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Bangalore based Consumer Houseware startup, Basil raises INR 3.6 crore seed funding from IIMA Ventures and Appreciate Capital

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  • Basil aims to reimagine homeware & kitchenware for Millennials and Gen Alpha
  • Launches food storage and hydration categories with its range of Bento Boxes and Bottles targeting urban parents.
  • To utilize the funds to bolster its direct-to-consumer (D2C) play, expand reach via e-commerce channels and expand product portfolio.

Bangalore-based, Consumer Houseware startup, Basil today announced that it has raised INR 3.6 crore seed funding co-led by IIMA Ventures (formerly IIMA-CIIE) and Appreciate Capital. The round also saw participation from prominent angel investors such as Mohit Sadaani (Co-Founder, The Moms Co.), Aprameya Radhakrishna (Co-Founder, Koo), Abhishek Goyal (Co-Founder, Tracxn), Malini Adapureddy (Founder, Deconstruct) and Brij Bhushan (Co-Founder, Magicpin). In its first phase of scale, Basil has launched stainless steel bento boxes and bottles catering to the sensibilities of millennial parents and Gen Alpha. The funds raised will be used to bolster its D2C play, expand reach via e-commerce channels and expand product portfolio.

According to Datum Intelligence, the Indian Consumer Houseware Market is set to cross ₹507 Billion by 2027. Within the Houseware market, categories such as lunchboxes, drinkware, storage containers and insulated products, contribute to 22% of the overall market share. With the evolving lifestyle of Indians, high degree of urbanization, proliferation of nuclear families and technological advancement, India is witnessing a major shift in the houseware industry. This is especially evident for young working couples and parents in the urban setting. This lifestyle evolution offers a massive white space for Basil to bring product differentiation and tap into the changing needs of its target consumers.

Founded by Harini Rajagopalan (Ex Amazon, Flipkart group) and Mahesh Muraleedharan (launched Uber in India as their first employee) in 2023, Basil is a first-of-its kind D2C startup aiming to reimagine the consumer houseware market in India that is typically dominated by a handful of traditional players. The firm’s range of products aims to cut away from the product designs that currently exist in the market. It offers consumers distinct, high-quality, visually appealing, and tailored products that are particularly appealing to Gen Alpha and their millennial parents. Basil’s water bottles and Bento boxes represent a strategic response to a significant market gap that exists in the industry.

Announcing the fund raise, Harini Rajagopalan, Co-founder of Basil said “In an era dominated by contemporary brands, the home and kitchen sector remains surprisingly resistant to innovation, still dominated by entrenched incumbents. As parents ourselves, we realised there is a definite need for innovation and design in this category, validated by our on ground research of talking to over 900 parents. Products that are currently in the market are a sea of sameness, with minimal overlap across functional design, aesthetics as well as safety. Our mission is to disrupt this overlooked space, infusing it with breakthrough designs based on market needs, premium materials, functional designs and aesthetic appeal. With our launch product range of stainless steel leak proof bentos and water bottles, we aim to emerge as the preferred choice for Indian parents seeking the best for their children and at the same time, be seen as a fun, cool, engaging & aspirational brand for kids.”

With this round of funding, Basil will deploy 30% of the capital into R&D to develop a nuanced view of market requirements, product design iterations so that they can clear the clutter to launch sought-after products. Basil’s products are currently available pan-India on their D2C platform s well as on marketplaces such as Amazon. In the next 12 months, it will expand its product categories launching lunch bags for kids and a newer range of bento boxes customized for working professionals.

“Driven by urbanization and premiumization, the Indian home and kitchen market is witnessing a surge in online demand for branded products. As kitchens become central features of homes, Basil, led by Harini and Mahesh, is strategically positioned to innovate and tap into this trend. We are thrilled to co-lead Basil’s seed round, confident their modern approach will resonate with the preferences of the Indian audience.” – Vipul Patel (Partner, Seed Investing at IIMA Ventures).

“The kitchen and home sector has seen minimal innovation for over a decade. The Indian consumer, actively seeking both functionality and aesthetics, is no longer served by incumbent and traditional brands. This is the massive opportunity we believe Harini and Mahesh are a great team to build for. We are delighted to partner with them and co-lead the round from Appreciate Capital.” – Sairee Chahal & Abhishek Agarwal (Partners, Appreciate Capital).

About Harini Rajagopalan – Cofounder, Basil

Harini has over a decade of experience in the consumer internet space with stints at eCommerce giants such as Amazon and Flipkart. At Amazon, Harini led the product and marketing efforts for Amazon Deals, focusing on personalization and orchestrating large-scale events like the Great Indian Festival. While at Flipkart, she spearheaded the launch of multiple categories, from ebooks to large appliances, showcasing her expertise in product management, brand management, and business leadership. Harini began her career at Johnson and Johnson, where she pioneered initiatives like the Clean & Clear Times Fresh Face and contributed to launching the Clean & Clear fairness portfolio in India. Harini is an alumna of INSEAD.

About Mahesh Muraleedharan – Cofounder, Basil

With over a decade of experience, Mahesh Muraleedharan, comes with a diverse background encompassing experiences in Indian e-commerce, ridesharing, VC investing, and management consulting, He has been instrumental in launching and scaling early-stage operations for high-growth startups, including three unicorns—Uber, Rapyd, and OYO. Mahesh was the first hire for Uber in India, where he played a pivotal role in overseeing the company’s launch and exponential growth to one million trips per day. His leadership extends to navigating complex legal, regulatory, and technological landscapes, demonstrated by his contributions to setting up multiple core businesses from scratch. Mahesh is an alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad.

About IIMA Ventures

IIMA Ventures spearheads entrepreneurship-led activities at and beyond IIM Ahmedabad. It studies, educates, incubates, accelerates and invests in early-stage technology startups. Over its history, IIMA Ventures has mentored over 5000 entrepreneurs, accelerated over 2000 startups and invested in 350+ companies at seed stage and 40+ companies at early growth stage, securing more than 40 profitable exits. IIMA Ventures’ consumer investments include Jollee (children’s wear), Heelium (activewear), Bombay Hemp Company (wellness), Qlan, Mech Mocha, Rolocule and Hashcube (gaming).

About Appreciate Capital 

Appreciate Capital is a gender smart, world positive companies focussed pre-seed / seed fund founded by Abhishek Agarwal and Sairee Chahal. Investor in companies like Basil, Aulerth, Teleport, Samosa Party – among others, Appreciate brings to its portfolio founders – deep building/ operating experience to the table along with its extensive network in India and globally. Over fifty percent of Appreciate cheques go to women founders / women markets.

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Internet Service Provider Omni Fiber announces $150 Million in financing from Stonepeak Credit to continue rapid expansion in the Midwest

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Omni Fiber, a regional Fiber Internet Service Provider with operations in over 25 markets in Ohio and Pennsylvania backed by Oak Hill Capital, today announced the closing of $150 million in debt financing from Stonepeak Credit.

Founded in 2022 by management and Oak Hill, Omni Fiber has invested over $250 million in building an XGS-PON fiber network and is on track to reach approximately 200,000 locations by the end of the year. The financing from Stonepeak Credit will fund rapid expansion into more communities in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.

Omni Fiber launched its service in late 2022 and now serves residential and business customers in over 25 small and mid-size communities. Construction is in progress in over 15 additional communities, and network design and engineering activities are ongoing in many others.

Omni Fiber’s founding CEO, Darrick Zucco said, “We are excited about the additional opportunities this financing enables. The company’s network expansion not only brings choice to communities with limited options for reliable, ultra-high-speed Internet service but also creates hundreds of new jobs at Omni Fiber and local contractors. The halo effect on economic development for the impacted towns is significant.”

Scott Baker, Managing Partner at Oak Hill Capital, added “It has been a uniquely rewarding experience to partner with Darrick and his talented leadership team. We are thrilled by the rapid growth of Omni Fiber and are committed to continuing investing behind the team as they expand their fiber services to underserved markets in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.”

Ryan Roberge, Senior Managing Director at Stonepeak, added “We are proud to partner with Omni Fiber and Oak Hill Capital to support Omni’s next phase of growth. Our team was thoroughly impressed with Darrick and the rest of Omni’s management team and their plans to expand Omni’s next generation fiber network to additional communities in the Midwest. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Omni and Oak Hill Capital over the long-term.”

With the additional funding, Omni Fiber expects to accelerate the pace of expansion and announce more communities in the next few months.

About Omni Fiber
Omni Fiber was founded in 2022 and is backed by Oak Hill Capital, one of the largest investment firms in the telecommunications industry. Based in Ohio, Omni Fiber is led by a leadership team with 100+ years of combined industry experience and provides 100% fiber-optic broadband Internet, TV, and Phone services to residential and business customers in the Midwestern United States. Omni Fiber offers symmetrical speeds of up to 10 Gbps, no hidden fees, no data caps, Premium Wi-Fi included, local customer service, and competitive pricing.

About Oak Hill Capital
Oak Hill is a longstanding private equity firm focused on the North America middle-market. Oak Hill applies a specialized, theme-based approach to investing in the following dedicated industry sectors: Media & Communications, Industrials, Services, and Consumer. The Firm implements a highly systematic approach to theme development, proactive origination, and value creation in partnership with management to build franchises of lasting value. Over the past 35+ years, Oak Hill and its predecessors have raised approximately $20 billion of initial capital commitments and co-investments, invested in approximately 100 companies, and completed more than 300 add-on acquisitions representing an aggregate enterprise value at acquisition of over $60 billion.

About Stonepeak
Stonepeak is a leading alternative investment firm specializing in infrastructure and real assets with approximately $71.2 billion of assets under management. Through its investment in defensive, hard-asset businesses globally, Stonepeak aims to create value for its investors and portfolio companies, with a focus on downside protection and strong risk-adjusted returns. Stonepeak provides capital, operational support, and committed partnership to grow investments in its target sectors, which include communications, energy and energy transition, transport and logistics, and real estate.

Stonepeak is a sponsor of private equity and credit investment vehicles. Stonepeak Credit provides credit solutions to infrastructure sponsors and companies.

Stonepeak is headquartered in New York with offices in Hong Kong, Houston, London, Singapore, and Sydney.

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Schoox Partners with learning content aggregator Go1 to Offer Content for Every Learning Style

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schoox partners with go1

Schoox customers gain access to Go1’s diverse content formats available in 14 languages.

Learning management and talent development software provider Schoox announced a new partnership with Go1, the most diverse learning content aggregator, to seamlessly integrate Go1’s library within the Schoox platform. Meticulously curated by a team of experts, Go1’s learning content features courses from more than 250 industry-leading providers, bolstering Schoox’s LMS offering.

“We are excited to provide our customers with access to Go1’s content library. This will enable their employees to engage with a variety of styles, formats, and languages that cater to their learning preferences.” —Lefteris Ntouanoglou, Schoox

Go1’s high-quality education and training options span a global array of industries and topics across compliance and upskilling. Organizations can offer their employees the skills and training most relevant to them in various formats, from text-based content to video and audio courses. Content can be curated into skill-boosting playlists designed to tackle any learning challenge head-on.

“We are proud to offer learning opportunities that allow our customers to reimagine learning and development,” said Chris Eigeland, CEO of Go1. “Our content powers learning programs with the most diverse learning and compliance training content and enables employees to take learning into their own hands for personal and professional growth.”

“Every individual learner is unique,” said Lefteris Ntouanoglou, founder and CEO of Schoox. “We are excited to provide our customers with access to Go1’s content library. This will enable their employees to engage with a variety of styles, formats, and languages that cater to their learning preferences.”

Go1’s formats include micro-learning, immersive courses, podcasts, practice labs, and more. Together, Go1 and Schoox serve up essential content solutions that learning and development teams worldwide need to flourish.

About Go1

Go1 is the most diverse learning content aggregator. With expertly curated content spanning more than 80,000 courses from hundreds of industry-leading providers, Go1 delivers a seamless experience for both L&D leaders and employees in a single subscription. The company has raised over $400 million in funding from investors AirTree Ventures, Blue Cloud Ventures, Five Sigma, Insight Partners, Madrona, Salesforce Ventures, SEEK Investments, SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and Y Combinator. Go1 is a Y Combinator 2023 Top Company that provides a seamless learning experience in over 70 learning platforms.

About Schoox

Schoox is workplace learning software with a people-first twist. People aren’t cogs, and Schoox was designed for how humans actually learn. We keep learners curious by letting you deliver more kinds of content wherever they are, from the front line to the corporate office. And by making learning easy, accessible, rewarding, and fun, we help you get everyone more excited about their career development. Learners can “up” their skills, grow on the job, and get more done—and you can measure the impact of their awesome accomplishments. Schoox powers people-focused learning experiences for organizations around the world, including Subway, Celebrity Cruises, Phillips 66, and Sonesta Hotels.

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StockGro Teams Up with Dubai Financial Market, Eyes UAE Debut with Enhanced Market Data Access

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To boost financial literacy in the UAE, StockGro, India’s largest stock market experiential learning platform, has partnered with Dubai Financial Market (DFM) to integrate a live data feed. This collaboration aims to enhance retail investor participation by fostering stock market literacy across the region.

StockGro’s community-based learning platform features over 100 licensed financial experts educating millennials about the financial markets. With DFM’s live data feed implemented on StockGro’s risk-free education platform, the partnership aims to propagate financial awareness in the UAE region.

Ajay Lakhotia, Founder and CEO of StockGro, commented on the expansion, saying, “Launching in UAE marks a significant milestone in our journey to make financial education accessible globally. With DFM’s support, we are excited to empower lakhs of UAE-based investors to become financially free.”

StockGro is India’s premier experiential social learning platform for trading and investments. With over 35 million users nationwide, StockGro is the trusted destination for individuals seeking to learn and master the art of trading and investments. StockGro has successfully empowered financial enthusiasts across 1000+ prestigious educational institutions, offering a unique and immersive learning experience.

Dubai Financial Market (DFM) is the UAE’s premier stock exchange, facilitating financial growth for investors and market participants by offering innovative products in an efficient, transparent and liquid environment. Dubai Financial Market (DFM) was established as a public institution with independent corporate bodies. DFM operates as a secondary market for the trading of securities issued by public shareholding companies, bonds issued by the Federal Government or any of the local Governments and public institutions in the country, units of investment funds and any other financial instruments, local or foreign, which are accepted by the market.

The DFM commenced operations on March 26, 2000, and became the 1st Islamic Shari’a-compliant exchange globally since 2007. Following its IPO in November 2006, when DFM offered 1.6 billion shares, representing 20% of its paid-up capital of AED 8 billion, DFM became a public joint stock company, and its shares were listed on 7 March 2007 with the trading symbol (DFM). Following the IPO, the Government of Dubai retained the remaining 80% of DFM Company through Borse Dubai Limited.

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