Purplle Turns Unicorn, Westbridge Capital Leads $$16.75 Mn Round In Way2news, Pepper Content Raises $14.3 Mn & All In Capital Launches $10 Mn New Fund

Purplle raises $33 million funding, turns unicorn at $1.1 billion valuation

Online beauty and personal care marketplace Purplle has raised $33 million in its Series E round at a $1.1 billion valuation, becoming the second unicorn to be created in India this week.

The firm raised financing from South Korea’s Paramark Ventures as well as existing backers Blume Ventures, Kedaara and billionaire Azim Premji’s Premji Invest. This comes amid a funding winter in the startup ecosystem.

The company will use the fresh funds for marketing, advertising, and strengthening brand and technology.

“The infusion is an opportunity to further our mission of building the beauty industry in India with technological investments, scaling of our private brands, and industry-first innovations. Staying true to our purpose of making Purplle ‘Har Indian Ka Beauty Destination’ we are Strongly positioned for the next phase of accelerated growth,” said Manish Taneja, co-founder, and CEO, Purplle.

WestBridge Capital leads $$16.75 million Series A round in Way2News

Vernacular short news app Way2News has raised $16.75 million as part of its Series-A round from WestBridge Capital and venture capitalist Sashi Reddi.

This marks WestBridge Capital’s debut investment in the media and entertainment sector in India.

The company plans to use the fresh capital to expand its user base across Tamilnadu, Karnataka, and Kerala. It will also spend money on hiring teams in editorial, sales, marketing, and scaling their robust AI-based technology to minimize human intervention in delivering credible news.

Pepper Content raises $14.3 million, eyes global expansion

Content marketplace Pepper Content has raised $14.3 million in its Series A funding round led by Bessemer Venture Partners, in line with its global expansion plans.

The round also saw strong participation from Tanglin Venture Partners, Lightspeed, Titan Capital. Angel investors like. DoorDash’s Gokul Rajaram, Oyo’s Ritesh Agarwal and Abhinav Sinha, Teachable founder Ankur Nagpal, Nutanix and DevRev co-founder Dheeraj Pandey, Cred founder Kunal Shah, and Helion Ventures co-founder Ashish Gupta, also participated.

The funding strengthens the company’s plans to bolster its presence in the US market along with diversifying offerings to newer categories like Graphic Design, Language Translations, and Video Content Creation. The company has grown 16x in terms of revenue in the last 14 months alone and is aiming for a high double-digit ARR growth by the end of this year, it said in a statement.

All in Capital launches $10 million new fund

Venture Capital investor and former upGrad executive, Kushal Bhagia has launched a new $10 million fund, called All in Capital. In a blog post, Bhagia said he found his calling while working with founders as a VC investor.

He added, “When I became a VC, for the first time, I realized that I really do care about this particular customer – ie the Indian founder, I finally found my calling as an investor while backing more than 100 early-stage Indian startups over the past three years!”

Bhagia said, “Our new early-stage VC fund – All In Capital backed by some of India’s best Tech founders, Global Institutional Investors, Family Offices, and technology executives from Silicon Valley.”

He added, “We typically invest $100K to $300K in Indian startups in your first round of funding. We then follow that up with doubling down on you through successive funding rounds. Most of our first investments are pre-product and almost all of them are pre-revenue.”

Bhagia named co-founder and COO of Share Chat, Faris Ahsan, and Meesho Co-founders Vidit Aatrey and Sanjeev Barnwal, among others as members of the community of founders who will work with the VC fund.

Y Combinator, Sequoia Capital, others invest $2 million in Aerotime

Workplace productivity app Aerotime has secured $2 million in a seed round of funding from Nexus Venture Partners, Y Combinator, Sequoia Capital India, and SOMA Capital.

Angel investors in the round included Akshay Kothari, Chief Operating Officer at Notion, Nir Eyal, bestselling author of Hooked and Indistractable, and Damien Coullon, Vice President of Product at LinkedIn. With the freshly raised fund, the startup intends to grow and target mid to large-sized companies to optimize workplace productivity and reduce distractions.

Fish and meat distribution startup FreshR raises $1.2million

Fish and meat distribution business FreshR has raised $1.2 million in a funding round led by Axilor Ventures and 1crowd. The company said it will use the fresh funding to grow and expand its geographical footprint, develop & implement its tech stack, as well as grow its team.

The company had also launched an application earlier this year which is a one-of-a-kind resource used to standardize prices and grades for the sector and allows bulk buyers from across India to place orders and track quality processes.

The Gaming Project raises $500K in seed funding

The Gaming Project, a cloud gaming platform, has raised $500,000 in its seed funding round led by FAAD Network along with Upsparks, BlackKite, SucSEED Indovation Fund among others.

The round also saw participation from platforms like MaGEHold and Hem Angels. Within 2 years of operations, The Gaming Project claims to have signed up more than 300,000 users on their platform without any promotions.

“Our entire goal up until our first raise was to make sure we spend as few resources as possible, but at the same time achieve a product-market fit that is appreciated by everyone in the gaming community and actually answer the question of whether cloud gaming is possible in India or not,” said Sarang Atri, co-founder, The Gaming Project.

Intents Mobi bags $1 million funding from DevX Venture Fund and others

Intents Mobi, a geospatial intelligence startup, has raised $1 million in a funding round led by DevX Venture Fund. The round also saw participation from other investors like Unnati Labs and marquee strategic angels from Logistics and Mobility sector venture whoses are backed by Tier1 VCs.

The company said it will use the funds to invest in its tech capabilities, increase the collection of GIS information for the country, and to further pump up its enterprise sales.

“The funds will be used for increasing the collection of GIS information for India and for further product development. Since we are already generating insights for almost 4.5 crore kms of roads per day and process 3 million geocodes every month, the funds will enable us to increase this by 5X and cover the 50 most popular cities of the country by the end of the year,” said Naresh Kumar Kachhi, founder, Intents Mobi.

Edtech startup Spardha gets Rs 8 crore from Inflection Point Ventures

Spardha, a digital music and performing arts education training platform, has raised Rs 8 crore in a Pre-Series A2 round led by Inflection Point Ventures (IPV). The round also saw participation from Mumbai Angels and We Founder Circle.

The firm will use the funds to hire across sales and operation teams, along with product upgrades, brand building, and marketing initiatives to expand its presence in the global market. The startup claims to be expanding to the US, UK, Australia, Canada, and UAE and has increased its revenue by 10x in the last 14 months.

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