E-commerce aggregator Una Brands gets $30M to acquire more APAC brands

Una Brands, an e-commerce aggregator focused on brands in the Asia-Pacific region, announced the first close of its Series B round at $30 million today. The funding was led by White Star Capital and Alpha JWC Ventures.

Headquartered in Singapore, Una Brands has a presence in Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, China and the United States, and over 200 employees. It launched in 2021 with $40 million in funding, and has now raised a total of about $100 million.

Over the last year, Una Brands has acquired more than 20 e-commerce brands in six countries, including ergonomic furniture vendors ErgoTune and EverDesk+. After taking over operations, Una Brands expanded those brands into Australia and grew revenue by over 40% in less than a year. In total, Una Brands says it now has annualized revenue of more than $50 million and is expected to achieve group profitability by the end of this year.

While many other e-commerce roll-up companies (like Thrasio) focus on brands that sell on Amazon, Una Brands covers multiple e-commerce platforms to reflect how fragmented the industry is in Asia. For example, it looks for brands on Shopify, Shopee, Lazada and Tokopedia, in addition to Amazon.

Una Brands will use its new funding on more acquisitions in categories like home and living, mother and baby, and beauty and personal care. The capital will also be used to further the development of its proprietary technology for expanding e-commerce brands across multiple channels. Its tech stack includes tools for brand management, marketing, supply chain and accounting, and process automation and advanced analytics.

E-commerce aggregator Una Brands gets $30M to acquire more APAC brands by Catherine Shu originally published on TechCrunch

Byju’s clears $230 million payment to Blackstone for $1 billion Aakash deal

Byju’s has cleared all its dues to Blackstone by paying $234 million it owed the global investment giant for the $1 billion acquisition of Aakash, a source familiar with the matter told TechCrunch, addressing one of the criticisms levelled against the Indian edtech giant in recent months.

The Bengaluru-headquartered startup, valued at $22 billion, had pushed back on some payments for the approximately $1 billion acquisition of the physical education chain last year, citing regulatory clearance. Blackstone, which is also an investor in Byju’s, owned about 38% of Aakash prior to the acquisition.

Byju Raveendran, founder and chief executive of the eponymous edtech startup, told TechCrunch earlier this month in an interview that Byju’s and Blackstone had mutually decided to process the payments later. The Indian startup cleared the due this week, the source said, requesting anonymity as the details are private.

Blackstone and Byju’s did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday evening.

The Indian startup, which offers online and offline learning services to students from kindergarten to those preparing for competitive college entrance exams, has spent over $2.5 billion in the past two years to acquire scores of firms including the U.S.-based reading platform Epic, coding suite Tynker, India-based Great Learning, GradeUp, Topper and Austria’s GeoGebra.

It has also made a bid to acquire publicly listed edtech firm 2U, Raveendran confirmed in the earlier interview.

Earlier this month, the Indian startup revealed its financial accounts for the year ending in March 2021, after a prolonged delay. Byju’s said it clocked a revenue of $305.6 million and widened its losses to $577.4 million in the financial year that ended in March 2021. Raveendran said some 40% of FY21 revenue — because of the period of consumption and credit sales duration — were deferred to the subsequent year.

The startup, which counts Blackrock, Tiger Global, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Sequoia India among its backers, said it generated a gross revenue of $1.258 billion (unaudited) in the financial year that ended in March this year. Between April and July, the startup logged revenue of $570 million, it said.

Byju’s is looking to go public next year. Raveendran said in the earlier interview that Byju’s is watching the macro market conditions closely and will file for an IPO in nine to 12 months. “I don’t think the markets will turn this year,” he said.

Byju’s clears $230 million payment to Blackstone for $1 billion Aakash deal by Manish Singh originally published on TechCrunch

SoftBank cuts valuation of $10 billion startup Oyo to $2.7 billion

SoftBank, the largest investor in Oyo, has cut the Indian hotel chain’s valuation to $2.7 billion at a time when the startup is months away from going public, a source familiar with the matter said.

An Oyo spokesperson said the startup has improved its finances in recent months, and it believes the speculation about a valuation cut is inaccurate. The markdown makes “no rational basis,” the spokesperson added. SoftBank declined to comment.

Oyo — whose backers include Sequoia India and Lightspeed Venture Partners India (both of which have taken significant exits from the startup), Airbnb and Microsoft — was valued at about $10 billion in a round in 2019.

SoftBank owns 45% of Oyo, according to the startup. It’s not rare for investors to markup or markdown the valuation of their portfolio startups, though other private investors may not agree with the assessment. Since SoftBank is the largest investor of Oyo and owns nearly half of it, the Japanese firm’s estimation is a strong signal of the startup’s current health.

Oyo held a board meeting earlier this month and did not share any updates on its valuation, nor acknowledged or commented on SoftBank’s estimation, according to a separate source familiar with the matter.

“We are confident that the above speculations about valuation markdown is patently incorrect. Valuation is an outcome of business performance. As per our latest audited results, we have clocked Rs 7 cr maiden adj EBITDA profit in the June quarter, at 41% gross profit margin and a 45% increase in gross booking value per hotel per month vs last financial year,” an Oyo spokesperson said in a statement.

“These are dramatically improved results and the strong performance trajectory is expected to continue. Hence, there is no rational basis for a markdown.”

Bloomberg News first reported about the valuation cut, noting that it had earlier slashed the Indian startup’s valuation to $3.4 billion.

The revelation comes at a time when Oyo is months away from going public. The startup earlier this week updated its initial public offerings application to the local market regulator. Oyo originally planned to raise up to $1.16 billion in the IPO at up to $12 billion valuation.

SoftBank cuts valuation of $10 billion startup Oyo to $2.7 billion by Manish Singh originally published on TechCrunch

Inside Seoul Robotics’s contrarian approach to autonomous vehicle tech

Seoul Robotics has taken a divergent path on the road to commercializing autonomous vehicles. Instead of developing and embedding the entire self-driving system, including sensors into a vehicle, Seoul is turning to surrounding infrastructure to do some of the heavy lifting.

And its contrarian approach has attracted a new group of investors and $25 million in venture funding. The Series B funding was led by KB Investment, according to Seoul Robotics.

“Instead of outfitting the vehicles themselves with sensors, we’re outfitting the surrounding infrastructure with sensors,” vice president of product and solutions at Seoul Robotics Jerone Floor said in August when the company partnered with NVIDIA.

The company’s autonomous-vehicle infrastructure platform called Level 5 Control Tower (or LV5 CTRL TWR) along with its branded Sensr software, collects information from sensors like cameras and lidar (light detection and ranging radar) as well as other data stored in the cloud and then sends that to vehicles. 

According to Seoul Robotics CEO Hanbin Lee, the LV5 CTRL TWR uses an automatic transmission and connectivity built into vehicles to maneuver them autonomously without requiring hardware.

Seoul Robotics claims its LV5 CTRL TWR helps provide information on the surrounding environment and chooses the safest path for the vehicle. 

The infrastructure platform manages a car’s functions such as lane-keeping and brake assistance via its technology, called “autonomy through infrastructure (ATI),” and a V2X (vehicle-to-everything) communication system, which sends information from a vehicle to any surrounding infrastructure and other vehicles.

“[With the autonomy through infrastructure (ATI), users can automate millions of cars passing through a parking lot with only a few hundred sensors,” Lee said. 

Seoul Robotics deployed its technology with BMW to test the German car’s pilot program with the new BMW 7 Series and the fully electric BMW i7 in July 2022.

Founded in 2017 by four co-founders, Seoul Robotics now works with global manufacturers (OEMs) like BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, Qualcomm and LG Uplus to diversify the use of its system.

“We are in discussions with about nine more global OEMs now for partnerships,” Lee said.

Lee also said that one of its most unique features is that its Sensr software, launched in 2018, allows users to choose a sensor, or multiple sensors, that best fit their needs, meaning that customers can select services based on their requirements and budgets.

“While Sensr is very much still the backbone of our product offerings, including LV5 CTRL TWR, the types of solutions we offer are far more sophisticated compared to 2018,” Lee told TechCrunch. “We now offer three plug-and-play LiDAR development kits that include all the components necessary for any organization to get set up with a 3D system.” Additionally, it provides solutions tailored to a specific application, such as pedestrian safety, railroad obstacle detection and Level 5 autonomy, Lee continued.

Lee explained that the earliest LiDAR-based perception software was all developed by sensor manufacturers, and the software had to be tied to the hardware. “With that approach, the challenge was that each sensor have different strengths and weaknesses; some have a wide field of view but short range, others have a narrow field of view and long-range,” Lee said. “It is also not possible to mix and match sensor, which we come in.”

Seoul Robotics

Image Credits: Seoul Robotics

Last week, the company launched a feature that uses LiDAR and its Sensr software to detect and alert instances of wrong-way driving. Seoul Robotics says the wrong-way detection feature is being deployed on freeways and highways in California, Florida and Tennessee, as well as in Europe and Asia.

With the latest funding, the startup plans to grow its team and expand applications of Sensr to bring its automated vehicle technology to other potential partners across industries like logistics (rental car fleets, trucking yards and automated valet parking systems), smart cities and security, Lee said. Other investors include Noh and Partners, Future Play, Korean Development Bank, Artesian and Access Ventures also participated in Series B.

The company, headquartered in Seoul with offices in Munich, California, and Raleigh, raised $6 million in Series A in 2020. 

Inside Seoul Robotics’s contrarian approach to autonomous vehicle tech by Kate Park originally published on TechCrunch

Crypto tax reporting app Binocs helps users navigate regulations

Keeping up with tax compliance for cryptocurrency can be tricky, especially since many laws are new (or haven’t been written yet). That’s why Binocs was founded. Users integrate their exchanges and wallets, and Binocs provides a tax report and other accounting details. The startup announced today that it has raised $4 million to expand in markets like the United States, United Kingdom and Australia. The round was led by BEENEXT and Arkam with participation from Accel, Saison Capital, Premji Invest, Blume and Better Capital.

Founded in May 2022 by Tonmoy Shingal and Pankaj Garg and based in Bangalore, Binocs currently has over 1,000 users, including retail and institutional investors who need to perform forensic accounting and risk management. Binocs is currently tax compliant in the U.S., U.K., Australia, South Africa and India, with plans to add more markets next month. Part of the funding will be used for product development and Binocs’ go-to-market teams for retail and institutional investors.

Binocs can provides tax report in less than 30 minutes. It also tracks return on investment, profits and losses and capital exchanges, as well as taxes for derivatives, lending and borrowing across CeFi and DeFi. The app can give users details on fees and tax deducted at source already paid on transactions so they understand how much taxes they need to pay.

Binocs founders Tonmoy Shingal and Pankaj Garg

Binocs founders Tonmoy Shingal and Pankaj Garg

Shingal told TechCrunch that Binocs is meant to be a bridge connecting transactions on the blockchain to the “web2 equivalent compliance world,” especially as the number of coins, exchanges, types of trade and DeFi protocols increase.

There are currently about 300 million crypto users, and that is expected to hit about 1 billion by the end of this year.

Binocs’ founders point to figures from the Coin Market Cap that say the total market cap of the crypto industry rose from about $325 billion in in September 2020 to $1 trillion in September 2022. With a blended tax of about 20%, the overall tax liability is about $70 billion, a number that can increase to $300 billion by 2026.

Shingal, the startup’s CEO, said crypto hedges and investment funds often run with a small number of staff, and the process of calculating tax and performing compliance is time-consuming because they have to pull data from multiple sources, merge it and then adhere to different compliance and reporting regulations for each type of transaction.

“The traditional approach is to collate and interpret the blockchain exchange ledgers manually. Doing which requires significant time, sophisticated knowledge about crypto transactions, local regulations,” Shingal said. “This task is time consuming and prone to errors, which could be costly.”

He added that regulations are one of the biggest obstacles to more adoption of crypto, with about 15 to 20 countries that currently tax crypto investments, and 60 to 70 that will in the future.

Binocs also plans to build more apps on top of its algorithm as it gets more data. “We think of ourselves as a data company that understands what is going on in crypto transactions and build applications for multiple use cases on top in the future,” Shingal said.

Binocs is currently pre-revenue, and will monetize by operating on a freemium model, as well as an enterprise plan for business investors.

Crypto tax reporting app Binocs helps users navigate regulations by Catherine Shu originally published on TechCrunch

Apple to move 25% iPhone production to India by 2025, 20% iPad and Apple Watch to Vietnam, analysts say

Apple began assembling some of its devices in India and Vietnam a few years ago, slowly cutting its reliance on China. The Cupertino-giant is now gearing up to make the two nations key global manufacturing hubs, according to analysts at JP Morgan.

In a report they sent to clients Wednesday, JP Morgan analysts said Apple will move 5% of global iPhone 14 production to India by late 2022, and expand its manufacturing capacity in the country to produce 25% of all iPhones by 2025.

Vietnam, on the other hand, will contribute 20% of all iPad and Apple Watch productions, 5% of MacBook and 65% of AirPods by 2025, the report said, which was reviewed by TechCrunch.

India has attracted investments from Foxconn and Wistron in recent years by offering lucrative subsidies as New Delhi moves to make the country a manufacturing hub. The presence of the foreign production giants, coupled with “ample labor resources and competitive labor costs,” make India a desirable location, the analysts said.

Apple-rival Samsung identifies India as a key global manufacturing hub and has set up one of its largest factories in the country. Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi, which currently leads the market, as well as its rivals Oppo, Vivo and OnePlus also locally assemble a number of their handsets in the country.

Google also plans to move some of Pixel smartphones’ production to India, The Information reported recently. The company, which skipped shipping flagship models in India for two generations, said Wednesday it will launch the upcoming Pixel 7 models in India.

Even as Apple commands a tiny market share in India, the iPhone-maker has broadened its investment in the country in the past five years. It opened its online Apple Store in the country two years ago and has publicly shared that it’s working to launch its first physical store in the nation.

Foxconn currently has over 20,000 operators in its iPhone assembly business in India, compared to 350,000 of those in China, the analysts estimated.

“India’s iPhone supply chain has historically supplied only legacy models. Interestingly, Apple has requested that EMS vendors manufacture iPhone 14/14 Plus models in India in 4Q22, within two to three months of the start of production in Mainland China. The much shorter interval implies the increasing importance of India production and likely higher iPhone allocations to India manufacturing in the future,” the report added.

“We believe Apple only produces iPhone 14/14 Plus models in India now due to the more complex camera module alignment of the iPhone Pro series (done by EMS vendors) and higher local market demand for the iPhone 14 series (tax savings). We expect the volume to start small in 4Q22 (~1M units per month, or 5% of total iPhone volume).”

In the “near term,” China and Taiwan will continue to still gain market share due to better cost structures, the analysts said.

“Taiwanese EMS vendors, especially Pegatron and Wistron, are more selective and prioritizing profitability while focusing on new areas such as EVs and servers. Hon Hai remains a primary EMS partner for iPhones and should benefit from the move to India,” the report said.

“Mainland China-based production share should swing toward local vendors, while Taiwanese EMS hold an edge in India. In Vietnam, we expect share to be split between Taiwanese and Mainland Chinese EMS.”

Apple to move 25% iPhone production to India by 2025, 20% iPad and Apple Watch to Vietnam, analysts say by Manish Singh originally published on TechCrunch

IT services group Wipro fires 300 employees for moonlighting

IT services giant Wipro has fired 300 employees in recent months who were found to be moonlighting for competitors, a top executive said Wednesday, weighing in on a practice that has gained momentum across the globe as firms incorporate work-from-home norms.

Rishad Premji, the chairman of Wipro, which employs over 250,000 employees in over five dozen nations, said at a conference Wednesday that the company finds moonlighting for competitors an “act of integrity violation.”

“As part of transparency, individuals can have candid and open conversations around playing in a band or working on a project over the weekend. That is an open conversation that the organisation and the individual can make a concerted choice about, on whether that works for them or doesn’t,” he said.

But, “there is no space for someone to work for Wipro and competitor XYZ and they would feel exactly the same way if they were to discover the same situation. That is what I meant…so I do stand by what I said…I do think it is violation of integrity if you are moonlighting in that shape and form.”

A growing number of white-collar workers, spanning from tech to banking industries, have quietly taken up a second job — in some cases, a third — as they hedge against worries about layoffs, or take benefit of lesser accountability while working from home.

Some startups are embracing moonlighting as a perk. Swiggy, India’s most valuable food delivery startup, told employees last month that they can take up a second job for pro-bono or economic considerations after securing an internal approval.

Bengaluru-headquartered fintech startup Slice last year offered new hires a three-day week with salary at 80% of the going market rate. The employment agreement allowed individuals to have a second job, the startup said.

IT services group Wipro fires 300 employees for moonlighting by Manish Singh originally published on TechCrunch

Malaysia-based Respond.io helps businesses juggle multiple messaging apps

There are multiple messaging apps active in Southeast Asia and most consumers prefer to use them over email when they contact a business. Respond.io serves as a central dashboard for the biggest apps, including WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Line, Viber, Telegram and WeChat. The Malaysia-based company said today it has raised $7 million in Series A funding led by Headline, with participation from AltaIR Capital, Smart Partnership Capital, Sterling Oak Group and Calendula Ventures.

Respond.io is currently used by more than 10,000 companies, including Klook, Decathlon, Abenson, Yoho, Roche, ShareChat and Bigo.

Respond.io’s dashboard, which processes over 140 million messages per month, consolidates all the messages a business gets, so the right person can see them. It also includes marketing, selling and support tools and can perform automated workflows, like building chat menus, drip campaigns, internal pipelines and invoking external actions. One benefit of using a central dashboard is that managers can quickly see if a conversation has been dropped and revive it.

Since its last round of funding in January 2020, Respond.io has grown its revenue 25x. Its latest funding will be used to continue attracting large enterprises by adding more to its suite of integration capabilities, and expanding beyond Asia to the Middle East, Europe and Latin America.

Respond.io was launched in 2017 by Gerardo Salandra, Hassan Ahmed and Iaroslav Kudritskiy to serve as an omni-channel messaging inbox. Its product-first strategy means Respond.io develops its platform using feedback from its customers. It has a public roadmap and hundreds of customers can vote for the features they would like to see, helping Respond.io prioritize deployments.

For example, it recently localized Respond.io in Spanish because about 30% of its customer are in Spanish-speaking countries, and a high number voted for the platform to be available in Spanish.

Another example is its Contact Merge tool. Since customers often message from multiple channels, this means their chats were being dispersed across different profiles on the platform, Salandra said. The Contact Merge tool uses an algorithm to identify returning customers, even if they start using a different channel for messages.

Before founding Respond.io, Salandra worked at software companies like Runtastic (which was acquired by Adidas), Google and IBM. He saw that marketing software like Hubspot and Salesforce focused mostly on emails, offering little support for instant messaging, even though that’s what many customers prefer to use.

At Runtastic, Salandra told TechCrunch that “whenever people reached out to us on Facebook Messenger with sales or support inquiries, we’d ask them to email us so we could follow up, but they’d get frustrated and drop off. As a consumer, I understood, I’d been in their shoes. I hated making phone calls to resolve something because I’m from a generation that doesn’t instinctively communicate that way.”

Salandra saw a market for business instant messaging, filling in the gap left by marketing software like Hubspot and Salesforce.

When Respond.io was created, most messaging apps didn’t have APIs yet. The only channel it could connect with was Telegram. “But we were certain this was going to change, we were 100% confident,” Salandra said. “We just need proof of concept.” So the team reverse-engineered a popular messaging app without an API to connect to Respond.io’s platform, and sold it as a solution to early customers, including a major conglomerate. Later on, as messaging channels began launching APIs, Respond.io integrated with them, too.

Respond.io’s competitors include MessageBird, SleekFlow, Trengo, Verloop and Callbell, all of which also consolidate messages from different channels into a single dashboard. Salandra said Respond.io differentiates with its product-led growth strategy and content leadership. “While they tend to be more sales-driven, we concentrated on our product and content. We don’t imitate existing solutions or sell run-of-the-mill products.”

Salandra also noted his company’s pricing structure. Instead of charging by user or seat, it launched Monthly Active Contacts (MAC), so clients are only charged for the contacts they talk to.

In a prepared statement, Akio Tanaka, partner at Headline, “We’re impressed with Respond.io’s growth trajectory, achieved through product-led growth strategy and organic marketing. We see the huge potential behind the Respond.io technology and are proud to support the team on its way to transform enterprise client communication across the industries.

Malaysia-based Respond.io helps businesses juggle multiple messaging apps by Catherine Shu originally published on TechCrunch

Apple is raising prices on App Store across multiple countries in Asia and Europe

Apple announced major price hikes for in-app purchases on App Store in multiple countries across Asia and Europe from October 5. The company said new prices will affect consumers in Chile, Egypt, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Poland, South Korea, Sweden, Vietnam, and all territories that use Euro.

While the firm didn’t specify the reason behind this, it is likely to counter weak local currencies against the dollar. The percentage hike varies across regions. For example, prices in South Korea have been hiked by 20-25%, in Japan, they have been raised by 30-35% and in regions that use Euro, the hike is around 8-10%. This may vary based on different tiers, though.

In Vietnam, Apple’s new price also includes remit applicable taxes, being value-added tax (VAT) and corporate income tax (CIT) at 5% rates respectively.

This announcement comes a week after a report from analytics company Apptopia, which noted that developers have raised App Store prices by 40% year-on-year citing Apple’s anti-tracking measures as a likely reason.

Image Credits: Apptopia

In August 2021, Apple increased the in-app purchase price for users in South Africa, the UK, and all regions using Euro. So effectively it’s the second raise in two years for many European users.

Apple noted that once these changes are rolled out, developers will see new prices in the My Apps app section.

The company registered a record $19.6 billion service revenue in Q2 2022— which includes App Store earnings — with a 12% year-on-year increase. However, it fell marginally short of analyst expectations of $19.7 billion.

On the other hand, local rules — like the ones in South Korea and Japan — might force Apple to let go of some revenue by taking a discounted cut from developers when they use alternative payment systems.

To earn more revenue from App Store, the company is expanding ads to appear in more places in the App Store like the ‘Today’ homepage and individual app pages.

Apple is raising prices on App Store across multiple countries in Asia and Europe by Ivan Mehta originally published on TechCrunch

Zopper raises $75 million to solve India’s insurance problem

For more than half a decade, Zopper built a platform for small and medium-sized businesses, helping merchants with invoicing and payments through its point-of-sale platform. It sold that IP to PhonePe in mid-2018, but instead of joining the fintech giant, Zopper has been working on a new venture from scratch and independent of PhonePe. That business, an API platform for insurance infrastructure, said on Tuesday it has raised $75 million in new funding.

The New Delhi-headquartered startup’s Series C funding was led by Creaegis. ICICI Venture and Bessemer Venture Partners as well as existing backer Blume Ventures also participated in the funding, the startup said. Zopper, an 11-year-old startup, has raised $96 million to date. It didn’t disclose the valuation at which it closed the round.

Zopper works with insurance providers and creates byte-sized, personalized products that it then supplies to distribution partners. This approach differentiates Zopper from many of its competitors in India that are aggregating coverages from different manufacturers and attempting to cut the distributors and directly reach consumers.

“If you look at the penetration of insurance in India today, it’s just 3 to 4%,” said Surjendu Kuila, founder and chief executive of Zopper, in an interview. “If you’re trying to bring new people to the fold of insurance, you just cannot sell them schemes that are priced above $37 to $50 a year.”

Offering customers slivers of insurance coverages in smaller sachets, too, hasn’t proven successful because there’s no margin for anyone to make money, he said.

Zopper is attempting to solve this by partnering with banks, non-banking financial institutions, retail chains, mobility firms that already have a captive customerbase. “These partners need an insurance platform, and that’s what we provide,” he said.

Kuila claimed that no other firm is taking this approach and hence has not been able to lower their cost of customer acquisition. “That’s the reason why even Policybazaar [online insurance aggregator that became a public company last year] is not profitable,” he said. Zopper, in contrast, has been profitable for over 18 months, he said.

“Our thesis from the early days has been clear: There’s already an infrastructure. Somebody has poured capital expenditure to build that infrastructure. So why don’t we then use technology to streamline that instead of creating everything from scratch,” he said.

Zopper’s current porfolio of Insurance coverage (Image credit: Zopper)

Zopper currently has presence in over 1,200 Indian cities and has partnered with over 150 players in the industry including retail group Amazon, ride-hailing startup Ola, retail chain Croma, phonemaker Xiaomi, Japanese conglomerate Hitachi, and Equitas Small Finance Bank.

“We truly believe in Zopper’s vision of transforming and automating the insurance distribution model in India. Over the years, they have demonstrated their tech and product innovation value to their ecosystem partners and insurers,” said Prakash Parthasarathy, Managing Partner at Creaegis, in a statement.

“All this has been achieved in a very capital efficient manner and our investment will help its accomplished management team led by Surjendu and Mayank to scale and improve access to a wider customer base. We are privileged to be their partner and we are committed to support their journey given our experience in this space.”

The startup plans to deploy the fresh funds to significantly scale its workforce and also explore opportunities to acquire smaller startups, Kuila said. It’s in no hurry to go public. He said Zopper is initially aiming to first reach nearly $1 billion in revenue and over the course of about five years it will file for an initial public offering.

The startup’s sale of its previous business to PhonePe was misreported by many as its acquisition by some news organizations. Kuila said PhonePe never held any stake in Zopper and the startup, which counts Tiger Global among its backers, continues to be supported by its early backers and new investors.

“Given ICICI Venture’s successful investment track record in the Insurance sector, we think Zopper is well positioned to capture this long-term growth opportunity,” said Gagandeep S Chhina, Director of Private Equity at ICICI Venture, a firm that began investing in local firms over 30 years ago. “We are excited to support the management team’s vision to establish Zopper as a leading Insurtech player with its scalable technology, multiple insurer tie-ups and partnerships with distribution channels across sectors.”

Zopper raises $75 million to solve India’s insurance problem by Manish Singh originally published on TechCrunch