August 16 - 22
Hi folks! Hope you've all had a good weekend. I'm back to the grind with work, so the weekend has been very welcome. In addition to all the news we covered during the week, we are also continuing the idea of highlighting open positions at start-ups. Thank you to those who filled out the Google form!
Practo raised $32M with at least a 50% haircut in its valuation: Health-tech firm Practo has raised $32 million in a fresh round with at least a 50% haircut in its valuation. According to regulatory filings in Singapore, Chinese life insurance conglomerate A1A Company has led the round with a $20 million infusion.
Amazon, Reliance set to clash on e-pharmacies: E-pharmacies look set to become the next big arena of focus for big firms with Amazon and Reliance both focusing on this segment. Amazon India launched ‘Amazon Pharmacy’ in Bengaluru last week and is looking to conduct pilots in other cities. Competitor Reliance Retail is planning to scale up its pharmacy platforms, and through its biotechnology subsidiary, Reliance Life Sciences, is already in the process of setting up pathology labs through partnerships with local entrepreneurs.
Reliance looks to acquire a couple of startups: Reliance Industries is reportedly in talks with several latter-stage startups to acquire them. The companies include furniture company UrbanLadder, milk (and daily groceries) platform Milkbasket as well as pharmacy Netmeds.
Trell raises an $11M Series A: Short video app, Trell, the lifestyle centric app, has secured $11.43M from KTBN Ventures & Samsung Ventures. Existing investors Fosun and Surge also participated in the round. With the latest fundraise the company will now be valued at $43M.
Lightspeed raises $275M fund for India: Lightspeed India Partners announced that it had closed $275M from LPs for it's third India-specific fund, as the country continues to be an important focus area for the global venture firm. This fund is notably bigger than their last two funds ($135M in 2015, $175M in 2018). The company has been investing in India for over a decade and has deployed $750M into Indian companies.
Khatabook launches Dukaan and expands into Indonesia: Khatabook has a new app for Indian kirana stores and SMEs called Dukaan. Khatabook is also taking its core product to Indonesia where it already has a couple of competitors - the YC backed BukuWarung and Sequioa Surge backed BukuKas.
Pixxel raises $5M in a seed round: Bangalore-based satellite imagery company Pixxel just raised $5M in a seed round led by Blume Ventures, Lightspeed India Partners & growX ventures with participation from several angel investors. The company will be launching its first Earth imaging satellite later this year which will be aboard a Soyuz rocket.
CometChat raises $1.6M in a seed round: Communications-as-a service company CometChat has announced a $1.6M in a seed round from US-based firms Range Ventures and Silicon Badia and Indian micro-fund iSeed. The company was previously part of Techstar's Accelerator in Boulder, CO as well.
Dream11 wins a bid to sponsor IPL 2020: Fantasy sports platform Dream11 had the winning bid for the title sponsorship of the latest season of the Indian Premier League outbidding other competitors and paying Rs. 222 Cr. The company was founded in 2008 and already has 80M users and is also India's fist gaming unicorn.
Google launches a job searching app in India: Google has expanded their jobs app, called Kormo, to the Indian market with the pandemic affecting India's unemployment rate The company first launched the product in Bangladesh 2 years ago and later expanded to Indonesia.
Lightspeed raises a $275M fund for India
Lightspeed India Partners announced that it had closed $275M from LPs for it's third India-specific fund, as the country continues to be an important focus area for the global venture firm.
This fund is notably bigger than their last two funds ($135M in 2015; $175M in 2018). The company has been investing in India for over a decade and has deployed $750M into Indian companies.
The firm is also one of the few Indian firms that has seen a major exit in recent years. Secondary exits from OYO and BYJU's have delivered cash returns of $900M. The only other firms that I can recall that have seen similar/larger exits are Sequoia & Accel.
The company usually invests at the earlier stages of a company's lifecycle (Seed and Series A) but has also made pre-seed bets more recently. I think Lightspeed's biggest advantage is their close relation with the US / global entity, as there have been several companies where Lightspeed's global firm has come into lead growth rounds for existing Lightspeed portfolio companies.
I also talked about this in my piece on venture firms in the Indian ecosystem last week about how firms who can offer multiple "products" to companies will have an edge, and it definitely seems like Lightspeed has an edge on some homegrown firms. And who knows, maybe by Fund 5 Lightspeed might even have an India-specific growth fund along with their venture fund (like Sequoia).
What we've read this week
Roles of the Week
Growth at Indiagold: I think it's pretty well known that buying gold is a huge deal in India with Indian households owning up to 25,000 tonnes of gold. Indiagold is an app where consumers can buy gold online & also buy gold coins on EMIs. You would be working on driving organic & inorganic growth at the company and build better analytics for a data-driven process. Plus the company's founding team is 🔥🔥🔥 and I'm sure a lot of y'all would love to work with & learn from Deepak Abbot. If this role sounds interesting to you, email email@example.com
Senior Backend Engineer at Rheo: Rheo is India's first online gaming streaming platform. With games like PUBG getting a massive gamerbase in the country, it only makes sense that popular gamers & casual fans alike interact on a platform better designed for them. As a senior backend engineer at Rheo, you'd be responsible for the live streaming infrastructure that powers the platform. This sounds like a super impactful role and if you're game for it, email Prakash@rheotv.com
Product Management Intern at Redcarpet: And this week we also have an intern role for y'all! Redcarpet is a startup building credit cards for India. I'm a big fan of the company's culture which doesn't gate keep where they consider applicants from. If you want to learn about product management, and how to build credit products for India, hit up Sandeep at firstname.lastname@example.org
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