There were several important startup updates during the day on Monday, which include India’s most valued startup Paytm has received board approval for an initial public offering (IPO), Delhi HC has issued a notice to Twitter, asking the microblogging site to comply with IT rules; rural fintech Jai Kisan raises $30 million; General Motors backed auto data startup Wejo is all set to go public. Here are the startup stories that made headlines today:
Paytm board grants in-principle approval for IPO
Paytm board has given an in principle nod for an initial public offer, CNBC-TV18 learns. The IPO, which is expected around Diwali this year as CNBC TV 18 had reported earlier, will give the company a valuation of more than $25 billion, a big jump from its current $16 billion valuation.
The board that met Friday evening, comprises founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma; Ravi Adusumalli, managing partner at Elevation Capital; Munish Varma, managing partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers; Pallavi Shroff, founder and managing partner of Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas law firm; Eric Jing, executive chairman of Ant Group; Todd Combs, investment manager at Berkshire Hathaway; Mark Schwartz, vice chairman of the Goldman Sachs Group, and Michael Yao, senior vice president of Alibaba Group.
The issuance will include secondary sale by Paytm's investors on pro-rata basis. Paytm will likely split its stock as part of the IPO process. Post board approval, Paytm investors will need to approve IPO-related aspects. CNBC TV 18 had reported on May 28 that the DRHP filing is likely to be completed by June-July.
According to investment research firm Bernstein, Paytm's revenue base will double by FY23 to ~$ 1 Bn, with non-payments revenue contributing ~33%, led by credit tech.
Delhi HC cracks whip on Twitter; says have to comply with new IT rules
The Delhi High Court has issued a notice to social media platform Twitter for non-compliance of the new Information Technology rules. The court said that the digital media will have to comply with the new norms if they have not been stayed. The notice was issued while the Delhi High court was hearing a plea over Twitter's non-compliance.
The bench of Justice Rekha Palli gave Twitter three weeks to reply and posted the matter for hearing on July 6.
Twitter told the court that it has complied with the rules and has already appointed Resident Grievance Officer on May 28. However, the Central government contested the claim, saying that the microblogging site has not adhered to the new rules yet.
Under the new digital rules, social media companies like Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter have to appoint officials such as a resident grievance officer, a chief compliance officer, and a nodal contact person, as well as complaint resolution, monitoring of objectionable content, compliance report, and removal of objectionable content.
As per govt sources, Facebook, WhatsApp and Google have already complied with the new IT rules which came into effect on May 25.
Zerodha's profit at Rs 1,000 crore in FY21: Nithin Kamath
Online stockbroking platform Zerodha’s profit more than doubled in the last financial year (FY21) to Rs 1000 crore, co-founder Nithin Kamath tweeted on Sunday.
Kamath’s tweets came on the back of a report that Zerodha’s board passed a resolution approving a salary of up to Rs 100 crore per annum each to Nikhil Kamath and Seema Patil.
“Firstly the reported figure isn’t the actual salary being drawn. This is an enabling resolution that allows us as working promoters to draw salaries up to the number in case of liquidity requirements. Didn’t anticipate that this would get this much attention”, Kamath tweeted.
The unicorn has made public its intention to use Rs 200 cr of its profits for a share buyback. The buyback will be at a valuation of $2 bn. The company also plans to invest upto Rs 1500 crore from surplus funds of the company in other businesses.
Mensa raises $50 mn in Series A funding
Mensa Brands has raised $50 million in its Series A round of funding. The funding was led by Accel Partners, Falcon Edge Capital, Norwest Venture Partners as well as prominent angel investors such as Kunal Shah, Mukesh Bansal, Rahul Mehta of DST Global and Scott Shleifer of Tiger Global.
The startup launched by former Myntra CEO and Medlife co-founder Ananth Narayanan launched aims to create a technology-led ‘House of Brands’ built for the e-commerce industry.
Mensa Brands's vision is to partner and invest in digital-first brands and scale them exponentially. This is the latest venture in India to launch a 'Thrasio model' business, named after the popular American company which is an acquirer of Amazon third-party private-label businesses.
Over the next 3 years, Mensa looks to acquire 50+ brands across categories including home, garden, apparel, personal care and beauty Mensa has also additionally raised debt financing facilities from Alteria Capital and InnoVen Capital.
Ananth Narayanan, founder and CEO of Mensa Brands said in a statement, “Scaling digital brands from India is a large opportunity. Incredibly excited and passionate about partnering with terrific founders and helping scale their brands globally. Having seen this first hand at Myntra and Medlife we know the effort it takes to scale a brand digitally - we will be a true trustee of your brand.”
Rural fintech platform Jai Kisan raises $30 mn from Mirae Asset
Rural fintech platform Jai Kisan has raised $30 million in debt and equity in Series A funding round led by from Mirae Asset. New investor Syngenta Ventures along with existing investors Blume Ventures, Arkam Ventures, NABVentures, Prophetic Ventures and a slew of angels, also participated. The debt was raised from Trifecta Capital and Stride Ventures.
The funding will be used to hire talent and enhance engineering and data science capabilities, expand into new geographies, and start building an on-book portfolio, said the startup in a statement.
Founded 3 years ago, Jai Kisan has developed its own system — which it calls Bharat Khata — that aims to help individuals and businesses get access to cheaper financing and ensures that the money they raise is being used for agri-inputs and equipment.
Plum raises $15.6 mn capital from Tiger Global
Group health insurance startup Plum has raised $15.6 million in Series A funding led by Tiger Global with participation from earlier investors Sequoia Capital India’s Surge, Tanglin Venture Partners, Incubate Fund and Gemba Capital. The round also saw the participation of a slew of angel investors including Kunal Shah Gaurav Munjal, Roman Saini and Hemesh Singh among others.
The new funds will be used to scale its engineering, business development and operations teams. The company is looking to build insurance products for micro enterprises with small teams that cannot afford to pay annual premiums, it said.
The 15-month-old startup has raised $5mn in earlier rounds since inception. The platform is currently working with over 600 organizations, clocking a 110 per cent quarter-on-quarter growth, it said in a statement. The firm has insured 40,000 people just in the last 3 months and works with SMEs, corporations and startups including Groww, Unacademy, Twilio, CleverTap, UrbanLadder, smallcase and Simpl.
Delhivery raises $277 million ahead of IPO: Report
Logistics startup Delhivery has raised $277 million in what is expected to be the final funding round before the firm files for an IPO later this year, as per Techcrunch. The new round valued the 10-year-old startup at about $3 billion.
The latest round of funding was led by Boston-headquartered investment firm Fidelity. Singapore's sovereign wealth fund GIC, Abu Dhabi's Chimera, and UK's Baillie Gifford also participated, as per the report. Delhivery refused to comment on the funding at the moment.
The 10-year-old startup counts SoftBank Vision Fund, Tiger Global Management, Times Internet, The Carlyle Group, and Steadview Capital among its list of investors. The company has so far raised about $1.23 billion.
MOPP Food raises capital
Cloud kitchens startup MOPP Food has raised an undisclosed amount of Seed funding from India Accelerator’s iAngel Network. The firm plans to use the funds in expanding across Delhi-NCR and add more brands to its portfolio.
The company claims it is presently clocking more than 8000 monthly orders and aims to cross 1 million monthly orders by 2026. Furthermore, MOPP food is also working on its expansion plan to launch 250 cloud kitchens across 30 cities by 2026, as per a company statement.
Convin raises Rs 2.5 crore from Titan Capital & 9Unicorns
Conversation intelligence platform Convin hasraised Rs 2.5 crore in a pre-seed round of funding led by Titan capital and 9Unicorns. Several angel investors, including Kunal Shah (Founder, Cred), Abhishek Goyal (Founder, Tracxn), Ramakant Sharma (Founder, Livspace), Sunder Nookala (Founder, Huminos), and Rajesh Razdan (Founder, Devtron Labs), also participated in the round.
The startup will use the funds to develop its products and build the core team to achieve product-market fit.
Bikayi to raise $10 mn in funding led by Sequoia: Report
WhatsApp integrated merchant e-commerce platform Bikayi is all set to raise a fresh round from new and existing investors, reported Entrackr.
As per the report, Bikayi is raising $10-11 million led by Sequoia Capital. Entrackr reports that the term sheet has been signed and the deal is almost done.
Bikayi had raised $2 million in its seed round from Mantis Ventures, Y Combinator and Pioneer Fund in 2020 when it participated in Y-Combinator’s Summer Batch.
Banks warns customers of account suspension if they deal in cryptocurrency
After shutting bank accounts of crypto exchanges in India, leading banks are now cautioning customers against dealing in cryptocurrencies. In an email to customers, banks, including HDFC Bank and State Bank of India, have said that users who deal in virtual currencies may face account suspension citing a 2018 circular from the Reserve Bank of India.
Interestingly, the Supreme Court had struck down the RBI circular in March last year citing “proportionality” and saying the RBI has failed to show the damage that these tokens are doing to the financial system.
The Indian government is still in the process of formulating a bill on cryptocurrencies. As the regulation and legality of cryptocurrencies remains in grey, banks have lately started distancing themselves from cryptocurrency exchanges like Wazir X, Coin DCX, ZebPay.
Amazon pressed to call for a racial-equity audit
Amazon should review how it is addressing racial justice and equity after a shareholder proposal on the topic won strong backing, New York State’s top pension official said on Friday.
As per Reuters, a significant number of investors want more transparency about the company’s business practices on a range of issues. 44% of votes cast supported a call for a review of the company's impact on equity, diversity and other areas. The investor group that submitted the resolution, the New York State Common Retirement Fund, pointed out that it would’ve passed if it weren’t for Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ shares, which represent 14% of voting power at the company.
Bezos, who presided over his last shareholder meeting as chief executive on May 26, controls the votes of more than 70 million shares, according to Amazon’s proxy statement. He is set to step aside as CEO on July 5 to become executive chairman of Amazon’s board.
Wejo to go public; deal values at $800 million
Auto data startup Wejo will go public through a reverse merger with blank-check company Virtuoso Acquisition Corp. With this deal, the British company will be valued at $800 million. The $800 million enterprise value for Wejo implies an estimated $1.1 billion pro forma equity value.
The deal will raise $330 million in proceeds for Wejo, the companies said. That includes $230 million from Special-Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) Virtuoso and another $100 million referred to as Private Investment in Public Equity (PIPE).
Investors in the PIPE include General Motors as well as data management company Palantir Technologies Inc, which billionaire Peter Thiel co-founded, Reuters reported. The sizes of their investments or stakes have not been disclosed.
First Published: IST