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~$800m in startup funding, 2 new unicorns

While the Indian startup ecosystem saw lacklustre funding in the first two weeks of May due to the second wave of the pandemic, deal activity picked up pace towards the end of the month. 

After raising a mere $30 million in the first two weeks, the Indian startup ecosystem saw total venture funding total $285 million across 19 deals by the end of the third week. However, in the last week of May, startup funding reached nearly $500 million — bringing the total funding amount for the month to about $800 million.

May also saw two Indian startups enter the unicorn club. Fintech startup Zeta crossed the $1 billion valuation after raising $250 million in a Series C funding round from Softbank Vision Fund 2, with participation from Sodexo. 

Meanwhile, Moglix became the first industrial B2B commerce platform in the manufacturing space to become a unicorn, after raising $120 million. This takes the total number of startups that turned unicorns this year to 14.

The month began with investments into mostly early-stage startups, but the latter half focused on growth and late-stage startups.

Some of the top deals included eyewear startup Lenskart raising $95 million via a secondary stake acquisition, SaaS startup FarEye raising $100 million, and Twitter rival Koo raising $30 million led by Tiger Global.

On the last day of the month, ex-Myntra CEO Ananth Narayanan’s new venture Mensa Brands raised approximately $50 million led by Accel Partners, Falcon Edge Capital, and Norwest Venture Partners.

Read all about how the Indian startup ecosystem is battling the second wave of COVID-19 here.

Here are some useful tools to help you find the nearest vaccine centres in real-time.

You can also share a tribute to COVID-19 warriors, saviours, and survivors here.

The Interview

E-invoicing has been in the news for the past few months, especially after the government made it mandatory for businesses with a turnover of more than Rs 50 crore. For large businesses, incorporating e-invoicing into their operations can be a disruptive process.

Puma India’s Amit Prabhu; AWS’ Sachin Punyani and ClearTax’s Rohit Razdan advise businesses about building an e-Invoicing strategy.

Editor’s Pick: Zeta turns unicorn

This month, Zeta raised the largest-ever single funding for a banking technology startup from SoftBank Vision Fund 2 — becoming the newest entrant to the coveted unicorn club.

However, Founder Bhavin Turakhia says that despite hitting a slew of new milestones, the team works as if “it’s still day one”. He tells YourStory about his plans to expand Zeta’s operations in several key markets — looking to expand its reach to the top-tier 250 global banks in more than 30-35 countries. Read more.

Zeta founders. (L-R) Ramki Gaddipati, co-founder and CTO with Bhavin Turakhia, co-founder and CEO

Startup Spotlight

Driving D2C ecommerce using engaging content

The D2C selling in India has been growing rapidly, with the market projected to be $100 billion in size by 2025. At the centre of this growth is content commerce.

Jumping on the opportunity, Delhi-based startup HYPD Store aims to drive ecommerce sales for brands through lively pictures, video content, and live interactions. Backed by youth media platform ScoopWhoop, the startup uses the storytelling narrative to help brands to showcase their products to consumers. Read more.

News & Updates

  • India’s economy grew by 1.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020-21, restricting the full-year contraction to 7.3 percent, official data showed on Monday. The fourth-quarter growth was better than the 0.5 percent expansion in the previous October-December quarter of 2020-21.

Before you go, stay inspired with… 

Bhavin Turakhia, co-founder and CEO, Zeta

“Fund raise is an input, not an outcome. It is an enabler for us to truly do what we want to do, and though it acts as an endorsement, it also brings the responsibility of delivering 10X the returns to our investors and partners.”

Bhavin Turakhia, Co-founder and CEO, Zeta

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