Weekly rundown: UpGrad, CleverTap bag large rounds; OYO makes European acquisition

Weekly rundown: UpGrad, CleverTap bag large rounds; OYO makes European acquisition

Upskilling unicorn upGrad and customer engagement SaaS platform CleverTap have raised large venture capital funding rounds this week even as overall start-up funding continues to slow down in volume and value.

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Ronnie Screwvala-led edtech firm upGrad on Monday announced a fresh round of fundraise from marquee investors. The $210 million round that saw participation from ETS Global, Bodhi Tree, Kaizen Management Advisors and others offers a breath of fresh air to the edtech sector where thousands of layoffs have been announced recently. The company said its team strength will grow to 7600 from the present 4800 in the next 3 months and will also include about 170 full-time faculty, 1600 teachers, and over 5000 on-contract coaches and mentors. The founder group also invested $12.5 million in this round to maintain their over 50 per cent ownership in upGrad.

Global B2B SaaS platform for customer engagement and retention CleverTap said it signed definitive agreements to raise $105 million in a Series D funding round led by CDPQ, a global investment group who committed $75 million, with participation from IIFL AMC's Tech Fund, along with existing investors Tiger Global and Sequoia India. Funds will be used to support CleverTap's global expansion and enhance the development of its world-class solutions and technology. Mumbai and Silicon Valley-based CleverTap's customer engagement and retention SaaS platform leverages machine learning and artificial intelligence aims to offer a user engagement suite to brands.

In other major VC transactions, Mumbai-based wealth management platform dezerv bagged $21 million as part of a fresh funding round led by Accel. Returning investors in the round include Whiteboard Capital, Elevation Capital, Matrix Partners India, and GTM Ventures. In April 2021, within six months of its launch, the start-up had secured $7 million.

Jodo, a fintech start-up in the educational payments space, raised $15 million in a Series A round of funding led by Tiger Global Management. The round also saw participation from existing investors, Elevation Capital and Matrix Partners India, from whom Jodo had previously raised $4 million.

In the M&A front, travel and hospitality technology platform OYO announced the acquisition of Denmark-based holiday home operator Bornholmske Feriehuse for an undisclosed sum. A full stack operator providing end-to-end solutions to homeowners, Bornholmske Feriehuse operates 737 holiday homes spread over 30 holiday parks on its platform. The company will clock more than 2.5 lakh guest nights in 2022, OYO said.

Orange Health, a health-tech start-up building diagnostic lab service, snapped up Gurugram-based diagnostic lab Rapidx to expand to NCR region for an undisclosed sum. Founded Amit Arora, Kishore Gemini, and Dipti Ekka, Rapidx claims to have 6,50,000 patient orders. Orange Health said it will leverage Rapidx’s infrastructure and familiarity with Gurugram and Delhi to strengthen its foothold in the region.

Crypto investing app CoinSwitch announced Web3 Discovery Fund, a corporate venture capital initiative to invest in and incubate early-stage start-ups building blockchain solutions for the Web3 landscape. The fund will curate portfolio start-ups and provide single-window access to marquee investor partners Tiger Global, Ribbit Capital, Coinbase Ventures, Sequoia Capital India, Woodstock Fund and Elevation Capital and incubation partner Buidlers Tribe. The company said Web3 Discovery Fund will be an active investor and will provide strategic support to portfolio start-ups.