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Mumbai-based venture debt and alternative credit platform BlackSoil Capital has invested Rs 20 crore in Chennai-based Mahaveer Finance as bridge equity through structured funding. 

The investment comes ahead of the non-bank lender’s proposed Series C funding of Rs 100 crore this year.  

The funds will be utilised to achieve an AUM (assets under management) of Rs 500 crore for the year, promoter Praveen Dugar said. 

After the first round by BanyanTree in 2018, Mahaveer Finance’s book has grown from Rs 50 crore to Rs 300 crore. 

The company has raised over Rs 350 crore of debt from over 26 institutions such as public sector banks (PSBs), private sector banks, alternative investment funds and non-bank lenders. Recently, it raised Rs 50 crore from PSBs. 

Founded in 1981, Mahaveer Finance provides secured loans for used commercial and passenger vehicles, retail segment and first-time buyers/new-to-credit buyers through a network of 42 branches spread across three southern states and one Union Territory. 

The company has a network of over 35,000 small road transport operators, dealers, agents and individuals offering average ticket loans of Rs 3-4 lakh. 

AntWak  

Matrix Partners India has led a funding round in Bengaluru-based global experiential learning platform AntWak. Better Capital and CRED founder Kunal Shah also participated in this round, the company said in a statement. 

Founded in 2020 by Basav Nagur, Joybroto Ganguly, Sudhanshu Shekhar, Sumit Gupta and Sriramkumar Sundararaman, AntWak gives young professionals access to knowhow of senior professionals. 

It offers over 1,000 courses in around 15 domains such as cybersecurity, digital marketing, data engineering, user experience, data engineering. These courses are facilitated by about 2,500 experts from over 500 brands and corporates across 30 plus countries. 

OneStack 

9Unicorns, India’s first idea-phase accelerator venture fund, has led a seed investment in OneStack, which aims to empower users to save, lend, spend, and grow money without leaving their bank. 

Investors such as Angel Bay, and Faad Network also participated in the round, along with angels including CRED founder Kunal Shah and Abhishant Pant. 

OneStack partners long-tail banks to provide white-label fintech solutions to their customers. 

Its application has a dashboard that displays all of a user’s assets and liabilities, including balance sheet and net worth. 

Pitstop

Pitstop, a tech-enabled multi-brand car service provider, has raised $3.5 million in a pre-Series B round led by Ventureast with participation from ACKO Technologies, LetsVenture, AngelList India, Blume Ventures, and others.

The company had earlier raised funding from investors including dealership chain Landmark Cars, Anuj Srivastava and Ramakant Sharma from Livspace, Rahul Garg from Moglix, and Shailesh Rao.

Pitstop said it will use this funding to strengthen operations in existing cities and expand to 20 additional cities by the end of the year.

As part of this expansion, Pitstop will be adding 250 service vans, which are its primary mode of delivering car maintenance and service. 

Pitstop will also be enrolling 350 garages to build the required geographical penetration into each new city. It is currently fully operational in 5 cities including NCR.

A significant portion of its customer base comes from IT corridors and suburbs.

HDFC invests in Kerala fund

India’s largest private-sector mortgage lender Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) has picked up a minority stake in a Kerala government-backed infrastructure fund.

HDFC said it has invested Rs 38.83 lakh ($53,000) to acquire a 9.9% stake in Kerala Infrastructure Fund Management Limited (KIFML).

Incorporated in November 2018, KIFML acts as an asset management company and is promoted by Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) to manage the state’s infrastructure funds.

The board, set up in 1999, is headed by the southern state’s chief minister. It invests in sectors such as transport, water sanitation, energy, social and commercial infrastructure, and technology and telecommunication.

As per its website, KIIFB has approved funding for projects worth Rs 60,102 crore.

It has backed projects such as Kerala Fibre Optic Network, a petrochemical and pharmaceutical park in Kochi, and a life sciences park in Thiruvananthapuram.

Karnival

Early-stage investor We Founder Circle has invested $250,000 in Karnival, a SaaS (software as a service) customer engagement platform for retailers and brands.

 The seed round worth $250,000 witnessed participation from marquee investors including Krishna Kumar, founder of Simplilearn; Dravya Dholakia of Dholakia Ventures; Shashwat Kumar of Khetal Advisors Singapore; and corporate leaders including Abhay Tandon, Dinesh Agrawal, Avnish Sabharwal, Abhishek Kishore Gupta and Suman Das.

With its SaaS platform, Karnival reaches customers digitally post-purchase using the Smart Receipt platform opening an opportunity for post-purchase commerce, the company said.

Karnival had previously raised $35,000 in a pre-seed round in 2020 from Sanjay Mehta-backed 100X.VC
The company’s platform has over 50 marquee retailers and brands including Aditya Birla Retail, Titan Company, Lulu Group UAE, Spar Hypermarket, Fab India, and Pantaloons. It is already deployed at 5,000 plus stores and generates 4.5 million receipts a month.

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