Every Monday, I sit with my team to review the funding activity of the previous week. From that list, I pick out three companies that I would have loved to invest in or find founders doing similar things. Here is my rationale behind this weekly exercise.
Last week, 9 startups raised $20 million. The first few days of a new year are usually slow; therefore, I expected the low deal count. The positive public market momentum, substantial GST collections, and the expectation that India will catch up quickly in the race to vaccinate the public against the scourge of COVID-19 are all going to become factors in a strong finish to the last quarter of the Indian financial year.
This week, 8 deals were in the early-stage rounds (compared to 17 last week), making my weekly analysis cut. After sifting through the news (aggregated from Tracxn, Inc42, and YourStory), I picked three as my favorite funding news from last week!
Name: PadCare Labs
Amount Raised: Undisclosed investment from technology startup incubator Venture Center under BIRAC’s LEAP Fund.
What does PadCare Labs do?
Edited from Website: PadCare Labs is a product-driven company that creates solutions that change the way people experience hygiene. They believe that technology can pave the way for innovation. They combine it with design and quality to create products with standards.
Why do I like PadCare Labs?
In a country with more women than Europe and the US combined, the low penetration in sanitary pad usage has been an investment interest area for a long time. Recycling and waste management is another area that piques my investment interest. Therefore, when a startup combines my interests into one, I'm interested in the business!
I like what the PadCare team is doing, and it could have a significant impact. However, I believe that they could increase their market potential by
- Designing a much better-looking machine
- Offering a smaller or more portable design
Nonetheless, they are doing something exciting, and I’d love to continue to track this journey.
Name: Credit Nirvana
What does Credit Nirvana?
Edited from Tracxn: Credit Nirvana provides an AI-enabled debt collection service to lenders. It uses machine learning for real-time external & lender's data extraction. It has a robot collection platform that undertakes debt collection by executing personalized digital collection, including digital payments. It engages with the customers via communication channels such as Whatsapp, chatbots, text messages, e-mails, robocalls, and more.
Why do I like Credit Nirvana?
As an investor with a sizeable exposure in the lending space, I am supremely interested in the credit collection space; therefore, this was a no-brainer. Credgenics, a similar venture to Credit Nirvana, made the cut in Week 45 of 2020.
Amount Raised: $750,000 from angel investors and HNIs.
What does Vauld do?
Edited from Tracxn: Financial services for cryptocurrencies. It offers services such as lending & borrowing crypto using token-based crypto assets, trading of cryptocurrencies, buying & selling Crypto, and more. Crypto funds allocated for lending get lent out to borrowers with a float maintained for withdrawals on the platform. It also provides APIs to enterprises for offering crypto services such as wallets, lending, exchange, and more.
Why do I like Vauld?
Now that India is warming up to Crypto, it is starting to make sense to have a relook at crypto platforms.
Vauld utilizes the old (but now banned) badla financing system from the Indian stock markets and applies it for the Crypto space. However, I believe that their APIs would become the more significant business in the long run as the spread for lending or borrowing will reduce if Crypto does become ubiquitous.
It will be more interesting to see if an India-based platform would have the ability to capture global volumes required to make the profitable while staying within India's strict financial laws. Vauld could be a bellwether for the Indian crypto scene, so definitely something to follow!
Honorable mention: GigIndia
I excluded GigIndia’s raising an undisclosed amount from Anjali Bansal and Vineet Patni since I they made the cut in Week 29 of 2020.