southeast Asia and the Middle East!
  • Now, with the recent funding slowdown, some governments are stepping up to help. The state of Karnataka in India just announced a platform to connect startups with investors. This is great news for early-stage ventures, especially those run by awesome women entrepreneurs!
  • Drones are taking flight in the startup world too! TechEagle, a company specializing in autonomous drone deliveries, just secured funding to expand their operations and develop heavy-duty drones. Imagine flying medical supplies or packages across cities - that's the future TechEagle is building!
  • And speaking of the future, let's talk cleantech. EcoRatings, a startup using AI to measure the environmental impact of products, just raised $1 million. They're aligning with the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, which is pretty cool!
  • But wait, there's more! Gravity, a banking tech startup, just snagged $1 million to improve their platform for connecting different banking systems. They're aiming to onboard Indian banks and then take their game international - UAE and Southeast Asia, watch out!
  • And on the investment front, we saw some big moves. Sorin Investments, a brand new early-stage venture firm, just closed its first fund at a whopping Rs 1,350 crore! That's a lot of cash to support startups looking for that crucial Series A funding.
  • The good news keeps rolling in for the agriculture sector too! FarMart, a B2B food supply platform, just raised Rs 24 crore to develop their software and reduce food waste. They're also planning a big equity round soon, so keep your eyes peeled!
  • And another agtech startup, Fyllo, just secured $4 million to boost their farm productivity solutions. With their help, farmers can leverage precision farming technology to get the most out of their land.
  • Healthcare is getting a high-tech boost too! Zoho Corporation, the software giant, just invested in Yali Aerospace, a drone startup delivering medical supplies and even organs to remote areas. Talk about a lifesaver!
  • And finally, Solinas, a company developing AI-powered solutions for water and sanitation, secured funding to expand their product line. They're tackling issues like pipeline defect detection and manual scavenging elimination, which is a huge win for public health.
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A Mixed Bag of Sentiment: Overall, Cautious Optimism Prevails

May offered a mix of positive and negative signs. While late-stage funding dipped, a wave of optimism swept through early to mid-stage startups. Investors seem to be placing their bets on promising young companies, with early-stage funding showing more activity.

Despite a challenging 2023, May 2024 showcased a mix of big and small deals across various sectors, indicating cautious investor optimism. Established players like Elevation Capital and Sequoia Capital participated alongside new entrants like Bharat Innovation Fund, highlighting a growing interest in the Indian startup landscape.

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Startup Funding News: Sectoral Performance

Fintech remained a hotbed of activity with investments in B2B players, insurtech, and electric mobility. Agritech and cleantech also saw significant investments. Interestingly, niche sectors like drone delivery and digital fitness received sizeable funding.

Key Indian Startup Funding Highlights

  • Battery Smart: $45 million for electric vehicle battery expansion
  • Niqo Robotics: $13 million for AI-powered agriculture robots
  • xAI: $6 billion Series B funding for Elon Musk's AI startup
  • Sorin Investments: Rs 1,350 crore raised by a new early-stage venture firm
  • High Street Essentials: Rs 50 crore to expand into the wedding wear market

May 2024 hints at a potential revival for Indian startup funding. While funding may have initially chilled, the month also highlighted a shift towards nurturing young companies with the potential to disrupt major industries. This showcases the vibrancy of the Indian startup ecosystem, constantly adapting and finding new avenues for growth.

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