Ratan Tata is a respected name in India, where several business tycoons are tarnished with the brush of crony capitalism. After his retirement in late 2012, he has been investing in startups. From China’s Xiaomi to Bangalore’s Tracxn, Tata has made a series of good bets. Are modern Indians thinking why own when we can rent? It’s still too early to say if India is moving towards an asset-light, rental economy. But several startups and investors sure seem to think so. The latest such startup to raise capital is Bangalore’s WhatsOnRent. It’s a marketplace where you can rent everything from washing machines to treadmills and Playstations. Today it announced that it has raised a round of angel funding. Commonfloor co-founder Lalit Mangal, Excubator co-founder Neeraj Gupta, angel investor Sanjay Gupta, and Bangalore-based software company Nixel Technology participated in the round. The startup was founded in September last year by technologists Sulabh Jain, Shreyans Shrimali, and Bharat Goyal. “I am a big believer of a future of accessibility, and WhatsOnRent’s mission to contribute into that got me excited,” said Lalit Mangal, who is mentoring the team. In India, it’s no joy if you have to renovate your house or construct a new one. Sourcing bricks, pipes, and other construction material is tough because there’s no one-stop shop for them. So you end up at the mercy of contractors and builders who will claim their pound of flesh. Young ecommerce marketplace Buildzar solves this problem. You can not only shop for cement to paints and bathroom fittings, it also has a tool you can use to estimate the construction cost, time, and quantity of material you need to buy. The Gurgaon-based startup has raised US$4 million in a pre-series A round of funding from Puneet Dalmia, managing director of Dalmia Bharat Group. The startup claims to clock 750-800 orders on a monthly basis, with steel and cement being the leading categories, VC Circle reports. .
Teabox Teabox is out to disrupt the supply chain in tea, which is a US$40 billion industry. It sources high grade teas directly from plantations in Darjeeling, Assam, and the Nilgiri hills in India, as well as tea estates in Nepal. Tea lovers from 93 countries can order these teas from the Teabox portal. And today, it announced an undisclosed amount of investment from Indian biz tycoon Ratan Tata.