The first week of 2024 saw a steady flow of funding in the Indian startup ecosystem, with 17 startups raising a total of $88.7 million. These deals include four growth and 11 early stage deals, according to data compiled by market intelligence platform Tracxn.
Among the growth-stage deals, the largest one was raised by Zolve, a cross-border banking platform for global citizens, which secured $40 million in a Series A round led by Accel and Lightspeed. The startup, which was founded in 2023 by Raghunandan G, the co-founder of TaxiForSure, aims to provide banking solutions for people who move across countries for work, education or travel.
Another notable deal was raised by Zetwerk, a B2B marketplace for custom manufacturing, which bagged $30 million in a Series D round led by Greenoaks Capital. The startup, which connects OEMs and EPC companies with small and medium-sized manufacturers, plans to use the funds to expand its global presence and invest in technology.
Other growth-stage deals include ElasticRun, a logistics platform for kirana stores, which raised $10 million from existing investors Avataar Ventures and Kalaari Capital, and Zimyo, a human resource management software provider, which raised $8.7 million in a Series A round led by Singapore-based Beenext.
The early-stage deals were dominated by fintech and edtech startups, which together accounted for seven out of the 11 deals. Some of the prominent ones are:
- Finin, a neobanking platform that offers personalized banking and financial services, raised $12 million in a seed round led by Sequoia Capital India’s Surge. The startup, which was launched in 2023, claims to have over 100,000 users and aims to reach one million users by the end of 2024.
- Doubtnut, an online learning platform that provides video solutions for math and science queries, raised $10 million in a pre-Series B round led by SIG and Lupa Systems. The startup, which uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to provide instant answers, claims to have over 50 million monthly active users and 2.5 billion monthly video views.
- Kyt, an online platform that offers live and interactive courses for kids, raised $5 million in a Series A round led by Alpha Wave Incubation. The startup, which was founded by former Unacademy executives, offers courses in yoga, dance, music, chess, and languages, among others.
The week also witnessed two acquisitions in the Indian startup space. The first one was by Nykaa, a leading online beauty and lifestyle platform, which acquired Twenty Dresses, a personalised fashion styling platform, for an undisclosed amount. The deal will help Nykaa enhance its fashion segment and offer personalised recommendations to its customers.
The second one was by Infra.Market, a B2B marketplace for construction materials, which acquired PropVR, a startup that provides 3D visualisation solutions for real estate, for an undisclosed amount. The deal will help Infra.Market offer immersive and interactive experiences to its clients and partners.
Outlook for 2024
The Indian startup ecosystem ended 2023 on a high note, with a record number of unicorns, IPOs, and funding deals. According to a report by Nasscom, Indian startups raised $31.5 billion in funding across 1,185 deals in 2023, a 2.3X increase from 2022. The report also stated that India added 51 unicorns in 2023, taking the total number to 104.
The outlook for 2024 looks positive, as the startup ecosystem continues to attract interest from global investors, corporates, and customers. The sectors that are expected to drive the growth are fintech, edtech, healthtech, e-commerce, SaaS, and gaming, among others. The trends that are likely to shape the ecosystem are cross-border expansion, consolidation, innovation, and social impact.