19 Mar 2020
HR tech startup EngageRocket nets $2.1m to expand in Southeast Asia

Startup NEWS, Mar 19, 2020

1. Sequoia seeks to raise $7 billion for new funds as markets reel

  • Sequoia Capital is seeking to raise about $7 billion for a set of venture funds, according to a person familiar with the situation. The investment vehicles are the latest in a series focused on China, India and the U.S.
  • The effort marks a major fundraising push at a time when many investors are taking a cautious stance. The coronavirus pandemic has sent stock markets tumbling and has economists warning of a global recession. Sequoia, a firm with a nearly 50-year track record whose funds are typically oversubscribed, is better suited than many rivals to raise capital in this environment. A spokeswoman for Sequoia said she couldn’t comment on the fundraising plans, which were earlier reported by the Wall Street Journal.

2. Vivriti Capital mops up Rs 350 crore in Series B funding from LGT Lightstone Aspada

  • Vivriti Capital has raised Rs 350 crore in its Series B round from LGT Lightstone Aspada, the Chennai-based online enterprise debt platform and the lender announced on Wednesday.
  • The latest round of equity financing comes about 10 months after the two-year-old company had raised Rs 310 crore in its Series A round, which was led by Chicago-based Creation Investments.
  • In total, the company has now raised around $100 million in financing. Avendus Capital acted as the financial advisor to the transaction.
  • Founded in 2017 by Gaurav Kumar and Vineet Sukumar, both former senior executives at IFMR Capital, Vivriti Capital, through its proprietary online enterprise debt deals and discovery platform CredAvenue, connects debt issuers and investors, providing debt capital to enterprises and small financial institutions through its marketplace, NBFC and its fund platform.
  • “This investment from Lightstone, will be used to significantly ramp up the technology and analytical engine powering the online marketplace, and to shore up the balance sheet lending of the company, thereby serving many more clients on our platform in the coming year,” both the founders said in a joint statement.

3. Focused on health in the home, Novi lands $1.5M to help CPG companies source clean, safe ingredients

  • Kimberly Shenk has been focused for a while now on “clean” products that are made without harmful chemicals. In 2017, Shenk and friend Jaleh Bisharat launched NakedPoppy, a site that curates and sells cosmetics that have been vetted by chemists (including some of its own products).
  • Interestingly, as the young startup was announcing $4 million in seed funding last summer from Cowboy Ventures, among others, Shenk — who remains on the board of Naked Poppy — was splitting off to launch a second company. Called Novi, it hopes to address the same need that Shenk and Bisharat discovered, but it plans to go much broader.

4. HR tech startup EngageRocket nets $2.1m to expand in Southeast Asia

  • EngageRocket, a Singapore-based people analytics startup, announced that it has secured S$3 million (or nearly US$2.1 million) in a funding round led by venture capital firm Qualgro.
  • Existing investors SeedPlus, Found Ventures, and JobsCentral co-founder Huang Shao-Ning also participated in the round, which brought the startup’s total funding to S$4.5 million (US$3.1 million).
  • EngageRocket, which has just opened a new office in Jakarta, said it will use the new funds to strengthen its presence in Southeast Asia.
  • Established in 2016, the startup provides a cloud-based software that automates employee feedback and analytics to help organizations improve employee engagement and performance.

5. Indians lost Rs 228 crore in 52,000 cases of bank fraud between Mar-Dec 2019: Govt

  • More than 52,000 cases of credit, debit card and net banking fraud were registered in India in the nine months to December, with people losing over Rs 228 crore during the period, a 60% jump in money lost compared to the previous 12 months, the government said on Wednesday.
  • In fiscal year 2019, around 52,304 fraud cases were reported with people losing over Rs 149 crore, Minister of State for Electronics and IT Sanjay Dhotre told the Lok Sabha.
  • Maharashtra recorded the maximum number of cases of fraudulent usage of debit cards, credit cards and internet banking between financial years 2017 and 2020. At over 59,000, the state accounted for 42% of the total number of cases in the period. The corresponding amount associated with such frauds in the same period was about Rs 143 crore.
  • Between fiscal years 2017 and 2020, a total of 140,471 cases of fraudulent usage cases were reported, with the amount totalling Rs 589 crore. Fraud cases below Rs 1 lakh were not required to be reported to the RBI prior to April 2017. In fiscal year 2020, Chandigarh reported the highest amount lost due to fraud at about Rs 67 crore.
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