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Showing posts with the label India

Markets: India's Paytm Files For $2.2B IPO

Paytm , India's foremost fintech startup, has filed for a big IPO on the country's domestic exchanges. According to draft papers filed with India's market regulator on Friday, the company is planning to raise up to 166 billion rupees ( $2.2bn ) in an initial public offering. Half of the money Paytm plans to raise from its IPO will be from selling new shares to add to the company's coffers while the other half will be from existing shareholders selling stakes.  Paytm's major shareholders include SoftBank (18.7%), China's Ant Group (30.3%), Elevation Capital (17.65%), and Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway. With over $4bn raised, Paytm is one of India's biggest-funded startups. It was valued at $16bn from its last funding round. Another major Paytm shareholder is founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma with a roughly 15% stake. According to the draft papers, One97 Communications, Paytm's parent firm, has a solid business bringing in solid revenues, though the

Deal: India's Flipkart Raises $3.6B, Valued At $38B

Flipkart, India's foremost local e-commerce company, has raised a big new round of funding from a mix of new and existing investors. The company said it's raised $3.6bn at a valuation of $37.6bn post-money. The fresh funding for Flipkart was led by GIC, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, SoftBank Vision Fund 2, and Walmart. Other participants included Tencent, Tiger Global, Franklin Templeton, and the Qatar Investment Authority. The roughly $38bn post-money valuation that came with the round is about 50% higher than Flipkart's last valuation of $25bn when it raised a funding round led by Walmart last year. To note, Walmart owns the majority of Flipkart after it paid $16bn for a 77% stake in 2018. The fresh $3.6bn cash infusion will come in handy for Flipkart as it competes vigorously with Amazon in India. Amazon is hell-bent on expanding in India and is spending big to do so. Already, it's cornered a great deal of the country's e-commerce market, with a sha

India's Mphasis Said To Head For $3B Buyout

A group of American private equity firms, namely Brookfield, Carlyle, Bain Capital, and Permira, have initiated due diligence for a deal to acquire Mphasis, the publicly-traded Indian IT services company, the Indian news outlet Economic Times reports , citing "people aware of the matter". According to the Economic Times, the four aforementioned private equity firms are competing with each other for a final deal to buy out Mphasis, which is itself controlled by the American private equity firm Blackstone Group. The publicly-traded Mphasis is being pursued for a $3 billion buyout that would mark Blackstone's biggest exit in India and notably a landmark deal for an American private equity firm in the Indian technology sector, the Economic Times reports. Mphasis has an ownership history that has involved several American firms. First, the IT company Electronic Data Systems (EDS) bought a controlling stake in Mphasis in 2006 and itself then sold to the tech giant  Hewlett-Pac

India's Pine Labs Tops $2B Valuation

Pine Labs, one of the biggest Indian fintech companies, has said that it's raised a new round of funding from the American hedge fund Lone Pine Capital at a valuation of over $2 billion. The exact size of the round wasn't disclosed but a report from the  Economic Times pegs it at between $75 million to $100 million. Before now, Pine Labs was known to have raised over $250 million in venture funding. Its valuation was placed at over $1 billion when the payments company Mastercard made a strategic investment into it earlier this year, and that valuation now appears to have doubled in the same year. Pine Labs is one of the biggest fintech companies in India and Asia at large, providing online payments solutions to over 150,000 merchants across Asia and the Middle East. The company provides point-of-sale and consumer lending solutions to merchants across Asia, mostly from India, and has carved out a high share of the region's fintech market for itself. Pine Labs is known to be

India Caps Ride-Hailing Fees At 20%

The Transport Ministry of the Government of India has issued new guidelines that limit the commissions charged by ride-hailing providers like Uber and Ola Cabs to 20%. The limit is noticeably higher than the previous 10% proposed by the Transport Ministry, wherein industry experts had warned that a 10% cap could have widely impacted the revenue and operations of ride-hailing services in India. India has also imposed a limit on the 'surge pricing' tactic usually adopted by ride-hailing services at a time of higher demand, stating that surge prices at busy times must be limited to at most 1.5 times the usual base fare. The country's Transport Ministry has also said that ride-hailing companies must provide insurance cover for drivers and limit them to a maximum of 12 daily working hours. The ruling marks a notable one for two of the biggest ride-hailing services in India, the local Ola Cabs and Uber. Notably, India accounts for an estimated 11% of Uber's annual global ride

Google's India Revenue Soars Higher

The Indian revenues of the American tech giant Google grew by a double-digit percentage to the equivalent of about $756 million in its most recent fiscal year, whereas the company pulled in the equivalent of $79.2 million in profit from the country, as indicated by filings with regulatory authorities. Revenue for the year went up by 35% while profit went up 24%. It seems that Google's increasing investment in India is paying off, whereas the company has pledged to spend $10 billion in the country over the next five to seven years. It has already fulfilled a significant part of its pledge with a $4.5 billion investment in the Indian telecom outfit Reliance Jio just this July. Also, Google is reportedly looking to buy the popular Indian social media app ShareChat for a price of up to $1 billion. Advertising revenue contributed 27% of Google India's revenues in the recent year while the rest came from technology and IT services. India's digital market is poised for huge gr

Fidelity Backs India's Nykaa

The investment giant Fidelity has backed yet another technology company, this time one from India by the name of Nykaa, which is an e-commerce site for beauty and wellness products. Fidelity backed the company by way of a secondary round wherein it purchased shares from existing shareholders in the company. Fidelity's investment provided partial exits to early investors and employees of Nykaa, which was founded seven years ago. The exact amount which the firm invested isn't disclosed. Nykaa is a major Indian e-commerce site for beauty and wellness products and recently began selling clothing. The company has grown rapidly since starting seven years ago, reporting the equivalent of $252 million in revenue for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020. It further expects its annual revenue to grow by 40% this year. Nykaa was founded by an entrepreneur, Falguni Nayar, who previously headed an investment bank. The company has since huge success since its founding and raised some $146 mi

India Bans 43 More Chinese Apps

After banning dozens of apps including the popular TikTok in July, the government of India has announced a ban on 43 more Chinese apps, citing cybersecurity concerns and asserting that the apps are "engaging in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order". The freshly banned apps span various categories including social apps, e-commerce and payments apps, dating apps, and games. They are listed in full below; AliSuppliers Mobile App Alibaba Workbench AliExpress - Smarter Shopping, Better Living Alipay Cashier Lalamove India - Delivery App Drive with Lalamove India Snack Video CamCard - Business Card Reader CamCard - BCR (Western) Soul- Follow the soul to find you Chinese Social - Free Online Dating Video App & Chat Date in Asia - Dating & Chat For Asian Singles WeDate-Dating App Free dating app-Singol, start your date! Adore App TrulyChinese - Chinese Dating App TrulyAsian - Asian Dating

DST Global Leads $200M Round For Cars24

DST Global, an American venture capital firm, has led a new funding round of $200 million for Cars 24, which is an online used car marketplace in India. The new round, which was a Series E, valued Cars24 at over $1 billion.  Along with DST Global, other participants in the round for Cars24 include Moore Strategic Ventures, Unbound, and  Exor Seeds.  The new funding comes on the heels of high growth seen by Cars24, whereas it now facilitates 2 million car sales annually. Already with a stronghold in used cars, Cars24 recently forayed into motorcycles in India and has already facilitated over 3,000 motorcycle sales in less than six months of operations. With the new round, Cars24 has now raised a total of nearly $400 million in equity funding. It's cemented its status as one of the most funded startups in India, more so one that was founded just five years ago. DST Global, the firm that led Cars24's new round, is a major venture capital firm that's backed many

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Alert: Nikola Founder Trevor Milton Indicted On Fraud Charges

The founder of embattled electric car startup Nikola Corp. has been formally indicted on fraud charges by the US Justice Department months after resigning from the company. Trevor Milton by name, he's been accused of securities and wire fraud in connection with a scheme to defraud and mislead investors. Milton is accused of misleading investors by making false statements regarding Nikola's products and capabilities. Notably, most of the investors allegedly misled were on the retail side. The DOJ alleges that Milton made false claims regarding "nearly all aspects" of Nikola's business. Milton founded Nikola in 2014 and led it through a public listing via a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) last year. The DOJ threw an apparent jab at SPACs in his indictment, asserting that he made 'many' of his false and misleading claims  during a period where he would not have been allowed to do so under rules that govern traditional IPOs were he

Earnings: AMD Doubles Revenue, Triples Profit

In this earnings season, companies all over are dropping their latest quarterly results and we're here equally reporting on them. We've touched on social media companies Snap Inc and Twitter , electric carmaker Tesla , and iPhone maker Apple . Now, the next is chipmaker AMD Inc . AMD has dropped its earnings for the second quarter of 2021, showing strong prospects as revenue doubled year-over-year and net income more than tripled.   Details AMD posted $3.9bn in revenue in Q2, up 99% year-over-year and 12% from the preceding quarter. For the same period, the company's net income was $710mn , up 352% year-over-year and 28% from the preceding quarter. Doubling its revenue and nearly quadrupling net income indicates AMD has a strong yet fast-growing business. It's bound to grow even more as the company is set to complete its acquisition of rival chipmaker Xilinx . AMD makes money selling high-performance chipsets used in computers, consoles, data centers, and the likes

Antitrust: Amazon Fined $900M By EU For Privacy Violations

Tech behemoth Amazon is for the nth time in the crosshairs of the European Union (EU). The latest saga in that arena is that Amazon has been fined a record-breaking amount for alleged privacy violations, according to an SEC filing from the company. Amazon has been fined the sum of €746 million ($888mn) by the Luxembourg National Commission for Data Protection (CNPD) for not complying with data privacy laws. It's the largest fine imposed under Europe's data protection law.  The fine originates from the CNPD accusing Amazon of processing customers' personal data in violation of the EU's famous-cum-infamous General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) laws.  In June, it was reported ( WSJ )  that the Luxembourg data protection agency had sanctioned Amazon's privacy practices and proposed a fine topping $425mn to the EU's other two-dozen or so national data protection authorities. Now, it appears that the final fine is much larger than that.  Before now, the bigges

Deal: Qualtrics Buys CX Startup Clarabridge For $1.1B

Months after getting spun out of SAP into a separate public company, Qualtrics , a major provider of online survey software, has made a major acquisition. It's agreed to buy Clarabridge , a startup that does similar work to Qualtrics in the field fondly referred to as "customer experience (CX)". Qualtrics will pay $1.1bn all with shares to buy Clarabridge. The acquisition is a major strategic play for the company, pairing Qualtrics' customer survey business with Clarabridge's similar business of measuring customer sentiment from various sources like social media posts and customer support calls. Basically, Qualtrics is in the business of weighing customer surveys directly and Clarabridge in the business of doing so indirectly . Pairing both businesses represents a major strategic play for Qualtrics. In an investor presentation, Qualtrics said that Clarabridge has $100mn in annual revenue, implying an 11x multiple that it's paying to buy the company. That&#

Deal: Amgen Buys Biotech Startup Teneobio In $2.5B Deal

It appears that this Covid era has led to a boom for companies that work on  antibodies , which are protective proteins produced by the human immune system to tackle foreign substances, usually viruses. Antibodies are very useful in the research and treatment of viruses such as Covid. There are companies that specialize in antibodies and one of them, BioLegend , was recently bought for a whopping $5.3bn . Now, another such company, Teneobio , is getting bought for a big amount. Teneobio has agreed to be acquired by Amgen , an American biotech giant. Amgen is paying $900mn upfront for the company, then an additional $1.6bn in cash contingent on the company hitting certain milestones. It sums up to a $2.5bn deal . Teneobio is a clinical-stage biotech startup working on antibodies aimed at treating cancer, autoimmunity, and other infectious diseases. As it's still in the clinical trial stage with no viable product yet, it appears that Amgen is betting big on Teneobio's trials b

Antitrust: UK Probes Facebook's $1B Kustomer Acquisition

The UK's antitrust agency has launched a probe into Facebook's latest acquisition, that of chatbot platform Kustomer Inc , which Facebook agreed to buy last November for a reported $1bn. The UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) on Friday, the 30th of July, released a statement  indicating it had opened an inquiry into Facebook's purchase of Kustomer, regarding if it'll result in "a substantial lessening of competition" within the market Kustomer operates in. Such probes aren't out of the norm and are routine for big acquisitions. For Facebook, it speaks to the fact that antitrust agencies are watching the company's moves, especially regarding acquisitions. To note, two of Facebook Inc's biggest products outside the main Facebook platform, Instagram and WhatsApp , were acquisitions. In fact, it's primarily acquisitions that have propelled the company's growth. As with such probes, the UK will first seek comments from the public

Hollywood: Reese Witherspoon's Media Co. Sold In $900M Deal

A media company founded by superstar actress Reese Witherspoon has sold for a large amount to a company still in its infancy that hasn't even been named yet. That company is Hello Sunshine , a media company that produces content distributed across various platforms; movies, TV shows, podcasts, et al. Hello Sunshine has been sold to a newly-formed media venture t hat's backed by investment capital from Blackstone , the private equity giant.  The venture is led by ex Disney honchos Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs .  As it is, the Blackstone-funded venture is acquiring a majority stake in Hello Sunshine from a group of external investors while anchor shareholders like Witherspoon and her founding partners will roll over and retain their equity stakes in the newly-formed venture. Officially, the deal's financial terms weren't disclosed, but a report from The Wall Street Journal says it's a $900mn deal. According to the report, the Blackstone-funded venture will pay $500mn

Earnings: Shopify Beats Estimates, Reaches Major Milestone

In this season of earnings results and we at The Techee  reporting on them, we're here with a beat on Shopify , which has released its earnings statement for the second quarter (April-June) of this year. In Q2, Shopify beat revenue expectations from analysts and as well achieved a major financial milestone by crossing $1bn in quarterly revenue for the first time. Shopify had $1.1bn in revenue in the quarter, up 57% year-over-year. Net income for the same period was $897mn , most of which was due to a $778mn gain in equity investments, likely from Shopify's stake in Affirm , a major 'buy now, pay later' lender. As usual, most of Shopify's sales ( $785mn ) came from "Merchant Solutions", which groups additional services the company offers atop recurring subscriptions charged to online retailers. Sales from subscriptions came at $334mn in the quarter. Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV), representing the total worth of transactions made on the Shopify platform,

Markets: US SEC Takes Aim At Chinese IPOs

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has taken a swipe at Chinese initial public offerings (IPOs) after regulatory hiccups in China have affected many Chinese stocks listed on US markets and American stockholders holding them. The SEC has issued new guidance on Chinese companies seeking to list shares in the US, requiring them to make certain disclosures to investors or otherwise refrain from listing in the US markets. First of all, usually, Chinese companies listing in the US don't actually sell shares of the operating companies but that of shell companies with contractual relationships with the operating companies. These shell shares, known as American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) , are used to circumvent restrictions on foreign ownership of Chinese shares imposed by the country's government. Now, the SEC in a statement has made it clear that Chinese companies seeking to list in the US must provide clear descriptions of the shell operations involved in such listing

Alert: Square Buys Australia's Afterpay For $29B

It's a big day in the fintech world. There's been a major acquisition with a major American fintech company, Square , buying Australia's foremost fintech startup, Afterpay , a 'buy now, pay later' lender. Square has reached an agreement to buy Afterpay for a whopping $29bn , marking one of Australia's biggest buyouts. It's a big deal that a startup founded barely seven years ago is selling for $29bn.  Square will pay the $29bn all with shares. It means that shares of Afterpay, which are traded on the Australian Securities Exchange, will be exchanged for Square stock traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Afterpay is Australia's foremost 'buy now, pay later (BNPL)' lender in online retail. For the uninitiated, the 'buy now, pay later' business is a relatively young one providing alternatives to credit cards for consumers to shop online. It provides loans for consumers to shop online and then pay back in installments. Usually, credi