1947 Tech — Week 30

1. Huge vernacular Market: India’s New Internet Audiences

In the past couple of years, India’s online user base has exploded and a number new audiences have come online e.g. SME owners, users in rural areas, more women and children. They have access to cheap data and are spending multiple hours everyday on their smartphones. A majority of these users prefer to (or can only) use the internet in their local languages.

Ishaan Preet Singh of Lightspeed India does a great job of explaining the opportunity and economic value the technology companies, in India can extract from the large upcoming vernacular users.

Last week I tweeted about a content company that is going after the vernacular market:

2. A big round: Cure.fit raises $120 million funding led by IDG Ventures

Health and fitness startup Cure.fit has raised $120 million in its series C round of funding led by IDG Ventures, Accel Partners and Kalaari Capital with participation from Chiratae Ventures and Oaktree Capital.

The round saw participation from Accel’s Growth fund and the new funds of Chiratae. Existing investor UC-RNT did not participate.

This brings the two year old company’s total funding to nearly $170 million. The company will use the fresh funds to strengthen its technology platform by offering AI- driven health planning, create its own fitness devices, and will also look to expand to newer markets, such as in South west Asia in 12–15 months.

Curefit was founded in 2016 by Myntra co-founder Mukesh Bansal and senior Flipkart executive Ankit Nagori.

3. A big round: Freshworks raises $100M

Freshworks, a company that offers a variety of business software tools ranging from IT management to CRM for sales and customer support software, today announced that it has raised a $100 million funding round co-led by Sequoia and Accel Partners, with participation from CaptialG.

The company’s last funding round came in the form of a $55 million Series F round led by Sequoia in 2016. Today’s round brings the San Bruno-based company’s total funding to $250 million, at a valuation that’s now north of $1.5 billion, the company tells us. Freshworks also today noted that it now pulls in over $100 million in annual recurring revenue.

4. A big round: Byju’s in talks with SoftBank, others to raise up to $250 million

Education technology platform Byju’s is in talks with SoftBank and other investors to raise $200–250 million to fund its global expansion plans, said sources familiar with the matter.

The talks are in early stages, and the deal is yet to be finalised, they said. “Byju’s is holding talks to raise about $200–250 million from SoftBank and others. They are still discussing the points. This will help propel their international expansion,” said a source mentioned above. The deal, if it goes through, might value the company at around $2 billion.

5. A new fund: Former Sequoia MDs to launch Rs 2,000 crore ($290 million) fund

Two former managing directors at venture capital fund Sequoia Capital are joining hands to launch a new Rs 2,000-crore investment firm, which will back early- to growth-stage private companies, multiple people familiar with the development said. V T Bharadwaj, who left the high-profile venture capital fund in April, and Gautam Mago, who had quit Sequoia a year ago, will invest in emerging companies across consumer, healthcare, financial services and technology sectors.

A91 Partners will look to cut cheques of $10–30 million, coming in typically at the series-B stage.

A tweet:

If the startup ecosystem keeps growing at scale, the standard of living goes up and the government creates a vibrant infrastructure for innovation and Entrepreneurship.We will see a similar trend taking place with India-born, US-educated Indians in the next decade or so.

A tweet:

The GDP of India is growing at an unprecedented rate. We will see a growing middle-class population in the next 5–10 years. There is an enormous opportunity for new entrepreneurs to build products and services to meet the needs of this growing middle-class population of India.

Thank you for reading. Please share any feedback, questions or comments with me on Twitter

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Shiva Singh Sangwan

Shiva Singh Sangwan

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