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The Week that Was: Indian Startup News Overview (22 - 27 November)

Saturday, 27 November 2021, 21:23 IST
By Team Startupcity

The Week that Was: Indian Startup News Overview

This week saw a slew of multi-million dollar deals, with startups turning into unicorns and unicorns raising multi-million dollar rounds and all these stories are covered under 

Sleepy Owl

Sleepy Owl, a Delhi-based direct-to-consumer (D2C) company, has raised USD 6.5 million in its Series-A funding round. It was led by Rukam Capital followed by DSG Consumer Partners, both of which are its existing partners.

Founded in 2016 by Arman Sood, Ajai Thandi and Ashwajeet Singh, Sleepy Owl’s portfolio includes Hot Brew bags, Ground Coffee, Cold Brew Packs, Ready-to-Drink Cold Brew Bottles, Brew Box and a range of merchandise.

The company said that it is slated to close with an ARR of ?60 crores by March 2022. Sleepy Owl aims to build a robust distribution network across India for increased demand of their brews, solidify their core team and firm up its marketing initiatives.

Purplle, one of India’s largest online beauty destinations, raises $65Mn, bringing Premji Invest to the cap table. This investment comes weeks after a $75Mn funding, led by Kedaara Capital, alongside Sequoia Capital India and Blume Ventures. The infusion will accelerate the company’s growth to build a multibillion-dollar company from India.

Within the year, the company grew its brands to 1000+ with over 50,000 products across categories like make-up, skincare, haircare, personal care, fragrances, and grooming appliances. With a strong focus on new customer acquisition, the company grew its marketing investments by 2X to build brand Purplle. While doubling new customer acquisition, Purplle has very strong retention with 65-70% of revenue coming from returning users. Elite, Purplle’s loyalty programme, contributes to 25% of the platform’s revenue.

Biryani By Kilo

Biryani By Kilo (BBK), a food delivery service, has secured $35 million in a Series B investment led by Falcon Edge venture capital arm Alpha Wave Ventures.

SBI and IvyCap Ventures, who had previously invested in the company, also took part in the round.

Vishal Jindal and Kaushik Roy launched the Gurugram-based company in 2015, and it now has over 60 locations in over 25 cities.

The funds will be used to build the company's biryani brand, with the goal of having over 200 shops by the end of 2024.

BBK also plans to grow into international markets and use the funds to buy other F&B cloud kitchen brands.

Blume Ventures

Blume Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm, has closed the first $105 million of its fourth India-focused fund, hoping to raise $200 million, which will be largest so far.

The investor, which has funded Unacademy, Spinny, and Purplle, primarily invests in technology startups throughout the pre-seed to pre-Series A investment rounds and has amassed a huge portfolio over the last decade.

Blume anticipates finalizing the deal by the end of the current fiscal year. Last year, the firm's Fund-III raised $102 million, with a $41 million Opportunity Fund supporting a select set of entrepreneurs.


In a new round headed by Falcon Edge, DST Global, D1 Capital, Tiger Global, and Redbird Capital, fantasy sports platform Dream11 owned by Dream Sports] has garnered $840 million. The round included TPG and Footpath Ventures as well.

The corporation claims to have raised new capital valued at $8 billion. Dream11's valuation has risen significantly since it was valued at $5 billion in a $400 million secondary sale in March of this year.

Dream11's parent company, Dream Sports, launched its venture capital and merger and acquisition arm, Dream Capital, in August, with a $250 million fund. Dream Capital, according to the company, has a portfolio of ten firms, including Fittr, SoStronk, and KheloMore.


Gurgaon-based startup Spinny becomes unicorn in USD 280 million funding. Spinny that facilitates the purchase and sale of used cars has raised more than $280 million in its Series E financing round. Tiger Global and Abu Dhabi Growth Fund co-led the round and values Spinny at over $1.75 billion.

This year, this is the third funding round raised by Spinny. The startup was valued at $350 million in April and about $700 million in July this year.

Up from fewer than half a dozen last year, the new round follows quarters of strong growth that saw Spinny expand to 15 Indian cities. Spinny is making it more affordable and reliable for customers to buy a used car.

There is a massive growth potential for Spinny and some other startups operating in this space. According to analysts at Bernstein, the market for auto e-commerce currently has less than 1 per cent penetration in India.


Upstox, the digital stockbroking platform may join the unicorn club by hitting $3 Bn in valuation with the funding round. From its existing investor Tiger Global, the RKSV Securities operated Upstox has already picked up ?184 Cr or close to $25 Mn.

In the Tiger Global led the funding round, Upstox will raise close to $150 Mn-200 Mn. Earlier, Upstox has closed a $25 Mn Series B round from Tiger Global. The startup has earlier raised $4 Mn in its Series A round from Kalaari Capital and GVK Davix.

RKSA Securities, the parent company of Upstox was founded by Shrini Viswanath, Raghu Kumar and Ravi Kumar in 2008. It started as a proprietary trading firm but with the launch of Upstox in 2012, it ventured into retail brokerage. The startup offers advisory services, online stock market investment services, mutual investments and a lot more. On its platform, Upstox claims to have over 5 Mn investors.