Seed Funding: Another week of lukewarm funding for Indian startups

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The torrid race of Indian startups raising big money continued until the third week of September. Although there was a slight increase in the amount of the transaction compared to last week, the numbers were still far from what startups had raised before the start of the tech winter. The number of funding rounds of $100 million and above fell from 29 in the first quarter of the calendar year to 18 in the second quarter and just three in the third quarter (as of August 24).

While major private equity and venture capital funds are still placing their bets cautiously in a volatile macro environment, the dry spell could continue for some time.

Google-backed EV startup Yulu and DotPe led the funding charts this week.

Yulu raises $82 million from Magna of Canada:
Yulu Bikes, which offers small electric two-wheelers for rental, has raised $82 million (about Rs 653 crore) from investors led by Magna of Canada to drive its expansion plan. Existing investors including Bajaj Auto also participated in the funding round, which saw Magna pump in $77 million. Amit Gupta, co-founder of Bengaluru-based Yulu, told ET that the funds will be used to roll out more bikes and set up a battery swap network with Magna.

Google-backed payments startup DotPe raises $54.4 million: supported by Google
DotPe, Founded by PayU India Co-Founder Shailaz Nag, Raises Rs 434.5 Crore (or approximately $54.4 million) in funding led by Singaporean sovereign wealth fund Temasek. DotPe provides small and medium businesses with a complete solution to set up an online payment and delivery system. It also provides store management and marketing management tools to these businesses.

Sigmoid raises $12 million from Sequoia Capital India: Data engineering and artificial intelligence (AI) solutions provider
Sigmoid raised $12m in funding in a mix of primary and secondary funding, in its latest funding round from Sequoia Capital India. With the current cycle, Sequoia has $19.3 million in Sigmoid. The startup will use the capital to evolve its market offerings, expand its delivery centers and meet the needs of new industries.

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Rephrase.ai pockets $10.6 million:
Rephrase.ai, an artificial intelligence (AI) startup, raised $10.6 million in a financing led by Red Ventures. Existing investor Silver Lake also participated in the round along with 8VC and other investors. It will use the funds to improve its capabilities by integrating product experiences; increasing recruitment, including within engineering, artificial intelligence, product, sales and marketing teams; and expand its presence in North America.

Procol raises $6.4 million: Purchasing management software
Procol has raised $6.4 million (Rs 51 crore) in funding from GMO Venture Partners, Alarko Ventures, Esas Ventures, FounderBank Capital and Anchorage Capital. Procol is a procurement technology company that helps companies streamline their manual procurement processes across their fragmented small and medium enterprise (SME) supplier base.

Centricity pockets $4 million from the Burman family office: B2B Wealtech start-up
Centricity pocketed $4 million in funding led by the Burman family office, Shantanu Agarwal (LNJ Bhilwara group) and Arun Jain (Intellect design arena/founder of Polaris Software Labs) for a valuation of $20 million. Launched this year by former senior private bankers, Centricity aims to create a technology solution for a largely unorganized community of Independent Financial Advisors (IFAs).

Other transactions concluded

Matrix Partners injects $2.4 million into Ximkart: Cross-border raw materials sourcing start-up
Ximkart has raised $2.4m in funding led by Matrix Partners India. The startup will use the funds to strengthen its position in existing categories, launch new categories, and expand into new geographies across sourcing, sales, technology, and operations.

Peer Robotics raises $2.3 million: Peer Robotics, a mobile robotics solution designed to work with humans,
raised $2.3 million in funding led by Kalaari Capital, with participation from existing investors Axilor Ventures, Connecticut Innovations and Innopact VC. The company’s robots learn from humans in real time, allowing shop floor workers to easily integrate and deploy solutions alongside them.

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