IAN Funded Clinical Research Co. Karmic Lifesciences Acquired By Cliantha Research

Cliantha Research, Ahmedabad headquartered global lifesciences company has acquired Karmic Lifesciences, Contract Research Organization headquartered in Mumbai, India.karmic-logo

Started in 2005, Karmic Lifesciences has executed 150+ Clinical Trials and 75+ Clinical Data Management & Bio-Statistics Projects (Phase I to IV) in various therapeutic areas including Oncology, Cardiovascular, Diabetes, Neurology, Auto-Immune Diseases, Ophthalmology, and Medical Devices. Karmic recently has successfully launched medico-marketing services for the pharmaceutical industry.

Karmic Lifesciences has developed kTrials™, a proprietary 21 CFR Part 11, CDASH/CDISC and SDTM Compliant, Web-Enabled eClinical Suite with integrated Clinical Trial Management, Clinical Data Management, eTMF, IWRS, SDTM Mapping, Clinical Data Warehousing and Operational Analytics functionalities designed especially to support Karmic’s end-to-end Global Clinical Operations, Data Management and Project Management requirements.

The system supports end-to-end operational activities right from project set-up, planning, budgeting, execution, performance analytics and reporting for all clinical trials conducted by Karmic apart from storing all clinical and operational enterprise data as well as electronic trial master files in a single repository.

#ShortNews: News you could use, useful data and actionable insights in a crisp and easy format. (Feedback:team@nextbigwhat.com)

Breaking : Intuit India Acquires Jaipur Based KDK Software To Tap The CA Market

Intuit India has acquired Jaipur based KDK Software, a company that provides cost-effective software solutions to tax professionals and SMEs in the country.intuit-quickbooks

Post this acquisition, Intuit looks to add a significant base of over 20,000 of KDK Softwares’ customers.  KDK Softwares currently serves 1 in 5 practicing chartered accountants in India, which gives Intuit the needed warchest to take on the competitors like Tally.kdk-softwares

Intuit will also expand its portfolio of offerings to include simplified tax filing for accountants, bookkeepers and their small business clients. KDK Softwares is a leading provider of professional tax computation and e-filing solutions, both in desktop and cloud models, with a base of over 100 channel partners in over 60 cities in India.

Intuit QBO : The NextBigWhat

Intuit launched QuickBooksOnline  in India in 2012 and claims to be witnessing 49% month-on-month growth. Some of the earlier experiments on personal finance tools (partnership with MoneyControl/ICICI) didn’t do too well.

While SMEs are the end customers, companies need to tap the CA market effectively (CAs influence the buying decision).

With this acquisition and its integration with the popular worldwide solution Intuit QuickBooks, Intuit will be able to offer a Nikhil Arora Intuitrobust solution for accounting, tax computation and e-filing. Accountants usually spend 50 percent of their time filing taxes. The new Intuit QuickBooks will create significant time savings by improving their workflow and the ability to complete a tax return in a single step.

The QBO and KDK Software integration will happen over the next 12 months, mentions Nikhil Arora (MD, Intuit India)

“Our vision is to become the ecosystem behind the success of Indian small businesses and accountants.  By 2020, we want one in four small businesses in India to use Intuit products. With this acquisition, we will in the near term be able to provide our customers with an end-to-end workflow of integrated accounting and tax capability which would be the first of its kind in the country,” said Nikhil Arora, Vice President and Managing Director, Intuit India. “The addition of KDK Softwares builds on Intuit’s QuickBooks small business ecosystem offering in India, providing for the first time a seamless and collaborative tax filing solution,”

The time for India’s product companies has arrived!

Data Startup SocialCops Secures Seed Funding From 500Startups, Rajan Anandan (and others)

Social Cops, a technology data company that aims to power decision making through high quality data sourced from the grassroots has announced USD 320k in seed funding from investors including 500 Startups, Rajan Anandan (MD, Google India) and Manoj Menon (MD, Frost & Sullivan APAC).


SocialCops uses mobile phones – ranging from simple feature phones to high-end smartphones to source ground level data from citizens & non-profits; and work extensively in the public infrastructure, public health & education spaces with partners such as the Government of Karnataka, Digital Empowerment Foundation and Hindustan Unilever.

“Even today, important national level decisions about issues like vaccinations & medication affecting millions of people are made based on sample surveys of 100 people. Google Maps tells you the quickest route home, but what about the safest route home for a girl?” Prukalpa Sankar, Cofounder.

Social Cops crowd directly sources data regarding public infrastructure & access to services via mobile from citizens. They also empower field workers via partner nonprofit organizations to collect data via low cost, Internet enabled smartphones, removing the reliance on traditional paper data collection & middlemen.

They aim to track parameters such as teacher attendance in public schools, quality of public infrastructure, adherence & access to medical care on a continuous basis.

SocialCops : Revenue Model

Started in 2012 while the cofounders were studying in Singapore, SocialCops’ revenues mainly come from corporates & funding agencies through their marketing & CSR budgets while they leverage non-profit networks & governments to increase distribution and the scale of data collection.

In the past 8 months, they have already put mobiles to work on various intractable issues in India such as getting citizens to rate cleanliness on streets all the way to creating public worker reward systems. They have even tracked patient misconceptions regarding cervical cancer & adherence to medication in pregnant women to aid resource allocation in healthcare.

And Finally, Flipkart Announces Its Billion Dollar Funding.

has finally announced the much discussed $1Bn round of funding.

Co-led by existing investors Tiger Global Management and Naspers, the funds will be used to make long-term strategic investments in India, especially in mobile technology.

Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, GIC, along with existing investors Accel Partners, DST Global, ICONIQ Capital, Morgan Stanley Investment Management and Sofina, also participated in this latest financing round.

We handle 5 million shipments a month. These numbers were unheard of a few years back and we are excited about the scale we have managed to achieve. But what is even more exciting is the huge opportunity that we still see before us.”

This new milestone comes within months of Flipkart becoming the first e-commerce company out of India to hit US $1 billion in GMV.


Flipkart which acquired Myntra raised $210mn funding led by DST Global in the month of May (2014).

Flipkart has 22mn registered users & mobile drives 50% of the business.

The company has been focusing on exclusives (be it Moto devices or Xiaomi) apart from fashion category to drive margins and recently announced education content as well as sexual wellness category.

Where do we go now?

The next big round of funding? Well, Flipkart needs to go public and from what we know, the paper work has already started for Nasdaq IPO (read : Sachin Bansal, UnPluggd on Flipkart IPO, Amazon, Flyte & More). The company however mentions that they aren’t looking for IPO soon (maybe they decided against it and instead decided to raise the billion dollar round).

The big deal for Flipkart is not just about conquering the Indian market, but keeping the big daddy, i.e. Amazon at bay. Amazon has been building its capabilities in the country (recently opened 5 new fulfillment centers) and they are beating Flipkart in categories like cameras and tablets (recently launched fashion).

Key Acquisitions by Flipkart So Far

– 2010: WeRead, a book discovery tool (acquahire)
– 2011: Mime360, digital content platform company (acquahire). Flyte was born out of this, but was shelved off later.
– 2011: Chakpak.com‘s bollywood content (content acquisition/more driven by investors).
– 2012: Letsbuy.com (probably driven by investors).
– 2014: Myntra.com estimated to be INR 2,000 crore deal (read what the founders have to say about the deal).

What’s NextBigWhat For Flipkart?

Watch this video wherein Sachin Bansal talked at length about the upcoming business categories:

* This piece will be updated with more details.

SAAS Player Peel-Works Secures $2mn Funding From Inventus Capital & IDG Ventures

Peel-Works, SaaS and big-data analytics company enabling sales-force & traditional trade transformation, has raised a Series A round of $2 million from Inventus Capital Partners and IDG Ventures India.

The investment received will be utilised to expand its existing offerings, hire senior management and ramp up technology and product development. Peel-Works will also expand further to global markets.peel-works-logo

Peel-Works was set up in 2010 by a team of experienced professionals with deep domain expertise.

The company offers SaaS based product 9Yards along with a big-data analytics platform Genius. This product platform has been utilized by large and medium-size companies in FMCG, telecom amongst others that conduct their business using large indirect sales forces.

Parag Dhol from Inventus and Karan Mohla from IDG Ventures, have joined the Board of Directors of Peel-Works. The company had previously raised funding from the Indian Angel Network (IAN) in 2011, led by Sadeesh Raghavan and Srikant Sastri, who were on the Board of the company.

Funding Roundup: Scroll Secures Funding From Omidyar; The Chennai Angels invests in Fourth Partner Energy

The Chennai Angels has invested in Fourth Partner Energy Pvt. Ltd. (4PEL), a Hyderabad based company focussed on Distributed Solar Power. This round of investment was led by TCA investor members, Shankar V, Kayar Raghavan and Narayanan R.

Fourth Partner Energy was founded in 2010 by Vivek Subramanian, Saif Dhorajiwala and Vikas Saluguti. The Entrepreneurs have a strong background in financial management, contract structuring and fund raising. 4PEL has completed over 300 solar installations across the country with marquee public and private sector companies.

Having built an end-to-end capability including design, turnkey execution, servicing and financial structuring of captive solar assets, 4PEL is well positioned to take a leadership role in a disruptive market segment. 4PEL aims to finance, build, develop and manage a large operating portfolio of de-centralized solar power assets in India by positioning itself as full-services RESCO (Renewable Energy Services Company). The team works with commercial and industrial clients, to provide tangible commercial benefits, while significantly de-risking their technology and financial exposure.


Scroll.in Secures Funding From Omidyar Network

New media site, Scroll.in has raised funding from Omidyar network with participation from New York based MDIF (Media Development Investmetn Fund).

The investment was made into Scroll India’s US-based parent Scroll Media Inc [Via: VCCircle]

Mobile-only Travel Marketplace, SeekSherpa Secures Angel Funding From VentureNursery’s Angels

VentureNursery has announced a seed investment by its angels in SeekSherpa, a mobile marketplace enabling travellers to get access to insights, information and experiences from the locals.


SeekSherpa aims to solve the problem of local immersion, local travel opinion information asymmetry, and local-to-traveller connect. It is doing so through its concept of micro-tours through which it aims to disrupt the experiences (tours and activities) marketplace.

The company aims at allowing travellers to book local crowd-sourced experiences on the fly. Any experience is less than INR 3,000 (or USD 50) per traveller and does not last more than 3 hours from start to end. This is India’s first foray in to a mobile first tours and activities marketplace.SeekSherpa

SeekSherpa uses powerful mobile application technology where Sherpas (Locals) can post experiences and answer traveller questions. Travellers can book experiences and ask questions which they can direct to a Sherpa (Local) of their choice.

The company raised an undisclosed amount from VentureNursery’s Angels including Amit Patni, Anand Ladsariya, Anirudh Damani, Arihant Patni, Neeraj Goenka, Ravi Kiran, Sanjay Mehta, Shravan Shroff. The venture was founded by Sukhmani Singh and Dhruv Raj Gupta, both 23, grads from  SRCC, Sukhmani worked at A. T. Kearney on the CMT practice while Dhruv worked at Google in business process automation and data-mining.

SeekSherpa was a graduate of VentureNursery’s 4th Acceleration Program which concluded on April 11th this year.

Also: Travel marketplace, TravelTriangle raised INR 10 Cr from SAIF Partners.

Travel Marketplace, TravelTriangle Secures INR 10 Cr Funding From SAIF Partners

SAIF Partners has invested INR 10 crores in TravelTriangle.traveltriangle.jpg

Started in 2010 by three IIT post-graduates, TravelTriangle is a marketplace for travel agents who can provide customised tours packages to travellers at the best prices (read NextBigWhat‘s  earlier coverage of TravelTriangle).

TravelTriangle enables customers to connect to multiple local travel agents, get quotations, customise their trips according to their preferences and book through the site directly. The company is already clocking in around $3.5 million in annual gross transaction value run rate.

We already have 30,000 to 40,000 uniquely-personalised itineraries from 430 travel agents on our website. Thanks to the reliable fulfillment we offer, we have a large number of repeat customers and positive reviews on the site. Although the company is profitable, we could feel a palatable need to invest in technology and product. This round of funding from SAIF Partners will enable us to create vital intelligence around Pricing, Engine, User Data and Mobile.”  [Sankalp Agarwal, Co-founder & CEO at TravelTriangle]

Wishberg [Team] Joins Freecharge. Great Effort, Guys!

Wishberg, a social wishlist service that raised a round of funding last October, has finally gotten to the end of its road and been acqhired by FreeCharge, no doubt for the awesome founding team – Pravin Jadhav and Kulin Shah. Pravin will lead Product and Growth and Kulin will handle Partnerships and Alliances. We suspect there will be news on both fronts from FreeCharge pretty soon!

Read what their last blog entry at Wishberg said.


Here’s an early review we had done when Wishberg had just come out of its private beta.

Since then, they had added Shop Mobs that was shut down later, and a Future Timeline and other features that took it more in the direction of a social wishlist rather than a personal list of desires. The service did find a good amount of traction, but we guess the audience never engaged beyond expressing wishes, and Wishberg did not push too hard in that direction either. Pinterest did not either, to be honest, but they managed to scale, as well as get brands interested, and that might have been the difference between two similar and equally well executed services.

We wish – no pun intended – Pravin and Kulin a great future ahead. Wishberg was a story we all loved and wanted to see grow, and we look forward to big things from these guys.

News in Shorts Secures Seed Round from Times Internet and Serial Entrepreneurs Including Flipkart Founders

News in Shorts (NIS), an app that promises to deliver news in 60 words has recently closed a round of seed fund from Times Internet, and serial entrepreneurs Ankush Nijhawan, Gaurav Bhatnagar, Manish Dhingra, and Sachin and Binny Bansal, founders of Flipkart.

The funding will be used mainly for marketing, product improvement and expansion.newsinshorts

“Everyone is short of time in the today’s fast paced world. No one wants to spent half-an-hour daily in reading news. We are solving this problem. We want to make everyone aware, but value their precious time.” [Azhar Iqubal, Co-Founder, News In Shorts]

#ShortNews: News you could use, useful data and actionable insights in a crisp and easy format. (Feedback:team@nextbigwhat.com)
By the way, #ShortNews is NextBigwhat’s version of NewsInShorts 🙂

Capillary Raises $14 Mn Series B Funding from Sequoia and Norwest

Capillary Technologies, a cloud-based retail customer engagement management startup, today announced that it has closed a $14 million Series B round of venture financing. This new investment adds to the earlier Series A funding received in 2012, as well as an additional round from Amex Ventures earlier this year.


Sequoia Capital and Norwest Venture Partners (NVP) led this round. The funding will be used to enhance Capillary’s cloud-based integrated marketing platform and grow its partnership ecosystem.

“Retailers realize a 15% increase in Average Basket Value and 30% increase in their customer retention rate by implementing our solutions, which is the reason we continue to grow.”

Capillary also announced a new partner, Agilysys, a leading developer and marketer of proprietary enterprise software, services and solutions to the hospitality industry and operates extensively throughout North America, Europe and Asia.

Urban Ladder Raises $21mn in Series B; No Offline Plans. Will Push Tech Envelope

Online furniture company has raised Rs. 120 Cr. ($21 million) in Series B round of funding. This round is led by Steadview Capital, along with existing investors SAIF Partners and Kalaari Capital. The company had earlier raised $5 million lead by SAIF Partners in November’13 and $1mn from Kalaari Capital in August’12.urbanladder.png

No Offline Plans; Will Push The Technology Envelope

Unlike competitors like FabFurnish which has opened a few offline stores, UrbanLadder has no plans to go offline. Cofounder Rajiv mentions that the big focus will be on pushing the technology envelope.

Their Wardrobe configurator app lets you configure the entire wardrobe without the need for bringing a carpenter. Post Series B funding, Urbanladder will focus on building more such technology solutions for the furniture industry.

– Read : Urbanladder is seeing strong investor interest because of outlier unit economics: Rajiv Srivatsa, COO, Urbanladder

“World-class product design and exceptional customer experience have been our key differentiators in the market, and have helped us establish our dominance as the preferred furniture company in the country. We will continue to strengthen these aspects with focus on innovative technology, which will further elevate customer experience.” said Ashish Goel, CEO & Co-founder, Urban Ladder.

Started in 2012, Urban Ladder offers over 1000 products across 25 categories in furniture such as wardrobes, beds,sofas, dining tables, coffee table. It plans to further expand the product range and service 25-30 cities in India by March 2015.

Olacabs Secures Series C Funding of INR 250 crores From Steadview Capital and Sequoia Capital

, India’s largest cab network today announced its Series C funding of INR 250 crores from Hong Kong based equity hedge fund, Steadview Capital and venture capital firm Sequoia Capital. Existing investors Tiger Global Management and Matrix Partners India have participated in this round of funding as well.

Ola will use funds from this investment to expand their operations to newer markets as well as invest a sizable sum into the supply ecosystem to enable micro-entrepreneurship in the driver stakeholder segment.olacabs_logo_thumb.png

“We intend to be present in atleast 20 cities by the end of this year. We are also deeply involved with the supply ecosystem by helping drivers become entrepreneurs and creating socio-economic empowerment for them. We are happy to announce that we are earmarking a sum of INR 100 crores towards nurturing this ecosystem in the next one year. Steadview and Sequoia are great partners to have on board with both of them bringing deep understanding of consumer businesses.” [Bhavish, Cofounder of Olacabs]

Ola claims to get 50% bookings from its mobile app and boasts of over 11,000 cabs on their platform present across 9 cities. The company earlier raised Series B funding of $20mn from Tiger Global and Matrix Partners.

Here is a short QnA with Olacabs cofounder, Bhavish.

NextBigWhat: 250Cr funding – what’s the plan?
We are growing fast, 9 cities already and that count is expected to cross 20 by the end of this year. We’re also earmarking INR 100cr towards nurturing entrepreneurship in the driver ecosystem. We are working closely with drivers and operators by up-skilling them and making them partners in growth. This also includes our initiatives with leading car manufacturers and financiers to make buying a car accessible and possible for a driver.

NextBigWhat: Premium offerings: How is it doing?

The premium category has been doing great. We understand that category usage is all about use cases`  With that we are present across all the categories now- Mini, Sedan and Luxury.

NextBigWhat: What’s working? What are the challenges in growth from hereon?

Our understanding of the market and our contextual approach to the problem works in our favor. We are creating solutions such that the real problem at hand is addressed. India is a very different market and needs a hyper-local approach to transportation.

Growth from hereon looks exciting. It is a large problem to solve, in every Indian city/town. Availability of high quality inventory and well trained drivers are both a challenge. That is where considerable focus has been in the recent past. This investment will allow us to invest significantly, as much as INR 100cr into the supply side of the ecosystem.

NextBigWhat: What drives valuations in the taxi business?

While a lot of generic factors like growth, market etc play a role, in my view  leadership and market potential determine valuations atleast in a market like India. It is not just about a first mover advantage, but also about a holistic approach to the ecosystem that will be considered when pegging a valuation.

NextBigWhat: Importantly, are you moving to marketplace model or sticking to inventory?

We’re enabling micro-entrepreneurship at the driver level and have managed to do that successfully in every city. So in a sense, it is like a marketplace of small to medium sized entrepreneurs whose business we facilitate. We think this will be real value creation in the long run.

Ola competitor TaxiForSure recently raised $10mm and plans to launch in 20 new ciites. Uber too launched Uber X in India.

Mumbai Startup WizRocket Secures $1.6mn Funding From Accel Partners

Mumbai based startup, WizRocket has raised $1.6mn funding from Accel partners. The funding round was closed in June 2014.wizrocket

WizRocket is an analytics tool that helps web businesses interact intelligently with their users across mobile and web. It enables web messaging, push notifications, in-app messaging and even reaching out to customers via SMS or Email. At the core of WizRocket is an patent pending engine that enables quick segmentation to discover several facets of user behavior.

Simply put, we let websites discover the who (people), what (events) and why (behavior) on their own websites and mobile apps and then apply behavior targeting to improve retention, engagement and conversion rates. The analytics and the targeting are dashboard driven. 100% of all analytics* and targeting is real time no matter what size of business you operate.

Wizrocket Analytics
Wizrocket Analytics

The startup is currently in private beta and is working closely with 25 select global customers; and is planning to be publicly available by September 2014. WizRocket was founded in July 2013 by ex-Burrp team members – Sunil Thomas, Suresh Kondamudi and Anand Jain.

Indian Startup Funding Report 2014Q2: Deals Pick Up Pace; E-Commerce Continues to Suck Money In

So we are done with some more number crunching. We took a look at the venture capital investments in tech and tech enabled companies between April- June 2014. The data has been compiled from our sources and publicly available data and is the closest we could get to the real deal. 

We know of a few deals that have already happened but have not been announced. Those haven’t been included in the data set. And some companies haven’t disclosed the amount of investment, or the investors. Of the investments we tracked, 24 did not disclose the amount of funding they raised and hence was not added to the total funding amount.

When we say an education company, we mean a company which provides technology or technology enabled service to the education sector. That is, not a school or a tuition center. That couldn’t be helped. By enterprise, we mean companies that are selling software, hardware or services to other companies.

Without further ado, here’s the report.

Deal Value Jumps 35%

Technology and tech enabled companies in India raised over Rs 4052 cr ($675 mn) from venture capitalists and other investors in the second quarter of 2014, according to the data we’ve compiled. As compared to the previous quarter, there’s been a 35% growth in deal value.

E-Commerce in the Spotlight, again.

As compared to 58 reported deals in the previous quarter, there were 74 this time. That is, a 27% increase in deal volume. Just like the previous quarter, e-commerce investments dominated the deal landscape. Internet* & Enterprise companies raised a fair amount of money and health care and education startups got some attention as well.


By value, as expected, e-commerce was the hottest category followed by enterprise and BFSI. Mobile, healthcare, and other sectors saw deals comparable to the previous quarter. By volume, most number of deals happened in enterprise sector.

Notable Deals

BookMyShow Secures Rs 150 cr Funding from Saif Partners & Others at Rs 1000 Cr Valuation

Freshdesk Secures $31mn in Series D Funding From Tiger, Accel And Google

Housing Raises Rs 115 cr Funding; Here’s Why They’re Killing It

Online Insurance Seller Policybazaar Raises Rs 119 Crore in Funding

After Acquiring Myntra, Flipkart Raises $210 Million Funding Round Led by DST Global

After Flipkart Myntra Merger, Snapdeal Announces $ 100 mn From 5 New Investors

Remote Tech Support Firm iYogi Secures $28 Mn Series E Funding from Axon Partners

Yatra Raises Rs 140 cr Funding; Acquisitions to Follow

Bangalore, NCR Notch Up Most Deals


Among cities, Bangalore and NCR saw most number of deals take place. By volume, nearly a third of all deals happened in Bangalore (29%) whereas NCR was close behind (28%). By value, Bangalore topped and NCR was a close second. Flipkart’s big fundraise helped Bangalore to the top and Snapdeal’s fundraise added to total deal value in NCR.

*  Internet includes online classifieds and online travel companies.

Beauty Focused Ecommerce Portal, Nykaa Raises Rs. 20 crores For Expansion in Omni-Channel Retailing

Nykaa, the beauty e-commerce portal owned by former CEO and MD of Kotak Bank Falguni Nayar has raised Rs. 20 crores through private investors including HNIs and NRIs to boost the expansion plans of the brand in the omni-channel retail space, including mobile.nykaa

The capital raised is primarily to support Nykaa.com‘s approach to straddle the online and offline space in beauty and ecommerce industry. Nykaa plans to use these funds to enhance the brand’s marketing initiatives, introduce new technology and manage their extensive inventory which includes over 300 brands and 10,000 SKUs.

With projections to achieve 10x growth by fiscal 2015, Nykaa.com is also venturing into offline retailing space with their first store set to launch at the posh Terminal 3 – New Delhi Airport in mid-July. This store will give consumers access to the top luxury cosmetic brands along with the option of placing orders online through interactive screens and make-over tools.

#ShortNews: News you could use, useful data and actionable insights in a crisp and easy format. (Feedback:team@nextbigwhat.com)