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Kalaari Capital leads $1.8 Mn Seed Funding round in SimpliContract

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Indian VC giant Kalaari Capital has led a $1.8 Mn seed funding round in contract lifecycle management (CLM) platform. Other investors that have participated in this round includes Picus Capital, Arka Ventures, and Digital Sparrow Capital.

Founded in 2020, SimpliContract leverages cutting edge technologies like AI and NLP to streamline the contract process. It aims to democratize contract authoring and establishes powerful post-signature contract management practices.  The company says that it wants to support organizations across the contract lifecycle – from request to renewal. By doing so, the company claims, it provides plethora of benefits to the clients.

This includes benefits like shortening contract cycle time, reduce risks, enforce compliance, manage and fulfil obligations, and adapt easily to the ever-evolving regulatory environment.

The company has been co-founded by three co-founders, Guru Venkatesan, Jinaraj PG, and Makesh Kuma. All three co-founders boost several decades of experience in building, selling, and deploying enterprise applications.

Ravinder Singh, Partner at Kalaari Capital, said, “90% of global enterprises and 50% of midsize organizations will have CLM solutions in place by 2023. The Global CLM market is expected to grow from $1.5B today to $5.2B by 2027. We believe that the AI-powered CLM platform of SimpliContract will drive and ride this growth.”

Kalaari Capital was recently in news for onboarding Reliance as its anchor investor in its recently launched fourth fund. Reliance said that it will invest $200 Mn in Kalaari Capital’s fourth fund. Before coming on board as anchor investor, the Mukesh Ambani prompted company acquired four Kalaari backed start-ups. This includes Embibe, Zivame, Haptik and Urban Ladder. Reliance recently acquired Milkbasket, which was also backed by Kalaari Capital.

Zivame, Urban Ladder and Milkbasket was widely considered as distress sale. This means that Kalaari Capital was forced to divest its stake in these companies at a lower valuation.

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Source: https://www.techpluto.com/kalaari-capital-leads-1-8-mn-seed-funding-round-in-simplicontract/

Start Ups

Workforce training startup OpenSesame raises $50M as shift to remote work drives demand

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Don Spear, CEO of OpenSesame (OpenSesame Photo)

Portland, Ore.-based OpenSesame raised $50 million in new funding, the company announced Thursday.

Founded in 2011, the startup helps businesses with online learning tools for their workforce. OpenSesame’s catalog includes more than 20,000 courses in 19 different languages. The 173-person company also allows learning administrators to customize lessons through AI-curated lessons.

OpenSesame saw “unprecedented growth” over the past few years, said CEO Don Spear. The pandemic drove demand as more teams operated remotely. OpenSesame saw an increase in demand for employee development programs focused on diversity, equity and inclusion; leadership; and enabling a safe working environment and wellness in the workplace.

U.S. education tech startups raised a record $2.2 billion in 2020, according to EdSurge, a 30% increase from 2019.

The new funding will help OpenSesame begin global expansion and extend its technology platform. Total funding to date is $107.4 million.

The funding round was led by JMI Equity, a firm focused on investing in software companies. They were joined by existing investors FTV Capital and Altos Ventures.

JMI also invested in Portland marketing startup Lytics.

Spear has a background in online learning tech, including founding BlueVolt.com, which provides learning systems to manufacturing, construction and service industries.

OpenSesame is ranked No. 50 on the GeekWire 200.

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Source: https://www.geekwire.com/2021/online-learning-startup-opensesame-raises-50m-shift-remote-work-drives-demand/

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Start Ups

Weekly VC Overview: All 100+ European startup funding rounds we tracked this week (July 19-23)

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CLUB-Funding-rounds

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Source: https://www.eu-startups.com/2021/07/weekly-vc-overview-all-100-european-startup-funding-rounds-we-tracked-this-week-july-19-23/

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EdTech

Duolingo’s bellwether IPO

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Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

We were a smaller team this week, with Natasha and Alex together with Chris to sort through yet another summer frenzy of a week.

This time around we actually recorded live on Twitter Spaces, which was a first for the podcast. If you missed it, it’s probably because we didn’t promote the taping since it was just an experiment. Good news, though, is that it went well, and we’re going to do some more live tapings of the show with the entire crew on the mics. Make sure to follow the show on the Big Tweet to ensure that you can come hang with us next week. We’ll also do some Q&A at the end, if we’re in good moods.

Until then, let’s live in the present. Here’s what we got into in today’s show:

Have a lovely weekend, you lovely human.

Equity drops every Monday at 7:00 a.m. PDT, Wednesday, and Friday morning at 7:00 a.m. PDT, so subscribe to us on Apple PodcastsOvercastSpotify and all the casts.

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Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/07/23/duolingos-bellwether-ipo/

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Start Ups

Susan Su on how to approach growth as your startup raises each round

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Your startup might rely on clever growth tactics to get off the ground, but you need more than spreadsheets if you want to turn viral spikes into a real business. You need a qualitative growth model to guide the strategy that you can use to tell your story to your team and investors.

Growth marketing expert Susan Su sat down with us at TechCrunch Early Stage: Marketing and Fundraising this month to share pointers for young companies that are trying to raise money after initial market traction. In the presentation below, she maps out a growth strategy from seed through Series A and B rounds and details how your milestones, budgets, investor updates and other measures change as you advance.

The not-so-secret secret here is that the key to great retention is really simple. It is building a product that solves a real and especially persistent problem for people.

Throughout the process, “a qualitative model tells the story of growth that you can use at early stages and really all throughout your company life cycle,” she explains.A quantitative model or quantitative growth accounting charts the numerical course for how you actually deliver against that narrative and becomes more relevant at later stages when you actually have real numbers.

Formerly a strategic growth adviser to companies at Sound Ventures, a growth marketing lead focused on startups at Stripe, and the first hire and head of growth at Reforge, Su just became a partner investing in climate tech for early-stage fund Toba Capital. She also writes a popular newsletter on climate investing and runs a six-week course for other investors on the topic.

Here’s more about growth, and how to talk about it with investors, from her presentation:

So here’s a sample qualitative growth model that I built for one of our portfolio companies with some modifications for anonymity. At the bottom, we have our linear inputs that form the foundation of awareness — in other words, traffic or leads that feed into our growth machine.

Once those leads come in, we have our acquisition loops, working to turn that non-repeatable spiky linear traffic (aka TechCrunch traffic, if you get so lucky as to be written up in TechCrunch) into scalable, repeatable acquisition. You cannot repeat the TechCrunch effect.

For this sample business, I happened to spec out five different acquisition loops — I was really ambitious. Many companies will struggle to identify this many. But the key to being able to scale is to have multiple viable acquisition loops, not just one single thing that works.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
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Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/07/23/susan-su-on-how-to-approach-growth-as-your-startup-raises-each-round/

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