Edtech growth📈, IIFL's 300 Cr fund💰, Crypto-Web3🔥
Edtech unicorns take the acquisition route, IIFL's fund to invest Rs 300 Cr, VC investment in Crypto, Web 3 startups, Funding Deals & more.
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Edtech unicorns take the acquisition route for growth👑
India’s new-age edtech companies, which grew rapidly in 2020 during the first wave of the pandemic, are continuing to grow inorganically this year by quickly acquiring companies, spurred by a rise in remote learning and online education because of the continuing pandemic scare and partial lockdowns.
On 5 April, edtech unicorn Byju’s announced the acquisition of Aakash Educational Services Ltd. The cash-and-stock deal was finalized at almost $1 billion, making it one of the most expensive deals in India’s burgeoning edtech space. Byju’s, then acquired Epic Creations Inc., Great Learning Education Pte Ltd and GeoGebra GmBH to expand into global markets.
Rival firm Unacademy acquired Sequoia-backed FJS Tech Pvt. Ltd in July, K12 Technoservices Pvt. Ltd in October and Incassable Tech Pvt. Ltd in November, to expand and consolidate its domestic footprint.
Another edtech, upGrad, led by Ronnie Screwvala, acquired KnowledgeHut Inc. in July and Global Study Partners in November to expand its footprint into overseas markets.
India got three new unicorns, in the edtech space in 2021, Eduditus, upGrad and Vedantu, taking the total number of edtech unicorns in the country to five. These startups have cumulatively acquired 21 companies in 2021, spending a total of about $3 billion.
IIFL's fund to invest Rs 300 crore in early-stage fintech startups💰
IIFL Fintech Fund is planning to invest Rs 300 crore in early-stage Indian fintech startups in the next two years to facilitate the creation of affordable products and technologies that aid financial inclusion.
The fund was set up in August 2021 with Rs 140 crore sponsorship from two IIFL Group firms—IIFL Finance and IIFL Securities. It has invested in four fintech startups—Leegality, FinBox, Trendlyne and DataSutram—in the first three months of its existence and is in advanced stages of discussion to invest in 10 more by the end of the current fiscal.
There is always a need for early-stage funding to nurture the fintech startup ecosystem, said R Venkataraman, co-promoter of IIFL Group and chairman of IIFL Securities.
"Fintechs play a big role in creating cost-effective delivery of various financial products to the underserved and unbanked customers and help in accelerating the financial inclusion process," Venkataraman said.
Jupitice, the world’s first justice technology (JusTech) company, has raised $4 million in a Pre-Series A round led by Almas Capital Limited.
Neo-bank Open is in the advanced stages of talks to close a fresh funding round of $100-150 million after which it will be valued at $1.1-1.3 billion.
Mumbai-based investment fund Epiq Capital has made the first close of $100 million for its second fund, with limited partners (LPs) such as Bollywood star Aamir Khan, cricketer Virat Kohli and entrepreneurs such as Curefit founder Mukesh Bansal.
Tyke, a Mumbai-based fintech startup, has raised $1.5 million in pre-seed funding from 9Unicorns, Better Capital, Ratio Ventures, and Venture Catalysts.
VC investment in Crypto, Web 3 startups soars to over $500M this year🌐
Venture capital (VC) firms are eyeing investments in Indian startups that are carving themselves space in Web 3, which marks the next stage of the Internet’s evolution, and cryptocurrencies.
Startups that include crypto, blockchain – a kind of digital ledger -- and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), or units of non-interchangeable data stored on blockchain, have raised $511 million this year, according to data provider Venture Intelligence.
Most of the money has gone into crypto startups, mainly exchanges, which have raised as much as $448 million, an increase of nearly 19 times from last year, the data shows.
India is moving towards regulation of digital money amid surging interest in crypto among young, first-time investors. Crypto is not legal tender yet in the country although trading in virtual money is allowed.
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