FreeCharge crosses 5 million users
FreeCharge Wallet claims to have crossed 5 million mobile wallet users in 4 weeks of its launch. The company says that it has seen over 40% growth from Snapdeal and Mumbai metro. It is currently used by Snapdeal and has plans to add other merchants to its platform. It adds that on an average, users transact over 5 times a month, while an average of 50% users transact every month on Freecharge.
Earlier this month, FreeCharge started using Aadhaar UID as the primary KYC tool for opening and upgrading wallets. It also announced that it reached 1 million customers, and that it was used the most for utility bill payments like electricity bill payment, mobile recharge and online shopping. Last month, the company also launched a digital wallet in partnership with the private sector lender YES Bank. Earlier in April, FreeCharge was acquired by ecommerce player Snapdeal for a reported $450 million, the biggest deal in the Indian consumer internet industry.
WestBridge Capital raises $575 million
WestBridge Capital has raised $575million, totalling its investment to $2 billion, reports the TOI. It did not, however, mention when the funding was concluded. WestBridge has invested $1.2 billion in over 60 Indian companies between $10-80 million for a substantial minority stake. The report added that WestBridge will continue investing in public and private markets, but is looking to back more private companies.
Square Yards acquires Oryden TechLabs
Property search aggregator Square Yards has acquired Oryden TechLabs, a design and animation studio from Ahmedabad, for an undisclosed amount, reports VCCircle. Oryden’s entire team will join Square Yards. The acquisition will help Square Yards enhance its design development, while the Oryden team will primarily work on Scapes, the former’s e-commerce transaction engine and introduce digital walkthroughs. Oryden’s specialisations include 3D architectural design, process visualisation and virtual reality, and was founded by Keyur bhalavat and Ravi Patel in 2012. Square Yards had raised $6 million in a pre-Series A round of funding from unnamed investors in May.
Giftxoxo acqui-hires Yipeedo
Online gifting platform Giftxoxo has acqui-hired Yipeedo, a local activities discovery platform. Yipeedo’s founders Shalini Nautiyal (product head) and Dhiraj Kathuria (technology head) will join the company and spearhead the product along with Giftxoxo’s founders. Yipeedo graduated from VentureNursery’s seventh season and was a part of NASSCOM’s 10,000 startups third batch. Giftxoxo owns an activities app called Frogo.
WudStay launches Windows app with Microsoft partnership
Microsoft has partnered with WudStay to launch the latter’s app on the Windows Store. Both the companies will work on bringing exclusive offers and features on the WudStay Windows app. The app will have property browsing, hotel booking and reservation management among other features. WudStay offers accommodation across 35 cities in India, and has plans to expand to 30 more in the next 12 months. In August, the company acquired Awesome Stays, a two year old offline budget hotel aggregator for an undisclosed amount, to expand to new markets of Varanasi, Goa, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Dehradun and Pune. Deepak Sharma, CEO of Awesome Stays, joined WudStay with his team.
Furlenco expands to Mumbai
Bangalore-based furniture rental startup Furlenco has expanded to Mumbai, where users will be able to order and rent furniture online, get doorstep delivery and installation within 24 hours of ordering. Furlenco plans to expand to every tier I city across the country, albeit, it does not mention a timeline for the same. In March, the company raised $6 million in a Series A round of funding from Lightbox Ventures to scale up its operations. It started as RentUrDuniya, and works on a monthly subscription model wherein customers can get living room, bedroom and kitchen solutions starting at Rs 1,500. The startup designs, owns and holds all the inventory and takes responsibility for setting up the furniture and taking to back.
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