Happy Tuesday! Vedica here with today's update. In today's news we cover the somewhat controversial Dukaan's recent raise, and SAIF Partners' recent raise
▶️ Kirana-tech firm, and Khatabook rival, Dukaan, raised $6 million co-led by Matrix Partners India and Lightspeed India Partners.
▶️ Angel investors including Haresh Chawla, the founding CEO of Network 18; Shashank Kumar, the founder of Razorpay, and Sandeep Tandon and Kunal Shah, cofounders of FreeCharge,also participated in the round.
▶️ The fund-raise definitely comes at an awkward time, since the company is in the middle of a court battle with Khatabook on alleged copyright violations. Following the a Karnataka High Court on September 25, the Dukaan app has been taken off the Google Play Store and has also been banned from running, operating and managing the Dukaan app on any other online platform till the next hearing on November 9.
▶️ Dukaan has been riding on the Covid-fueled digitization of what has been an extremely offlinbe segment of the economy. Dukaan has since inception earlier this year enabled 2.7 million merchants across the country to go online. In the last three months, its stores have generated over 600,000 orders at a total gross merchandise value of Rs 100 crore, according to the company.
▶️ Investors are clearly bullish on kirana-tech and the SMB segment, but the fate of Dukaan honestly seems a bit up in the air right now, and I wonder if there's not just a bit of buyer's remorse on the part of the investors.
2. https://tcrn.ch/2HfE8jR: SAIF rebrands as Elevation Capital
▶️ SAIF Partners has raised $400 million for a new fund and rebranded the 18-year-old influential venture capital firm as it looks to back more early-stage startups in the country.
➡️ The new fund is SAIF Partners’ seventh for early-stage startups in India. Its previous two funds were each $350 million in size, and the firm today manages more than $2 billion in assets.
➡️ Not many people know that SAIF stands for Softbank Asia Infrastructure Fund. The firm began as a joint venture with SoftBank 18 years ago and its first high-profile investment was Sify. The two firms’ joint venture ended more than a decade ago, but the firm is only now getting around to rebranding itself to Elevation Capital.
➡️ Elevation Capital is also starting off with a slight change in personnel. Partner, Alok Goel, who was formerly CEO of FreeCharge announced that he will be leaving the firm.
➡️ SAIF has historically made long-term bets on founders and backs young firms beginning their early years when they are raising their seed, pre-Series A and Series A financing rounds.
➡️ SAIF has backed more than 100 startups to date. The firm has five unicorns in its portfolio — including Paytm’s parent firm One97 Communications, food delivery startup Swiggy and online learning platform Unacademy — and has also seen a number of its portfolio companies go public including IndiaMART, MakeMyTrip and Justdial.
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