BENGALURU: Despite the COVID-19 pandemic set to result in a near-certain global economic recession, India’s investment ecosystem has been abuzz with fundraising updates over the past week with more than $700 million in capital raised by start-ups. Even as the hospitality, travel, aviation and retail sectors took a hit, investors put their money into ed-tech, fintech, food delivery, bio-tech and omni-channel retail platforms.
Flipkart founder and serial investor Sachin Bansal dominated the limelight with an infusion of nearly Rs 3,000 crore ($392 million) in his financial services firm: Navi Technologies. Navi had earlier acquired tech firm Mavenhive and car insurance firm DHFL Insurance, besides making investments in various start-ups. Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries, meanwhile, has reportedly put in $65 million (Rs 500 crore) in education platform Embibe.
The fresh infusion comes barely a month after RIL acquired a major stake in Embibe for Rs100 crore. With schools and colleges shut throughout the country, ed-tech platforms across the country have reported a 100-150 per cent increase in user base in March. Although food delivery majors Zomato and Swiggy witnessed a 50-60 per cent drop in order volumes, both have managed to secure funding during the period.
Swiggy has raised $43 million in a Series 1 round from Ark Impact, Samsung Ventures and Mirae Asset Capital, raising its valuation to $3.6 billion. Rival Zomato has received a fresh $5 million from Pacific Horizon. Interestingly, omni-channel beauty and personal care retailer Nykaa also saw fund infusions, raising $13 million (Rs 100 crore) from US hedge fund Steadview Capital, bringing its valuation to $1.2 billion.
With the pandemic gathering momentum, investors also turned to start-ups working in the med-tech, ed-tech and fintech space. Bengaluru-based bio-tech start-up Med Genome raised $55 million (Rs 419 crore) from global investor LeapFrog in the latest round, which the company says it will utilise in consolidating research on drug disxovery as well as clinical genome testing across tier-1 and -2 cities. Others who saw funding during the past week include Lido Learning ($3 million), JusPay ($21 million), Furlenco ($10 million) and Recko ($6 million).