LeadSquared is the latest SaaS unicorn; Matrix to raise $450 million in India

LeadSquared, which offers sales and marketing automation software for businesses, is the latest SaaS startup to join India’s unicorn club amid a drop in funding this year. Despite the cold, the company raised $153 million from WestBridge and others, joining fellow SaaS companies Fractal Analytics, Uniphore and DarwinBox in the exclusive club this year.

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Also in this letter:

■ Matrix Partners to raise $450 million for Indian startups
■ Banks keep their share of subsidy, payment companies complain
■ Mamaearth Seeks $3 Billion Valuation for 2023 IPO: Report

LeadSquared becomes the sixth Indian SaaS unicorn of 2022

Founder of Leadsquared

Nilesh Patel, Co-Founder and CEO, LeadSquared

Sales and marketing automation platform LeadSquared said it raised $153 million in a funding round led by WestBridge Capital.

Unicorn City: The funding values ​​the company at $1 billion, founder and CEO Nilesh Patel told us, making it the latest software-as-a-service (SaaS) company to join the unicorn club amid a slower downturn. wide of startup financing.

We first reported on April 12 that the SaaS company was in talks with WestBridge Capital for a new funding round at a unicorn valuation.

SaaS unicorns love the cold: India has around 15 SaaS unicorns, including Fractal Analytics, Uniphore, DarwinBox, Amagi Media Labs and Hasura joined the club this year, despite a drop in funding. LeadSquared is the sixth SaaS startup of 2022 and the 18th overall.

Unicorns in 2022

In 2021, a peak year for Indian startups, only four SaaS startups – ChargeBee, BrowserStack, MindTickle and Innovaccer – became unicorns, according to data from Venture Intelligence.

SaaS companies raised $2 billion in the first quarter of 2022 from 93 deals, after reaping $3.8 billion from 226 deals last year, the data shows.

What he does: Founded in 2011 by Patel, Prashant Singh and Sudhakar Gorti, the company is headquartered in Bangalore and Silicon Valley. It provides businesses with sales and marketing automation software, helping them manage and analyze leads, among other things. He claims to have over 1,000 clients, including Byju’s, Dunzo, Kotak Securities, Vedantu, Acko and Practo.

Summary of ETtech offers

■ Vahak, a Bengaluru-based trucking logistics startup, raised $14m from Nexus Venture Partners, Fundamental, iSeed Ventures, Leo Capital, RTP Global and Titan Capital. The company has raised $20.3 million since March 2020.

■ Biotech startup Immuneel Therapeutics has raised $15 million in a funding round co-led by Eight Roads Ventures, True North and F-Prime Capital, with contributions from other existing investors, a senior official tells us of the society. The company previously raised $15 million from UHNI, US pharma founders and venture capital funds.

■ Castler, a global provider of escrow banking solutions, raised $1 million in a seed funding round led by Rainmatter, the venture capital arm of Zerodha, with participation from Venture Catalysts, 9Unicorns, Faad Network and LetsVenture.

Matrix Partners to raise $450 million for Indian startups


Matrix Partners India, an early investor in companies such as Ola, Razorpay and Dailyhunt, among others, will raise a $450 million Indian fund, according to a regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

This will be the company’s fourth fund dedicated to India, through which it will support startups in India and other South Asian markets, according to the documents.

The size of the fund is important, as larger funds such as SoftBank and Tiger Global, among others, have indicated that there will be a slowdown in transactions and have asked their holding companies to conserve cash and to prepare for a downturn.

Competition: The news comes as Matrix peers such as Accel, Sequoia Capital and Lightspeed have raised or are in the process of raising larger funds for the Indian market.

  • Sequoia India announced on July 14 that it had raised $2.85 billion in three funds to invest in India and Southeast Asia. Sequoia will merge its seed fund Surge with its $300 million venture vehicle allocation, we reported earlier.
  • Lightspeed Venture Partners is also closing its $500 million fund to invest in India and Southeast Asia.

Sequoia and SoftBank join IAMAI’s VC committee: The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) said it has formed a Venture Capital (VC) committee to work on public policy consultations, stakeholder engagement, ecosystem improvement and creation of a strong industry network for venture capital firms.

Sequoia India, SoftBank, Multiples Alternate Asset Management, Indian Angel Network, 3one4 Capital, Eximius and other domestic and international venture capital funds have joined the committee, which “will play a critical role in highlighting specific challenges to the industry faced by member companies’ portfolio companies”. “, IAMAI said in a statement.

Banks keep their share of subsidy, payment companies complain


Payments companies and banks are locked in a fight over the sharing of public funds earmarked for building payments infrastructure, three people with knowledge of the matter told us.

Tell me more:
The companies have written to the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), claiming that Rs 700 crore of the Rs 1,500 crore granted in the budget is being withheld by the banks, depriving them of the funds.

The government had provided these subsidies in exchange for waiving the Merchant Discount Rate (MDR) fee on the Unified Payment Interface (UPI) and RuPay cards. MDR is a commission that merchants are charged by their issuing banks for accepting customer payments via credit and debit cards.

The fund was announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman last year as a way to compensate payment providers and accelerate the expansion of India’s digital payments industry.

This year, total digital payments grew by 216% and 10% in terms of volume and value, respectively, according to data from RBI.

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Mamaearth Seeks $3 Billion Valuation for 2023 IPO: Report

Initial Public Offering

Skincare startup Mamaearth is in talks to raise $300 million in an IPO next year, at a valuation of $3 billion, three people with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters. .

The source said the company plans to file draft documents by the end of the year and is in talks to hire JP Morgan, JM Financial and Kotak Mahindra Capital as bookrunners.

Quick climb: Since its launch in 2016, Mamaearth has become one of the most popular skincare brands in India. It competes with giants such as Hindustan Unilever and Procter & Gamble. Earlier this year, it went unicorn after closing a $52 million round led by Sequoia at a $1.2 billion valuation.

Difficult moments: News of the company’s IPO plans comes amid a slowdown in startup funding after the ecosystem attracted a whopping $35 billion in funding last year. Many startups, including Unacademy, Trell, Meesho and Cars24, have laid off employees and taken other measures to cut costs amid the downturn.

Indian Investors Lose Rs 1,000 Crore to Crypto Scam: Report


Online thieves have duped Indian investors out of more than $128 million (nearly Rs 1,000 crore) even as the global crypto market crashes, according to a report by Bengaluru-based cybersecurity firm CloudSEK .

The company uncovered the scam after uncovering several fake Android websites and apps, most impersonating London-based crypto exchange CoinEgg. One victim claimed to have lost $64,000 (Rs 50 lakh).

Crypto jobs on the rise: Meanwhile, a separate report revealed that job postings for cryptocurrency, blockchain and NFT-related roles increased by 804% between April 2020 and April 2022.

Crypto boss blames the Fed: FTX chief Sam Bankman Fried blames the US Federal Reserve for the month-long drop in cryptocurrency prices. He said the Fed’s aggressive interest rate hikes to combat excessive inflation have led to a “recalibration” of risk expectations.

Today’s ETtech Top 5 newsletter was curated by Zaheer Merchant in Mumbai and Ruchir Vyas in New Delhi. Graphics and illustrations by Rahul Awasthi.

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