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These Indian startups have raised funds despite the hardships of the pandemic


The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely impacted businesses – small, medium, and even startups across the world. And, the third-largest startup ecosystem of the world, India, too, hasn’t been spared from it either.

During this pandemic, startups have been facing umpteen number of challenges to sustain their business in terms of cash liquidity, surviving off their businesses, getting funds from investors, etc.

VC funding

Illustration: Aditya Ranade

The last few months have seen a visible dip in the investments, and startups have been struggling with their residual cash flow. However, there are a few startups who have managed to raise funds in such unprecedented times.

From unicorns such as Bigbasket, Swiggy, and Zomato, to some of the early-stage ones, startups from various sectors have managed to get the attention of investors and raised funds.



Here are a few startups that have raised capital to keep their businesses afloat.

Bira91

Bira91, the craft beer startup, raised $30 million in April from Sequoia India and Belgium-based investment firm Sofina as part of its ongoing Series C round. 

Further, Sixth Sense Ventures – a Mumbai-based consumer-focused venture capital fund, Neoplux – a Korean private equity fund, and several high reputation family offices also participated in the ongoing funding round.

Bira 91

Ankur Jain, Founder and CEO, Bira 91

The capital raised will be utilised to expand Bira91’s India footprint, and consolidate its leadership position in the premium beer market in the country.

Founded by Ankur Jain in 2015, Bira91 has raised over $130 million in total funding so far. 

Fittr

Earlier in April, Pune-based fitness startup Fittr (formerly known as SQUATS Fitness) raised $2 million in Pre-Series A funding from Surge.

Fittr was founded in January 2016 by Software Engineer Jitendra Chouksey.

Jitendra Chouksey

Jitendra Chouksey, Founder and CEO, FITTR

Bootstrapped since inception, the startup claims to have become profitable in 2020. Last month, Fittr announced that it has crossed Rs 100 crore in gross revenue, on the back of an increase in paid clients in the financial year 2019-2020.

Nykaa

Mumbai-based online beauty-turned-omnichannel lifestyle retailer Nykaa, in May, raised Rs 66.64 crore from its existing primary investor Steadview Capital. With the said investment, Nykaa is now valued at $1.2 billion, thus entering the startup unicorn club.

Nykaa

Falguni Nayar, Founder & CEO, Nykaa with Nihir Parikh, Chief Business Officer (2nd row, 3rd from L-R)

Earlier on March 31, Nykaa had announced that it raised Rs 100 crore form Steadview. The funding came after the startup had raised an additional Rs 100 crore from Singapore-based TPG Growth IV SF.

Prior to that, it had also acquired fashion styling and ecommerce platform 20Dresses and raised Rs 113 crore from Lighthouse India Fund III, and another Rs 160 crore through primary and secondary share sales.



Shiprocket

In the month of May, tech-enabled logistics aggregator for D2C sellers Shiprocket announced its Series C funding round of $13 million (Rs 100 crore). The round was led by Tribe Capital – a Silicon Valley-based investment firm, Innoven Capital, and existing investor Bertelsmann India Investments.

Saahil Goel, CEO and Co-founder, Shiprocket

Saahil Goel, CEO and Co-founder, Shiprocket

The latest capital infusion brings Shiprocket’s total funding to $26 million. The investment made will be used by the Delhi-based startup to fuel its aggressive product development roadmap, which includes hiring top talent across the data science and engineering domains.

According to Shiprocket, the funds will also be focussed on its new initiatives, including international expansion.

SARVA

Yoga and wellness startup SARVA announced that it had raised an undisclosed amount of funding from US-based VC Fund Mantra Capital, and its strategic partner Patni Family in the last week of April. According to the startup, the freshly raised funds will be used to accelerate its digital footprint.

SARVA

SARVA Founder Sarvesh Shashi

Founded by yogi-turned-entrepreneur Sarvesh in 2016, the startup is a growing yoga and wellness ecosystem built on the authentic foundations of yoga that focusses on mental, physical, and emotional well-being.

In the past, it had generated a buzz as celebrities – Jennifer Lopez, Alex Rodriguez, Shahid Kapoor and wife Mira Kapoor, Malaika Arora, and Aishwaryaa R Dhanush – have backed the brand. SARVA has been engaging people virtually through various interactive sessions and immunity booster modules across 25 countries, including the US, the UK, and Italy. 

How has the coronavirus outbreak disrupted your life? And how are you dealing with it? Write to us or send us a video with subject line ‘Coronavirus Disruption’ to editorial@yourstory.com





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Written by Apurva P ( )

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