Beverage startup Nexba raises AU$6mn
Australian sugar free beverage startup Nexba has secured AU$6mn (US$4.15mn) dollars of funding through the crowdfunding platform VentureCrowd.
As Business Insider Australia reports, $1.5mn of that figure came from the crowdfunding, while the remainder came from other private investors, making it the largest non-tech Australian crowdfunding.
Nexba’s co-founder Drew Bilbe gave a statement, saying “we were the first to market here in Australia and we continue to innovate with our retail partners to maintain our status as Australia’s leading naturally sugar-free beverage brand.”
Detailing the key features of the opportunity on its VentureCrowd page, Nexba reported gross revenues up 148% year on year at $6.2mn. Their projected gross revenue for this year was given as $12.5mn, up 104.8%. The company says that the results are a consequence of consumer demand for “better-for-you” food and beverages.
Domestically, the company report strong distribution in major Australian retailers of the likes of Coles and Woolworths.
Future global expansion is currently focused around a deal with the UK’s Saisbury’s supermarkets. Focusing on naturally sugar free products, the company will consequently not fall foul of the UK’s sugar tax, boosting its ability to compete.
Timeline: India takes unicorn leap with six in five days
We chart an historic week in India’s tech industry, where in just five days, between 5-9 April 2021, the country achieved six new unicorns, bringing India’s total to 10 in 2021 to date, an immense unicorn leap from just seven in 2020 and six in 2019.
April 5: Meesho
India’s first social commerce unicorn, Meesho raised US$300m from SoftBank, Facebook and Shunwei Capital, giving the Bangalore-based startup a US$2.1bn valuation, a threefold jump from its previous funding round in 2019. Founded in 2015 by two IIT-Delhi graduates, Meesho connects producers and resellers, helping small businesses sell through social media. It has 45m customers and has enabled 13m entrepreneurs to start their online businesses with no investment.
April 6: CRED
Founded just over two years ago, Bangalore-based credit card repayment app CRED raised US$215m from Falcon Edge Capital and Coatue, nearly trebling its valuation to US$2.2bn from its January US$80m round. Allowing customers to pay off their credit card debt while earning CRED coins which they cash in for rewards, CRED has grown rapidly during COVID-19, doubling its customer base to nearly 6 million in a year.
April 7: API Holdings / Groww
The first epharmacy startup to gain unicorn status, PharmEasy (API Holdings), which has digitised 60,000 brick and mortar pharmacies and 400 doctors across India, raised US$350m in a round led by Prosus Ventures. Founded by four former Flipkart employees as a way of making investing simple, investment platform Groww became India’s second-youngest fintech unicorn, raising US$83m in Series D funding led by Tiger Global, quadrupling its previous round in September.
April 8: ShareChat
New Delhi-grown social media startup ShareChat, founded in 2016 by Mohalla Tech raised US$502m from Lightspeed Ventures, Tiger Global, Twitter and Snap taking its raised total over six rounds to US$766m and pushing its valuation to US$2.1bn. The funding will be used to grow its user base and short video platform Moj, which launched in 2020 following TikTok’s ban in India. The regional language startup claims 280m users.
April 9: Gupshup
AI-led conversational message startup joined the unicorn club after raising US$100m from Tiger Global giving it a ten-fold valuation of US$1.4bn. The smart messaging platform, which has seen accelerated growth during the pandemic, was founded in Bangalore in 2005 by serial entrepreneur Beerud Sheth, whose online freelancing platform Elance is now listed. Gupshup’s API enables 100,000+ businesses to build messaging and conversation experiences across 30+ communication channels.