India Digest: ZipGo, Prest Loans, Propelld, Wishup, Lenskart, Mswipe, Nestaway raise funds; Google partners 91springboard

Photo: Bloomberg

ZipGo, Prest Loans, Propelld, Wishup, Lenskart, Mswipe Technologies, and Nestaway Technologies are among the latest Indian startups to raise funds. Meanwhile, Google, via its entrepreneurship arm, has partnered 91springboard to mentor and empower entrepreneurs, especially women.

Essel invests $43.7m in ZipGo

ZipGo, the app-based provider of intra-city and inter-city bus services in India, on Wednesday announced that it has raised Series B round of Rs 300 crore ($43.7 million) from Shri Subhash Chandra led Essel Group. The investment is being made by Essel Green Mobility (EGM), a subsidiary of Essel Infraprojects Ltd (EIL), the infrastructure arm of the Essel Group. The investment is in line with EIL’s foray into electric vehicle segment this year. EGM has already invested Rs 200 crore, which will be used for expanding the company’s bus fleet and route network while simultaneously transitioning to a 100% electric fleet. EGM will invest an additional Rs.100 crore to launch a new category, electric rickshaws, on ZipGo’s platform across several states in the next 12 months.

Prest Loans nabs $2.5m debt funding

Digital lending platform and RBI registered NBFC Prest Loans on Tuesday said it has secured debt funding of about $2.5 million (about Rs 16.5 crore) from multiple lenders including AU Small Finance Bank, INCRED, MAS Finance, Northern Arc Capital (earlier IFMR) and other who have been with the company from very early stage itself. The company, which claims to have seen 10X growth in lending on YoY basis, has planned for aggressive expansion with the help of strengthening its tech driver lending platform, it said in a statement. The promoters also recently infused about $100,000 in equity to further strengthen the technology platform.

Propelld raises $250K in seed funding

Bangalore-based fintech start-up Bluebear Technology Private Limited, which operates student education financing platform Propelld, on Wednesday announced that it has raised $250,000 in seed funding from Indian Angel Network and IAN Fund. Leading the funding round were IAN Members Ambarish Raghuvanshi (Former, CFO, Naukri), Alok Sharma(Former CEO, Apple India) and Satish Jajodia (Former-CEO/CFO of Education Dynamics, Ex. Director Strategy and Advanced Analytics with Citigroup). The company is looking at leveraging the data to introduce new financing products in the markets such as CV based lending (without the need of co-guarantors) and also expand scope of services.

Inflection Point invests in Wishup

Wishup, a startup providing remote employees for various functions across organizations, has closed its pre-series funding led by Inflection Point Ventures (IPV), ANI reported. The closing of the funding round by Inflection Point Ventures (IPV) is a validation of Wishup’s vision and services, with which it is set to target more entrepreneurs and startups across India and in markets abroad. With this funding, the company will expand business development, marketing and technology teams.

Epiq Capital backs 3 startups

Private equity firm Epiq Capital has invested undisclosed amounts in three Indian startups — eyewear solutions company Lenskart, mobile point-of-sale services provider Mswipe Technologies, and online home rental network Nestaway Technologies. Epiq Capital, the growth and late-stage technology-focused investment firm set up by former Matrix Partners India Co-founder Rishi Navani, was part of the latest funding round raised by Lenskart that also saw investments from TR Capital and Hong Kong-based hedge fund Steadview Capital.

Google partners 91springboard to support entrepreneurs

Google, via its entrepreneurship arm, has partnered 91springboard to mentor and empower entrepreneurs, especially women, with various skills. The partnership will drive one training program a month, led by 91psringboard in tier II cities. These events are directly focused on educating and upskilling female entrepreneurs over a period of two years, with 24 engagements planned across the country. Besides, the US-based tech firm is also setting up a Google for Entrepreneurs Lounge at 91springboard’s hub in the city.