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December 30, 2012

Deal Alert: Analytics firm Ideas Software and Consulting acquired by US-based Saxon Global

Saxon Global Inc., an Irving (Texas) based Data and Analytics consulting company, has acquired Bangalore-based Ideas Software and Consulting Pvt. Ltd. (ISAC Global), a boutique big data and web intelligence solutions firm.

As part of the transaction, Haricharan SM, CEO and co-founder of ISAC Global, will join Saxon as COO. Sudhir Patavardhan, Founder and CTO of ISAC Global, will continue to lead technology development and engineering efforts of Saxon Global.

ISAC Global owns Siteanalytix, a web analytics platform currently deployed at customers such as Rediff and Carwale. The company recently launched a proprietary Big Data platform for the US Insurance sector.

Source: Yourstory.in

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.

Deal Alert: Multiples to invest in Rs.100-Cr in mobile ad firm Mogae Media: report

Multiples Private Equity is to purchase a significant stake for Rs.100 crore in Mogae Media, a Mumbai-based mobile advertiser owned by former Dentsu India chairman Sandeep Goyal and his wife Tanya Goyal. The deal marks Multiples’ sixth investment since launch in 2011.Mogae Media, started early this year, is now the sole and exclusive partner of Airtel to sell its advertising inventory across voice, text, data and also Direct to Home (DTH) to its 186 million subscribers across India.

Sandeep Goyal had sold his undisclosed stake in Denstsu India to Japanese Partner Dentsu Inc for Rs.240 crore earlier.

Source: Economic Times

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.

December 29, 2012

PE investments down 14.7% to $8.9 B in 2012

Private Equity firms invested $8,853 million over 406 deals in India during the 12 months ending December 2012, compared to the $10,378 million across 483 deals during the previous year, according to analysis by Venture Intelligence, the leading research service focused on private company transactions and financials. These figures - which include VC investments and exclude PE investments in Real Estate - take the total investments by PE firms over the past five years to about $41.4 billion across 2,036 transactions.

The latest Venture Intelligence data reveals that PE investments in October-December 2012 declined by over 32% to about $1,010 million (across 82 deals) compared to the $1,490 million invested (across 121 deals) in the same period in 2011 and $3,849 million invested (across 108 deals) in the immediate previous quarter.

“PE managers are more being judicious and taking longer period to deploy their funds,” commented KEC Raja Kumar, Founder & CEO of leading Bangalore-based PE firm Ascent Capital. The fact that the environment has continued to be challenging for new fund raising has also contributed to the investment slowdown. “Limited Partners interest in Indian PE funds continues to be lukewarm. This would change provided the current rally in public markets results in exit realisation for PE funds,” Raja Kumar added.

Top Investments

The two largest PE investments announced during 2012 were both in the BPO sector: the $1,100 million buyout of medical transcription specialist M*Modal (formerly CBay Systems) by JP Morgan unit One Equity Partners and the $1,000 million investment by Bain Capital and GIC in Genpact (by buying out the stake of existing PE investors General Atlantic and Oak Hill).  (Both of these transactions happening in the Jul-Sep 2012 quarter contributed to the period becoming an outlier.) The next largest investment was Morgan Stanley’s $210.5 million commitment to Continnum Wind Energy, a Singapore headquartered firm developing wind assets in India’s Kutch region.

By Industry

With 162 investments worth about $3,243 million, Information Technology and IT-Enabled Services (IT & ITES) companies topped in terms of both investment value and volume during 2012. The $150 million fourth round investment raised by e-commerce leader Flipkart was the next largest after the two mega BPO deals in the IT industry.

Powered by four investments worth $100 million or more in the hospitals segment (Manipal Health Systems, Care Hospitals, DM Healthcare and Vasan Eye, the Healthcare & Lifesciences industry absorbed $1,225 million across 48 deals. Led by Warburg Pincus’ $145 million buyout of listed NBFC firm Future Capital, the BFSI industry was the third favourite accounting for $890 million across 43 deals. Energy companies – powered by the interest in wind power development companies in the first half 2012 – came in next attracting $478 million across 20 investments

By Stage

Late Stage deals accounted for 24% of the investments in volume terms and 26% in value terms during 2012, the Venture Intelligence research showed. Buyout deals accounted for 4% in volume terms and 22% in value terms. Venture Capital investments accounted for 51% in volume terms and 9% in value terms. Listed company investments accounted for 13% in volume terms and 25% in value terms

By Region

While companies in South India attracted the most number of investments (162 deals worth $2,460 million), companies based in Western India attracted the maximum PE capital in terms of value ($3,799 million across 126 deals) during 2012. Companies in North India attracted investments worth $2,370 million across 92 deals.

Among cities, Bangalore-based companies attracted the most number of investments (88 investments worth $1,170 million), followed by companies in the National Capital Region (with 87 investments worth $2,319 million). Mumbai-based companies attracted 85 investments worth $2,856 million).
                                      
Most Active Firms

With 17 investments each during 2012, Sequoia Capital India, IFC and Accel India were the most active PE investors in India during 2012. Among seed level funds, Blume Ventures was especially active investing across 23 transactions during the year.

JP Morgan vaulted to the top of the value charts for the year with $1,265 million (across M*Modal and toll roads firm Nandi Economic Corridor Enterprises), while Bain Capital followed next with its $850 million investment in Genpact. IFC came in third with investments worth $495 million.

Private Equity in Real Estate

Private Equity-Real Estate firms made 43 investments in the Real Estate segment during 2012, the Venture Intelligence analysis showed. Of these, 35 transactions had an announced value of $1,145 million. The activity level was almost 38% lower compared to the 69 investments ($2,693 million across 54 announced deals) in 2011. Residential projects accounted for 65% of the investments (by volume) during 2012, followed by commercial projects with a 16% share of the pie.

Blackstone’s proposal to acquire a stake in the office space portfolio of Bangalore-based developer Embassy Property Developments for a reported $230 million (Rs.1,300 crore), was the largest reported during 2012. The other large PERE investments during the year included Morgan Stanley’s $94 million (Rs.500 crore) investment in Supertech’s township project in Noida and the same investor’s $90 million commitment in Sheth Developers.

The data for this note has been sourced from the Venture Intelligence PE/VC Investments Database. The detailed analysis of the annual data is available to subscribers (Series C category and above) as part of the Venture Intelligence India Roundup 2012 report due for release in early January.

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.

December 28, 2012

Should Angels Bet on Follow-on Funding from VCs?

From the post by Alok Mittal - who incidentally wears both hats - at VentureWoods:
The venture capital industry in India is relatively small. And besides sporadic instances of “spray and pray”, it has mostly remained tight and focused its resources on one or two bets in a given area. That means that not more than 3-4 companies in any given space get to Series A. Angel investors need to understand this dynamic, and hence not just look at whether a company could build a good business, but also whether it has credible chances of raising the next round of capital to get there. A small VC industry also poses the issue of volatility - couple of VCs talking about an area being over-invested in enough to create a sudden negative sentiment.

...Is the Indian angel investor ready to lead? Are we ready to step up to the plate and make bets that we know VCs don’t like/understand today? Are we simply going to follow what we expect VCs to do 12 month down the line, or are we going to show them the way? Is our vision going to be just about the next round of financing, or creating truly great companies?
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.

December 27, 2012

Deal Alert: Kalaari Capital invests in B2B group buying Power2sme


Kalaari Capital (formerly IndoUS Venture Partners) has invested in Gurgaon-based Power2sme, a buying club for SMEs. The fund has joined hands with the company’s existing investor, Inventus Capital Partners, in extending the Series A fundraising. The new funds will be used for scaling the company’s presence across newer geographies including Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad and Chandigarh; hiring talent and increasing the company’s brand visibility. Kalaari Capital MD Vani Kola will join the Power2sme board. 

Having started operations in January 2012, Power2sme provides a platform that enables the SMEs to cut costs and build efficiencies in their business processes, thus allowing them to compete on an equal footing with large enterprises.  

From the Venture Intelligence PE Deal database: Inventus had invested $1.8 M in the company in Jul-12. (Subscribers to the database can login to view the company valuation, deal structuring and other transaction details.)


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.

Deal Alert: Kellton Tech to acquire OPD firm Skan Dbydx Software


Hyderabad-based publicly listed software development company Kellton Tech Solutions Ltd. is to acquire New Delhi-based outsourced product development focused IT Services firm Skan Dbydx Software Pvt. Ltd. The target company specialized in Mobile Application, Rich Internet Application (RIA) Development & Quality Assurance. 

DbyDx was founded by its MD Nitin Verma and CEO Abhishek Vinod Singh. 

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.

Deal Alert: BITS Pilani-Hyderabad to set up technology incubator


Birla Institute of Technology and Science-Pilani, Hyderabad, is setting up a technology incubator in its campus to encourage entrepreneurship. The Institution will provide 10,000 sq ft of built-up area to the incubators in biotech, pharma, ICT and healthcare segments. 

The incubator, which will be operational in a few months from now, is being set up with Rs.5 crore grant from the Department of Science and Technology besides Rs.2.5 crore from the institution.

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.

December 23, 2012

Deal Alert: Glocal Healthcare scouting for equity funding

Business Line

Kolkata-headquartered and private equity-backed rural hospital company Glocal Healthcare Pvt Ltd, is planning to raise equity for its Rs 400-crore project for 50 new units across six States.

The project would be funded by both debt (65%) and equity (35%). The equity will be raised from a mix of investors including PE funds Sequoia and Elevar, who are current investors. The remaining Rs 280 crore will be debt. SIDBI has already committed funds. 

Glocal, which currently runs five affordable rural hospitals in West Bengal, would locate the new units in West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Odisha. Each hospital will have 100 beds built on 15,000 sq.ft.

From the Venture Intelligence PE Deal database: In January 2011, Sequoia Capital India and Elevar Equity had invested $1.33 M in Glocal Healthcare Systems.

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.

Deal Alert: Norwest exits Persistent Systems; sells remaining shares worth Rs.36-Cr for 4.20x return


Norwest Venture Partners has sold its remaining 719,581 shares of publicly listed IT services firm, Persistent Systems Ltd. on BSE worth Rs.36 Crores at Rs.500.72 per share on Dec 21, 2012. This constitutes 1.80% of total outstanding shares of Persistent Systems Ltd.  

From the Venture Intelligence PE Deal database: In Nov 2005, Norwest Venture Partners invested INR 63.06 Cr for 15.01% stake and made its first part exit Nov 2012.

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.

Deal Alert: Sportsnest acquires PlaygroundOnline; secures funding from Blume Ventures


Online sports product retailer, PlaygroundOnline and B2B company, Sportsnest have merged and the combined entity has raised funding from Blume Ventures. Post merger, PlaygroundOnline will be the consumer face of the entity.

PlaygroundOnline was launched in 2008 and focused mostly on B2C segment. It has serviced more than 50,000 customers and post merger, will focus on categories including cricket, badminton, tennis, football, outdoor and adventure, cycling, running and golf. Sportsnest, focused on institutional segment, plans to enhance its presence in sports nutrition, apparel, foot wear and gym equipment.


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.

December 20, 2012

Deal Alert: Dentsu in talks to buy out digital agency Webchutney


Japanese advertising agency Dentsu is in advanced talks to buy out digital advertising agency and consulting firm Webchutney. Network18, which holds 70.06% stake in the Sidharth Rao-promoted Webchutney Studios, is looking to exit. The deal size is estimated at between Rs.40-60 crore for Network18's stake . Network18 had invested in Webchutney through its investment arms, Capital18 Ltd and Capital18 Fincap. The promoters of Webchutney will continue to hold their stakes. 

From the Venture Intelligence PE Deal database: In November-2007 Capital18 had invested $2.13 M in Webchutney.

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.

Deal Alert: Local deals search firm Squeakee raises funding from Kae Capital, Mumbai Angels


Mumbai-based Squeakee, a yet-to-be-launched search engine for offers, has raised funding from Kae Capital and Mumbai Angels. The hyper-local search engine, which digs out online and offline discounts and offers based on location, will be launched later this week. Kae typically invests $200,000 (about Rs.1 crore) to $500,000 in the first round, while Mumbai Angels invests up to Rs.2 crore. 

Squeakee was founded earlier this year by Abrar Shaikh, who previously worked with consumer TV guidance channel What’s-On-India and digital advertising network Komli Media. The company, which currently lists offers mainly in Mumbai, intends to expand to Delhi, Bangalore, Pune, Hyderabad and Chennai by end 2013.

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.

Deal Alert: Unilazer invests in MeraCareerGuide.com

Catalog Educational Services Pvt. Ltd., the Noida-based company that operates the online career guidance service MeraCareerGuide.com, has raised capital from Unilazer Ventures, the family office of UTV founder Ronnie Screwvala. Abhishek Shah of Unilazer joined the company's board as of October 31, 2012.

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.

December 19, 2012

Deal Alert: SAIF buys Persistent Systems shares worth Rs.55-Cr as Norwest sells addl shares worth Rs.90-Cr

NSE

Norwest Venture Partners has sold an additional 1,845,000 shares of publicly listed outsourced product development firm Persistent Systems Ltd. on NSE worth Rs.90.41 crores at Rs.490 per share on Dec19, 2012. This constitutes 4.61% of total outstanding shares of Persistent Systems Ltd. Of these, another PE investor, SAIF Partners bought 1,120,000 shares (or 2.80%) worth Rs.54.88 Crores. 

From the Venture Intelligence PE Deal database: In Nov 2005, Norwest Venture Partners invested INR 63.06 Cr for 15.01% stake. 

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.

December 18, 2012

Deal Alert: Times Internet invests in design-focused e-tailer Fab.com


Times Internet has made a “7-figure” investment in New York-based e-commerce company Fab.com. As part of this investment, Fab will work with Times Internet to explore and execute its India market strategy. 

Investors in Fab.com include A Grade Investment, Andreessen Horowitz, Atomico, Baroda Ventures, Cinco Capital, Docomo, First Round Capital, Mayfield Fund, Menlo Ventures, Pinnacle Ventures, Phenomen VC, RTP Ventures, SoftTech VC, SV Angel, VTB Capital, The Washington Post Company and Zelkova Ventures. 

From the Venture Intelligence M&A Deal database: In Nov-12 Fab.com had acquired True Sparrow Systems.

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.

Deal Alert: Times Internet invests in missed call based marketing firm ZipDial


Times Internet Ltd, the internet and mobile venture of The Times Group, has picked up a minority stake in Bengaluru-based ZipDial Mobile Solutions. ZipDial gives brands a toll-free number that their consumers can give missed calls to and get SMSes with more information on marketing campaigns.  

From the Venture Intelligence Angel & Aceelerator Deal database: In April 2011 Mumbai Angels had invested in ZipDial. In December 2012, US-based accelerator 500 Startups announced ZipDial as its tenth deal in India,

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.

December 17, 2012

Deal Alert: HT Media acquires 40% stake in online recruitment service MyParichay

HT Media is to acquire a 40% stake in MyParichay, an online recruitment business. HT Media will acquire equity shares from MyParichay’s existing promoters and by subscription of CCPS in three separate tranches over the next two years. The deal is projected to augment HT Media’s existing online recruitment portal Shine.com, which was launched in 2008. J Sagar Associates advised HT Media while PXV Law Partners advised MyParichay. 

Founded by Ranjan Sinha and Vivek Sinha in December 2011, MyParichay has built a network within Facebook that allows members to apply for jobs, companies to recruit, and employees to refer friends for internal job postings. 

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.

Deal Alert: The Morpheus announces 12 startups as part of Batch 8


The Morpheus, a Chandigarh-based accelerator, has added 12 more startups to its portfolio, as part of Batch 8. The batch concluded its initial 4 month startup acceleration program recently. 

The companies include: 

Memetic Labs (Airwoot), founded by Prabhat Saraswat and Saurabh Arora. The company’s smart engagement helpdesk product Airwoot empowers businesses to connect with their customers on social media channels, solve their complaints and leverage deep customer support analytics. 

Online Prasad, founded by Goonjan Mall. The site offers prasad at the temple of your faith and home-deliver it for your family. 

CVBhejo, founded by Nikhilesh Tayal. It is a mobile based recruitment platform for Indian Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. Currently its working in Udaipur and shortly will expand to major towns in Rajasthan. 

MotorPaneer, founded by Saurabh Mathur and Jigyasa Makkar. It offers tools for new car buyers to explore & shortlist their options. 

MetisMe, founded by Shalin Tejpal Jain. It offers an attachments management system for Gmail that organizes your email; like lining up your attachments and seamlessly syncing them across various cloud services, making it super easy for you to access & edit attachments on the go and also organizing your e-mail data. 

Firmzen, founded by Sameet Singh, Amith George and Noel Sequeira. This enables CAs to run their practices with the efficiency and professionalism. 

Oyeweekend, founded by Pinaki Panda, Jagadish Sahu, Shuvam. This is an online market place for leisure activities and offbeat experiences. Debuggify, founded by Ankur Agarwal. 

Debuggify makes developers aware of problems on their websites and help them fix the problems at a very early stage. 

Papyrus, founded by Gaurav Tiwari. It helps people to create ebooks. You can edit the cover using a simple drag and drop cover editor, import content from the web, or create new content as easily as writing a blog post. 

Watchy, founded by Sriramkumar VH. It enables professionals (videographers & event managers) to connect their clients to a wider audience using live streaming even with unreliable Internet speeds using multiple wireless broadband dongles. 

Skillzot, founded by Sandeep Burman. Skillzot is a portal that will help you find and connect with the best classes & teachers to learn any skill at a place and medium convenient for you. 

The traces, founded by Udaya Prakash, Saravana Vijay. Traces brings the art of story -telling to the mobile world, where you can post messages, pictures and track events as they happen and share it with people you care. 

The Morpheus closed its 3rd fund in 2011 (Rs.3.5 crore) and is now inviting applications for its Batch 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.

Deal Alert: Vishal Gondal invests in Examify


Indiagames founder and angel investor Vishal Gondal has invested in Examify, a new education focused online service that uses algorithms and crowd sourcing to generate intelligence around various examinations, allowing students to identify important topics and questions. The site covers CBSE, IGCSE, IB and ICSE Board examinations, as well as IIT-JEE and BITSAT examinations. 

Examify is founded by Angad Nadkarni and Samudra Neelam Bhuyan.

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.

Deal Alert: Nexus-backed Vdopia raises $3.4 M as part of $7.4 M Series B funding


San Jose, CA-based video advertising network Vdopia has raised $3.4 million in a Series B round, according to a filing with the US SEC. Vdopia started raising capital from December 3, 2012 and is looking to raise $7.4 million ($7,391,863). The capital is being raised through preferred stock which is convertible to common stock. 

From the Venture Intelligence PE Deal database: Vdopia had previously raised $4 million from Nexus Venture Partners in September 2008.

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.

December 16, 2012

Deal Alert: DREAM:IN incubator kicks off with backing from VCs


Entrepreneurs Sonia Manchanda and Kush Medhora have launched an incubator called DREAM:IN that seeks to incubate ‘amazing ideas’ from across the nation. Gray Matter Capital, Helion Ventures, Seedfund, Accel Partners and a few other VC firms have invested in the project and would be actively looking at the companies graduating from it. 

The focus is on youth and DREAM:IN plans to capture 10,000 ‘dreams’ from around 250 colleges in South India with whom they’ve already tied up. Around 1770 ideas have already been captured and the process of nurturing and shaping them is under way. 

Manchanda is a graduate from the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad. 

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.

Deal Alert: InOpen Tech eyes Rs.20-Cr funding


InOpen Tech, an IIT-Bombay based educational startup, is looking to raise Rs.20 crore. The company provides computer science content to 300,000 students across 130 schools in India. Its flagship product, Computer Masti, is a program to teach computer science in schools. 

Within three years of operation, it has achieved profits, clocking revenue of Rs.2.32 crore in FY12, compared to Rs.70 lakh the year before. Rupesh Shah, chief executive and co-founder of the company, is an IIT-B alumnus, while Sridhar Iyer, another co-founder, is a professor in the department of computer science and engineering at IIT-B. 

The company was formally incorporated in October 2009 and incubated at the Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at IIT-B. Starting with seed capital of Rs.25 lakh, it raised $500,000 from VenturEast last year. Founders Shah and Iyer own a majority stake while IIT-B has a small minority stake.

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.

Grant Thornton survey on Global PE singles out India for negativity

A new Grant Thornton report titled “Global Private Equity Report 2012" says "India is the most challenging market globally for this sector".

Extracts from the Grant Thornton press release on the report:


On the Fundraising Outlook
The most dramatic decline in optimism from 2011 is evident in the BRICS: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. This year, 78 percent of respondents in these markets described the fundraising outlook as “negative” or “very negative”. In 2011, the figure was 39 percent.

On Cross-Border Buyers
...Globally, China and Japan, Europe and North America are the regions from which most GPs expect non-domestic strategic buyers to originate.

Regions as expected sources of non-domestic acquirers
China, Japan, Korea
31%
Europe
24%
North America
22%
South East Asia
11%
India
10%
MENA
1%
Africa
Less than 1%
Latin America
Less than 1%
Russia
Less than 1%
Source: Global Private Equity Report 2012, Grant Thornton

“Of particular interest is the expected significance of Japan, reflecting the fact that the strong Yen coupled with sluggish domestic demand is encouraging international expansion. PEs globally expect to see Japanese buyers, and this is particularly the case in Europe, India and Asia Pacific.”
On Deal Activity

...Many private equity executives expect both China and India to suffer a decline in deal activity in the next 12 months. This represents a dramatic turnaround in sentiment for both countries. In 2011, 78 percent of respondents expected investment activity in India to increase, with the remaining 22 percent expecting it to remain steady. This year, 45 percent expect it to decline.
Knowledge@Wharton has an article exploring why India ranks poorly for which it had sought views from Venture Intelligence. Extracts:
Arun Natarajan, founder and CEO of Venture Intelligence, a Chennai–based research services firm focused on PE and M&A deals, adds that slow to non-existent reforms and lack of profitable exits continue to be the main dampeners. Says Natarajan: “Indian PE has been facing challenges which are a mix of both country-level issues and industry-level issues. The lack of economic reforms over the past several years and retrograde steps like the attempt to tax transactions retrospectively [like in the Vodafone-Hutch deal] have shaken global investor confidence. On top of that, the lack of good returns — especially the huge overhang of un-exited investments from the 2006-2007 period — is something that LPs [limited partners] have been quite critical of.”
...Natarajan of Venture Intelligence notes: “The fundamentals of the economy — whether it’s the relatively strong economic growth, especially when compared to the developed world, strong domestic consumer spending, etc. — continue to keep India attractive for multinationals and also long-term financial investors who are the most significant source of capital for Indian PE funds. Consistent government action on the reforms front, especially with a focus on implementation rather than mere pronouncements of intent, is likely to be the main positive catalyst.”
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.

December 13, 2012

Deal Alert: Online bus tickets firm Ticketgoose looking to raise Rs.25-Cr


Online bus booking portal Ticketgoose. com is expecting to close a Rs.25 crore second round of funding by mid 2013. It closed the first round of about Rs.4 crore in August this year from US-based angel investors. 

The company had started operations in tier two cities across south and west India, including Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh. The company claims to have over 500 bus operators as partners and a network over 3,000 channel partners who serve the customers without internet access.

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.

Deal Alert: Desktop virtuualization software firm Anunta to witness MBO from Firstsource


Ananda Mukerji, the former CEO of Firstsource Solutions, along with other executives will buy out the listed BPO firm’s stake in Anunta, a Mumbai-based technology start-up Firstsource incubated two years ago. 

Mukerji and former Firstsource CTO Sanjiv Dalal will be co-promoters of Anunta, which does cloud-based application delivery and helps organizations implement desktop virtualization. Mukerji and Dalal are among Anunta’s promoters. The company includes two former Firstsource employees in its senior management team. Mukerji continues to serve on the Firstsource board as non-executive vice-chairman. 

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December 12, 2012

Deal Alert: MVAS firm MobME to go public on NSE SME exchange


MobME Wireless, a Thiruvananthapuram-based mobile Internet company, is to launch an IPO on the NSE SME exchange. The company has appointed IDBI Capital Market Services as the Merchant Banker and Desai & Diwanji as its lawyers for the issue. Gyan Magnus Associates are also the advisors of the IPO. 

MobME was co-founded by its CEOs Sanjay Vijayakumar and Sony Joy. 

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Deal Alert: ChargeBee raises $350-K from private angel investors in US


Chennai-based ChargeBee, a subscription billing solution for online businesses (SaaS and Retail), has secured $350,000 funding from a group of US-based private angel investors. These include senior executives working in large enterprises and a few entrepreneurs. ChargeBee has acquired more than 100 private beta users to date, out of which 11 of them have gone live with the billing system.

The company was set up in June 2011 by its CEO Krish Subramanian, KP Saravanan, Rajaraman and Thiyagarajan, who are former Zoho employees. It will use the new funds to unveil a slew of new features, invest in operations and to expand across verticals which includes SaaS, Digital Media and Retail Subscription Commerce.

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Deal Alert: Fashion e-tailer MiraiStore raises capital from Uniworld Logistics CMD


Online Fashion retailer MiraiStore.com has raised angel investment from Prem Kumar M, the Chairman and Managing Director of Uniworld Logistics. The investment will help MiraiStore.com in scaling up its operations and will be used for product development, improving logistics and backend systems; and for marketing. 

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.

Deal Alert: Sharedcab raises funding from Blume Ventures, Kae Capital, Angels


Sharedcab, a technology venture in cab services industry, has raised angel investment under Rs.5 Crores from Anupam Mittal, Sasha Mirchandani (Kae Capital), Blume Ventures and others. The funds will be used for product development, marketing and building the organization. 

Founded by Prakash Sikaria and NV Subramanian, Sharedcab was a part of the recently concluded GSF Accelerator batch. Sikaria was earlier an investment banker in Barclays, New York and Subramanian was a Business Head at Big Bazaar.  

From the Venture Intelligence Incubation database: GSF Accelator had incubated Sharedcab.com.

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.

December 11, 2012

Deal Alert: Online gift finding service Giveter to raise VC funding


Gurgaon-based Giveter, an online gift finding service, is looking to raise VC funding. The company was launched by Avinash Saxena and Mayank Bhangadia, both IIT-Delhi alumni, in July 2012. Currently, the business, with 10 employees, is generating daily revenues of Rs.1 lakh.


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Deal Alert: TASL acquires majority stake in defense startup AIS


Hyderabad-based Tata Advanced Systems Ltd. (TASL) has acquired a majority stake in Bangalore-based Aurora Integrated Systems (AIS), which is developing indigenous technology, manufacturing and integrating state-of-the-art airborne systems with a focus on small Unmanned Aerial Systems.

PXV Law Partners advised AIS while AZB & Partners advised TASL.  

From the Venture Intelligence PE Deal database: Aurora was incubated at IIT-Kanpur SIIC. 

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Deal Alert: Mumbai Angels invests in hotel mgmt software firm MaxiMojo


Angel network Mumbai Angels is to invest in Pune-based startup MaxiMojo, which provides cloud-based distribution and revenue management solutions for hotels. As part of the deal, Jai Advani, a hotelier with multiple properties, will join the Maximojo board. The round was led by Ashpi Gupta. 

The investment amount is estimated as under Rs.5 crore

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Deal Alert: Sequoia, IDG Ventures invest Rs.50-Cr in banking analytics software firm iCreate


Sequoia Capital is leading a Rs.50 crore investment in Bangalore-based banking data analytics software and services startup iCreate Software. iCreate plans to use the funds to expand its product portfolio and enter new geographies. The firm had earlier raised funding of Rs.15 crore from IDG Ventures, which also participated in this round. 

Founded by Anup Pai in 2006, iCreate has developed business intelligence products for various banks including Bank of America, Gulf Investment Corporation, Indonesia's Bank Mandiri and HDFC Bank.

From the Venture Intelligence PE Deal database: iCreate had raised $3.3 M from IDG Ventures in Dec-09. It raised another round of funding from IDG in Apr-12.

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.

December 10, 2012

Deal Alert: SVB provides venture debt to Saankhya Labs

SVB India Finance has provided a venture term loan to Bangalore-based fabless semiconductor company Saankhya Labs Private Limited

Saankhya is focused on product design and development for the consumer electronics segment and has designed a microchip which is capable of supporting global television standards.  

From the Venture Intelligence PE Deal database: In March 2011, Intel Capital had invested $7.5 million in Saankhya Labs. 

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.

Deal Alert: Silicon Valley VC firm Ecosystem Ventures invests in Simplibuy


Simplibuy, a Pune based startup, has raised funding from Silicon Valley-based Ecosystem Ventures. The company’s flagship product, WiC (“Where is Cheapest Price?”) uses User Generated Content and Vendor data to enable users to search product across various categories in Pune, Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. 

Ecosystem Ventures primarily invests in companies during the seed round and works with entrepreneurs to grow their businesses until the first institutional (“Series A”) investment.

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Deal Alert: Norwest invests $6-M in healthcare software firm Attune


Attune Technologies, a Chennai headquartered, SaaS-based healthcare software company, has raised $6 million from Norwest Venture Partners. The funds will enable the company to accelerate the growth of its cloud-based model in India and in key global markets. The company has web-based products that help management of hospital, clinics and diagnostic chains. 

From the Venture Intelligence PE Deal database: Attune had raised funds from Singapore-based Mercatus Capital in Jan-10.


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Deal Alert: Sutherland Global Services to acquire Apollo Health Street

Rochester, US-headquartered BPO firm Sutherland Global Services is to acquire Chennai-based healthcare BPO firm Apollo Health Street Ltd. (AHS), an associate company of listed entity Apollo Hospitals Enterprises Ltd. The transaction is expected to close by February 2013. 

The acquisition is projected to position the combined organization as a leading healthcare service provider with comprehensive IT and business process integrated solutions and consolidate its presence as a dominant player in the $38 billion US healthcare BPO market. 

Apollo Health Street provides customized strategic support services to more than 150 healthcare partners throughout the US from 10 global operational centers of excellence. 

From the Venture Intelligence PE Deal database: Investors in Apollo Health Street include Temasek and JP Morgan (who had together invested $7.5 M in Jan-2005 and $25 M in Sep-2007).


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.

December 09, 2012

Deal Alert: KPO Evalueserve on the block


The promoters of KPO Evalueserve are preparing to sell their majority stake 12 years after founding it. Swiss family office IHAG Holdings, which has a minority stake in the company, is also exiting. UBS and Deutsche Bank are advising the promoters on the selloff. 

Marc Vollenweider, a former McKinsey professional, and Alok Aggarwal, an IBM alumnus, co-founded Evalueserve in 2000. Together with Ashish Gupta, the COO, who has been with the firm since its inception, they hold around 75% in the firm. IHAG holds another 11% and the rest is with employees. In 2011, it posted revenues of around $105 million and an EBIDTA of $20 million. It has a revenue per employee of $40,000, compared with the peer group average of $25,000. The promoters are believed to be expecting a valuation of 12-15 times EBIDTA, or $220-250 million. 

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Deal Alert: Madrat Games raises funding from Blume Ventures, others


Blume Ventures, along with First Light Ventures, has invested $500,000 in MadRat Games. Adit Parekh from Blume will join the MadRat board. Bangalore-based MadRat Games makes offline and online/mobile Indian language learning games focused on K-12 students. The company was founded by Rajat Dhariwal, Madhumita Haldar and Manuj Dhariwal. Gautam Gandhi, Head of New Business Development for Google India, has been an advisor to the company. 

MadRat has a 15-member team, and is developing apps for mobile and web, in addition to board games. The company’s flagship is Aksharit, an Indian language board game, which started out as a Hindi word game. It is now available in all the 11 major Indian languages including Punjabi, Bengali and Telugu.

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December 06, 2012

New Fund Alert: US-India tech fund Naya Ventures announces first close on $50-M fund

Naya Ventures, a venture capital fund specializing in early stage companies in the mobile and cloud markets, has announced the first closing for its $50 million fund. Headquartered in Dallas, with offices in Silicon Valley, Seattle and Hyderabad, Naya’s current portfolio consists of seven companies in the mobile and cloud market including BoxFish (formerly Mixaroo), Zoomingo and Glympse. 
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Extreme Startup Hiring

I was recently a guest at the Insead "India Business Dialogue" event at Bangalore. The event aimed to provide Insead grads - who are naturally mostly employed at large corporations - on starting up, attracting venture capital and, if the entrepreneurial plunge is too much of a risky leap, getting hired by a startup.

If the grads thought getting hired by a startup sounded safer, they had anothing think coming. The last session (on joining a startup) had one representative each from a VC firm, a HR Services firm and a veteran entrepreneur. And here's a sample of what they had to say about startup hiring techniques:

The Entrepreneur: One of my friends makes sure to pour coffee on the candidate and takes a call based on how the candidate reacts.

The HR Person: We offer to send a cab for picking up the candidate. And we generally don't bother to. We - and out clients - like to see whether the candidate turns up late and cribs about the taxi or figures out an alternative to reach on time - including, if required, to hop into an autorickshaw.

The VC: The founder of one our investee companies does hiring interviews only between 1 am and 2 am.

The Bottom Line: If the candidate needs too much structure and cannot deal with ambiguity and uncertainity, he's not a good fit for a startup.

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December 05, 2012

Know the level (of thy company) before you "let go"

And other vignettes from TiECon Chennai-2012

"I'm going to just stay still like you," said the rabbit to the owl on the tree branch above. And proceeded to stay still. Just then, a fox happened to pass by and got to enjoy a nice (effortless) dinner.- Satguru Jaggi Vasudev to emphasize that entrepreneurs can afford to delegate depending on the level at which their company is. (If the company is operating at a vulnerable level - like the rabbit - then they better be "running around" focusing on even the smallest details. But if the startup has taken off, they can afford to perch themselves and run their companies with an owl's eye view.)

Keep your eyes on the immediate next milestone (say, Series A funding) and focus on what you need to get there. Everything else is a distraction.
- K. Ganesh, Founder of TutorVista & CustomerAsset

You have one life to live. And it is too short to worry about building a legacy and be wedded to one company forever. Entrepreneurship is a series of sprints. Create some thing of value; wealth for yourself and other stakeholders and move on to the next thing you are excited about.  - Meena Ganesh, CEO of Edurite Technologies & Co-founder of CustomerAsset

While there can be a few exceptions, large institutions can only be created with a long-term focus. Entrepreneurship is a marathon.
- Murugavel J, Founder, Bharatmatrimony.com

Most entrepreneurs talk about their product; what really matters more is the market and distribution.
- Paul Singh, Partner, 500Startups who also gave out some useful numbers for entrepreneurs: As a rough rule, it's ok to dilute a 15% stake for raising capital that will sustain for about one year. With that money, you should aim to raise the next round of funding at 3 times the previous valuation.

We have learnt what it takes to get our (seed funded) companies to attract the attention of Indian VCs (for providing the first round or "Series A" funding): Rs.2-5 crore revenue run rate + cash breakeven (so you are not desperate for the funding) + very good traction on a key parameter. Focus 
- Karthik Reddy, Managing Partner, Blume Ventures

The money is very much there - whether from accelerators, angels, seed funds or VCs. Our challenge is that we do no find enough entrepreneurs who think big enough and want to change the world.
- Rajesh Sawhney, Founder, GSF Superangels who also pointed out that it's a bad idea for founders to dilute a total of more than 30% stake to early investors like friends & family, accelerators and angels.

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Deal Alert: AR Rahman-promoted Qyuki scouting for strategic investors

 
Qyuki, the fledgling digital media venture promoted by director Shekhar Kapur and composer AR Rahman, is looking for strategic investors in a second round of funding. It had earlier raised Rs.27 crore from Cisco. 

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.

Deal Alert: Analytics software & services firm NettPositive acquired by Equifax

NYSE-listed Equifax Inc. has acquired a controlling stake in NettPositive, a Bangalore-based provider of analytics and business intelligence solutions to the financial services, insurance, retail and telecommunications industries. 

NettPositive, co-founded by its MD Viraj Tyagi and ED Nitin Gupta, offers solutions specially adapted to the evolving data maturity of emerging markets. Since its 2007 launch, the company has consulted & implemented its products and services across developed and emerging markets including Fortune 500 companies. 


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Deal Alert: Cloud app development firm MindHelix to join Alchemist Accelerator program


MindHelix, a Startup village Cochin incubatee, has been selected to be a part of the Menlo Park, California (USA) based Alchemist Accelerator. MindHelix is a new generation Enterprise Cloud Application Development company and the first firm from Kerala to be a part of an international incubator. 

Alchemist is focused exclusively on startups whose revenues come from Enterprises (as against consumers) 

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Deal Alert: Cloud security startup CipherGraph attracts invests from Chamath Palihapitiya


Bangalore-based startup CipherGraph Networks which provides enterprise cloud security solutions, focusing on cloud security and accessibility has raised money from US-based former Fecebook executive Chamath Palihapitiya. The funding raised will be utilized to strengthen the technology and ramp up hiring. Founded by Jitender Sharan, CipherGraph is also one of the 11 startups selected for the Microsoft Accelerator for Windows Azure.
 
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Web First, Mobile Next

From the post titled "Why Mobile First is not the Right Strategy!" on being practical:
There are some brilliant mobile apps created by startups in recent years, the biggest challenge for all of them is discovery....Google’s Android has over 700,000 apps in Play Store. Apple’s iOS App Store has over 700,000 apps. Assuming these were unique, as a entrepreneur, your startup has to fight with over 699,999 competitors on user’s smartphone, who on an average has only 65 apps installed. Another trend, many users regularly uninstall apps they do not use; once uninstalled – it is very unlikely they will install it again!
Building a successful startup requires two skills – building a product and marketing it.
Turn around and look at web – what are the ways you can get your start up discovered – Natural Search, Paid Search, Display Marketing (Advt based or Behavior based targeting), Social, Email Marketing and so on. Most of these is very flexible, you can do it all. On mobile, there is only one mode of discovery that works – Mobile Advertising. Its still not a easy mode of advertising; far expensive; spray and pray approach as its not intent driven (remember – no one is asking for your app!) like Google Adwords and extremely less efficient since its end result is not landing page with one-click sign-up, but its downloading the app, registering the user and retaining him as well.

...Glance through the smartphone and check the apps you are most actively using. Its Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, Evernote, Quora and so on. These are essentially web first, mobile later products. Effective Mobile Strategy is simple – get your product right on the web, acquire initial users, iterate your product (fast), get it right quickly, ensure engagement is in place. Once you have users engaged on the web, they will see value in your product to download your app and stay connected.

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