Zilingo raises US$226mn in Series D funding, eyes further APAC expansion
Zilingo, a rapidly growing B2B marketplace provider based in Singapore, has raised US$226mn in its Series D funding round, with key investors in Sequoia Capital, Temasek Holdings, Burda Principal Investments, Sofina, EDBI and other existing stakeholders.
The firm, which says its “purpose is to create value for its merchants and provide them access to the world’s most efficient fashion supply chain”, is now eyeing an expansion to Vietnam and other key Asian markets as part of its continued growth strategy.
"The role of technology should be to create inclusive growth. In the fashion industry, core supply-chain inefficiencies hinder small & medium merchants from unlocking their full potential as compared to the big brands,” said Ankiti Bose, Co-Founder and CEO of Zilingo, in the firm’s statement.
She added: “We are building a level playing field by providing the best-in-class services & products to each merchant - irrespective of their size. We think this approach can unlock immense growth for manufacturers as we build this supply chain ecosystem of tools and services, supported by Zilingo's proprietary software, aimed at improving efficiency."
Zilingo noted in its press release that its success thus far can be attributed to a B2B focus on creating value for merchants and manufacturers, boosting clarity for international clothing brands launching operations in Asia and aiming to stabilise year-round demand consistency for Asian clothing producers.
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.