Indian E-Commerce Giant Flipkart Raises Massive $1B Round

Flipkart, the largest e-commerce company in India, announced on Twitter that it has raised a massive $1 billion round. The round was led by Tiger Global Management and Naspers, with participation by GIC and existing investors Accel Partners, DST Global, ICONIQ Capital, Morgan Stanley Investment Management, and Sofina. The tweet confirms reports several days earlier in the Economic Times that company had secured that amount in funding at a reported $7 billion valuation.

In a statement, Flipkart said the “funds will be used to make long-term strategic investments in India, especially in mobile technology.”

This takes the total Flipkart has raised so far to $1.75 billion. The company, which now has 22 million registered users and makes 5 million shipments a month, last announced fundraising in May, when the company said that it had closed a $210 million round led by DST Global, with participation from Tiger Global, Naspers, and Iconiq Capital.

Flipkart will most likely use the money to ward off competition from Snapdeal and Amazon, which launched in India a year ago. It will also continue acquiring startups–it’s most recent purchase was online fashion dealer Myntra in a deal reportedly worth $300 million.

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Toonimo, a startup that says it can make websites more engaging and lucrative by adding custom animations, is announcing that it has raised $2.5 million in funding.

The idea is that online visitors might appreciate having a cartoon character who can point out the important parts of a website and walk them through some of the trickier bits — and that, in turn, can lead to increased sales. For example, when you visit the Toonimo site, animated characters lead you down the page and explain the concept behind the company, in the hopes that you’ll sign up for a free trial.

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 Uber on Friday announced that it had raised $1.2 billion, bringing its valuation to $17 billion.

"It’s remarkable that it was only four years ago this week Uber started operations in [San Francisco], connecting residents with the safest, most reliable way to get around the city," CEO Travis Kalanick wrote in a blog entry. "Today, we are operating in 128 cities in 37 countries around the world with hundreds of thousands of transportation providers and millions of consumers connecting to our platform." Kalanick wrote the "total raise" for Uber will be $1.4 billion with a second round of investors "soon."

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The advantage with enterprise startups if that they can be based just about anywhere. And that’s proved today with the news that Brightpearl, which a cloud-based business management system aimed at small to mid sized multi-channel retailers, has raised another $10m. The round led my MMC Ventures with participation from Quayle Munro and existing investors Eden Ventures and Notion Capital. That bring its total funding to date to around $24 million after previous funding rounds, including $8 million last year, and $5 million in 2011. This latest round will be used to accelerate investment in product and sales expansion.

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An Indian startup which builds robots that help online retailers automate their warehouses has raised funding from New York-based investment firm Tiger Global and early-stage investor Blume Ventures.

Grey Orange Robotics received about Rs 54 crore in the round where two angel investors Raju Reddy and Dileep Nath also participated, said a person with direct knowledge of the developments.

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Tuesday, 29 April 2014 00:00

6 Australian Startups On the Rise

 

1. Record funding for email marketing platform Campaign Monitor

Australian email marketing platform Campaign Monitor has raised US$250 million in funding from American VC firm Insight Venture Partners. The funds will be used for expansion to the US and Europe as well as for acquisitions. Owners Dave Greiner and Ben Richardson have bootstrapped the business to date. Campaign Monitor has 100,000 paying customers in 19 countries. The equity stake in exchange for the investment is not disclosed, but it is estimated that the latest funding pegs Campaign Monitor’s value at US$600 million. This is an exciting time for the Australian ecosystem and represents the largest amount ever raised for an Australian startup. They’ve done it their way with an office on the beach in Sutherland with 40 local staff.

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Vietnam’s Dropbox is back from the dead with new investment, partners with telco Viettel

In October last year, Asian Tech website - Tech In Asia reported that Kleii, Vietnam’s equivalent of Dropbox, was in a coma.

The service accumulated more than one million users, but its business model was bleeding money. Nguyen Tuan Son, the CEO of Kleii, told the media website that he was re-evaluating the service and working on new ways to release it.

Now that day has come. Today, Kleii’s blog announces three major steps on its path back to being a consumer and business cloud platform. They are: Kleii has received another round of undisclosed funding from TheFarm VC.

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Airbnb has closed a large round of funding at an 11-figure valuation, according to multiple reports.

The Wall Street Journal reports hearing from sources that Airbnb has sealed a deal to raise $450 million led by TPG, a private equity firm, while website TechCrunch reported that the round was for $500 million. Both publications put the valuation at $10 billion.

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Could the next billion-user Internet company be one that focuses on literature? It might sound unlikely, but that's Wattpad's goal.

Wattpad, an online community for writers and readers to share and discover good stories, announced Tuesday that it has raised $46 million in a Series C round of funding led by OMERS ventures. The latest funding round brings the company's total funding to more than $60 million and is intended to help Wattpad accelerate product and user growth.

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Munchery, a startup that provides same-day delivery for meals prepared by local chefs, announced Thursday that it raised a $28 million Series B round, bringing its total funding to date to about $35 million. The company intends to use the funding to expand its service to new cities beyond the Bay Area.

The majority of the new round — $25 million — was contributed by Sherpa Ventures. Shervin Pishevar, the VC firm's founder, had pitched in for Munchery's seed round and Series A, and believes the company has the potential to be "bigger than Chipotle," a bold statement considering Chipotle generated more than $3 billion in revenue last year.

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