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Nandan Nilekani Says Winter Funding Will Clean Up Startup Ecosystem, Layoffs At Pharmeasy, Faad Network And New Funds From Java Capital


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Funding winter will clean up startup ecosystem: Nandan Nilekani

Slower funding for Indian startups amid global economic uncertainty will clean up the ecosystem, according to Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani. “At the end of this winter, we will have a very good set of robust and healthy businesses,” he said.

“If someone doesn’t have a very viable business model and is dependent on a lot of capital to build themselves, that’s no longer valid,” he said, adding that current challenges will force companies to focus more and to be more economical in their approach.

Many startups are experiencing their first funding winter, following the five-year boom that saw the number of new-age companies increase from 1,000 in 2016 to 90,000 currently. Nilekani highlighted three things that Indian startups get wrong: spending money to acquire customers, not being frugal enough, and not scaling the product market properly.

More layoffs at the e-pharmacy unicorn PharmEasy

Tiger Global-backed healthcare tech unicorn PharmEasy has laid off employees amid funding shortages and mounting losses, according to reports. The number of laid-off employees remains unknown, but comes on top of the more than 18,000 jobs already lost from Indian startups in 2022.

For PharmEasy, this is the second round of group-level layoffs in 2022, with parent company API Holdings laying off 40 employees at electronic medical records subsidiary Docon Technologies. With the new round of layoffs, PharmEasy becomes the latest unicorn to cut jobs again, after start-up Vedantu, which started up last week, laid off 385 employees in its fourth round of layoffs this year.

PharmEasy’s decision to downsize follows the delay of its IPO by Rs 6,520 crore citing market conditions and difficulty in raising funds from venture capitalists even at a drop in valuation. Last valued at $5.6 billion, the health tech start-up’s cash burn resulted in aggregate losses of Rs 4,043 crore in the financial year 22.

Indian cricketer Shikhar Dhawan’s $75m sports tech fund

Indian cricketer Shikhar Dhawan has become the first Asian sportsman to launch a venture capital fund which will focus on supporting sports-related startups.

With a target corpus of $75 million, with a green shoe option of $25 million, the fund seeks to invest in startups across the sports spectrum, including gaming, esports and Web3.

Named Da One Global Ventures (DOGV), it is targeting deployment in the first quarter of 2023-24, Dhawan said in a statement.

FAAD network gets SEBI approval for Rs 300 crore fund

The angel investor network – FAAD – gets approval from SEBI for its Rs 300 crore alternative investment fund (AIF) to support early stage startups.

With the new fund, FAAD plans to invest across sectors in early-stage startups with a particular focus on healthtech, agritech, deep tech and the cleantech space, according to the statement. of the network of investors.

Launched in 2019, FAAD claims to have invested over Rs 75 crore in more than 60 startups including Blu Smart, Battery Smart, Hesa ​​and WCube. It offers a minimum check size of $50,000 to $1 million.

Java Capital’s new Rs 75 crore seed fund

Java Capital announces the launch of its seed fund with a corpus of Rs 75 crore to invest in 15 to 20 early-stage startups. The fund includes a greenshoe option of Rs 25 crore. After achieving its first close at Rs 30 crore, the fund expects the final close within the next six months.

The newly launched fund has already begun investing in pre-seed to pre-Series A startups, with four investments to date. With the new fund, Java Capital plans to build a portfolio of 15-20 startups with an average first check size of Rs 2 crore. The fund will set aside 50% to make follow-on investments in its top performing portfolio companies.

The fund aims to support startups looking to raise pre-seed to pre-Series A funding in the areas of deeptech, SaaS, enterprise technology, fintech, climate and sustainability. Previously, Java has invested in 23 startups, including Agnikul, KukuFM, BharatX, Better Opinions, Yellow Metal, The Eplane Company, Kindlife, and Legistify, among others.

Early dementia detection startup In-Med Prognostics raises $2.13 million

In-Med Prognostics, an AI-based image processing platform for healthcare, raised $2.13 million in a funding round led by Exxora with participation from prominent angels .

Founded in 2018 by Latha Poonamallee, Rajesh Purushottam and Al Curran, In-Med leverages deep learning algorithms and machine learning to deliver accurate Neuro Analysis that saves time and helps evaluation and early detection of neurological disorders such as dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease at affordable prices. .

In-Med’s “Neuroshield” solution claims to provide an explicit volumetric report within 20 minutes of analysis. In India, In-Med Prognostics already works with Aarthi Scans, Scansworld, Gujarat Scans, Nanavati, Cauvery hospitals. The company is expanding in Africa and targeting the global diagnostics and wellness market.

Contlo Raises $3.5M in Seed Funding Led by Kae Capital

Contlo, a Delaware and Bengaluru-based customer data and marketing platform for e-commerce and direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands, raised $3.5m in its seed funding round .

Kae Capital led the round with participation from Better Capital and Titan Capital. The round also saw the participation of prominent angel investors including Harshil Mathur and Shashank Kumar (founders of Razorpay), key D2C brand founders like MamaEarth’s Varun Alagh and others.

Founded by Ishaan Bhola and Mukunda NS in October 2021, Contlo enables e-commerce and DTC brands to accelerate sales growth, generate revenue and automate personalized experiences for its customers. The latest funding round comes eight months after the company raised $800,000 in pre-seed funding in January 2022.

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