India Digest: Bugworks raises $9m; Sequoia eyes Wakefit; Sminq to raise $8-10m; Amazon to support MSMEs

Photo: Bloomberg

Drug discovery company Bugworks has raised $9 million in a Series A round of funding led by University of Tokyo Edge Capital (UTEC) while online mattress company Wakefit is in advanced talks with three venture capital funds including Sequoia to raise about Rs 40 crore. Also, Sminq is in talks with private equity firms to raise $8-10 million. In another development, Amazon India has signed an MoU with the Uttar Pradesh government to support MSME entrepreneurs.

Bugworks raises $9m from UTEC

Bengaluru and Delaware (US)-based drug discovery company Bugworks has raised $9 million in a Series A round of funding led by University of Tokyo Edge Capital (UTEC), said media reports. The funding will help Bugworks to take its medicine to medical trials, and discover new methods to battle the worldwide risk of drug resistance. Bugworks Research is working on developing a solution to beat bacterial drug resistance, which will pave a path for the development of novel antibiotics to counter the threat of super bugs or bacteria that have become resistant to antibiotic drugs.

Sequoia may invest in Wakefit

Online mattress company Wakefit is in advanced talks with three venture capital funds including Sequoia Capital to raise about Rs 40 crore ($6 million) in its first external round of funding, The Economic Times reported. Started in 2016 by Ankit Garg and Chaitanya Ramalingegowda, Wakefit is expanding its product line to include pregnancy pillows and fitted bed sheets. The company claims to have sold over 1.25 lakh units and is currently at a daily run rate of 500 units of sale. The company posted profit on a revenue of over Rs 30 crore in FY18, and is targeting revenue growth of over 2.5 times this fiscal.

Sminq in talks to raise $8-10m

Saama Capital and Blume Ventures-backed queue management startup Sminq is in talks with private equity firms to raise $8-10 million, The Economic Times reported. The startup intends to use the funds to strengthen a new app that lets users share real-time information with others from verified locations around the world, the report said. Sminq last raised $1 million in 2016. The company also acquired CodePandora, a UX focused software services firm, in February last year. Sminq claims that nearly 21,400 places have gone live on its platform across 214 cities across the globe and the daily user numbers were 1,000.

Amazon to support MSMEs

E-commerce giant Amazon India on Friday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Uttar Pradesh government to support MSME entrepreneurs across nine districts as a part of the state’s One District One Product (ODOP) scheme, reported PTI. Amazon India through its Kala Haat programme will help traditional industries, synonymous with respective districts of the state, leverage e-commerce to scale and access the Indian marke. Under the programme, a wide range of benefits will be offered to 300 MSME sellers registered under UP government’s ODOP scheme.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.