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Funding Roundup: Unacademy, Dreamwallets, Wow Express & more

Six startups to receive equity-free seed funding from Google

Six Indian startups will be given $50,000 in equity-free seed funding under Google’s Launchpad Accelerator programme at Silicon Valley in California, starting June 2016, according to the company website. These include Taskbob – a home services startup and Programming Hub – programming language tutorial app from Mumbai, PlaySimple Games – mobile social games building firm and ShareChat – social networking chat platform from Bangalore, and RedCarpet – online credit firm and MagicPin – online promotions platform from Delhi. The six-month-long mentorship programme will also include a two-week all-expenses paid training at the Google headquarters, six months of ongoing mentorship and access to Google’s full suite of Launchpad initiatives, and connections and product credits including Google Cloud and other products. This will be the second batch of Indian startups, joining 18 other new companies from Brazil, Indonesia and Mexico.

The Launchpad Accelerator programme kicked off on January 18th, 2016 in Silicon Valley with its first batch of companies, specifically targeting those with a product already in place and primed to scale. According to Google, they are currently looking at technical startups from Brazil, India, Indonesia and Mexico only but will soon be expanding to more countries.


Unacademy raises $500K in seed funding led by Blume Ventures 

Education technology platform Unacademy has raised $500,000(about Rs 3.3 crore) in seed capital, through a funding round led by Blume Ventures, along with angel investors including Rajan Anandan (Google), Sumit Jain (CommonFloor), Aprameya Radhakrishna (Taxi4Sure), Sujeet Kumar (earlier Flipkart), Phanindra Sama (RedBus) among others. According to inc42, the funds will be used for product development on both the educator and the consumer side and for developing more tools for educators as well as making the content more interactive for users.


Dreamwallets raised seed funding from angel investors

Jaipur-based crowdfunding platform Dreamwallets has raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from angel investors including IndusInd Bank’s Executive Vice President Siddharth Banerjee, Senior Vice President Vikas Ranjan, Anshul Jindal, a senior investment officer with a Switzerland-based investment company and Sunil Koul, executive director at a Hong Kong-based investment bank. Industrialist Sanjeev Agrawal and chartered accountants Rakesh Gupta and Aditya Aggarwal also participated in the round. According to VCCircle, Dreamwallets will use these funds to expand its business development team, boost investment in technology and create awareness about the crowdfunding concept. The company has satellite offices in Mumbai and Pune and claims to have a four-digit number of registered users to endorse and support the projects listed on its platform.


Wow Express raises $2.2m in a pre-series A funding

E-commerce Logistics Start-up Wow Express has raised $2.2 million (around Rs 15 crore) in a pre-Series A round of funding. The round was led by US-based unnamed investors with participation from existing investors Tamarind Family Private Trust. According to VCCircle, the company will use the funds for its expanding into more cities and enhancing its technology. Wow Express claims to process around 350,000 shipments a month and has branches in Navi Mumbai, Thane, Delhi-NCR, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot and Jaipur.


BedBathMore raised undisclosed amount of funding from investors

Home decor platform BedBathMore has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from several investors, including Swedish bank AB Kinnevik Group, Germany’s Rocket Internet and some backers of FabFurnish, the online furniture brand recently acquired by Future Group, The Economic Times reported. The fresh funding will be used to project itself as more of a discovery platform, rather than an e-commerce one. The company has acqui-hired Crude Area, Homado, Paletly and Rebel Star over the last one year. Earlier in March, it had reported raising close to Rs 3.5 crore in equity from investors in Fab-Furnish.

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