#TodayDeals: Howdy Ventures Gets $1.5M, iSos Bags $5M, UClean to Raise $3M & More

Jaipur-based eShiksa, an education management portal, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding.

Here is a list of deals that happened in Indian Startup Ecosystem today including funding, merger, acquisition, fund launch etc. Read a brief description about all of them:

1. Chennai-based Howdy Ventures Pvt. Ltd has raised $1.5 million (Rs 10 Cr) at a $3 million (Rs 20 Cr) valuation, from S. Xavier Britto the Chairman of Kerry Indev Logistics, against a 50% equity stake. Britto has been appointed as the Chairman of the Board of Howdy Ventures, along with former Deputy Auditor General of India, S. Sathyamoorthy. With this funding, the company also announced the launch of a social event and messaging app HowdyDo! by Jual Oram, the Minister of Tribal Affairs, Government of India and Tamil actor Vishal, reported Inc42.

2. Online grocery firm Grofers has set up around 15 offline outlets across Delhi-NCR, reported MoneyControl. The company has launched two types of offline outlets -- tuck shops and franchise stores. It has tied-up with start-ups across Delhi NCR such as Oyo Rooms to place tuck shops in their office premises which will serve low ticket items like snacks and soft drinks. The franchise stores have been set up near multiple residential areas in Gurgaon and will offer fresh produce and dairy products to meet the everyday needs of the residents.

3. Computer software startup iSos Inc. which is based in Mohali, Punjab and California, has raised $5 million (Rs 32 crore) from Portland, US-based entrepreneur Nitin Khanna. The company that provides integrated smart office solutions, has created software to facilitate communication, cashless transactions, record attendance, monitor individual Internet usage and manage inventory, among other purposes, reported VCCircle.

4. Tech-enabled laundry services UClean is planning to raise about $3 million in funding six months from now
as it plans to expand its centres in the country. UClean Founder Arunabh Sinha said, “We have invested Rs 50 lakh in the company in the last six months of operations and have raised about $1 million from Franchise India and Mumbai-based Angel Investor. In the next five years we are planning to set up 350 stores all across India and for that we would be looking at raising $3 million after six months.”

5. Bangalore-based mobile gaming startup Mech Mocha Game Studios Pvt. Ltd has raised $5 million (Rs 32 crore) in its Series A round led by venture capital firms Accel Partners and China’s Shunwei Capital with participation from existing investor Blume Ventures. The raised funding will be used to develop and launch new mobile-gaming titles across casual and mid-core gaming categories, targeted at the Indian audience.

6. IWG, a global workplace provider headquartered in Brussels, has launched its co-working office brand ‘Spaces’ in Cyber City, Gurgaon. The 30,000 sq ft of co-working space in Gurgaon has 430 seats capacity. The company expects this centre to break-even in 8-12 months, reported ET. IWG also owned five other brands i.e. Regus, Signature, Open Offices, Kora and MOS.

7. BNT Autosoft Pvt. Ltd, which runs auto dealership and workshop management platform Autobix, has raised an undisclosed amount in seed funding from UK-based auto parts manufacturer GardX International Ltd in return for a 25% stake, reported VCCircle.

The firm will use the funds to scale up its back-end, upgrade its network, cloud and server, and to focus on research and development.

8. Maharashtra state government has proposed to issue a 100% waiver to startups or incubators on stamp duty and registration charges, on their first transaction. There’s a 50% proposed waiver on their second transaction as well. The state has planned to introduce a range of funding concessions for budding entrepreneurs and SMBs. The objectives of the same are:

i. Attract ₹.5,000 Crore investment in development of incubation and start-ups.
ii. Provide ₹.2,500 Crore for youth entrepreneurship activities (1% of Annual State Budget).
iii. Establish average 3 incubators in each of the different 12 sectors. But at least 1 incubator per district.
iv. Develop at least 2,000 startups in next five years.
v. Facilitate Venture Capital funding of minimum ₹.2,000 Crore specially for start-ups in the state.
vi. Develop at least 10 lakh sq. ft. incubation space within the state over the next five years.

9. Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) has reportedly decided to launch a free online learning programme for budding entrepreneurs to connect, develop, and learn. The department has already received 110K entries for the same, reported TOI.

10. OYO announced its foray into Nepal on Thursday with the launch of its debut hotel in Kathmandu. Nepal is the second overseas market for OYO, after its debut in Malaysia in January 2016 where it has grown to 200 hotels, reported ET.

11. Grocery delivery startup BigBasket is looking to scale up its B2B business. It has partnered with retail tech company SnapBizz as it looks to push its private labels into more kirana stores in the country, as per ET report.

12. Global payments company PayPal is eyeing a prepaid payment instrument (PPI) licence to enter the competitive mobile wallet space in the country, said three sources familiar with the development. .

13. Kerala-based Kalyan Jewellers, which recently raised Rs500 crore from private equity firm Warburg Pincus, on Wednesday said it is acquiring online jewellery firm Candere to augment its presence in the e-commerce segment, reported DealStreetAsia. Kalyan will acquire equity held by Singularity Strategic, the family office of Brijesh Chandwani and Subram Kapoor.

14. MintWalk, a robo-advisory platform for financial solutions, has raised funding from Poshika Financial Ecosystem Pvt. Ltd, an investment platform set up by former chief executive officer of Religare, Shachindra Nath, reported VCCircle. Financial details of the transaction are still undisclosed.

15. Jaipur-based eShiksa, an education management portal, has raised an undisclosed amount from Cross Border Angels & Experts, an international angel network, as part of an extended seed round. The company is looking to on-board more than 750 institutes and cross a user base of 5 lakh in FY2018. It is looking to raise more as part of its seed round in coming months, subject to achievement of financial targets, as per VCCircle report.

16. TVS Logistics and Future Group’s logistics unit Future Supply Chain Solutions are looking to either acquire a majority stake or completely acquire Snapdeal’s logistics firm Vulcan Express, reported financial daily.

“Discussions are taking place across multiple fronts and the parties are hoping to sew up a deal before July, which is when the Goods and Services Tax rolls out,” one of person familiar with the deal said.

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