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July 31, 2012

The rise of boutique investment banks

Business Today has a cover story on the phenomenon.

Among the "bigger boutiques", Veda Corporate Advisors, set up by C. Venkat Subramanyam and M. Vinod Kumar, who have been together for 20 years, through three jobs and two entrepreneurial ventures, has 20 people. Jacob Mathew, M. Ramprasad and Ajay Garg left DSP Merrill Lynch to start MAPE Advisory, which has 38 people. And Equirus, which came into existence when Garg left MAPE to start his own outfit, has 40, half of them in investment banking and the other half in institutional equity

...In fact, boutiques are the ones really active in the ring right now, feasting on deals of Rs 50 crore to Rs 200 crore, which is the range where the action is. They charge the same percentage as fee that the big ones do, but get by happily in spite of the low absolute amount, a result of the smaller deal sizes, because their expenses are far lower.

...It is not just the lower expenses that make boutiques click with clients. All six that BT spoke to insisted that their clients loved them because they were always there for the clients, mentoring them, the senior partners giving them unwavering attention from the beginning to the end. Often they cajole the client to look at new areas, and offer to raise funds to finance the foray. All this invariably results in long-term relationships, as opposed to a transaction-based one.

Venture Intelligence is the leading provider of data and analysis on private equity, venture capital and M&A deals in India. View free samples of Venture Intelligence newsletters and reports.

July 30, 2012

Deal Alert:Acumen Fund Invests INR 1.5 Crore ($300K) in Edubridge Learning

From the Press Release:

Acumen Fund, a pioneering nonprofit global venture fund addressing poverty across Africa and South Asia, today announced a INR 1.5 Crore ($300K) equity investment in Edubridge Learning Private Limited, a growing company that provides vocational skills training for low income youth across Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Chhattisgarh.



The investment builds on the recent launch of Acumen Fund’s Education Portfolio, which seeks to support private sector innovations that increase access to low-cost, high-quality learning and employability services for the poor. Acumen’s investments aim to support the development of early stage companies with a focus on meeting the needs of low-income market segments, an approach recently explored in a report released by the Monitor Group and Acumen entitled “From Blueprint to Scale.”



“Edubridge is an early stage company that has tremendous potential to significantly alter the landscape of opportunities for rural youth in India,” said Jacqueline Novogratz, CEO and Founder of Acumen Fund. “This is just one example of where we can help enterprises creating public goods in markets where government and commercial players have not fully met the needs of the poor. These investments allow us to leverage our patient capital to help launch businesses with creative approaches to major social issues.”



Based in Mumbai, Edubridge seeks to address the lack of opportunity and simultaneous need for skilled labor in India by training rural youth and placing them in entry-level jobs within various corporate sectors. Edubridge targets youth between the ages of 18 and 25 who are typically the first formally employed members of their family. The company has trained over 1,500 students to date and with this investment, Edubridge plans to scale its services from 12 to 30 centers over the next two years. The National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) is a key funder of the company and recently named Edubridge as “Best Start-Up” in their portfolio for 2011-2012.



“Edubridge’s goal is to fundamentally address the employability gap within India,” said Edubridge Founder, Girish Singhania. “By training these rural youth we are enabling them and their families to have a better future, while simultaneously improving the labor pool within India.”


India’s education system has struggled to meet the needs of a growing population in a rapidly developing economy, resulting in more than 50% of children aged 15-19 currently unemployed or out of school. Following the recent investment in Hippocampus Learning Centres, Acumen Fund’s Education Portfolio continues to expand in support of Acumen Fund’s global goal of impacting the lives of 150 million people by 2015. “It is clear that education offers one of the most viable pathways out of poverty, but there is room for much more innovation in how we ensure learning remains effective and relevant to employment,” said Ankur Shah, Interim Director of Acumen Fund India.



About Acumen Fund


Acumen Fund is working to create a world beyond poverty by investing in social enterprises, emerging leaders and breakthrough ideas. We invest patient capital in business models that deliver critical goods and services to the world’s poor, improving the lives of millions. Since 2001, Acumen Fund has globally invested more than $75 million in 69 companies. We are also working to build a global community of emerging leaders that believe in creating a more inclusive world through the tools of both business and philanthropy. Please visit www.acumenfund.org for more information.


About Edubridge


Edubridge is working to transform the lives of the unemployed youth in India by providing vocational skills training and job placement for low income customers. The company is currently running 12 centers across Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Chhattisgarh, and has trained over 1,500 students to date. Edubridge was founded in March of 2010 by Girish Singhania, an IIM-Bangalore graduate who has previously worked with Procter and Gamble and Edelweiss, an investment bank. Website: http://www.edubridgeindia.com/

July 29, 2012

"Leveraged stock purchase led Arvind Rao to go astray": Forbes India

Forbes India has an article on the series of events leading to the recent controversial exit of Arvind Rao, Co-founder & CEO of listed Mobile VAS firm OnMobile.

On November 23, 2010, Arvind Rao, the 53-year-old co-founder and CEO of OnMobile, bought approximately 6 lakh shares of his company from the open market, representing a little over 1 percent of the company’s total shares....At Rs 277 a share, he had to pony up nearly Rs 16.5 crore to acquire them....So he went ahead and borrowed money to buy the shares, thinking nothing of the interest it entailed or the fact that he’d need to put up nearly half his existing shareholding as collateral...OnMobile’s shares continued to fall from those levels, while Rao’s interest payments ballooned.

...Motivated by OnMobile’s growth all these years, he had never paid much attention to his salary, most of which went towards the monthly rental on his sea-facing apartment in Mumbai and his BMW 7-Series, both paid directly by the company. He requested the board for a significant salary increase, arguing (rightly) that his Rs 1 crore salary was substantially below what the market would pay the CEO of a Rs 600-plus crore international company. But they would have none of it. After that, he requested a personal loan, which too they denied.

While the "riding the tiger" parallels with Satyam are inescapable, this seems to be more of a tragic tale especially since Rao was buying up shares of his own company believing them to be undervalued.

Venture Intelligence is the leading provider of data and analysis on private equity, venture capital and M&A deals in India. View free samples of Venture Intelligence newsletters and reports.

VC Interview: Shailendra Singh of Sequoia Capital India


In a recent interview to Venture Intelligence, Shailendra Singh discussed some of the firm’s newer investments in the early stage segment including in the online payments space, the progress at a few existing portfolio companies and the active role the firm is playing in helping its portfolio companies scale and succeed in India and globally. Prior to joining the firm in 2006, Singh was a strategy consultant at Bain & Company in New York and before that, an entrepreneur in the digital media industry.

Venture Intelligence: How does Sequoia go about identifying potential early stage investments in India? Is there anything different you are doing today than, say, a couple of years back?

Shailendra Singh: There is a lot more focus on technology investing and early stage investing. In general, as you might remember a few years ago, we were doing primarily growth investing but in the past 18-odd months, we have had a very strong focus on early stage and that’s continuing. In terms of how we identify early stage investments, every possible source is used: reach out to companies on our own, meeting them at events, through references, etc. A good percentage of early stage companies know and understand that we are willing to invest very, very early. We believe the right entrepreneurs are resourceful enough to find a way to reach us.

VI : Sequoia has recently invested in two companies in the online payments space – Zaakpay and Citruspay? Why invest in two companies in the same space & how are they different from the existing solutions (like CCavenue, BillDesk, etc.)?

SS:
While the existing players in the space are good companies, they have been around for a very long time and the market needs new age technology led companies that can leverage upon the wave of technological innovation in this space. Zaakpay and Citrus had very different strategies when we made the investments. Zaakpay had primarily approached us with a ECS centric new payment model. But their regulatory approval was delayed. So, they pivoted into the payment gateway space. Citrus on the other hand is meant to go beyond being just another payment gateway, but bring to the fore their special relationships with all the banks. While they seem similar on the surface, they are using different strategies and different technologies for payments.

At a more fundamental level, companies change direction over time and end up looking more similar. We don’t try to stop companies from doing something just because other portfolio companies have also decided that the opportunity looks interesting to pursue.


VI: But for Fashion and You, Sequoia does not have too much exposure to the e-commerce segment in India. Will this change going forward?

SS:
While they are not probably classic e-commerce, we also did Healthkart, Freecharge and FreeCultr in the online transactions space. But yes, as a firm, we are “underweight” on ecommerce so far and yes, that will change. But, we are in no hurry - we think it’s a long term game and ecommerce is a 30 year growth story. We have the flexibility to invest both out of our venture fund as well as growth fund - so we can write small cheques of a few millions and also large cheques of $50-100 million.

In-between, the market for e-commerce companies seemed very frothy and it seemed like a mini bubble. There were a lot of entrepreneurs who had jumped in to start e-commerce businesses since it is quite easy to start. They were also very similar to each other and it wasn’t very clear to us from the data whether they would grow into large enterprises and do well 10 years from now. So that’s why we decided to be cautious and instead spend more time on technology, software as a service and cloud-oriented companies. In the next 4-5 years, we hope to have very significant investments in ecommerce, but we will continue to be selective and not get sucked into the hype spiral.

VI: In general, what are the key qualities you would look for in an Internet/E-Commerce investment?

SS:
The most important quality is we are looking for are companies that we think will be market leaders in 10 years. So we try not to get focused on short term momentum, short term traction and we ask ourselves does this company have the characteristic, defensibility or differentiation in their model.

VI : What other companies in your early stage portfolio which are witnessing good traction?

SS:
Many of the early stage companies have become growth companies now because they have witnessed good traction. Prizm Payments and Pine Labs are good examples in payments. Healthcare data analytics company ScioInspire, where we had made a seed investment is doing very well. Freecharge similarly is also witnessing good traction.

VI : On the exits front, apart from TutorVista, which other venture investments of Sequoia would you describe as having provided exciting returns?

SS:
Vasan Healthcare is a company we had invested into from our venture fund that has become large and recently given us a partial exit recently. Among other companies that were invested into from our venture funds in the pipeline for good outcomes, Justdial has filed for an IPO and is closest to a liquidity event. Prizm Payments has also become a big company. As I’d said earlier, in the 2007-2009 timeframe we weren’t focusing on early stage investments and more focused on growth equity. So, our early stage portfolio is quite young and we try to take a 5-10 year view and we are still in the build stages.

VI: While there seems to be genuine return of vibrancy to the early stage segment in India (including among LPs), are there any concerns or gaps that you see in the ecosystem?

SS:
While the phase of evolution is getting better, I would like to see more management talent become available for helping early stage companies scale. While there are some people leaving large companies like Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. to become entrepreneurs, but not enough of them are joining early stage companies in executive or managerial roles. Hiring management talent for the companies we invest in is hence one of the main areas we try to help with. We have a full time recruiter at Sequoia Capital and all he does is to help recruit high quality talent for our early stage companies.
The other issues are more structural – the Internet advertising market in India is still young, payments infrastructure is still young and so, we are trying to invest wherever we think there are gaps and try to improve that.

VI: Is there any plan to raise a new India-dedicated fund in next 2-3 years?

SS:
Yes, we will be raising the next fund for Sequoia India in 2013.

VI: Will Sequoia look at more investments in Tier 2 cities?

SS: We have a very active policy to try to go where the entrepreneurs are and where the good companies are. Especially in the non tech sectors, we are more than happy to go to the tier 2 tier 3 cities and look for great companies.

VI: Any other new initiatives or focus areas that you would like to highlight?

SS:
We have a big emphasis on globalization and we are actively building resources to help Indian technology companies become global quickly. The idea is to find global opportunities out of India and help companies here succeed in Silicon Valley and other parts of the world at a rapid pace.

Venture Intelligence is the leading provider of data and analysis on private equity, venture capital and M&A deals in India. View free samples of Venture Intelligence newsletters and reports.

July 26, 2012

Deal Alert: Bookmycab.com –Mumbai’s First and Only Call Taxi Service Raises Funding from YourNest Angel Fund and Mumbai Angels

From the Press Release

YourNest Angel Fund, an early stage venture capital fund has invested in Bookmycab.com, which offers lowest fare among all cab operators in Mumbai. Bookmycab.comoffers local travel – point to point, airport transfer and railway station transfer using metered taxi through its 24 hour taxi helpline (022) 6-1234567, website www.bookmycab.com or by sending email to mumbai@bookmycab.com.It is the only service provider to book Black & Yellow Taxis and Cool Cabs in Mumbai. The local taxi services are offered at regular fare structure as approved by transport authority: 
  •  Non AC – Rs. 17 for 1.6 Km and thereafter Rs. 10.5/Km, 
  •  AC – Rs. 21 for 1.6 Km and thereafter Rs. 13/Km 
Bookmycab.com has an exclusive Pan India partnership with ARS SE (subsidiary of ARS Traffic & Transport Technology BV, The Netherlands) for running its entire technology backend including dispatch technology comprising navigation device, automated dispatch technology and IT infrastructure.

Following strict quality norms, every taxi under Bookmycab.com is RTO verified and passed through the stringent KYC norms for both taxi and taxi drivers. With real time tracking for every cab round the clock, Bookmycab.com ensures that its cabs are completely safefor women and old age passengers. 

With over 1900 taxis registered for the service, Bookmycab.com plans to use the funds raised from YourNest Angel Fund toexpand its taxi base to secure a leadership position in Mumbai.

“Bookmycab.com is the only call taxi service in Mumbai to book regular Black & Yellow taxis which include the newer models like Santro, Wagon R, EECO, Swift Dzire, etc. While it offers the lowest metered fare to the customers it also ensures the passengers safety through real time tracking of every cab round the clock thus making it a distinct taxi service in the city,”says Avinash Gupta, Managing Director – Bookmycab.com 

Added Raviraj Jain, Founding Director, Bookmycab.com, “We aim to improveaccessibility to taxis for the average commuter by providing them convenient booking options via the internet and phone. Soon, we’re also launching location-based iPhone and Android phone app and social media module to allow commuters to book taxis via Facebook.” 

Sunil K Goyal, CEO and Fund Manager, YourNest Angel Fund who will also join as a nominee on board of director of bookmycab.com said, “There is an urgent need to address the state of the local transport in metros like Mumbai. Presently, while commuters suffer due to lack of sufficient cabs offering quality service, taxi drivers are faced with low earnings. Bookmycab.com effectivelyaddresses both these issues. As we move forward, Bookmycab.comwill extendthis model to other cities too.” 

“Great team, world class technology partner, licensed by the state government and a scalable business model attracted us to partner YourNest in sharing the vision of Bookmycab.com,” Anil Joshi, Mumbai Angels, said. 

About Bookmycab.com 

Bookmycab.com is run by LiveMinds Solutions and is an initiative by IIT Bombay alumni. LiveMinds Solutions is thesole licensee from Maharashtra Government to run its call taxi service under the brand name Bookmycab.com. 

While most of the radio taxi services are only synonymous to AC taxis, Bookmycab.com has enabled commuters to choose between the Black & Yellow taxis, the non-AC taxis with regular fare and AC Cool cabs. 

Bookmycab.com follows a stringent process of recruitment of taxi drivers. The credentials each driver in Bookmycab.com such as valid driving license, address proof, driver’s batch, photographs, etc. are verified by the Mumbai RTO to ensure that our passengers are safe. The strict process of induction is not only confined to drivers but also vehicles used by Bookmycab.com have valid official documents such as permit, registration certificate, insurance policy of the vehicle before the cabs are inducted into its service.

Only new cars like Hyundai Santro, Maruti Wagon R, Maruti, EEco, Swift Desire are equipped with the latest vehicle tracking technology so the taxis can be tracked at any given second with the help of GPS. Besides this, the taxis are also fitted with onboard GPS/GPRS touch screen device, electronic meter, printers, fire extinguishers, first aid box for trouble-free commuting and to offer a higher comfort level for our passengers.

About YourNest Angel Fund 

YourNest Angel Fund is a SEBI registered early stage domestic venture capital fund. It invests in businesses built on vibrant, new ideas and in the opportunities opened-up by the explosive growth in entrepreneurial activities in India. YourNest plans to maximize returns by enabling portfolio companies to build scale and create value. It focuses on building a diversified portfolio of fast growing unlisted start-up companies that are attempting path-breaking use of technology or have an innovative business model or build on a scalable & SMART Idea or represent an emerging sector. 

YourNest offers support, constant guidance, handholding, expertise in business strategy, and access to a wide network for entrepreneurial growth – besides funds. For details, please refer to www.yournest.in. 

About Mumbai Angels, www.mumbaiangels.com 

Mumbai Angels, started in 2006 is the leading premium Angel network in India. The Mumbai Angels provides a unique platform to start up and very early stage companies by bringing them face to face with successful entrepreneurs, professionals and executives who are interested in and have the funds available to invest in start-up companies. Many members of Mumbai Angels have prior Silicon Valley experience. In addition to the capital of its members, the Mumbai Angels provides access to high quality mentoring, vast networks in India and abroad and inputs on strategy as well as execution.

July 17, 2012

Deal Alert: India Innovation Fund invests in life science technology company Shantani Proteome Analytic

From the Press Release: 

With it’s focus on supporting innovation driven start-ups in technology and life sciences with early stage investment, the India Innovation Fund (IIF) (www.indiainnovationfund.in) along with Blume Ventures as co-investor, has made an investment in Shantani Proteome Analytics Pvt. Ltd.(http://www.shantani.com). Incubated at the National Chemical Laboratories’ Venture Center at Pune, Shantani develops advanced technology applications for use by drug discovery organisations for drug target discovery. Shantani also develops in-house drug discovery programs in defined therapeutic areas. Shantani has been founded by a management team with global scientific and business expertise.

Shantani’s proprietary chemical proteomics technology platform is used to identify and validate a few but rightful targets (cellular binding partners) of drugs and drug like bioactive molecules in a very short period of time allowing savings of 50-70 per cent in cost and time over existing strategies. It is also valuable for drug repositioning purposes and for identifying off-target interactions of a drug to understand its toxicity profile. 

Rajesh Rai, Chief Executive Office, India Innovation Fund, said, “We are excited to partner with Dr.Saxena and the Shantani team. Shantani has developed a unique technology platform with significant benefits for drug design and development. We look forward to supporting the company through the IIF network.” 

Dr.Chaitanya Saxena, Chief Executive Officer and Board of Director, Shantani Proteome Analytics Pvt. Ltd. said, “We have an innovative and exciting technology in the niche area of drug (target) discovery. However to grow our business we were not only looking for capital but the right partners with the understanding of technology driven businesses and a strong network in life sciences to help take our start-up to next stage. IIF led funding came with all those ingredients”

VCs make 100 investments worth $363-M in first half of 2012

Volume of investments keeps pace with 2011; Deal Value comes down

Venture Capital firms invested $363 million across 100 deals in India during the six months ending June 2012, according to a study by Venture Intelligence (http://www.ventureintelligence.in), a research service focused on Private Equity, Venture Capital and M&A transaction activity in India. While the volume of investments has kept pace, the value of the investments has come down as compared to the same period last year (which had witnessed 103 deals worth $520 million).

In the latest quarter ending June 2012, VC firms invested $186 million over 55 deals - which was significantly lower compared to the same quarter in 2011 (which had witnessed $281 million being invested across 59 deals) but higher when compared to the immediate previous quarter ($177 million across 45 deals), the Venture Intelligence analysis showed. Top growth investments during the quarter included the $20 million investment led by Everstone (with participation from existing investor Helion Ventures) into salon chain firm YLG Salon & Spa and the $16.2 million invested by Peepul Capital into medical devices firm Cura Healthcare. Among Early Stage deals, Russian VC firm ru-Net Holdings invested $9 million in Sequoia Capital-backed online apparel brand Freecultr and $8 million in online shoe retailer BeStylish. Fidelity Growth Partners India led a $6.3 million round for MineralTree, an US-based secure payments provider for SMEs.

Information Technology and IT-Enabled Services (IT & ITES) companies, at 33 deals worth about $86.4 million, attracted 60% of the investments in volume terms (versus 53% in Q2’11) and 47% in value terms (the same as in the year ago period). Online Services, which attracted 21 investments worth about $61 million during Q2’12, accounted for 64% of the IT & ITES pie by volume and 70% by value. Apart from FreeCultr and BeStylish, other Online Services firms that raised funding during Q2’12 included online taxi aggregator Olacabs ($4-M from Tiger Global); ethnic wear e-tailer Cbazaar.com ($3.5 million from Ojas Ventures and Inventus Capital) and US-based social media benchmarking firm Unmetric ($3 million from Nexus Ventures). Early Stage investments accounted for 78% of the investments (in volume terms) during Q2’12, the Venture Intelligence analysis showed.

About Venture Intelligence

Venture Intelligence is the leading provider of data and analysis on private equity, venture capital and M&A deals in India. View free samples of Venture Intelligence newsletters and reports.

Deal Alert: Nexus participates in Aryaka Networks' $25-M 3rd round

From the Press Release: 

Aryaka (www.aryaka.com), the world’s first cloud-based WAN optimization as-a-Service, today announced it has secured a $25 million Series C funding round led by InterWest Partners, with participation from Presidio Ventures, a Sumitomo Corporation Company, and existing investors Nexus Venture Partners,Trinity Ventures and Mohr Davidow Ventures. 

The proceeds will be used to support Aryaka’s rapid market penetration and global reach as the company continues to redefine the multi-billion-dollarglobal WAN optimization market and change the way enterprises consume this technology. Aryaka’s innovation in deployment architecture and utility-based business model has been accepted by enterprises worldwide as the way to optimize the new WAN. 

The latest funding round caps a record year of market traction and milestone achievements for Aryaka. 

Global Reach Expands
Aryaka continues its drive to “place the network near the customer.” 
  • WAN optimization as-a-Service to 500+ customer sites over six continents since its inception 18 months ago 
  • 1 billion connections for a hundred thousand business users worldwide across 20 countries 
  • Under 20-millisecond latency for network traffic to over 90% of the world’s business users
Escalating International Sales
Aryaka is opening up the WAN optimization market for all enterprises:
  • Aryaka has more than 60 global customers within its first year of launch including global brands like InMobi, STATS ChipPAC, Aruba Networks, ThoughtWorks, Radware, Calypso, Strauss and Symphony-Teleca.
  • In addition to revenue customers, 100+ trials are in progress on the Aryaka network. 
  • 1 Gbps of customer commitments across enterprise networks.
  • Customers using the Aryaka solution span multiple verticals, including technology, manufacturing, engineering, architecture, consulting, logistics and media. 
Revolutionizing WAN Optimization
Aryaka is changing the way companies do business by enabling enterprises to achieve:
  • Up to 100X increased application performance 
  • 98% reduced WAN traffic for a better user experience among a globally distributed workforce 
  • 99% improvement for File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
  • 98% reduced bandwidth utilization for Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) 
  • Application Performance
    • Over 95% data reduction for Microsoft Exchange
    • 90X higher link utilization for Oracle Data Guard (ODG)
    • 90% data reduction for SolidWorks PDM (ePDM)
  • 8X faster access to global cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and enterprise resources for increased productivity 
Expanding Partner Ecosystem
  •  Aryaka’s “Fusion” partner program enables regional service providers to expand their offering globally and integrate with seamless access to cloud services for their customers’ distributed enterprise.
  •  Emergence™, the Aryaka Alliance Program, continues to add more cloud providers, channel partners, service providers and technology partners, enabling them to capitalize on Aryaka’s market leadership. 
  • As an Amazon Web Services (AWS) Solutions Provider, Aryaka provides 8X faster access to global cloud and enterprise resources.
New Markets Penetrated in 2012 
  • Spurred by strong customer pull, Aryaka entered the Brazil market to serve the country’s fast-growing base of companies headquartered there while enabling multinational firms to better connect their Brazil presence with their locations in other regions.
  •  Aryaka is now serving customers across six continents, allowing enterprises in established markets as well as emerging markets to take advantage of WAN optimization as-a-Service and aggressively grow their businesses globally. 
Supporting Quotes 

“What impressed us most about Aryaka is how this unique WAN optimization as-a-Service solution overcomes the problems caused by the distributed nature of today’s enterprise as well as integrated access to the Cloud with a very simple and elegant solution,” said Khaled Nasr, Partner, InterWest Partners. “Unlike conventional WAN optimization approaches, Aryaka liberates the enterprise by providing a secure, scalable and highly intelligent network in the cloud. Aryaka has identified and is addressing a large market with unmet needs by redefining the playing field for network optimization and increasing the overall market size.” 

“The new funding enables us to further execute on our aggressive growth strategy as we convert our technology innovation into commercial success and drive to our goal to redefine the market and position Aryaka as the leader,”said Ajit Gupta, Founder, President and CEO of Aryaka. “Market traction has been tremendous as small, mid-sized and larger enterprises realize that networks and applications require a new, more sustainable approach. With Aryaka as a partner, organizations can maximize their existing application and network resources and focus on their core business goals.” 

"Little by little, the hardware that has cluttered enterprise telecom closets, equipment rooms and data centers is being offloaded to the cloud so why not WAN optimization in the cloud," states Lynda Stadtmueller, program director, Cloud Computing, Stratecast Practice, Frost & Sullivan. "By eliminating the need for capital investment in premises equipment, Aryaka's solution is cost-justifiable for the entire corporate network, both in and outside of the firewall. For enterprises, this means fewer boxes, fewer headaches, and fulfilling the promise of lower costs while improving productivity around the world." 

About Aryaka

Aryaka is the world’s first cloud-based WAN optimization as-a-Service company solving application and network performance issues faced by the distributed enterprise. Aryaka has been named to Dow Jones VentureWire FASTech 50 innovative startups for 2011, a “Cool Vendor” by a leading analyst firm and a GigaOm Structure 50 company that will shape the future of cloud computing. Aryaka eliminates the need for expensive and complex WAN optimization appliances as well as long-haul connectivity, and enhances collaboration across corporate locations, data centers and cloud services. It offers significant cost benefits, ease-of-use, instant deployment, performance advantages, dramatic productivity gains and real-time visibility into WAN applications, locations and performance, while providing 24/7 world-class support. To learn more, visit www.aryaka.com. Follow us onTwitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn.

July 08, 2012

Slowdown in PE continues; quarterly investment dips 34% to below $1.9-B

Private Equity firms invested about $1,848 million across 102 deals during the quarter ended June 2012, according to a study by Venture Intelligence (http://www.ventureintelligence.in), a research service focused on Private Equity and M&A transaction activity in India. The investment amount was 34% less than that invested in the same period last year ($2,798 million across 126 transactions) and also 10% less than that during the immediate previous quarter (which had witnessed $2,050 million being invested across 103 transactions). (Note: The above figures do not include PE investments in Real Estate.)

There were only four PE investments worth over $100 million (with one above $200 million) during Q2’12 compared to 10 such transactions in the same period last year (and six during the immediate previous quarter), the Venture Intelligence analysis showed.

The largest PE investment during Q2’12 was Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners’ investment of Rs.1,200 crore for a 51% stake in Continuum Wind Energy, a Singapore-headquartered developer of wind assets in India. The second largest investment during the period was Fairbridge Capital, a subsidiary of Canada-based listed Fairfax Financial Holdings, acquiring a 77% stake in publicly listed travel services firm Thomas Cook (India) for Rs. 817.4 crore. Warburg Pincus’ acquisition of a 53.67% stake in publicly listed consumer finance company Future Capital Holdings for Rs. 563 crore was the third largest.

IT & ITES companies attracted $379 million (21% of the value pie) across 42 reported investments during Q2’12, snatching the lead from Healthcare & Life Sciences industry (that topped the immediate previous quarter) as the favorite sector for PE investments during Q2’12. Powered by five renewable power project deals (that attracted about $299 million between them), the Energy industry claimed the second spot. HLS companies came in third attracting $243 million across 12 investments. It was followed by BFSI firms with $232 million across 10 investments.

The IT & ITES investments were dominated by follow-on rounds at various VC-backed Online Services companies – including local listings firm JustDial ($60-M from existing investors Sequoia Capital and SAP Ventures); advertising focused Pubmatic ($45-M led by new investor August Capital) and classifieds focused Quikr ($32 million round led by new investor, Warburg Pincus).

In Energy, the $211 million Continuum deal, was followed by IFC’s investment of $40 million in equity (apart from $90 million in debt) in wind energy firm Inox Renewables. The third largest investment in the sector was AMP Capital’s $29 million investment in Shalivahana Green Energy which operates a portfolio of power generation assets across the agri-waste, hydro and wind sectors.

VC type deals (in volume terms) accounted for 54% of the investments during Q2’12 compared to 44% in the corresponding period a year ago. The share of Late Stage deals, at 23% of the PE investments during Q2’12, was slightly lower than compared to the same period a year ago (at 25%). The share of listed company investments was flat at 9%.


Real Estate

Private Equity-Real Estate firms made 7 investments (amounting to US$162 million across 6 deals with disclosed values) during the quarter ended June 2012, according to the data from Venture Intelligence. The volume of investments was less than half the 18 investments in the same period in the previous year (which witnessed $553 million being invested across 14 transactions with disclosed values) and also the 17 investments ($573 million across 15 deals) during the Jan-Mar 2012 quarter.

Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investment's Rs.500 crore commitment to Supertech's township project in Noida, Cape Town, was the largest during the latest quarter. Supertech also attracted a Rs.100 crore commitment from US-based Walton Street Capital towards the residential towers that will come up at its mixed-use project Supernova at Noida. Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC) invested Rs.100 crore to enable listed real estate developer Brigade Group to buy land in Bangalore's Whitefield to develop a premium residential project.

About Venture Intelligence


Venture Intelligence, a division of TSJ Media Pvt. Ltd., is the leading source of information on private equity and M&A transactions in India. For more information, please visit http://www.ventureintelligence.in

July 04, 2012

Deal Alert: Rajasthan Venture invests Rs. 20 crores in International Oncology

From the Press Release:

Jaipur-based Rajasthan Venture Capital Fund (RVCF) has invested Rs 20 crores in International Oncology Services Private Limited (IOSPL), a super specialty cancer care company for an undisclosed equity stake. 

International Oncology has established comprehensive cancer care centres (known as International Oncology Centre) equipped with cutting edge technology at Fortis Hospital, Noida and Dr. L H Hiranandani Hospital, Mumbai. The company with an objective to make quality cancer care more accessible to the people has identified several cities in India for setting up world class cancer care centers and opening soon its next centers in Jodhpur, Rajasthan and Jalandhar, Punjab.

“The Oncology sector is currently witnessing a huge gap in terms of incidence of cancer in the country and limited quality cancer care facilities to treat the same. While the incidence of cancer is increasing at an alarming rate in India; the country faces large limitations in terms of lack of technical specialization and trained personnel. India has few public sector cancer centres, some central establishment and limited private sector participation. IOSPL through its specialized cancer care centres is set to address this burgeoning demand in India” said Mr. Rajendra Bhanawat, Chairman of RVCF. 

Mr. Pradeep K Jaisingh, CEO and MD of International Oncology Services Pvt. Ltd. said, “After setting up comprehensive cancer centres in NCR and Mumbai, we are in the process of taking world class cancer care to several other states of India and Rajasthan is a special focus area for us. This investment by RVCF will help IOSPL carry out its immediate expansion plans and we are delighted to have their support." 

“IOSPL with its professional and experienced promoters & team is expected to emerge as one of the leading cancer care company in India” said Mr. Girish Gupta, CEO of RVCF who will be joining the Board of Directors of the company. 

RVCF has invested in IOSPL through its Rs 200 crores SME Tech Fund which invests pan India in IT, education, healthcare, agro products, auto components and other growth sectors. 

ABOUT IOSPL 

International Oncology is a global cancer care and research company focused on providing world class cancer treatment and care. The company is at the forefront of bringing the very best in cancer care to India through expertise, research and collaboration. International Oncology is committed to making world class cancer care accessible to the underserved areas through their network of cancer care centres. 

After establishing their flagship centres at Noida and Mumbai, the company is in the process of launching comprehensive cancer care centres in states like Rajasthan, Punjab, Maharashtra and others. In the outreach programme, the company has tied up with various hospitals in Aligarh, Moradabad, Srinagar, Imphal, Gwalior and Panipat to make world class cancer care more accessible. 

ABOUT RVCF 

Rajasthan Venture Capital Fund is mandated to operate on pan-India basis. It manages two SEBI registered domestic venture capital funds - RVCF Fund I & SME TECH FUND – RVCF Trust II and invests in IT, education, healthcare, agro products, auto components and other growth sectors. Rajasthan Venture Capital Fund is amongst the top 3 Regional venture capital funds in India.

For more details contact Mr. Girish Gupta, CEO – Rajasthan Venture
Mobile No: +91 98290 66878/ Landline: 0141-4071680