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HomeTechETTech Deals Digest: Firework raises a big pot amid funding slowdown

ETTech Deals Digest: Firework raises a big pot amid funding slowdown

Live commerce platform Firework was the only startup to raise a big sum this week, as large startup funding continued to dwindle. BluSmart, 1K Kirana and AI startup NextBillion.ai also raised funds.

Softbank wrote a $100 million cheque to Firework

US-based live commerce platform, Firework
raised $150 million from Softbank’s Vision Fund 2 at a $750 million valuation. Started in 2017, Firework helps retailers, consumer brands and publishers build engaging video experiences on their own, and operate digital properties and across channels at a global scale. It allows these brands to leverage various aspects of streaming commerce and monetise it. The company’s clients include

, Sugar Cosmetics, Boat and The Man Company, among others.

EV Cab startup Blumart scooped up $25 million

raised $25 million in a combination of debt and equity financing from BP Ventures, Green , Blacksoil and a few other investors. BluSmart plans to use the funds to increase its fleet to more than 5,000, expand its charging network, and invest in marketing. It’s raised at a time when the ride-hailing business in India is plagued with issues such as long wait times, cancellations, and increasing costs due to rising fuel prices, as
reported by ET on May 22.

1K Kirana bagged $25 million from Alpha Wave and others

1K Kirana, a startup that provides technology to grocery stores across India,
closed a $25 million Series B round from Alpha Wave Ventures. The round also saw participation from

Ventures, Kae Capital and other prominent investors. The company plans to use the funds to serve over 10 million customers across more than 100 districts in the next 12 months.

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Singapore’s NextBillion.ai raised $21 million

Artificial Intelligence (AI) startup NextBillion.ai
raised $21 million from Mirae Asset Capital. Alpha Wave Global, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Microsoft’s M12 Fund were the other participants in the round. NextBillion.ai helps enterprises build, scale and manage their own spatial data ecosystems. The company claims to have seen four-fold year-on-year growth in revenue and 10-fold growth in its customer base. Its clients include companies such as Gojek, Coca-Cola and Glassdoor.

Fintech startup Three Wheels United raked in $10 million

EV financing startup Three Wheels United
raised $10 million in a Series A round from UK based logistics and distribution company

and a few other investors, including Techstars and Grip Invest. The company provides affordable financing solutions for drivers to help them switch from conventional vehicles to electric two- and three-wheelers. So far, the company has financed over 4,000 autorickshaws.

Payment solution provider Innoviti raised $9.6 million from FMO

Digital payment solution provider Innoviti
raised $9.6 million as part of the second close of its ongoing fund from Dutch development bank FMO. The funding is part of a larger $36.1 million round that is expected to close in the next few weeks. Innoviti will use the funds for its working capital needs, marketing of mid-market products, and strengthening its technology for online and business-to-business payments.

Other notable deals

■ Supply chain finance startup Nakad
raised $7 million in a seed funding round led by

and Matrix Partners India. Prominent startup founders like Razorpay’s Harshil Gupta and Shashank Kumar also participated in the round. Nakad provides working capital credit to small and medium enterprise (SME) suppliers of corporate vendors. It will use the funds to raise its employee headcount and presence.

■ London-based Laminar, a platform-as-a-service company,
raised $5.11 million in a seed round led by Artha India Ventures (AIV). Launched in 2020, Laminar creates back-end technologies for OTT players to help them launch their service within 12 weeks or less. The fresh funds raised will help the company accelerate product development and market plans.

■ Singapore-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) startup Polymerize
raised $4.2 million in a funding round led by Elevation Capital. Polymerize serves customers mainly in three markets so far — India, Singapore and Japan. It will use the funds raised for hiring and expand footprint across India, Japan and the US.

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