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Showing posts from April, 2014

Deal Alert: Fabindia MD William Bissell invests Rs.12-Cr in education ERP firm Foradian Tech

William Bissell, managing director of ethnic retail firm Fabindia, has invested $2 million (over Rs. 12 crore) in education technology start-up Foradian Technologies. Foradian provides cloud-based enterprise resource planning solutions to educational institutions. The product, Fedena, is available in both free and paid models and is used by over 40,000 institutions in over 100 countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia. About 2,000 institutions are its paid users. The company, which has a team of over 30 employees, intends to use the funds for further product development and to expand geographical reach. Foradian is profitable and aims to earn $3 million (over Rs. 18 crore) revenue this fiscal year. It was founded in 2009 as a web development firm based out of the north Kerala district of Kasargod, before moving to Bangalore in 2012. 
Source: Economic Times Venture Intelligence is the leading provider of data and analysis on Private Company Financials, Transactions (private equity, …

Fund Alert: Sandeep Murthy-led tech VC fund Lightbox aims to raise $90-M

Lightbox, a new venture fund focused on technology investments in India, aims to raise about Rs. 540 crore ($90 million). Lightbox is being set up by a team of five, including Sandeep Murthy — the former India head of global investor Ram Shriram’s venture fund Sherpalo — and Prashanth Mehta, former CEO of digital advertising technology provider Komli Media. The fund has raised initial capital of about Rs. 150 crore from a global institutional investor. Besides Mumbai-based Murthy and Mehta, the other three partners at Lightbox are entrepreneurs Sid Talwar, Sunny Rao and Jeremy Wenokur. 
The new fund will look to raise funds from both domestic as well as international institutions. The fund will make only about eight investments from the first fund, putting in between $8-10 million in each company. Lightbox will invest in startups focused on e-commerce and mobile as well as those focused on education, healthcare and finance.
Source: Economic Times Venture Intelligence is the leading p…

Deal Alert: Vantage Circle raises round from Raghu Bathina, others

Delhi-based Bargain Technologies, which owns and operates Vantage Circle, an online privilege platform for corporate employees, has raised Rs 1.2 crore ($198,048) from investors including former Citrix Systems senior director Raghu Bathina, a member of the Hyderabad Angels group. The company will use the funding to expand its market presence and offer clients more innovative solutions. 
Founded in 2011 by Partha Neog, K. C. Ramakrishna and Anjan Pathak, Vantage Circtly provides privileges from brands such as Samsung, Tata Motors, redBus, Cleartrip, Tata Sky, Toyota, Croma and Apollo Pharmacy. It claims more than 300,000 corporate employees on its platform. The platform claims a click through rate of 8-10 % and an email open rate of 30%. 
Source: Startupcentral.in Venture Intelligence is the leading provider of data and analysis on Private Company Financials, Transactions (private equity, venture capital and M&A) & their Valuations in India. Click Here to view our products lis…

Deal Alert: Eventjini raises funding from HNI

Eventjini, the organizer-focused event marketing and ticketing company, has closed another round of funding from an anonymous group of investors based in Chennai. S.M.A.R.T Advisors acted as the exclusive financial advisors to Eventjini.
The company’s plans include a mobile strategy and a technology push to solve problems of event organizers like counterfeit tickets. The company claims to have marketed more than 450 events in the last year. 
Venture Intelligence is the leading provider of data and analysis on Private Company Financials, Transactions (private equity, venture capital and M&A) & their Valuations in India. Click Here to view our products list including the Free Deal Digest Weekly: India's First & Most Exhaustive Transactions Newsletter.

Deal Alert: Tiger Global, Blume, angels invest Rs.54-Cr in retail warehouse automation firm Grey Orange

Gurgaon-based Grey Orange Robotics, a start-up which builds robots that help online retailers automate their warehouses, has raised Rs.54 crore funding from New York-based investment firm Tiger Global and early-stage investor Blume Ventures. Two angel investors Raju Reddy and Dileep Nath also participated in the funding round.
Founded by two graduates from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) in Pilani in 2009 - Samay Kohli, 27 and Akash Gupta, 24 - the company will use the funds to hire talent, increase research and development and expand in markets such as Singapore, Dubai and Germany.
From the Venture Intelligence PE Deal database: In Jan-13, Blume along with Bits Spark Angels, The Hatch, GSF Accelerator founder Rajesh Sawhney and former Google executive Samir Sood invested Rs.2.5 crore in Grey Organge. (Subscribers to the database can login to view the valuation, deal structuring and other transaction details.)

Source: Economic Times
Venture Intelligence is the l…

Deal Alert: SIDBI’s Samridhi Fund invests in Rite Water

Samridhi Fund, the social impact fund managed by SIDBI Venture, has invested in Rite Water Solutions (India) Pvt Ltd which specializes in potable water and water quality improvement solutions. Rite Water has set up over 120 community water centers with water treatment plants in quality affected-villages and currently provides contamination-free safe drinking water to more than 200,000 villagers every day. The company has implemented projects in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Bihar and focuses on providing potable water solutions to rural villages affected by water quality problems like fluoride, nitrate, arsenic, salinity and bacteriological contamination. Think Capital was the exclusive financial advisor to Rite Water for the transaction. 
Venture Intelligence is the leading provider of data and analysis on Private Company Financials, Transactions (private equity, venture capital and M&A) & their Valuations in India. Click Here to view our products list inclu…

Deal Alert: Inventus, Mumbai Angels, others invest $550-K in appmaker for autistic children Avaz

Chennai-based Invention Labs that has developed Avaz AAC, a speech therapy app for autistic children, has raised $550,000 in seed funding led by Inventus Capital and Mumbai Angels. Google India MD Rajan Anandan and Sierra Atlantic founder Raju Reddy are among other investors participating in this round of funding. The funding will be used to expand Avaz into new geographies and also flesh out additional features. Avaz is a picture-based communication tool that helps autistic children use their picture identification skill to create picture messages, which are then spoken out by a speech engine. 
Source: Tech Crunch Venture Intelligence is the leading provider of data and analysis on Private Company Financials, Transactions (private equity, venture capital and M&A) & their Valuations in India. Click Here to view our products list including the Free Deal Digest Weekly: India's First & Most Exhaustive Transactions Newsletter.

Deal Alert: Omnivore invests in agri-equipment rental firm MITRA

Omnivore Partners has invested in Nashik-based technology startup MITRA which develops farm mechanisation solutions for horticulturists. The company expects to use the money to expand its research and enhance marketing spend. The two-year-old company had earlier raised seed funding from angel investors and Unilazer Ventures. 
Source: Economic Times Venture Intelligence is the leading provider of data and analysis on Private Company Financials, Transactions (private equity, venture capital and M&A) & their Valuations in India. Click Here to view our products list including the Free Deal Digest Weekly: India's First & Most Exhaustive Transactions Newsletter.

Deal Alert: Sequoia to invest Rs.28-Cr in supplier management software firm SirionLabs

Sequoia Capital India has invested INR 28 crores in Gurgaon-based enterprise software maker SirionLabs which develops technology aimed at improving the efficiency of outsourcing contracts. The funding will be used to deepen research and increase market and product development plans. Shailendra Singh, Managing Director at Sequoia Capital India, will join the board of Sirion Labs. 
Source: Times of India Venture Intelligence is the leading provider of data and analysis on Private Company Financials, Transactions (private equity, venture capital and M&A) & their Valuations in India. Click Here to view our products list including the Free Deal Digest Weekly: India's First & Most Exhaustive Transactions Newsletter.

Deal Alert: Amazon sets up small biz accelerator

US-based e-commerce firm Amazon’s India unit has set up a small business accelerator with teams spread across major cities to help more merchants get online. Like its rivals Flipkart and Snapdeal, The SMB Accelerator helps sellers set up an account, manage inventory and payments and also teaches business analytics. The global retailer which began its Indian operations last June with 100 sellers in 2 categories has now expanded to more than 4,000 sellers across 21 categories. 
Source: Economic Times Venture Intelligence is the leading provider of data and analysis on Private Company Financials, Transactions (private equity, venture capital and M&A) & their Valuations in India. Click Here to view our products list including the Free Deal Digest Weekly: India's First & Most Exhaustive Transactions Newsletter.

Deal Alert: Social media tools firm Frrole raises $245-K from Sharad Sharma, Rajan Anandan, others

Bangalore-based big data start-up Frrole, which specializes in Twitter-based analytics, has raised $245,000 in angel funding from investors including Sharad Sharma (former head of Yahoo! R&D centre in India), Google’s India MD Rajan Anandan and Eka Software founder Manav Garg.
Frrole raised this capital on LetsVenture, a crowd funding platform launched last year to help Indian startups find angel investors from across the globe. Frrole analyses over 10 million tweets daily to offer insights about users. For television channels and political parties aiming to get the pulse of what’s buzzing on Twitter, insights from Frrole cost about $100 per month per data stream.
Source: Techcrunch.com Venture Intelligence is the leading provider of data and analysis on Private Company Financials, Transactions (private equity, venture capital and M&A) & their Valuations in India. Click Here to view our products list including the Free Deal Digest Weekly: India's First & Most Exh…

Deal Alert: Cloud-based SME services provider ZapStitch raises capital from Anupam Mittal, others

Bangalore-based cloud data integration platform ZapStitch has secured seed round from Anupam Mittal (founder of People Group) and other angel investors. ZapStitch was founded by Satya Padmanabham (co-founder of YourBus.in which was recently acquired by ibibo Group). ZapStitch currently integrates four Cloud business apps - Shopify, QuickBooks Online, BigCommerce, Magento. The startup is now working with 125 SMBs in North America, Australia and UK.
Source: Nextbigwhat.com
Venture Intelligence is the leading provider of data and analysis on Private Company Financials, Transactions (private equity, venture capital and M&A) & their Valuations in India. Click Here to view our products list including the Free Deal Digest Weekly: India's First & Most Exhaustive Transactions Newsletter.

Deal Alert: CommonFloor acquires student rentals listing firm Flat.to

Real estate portal CommonFloor has acquired Flat.to, a site that helps students and bachelors find accommodation. The deal included both cash and stock components. Founded by Gaurav Munjal, Flat.to will continue to operate as an independent site with its 15-member team. The firm earns revenues through subscriptions earned from brokers and operates in over six cities, with over 7000 listings. 
From the Deal Digest archive (July 9, 2013): Flat.to raised angel funding funding from Aakrit Vaish 
Source: Economic Times Venture Intelligence is the leading provider of data and analysis on Private Company Financials, Transactions (private equity, venture capital and M&A) & their Valuations in India. Click Here to view our products list including the Free Deal Digest Weekly: India's First & Most Exhaustive Transactions Newsletter.

Deal Alert: Start-up database firm Tracxn raises angel funding

Tracxn, a start-up that offers information and analytical data about private companies to investors, has raised angel funding. Founded by technology and investment banking professionals Abhishek Goyal and Neha Singh, Tracxn is headquartered in Palo Alto, California with delivery being done out of India . The company builds technology to track all information around private companies and has expert analysts to organize the information and draw insights from it. The key offerings include feeds and start-up database. The company has 20-member team. 
Source: inc42.com Venture Intelligence is the leading provider of data and analysis on Private Company Financials, Transactions (private equity, venture capital and M&A) & their Valuations in India. Click Here to view our products list including the Free Deal Digest Weekly: India's First & Most Exhaustive Transactions Newsletter.

Deal Alert: Nexus Venture Partners invests in Function Space, Social Learning Network for Science

Function Space (http://functionspace.org/), a leading and fast growing collaboration and learning network for students, researchers and enthusiasts in Mathematics, Physics, and other sciences, announced today that it has closed funding from Nexus Venture Partners. The funding will help the company expand content, develop engaging tools, and aggressively expand its contributor and user base. Current users include students from top universities, high school, engineering undergraduates and researchers in advanced commercial labs. 
“Function Space serves a crying need to make Mathematics and Sciences fun and engaging. We are thrilled to work with the founding team that is committed to exposing the beauty and usefulness of STEM (Science, Technology and Mathematics) to experts and non-experts alike”, said Naren Gupta, Co-founder & Managing Director, Nexus Venture Partners. “We hope to see a platform, where advanced researchers can discuss advanced topics and enthusiasts can be expose…

Deal Alert: Bessemer to lead $10-M round for TaxiForSure

Bangalore-based cab aggregator service TaxiForSure is raising $10 million in investments led by Bessemer Venture Partners. Existing Accel Partners, Helion Venture Partners and Blume Ventures also participated in the latest investment round. The second round of institutional funding would be used for attracting talent into the team, expanding across India, including tier II and tier III cities, and engaging customers on mobile app. 
Source: Times of India Venture Intelligence is the leading provider of data and analysis on Private Company Financials, Transactions (private equity, venture capital and M&A) & their Valuations in India. Click Here to view our products list including the Free Deal Digest Weekly: India's First & Most Exhaustive Transactions Newsletter.

Deal Alert: Unitus Seed Fund invests in dental chain Smile Merchants

Seed-stage impact investor Unitus Seed Fund has led an equity investment in Smile Merchants, a chain of dental clinics focused on providing affordable dental care services. A brand of Free3 Healthcare Pvt. Ltd., Smile Merchants is a chain of dental clinics targeting tier-2 and 3 cities, towns and villages. Co-founded in 2012 by Dr. Rushi Trivedi, Dr. Alpesh Chaudhari and Dr. C.M. Pandey, Smile Merchants has scaled to four clinics in and around Bhiwandi, a city near Mumbai. It operates on a 3-tier hub-and-spoke model - with hub clinics in tier-2 and 3 cities, mini-hubs in smaller towns, and low cost spoke clinics in villages.
Unitus Capital was the financial advisor and Impact Law Ventures was the legal advisor to Unitus Seed Fund. 
Venture Intelligence is the leading provider of data and analysis on Private Company Financials, Transactions (private equity, venture capital and M&A) & their Valuations in India. Click Here to view our products list including the Free Deal Dige…

Legal Corner by Trilegal: India’s New M&A Guidelines Dampen Hopes of Market Consolidation

The guidelines for telecom mergers and acquisitions are being touted as a harbinger of market consolidation in India. But a closer reading suggests they leave a lot to be desired. 
In the weeks preceding its official release in February 2014, the mergers and acquisitions guidelines for telecommunications services (M&AGuidelines) were projected as beingvital totheprocess of consolidation in India’ssaturated telecom market, which featuresthirteen operators across twenty-two telecom circles. But shoddy drafting,insufficient incentives and latent ambiguities in the guidelines maydeter telecom companies from exploring any immediate partnerships. 
In particular, telecom operators have been put off by the requirement to pay, at the time of a merger or acquisition,the market-determined rates for any spectrum obtainedthrough the erstwhile 'first-come-first- served' system. Under this system, a fixed 'entry fee'was collected by the government from each operator for a given a…

Deal Alert: Ah! Ventures, VentureNursery Angels, Calcutta Angels invest in crowdfunding service Catapooolt

ah! Angels,Calcutta Angels, VentureNursery Angels and some leading industry professionals have made a seed investment in crowdfunding and community engagement platform Catapoolt. CLUB ah!, helped facilitate this deal between Calcutta Angels, VentureNursery Angels and its own angel network, ah! Ventures. 
A graduate of VentureNursery’s Season 3 program, Catapoolt is now endeavouring to leverage the power of Crowdfunding in unique project categories including sports, politics, social enterprises and start-ups apart from creative projects.
Venture Intelligence is the leading provider of data and analysis on Private Company Financials, Transactions (private equity, venture capital and M&A) & their Valuations in India. Click Here to view our products list including the Free Deal Digest Weekly: India's First & Most Exhaustive Transactions Newsletter.

Sun keeps media in the dark on the Ranbaxy deal

"Sun Pharma bought Ranbaxy for $4 Billion? Holy Shit!" It was clear that this Private Equity fund manager hadn't heard of the deal as of 9.30 am on Monday, April 7. "It's indeed the top story in the Venture Intelligence Deal Digest Daily Newsletter that is just being sent out," said yours truly. No journalist had managed to squeeze in anything about the deal as of Monday morning. Thankfully, a colleague noticed the BSE release filed by Sun Pharma before we went to press. And it was clear that our newsletter was the first instance that a lot of subscribers were hearing about the mega transaction.

Given that both the buyer and seller are publicly traded, this is exactly how it should be - ie, the stock exchanges should be the first to hear about the deal. Contrast this with the number of times another transaction involving a listed company - the buyout of hydel assets of Jaypee Group's by Abu Dhabi's Taqa - got reported in the media before the offici…

Why LPs don't care about lowering the 2-and-20 Private Equity Fund Fee Structure

Private Equity International (PEI) has used Bain Capital's new fund raising to provide an interesting take on why the decades old Private Equity fund fee structure of "2 and 20" (2% of the fund size as annual fees and 20% "carry" or profit share) has barely come down despite the financial crisis and why LPs ultimately don't care enough about them.  Extract from the article titled "Bain and the great fee debate":
For years, Bain has been one of the few outliers to the prevailing 2-and-20 model, charging 2-and-30 instead  - and with some success, given that it raised five funds this way. This time round, however, it decided to offer LPs three options: a 1.5 percent management fee with 20 percent carry and a 7 percent preferred return, a 1 percent management fee with 30 percent carry and a 7 percent preferred return, or a 0.5 percent management fee with 30 percent carry and no preferred return.

Since LPs have long complained that management fees are…

Will Dr.Rajan wake up to the Exodus of SaaS Startups?

As an email addict, I'm only happy to have my credit card get charged automatically by Google (for extra storage) and Boomerang (a cute little Gmail management tool) - both US-based companies who (understandably for them, unfortunately for me) bill me in US Dollars. I wish we at Venture Intelligence could charge our customers the same way for accessing our database services. But thanks to the RBI, it looks like we can't - unless we re-incorporate in Singapore or Delaware, USA. As today's Economic Times article indicates, this combined with the 0% Capital Gains tax (on sale of shares in private companies) in Singapore just makes the proposition almost a no brainer and explains why so many of the venture capital-backed SaaS/Cloud-based businesses are rushing out.
Software product companies are also stymied by a RBI mandate - meant to protect credit card users- that prevent companies from debiting money without the customer approving every transaction. Enterprise softwar…

Deal Alert: ElasticBox Secures $9M In Funding led by Nexus Venture Partners

ElasticBox, the company that enables developers and enterprises to create, deploy and manage applications quickly and easily, is announcing that it has closed a nine million dollar Series A funding round. The Series A investment comes from Nexus Venture Partners and Intel Capital, who also participated in the company's seed funding round with a16z seed and Sierra Ventures. 
“The cloud has fundamentally improved how people access and use infrastructure. But developing cloud based applications is still a lengthy, expensive and broken process that is stuck in the dark ages, like way back in the days of bare metal,” said CEO and co-founder of ElasticBox, Ravi Srivatsav. “ElasticBox empowers the developer with preconfigured Boxes that they can mix and match to create applications - similar to the way a DJ blends beats and samples to create new music. It brings Dr. Dre-like creativity to enterprise application development.”
ElasticBox has introduced a modular way to develop applications…

External environmental challenges faced by startups in India

Entrepreneurs like Sanjiv Bikhchandani of Naukri, Murugavel Janakiraman of Matrimony, the Bansals of Flipkart;  VSS Mani  of Justdial, etc. deserve massive admiration. What they have achieved is more like conquering Everest. Good to know that once they have climbed the peak, the environment also helps protect "their" turf. From a blog post by Dev Khare of Lightspeed Ventures (emphasis mine):
Many of India's successful startups have navigated a maze of challenges, creating leading brands and sustaining for long periods of time. Correspondingly, it is much harder in India, relative to the US/Europe, for competition to unseat leading brands.

...
Startups need large markets (Rs 2500cr+ or $500 million+) to get large and succeed.  This is hard to find in India, perhaps due to early consumer demand, unorganized markets, regional differences or foreign substitutes.  For example, digital advertising is a roughly $400 million annual business here, with mobile at 10% of t…

Infra sector investments by SWFs & Pensions; IT deals buoy Q1’14 PE investments to $2.3 B

Deal Value almost doubles compared to year ago; Flat compared to Oct-Dec’13 quarter

Private Equity firms invested about $2,273 million across 89 deals during the quarter ended March 2014, according to early data from Venture Intelligence (http://www.ventureintelligence.in), a research service focused on private company financials, transactions and valuations in India. The investment amount was almost twice that invested in the same period last year ($1,179 million across 103 transactions) and marginally higher than that invested during the immediate previous quarter ($2,221 million being invested across 86 transactions). Note: The above figures do not include PE investments in Real Estate.

There were five PE investments worth $100 million or more (with three above $200 million) during Q1’14 compared to just one such transaction in the same period last year and seven during the immediate previous quarter, the Venture Intelligence analysis showed.

The top two PE transactions during Q1’14…