Bengaluru based home maintenance services start-up, Gapoon Online Consumer Services Pvt. Ltd, has raised USD 250,000 in a Pre-Series-A round. The investment is led by Vida Ventures and other independent and seasoned investors including Snehal Mantri, Anshu Bahadur, Partner at Cognizant and angel investors from their previous round Pankaj Kapoor, Director at one of the leading investment banks and Chandrasekhar BV, a veteran in the telecom industry.

Founded in 2015 by IIT Kanpur graduates Apoorva Mishra, Ankita Asai, Ankit Bindal and Nikhil Gupta from IIT Delhi, Gapoon is a one-stop shop for maintenance services. The company has pioneered subscription packages offering annual maintenance cover for homes & businesses resulting in long term partnerships with house owners, developers, property management aggregators, restaurants & retail outlets. It also operates on an on-demand basis for handymen services like plumbing, electrical, deep cleaning, pest control, mason/civil work, etc.

Founders of Gapoon

Apoorva Mishra, Co-founder and CEO, Gapoon, said,

This investment comes at a crucial point; Gapoon is very close to becoming the first start-up in the industry to achieve net profitability while maintaining the growth targets. The in-house developed, intelligent mapping algorithm and fully automated system has helped us achieve the favourable unit economics and offer superior service quality to our customers. This investment will be used for new initiatives towards product and technology enhancements. In the coming months, we are focused on penetrating deeper into market segments and replicate the success in other cities as well.

While customers [both homes and businesses] avail the benefits of our subscription product, the vendors earn up to 40% higher compared to other aggregators. This model drives a favourable unit economics which is easier to replicate in multiple cities. I believe this win-win-win model for customers, service providers and aggregators in the only way towards sustainable organisation of this market.

Lead investor, Ankit Solanki, Advisor at Vida Ventures, said,

We have always believed in the opportunity in the on-demand and subscription-based services for property maintenance. It was a question of finding the right balance. Gapoon’s technology optimizes all elements of the equation, which are cost of acquiring supply, clients and the cost of servicing clients. This round of investment will enable them to expand their lead in Bengaluru and replicate their model in other demand hotspots across the country.

Apart from the convenience of offering a wide range of services under one umbrella, Gapoon’s key features include its year-long warranty on all services, exceptional service quality owing to proprietary attribute mapping algorithm for vendor allocation, and the exceptional vendor training and loyalty program that drives vendors to give their best.

About Gapoon

Gapoon is a Bengaluru-based startup that operates an on-demand as well as subscription-based model for services such as deep cleaning, electricians, appliances maintenance, plumbing, civil, painting, pest control and carpentry. Gapoon has pioneered maintenance subscription packages in India – Gapoon Maintenance Cover [GMC]. It offers a comprehensive solution to any property with unlimited scope of services, trusted professionals, cashless transactions and yearlong convenience.

 

You have a path-breaking idea and willing to quit your job to start-up on your own, great! But depending on the idea and the market that you are targeting e.g. mobile, software, IOT, etc. you need to figure out whether you need to look out for external/institutional funding or continue being a bootstrapped startup [on the lines that you at least have an MVP ready]. If you are a hardware startup, you might also think of starting a Kickstarter campaign.

Wrike, a project management software products platform that is used by high-performance teams has come up with a very informative infographic titled 7 Ways to fund your startup. We liked the overall presentation due to which it can be an informative guide for a newbie entrepreneur or for someone who is willing to take their startup to the next phase.

7 Ways to Fund Your Startup
Infographic brought to you by Wrike project management software products

Do leave your feedback in the comments section…

Bengaluru based Datasigns Technologies has raised USD 1.5 million Pre-Series A funding from SRI Capital, Beenext and Pravega. Datasigns Technologies, founded by Monish Anand, Rahul Sekar, Anand Barua and Tushar Patel, had earlier raised an undisclosed amount of angel funding from Sanjai Vohra [former MD of JP Morgan], V. Bunty Bohra [Managing Director and India CEO of Goldman Sachs] and Peeyush Misra [Ex- Partner and MD at Goldman Sachs].

Image Source – Fund Raising

SRI Capital’s portfolio includes Fab Hotels, Healthify and Yellow Dig among others, Beenext has invested in – Droom, Citrus pay, No Broker, Faasos and Pravega Ventures has invested in Crofarm – an agri-tech company, Innovaccer – big data platform for enterprises.

Datasigns Technologies is a mobile first lending platform, which lends via their android application called Shubh Loans. Shubh Loans is a vernacular language app which builds a proprietary credit score and report for loan applicants, thereby helping them understand their credit standing holistically.

Sashi Reddi, Founder & Managing Partner of SRI Capital said

Proud to back a rockstar team, led by Monish Anand, in the consumer lending space in India. Many massive companies are going to be built in this space, finally being able to lend to the next 200 million consumers—Shubh Loans will be one of them.

Shubh Loans score is dynamic and changes with applicant’s financial and non- financial behaviour. Using the Shubh Loans app, users can apply for a loan of up to 2 Lacs with maximum 2 years tenure. Datasigns has partnered with multiple banks and NBFCs, helping them in building their loans books.

Monish Anand, Founder & CEO of Shubh Loans stated

We are excited to have these great investors on board, at the same time we are even more determined to stay disciplined and execute our plan well.

Rahul Sekar, Co-Founder & Chief Data Scientist said

The lending business in the country is at an inflection point, our focus is on creative and responsible use of data to bring financial literacy and credit to people who deserve it the most.

Shubh Loans takes pride in its aim to democratise credit by making it available to all and believes that an unserved customer doesn’t make for an unservable one. Shubh Loans has set its sight on bringing over 10 lacs people into the formal banking system as part of its mission 2020.There are currently growing at 50% month on month and have tied up with over 9 lending institutions.

Kings Learning, a technology-driven spoken English learning startup, has raised USD 2.5 million in funding from Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, together with other US based tech investors. The organization aims to address the employability issue in India amongst underserved youth owing to poor English language and communication skills, through offline, online and blended delivery channels.

Image Source – 1, 2

Enguru, Kings Learning’s mobile-based spoken English app, allows users to self-learn both general spoken English and employability-focused conversational English.  It also allows users to learn English in their native language and currently supports 28 different languages. The app has been downloaded about 2 million times till date, and is currently being used to improve spoken English skills by more than 120,000 active users monthly. The app’s platform is adaptive & gamified with real time assessments, which makes it easier for not just individuals but also corporates to use it for their employee training modules.

Arshan Vakil, Co-Founder and CEO, Kings Learning, said

Our goal is to leverage innovative technology and creative content to deliver high quality and engaging English education to all. We are excited to partner with our investors as we move into the next phase of our growth which will primarily be focused on scaling up our offerings like Enguru, strengthening our technology and analytics engine and expanding the Kings Learning team.

Prachi Windlass, Education Director, India, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, said

English has become a ticket to enter the booming knowledge-driven job economy of India, however, few have access to quality English language training. Almost half of the graduates in India, primarily from underprivileged backgrounds, are considered unemployable in most of the sectors due to lack of spoken English skills. Thankfully, mobile internet explosion, supplemented by exemplary work undertaken by technology-driven organizations like Kings Learning, is helping address this problem. We are excited to support Kings Learning’s efforts in their journey ahead.

About Kings Learning

Founded in 2014, Kings Learning is an ed-tech startup aimed at providing employability focused English language & communication skills training through technology products. For more information, please visit Kings Learning and EnGuru App Website

Heathtech startup InformDS Technologies Pvt. Ltd which runs Doxper, has raised seed round of investment of 750K USD led by Vidal Healthcare and GrowX Ventures. Other investors are Capier Investments, Globevestor and angels including a leading onco-surgeon in the country.

Girish Rao, MD of Vidal Healthcare and Siddharth Dhondiyal representing growX ventures have joined the board of directors of Doxper, a company founded by three IIT alumni – Randeep Singh, Shailesh Prithani and Pawan Jain in January 2016

Doxper aims to introduce the most natural way of integrating technology in the national healthcare ecosystem. A big missing piece in healthcare digitization today is doctors’ notes, which do not get captured and recorded digitally anywhere. Present EMR/EHRs are intrusive and clinicians are uncomfortable fiddling with computers or tablets. Moreover, these hamper the natural doctor-patient interaction.

Doxper’s solution combines unique digital pen and coded paper system along with various technology elements powered by data science algorithms to digitize health records on the fly. The solution fits seamlessly into the existing clinical workflow without altering any step of the doctor-patient interaction that leads to its instant acceptance with doctors.

In a span of little over a year, Doxper has gained a lot of traction from some of the best doctors in the country. Over 400 leading physicians and specialists have become users including AIIMS Breast Cancer Clinic, Prashanti Cancer Care Mission, Biocon Foundation, Jain Fertility & Mother Care Hospital, Healthskool, Drishti Eye Center, Southend Fertility & IVF, and others. They are also piloting with many big hospitals today.

Doxper is also one of the elite Solvers at this year’s Solve cohort at MIT, USA. It won SOLVE challenge hosted by MIT. SOLVE is MIT’s initiative for ‘Solving the world’s most pressing challenges through open innovation and partnership’. Doxper’s proposal was shortlisted from an application pool of over 150 globally to pitch at UN HQ in New York in March this year. Doxper not only won the challenge, it received tremendous appreciation at the world stage for its simplistic approach and solution to a bigger problem globally [Source].

Shailesh Prithani, Co-founder and CEO of Doxper said

Capital raised will be deployed to scale up operations and to further enhance technology platform by improving or adding more layers on top of the current stack including machine learning, handwriting recognition and AI for better care outcomes. The vision is to make Doxper the de-facto choice for healthcare digitization in India and other emerging markets.

In a joint statement, Girish Rao and Siddharth Dhondiyal said

Doxper is trying to solve a problem that is inherent and specific to developing countries like India and not blatantly copying what’s applicable in the west and replicating here. Problem of not recording healthcare data in digital format is an expensive one and when solved has benefits of exponential proportions. The simplicity of the solution is the biggest USP of Doxper.

While almost all the computer or tablet based EMRs/EHRs have failed to get any significant traction with doctors, specialists & super specialists, Doxper is receiving momentous attraction from all the doctors and even KOLs as pen and paper resonates with them way more than computers or tablets. What thrilled us was the initial traction Doxper got with institutions like AIIMS and Prashanti Cancer Care. With the help of Biocon Foundation, Doxper reached to the remotest of the corners of the country, in limited resource settings, and captured data without hassles.

Doxper is actively servicing doctors in Delhi/NCR, Jaipur, Pune, Bangalore and Mumbai today. It also remotely supports a few doctors in other cities who are early adopters with keen interest in technology and Doxper’s solution.

About GrowX Ventures

GrowX Ventures is an early-stage investment firm based out of Delhi that works closely with investee firms at both strategic and operational levels to drive scale and success. It has invested in 24 companies since its inception including Mad Street Den, Quandl, Ziploan, Shephertz and Locus. For more information, please visit GrowX Ventures

The digital milkman startup, Doodhwala, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding in its pre-Series A round from investor Tom Varkey, a partner at Stonehill Capital, USA.

The app delivers over 70 varieties of milk while allowing users to shop ad-hoc everything from meat, vegetables, and fruits to shelf-stable items. Since deliveries are between 4 AM~7 AM shoppers receive fresh milk and groceries.

Ebrahim Akbari, Co- Founder, Doodhwala said

Doodhwala is set to digitize the milk delivery system.  We are the first in Bengaluru to provide fresh farm milk directly to houses. We have achieved this using a hybrid delivery model of part time delivery boys and existing doodhwalas who have a milk delivery network.

The infrastructure of fresh milk delivery in India is haphazard despite high demand and a shortage of supply. This gap makes us essential to milk suppliers and creates dependency on our delivery network. Customer acquisition is also very easy and cheap. Customers love the ease of receiving their daily essentials along with milk, and the comfort of getting in touch with their doodhwala.

Founded in 2015, Doodhwala is progressing steadily with over 1,00,000 monthly deliveries.  The startup has expanded operations to Pune while other cities are in its pipeline. The company will be operationally profitable by the end of 2017.

Founders of Doodhwala : Ebrahim Akbari[L], Aakash Agarwal[R]

Tom Varkey, Investor said

Doodhwala has an exceptional approach to the daily needs market. Their unit economics are healthy, as they have an impressive delivery infrastructure with a 25 percent month-on-month growth rate.

By lowering its delivery costs to Rs 3–5, Doodhwala is uniquely positioned in a sector where lots of E-commerce players are struggling. I am excited about our partnership and look forward to seeing this promising company expand.

Doodhwala is soon looking to close its Series A round. The startup will use its current funding to upgrade its technology, further penetrate the market, and grow its team size.

Aakash Agarwal, Co Founder, Doodhwala said

Morning delivery is an efficient model as it’s becoming the answer for consumers to buy products they need daily. We have 80 percent customer retention, and we are expecting the figure to increase in the next few months.

Our subscription model is the magic formula for customer loyalty, predictable income, user information and low inventory. It, additionally, gives customers the assurance that they will have what they need before they need it.

About Doodhwala

Doodhwala is a Bengaluru-based online grocer that is digitizing the traditional doodhwalas.  Doodhwala is the only app in Bengaluru and Pune to deliver fresh farm milk directly to houses. Besides milk the start up offers a variety of groceries, fresh poultry, veggies, fruits and household essentials at MRP. Founded in 2015 by Aakash Agarwal and Ebrahim Akbari, Doodhwala, is present in Bengaluru and Pune. For more details, please visit Doodhwala

ah! Ventures, one of the key players in the Indian start-up space, is taking a big stride forward in the Indian alternative investment universe by playing a key supporting role to India’s largest gathering of family offices,  business families, private investors, investment professionals, limited partners, alternative investment funds and private wealth professionals at the upcoming 5th Annual Family Office Summit India [FOSI2017], scheduled at Hotel Taj Lands End in Mumbai on September 6 and at Hotel Shangri La in Delhi on September 8.

Image Source – Family Office Summit

FOSI12017 is its 5th year and is being organized by the Association of International Wealth Management of India [AIWMI] – the pioneer in the family office and wealth education in the country.

With over 400 Ultra and High Net-Worth Individuals and Family Office Executives every year, the Family Office Summit India is the country’s largest wealth management & family office event held annually in Mumbai. This prestigious conference provides an annual meeting place for the Indian High Net-Worth Families, Single Family Offices, Private Investors and Thought Leaders. The conference’s continuing success since its inception testifies to the coming-of- age of Indian family office community and the need for an effective cross-learning and networking forum.

This prestigious Summit, year after year has presented a prolific forum to uncover how wealthy families are handling many of their most pressing issues and challenges including their key objectives, investment styles and management of philanthropic activities, as well as encouraging the next generation, compensating executives, retaining trusted employees and more.

In India the ranks of the wealthy are expanding albeit at varying paces depending on the region and the business sector. As the number of ultra-high- net-worth families proliferates, so are the single and multi-family offices designed to serve them. With this sudden surge, an education & networking gathering like FOSI has become a necessity for all the stakeholders.

As is the case every year, the agenda of FOSI17 has been designed by family offices for family offices and it deals exclusively with specific topics for UHNWI and Family Offices, with a focus on Family Governance, Family Office Operations, Investments & Philanthropy. FOSI17 will continue to explore the best ways to map out their portfolios with a wide variety of investment topics including property investing, private equity, and impact investing as well as risk management and mitigation. Through an eclectic mix of keynote addresses, panel discussions, case studies and showcases this event will provide its delegates thought-provoking insights and best practice tips in the industry.

Launch of ‘Priwexus’ – FOSI2017 will witness the launch of Priwexus- the membership forum for Indian Single Family Offices and business families being set up by AIWMI.  Priwexus will be an exclusive, by-invite membership forum focusing on various areas of interests of prominent business families like family office, family governance, succession planning, investments, gen-nex education etc.

Promise of a Dynamic Flow of Events

Akin to the success of the preceding summits in the years 2013 to 2016, this summit promises to bring more to the table. The CEO of the Association of International Wealth Management of India, Aditya Gadge has said

Indian Family Office segment has grown significantly over the last few years. With more than 90 SFO and 25 MFOs in the country today, this segment  is just about to take off.  We expect these numbers to be more than 5 times over the next couple of years.

This is the second year ah! Ventures is participating in this Summit and as one of the major stakeholders in the Indian alternative investment space is expected to add a lot of value to the content and proceedings.  CLUB ah! comprises over 200 potential investors with investment power ranging from USD 100,000 to USD 1 million each.

Members of ah! Ventures shall receive an exclusive discount of 20% on the ticket by using the promo code: FOSI17. Delegate registrations are now open on the Family Office Summit site

QwikSpec, an end-to-end real-estate site operations platform startup, which has consistently delivered significant time & money savings to its customers in the construction industry, has raised Rs. 3.5 crores in funding from a consortium of investors led by Brigade Innovations LLP. Other investors in the consortium include Mohandas Pai, Suhail Rahman, Director Asset Builders, Bobby Reddy of Indus Group, and UAE based private investor M George Oommen.

Ms. Nirupa Shankar, Director at Brigade Innovations stated that

QwikSpec was one of the 5 companies that was part of the first batch of Brigade’s Real Estate Accelerator Program [REAP]. They are solving on-site challenges faced by project teams and are able to deliver tangible savings in time, money and improvements in quality. QwikSpec’s platform brings in transparency and accountability across all stakeholders in the construction process including contractors, sub-contractors and even customers.

With Brigade REAP’s domain knowledge and experience in real estate QwikSpec’s value proposition was sharpened significantly helping them improve their conversion rate from 30% to 70% in the fourth month of the program. We believe QwikSpec’s platform will become an imperative for the Real estate fraternity in the new regulatory environment of RERA.

Mohandas Pai, investing in his personal capacity, said

The QwikSpec team has utilized their core domain expertise and strategic insights to develop a full-stack toolset for builders to optimize their operations from the bottoms-up. The workforce on-site constitutes nearly 95% of the total employee base in a construction company, while all existing enterprise applications cater to the 5% of the workforce that is off-site. This is the main reason why technology penetration in construction has been historically very low, and workforce productivity in the sector has remained stagnant over the last two decades.

With the sector seeing accelerated demand and the need for quality deliverables only increasing, such technology will offer real operational differentiation to its users, reduce costs, improve productivity and reduce time to market. QwikSpec will aim to work with lateral tools to become the center of this exciting universe of technology, and I am looking forward to the possibilities ahead.

QwikSpec was founded by Ajith Alexander and Roby Kurien in January 2015. Ajith worked with Cisco Systems, McKinsey & Co. and Nakheel Group in the past while Roby was associated with Motorola, Kyocera Wireless and Sirf Technologies.

On the company’s growth and expansion plans; Ajith Alexander, Co-Founder and Managing Director said

With over 120 projects across the entire lifecycle of construction right from excavation to handover and more than 10 million data-points, we have seen rapid adoption-QwikSpec doubled its monthly revenues in the last 6 months.

Our current clients include Tata Housing, Mahindra Lifespaces, Brigade Group, Mantri Developers, Prestige Group, Omkar Developers, Vaswani Group, etc. We will use the investment to significantly ramp up our technology capabilities as also invest in business development and customer acquisition. QwikSpec, being the leader in India, will continue to penetrate in the Indian market before looking at expanding to Middle East and South East Asian markets in the near future.

For more information about the startup, please visit QwikSpec