August 23 - 29
Another week of the year has gone by. Honestly, how wearying can a single year get? The news of Chadwick Boseman's death yesterday was really heartbreaking. I have nothing smart or eloquent to say except that I feel really sad. Let's get through our round-up of news to close off this week. - Vedica
Uable raises an undisclosed amount; valued at Rs 32 Cr: Ed-tech start-up Uable raised an announced an undisclosed amount of investment in July led by 3one4 Capital. Other investors include the AL Trust, Global Founders Capital, Angelist and about 56 angel investors. This is the company's first raise and it valued at ~Rs 32Cr.
Zomato is raising money from Temasek: Online food ordering platform Zomato is reportedly in the final stages of raising ~$60M at its previous $3B valuation from Temasek.
ShareChat acquires Circle Internet: Regional language social platform ShareChat acquired Circle Internet for an undisclosed sum. Circle Internet is a hyperlocal information platform and provides information in local languages for Tier 2/3 cities in Rajasthan & Uttar Pradesh and Kerala and is present in over 120 districts.
Vy Capital buys back Urban Company ESOPs worth $5M: Urban Company facilitated ESOP buybacks worth $5M through a secondary transaction by Vy Capital. The UAE-based investor has backed Urban Company from their Series C round in 2017 and holds a 10.3% stake in the company.
Triller inks a deal with Reliance's JioSaavn: Short video platform, Triller, announced a partnership with JioSaavn to embed Triller video within JioSaavn's music app.
Verloop.io raises a $5M Series A: Customer support automation platform Verloop raised $5M as part of its Series A led by Alpha Wave Incubation (Falcon Edge's early stage investment fund) with participation from existing investors IDFC Parampara and Infosys Co-founder S Gopalakrishnan.
TrueFan raises $4.3M: Celebrity fan engagement platform TrueFan has raised $4.3M in a (seed?) round led by Ronnie Screwvala, Mayfield India & Saama Capital. The company was founded by former Warburg Pincus execs in January.
Mindtree founders launch Mela Ventures to invest in early-stage companies: The co-founders of IT company Mindtree, Krishnakumar Natarajan and Parthasarathy NS, have marked the first close of Rs 130 Cr for their Rs. 200 Cr maiden fund. The firm is a SEBI-approved fund that aims to mainly invest in B2B early-stage companies.
Round-up of YC 2020
In honor of it being YC Demo Day this past week, Anmol did a brief introduction to all 12 of the YC companies from India:
Zuddl: Zuddl is a platform that lets companies and organizations host online conferences. I've already seen a couple of these companies pop-up and honestly don't see the defensibility in the product.
Medpiper: Medpiper is an online networking and job search platform for doctors & nurses. I'm not terribly familiar with the job landscape for medical professionals so don't have too many thoughts on the company.
SockSoho: SockSoho wants to be the "UNIQLO for India" and is starting with socks. This is the first DTC company from India in YC and while I honestly don't really get why India needs a DTC brand for socks, the company claims to be doing $150k MRR (though I bet it's not recurring since they don't have any subscription products).
Decentro: Decentro is a fintech company building APIs for other fintechs to consume. There have been some comparisons to Plaid, which I think are a little unfair as it seems like they are directly integrating with legacy bank infrastructure as opposed to screen scrapping data. The company is still in a very nascent stage and they don't have public API docs yet so it is still too soon.
Statiq: Statiq is an EV charging network that allows users to find the nearest charging station to charge their cars and bikes. The company has 150 charging stations but I assume this company only works with a concentration of vehicles and charging stations in a geography (no clue when India will reach that).
Mesh: Mesh is an internal company network to help with people management and feedback. I'm not entirely sure how Indian companies deal with feedback and track performance / goals but this could solve that problem for sure. To me, it looks very very similar to Lattice (their logo gives me Lattice vibes and mesh is a synonym for lattice)
Farmako: Farmako is a centralized health record system that helps users to save their records & prescriptions digitally in one place. I am a huge fan of the idea behind the product (have previously even explored this in length with my mom) but still feel this only works with distribution to all the top private & govt. hospitals (where I assume its not always easy to get buy-in).
Eatable: Eatable is a SaaS product for restaurants that allows customers to view digital menus on their phone and place orders in advance for dine-in or takeaway. Honestly the idea doesn't seem super defensible to me and with Zomato's reach in the space (locations & menus), I don't understand the need for this as a standalone product.
inFeedo: inFeedo is an AI-powered engagement bot to predict employees who are disengaged or about to leave the company. The company already has a sizable list of enterprise customers and the idea itself sounds interesting. I wonder about the "ethics" of using something like this to know when your employees will quit, but if can employee retention it might be worth it?
Bikayi: This company was the talk of the town! The so-called "Shopify for India" with backers including the Chainsmokers, the company has seen great traction in recent month (and might be where Dukaan & Khatabook got their idea from). The product lets any business set up an online shop with a payment gateway & order tracking. The company has multiple tiers to their product and is already charging merchants ($11k MRR & growing). They're also hiring for a couple of engineering roles so if you wanna join the batch's hottest company email email@example.com
WareIQ: WareIQ is a service that helps eCommerce (non-Amazon, Flipkart I presume) with same-day & next-day delivery. Commerce logistics seems like an insanely hard problem in India with multiple huge startups in the space & if WareIQ can deliver on what it promises I think it'll get there too.
SuperTokens: This might be my favorite company of the batch because they seem like the only company that can build a global business. What SuperTokens does is help companies with session management and they provide easy-to-integrate client & server side SDKs to prevent session theft & help manage session tokens securely.
What we've read this week
A lot of companies filed their S-1's last week, which unsurprisingly led to more debate and discussion about IPOs, so our reading was slightly skewed towards this topics this past week.
Roles of the Week
Frontend Engineer at CommandDot: So this is technically a company based out of SF, but if you want to join a great company building the future of knowledge work, this might be your jam. If you're super opinionated about React Hooks (I know I am) & CSS-in-JS and love building web applications, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Backend Engineer at Subjimandi: I just found out about this app/company today but it seems really interesting- the platform procures produce from their production regions, sort on size and grade on quality and deliver it to your place. They are looking for a Backend engineer to build on top of their existing product line. Email email@example.com if this sounds interesting.
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