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

V Resorts, an asset-light resort management company, recently raised $4 million in its third round of funding, with Seedfund and RB International. V Resorts currently manages over 70 resorts across 15 states in the country. The company operates on a business model of aggregating existing properties and managing the operations of those properties on a revenue share basis. With this infusion of funds, V Resorts is all set to make a paradigm shift in the landscape of the leisure travel sector in India.

Commenting on the development, Aditi Balbir, Founder and CEO of V Resorts said

Our competitors are aggregators who solve the problem of discovery – ‘Where to go’. The travel space is flooded with such aggregators but no player is currently targeting the problem of on-ground experience. We at V Resorts solve the problem of customer experience – from manpower to vendors, procurement, booking, feedback etc. – covering the entire gamut of hospitality services. The funds will be utilized to further invest in these consumer and operator interfaces. We are also looking at doubling our inventory by the end of this year and are geared towards a three fold growth in the company.

Initiatives are in place to increase our footprints to over 1000 locations in India in the next two years. Keeping in mind our goal of going where Indians go, international expansion is on the cards as well. South East Asia is amongst the favorite overseas destinations with Indians, so it’s a prudent decision to focus our initial expansion efforts there.

Commenting on the investment, Harshavardhan Bothra, RB Investments Pte Ltd said

In this challenging ecosystem, V Resorts has a differentiated business model that allows for high profitability with occupancy increase. And given the high capital efficiency, the model can be scaled quickly.

Executive Director Shailesh Vikram Singh, Seedfund which has invested in V Resorts in the initial phase as well said

This is indeed exciting times for the travel leisure segment. Our strategy will be to build travel choices even to the most inaccessible places and create profitable businesses with the involvement of the local community.

V Resorts is an alternate accommodation provider in the leisure travel space. Since 2014, the company has been operating on the foundation of bringing superior quality and standardization to the less explored but breathtaking destinations of India. For customers who want to travel to new places and explore parts of India, the company promises a seamless standardised experience – from searching for information, making a booking, reaching the place to experiencing the local appeal of that destination.

Fintech startup MoneyTap [Earlier coverage – MoneyTap review, Q&A with Bala Parthasarthy] has raised a total of USD 12.3 million in funding to drive the continued expansion of its app-based consumer credit line in India. The investment was led by Sequoia India and supported by existing investors, NEA and Prime Venture Partners.

As a testament to its continued popularity among its users, MoneyTap is on target to issue credit lines worth INR 300 crores by the end of the current fiscal year. With this fresh funding, MoneyTap plans to solidify its leadership position by improving credit accessibility for other segments of customers, partnering with 6 other Banks and NBFCs and expanding to 50 cities in India by the end of 2017.

Since its launch in September 2016, India’s first app-based consumer credit line has attracted over three hundred thousand [300k] users. The majority of users have a monthly income of INR 30,000~40,000 and are aged between 28~32 years.

The Indian consumer finance market is estimated to grow at a compounded growth rate of 18 percent to become a USD 1.2 trillion opportunity by 2020. Reports also suggest that it is also one of the most underpenetrated markets for lending, with close to 70% of the population being underserved by institutional lenders. Penetration of unsecured personal loans has been extremely poor in India with the organized credit presence at around 1% in the country.

According to RBI data of August 2016, in a country of 1.2 billion Indians, only 26.4 million have credit cards. Comparatively, there are about 600 million active mobile phones in India and mobile banking transactions rose from Rs 4,185 billion in 2012 to Rs 5,243 billion in October 2016. All this data points out to the fact that consumer-lending startups such as MoneyTap, supported by financial institutions, can serve a huge creditworthy but financially excluded customer base previously overlooked by the lending businesses.

MoneyTap is available on Android Playstore and is targeted at salaried individuals and self-employed professionals earning more than INR 20,000 per month. MoneyTap evaluates the user’s eligibility in less than 4 minutes after which it provides an instant, real-time decision on the application along with the amount they are eligible for. Using the credit line, consumers can choose to borrow as little as INR 3000 or as much as INR 5 lakhs or up to their maximum eligibility limit. Customers can decide their own EMI plans with flexible payback periods ranging from 2 months to 3 years. Interest is paid only on the amount borrowed and rates can be as low as 1.25% per month. If the user does not borrow any amount, then no interest needs to be paid. The credit limit also gets topped up once EMIs are paid back.

MoneyTap along with RBL Bank is able to provide its customers, instant decisions and instant access to money, 24/7. All financial transactions such as billing and repayment are directly dealt with the bank but through the MoneyTap App using secure APIs, thus ensuring 100% secure transactions.

Bala Parthasarathy, Co-founder, MoneyTap said

These are exciting times at MoneyTap. We deeply believe that the rapidly growing middle-income group in India is largely underserved by financial institutions. They are app-savvy and very demanding. We have been fortunate to partner with Sequoia, NEA & Prime – all of whom are top tier investors with deep fintech and operational expertise to take us to the next level.

Abheek Anand, Principal, Sequoia Capital India Advisors said

Consumer credit in India is highly under-penetrated and is a complex problem to solve. MoneyTap combines an experienced team with a thoughtfully designed product – and their strong early traction is a testament to the efficacy of their approach to address this massive market opportunity.

Ruchir Lahoty, Managing Director, NEA India said

MoneyTap is using the power of technology to provide a seamless lending experience to what currently is a largely broken discovery process with long execution timelines for consumers. Also, MoneyTap works with banks & NBFCs instead of competing with them therefore getting access to large amount of lending capital while managing the consumer journey throughout the lending lifecycle.

Shripati Acharya, Managing Partner, Prime Venture Partners said

MoneyTap’s strong growth since its inception is testament to both the innovative nature as well as rapid consumer adoption of their solution which addresses a monster opportunity – providing effortless credit to worthy consumers entirely through an app. We are privileged to be associated with this stellar team from the start of their journey and be part of their vision to reinvent the unsecured consumer lending landscape.

About MoneyTap

MoneyTap is a Bengaluru-based fintech startup, founded by serial entrepreneurs Bala Parthasarathy, Anuj Kacker & Kunal Varma, who are IIT/ISB alumni. Bala has co-founded multiple startups in Silicon Valley including Snapfish (sold to Hewlett Packard), which he helped grow to 100M users and $300M in revenue. After moving to India in 2007, he volunteered for UIDAI under Mr. Nandan Nilekani before starting AngelPrime in 2011 (now Prime Venture Partners) where he helped create companies like ZipDial (sold to Twitter), EZETap, Happay, etc. Kunal (ex Texas Instruments) & Anuj (ex Airtel & JWT) co-founded Tapstart that grew to 300K users and turned profitable in 2 years. MoneyTap works in very close partnerships with various banks and other financial institutions to make the process painless and on-app. For more details, please visit MoneyTap

Zippserv, India’s first real estate risk assessment firm announced that they have closed their Seed Fund round of Rs. 2.5 Cr from undisclosed sources. Headquartered in Bengaluru, the company will be using these funds for their expansion beginning with Mumbai and Pune in the coming months.

For generations now, buying homes in India has been riddled with uncertainties and for most first-time home buyers the experience has been more exasperating rather than an occasion to cherish. The average Indian home buyer has hence had to navigate various challenges including inconsistent and unreliable builder reviews based on hearsay, uncertainty over the genuineness of property documents, poor quality of construction, lack of occupancy certificate, etc.  Zippserv was then founded in an effort to provide unique insights for home buyers to help them make their decision using transparent data driven scientific methodologies and the help of unbiased experts drawn from various streams of property validation and approval.

ZippServ Founders – Sudeep [Left] and Debashish [Right]

Zippserv’s tech enabled platform helps in verifying the veracity of ownership papers, validating legal wrangles, encroachment related issues, adherence to bye-laws and quality of construction. Zippserv today provides a one stop shop to alleviate any concern related to property purchase be it both old and new.

ZippServ Co-Founder Debashish Hota said

We are elated with the response that we have received in Bangalore in the past 15 months of our operations ever since our launch. This seed fund round will help us to scale rapidly to other cities and to also organically expand our portfolio of services to cater to commercial and industrial segments.

In line with recent government initiatives such as the Real Estate Regulatory Authority [RERA] announcement, our vision is also in line with it to bring in more transparency into the real estate sector. In fact our business model has been designed in such a way so as to champion the needs and concerns of home buyers, without any influence from developers or their patrons.

ZippServ, a real estate risk assessment platform had earlier launched a free Google Map-based Risk Assessment Tool ‘Zippserv Protect’. Last year when BBMP held the demolition drive to eradicate the lake and storm water drain encroachments, Zippserv made its in house technology freely available for Bengalureans who were confused with these sudden developments. Today it is being used by hundreds of home buyers, developers, legal professionals, land surveyors and government departments on a daily basis.

Zippserv was launched in December 2015 by Sudeep Anandapuram and Debashish Hota. They conduct over 400 property due-diligence related services monthly and to date are estimated to have saved over Rs. 300 crores of their customers’ precious earnings.

About ZippServ

ZippServ is an online platform providing comprehensive risk assessment for safeguarding real estate investments. The platform provides the right blend of professional expertise for legal & civil engineering due diligence, fraud and forgery detection, and technology to ascertain encroachments and city planning violations-all under one roof. For more information, please visit ZippServ


News Corp VCCEdge,  India’s leading publisher of alternative investment, deals and startup news, data and information and part of globally diversified media, education and information services group, News Corp, has released its Startup Deal Report Q1 CY2017.

Capturing funding deal activities encompassing private equity, venture capital, angel/seed investment transactions for the seventeen quarters ending March 2017, the report also offers information on mergers and acquisitions with sector and region-wise analysis.

Highlights of Startup Deals report

Startup funding sees grim times

  • Startup funding activity slowed down drastically with deal-making slipping 47.45% vis-a-vis Q1 CY2016
  • Cumulative deal values dipped by 45.76% Q-o-Q

Consolidation soon after a record year of startup funding in the year 2015

  • M&A deals in the startup space witnessed a 75% jump Q-o-Q
  • Acquisition of Citrus Payments Solutions [$130mn], One Mobikwik [$41mn], ZipDial Mobile Solutions [$31mn] and Local Cube Commerce [$16mn] are amongst the top M&A deals

Investors show preference for late stage funding

  • Angel and seed investments fell both in volume and value terms with deal volumes reduced to half with 120 deals in Q1 CY2017 in comparison to 245 deals in the same period last year
  • Series A funding declined 65% in deal value on a Y-o-Y basis
  • Series B funding value improved 22% in the FY Q1 compared to the same period last year, despite deal numbers being lower by 16%.

Fin-tech in; Food-tech, Travel-tech on the way out

  • Fintech with 11 deals worth $18.5 mn, Food Tech with 8 deals worth $11.1 mn, Travel Tech with $11.3 mn from 4 deals, Health Tech with $8.43 mn from 10 deals and Real Estate Tech with 2 deals worth $10 mn were the top sectors that attracted investor interest
  • Health Tech remains a strong bet in terms of deals bagged

Bengaluru Outshines Delhi in Growth of Startup Funding Deals

  • 24% of start-up deals were cracked in Bangalore at a total deal value of $96 mn with 67.5% being at the seed stage
  • Second is Delhi-NCR in terms of deal volume with 38 deals worth $44 mn
  • 60% of deals in Mumbai were in the angel stage with cumulative deal values touching $34 mn
  • Hyderabad with 15 deals to the tune of $4mn and Chennai with 5 deals amounting to $12 mn made it to the top 5 investment destinations of India.
  • Investment pattern : Angel and seed investments seem to be the dominant theme across cities without exception.

Key 5 Startup deals in Q1 CY2017

  • Bengaluru-based ID Fresh Food India Pvt. Ltd [Packaged Foods & Meats category] raised $25mn
  • Bengaluru-based Cue Learn Pvt. Ltd [Education Services category] raised $15mn
  • Gurgaon-based Square Yards Consulting Pvt. Ltd [Internet Software & Services category], Noida-based Holiday Triangle Travel Pvt. Ltd [Real Estate-Tech category] and Mumbai-based Ulink Agritech Pvt. Ltd. [Fertilizers & Agricultural Chemicals category] raised $10mn.

Sharing his views on the News Corp VCCEdge Startup Deal analysis Q1 CY2017, Gaurav Roy, Business Head, VCCEdge, News Corp VCCircle said

A rise in Series-B funding even as seed and Series-A funding trends show a decline reflects investor cautiousness in early and mid-stage funding and the increasing focus on market-readiness for funding.

The relief however is that M&A deals have picked up momentum post-2015 coinciding with the drop in funding activity in the startup space, turning into an exit route for some promoters and a major source of funding for others. Enterprises which can work on a combination of strong revenue models and continuously updated technological know-how which ensures a great consumer experience will continue to attract investors.

About VCCEdge

VCCEdge is an online financial research platform of the VCCircle Network which is owned by the global diversified media, news, education and information services company – News Corp. VCCEdge offers information on mergers and acquisitions, private equity and venture capital transactions including deal terms, structures, deal amounts and valuations. It also contains entity information on all companies involved in the transactions including target companies, investors and advisors. For more information, visit VCCEdge

NEA & Orios backed retail analytics provider Intelligence Node Consulting Pvt. Ltd., raised Rs. 5 crores from Mumbai based specialized financing NBFC firm BlackSoil Capital Private Limited. Intelligence Node is also backed by marquee angel investors, viz. Gaurav Sharma, Sunil Varrier, Arindam Das, Anupam Mittal and Gul Mukhey.

Launched in 2012 as a consulting service, Intelligence Node is providing technology-based products and service providers to global retail players. It has a total customer base of 35 clients and covers over 1 bn+ unique products of over 130,000 brands. The company’s two products [InCompetitor & InOptimizer] enable the customers to get an overview of the competitive landscape in terms of pricing & visibility. It also suggests the client the most optimum pricing for its products. Its strong back-end analytics process is able to support a wide range of offerings in terms of refined data in the most efficient matter.

Sanjeev Sularia, CEO and Co-founder of IntelligenceNode said

IntelligenceNode has some great aspirations in reaching out to blue-chip MNC’s in global retail. The utility for our products & services is immense and with the help of venture debt provided by BlackSoil our business has got optimum fuel to run and grow faster in this industry.

Ankur Bansal, Director, BlackSoil Capital Private Limited. said

We found the products, the technology, the founders and the utility of IntelligenceNode very impressive & path breaking. The company has strong client traction coupled with zero client churn. We have great hopes from the company and wish the team all the luck for its future endeavors.

After investments in Cloud based telephony company Knowlarity, Indian arm of NASDAQ listed company Groupon Nearbuy, BlackSoil has completed its third Venture debt transaction with Intelligence Node. In six months of its operation, the NBFC has reached a INR 75 Crores loan book across 7 transactions and in process to expand their loan book to ~INR 100 Crores by March 2017.

BlackSoil is backed by the family offices of respected corporate houses such as: Gala family-Promoters of Navneet Education Limited, Shetty family-Promoters of Avvashya Group and Virendra Gala, a renowned real estate expert in Mumbai.