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October 31, 2012

Deal Alert: Fidelity Growth Partners India Leads an INR 400Crore(US$ 75 million) Investment Round in Trivitron Healthcare Private Limited

From the Press Release:

Trivitron Healthcare Private Limited (Trivitron) announced today that Fidelity Growth Partners India (FGPI) hasanchored a round of investmentof approximately INR 400crores (US$ 75 million).This investment also provides partial exits for ePlanet Ventures and Headland Capital, who have been invested in Trivitron since 2007. 

For the past fifteen years, Trivitronhas been India’s largest exclusive pan India wholesale distributor and after-sales support provider of medical equipment and devices. Its areas of expertise include imaging, lab diagnostics, cardiology, critical care,renal care, operating room and ophthalmology equipment. Trivitron is the partner of choice for anyforeign manufacturer looking to enter the country on account of its strong reputation and track record, national sales-and-service network and robust logistics infrastructure. 

Over the past few years, subsidiaries and joint ventures of Trivitron havebeen steadily laying the foundations for manufacturing medical equipment. Trivitron Medical Technology Park, a 25-acre state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Chennai, was established in 2009 to house over 15 different medical technology manufacturing facilities of Trivitron’s subsidiaries and joint ventures;Trivitron’s joint ventures with Hitachi-Aloka (Japan) for manufacturing ultrasound equipment and with Biosystems (Spain) for lab diagnostics reagents are already operational.The company has recently set up centres of innovationfor biomedical equipment in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Chennai and under the leadership of its Director (R&D), Prof. Bhuvaneshwar, a wellrecognized innovator in this area. 

With the new fund infusion into the company, Trivitron aims to become a global player in the imaging and labdiagnosticssegments through organic growth as well as through acquisition of companies and technologies in Europe and the United States. The funds will be used to increaseTrivitron’s shareholding in Kiran Medical Systems, an international player in imaging accessories, expanding operations at Trivitron Medical Technology Park, and enhancing the company’s distribution operations in South East Asia, Middle East and Africa. 

Trivitron was founded in 1997 by Dr. G.S.K. Velu after his stint as the Country Head for Chiron Diagnostics, before embarking on a successful entrepreneurial journey. In addition to Trivitron, Dr. Velu has co-founded and built the country’s leading path lab chain, Metropolis Healthcare, as well as Medfort, a chain of single specialty, eye-care and diabetes-care hospitals. He has also co-founded a joint venture with the Apollo Hospitals Group for dental clinics(Apollo White) and dialysis centres (Apollo Dialysis). 

Commenting on the transaction, Mr. Raj Dugar, Senior Managing Director at FIL Capital Advisors (India) Private Limited, the private equity advisory arm for FGPI, said, "We are very excited to partner with Dr. Velu and Trivitron. Trivitron has a presence in both value and premium segments, and offers an excellent portfolio of products across India. The medical equipment sector in the country is still nascent and dominated by imports. We believe that India will follow the same evolution trajectory as other emerging markets like China where large, indigenous manufacturers of medical equipment have emerged over the past decade. Trivitron is well positioned to capitalize on this trend with its unparalleled distribution and service infrastructure that is difficult to replicate. High quality manufacturing efforts of Trivitron’ssubsidiaries and joint ventureswill allow Trivitron to expand its product portfolio to all segments of the market.” 

Dr. Velu said, “We are excited to have Fidelity as new investors and board members in Trivitron. Fidelity with its vast knowledge in the medical devices space in China, USA, and Europe will be able to add substantial value to Trivitron in becoming a global player in the imaging and lab diagnostics segments.Fidelity’s long-standing experience in China would also help us in making in-roads in the value segment.I am certain that Fidelity’s guidance would be invaluable in helping Trivitron implement its strong growth plan.”

Trivitron aims to close FY2012-13 with pro-forma gross revenues in excess of INR 700 crores through organic and inorganic routes enabled through this investment round. 

Kotak Mahindra Capital Company (KMCC), the investment banking arm of Kotak Mahindra Bank, was the exclusive advisor to Trivitron on the transaction. Amarchand &Mangaldas& Suresh A. Shroff& Co. acted as the company’s legal counsel. 

About Fidelity Growth Partners 

India Fidelity Growth Partners India (FGPI) is the India-focused private equity arm of Fidelity Worldwide Investment, focused on cross-sector growth capital investing. FGPI seeks to invest in high-quality, high-growth companies in India across a broad range of sectors with typical investment sizes ranging from $10 million to $50 million. FGPI is committed to making the companies it invests in leaders in their industries through access to patient capital with a long term investment mindset, a powerful network of resources and a team of investment professionals with a proven track record of success. Fidelity, Fidelity Worldwide Investment and Fidelity Growth Partners India are trademarks of FIL Limited.

Media contact person: 
Mr Arijit Sengupta
Direct: +91 22 6655 4057
Mob: +91 98203 40485
Email: arijit.sengupta@fil.com 

About Trivitron Healthcare Private Limited 

Established in the year 1997, Trivitron is the largest Indian multinational in medical technology with group revenues of approx.INR500 crores in FY2011-12. Headquartered in Chennai, Trivitron’s presencein India spans 20 offices, with 10 offices in other international locations including South Asia, South East Asia, Middle East and Africa. The company has over 1000 employees. Trivitron offers a value chain of end-to-end solutions in medical technology. Trivitron’s aim is to become the most admired global medical technology player through innovation, comprehensive product solutions and world class customer service and support. For further information logon to www.trivitron.com.

Media contact person
AasiyaShaikh
Mobile: +91 9833503994
Email:aasiya.shaikh@adfactorspr.com 

About KotakMahindra Capital Company Limited (Kotak Investment Banking)  

Kotak Mahindra Capital Company Limited (Kotak Investment Banking) is a leading full-service investment bank in India offering the complete range of capital market and advisory solutions to leading Indian and multinational corporations across diverse sectors. Our services include Equity and Debt Capital Market Issuances, M&A Advisory, Private Equity Advisory, Structured Finance Services and Infrastructure Advisory & Fund Mobilization. KMCC is a subsidiary of Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited, one of India's leading banking and financial services organizations with a consolidated net worth of Rs 13,943crore (approx US$ 2.6 billion) as on September 30, 2012. 

For more information, please visit http://investmentbank.kotak.com/ 

Media contact person
Phiroza Choksi 
Kotak Investment Banking
Mobile: +91 9820363681 
Email:phiroza.choksi@kotak.com

October 27, 2012

AZB, Amarchand Mangaldas, E&Y top League Tables for First 9 months of 2012

Ernst & Young, which advised a total of 44 transactions, topped the Venture Intelligence India League Tables as the Most Active Transaction Advisor (for both Private Equity and M&A deals) in the nine months ended September 2012. AZB & Partners topped the Most Active Legal Advisor Table for Private Equity transactions and Amarchand & Mangaldas topped as the Most Active Legal Advisor for M&A transactions in the same period. The Venture Intelligence League Tables, the first such initiative exclusively tracking transactions involving India-based companies, are based on volume of PE and M&A transactions advised by Transaction and Legal Advisory firms.

Private Equity Deals

Ernst & Young advised 24 PE deals during the period, including SBI Macquarie’s $150-M investment in Ashoka Concessions and IDFC PE’s investment in Star Agri Warehousing and Collateral Management. Other transaction advisors who advised a significant number of PE deals during the nine months ended September 12 include Avendus and Unitus Capital (with 6 deals each), Spark Capital and Intellecap ( with 5 deals each), Kotak Mahindra Capital Company (with 4 deals), and o3 Capital (with 3 deals).
Among legal advisors, AZB advised 22 deals during the period including GIC’s investment in Vasan Healthcare and the investment by Mount Kellett and IFC in Jain Irrigation Systems. Other legal advisors who advised a significant number of PE transactions during the period include Amarchand & Mangaldas (17 deals), Trilegal (15 deals), ALMT Legal (13 deals) and K Law, J Sagar Associates, Khaitan & Co, and Tatva Legal (10 deals each).

M&A deals

Ernst & Young advised 20 M&A deals during the period including Panasonic Corp's acquisition of Firepro Systems and the acquisition of Suvi Info Management by Jagran Media. Other transaction advisors who had advised a significant number of M&A deals during the nine months ended September 12 include Deloitte (13 deals), PwC ( 9 deals), BMR Advisors (6 deals) and Avendus (4 deals).
Among legal advisors, Amarchand & Mangaldas advised 20 deals during the period, including Piramal Healthcare’s acquisition of Decision Resources Group and L&T Finance’s acquisition of Fidelity’s Mutual Fund business in India. Other legal advisors who advised a significant number of M&A transactions during the nine months ended September ‘12 include Khaitan & Co. (19 deals), AZB & Partners (16 deals), ALMT Legal and Rajani Associates (14 deals each), and DSK Legal and J Sagar Associates (9 deals each).
The full league tables can be viewed online at http://ventureintelligence.in/league.htm



Venture Intelligence is the leading provider of data and analysis on private equity, venture capital and M&A transactions in India as well as Financials & Valuations of Private Companies in the country. Click Here to view our products list including the Free Deal Digest Weekly: India's First & Most Exhaustive Transactions Newsletter.

October 19, 2012

The Letter and Spirit of FDI in E-Commerce

Businessworld has an investigative report on how Indian e-commerce firms are "working around" the restrictive laws on FDI in retail. 
The B2C company acts as a ‘front’ for the B2B firm and in most cases is publicly portrayed as a packaging and logistics entity. As soon as a customer orders a product on Jabong, Jade eServices conducts what the industry commonly calls a “flash sale” with Xerion, which then bills, packs and ships the product under its name, technically keeping the foreign-funded firm at an ‘arm’s length’ from selling directly to the consumer. But does it? “We are fully compliant with laws in India,” says an e-mailed response from Jabong, though many legal experts beg to differ.

...The money is raised by Jasper Infotech, a marketing firm, while B2C entity Spinel Tradecom bills the consumer (only when products are warehoused within). Neither finds a mention in the release. Snapdeal CEO Kunal Bahl did not respond to queries.

As for flipkart.com, it has created a complex structure above its backend firm Flipkart Online Services (FOS), which held the Flipkart brand till it was transferred to Flipkart India, another B2B entity, in late 2011. Both entities licenced the brand to B2C firm WS Retail. The August round of funding of nearly $30 million in Flipkart India has come from Flipkart Singapore — one of the four new firms created by Flipkart in Singapore a couple of months ago. Myntra.com, yebhi.com and Gurgaon-based Smile Group entities dealsandyou.com, fashionandyou.com and freecultr.com have all got foreign funds through similar structures.

Viewpoint: While businesses obviously need to adhere to the letter of the law, the slant and tone of this article - in a publication that slams the government vehemently for being too slow on the reforms front in its editorials and columns - seemed jarringly out of sync.

Venture Intelligence is the leading provider of data and analysis on private equity, venture capital and M&A transactions in India as well as Financials & Valuations of Private Companies in the country. Click Here to view our products list including the Free Deal Digest Weekly: India's First & Most Exhaustive Transactions Newsletter.

When Everyone Turns Early Stage Investor...

While Pravin Jadhav, founder of social media startup Wishberg, did not mean this great post to be a critique of investors (and more as an "Do's and Don'ts" list for other Indian startup founders), the extracts below pertaining to his interaction with "investors" sound scary.
A known investor turned up 35 minutes late for a meeting, did not apologize, later he ordered food and drinks with no courtesy to offer us. During the discussion he was ogling at girls in the restaurant all the time, found someone he knew and told her he will see her in 5 minutes – all this right in front of us. We ended the meeting in next 2 minutes and walked away.

Another day, another prominent investor met us. He disagreed on one of our points, he started off, “Do you know whom you’re talking to? Do you know who I am?” We maintained our cool, thanked him for his time with a smile and promised ourselves never to see him again.

...We had many funny incidents around getting funded, looking for mentors or folks we came across in this journey.
  • One investor extending a term sheet on a condition that we agree to monetize from Day 1 (something I have not believed in).
  • One senior executive at MNC insisted we take him on the board of directors and he will open doors for us. (Since then I have felt being on board of directors is the new Page 3)
  • An incubator claiming they are better than Y-Combinator or 500 Startups. ‘We can give you what they cannot.’
  • A so-called angel investor claiming to have invested in many startups, not ready to name a single since its private and confidential. (Rocket Science? Even SpaceX investors were known.)
  • Someone who does not know ‘C’ of Coding telling us we should hire a Chief Technology Officer (he even suggested one with 22 Lac INR salary, who could join us at minimal hike).
  • Feedback on Design: ‘Use bright red color instead of blue. Red means attention, users should pay attention.’
Venture Intelligence is the leading provider of data and analysis on private equity, venture capital and M&A transactions in India as well as Financials & Valuations of Private Companies in the country. Click Here to view our products list including the Free Deal Digest Weekly: India's First & Most Exhaustive Transactions Newsletter.

VC Fund Manager Interview: Murli Ravi of Jafco Asia

 

Venture Intelligence spoke to Murli Ravi, Head – South Asia, Jafco Asia, about some of the firm’s portfolio companies that have been in the news recently as well as other trends. (This interview first appeared as part of the latest quarterly Venture Intelligence India Venture Capital report.)

Jafco Asia is a VC investor that is wholly owned by Tokyo Stock Exchange listed Jafco Co. Ltd, one of Japan’s largest PE companies. Ravi, who joined Jafco Asia in 2008, is based at the firm’s Singapore office. He represents the firm on the boards of India-based companies like Microqual (telecom equipment), CustomerXPs (enterprise software), Microland (remote IT infra management), Mistral Solutions (embedded technology) and Vriti Infocom (online education). Prior to Jafco, Ravi had worked at Temasek Holdings, RedPill Solutions and INSEAD.

Venture Intelligence: Microqual has been reported to be close to a liquidity event – either via an IPO or reverse merger with a listed entity. Let us know about your experience with the company and Jafco’s role in helping grow it through the various ups and downs that the Indian telecom industry has faced in recent years.
 

Murli Ravi: I can’t comment on the liquidity aspect specifically. But in the five years since Jafco invested in the company in 2007, Microqual has shown spectacular growth – in fact, it has grown by more than 20 times thanks to the efforts of the Founder-CEO and the management team. As an East Asian focused investor, we were able to complement the other investors in the company (IndoUS Ventures, BTS India and Headland Capital). Given Jafco’s origin and relationships in Japan - including the fact that some of the investors in our funds are corporate/ strategic investors - we were able to make the right introductions in Japan to Microqual for collaboration and so on. So, the Microqual investment has been a win-win from all sides.

VI: What attracted you to the CustomerXPs Software, your latest India-specific investment? The investment is also unique for Jafco in that it is the only one in your India portfolio in which you are the sole financial investor.
 

MR: CustomerXPs’ technology has both original IP and is also cutting edge from a global perspective. The founding team comes with top notch experience and their angel investor is one of the earliest employees of Infosys. Last, but not the least, is the huge vote of confidence by the country's largest private sector bank (ICICI Bank) which has chosen to entrust a key part of its IT infrastructure to the company and signed up as the first customer.

On being the sole financial investor, given that I look after a portfolio across the region, only based on your question do I realize that it’s the case with respect to the India portfolio. There is no reason why we will not be a sole investor and in fact, in other regions we have several such companies.

VI: There have been some changes at Vriti Infocom in the recent months – it sold off a portal ConnectIndia.in and hired a new CEO. What are you expecting from company in the near future?
 

MR: Our investment in the company (in 2010) was clearly as an Education play. Incidentally, this particular portal - which was started as a side project by one of the employees using shared resources from the company - had grown very well in the last couple of years. This is obviously a good thing, but it also brings issues with respect to positioning and focus. The company had to take a strategic call - since it's no longer efficient to rely on shared resources, etc. We considered various options and selling the portal as a business emerged as one that provided a good outcome to all parties.

Anil Pande joining Vriti as CEO is again a growth opportunity by bringing in someone with external experience. For a significant portion of his over 30 years of experience, Pande has launched startup operations within larger organizations like Reliance Communications and before that BPL, etc. We thought that it would be quite valuable to Vriti if he could come on board.

VI: Does the lack of an on ground presence in the country impact your way of operating?
 

MR: I'm practically in India once every two weeks - so it is not much of an issue from the firm's perspective. From an investee company's perspective, in fact, this question was asked to me recently by a CEO of a company just before we invested. I told him it is a fair question, but in practice, it tends to be a non-issue. The company is based in Bangalore and the CEO told me that he was talking to another investor based out of Delhi. I pointed out that between Singapore and Delhi (to Bangalore), there's hardly any difference in flying time and I'm as available on phone as any other investor.

Sure, I might not be as plugged in to the local gossip as much as an on the ground investor since I can't call someone over for a coffee at short notice. But, on the other hand, the regional perspective I have from being based in Singapore and the interactions I have with my colleagues in Korea, China, Taiwan and Japan bring its own benefits.

VI: Is there a minimum size of investment that Jafco looks at? What is the maximum you would look to put into a company over the life of the investment? 

MR: Across the region, the average deal size varies by country. The sweet spot is $2-4 million. China- and India-based companies can absorb more. Our investments range from less than a million dollars to $7-8 million.

VI: Jafco is clearly one of the very few VCs in India which have not strayed away from IT & ITES investments. Will this continue and are you seeing enough opportunities in India within this sphere?
 

MR: I would describe our focus as being on Technology rather than just IT - so, for example, we look at Solar, Semiconductors, etc. We are managing five funds till date. Starting from our fifth fund, we may invest in other sectors, but Technology will remain the predominant focus. We will continue to seek out new stuff and not "me-too" type investments. In India, the opportunities in Technology are if anything increasing.

VI: Some of Jafco’s earliest India investments were in the outsourcing space – Microland (2006), Vignani Technologies (2006), Mistral Solutions (2008). Can you comment on the current status of these investments? Would you be open to making new investments in outsourcing companies?
 

RM: While I don't want to comment on plans regarding specific companies, I don’t see us making an outsourcing based investment in near future.

VI: Beyond focused players like Vriti (in Education) and ApnaPaisa (personal finance), Jafco has not invested in the mass market consumer e-commerce plays which have absorbed lots of capital from other VCs. Any particular reasons?
 

MR: I would not say we have deliberately stayed away from e-commerce. However, one of the concerns we do have on the mass retail segment is the lack of differentiation between various players, often low margins due to intense competition, and the capital intensity that is required to achieve profitable scale. Another way we may play the sector is to invest in technology providers around e-commerce – whether it’s payments, logistics, etc.

VI: Jafco is one of the few investors to make bets in the Indian semiconductor industry - via Tessolve Services (Apr-08 & Apr-10) and Si2 Microsystems (Feb-09). What attracts you to the sector?
 

MR: The comfort for the sector comes from our heritage of investing in East Asia including in Japan, Taiwan and Singapore. So, the kind of the knowledge that we have on the semiconductor ecosystem, gives us the comfort in terms of evaluating risks and making investments in the sector.

VI: What other sectors are you looking at actively at this time for new investments?
 

MR: We prefer to be more bottom up and consider individual companies and entrepreneurs. There can always be good companies in out of favour sectors and bad companies in hot sectors.

October 18, 2012

PE Fund Manager Interview: Srinath Srinivasan of OIJIF

 

In a recent interview to Venture Intelligence, Srinath Srinivasan, Chief Executive Officer of Oman India Joint Investment Fund (OIJIF), discusses the first two investments announced by the JV fund of State Bank of India (SBI) and State General Reserve Fund of Oman(SGRF). Prior to OIJIF, Srinivasan had headed Indian PE investment unit of South Africa’s FirstRand Bank and before that was Head-Private Equity at Reliance Capital. (This interview first appeared as part of the latest quarterly Venture Intelligence India Roundup report.)  

Venture Intelligence: OIJIF has announced two investments in succession: Rs.55-Cr in the privately held electronics boards & systems maker Indus Teqsite and Rs.72-Cr in the publicly listed explosives maker Solar Industries. Can you tell us what attracted you to the companies? Is their having defense as one of their key verticals a contributing factor?

Srinath Srinivasan: Both the companies have strong competitive advantage and their business have strong entry barriers. This leads to them having strong pricing power and we believe that they will continue to have enough cash flows to fund 20%+ growth rate in the foreseeable future without further dilution. Finally, we believe in investing, only if valuations are fair and this worked in both the cases.

As a sector agnostic fund, we don’t have any specific affinity to any sector. It is true that in the case of Indus Teqsite, defense sector accounts for over 70% of the revenues. However, in the case of Solar, defense segment will start contributing in couple of years. Solar’s core business continues to be mining explosives in India and abroad.

VI: Which sectors are you scouting for investment opportunities at this point?

SS:
Currently we are looking at deals in specialty chemicals, waste management, engineering, IT infrastructure and healthcare amongst others. Irrespective of the sector, our preference is for companies with sustainable competitive advantage, backed by competent management teams.

VI: What sectors are you staying away from?

SS: We are staying away from real estate and infrastructure utilities.

VI: What will be your minimum ticket size per investment?
 

SS: Ideally we would like the check sizes to be US$10-15 million, but in exceptional opportunities, we can consider a deal size as low as US$5 million. We can increase the deal size to write out large cheques along with co-investment from SGRF. Typical deal size for co-investment deals would be at-least US$30-35 million and above.

VI: How about buyouts and distressed deals?
 

SS: We are pursuing some distress companies as well, though growth investing continues to be the core focus.

VI: What would be your preference in terms of participating in syndicated deals?
 

SS: We welcome working with other PE Funds in syndicated deals.

VI: How does OIJIF work vis-à-vis Oman Investment Fund’s direct investments in India? (Oman Investment Fund has invested in the Universal Commodity Exchange, NCDEX Quippo Telecom Infrastructure and Nimbus Communications) 

SS: SGRF is a separate Sovereign Fund entity in Oman and pursues its own investment strategy executed by an independent fund management team than that of Oman Investment Fund.

VI: At the time of the launch of the fund (in June 2011), it was announced that the fund would start with an initial corpus of $100 million (contributed by SBI and SGRF) which would later be expanded to $1.5 billion. Are you seeing enough deal flow to deploy that kind of capital? If yes, will the additional capital again be contributed by the 2 GPs or will OIJIF look at attracting third party investors?
 

SS: The deal flow has improved over the last year. We now see 10-15 investment opportunities per month. SBI’s vast network and relationships are useful in closing deals.

The Fund’s current goal is to deploy the $100 million contributed by the two GPs. Once we have achieved substantial deployment of corpus, we will embark on raising our next fund in 2013. Our GP’s will remain as the main contributors and, if required, we may invite other third parties to participate.

Deal Alert: Centrum Capital Ltd. successfully raises private equity capital for Olive Bar & Kitchen Pvt. Ltd.

From the Press Release: 

Centrum Capital Ltd. today announced that it has successfully raised close to 10 million dollars for Olive Bar and Kitchen Pvt. Ltd. The fund raised will be used to expand their presence across the globe.

Centrum Capital Ltd. acted as the sole financial advisor to Olive Bar and Kitchen Pvt. Ltd. (“Olive”) and has successfully raised an undisclosed amount of private equity capital from Aditya Birla Private Equity

Established in the year 2000, Olive has pioneered the casual fine dining segment in India with its flagship “Olive” brand. Promoted by renowned restaurateur Mr. A D Singh, Olive operates a chain of boutique casual fine dining restaurants straddling multiple genres, a high profile night club, and a niche catering business across Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. Olive’s portfolio of brands include “Olive”, “Monkey Bar”, “LAP”, “Ai”, and “Soul Fry”. With the current fund raise, the company plans to drive growth through a multi-pronged strategy which involves expansion of existing formats in new geographies and introduction of new concepts that are scalable. 

Mr. A D Singh, Managing Director, Olive added, “Riding on the success story of the first decade, the company has geared up to expand the existing formats and recently launched two new formats i.e. gastro pubs and bistros. We intend to leverage our brand equity created over the years to expand the reach of existing formats and launch new formats, which are independently scalable models, while extending the brand values and experience of the brand ‘Olive’ in order to expand our presence across formats and geographies. 

Existing investors in Olive include Mr. Chandir Gidwani who is the Promoter of the Centrum Group, which is a diversified financial services business and Mr. Manmohan Shetty who is credited with the setting up and flourishing of Adlabs Films Ltd, one of India's largest media and entertainment firms. Mr. Shetty has currently founded Walkwater Media Ltd., a media company covering the myriad aspects of media and entertainment.

“Olive is one of the country’s most respected and sought after brands in the hospitality / restaurant industry and significant interest was generated in this transaction, given the buoyancy and maturing of the India consumption story” said Mr. Samir Bahl who heads the Investment Banking team at Centrum Capital.

Deal Alert: Oravel Stays raises seed funding from VentureNursery’s Angels

From the Press Release: 

VentureNursery, India’s first angel-backed start-up accelerator has announced a seed investment by its angel investors in Oravel Stays, based in Gurgaon. 

Oravel [www.oravel.com] is focused on the short and midterm rentals space and is an aggregator of Bed and Breakfast, Private Rooms and Serviced Apartments which enables travellers to book clean, comfortable, affordable spaces. Oravel, which is primarily focussed on NCR region at present, is getting very good traction from SME’s, International, MICE travellers and medical tourists. The company’s website has over 4000 properties listed across metros and others parts of India. 20% of its properties are theme based and offer a unique stay experience to the guests. 

Oravel was founded in 2011 by 18 year old Ritesh Agarwal, ¬who comes from a family business background of Infrastructure. The company joined VentureNursery’s acceleration program in July, 2012 and has graduated with a Platinum grade. 

According to Mr Ritesh Agarwal, “The bed and breakfast segment is an exciting opportunity in Indian e-commerce. Given the increasing size of this segment, our understanding of this space in terms of managing customer expectations and property owners will be the key to expand.” 

Mr Manish Sinha, owner of one of India’s most loved boutique bed and breakfast properties, Gurgaon based Cinnamon Stays, has joined Oravel as a co-founder. Manish brings over 16 years of experience of brand building across some of the biggest advertising groups and deep operations experience of bed and breakfast space. 

Ravi Kiran, Co-founder, VentureNursery said “In Ritesh, our Charter Angels found exceptional passion, high energy and ability to overcome tough situations. Manish adds maturity of thinking, professional experience and depth of domain knowledge having personally built and run one of the best known bread and breakfast brands in NCR and served many demanding guests from within India and overseas successfully.”

Shravan Shroff, Co-founder, VentureNursery added, “The B&B space is a large and underserved segment in India and all indicators appear strong. Oravel has been showing good traction and has made excellent progress during the acceleration program. We hope the mentoring by our advisors and this round of seed funding by our angels will help Oravel pick up momentum is on its way to build a great business”

Oravel has so far been funded by promoter capital. This round of funds will be utilized for team, technology and network expansion.   

About VentureNursery [@venturenursery] 

Venture Nursery (VN) is India’s first angel-backed start-up accelerator. It was established in March 2012 by two like-minded Angel Investors -Shravan Shroff, Founder and former MD, Fame Cinemas and Ravi Kiran, former CEO-South East & South Asia, Starcom MediaVest Group and Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Friends of Ambition. 

Based on its belief that the angel ecosystem must focus primarily on maximising the success potential of the start-ups, VentureNursery undertakes an intensive and immersive coaching and mentoring role in the chosen start-ups and helps each with end-to-end infrastructural and learning support. 

VentureNursery conducts a minimum of two boot camps in a year in Mumbai and targets to accommodate up to eight start-ups in each program. At the end of each program, successfully graduating start-ups are evaluated for investment by a dozen strong group of committed and seasoned angel investors. In addition to the BootCamp method, Venture Nursery also accepts start-ups for acceleration through its PARALLELTRACK process. 

Although designed to be sector agnostic in the long run, at present, VentureNursery focuses on six sectors – Media & Entertainment, Retail, e-Commerce, Consumer Technology, Education and CleanTech. 

In addition to the Angels-in-Residence and Charter Angels, Venture Nursery works with a group of 20 Advisors-in-Residence and Executives-in-Residence to complete the support to the start-ups.

October 16, 2012

Social VC investments down 47.5% in first 9 months

Social Ventures attract 11 investments worth $45-M in Q3’12

Social Venture Investors (also called Impact Investors) participated in investments worth $45 million across 11 transactions in India during the three months ending September 2012, according to a study by Venture Intelligence. Of these, three investments were co-investments with regular VC firms. The impact investment figures were flat compared to the same period in 2011 (which had witnessed $43 million being invested across 11 transactions), but significantly higher than the immediate previous quarter (about $22 million across nine investments). The latest figures take the total Social VC investments in the first nine months of 2012 to $103 million across 31 deals, down 47.5% in value terms (21% in volume) compared to the $196 million across 39 deals during the same period in 2011, the Venture Intelligence research showed.

The Rs.80 crore (about $14.5 million) fourth round funding raised by Bangalore-based urban microfinance firm Janalakshmi Financial Services (from Gawa Microfinance Fund, the India Financial Inclusion Fund and well known investment banker Vallabh Bhanshali) was the largest investment in the social sector during Q3’12. Apart from Janalakshmi, the period also witnessed four other microfinance firms attracting investments. In a transaction funded by Aavishkaar, IntelleCash Microfinance Network acquired a 56% stake in Kolkata-based microlender Arohan Financial Services providing an exit for existing investor Bellwether Microfinance Fund. Bellwether also exited Bangalore-based Ujjivan Financial Services by selling its stake to Lok Capital. In addition, Bangalore-based Vistaar Livelihood Finance and Allahabad-based Sonata Finance also attracted investments during Q3’12.

Omidyar Network backed Kolkata-based low cost BPO iMerit Technology Services, a spin off from the NGO Anudip Foundation, while Ventureast and responsAbility invested in rural BPO firm Desicrew Solutions. Bangalore-based Babajob Services, which runs online job portal babajob.com for office and domestic help workers, raised capital from Gray Ghost Ventures, Vinod Khosla and other angel investors.

Acumen Fund announced two investments in the latest quarter – $250,000 as debt and equity in Avani Bio Energy and $300,000 in Edubridge Learning. Pittoragarh, Uttarakhand-based Avani creates pine needle gasification power projects for remote communities in northern India. Acumen’s investment will allow Avani, which was founded by the husband and wife team of Rajnish Jain and Rashmi Bharti, to create 20 operational plants within five years. Mumbai-based Edubridge provides vocational skills training for low income youth across Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Chhattisgarh.  

The data for this note has been sourced from the Venture Intelligence Social Venture Investments Database. The detailed analysis of the quarterly data is available to subscribers as part of the quarterly Venture Intelligence India VC Report. 


Venture Intelligence is the leading provider of data and analysis on private equity, venture capital and M&A transactions in India as well as Financials & Valuations of Private Companies in the country. Click Here to view our products list including the Free Deal Digest Weekly: India's First & Most Exhaustive Transactions Newsletter.

October 15, 2012

VCs make 52 investments worth $200-M in Q3’12; 9 month value down 22%

Volume of investments in first 9 months keeps pace with 2011; Value down by 22%

Venture Capital firms invested $200 million over 52 deals in India during the three months ending September 2012, according to a study by Venture Intelligence. The amount invested during Q3’12 was significantly lower compared to the same quarter in 2011 (which had witnessed $256 million being invested across 51 deals) and flat when compared to the immediate previous quarter ($204 million across 56 deals). The latest figures take the total VC investments in the first nine months of 2012 to $596 million across 157 deals, down over 22% compared to the $768 million across 153 deals during the same period in 2011.


Top growth investments during the quarter included the $20 million third round raised by e-tailer Yebhi.com from Fidelity Growth Partners India and Qualcomm Ventures, with participation from existing investors; the $14.5 million fourth round raised by urban microfinance firm Janalakshmi Financial Services and the $5 million third round raised by remote IT infra management firm Appnomic Systems. Among Early Stage deals, Fidelity Growth Partners India invested $20 million into US- and India-based analytics BPO firm AbsolutData Research and retail loyalty management software firm Capillary Technologies raised $15.5 million from Sequoia Capital, Norwest and existing backer Qualcomm Ventures.

Information Technology and IT-Enabled Services (IT & ITES) companies, at 36 deals worth about $124 million, attracted 69% of the investments in volume terms and 62% in value terms. Healthcare & Life Sciences companies (which attracted 6 investments worth $15 million) and Financial Services firms (4 investments worth $32 million) were the next most popular industry targets during the latest quarter. Within IT, the dominance of the Online Services sector (including E-Commerce) declined significantly in Q3’12 with the 18 investments worth about $50 million that it attracted accounting for 50% of the IT & ITES pie by volume and 40% by value.

VC firms found exit routes for seven portfolio companies in the latest quarter – all via M&A transactions. The Bharti Group sold two of its VC-backed companies - education focused Centum Learning and Mobile VAS firm Comviva Technologies – to publicly listed acquirers. The merger of Centum Learning with Everonn Education provided an exit for Mayfield which had invested into Centum in Jun-10. The 51% stake acquisition in Comviva by Tech Mahindra provided an exit for Sequoia Capital India and Cisco. E-commerce firm Fashion and You acquired fellow fashion etailer UrbanTouch.com providing an exit for the latter’s investors, Tiger Global and Accel Partners.


The data for this note has been sourced from the Venture Intelligence PE/VC Investments Database. The detailed analysis of the quarterly data is available to subscribers as part of the quarterly Venture Intelligence India VC Report. 

Venture Intelligence is the leading provider of data and analysis on private equity, venture capital and M&A transactions in India as well as Financials & Valuations of Private Companies in the country. Click Here to view our products list including the Free Deal Digest Weekly: India's First & Most Exhaustive Transactions Newsletter.

October 09, 2012

Genpact deal props up Quarterly PE investment; ; First 9 month investments dip 27%

Private Equity firms invested about $2,521 million across 97 deals during the quarter ended September 2012, according to a study by Venture Intelligence. Thanks to the $1 billion investment by Bain Capital in US listed, Gurgaon based BPO firm Genpact, the investment amount showed a growth of 4.4% over that invested in the same period last year ($2,415 million across 120 transactions) and a healthy 32% over the immediate previous quarter (which had witnessed $1,909 million being invested across 105 transactions). Despite the quarterly up tick, the total PE investments in the first nine months of 2012 at $6,488 million across 309 transactions, significantly trails the $8,882 million across 357 transactions in the same period in 2011. (Please Note: The above figures do not include PE investments in Real Estate.)

Bain Capital Partners’ purchase of shares held by previous PE investors - General Atlantic and Oak Hill Capital - in NYSE-listed, Gurgoan-based BPO firm Genpact for approximately $1 billion was the largest PE investment during Q3’12 by a huge margin, with no other investment crossing the $200 million figure. The second largest investment during the period was SBI-Macquarie’s $150 million investment in Ashoka Concessions Limited, a road-construction subsidiary of publicly-listed Ashoka Buildcon.

 Led by the Genpact deal, IT & ITES companies attracted $1,295 million (51% of the value pie) across 45 reported investments during Q3’12. In other IT & ITES transactions, Blackstone acquired a 6.1% stake in publicly listed Financial Technologies India through open market transactions; Actis invested $40 million in ATM outsourcing and payments company AGS Transact Technologies and Carlyle picked up shares worth $39 million in publicly listed Infotech Enterprises.

Venture Capital type deals accounted for 54% of the investments (in volume terms) during Q3’12 compared to 42% in the corresponding period a year ago. The share of Late Stage deals was 21%, while the share of listed company investments was 13% during the latest quarter.  

Real Estate

Private Equity-Real Estate firms made 10 investments (amounting to US$394 million across nine deals with disclosed values) during the quarter ended September 2012. The volume of investments was down by 44% compared to the 18 investments in the same period in the previous year (which witnessed $726 million being invested across 13 transactions with disclosed values), but up by an almost similar figure compared to the seven investments ($172 million across six deals) during Apr-Jun 2012.

The data for this note has been sourced from the Venture Intelligence PE/VC Investments Database. The detailed analysis of the quarterly data is available to subscribers (Series C category and above) as part of the quarterly Venture Intelligence India Roundup report.

Venture Intelligence is the leading provider of data and analysis on private equity, venture capital and M&A transactions in India as well as Financials & Valuations of Private Companies in the country. Click Here to view our products list including the Free Deal Digest Weekly: India's First & Most Exhaustive Transactions Newsletter.

October 04, 2012

BMO advises OIL in joint stake acquisition (with IOC) in Carrizo's US shale gas assets

Oil India Limited (OIL) and Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) have jointly acquired a 30% stake in Nasdaq-listed Carrizo Oil & Gas Inc’s (Carrizo) liquid rich shale assets in the Denver–Julesburg Basin in Colorado, USA at a total investment of $82.5 million. The deal, which represents OIL and IOCL’s first shale acquisition in the US, includes an upfront cash payment of $41.25 million and the assumption of $41.25 million of Carrizo’s future drilling and development costs. BMO Capital Markets acted as exclusive financial advisor to OIL on the transaction. Thompson & Knight LLP acted as legal counsel, while Ernst & Young and Halliburton acted as tax and accounting and technical due diligence consultants, respectively.

OIL and IOCL, through their wholly-owned US subsidiaries, will receive 30% of Houston, Texas-based Carrizo’s interest in approximately 60,000 net acres where the partners will target development of the Niobrara shale. As part of the transaction, OIL and IOCL will also receive a 30% interest in Carrizo's existing production, of approximately 1850 BOE/ day from 24 gross wells.

For the IOCL Press Release, Click Here

For the Carrizo Press Release, Click Here

Public Markets Watch: Jul-Sep 2012

From the latest Venture Intelligence quarterly PE Roundup report:

The leading Indian stock market indices - the BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty – closed Q3 2012 up almost 8%, bettered only by the commodity producing markets like Russia and Brazil (which had gained over 8.7%) and the German DAX (which gained almost 10.9%).



Venture Intelligence is the leading provider of data and analysis on private equity, venture capital and M&A transactions in India as well as Financials & Valuations of Private Companies in the country. Click Here to view our products list including the Free Deal Digest Weekly: India's First & Most Exhaustive Transactions Newsletter.

October 03, 2012

Deal Alert: Fulcrum Venture India 'exits Casa Grande with 10x net multiple’

From the Press Release:

Fulcrum Venture India, a highly successful early stage venture capital investor started in 2000 by Krishna Ramanathan as a proprietary fund, today announced its exit from Casa Grande with a company valuation of 100 cr making a 10x net multiple. One of its first investments, Fulcrum Venture India invested in Casa Grande Pvt. Ltd. in financial year 2004 a promising new player in the real estate space in Chennai. Casa Grande has generated significant returns for the Fulcrum portfolio with a gross IRR of 54.46%. 

The secret of success behind this partnership, according to KR Krishna, Founder Partner, Fulcrum Venture India is “We believe in giving emerging entrepreneurs full freedom to run the business according to their own vision. We have trust in their ability to freely innovate winning products and services. As with Casa Grande, we are pleased to have been a part of the company’s journey, honed and nurtured it to a size and scale where today it has developed over 1.5 million sq. ft. of land and achieved sales of INR 94 Cr. These achievements have created a profitable and timely Exit for Fulcrum Venture India.” 

As an early stage investor Fulcrum Venture India has successfully identified and partnered with Casa Grande till it achieved scale and size. Fulcrum’s ability to work with promoters through the peaks and dips has helped Casa Grande evolve to a built-up pipeline of about Rs. 750 crores of projects, which will be executed in the next two and a half years. Fulcrums SME focus has contributed to Casa Grande growth, making it a formidable player in the real estate space expanding its wings to Coimbatore and Bangalore aside from its primary presence in Chennai. 

 Fulcrum has been focusing on early stage investing since its inception in 2000 and has a successful track record for offering financial support to promising start ups in a variety of sectors such as Pharma, Niche Retail, Consumer Durables, Education, IT & Technology. Fulcrum Venture India continues to identify, fund and manage, promising investment opportunities and facilitate growth in the neglected SME sector. 

About Fulcrum Venture India 

Fulcrum is a decade-old angel investment fund evolving into an early stage sector agnostic Private Equity Fund. Trust is our biggest investment in a business and we work to create good top line growth and high Return on equity. Fulcrum has invested in diverse businesses like Real Estate, Healthcare, IT. On average our investments have, delivered a top line growth of 136% (CAGR) from 2004-12. We focus on business fundamentals and partner ambitious management with big unique ideas in stable markets. For more information, please visit www.fulcrumventureindia.com