Home Alternative Investments Weekly rundown: PhysicsWallah, Purplle turn unicorns; CRED hits $6.4 bn valuation

Weekly rundown: PhysicsWallah, Purplle turn unicorns; CRED hits $6.4 bn valuation

Business Today

Amid growing fears of a harsh funding winter, edtech platform PhysicsWallah and online cosmetics retailer Purplle have entered the unicorn club and fintech start-up CRED’s valuation zoomed to $6.4 billion this week. 

With a $100 million Series A fundraise, PhysicsWallah become the seventh edtech unicorn in the country.  The profitable company plans to use the fresh capital, raised from venture capital funds Westbridge and GSV Ventures, towards business expansion, opening more learning centres and introducing more offerings. PhysicsWallah is gearing up to launch content in 9 vernacular languages—Bengali, Hindi, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Odia, Tamil and Telugu as part of its growth plans. The company currently has 1,900 employees including 500 teachers and 90-100 tech experts. It also has 200 associate professors to answer student queries and other 200 professionals for creating exam questions and term papers.

Nykaa rival Purplle surpassed the $1 billion valuation mark after raising $33 million in a Series E funding round. New investor Paramark Ventures led the round with participation from returning investors Premji Invest, Blume Ventures, and Kedaara. The fresh round of investment takes the total funding raised by the company to over $215 million. The Sequoia and Goldman Sachs-backed company claims to have 7 million monthly active users, over 1,000 brands, 60,000 products, and 5 private DTC brands.  

Four-year-old fintech start-up CRED said it is raising $140 million in a mix of primary and secondary funding led by Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC. Returning investors in this on-going round include Belgium’s Sofina, global alternative investments firm Tiger Global Management, New York-based alternative investments firm Falcon Edge, and San Francisco-based Dragoneer. The Series F round values the start-up at $6.4 billion, a significant uptick from the $4.01 billion it garnered in October 2021 when it secured $251 million, co-led by Tiger Global and Falcon Edge. 

Payments and lending fintech Kissht announced a funding round of $80 million on Wednesday. The round was led by Vertex Growth and Brunei Investment Agency. Existing investors Vertex Ventures SEA & India and Endiya Partners also participated. Kissht also announced its foray into credit backed cards with the launch of a millennial focused brand named “Ring”. Fresh funds will be used to enhance the product offering for millennials and add other relevant financial products. 

MSME-focused fintech lending start-up FlexiLoans secured $90 million in Series B funding from investors including Denmark based PE firm MAJ Invest, UK based fintech investor Fasanara Capital and the family offices of Dr. Harry Banga and Yogesh Mahansaria along with many existing shareholders including Sanjay Nayar. This investment marks Fasanara Capital’s first SME fintech investment in India and MAJ Invest’s third investment this year. The capital raised will be utilized for technology development and to double the MSME book via its co-lending, BNPL and supply chain finance platforms. 

Also read: Weekly rundown: Inventus, Riverwalk launch new funds; Country Delight pockets $108 mn cheque

Also read: Weekly rundown: PayMate files for IPO; Cuemath, Curefoods, slice bag new rounds

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