BlackSoil Capital Pvt. Ltd, the non-banking financial arm of asset management company BlackSoil Group, has invested around Rs 5 crore ($771,978) in three startups in the form of short-term working capital demand loans, a company executive told VCCircle.
Logistics startup GoBolt, marketing automation startup WebEngage, and weight management services firm Truweight have received interim venture debt funding from BlackSoil Capital.
“This is to help them in the short term. It’s kind of a small bridge round to continue their current steady growth. All these companies are inching closer to EBITA profitability and their unit economics are strong. All the three startups would be going for a bigger equity round soon,” Ankur Bansal, co-founder and director, BlackSoil, said.
BlackSoil Capital is promoted by three family offices—Shashi Kiran Shetty, promoter of AllCargo Logistics; Gala Group, promoter of Navneet Education Ltd; and Mumbai-based realty expert Virendra Gala.
The firm’s specialised financing firm had earlier provided venture debt financing to iNurture Education Solutions Pvt. Ltd, a higher education solutions provider; retail analytics provider Intelligence Node Consulting Pvt. Ltd; Chumbak Design Private Limited, which sells designer-led consumer products; and deals and discounts startup Nearbuy.
Delhi-based startup GoBolt, run by Camions Logistics Solutions Pvt. Ltd, provides transportation solutions such as right vehicle selection, route/delivery planning, real-time tracking, reliable documentation and control, and reduced transit time to its clients. It serves e-commerce, pharmaceutical firms, automobile companies, food processing companies, consumer goods makers and white goods manufacturers. Its clients include Philips, Cadbury, Panasonic, PepsiCo and Tupperware, amongst others.
GoBolt was founded in October 2015 by Parag Aggarwal, Sumit Sharma and Naitik Baghla, all alumni of S.P. Jain Institute of Management and Research. Aggarwal and Baghla were working with pharma major GlaxoSmithKline before co-founding GoBolt, while Sharma was an associate with financial services firm JM Financial.
In June 2016, the company had raised pre-Series A funding from startup incubator MCube8, a division of financial advisory firm MCube Capital.
Founded in October 2011 by Avlesh Singh and Ankit Utreja, WebEngage, operated by Webklipper Technologies Pvt Ltd, allows consumers' businesses to drive conversions via multi-channel user engagement and retention workflows on websites, mobile app, email, text messages, and browser push. Its clients include Flipkart, eBay, MakeMyTrip, Goibibo and Taj Hotels, amongst others.
Singh holds a B.Tech degree in mineral engineering from Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad (Jharkhand). He has earlier worked with Infomedia18, Burrp, OnYoMo and HCL. Utreja is a computer science graduate and has earlier worked at TCS and Burrp.
In February last year, SaaS-based CRM solutions provider Capillary Technologies Pvt Ltd had picked up a minority stake in WebEngage.
Founded by Vishnu Saraf and Megha More, Truweight Wellness Private Limited provides weight loss counselling. Its programme provide users with customised plans that includes nutrition mentoring for weight loss. The startup's mobile app connects clients to personal dieticians for real-time counselling and provides users access to the firm’s food products, which are available across the country. Truweight has around 30 food products made with over 25 ingredients such as spirulina, barley grass, alfalfa grass, acacia gum, herbs, and foxtail millet, to name a few.
Saraf is an alumnus of IIM-Ahmedabad, while More is a management graduate from Management Development Institute, Gurgaon.
The company had raised its Series A funding round from venture capital firm Kalaari Capital in May 2015.
Venture debt firms
Venture debt is an important funding channel for early-stage companies as it rarely involves stake dilution by the promoters. It also provides firms with more time to grow.
Firms that provide venture debt to early-stage firms include Mumbai-based InnoVen, Delhi-based Trifecta Capital Advisors, Bengaluru-based Capital Float, Chennai-based IFMR Capital and Ahmedabad-based Lendingkart.