May 27, 2024
May 24, 2024
min Read

[Portfolio Watch] Surging fundraising activity, strategic AI acquisitions, eyeing the public market, and more

Team LetsVenture

The startup ecosystem is slowly but steadily recovering from the funding winter. The early signs are visible in LetsVenture portfolio. 

A slew of startups like DrinkPrime, The Betel Leaf, and Celcius Logistics have clinched capital to grow and expand their business while fintech startup niyogin acquired AI platform SuperScan in a strategic move to embrace AI. 

The eco-friendly and sustainability market draws interest. Gurgaon-based Regrip raised fresh funding from reputed ecosystem leaders, less than a year after getting investment from Bollywood actor Suniel Shetty. 

This is also a reminder of the diverse range of startups in our portfolio at LetsVenture. 

Here are some of the most exciting highlights. 

Thinkerbell Labs: Wiring inclusive education

Startup Name: Thinkerbell Labs

Sector: Edtech

Founders: Sanskriti Dawle, Dilip Ramesh, Aman Srivastava, and Saif Shaikh

The journey so far: Thinkerbell founders Sanskriti Dawle, Dilip Ramesh, Aman Srivastava, and Saif Shaikh found their way to Forbes 30 under 30 Asia 2024.

They are the team behind the world’s first self-learning braille device Annie which started as a college project at BITS Pilani, Goa, in 2016. They have since donned the entrepreneurial hat to put modern technology in use to address social problems. 

Annie, their first product, rose to fame in Shark Tank India Season 1 and is now available in India, the US, the UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand.

Celcius Logistics: Scaling new heights in cold chain solutions

Startup Name: Celcius Logistics

Sector: Logistics 

Founder: Swarup Bose

The journey so far: End-to-end cold chain startup Celcius Logistics has raised Rs 40 Cr in a pre-Series B funding round. The startup aims to use the fresh capital to enhance warehousing capabilities and expand reach in over 500 cities across India. It will support Celcius in creating India's first unbroken cold chain, ensuring efficient and reliable cold storage solutions across the country.

Operating on an aggregator model, the Mumbai-based startup provides a one-stop platform to connect shippers and transporters, serving clients, including Zomato, Spicejet, Reliance Pharma, Maersk, Prabhat Dairy, Baskin Robbins, Vadilal, Domino’s, and Keventers, among others. 

In April 2023, Celsius raised Rs 100 crore as part of its Series A round. 

DrinkPrime: Ensuring access to clean drinking water

Startup Name: DrinkPrime

Sector: Consumer Electronics

Founders: Vijender Reddy and Manas Ranjan Hota

The journey so far: RO water supply startup DrinkPrime has raised $3 million as part of its Series B round. The Bengaluru-based startup operates on a subscription-based model to ensure safe drinking water is accessible to urban households. It leverages modern tech like the Internet of Things to do away with the upfront costs and maintenance hassles of traditional water purifiers. 

Founded in 2016 by Vijender Reddy and Manas Ranjan Hota, the startup reaches over 2 lakh families across seven cities. 

Regrip: Breathing life in the tyre industry

Startup Name: Regrip

Sector: Auto 

Founder: Tushar Suhalka

The journey so far: Regrip has raised $2 million about Rs 16.7 crore from a group of investors, including LetsVenture. Based in Gurgaon, Regrip is in the business of re-engineering tyres at a time when 1.5 billion tyres are discarded every day.

The fresh funding will help Regrip enhance its technology capabilities and its network of collecting discarded tyres. Backed by Bollywood actor Suniel Shetty, Regrip aims to create a circular economy by increasing the lifespan of tyres and converting non-reusable ones into raw materials. 

ZappFresh: Transforming the meat supply chain

Startup Name: ZappFresh

Sector: Supply chain and logistics

Founder:  Deepanshu Manchanda and Shruti Gochhwal

The journey so far: Meat delivery startup ZappFresh sets its sights on the public market as it converts from a private limited company into a public limited company. 

Founded by Deepanshu Manchanda and Shruti Gochhwal in 2015, it supplies meat, including seafood and ready-to-cook items, from farms to customers in less than 90 minutes. Based in Gurgaon, the company has raised around $14 million to date.  

niyogin: Empowering SMEs with fintech solutions

Startup Name: niyogin

Sector: Fintech

Founders: Amit Rajpal and Gaurav Patankar

The journey so far: Fintech startup niyogin acquired SuperScan, the AI platform by enterprise tech startup Orbo, for an undisclosed amount.

Founded in 2017, niyogin aims to democratise finance by catering to underserved segments of the economy, particularly small businesses, and fulfilling unmet financial needs through tailored products and services. The fintech platform focuses on diversified segments such as rural tech, credit and wealth tech.

InstaAstro: Insights into the future

Startup Name: InstaAstro

Sector: Information Services

Founder: Nitin Verma

The journey so far: Astrology services startup InstaAstro has raised Rs 3.2 Cr in a seed round. It will foray into spiritual e-commerce, daily pooja, and reiki healing services with the new feature. At present, InstaAstro offers horoscopes, tarot readings, and numerology in various regional languages. 

Founded in 2021 by Nitin Verma, the platform connects users with astrologers over call or chat. In the same year, the startup raised Rs 18.50 Cr as part of pre-Series A round.  

The Betel Leaf: Paan with a modern twist 

Startup Name: The Betel Leaf

Sector: Food and Beverage

Founders: Prem Rheja and Payal Raheja

The journey so far: Bangalore-based paan brand The Betel Leaf has raised a bridge round of $1.2 million. The D2C brand is India’s first FSSAI-approved online paan delivery company. 

The startup plans on expanding its online presence both in India and overseas in the next two years. It is looking to use technology to automate production to maintain consistency as it scales in volume and range.

Classplus: Educating at scale 

Startup Name: Classplus

Sector: Edtech

Founders: Mukul Rustagi and Bhaswat Agarwal

The journey so far: In a refreshing move to express gratitude, edtech startup Classplus has announced Gratitude SARs to its customers, vendors, and partners. This means creators and teachers on the edtech platform will get stock appreciation rights so they benefit from the company’s growth. 

Founded in 2018, Classplus is a B2B Edtech startup enabling educators to launch and scale their online coaching platforms, providing a direct way to monetise teaching. 

Crownit: Bringing depth to market research 

Startup Name: Crown It

Sector: Market Research

Founder: Sameer Grover

The journey so far: Online market research platform Crown It was acquired by Ipsos. The Gurgaon-based startup helps entities across industries with product testing, basket analytics, launch monitor, concept testing, campaign evaluation, product feedback, and surveys, among others. 

With this acquisition, Crown It aims to enhance data collection capabilities for Ipsos and support its vision of the future of market research in India. 

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Team LetsVenture
LetsVenture portfolio

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