Every Monday, I sit with my team to review the funding activity of the previous week. I pick out a few companies that I would have loved to invest in or find founders doing similar things from that list. Here is my rationale behind this weekly exercise.
Last week 19 startups raising $285 million showed a steady revival in the number of deals closed and the aggregated fundraising amounts. A strong reason for the slowdown could've been the slowdown and SOP disruption caused by the second wave. With most people comfortably working from home, these disruptions seem to have gotten resolved.
I am confident that there will be more weeks like this in the near and immediate future!
After sifting through the news (aggregated from Tracxn, Inc42, and YourStory), I picked three as my favorite funding news from last week!
Amount Raised: $11 million from Greenko Group founders Anil Chalamalasetty and Mahesh Kolli.
What does Skyroot do?
Edited from Tracxn: Skyroot provides the building of technology solutions for satellites. The company offers transportation systems and launch vehicles for carrying satellites from earth to space. The vehicle can carry payloads ranging from 200-700 kg to a low earth orbit.
Why do I like Skyroot?
Why I like this company is self-evident in the honorable mentions below. I believe that the LEO logistics space has the potential for several players to co-exist, and Skyroot and Agnikul will bring laurels to India in this space!
Amount Raised: $5.5 million from Boston's W Health Ventures, the Google Assistant Investment Program, pi Ventures, and Kae Capital.
What does Wysa do?
Edited from Tracxn: Wysa provides an AI-based chatbot for managing mental health. It measures the emotions expressed by the user and uses evidence-based cognitive-behavioral techniques (CBT) and micro-actions to help the user feel better. It uses machine learning to understand the user's emotional state and proactively reaches out to the user for help as and when required. It claims that the symptoms of anxiety and depression have halved in people who have used chatbot support over three months.
Why do I like Wysa?
It is evident that the last 14 months have had or will have a severe impact on our psychological well-being - those who lost family members and friends to the dreaded virus or those that lived indoors for 15 months. Fortunately, there is a lot of awareness about the risks associated with living in lockdowns, and there are platforms like Wysa that want to do something about it.
I am exploring their corporate program for our organization and would encourage founders to do the same.
Amount Raised: $1.2 million from Orios Venture Partners along with MyAsiaVC.
What does Karbon do?
Edited from Tracxn: Karbon Card provides corporate cards for startups. It enables businesses to track expenses and offer rewards to the employees. It provides benefits for spends on Uber, WeWork Labs, Dunzo, MakeMyTrip, OYO, Flipkart, etc.
Why do I like Karbon?
Banks in India are notorious for making life difficult for entrepreneurs. The laborious procedures to get a corporate card in India or make changes to your account are legendary. The banks must truly enjoy ruining entrepreneurs' lives because their attitude to employment creators has not changed despite our vital role in constructing our economy.
Their loss could be the gain for corporate card issuers like Karbon and unlock a multi-billion dollar market. I have set up a time with the team to understand their credit card program. If it meets our spending criteria limits, I will switch away from our corporate cards at HDFC and Axis bank – their attitude to business customers stinks of elitist arrogance, and I would dump them in a heartbeat.
Honorable Mention: AgniKul
I have purposefully excluded Agnikul's investment round of $11million lead by Mayfield along with Anand Mahindra, Naval Ravikant, Artha Venture Fund, pi Ventures, Speciale Invest and others.