Recent Acquisitions and Funding for Indian startups

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There are many innovative startups in India which are providing essential services to the society. They have the potential to become MNCs but require help in the form of funding, mentoring and incubation. Being able to spot a likely acquisition target involves a little corporate strategy, some financial accounting and an understanding of industry-specific supply and demand. Following are some of the Indian startups which have either been acquired by another firm or have acquired a firm and some recent investment related information into Indian startups.

1. Practo acquires healthcare analytics startup

Healthcare services platform Practo Technologies Pvt. Ltd. made its fifth acquisition – buying Bangalore-based analytics startup Enlightiks Business Solutions Pvt. Ltd. Through its proprietary business intelligence and predictive analytics platform, Enlightiks offers insights for healthcare providers. The deal is valued at $13.9 million (about Rs 92 crore), according to VCCEdge, the data research platform of News Corp VCCircle. All 50 members of Enlightik’s team will join Practo, and form the analytics business unit within the company, according to Practo’s statement to the media. The unit will be headed by Vamsi Kasivajjala, the co-founder and chief executive officer of Enlightiks. According to Shashank ND, Founder & CEO, Practo
“This brings Practo closer to its vision of simplifying healthcare by providing end to end solutions for the entire ecosystem. With Querent (Enlightik’s business intelligence unit), we will be able to help CXOs make their enterprises run more efficiently which should improve the overall quality of care while making it more affordable.”

2. Haresh Chawla and Ronnie Screwvala invest in startup Niki.ai

The Bengaluru – based AI startup, Niki.ai, has raised funds of Rs. 3 crores from existing investors like Haresh Chawla, who is a partner of India Value Fund Advisors (IVFA) and Ronnie Screwvala who is the founder of Unilazer Ventures. This is the third time that Unilazer has invested in Niki.ai which is owned and operated by Techbins Solutions Pvt. Ltd. AI domain is gaining traction in India. There are several AI based startups in India that are doing research in AI and are producing innovative software or systems based on AI. These days, youngsters in India are well educated and earn well, working for big IT firms. They don’t have the time or patience to go from place to place to buy groceries or to pay their bills or to do shopping for commodities etcetera. They would prefer to do everything at the ‘click of a button’. The services provided by Niki.ai’s Nikibot, fulfills this requirement. Niki.ai lets its customers order products through its simple chat interface which employs natural language processing and machine learning techniques. Niki.ai passes its customers’ orders to its business partners within seconds, who process and fulfill the orders.

3. Korean fund KTB Network makes maiden investment in India, gives NoBroke $7M in SeriesB funding

In its second tranche of Series B funding, Bengaluru-based NoBroker raised $7 million from Korean investor KTB Network. The round also saw participation from existing investors including SAIF Partners, BEENEXT, and Digital Garage. Launched in March 2014, NoBroker connects owners and customers directly with each other by eliminating the middlemen. The brokerage-free property search portal has so far closed four rounds of funding. “Now, our next target is to kick off the expansion process and reach out to as many places as possible. The next few cities on the expansion radar is Delhi-NCR, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, and Hyderabad, where we are planning to launch in the next 18 months,” says Amit Agarwal, CEO and Co-founder of NoBroker. According to Amit, this is the first time that a Korean fund has led the funding round for an Indian startup. Their Korean startup experiences will help the platform further with innovative ideas. KTB’s global network will also aid the platform in its future global ambitions. NoBroker claims to serve 1.5 million customers, making it the world’s largest C2C real estate platform. Presently, the platform is adding more than one lakh new registered customers on a monthly basis and witnessing five lakh customer connections every month, which leads to a saving of more than Rs 20 crore of brokerage monthly.

4. Infosys invests in Indian drone startup ideaForge

Infosys said it invested an undisclosed amount in Indian drone startup ideaForge, as the IT Company looks to tap its solutions for industrial uses. IdeaForge’s drones have been used by the Indian Armed Forces for surveillance, crowd monitoring and rescue operations, and have commercial applications in verticals such as energy, utilities, telecom and agriculture. The drone startup was founded by three IIT-Bombay graduates. It was listed as one of the top 50 hot startups to watch out for next year by ET. “We are very excited to have Infosys as an investor and a partner for exploring UAV services and solutions for global customers. This partnership will play an important role in our industrial expansion to address a wide variety of data acquisition and analysis needs,” Ankit Mehta, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer at ideaForge, said.

5. Epsilon Ventures invests Rs 154 crore in Pi Data

Epsilon Venture Partners, a pan-Asian technology focused fund manager along with an Australian private equity group has invested Rs 154 crore ($23 million) in Vijayawada-based data-centre and cloud services firm Pi DATACENTERS (Pi). The funds raised would be used in rolling out the first few data-centres across India, according to the promoters. Incorporated in September 2014, the data center firm had raised an initial round of Rs 60 crore from angel investors. Last year, the promoters said they would be making an incremental investment of up to Rs 600 crore in 3-4 years time. Pi currently has a data-centre with a Greenfield modular 5 lakh square foot infrastructure, with 5,000 racks capacity spread across 10 acres at Vijayawada. The round was led by Epsilon’s general partner based on the ground in India, Mehesh Vaidya, who will be joining the company’s board. We are excited to be associated with Epsilon and their co-investor in the current round. Epsilon’s technology investment experience across the globe is of significant strategic value that would pave the way for global partnerships in ensuring that Pi brings state-of-the-art cloud infrastructure capability to India,” said Kalyan Muppaneni, founder and CEO of Pi.

6. ScoopWhoop Acquires Video Streaming Company Touchfone Technology

ScoopWhoop announced the acquisition of leading tech firm Touchfone Technologies Pvt. Ltd, and with it, their best in-class video streaming & ad targeting service, Strmeasy in a bid to engage video content consumers. The platform is a seamless video delivery platform that solves the arduous task of streaming videos in low bandwidths, and has powered some of the most famous educational and entertainment video content companies in India. Strmeasy is a platform that offers end to end video solution which helps businesses manage and deliver videos with the highest quality irrespective of the device or network the user is on. With Strmeasy, ScoopWhoop will focus on boosting the advertising offerings, with the help of targeted video ads which have the highest Cost per Mille (CPM) rates in display advertising. The acquisition will revamp the leadership council at Strmeasy with founders Mahesh and Brahmayya taking on the mantles of Chief Technology Officer and Chief Integration Officer, respectively. Speaking about the acquisition, Sattvik Mishra, Co-founder and CEO at ScoopWhoop Media said, “We’re very excited to have Strmeasy technology come on board. Their unique technology is going to define the publishing spaces of ScoopWhoop, VagaBomb and Gazabpost, both from user acquisition and revenue point of view. We are looking forward to having Brahmayya, Mahesh and their incredibly talented technology team to script the next chapter of ScoopWhoop’s success.”

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