E-commerce in India keeps growing quickly. Today, we update you on news, insight and recent market developments in this SE Asian e-commerce engine of growth. Indian millionaire investor Anupam Mittal says now is a good strategic time for VC investment in India. What’s an “archangel“? Deal Street Asia look set 10 early-stage VCs who have invested in more than 425 Indian startups. Still lots of speculation about a possible merger between Flipkart and Amazon India and Techcircle looks at the possibilities. Techcircle explores the outcome of a battle between Amazon and Alibaba for market share in India.
Online grocery store BigBasket raises $150 million in new capital for expansion. B2B Office supplies e-store Aahaa raises $1 million from YourNest, other VCs for new technology and growth. Another B2B, IndiaMART InterMESH Ltd raised new Series C funding led by Amadeus Capital, WestBridge Capital, Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund (managed by Quona Capital) in addition to existing investor Intel Capital. Used fashion goods marketplace Stylflip raised seed funding from real estate developers Raj Gala Shah and Zaheer Memon. to continue development of its fashion app.
2016 is much better year to invest: Anupam Mittal
At just over 40 years of age, multi-faceted millionaire Anupam Mittal has successfully played the role of an entrepreneur, actor and investor, but maintains that he is not done yet. Most well-known for matrimonial website Shaadi.com, which completes 19 years, People Group‘s founder and CEO, has invested in around 50 companies, making him one of the most prolific investors in the country. In a free-wheeling chat with DEALSTREETASIA, Mittal explains his investment strategy and why 2016 is a better year for investors.
How do you view the current investment environment?
In the last few months people have been talking about a dry up in the investment climate in India, as far as startups are concerned, I don’t think it’s that simple. One has to keep in mind that over the last few years many of the VCs raised closed to $3 billion as India-specific funds. That money will be deployed, might take a little longer and valuations may go down, but the people are here to stay. You also have the big strategics Alibaba, Soft Bank coming in, who are long-term players. They are here for strategic reasons not to make a quick buck. They will be selective. Via dealstreetasia.com
Top 10 angels invested in 425 Indian startups in last decade; Rajan Anandan leads the pack
This is the age of new labels. Companies above $1 billion in private valuation are now called ‘unicorns’ although, just like the fabled creature, the valuation might prove mythical when the firm lists on a stock exchange. Another emerging label is ‘archangels’ that refers to angel investors who are at the forefront in investing at the seed or initial stages of a startup when raising funding is tough for unproven ideas.
Unlike unicorns though, there is nothing fictional about it – these are concrete funding rounds that give a startup the resources on which it can build on. Failure to get angel or seed funding — as happens often — puts the future of a budding startup in peril. This chart shows the top 10 Indian angel investors in the last decade, during which Indian startups came into their own, powered by increasing levels of funding and ambitious goals to solve problems that have plagued the largely unorganised economy of the country. They have invested in a total of 425 startups, according to data from startup database Xeler8. Via dealstreetasia.com
Flipkart & Amazon: Can a marriage work?
A marriage between Flipkart and Amazon has been a much speculated possibility since the time the world’s largest e-tailer evinced interest in the Indian market. Even though the two companies have insisted on going it alone, the buzz that they still quietly desire each other gains ground every once in a while.
After a recent report in The Economic Times that the duo was in talks till as recently as the last quarter of 2015, and despite the subsequent denial by Flipkart, the market remains abuzz with talk about the likelihood of the two rivals getting together at some point in future.
If it were to happen, will the marriage between the country’s and the world’s largest e-tail players work? More importantly, what are the chances of the duo actually walking down the aisle? VCCircle asks leading investors and entrepreneurs on how they view a potential merger between the two biggies. Via techcircle.vccircle.com
Alibaba vs Amazon Who will win the India battle?
Over the past year or so, Jack Ma-led Alibaba Group has invested in Indian mobile wallet firm and online marketplace Paytm and e-commerce company Snapdeal. The Chinese e-commerce titan now plans to establish a direct presence in India this year, as it looks to expand outside its home market.
Alibaba is also exploring a tie-up with the Tata Group, The Economic Times reported on Monday. Although Alibaba has had an India site for years, it hasn’t scaled up significantly. But this could change in 2016. Alibaba’s expansion in India could drive consolidation in the e-commerce sector and could make life difficult for Indian e-commerce firms, particularly market leader Flipkart.
More importantly, an India entry will extend Alibaba’s rivalry with Jeff Bezos-led Amazon to the South Asian nation. Alibaba is the world’s largest e-tailer by gross merchandise value while Amazon is the biggest by market value and net revenue. A glance at Alibaba’s moves in the Indian market so far. Via techcircle.vccircle.com
BigBasket raises $150M from Abraaj Group, IFC and others
Online grocer BigBasket.com has raised $150 million (about Rs 1,000 crore) in an expanded round of funding led by the UAE-based private equity investor Abraaj Group. Abraaj said in a statement on Tuesday the round saw the entry of new investors such as the International Finance Corporation and Sands Capital and participation from existing investors such as Bessemer Venture Partners, Helion Advisors, Zodius Capital and Ascent Capital.
The development comes two months after Bangalore-based SuperMarket Grocery Supplies Pvt Ltd, which operates BigBasket, said it had garnered investment commitment of about $100 million as part of a targeted $120 million fundraising plan. BigBasket will use the proceeds of the latest round of fundraising to expand into existing markets, establish a presence in Tier II cities across India and increase the product range offered to customers, the Abraaj statement said. Via techcircle.vccircle.com
Office supplies e-store Aahaa raises $1M from YourNest, others
Aahaa, an e-store that specialises in indirect purchase of office supplies, has raised pre-Series A funding of about $1 million (Rs 6.73 crore) from a group of investors led by Gurgaon-based YourNest Angel Fund. Aahaa will use the money raised to enhance technology infrastructure and hire employees, the startup said in a statement.
The Chennai-based startup, run by Aahaa Stores Pvt Ltd, was founded in 2013 by Asokan Sattanathan, Rajaraman Sundaresan and Harish Kannan. Sattanathan is the company’s chairman while Sundaresan is the CEO and Kannan is the chief operating officer. The portal allows customers to buy stationery, housekeeping material, repair and maintenance products, electronics, appliances, custom-made products, imported merchandise and corporate gifts. Via techcircle.vccircle.com
B2B marketplace Ninjacart raises $3M from Accel, others
Ninjacart, an online B2B marketplace that connects farmers and brands to retailers, has raised $3 million (around Rs 20 crore) in Series A funding round led by Accel Partners. Others who participated in this round include Qualcomm Ventures, M&S Partners (Singapore) and Zop Smart, the company said in a statement. The new funds will be used to expand the team, invest in supply chain infrastructure and technology.
Ninjacart, run by 63Ideas Infolabs Pvt Ltd, allows supermarkets, kirana stores and standalone shops to source fresh fruits and vegetables, staples and FMCG goods at competitive prices directly from farmers and brands. The company claims to supply 15 tons of vegetables and fruits daily to over 120 retailers, who have a repeat usage rate of 98 per cent, and week-on-week growth of 30 per cent.
The startup was founded by former Taxiforsure, OLA and Commonfloor executives in May 2015. It started as a hyperlocal grocery delivery company, but pivoted its model to become a full-fledged B2B marketplace in December 2015. Via techcircle.vccircle.com
Indiamart raises Series C investments from Amadeus Capital, Westbridge & others
IndiaMART InterMESH Ltd, which runs an online B2B platform for small and medium businesses connecting global buyers with suppliers under the brand Indiamart, has raised an undisclosed amount in Series C funding led by Amadeus Capital. WestBridge Capital, Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund (managed by Quona Capital) in addition to existing investor Intel Capital, participated in the funding round.
The capital raised will be used to further power its B2B business by scaling up Indiamart.com along with Tolexo.com, the online marketplace for businesses it launched in 2014, it said in a statement.
“The Indian B2B sector itself is set to grow by 2.5 times and touch $700 billion by 2020. Given the socio-political and environmental forces in the country, we foresee larger strides being taken by MSMEs in the coming years,” Dinesh Agarwal, founder and CEO of IndiaMART said. Via techcircle.vccircle.com
Used fashion goods marketplace Stylflip raises seed funding
Mumbai-based Placard Digital Solutions Pvt Ltd, that runs StylFlip, a mobile-only platform for used fashion goods for women, has raised an undisclosed amount in funding from real estate developers Raj Gala Shah and Zaheer Memon. The funds raised will be used to develop its platform and for marketing, The Economic Times said.
“The app is seller-centric, making it easy for women to turn into entrepreneurs using their unwanted buys into cash generators to fund their next purchase,” said Zarik Nabi, co-founder of StylFlip, in the report. Via techcircle.vccircle.com
VCs remain bullish on India
So far, India is defying any sense of an e-commerce and technology investment “bubble.” VCs remain bullish and 2016 looks like another strong year for investment for both established e-commerce companies and startups.