Startup Funding Alert: 19th September 2019

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Ex-Infosys CEO raises $50 million for his AI startup Vianai Systems

Vishal Sikka
Vishal Sikka

Vishal Sikka, the ex Infosys CEO, has raised $50 million for his AI startup Vianai Systems from undisclosed investors. The funding was a part of the largest seed round for a firm whose website doesn’t talk much about the business right now. The startup is an enterprise platform based on Artificial Intelligence that aims to help businesses around the globe to drive digital transformations. 

Sikka had left Infosys on a bitter note in 2017 following a public dispute with the founders of the firm, in particular, with N. R. Narayana Murthy. The latter alleged Sikka of flouting corporate governance norms, among some other things. 

The global market value derived from Artificial Intelligence is projected to a total of $1.2 trillion in 2018, an increase of 70% from 2017, according to Gartner. AI-derived business value is predicted to reach $3.9 trillion in 2022. 


BCCL, Genkai Capital invests $20 million in Square Yards

Team Square Yards
Team Square Yards

Gurugram based startup Square yards has raised $20 million equity funding from a clutch of investors that include Bennett Coleman & Co Limited (BCCL), Genkai Capital, founders of PropertyGuru- Steve Melhuish and Jani Rautiainen, Koh Boon Hwee, former chairman of Singtel and DBS along with the participation of some existing investors. 

The round brings the total equity funding raised by the prop-tech startup to $50 million. Additionally, Square Yards has also raised about $25 million in debt financing. The current valuation of the startup stands to be in the range of around $260 million to $300 million.

The company plans to ramp up the investments in strengthening its technology infrastructure, building a go-to consumer brand and expanding abroad in emerging countries. 


Popular food chain Wow! Momo raises $23 million investment from Tiger Global

Sagar Daryani- Wow! Momo founder
Sagar Daryani- Wow! Momo founder

Wow! Momo Foods has raised a funding of $23 million in a Series B financing round led by US-based investor Tiger Global. The restaurant chain values at $120 million after this investment. The food chain currently operates over 282 outlets of Wow! Momo and 11 outlets of Wow! China. The company aims to set up over 120 stores this fiscal year. 

Sagar Daryani, CEO and co-founder of Wow! China & Wow! Momo said that the company would be using the fresh capital to scale out their operations further backed up with disruptive research and development to reach to a broader audience within the country. He added that the firm also sees the financing as its foray into the global markets.

Wow! Momo Foods Pvt ltd currently claims to be clocking a monthly revenue run rate of Rs 15 crore. The company is said to be EBITDA positive since its launch and has been growing at a CAGR of over 50% for the past three years. According to reports, the food-tech trade saw an overall GMV growth of close to 140% in 2018, with order quantities increasing by a whopping 176%.


Bengaluru-based Groww raises $21.3 million in Series B From Ribbit Capital

Groww team
Groww team

Wealth management startup Groww has raised $21.3 million in a Series B funding round led by fintech-focussed investment company Ribbit Capital. The startup aims to use the funding to expand its workforce by hiring across functions engineering growth and product teams. The firm also plans on utilizing the investment to enhance its tech capabilities and build a super scalable infrastructure for investing.

Launched in April 2017 by ex Flipkart employees Lalit Keshre, Harsh Jain, Neeraj Singh, and Ishan Bansal, Groww makes investing in MFs easier for first-timers through their mobile apps and website. The firm claims to have more than 2.5 million users in India, with the majority, 60% of users hailing from top-six Tier 1 cities. Ribbit Capital, the Silicon Valley-based company, has backed insurance aggregator PolicyBazaar, lending platform Razorpay, finance company Capital Float, and QR code-based payment app BharatPe. The previous month, it was reported that the firm would be investing in fintech startup Cred Eyes this fiscal year.


Zoomcar secures $1.98 million funding from its parent company, Zoomcar Inc

Zoomcar founders- David Back and Greg Moran
Zoomcar founders- David Back and Greg Moran

According to regulatory filings, Bengaluru based self-driving car rental platform, Zoomcar India has secured a funding of $1.98 million from its US-based parent firm, Zoomcar Inc. Zoomcar India Pvt Ltd issued 28,484 equity shares of Rs 10 each, at a premium of Rs 4,956 per share, as per RoC filings. Zoomcar has secured a total of Rs 70 crore since January, in both equity and debt, from entities including Mahindra, Blacksoil Capital, Mahaveer Dwellers, and Trifecta.

The company, founded in 2013 by David Back and Greg Moran, is a self-drive rental firm. It reported a 32% growth in revenue from Rs 120 crore to Rs 158 crore from FY17 to FY18, which is a 32% rise in revenue.

Shared mobility startups have been gaining market in India. Zoomcar and Drivzy have been targetting young customers who are fond of the shared economy and favor an asset-light lifestyle. With the high potential, even cab platforms like Ola and Uber have entered into the car rental market. Lately, Ola obtained a license to launch their self-drive car rental service from the Karnataka State Transport Department.

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A passionate writer with bachelor’s in the field of English & Journalism. Other than being a bibliophile, some of her hobbies are travelling, photography and poetry.

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