B Capital, a multi-stage global investment firm that has backed Indian start-ups such as Byju’s and Meesho, announced the closing of its first dedicated startup fund named Ascent Fund II. The $250 million fund will invest in pre-seed through Series A rounds globally, with a focus on the US and Asian markets. With $6.5 billion in assets under management across multiple funds, the firm focuses on late-stage, early-stage growth investments primarily in the corporate, fintech and healthcare sectors. Its Indian portfolio also includes Khatabook, PharmEasy, Dailyhunt and BlackBuck.
Startup venture capital firm Auxano Capital said it was raising $25 million from its network of HNIs, UHNIs and Family Offices. The independent sector fund named “Auxano Entrepreneur Trust” plans to support start-ups in the Fintech, Enterprise SaaS, Sustainable Mobility and Agritech verticals. The company aims to achieve the fund’s first close by the end of this quarter.
Mumbai-based VC First Check has raised Rs 38 crore from global investors for its second fund. The fund aims to invest in 50 start-ups over the next 18 months. He has backed over 100 start-ups over the past three years as part of the AngelList syndicate. The company will focus on new founders and will invest $100,000 in each of its portfolio companies.
Shanti Mohan, co-founder of start-up fundraising platform LetsVenture, has launched a Rs 50 crore micro-VC fund to support start-up start-ups. Named Propell, the fund will support 30 start-ups in verticals such as e-commerce, fintech, software as a service (SaaS) and direct-to-consumer (D2C). The fund is anchored by Vikas Choudhury, President of Reliance Jio and supported by Vivek Khare, Advisor, Business Development and Seed Investments at Naukri.com and Sudhi Herle, Engineering, Android Platform at Google. He has already invested in 15 start-ups, including savings and investment app Jar, e-commerce player Zaamo, social commerce app GoBillion and upskilling platform Seekho.
The week also saw some mergers and acquisitions.
Edtech unicorn upGrad has acquired online learning institution Harappa Education in a cash and stock deal worth Rs 300 crore. Shareholders of Harappa Bodhi Tree Systems, an investment platform formed by James Murdoch’s Lupa Systems and former Star & Disney India chairman Uday Shankar, and start-up Pramath co-founders Raj Sinha and Shreyasi Singh, will join the upGrad Cap table. Launched by Sinha, founding dean of the Indian School of Business (ISB) and founding trustee of Ashoka University, and Shreyasi Singh, former editor of India Inc, the New Delhi-based start-up offers courses and programs at your own pace. to help learners develop life skills, which constitute an essential set of cognitive, social and behavioral skills. The company claims to have an active customer base of 100 medium and large organizations. This is the second acquisition for upGrad this month. Earlier this month, the company fully acquired WOLVES India, a Bengaluru-based recruitment and staffing company, for an undisclosed amount.
E-commerce enablement platform Shiprocket has acquired Arvind’s omnichannel technology business ‘Omuni’ in a stock and cash deal for a total consideration of Rs 200 crores. Shiprocket expects the acquisition to facilitate fast and efficient delivery of shipments from the nearest store or warehouse, which can significantly reduce delivery times and improve the customer experience.
In its third acquisition this year, financial infrastructure provider M2P Fintech has acquired identity verification service provider Syntizen. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. M2P Fintech previously acquired leading banking solutions provider BSG ITSOFT in February and cloud lending platform Finflux earlier this month. It offers application program interface (API) solutions to banks and fintech companies. The company said the acquisition of Syntizen, which helps financial institutions perform identity checks, would help the company offer a comprehensive platform for financial institutions.
On the fundraising front, the biggest venture capital check this week was raised by Niyo. The neo-banking platform has raised $30 million from private equity firm Multiples Alternate Asset Management (Multiples). In other major deals, AnyMind Group, an end-to-end commerce enablement company, secured $29.4 million and network infrastructure management firm AppViewX pocketed $20 million.