India Dealbook: YatraGenie raises Series A round; Fashion startup Zapyle bags $1m; Star Health Insurance eyes $60m via PE route

Visual sourced from Yatragenie website

The Indian consumer sector is coming of age with as many as 15-20 million internet users transacting online. As a result, India’s vibrant e-commerce startup space is witnessing a huge traction as far as funding is concerned. Bus and cab ticket booking platform YatraGenie has raised fresh funds to expand its operations across India, fashion startup Zapyle has raised $1 million in fresh funding. In another sectoral development, financial services player Star Health Insurance is reportedly eyeing $60million from a bunch of private equity investors to fund its expansion plans.

Ticketing platform YatraGenie raises Series A round fund

Bus and cab ticketing platform YatraGenie has raised an undisclosed amount in Series A round of funding from Ash Bhardwaj, an entrepreneur and investor from Silicon valley. Bhardwaj will also join as a board member at YatraGenie.

The funds raised will be used for expanding operations in Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, the company said in a press statement adding that it aims to expand into 100 cities by the year-end from 32 cities currently.

“The online taxi service market has seen robust growth over the last few years. In the coming years, there will be a significant increase in the demand for quality taxi services. I am delighted to be a part of the YatraGenie team and look forward to contributing to the growth of the company,” Bhardwaj said.

Within the first six months of its launch, the startup claims to have clocked 1.5 lakh cab bookings already.The company is also ready to extend services into airlines, hotels, and logistics administration by the end of this financial year. It competes with the likes of rBus, Shuttl, ZipGo and Cityflo, and employs 750 representatives across India at present.

Fashion tech startup Zapyle raises $1 million in seed funding

Online fashion startup Zapyle.com, which allows users to buy and sell pre-owned luxury wear, has raised $1 million (Rs 6.63 crore) in seed funding from an undisclosed investor, the company announced on Friday.

Bangalore-based Zayple will use the funds for adding new features to its mobile applications, hiring new talents, customer acquisition and marketing related activities withing the company. The company is also planning to partner with international brands, stylists and bloggers in the coming future to provide more fashion options for its users.

Founded by Rashi Menda, the company is trying out a unique model in fashion by listing pre-owned fashion attire on its platform.Targeted at millennial in the age group of 18-30 years who are always on the lookout for new styles to wear, the pre-owned fashion wear sold on Zapyle are priced between ₹800 to ₹1 lakh. It charges a flat 25% commission on the sale value of each piece in order to recover all transaction-related costs.

The Zapyle mobile app on iOS and Android went live on August 15 with the closets of the country’s top 30 fashion bloggers, TV actresses and models for shoppers to discover and buy their favourite brands including Valentino, Zara, Ted Baker, Mango, Vera Moda, AND, Chanel, Burberry, Louis Vitton and many more.

Star Health Insurance eyes $60 million funding for expansion

Chennai-based Star Health Insurance is looking to raise $60 million (about Rs 400 crore) from a bunch of private equity investors to fund its expansion plans, as per a report in The Economic Times.

Star Health is a joint venture between ICICI Venture, Sequoia Capital, Tata Capital Growth Fund, Alpha TC Holdings and Oman Insurance Company. JM Financial is assisting the insurance company on raising the funds.

Star Health has a capital base of Rs 651 crore, and hopes to touch gross premium collection of ₹1,900 crore in the current financial year. It is the first standalone health insurance company and is dealing with personal accidents, mediclaim and overseas travel insurance.

Health insurance in India has huge potential, but largely untapped yet due to lack of information among the rural population. Health insurance business accounts for about a quarter of the total non-life insurance business in the country, and is growing at about 15 per cent every year.
In 2014-15, the industry as a whole had generated ₹20,443 crore of health insurance premium.

 

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.