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December 27, 2013

Can accelerator demo days become more data driven?

Stanford's Steve Blank believes that, with his methodology, VCs can do to start-up investments what Brad Pitt (in the movie Moneyball) did to baseball management.
We focus on evidence and trajectory across the business model. Flashy demo days are great theater, but it’s not clear there’s a correlation between giving a great PowerPoint presentation and a two minute demo and building a successful business model. Rather than a product demo – we believe in a “Learning Demo”. We’ve found that “Lessons Learned” day showing what the teams learned along with the “metrics that matter” is a better fit than a Demo Day.

“Lessons Learned” day allows us to directly assess the ability of the team to learn, pivot and move forward. Based on the “lessons learned” we generate an Investment Readiness Level metric that we can use as part of our “go” or “no-go” decision for funding.

...The collective wisdom of venture investors (including angel investors, and venture capitalists) over the past decades has been mostly subjective. Investment decisions made on the basis of “awesome presentation”, “the demo blew us away”, or “great team” is used to measure startups. These are 20th century relics of the lack of data available from each team and the lack of comparative data across a cohort and portfolio.

...At first glance this process seems ludicrous. Startup success is all about the team. Or the founder, or the product, or the market – no metrics can measure those intangibles. Baseball used to believe that as well. Until 2002 – when the Oakland A’s’ baseball team took advantage of analytical metrics of player performance to field a team that competed successfully against much richer competitors.
Read his full post here. Prefer audio? Great! Listen to it, here.



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

December 25, 2013

Profile of Pune-based Realty Firm Vastushodh's Founder Sachin Kulkarni

From the ET profile:
We were on a roll till 2008, signing several similar joint ventures for luxury construction projects, but then the recession resulted in losses worth Rs 1.5 crore. This is when we decided to reinvent and enter the affordable housing space. We found a good construction site close to Pune, which was available for Rs 3.5 crore.
 
At the time of signing the deal, we had no funds, so we requested the option to pay in instalments every quarter. The seller agreed on the condition that the first two instalments be paid upfront and we had to take a Rs 2 crore loan to facilitate this transaction. We also made the financier our partner. The AnandGram project was an instant success; we sold around 400 flats in two days. As a result, our profit in 2009 was around Rs 10 crore. We used the money to buy land and, since then, have purchased land blocks on the Pune-Solapur highway, Pune-Satara highway, Pune-Nashik road, and at Bhoisar near Mumbai.
Venture Intelligence is the leading provider of data and analysis on Private Company Financials, Transactions (private equity, venture capital and M&A) & their Valuations in India. Click Here to view our products list including the Free Deal Digest Weekly: India's First & Most Exhaustive Transactions Newsletter.

Profile of Security and Intelligence Services founder R.K.Sinha

From the ET Profile
The next milestone came three years later, when we learnt that Australia's largest security agency, Chubb Security, was up for sale. Its revenue was nearly four times that of ours, but we still decided to take a chance and buy it. The size of the deal was around $300 million. We had to sell 14% of our stake to D E Shaw, the New York-based hedge fund, to partly fund the acquisition. In the bargain, we became the first Indian multinational in the security services industry.

Around this time, we also diversified into other verticals, such as housekeeping and electronic security systems. In August 2011, we signed a joint venture with Terminix, the world leader in pest management, to form one of India's largest pest control services company.

Three months prior to this, we had a joint venture with Prosegur, South America's largest security services provider, to form one of India's biggest cash management services company. This was the first strategic foreign investment in India's cash management space. Today, we have 72,000 employees in 104 branches, including eight offices in Australia. Among our 3,000-odd corporate clients are industry majors like Tata Steel, ICICI Bank and Idea Cellular. Our consolidated turnover in 2012-13 was Rs 2,743 crore and we have been growing at nearly 35% year-on-year in India.

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

December 23, 2013

The Man Behind Indian Private Equity's Favourite Bank

In Indian Private Equity circles, one often tends to hear of Rantakar Bank spoken of in almost fawning terms. Not surprising since, as the Venture Intelligence PE Deal database indicates, over a dozen Indian PE firms - from Aditya Birla Private Equity to TVS Capital - have invested $220 million into the Kolhapur, Maharashtra-based private sector bank. (With such a long list, the bank's PE register even includes two different funds sporting a Sanskrit and English variation of the same name: Elephant Capital and Gaja Capital!).
 
Economic Times has a profile of the man these investors are all betting on - Vishwavir Ahuja, Ratnakar's MD & CEO Ratnakar Bank who was formerly the India country head of Bank of America. Extracts:

For the first six months, Ahuja, 53, camped out in Kolhapur, travelling from Mumbai by train and road to get there. He also faced resistance from staff who viewed him as an outsider and feared job losses. Ahuja had a plan to gain their trust. First, he guaranteed that no one would lose their jobs and reversed the transfers of a few employees, bringing them closer home. Others were appointed to oversee the corporate governance structure. Applying the personal touch was important. "For six months I stayed at Kolhapur. Every communication was personally communicated by me to employees in a town hall. I refrained from just sending a mail," said Ahuja.

He spruced up the head office building and set up a regional processing centre in Kolhapur. He also made it a point to expand the branch network in Kolhapur before entering new geographies. All this earned him staff goodwill. "The idea was to start from where you are strong. Our market share in our home market Kolhapur was only 4%. In the first few months we increased that to 10%. We did promotional activities only in Kolhapur and tapped the business community and temple business in the local market,'' he said.
...He's not without his critics, who say he's merely touching up the surface to make the bank look good for a potential investor. Ahuja flares up at such a suggestion. "We have not dressed up the bank to go anywhere," he said. "We have done everything the hard way. We have not come in to make money by selling. I have made a long-term institution."
Venture Intelligence is the leading provider of data and analysis on Private Company Financials, Transactions (private equity, venture capital and M&A) & their Valuations in India. Click Here to view our products list including the Free Deal Digest Weekly: India's First & Most Exhaustive Transactions Newsletter.

December 22, 2013

Deal Alert: Info Edge invests Rs 4.5 Cr in online photography firm Canvera; hikes stake to 26%

Info Edge, the company which runs job search portal Naukri.com, has invested an additional Rs 4.5 crore in Canvera Digital Technologies, a company that provides solutions to professional photographers through its portal canvera.com. Info Edge made the investment through optionally convertible cumulative redeemable preference shares. This new investment will increase Info Edge’s stake in Canvera to 26% and total Investment to Rs 42 crore.

 Canvera, founded in October 2007, launched its service in July 2008 and raised funds from DFJ, Footprint ventures and Mumbai Angels. Canvera launched e-commerce and social platform for photographers in 2011. In August 2012, Info Edge had invested Rs 35 crore in Canvera for a 23% stake. Earlier this year, it increased the stake to 25% by increasing its investment to Rs. 37.5 crore.

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

December 18, 2013

Blow-by-Blow Accounts on Private Equity-Promoter Blowups

Economic Times has a roundup up of the various recent blowups between Indian promoters and their Private Equity investors. The article starts with how employees of Sagar Ratna restaurants - allegedly at the instigation of the former promoter - beat up the executives appointed by the PE investor (who is now in majority "control" of the company). The PE investor has accused the former promoter of violating his non-compete agreement and promoting a rival chain. The promoter has claimed that he has nothing to do with the new chain and has offered to buyback his stake in Sagar Ratna at a 25% discount to the price at which he sold his majority stake over two years ago. Extracts:
The conflicts are, increasingly, becoming more acrimonious, even farcical, less professional and more personal. They are shining an ugly light on promoter quality and business practices, which were never of the highest order in India, and unfavourable regulations. "Promoters have used regulatory hurdles against PE investors," says Sanjeev Krishan, executive director of audit and consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers. "This is one reason why the number of active PE funds has come down in India."

... A consultant with a multinational accounting firm who has done due diligence for PE firms highlights one of the ways in which promoters add gloss. "Promoters have access to cash through their family circles," he says, not wanting to be named. "They route this cash via fictitious companies to show as genuine payments for sales done. The cash comes into the company, but it is just to boost sales and profitability, and paint a rosy picture."


...In recent conflicts, "promoters have come out poorly," adds the consultant quoted above. "Controls are just not there. Few people control the entire operations and they resist change." Rituraj Sinha bristles when such observations are made in a sweeping way. "All promoters cannot be tarred with the same brush," says Sinha, group chief operating officer, Security and Intelligence Services (India). "PE funds are in the business of investing and identifying well-run businesses from the bad ones. Therefore, the onus is on them."
Venture Intelligence is the leading provider of data and analysis on Private Company Financials, Transactions (private equity, venture capital and M&A) & their Valuations in India. Click Here to view our products list including the Free Deal Digest Weekly: India's First & Most Exhaustive Transactions Newsletter.

Deal Alert: Acumen, Dell Foundation invest in vocational education firm LabourNet

Bangalore-based LabourNet Services, a company that offers vocational training and services for informal sector workers, has raised funding from Acumen and Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. The company has enabled livelihoods through training for over 50,000 people to date and plans to train over 125,000 workers annually. The company has earlier raised angel funding from Sankhya Capital and debt funding from NSDC. 

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

December 17, 2013

Deal Alert: IQ, 5ideas, Flipkart co-founder back shopping reco site operator Relevant E-Solutions

Relevant e-solutions Pvt. Ltd, which owns the fashion recommendation platform Roposo and gift recommendation platform giveter, has received its first round of funding from India Quotient, Startup Superfuel and Binny Bansal, co-founder of Flipkart.com.

Giveter aims to bring relevance to users’ product discovery efforts for different situations based on taste, trends, and need while Roposo aims to re-define the way fashion is discovered. The core team of the firm includes Avinash Saxena, the ex-CTO of Zomato.com, Mayank Bhangadia and Kaushal Shubhank – all alumni of IIT Delhi. 

 Source: Yourstory.com
 
Venture Intelligence is the leading provider of data and analysis on Private Company Financials, Transactions (private equity, venture capital and M&A) & their Valuations in India. Click Here to view our products list including the Free Deal Digest Weekly: India's First & Most Exhaustive Transactions Newsletter.

Deal Alert: Unitus Seed Fund, IAN back handicrafts e-marketplace GoCoop

Bangalore based online marketplace for co-operatives and community based enterprises GoCoop has raised funding from Indian Angel Network and impact investor Unitus Seed Fund. The IAN investment was led by member Nagaraja Prakasam. The company will use the funds raised to further develop its online platform and build out its marketing operations. Unitus Seed Fund was advised on the transaction by Unitus Capital and Impact Law Ventures. 

Founded in 2011 by former Accenture executive Siva Devireddy, GoCoop is a marketplace for cooperatives and community-based enterprises to list and sell their produce online. The marketplace currently offers handicraft and handloom products and is primarily active in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. It also has a small presence in Odisha which it plans to grow in the next few months. 

From the Venture Intelligence PE Deal database: Other VC-backed startups in handicrafts e-tailing include Shopo (acquired by Snapdeal), Industree and Craftsvilla.

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

Deal Alert: Unitus Seed Fund backs eye screening startup Welcare

Chennai-based eye screening starutp Welcare Health Systems has raised seed funding from impact investor Unitus Seed Fund. Welcare operates low cost screening services in existing health centers making them accessible to patients at high-risk for eye diseases. 

The company is now looking to expand to other cities. To begin with, the company is targeting 60 million diabetics in India, who are at high risk of eye diseases. 

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

Deal Alert: Gaurav Burman invests in Singapore-based Bitcoin exchange itBit

Dabur scion Gaurav Burman has invested in itBit, a Singapore-based Bitcoin exchange, and plans to bring the platform to India over a period of time. The exchange is building a global platform for trading in Bitcoins with US dollars, Singapore dollars and the euro with technology support from Nasdaq. The start-up has raised $3.25 million in its latest funding round, and $5.5 million in total, led by Canaan Partners and RRE Ventures with participation from Liberty City Ventures.

Source: Times of India

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

Deal Alert: Ennovent, Ankur Capital, others back Assam eye care chain ERC

Ennovent Impact Investment Holding and Ankur Capital along with Ennovent Circle members, Beyond Capital Fund and Sadeesh Raghavan closed an angel investment round in Assam-based eye care company, ERC Eye Care Pvt. Ltd (ERC) today.

The investment in ERC is the second investment made by Ennovent’s Impact Investment Holding and also the third deal facilitated by the Ennovent Circle – an exclusive group that collaborates to accelerate innovations for low-income markets – since it’s launch in April 2012.

According to the World Health Organization, 18.8% of Indians suffering from cataracts belong to the state of Assam. Founded by Guwahati based ophthalmologist, Dr.Parveez Ubed, ERC provides affordable, quality eye care to underserved communities in North East India through a hub and spoke model with vision centre's, satellite clinics and a hub hospital. ERC also offers primary medical services such as optical retail, pharmacy and consultation services.

ERC's current setup includes 3 vision centers in Jorhat and nearby areas. The company also runs camps to reach out to smaller villages where setting up centres is not economically viable. For its work, ERC has won several awards including Mahindra Spark the Rise and Eureka of IIT Mumbai amongst others.

With this investment, ERC aims to expand their operations and provide affordable, accessible and inclusive eye care across the various districts of Northeast India.

“This investment will enable ERC to not only expand the number of vision centres we operate currently but also to launch our first hub hospital. We also hope to further scale ERC’s IT systems, telemedicine facilities and quality standards”, says Dr. Ubed.

Speaking about the investment, Saurabh Lahoti, Director – Finance at Ennovent says, “ERC delivers strong value by leveraging the hub and spoke model to deliver quality eye care services at a cost lower than the opportunity cost of travelling to a nearby district for similar services.”

The Northeastern states of India have the highest prevalence of blindness in the country. In Assam, ERC is making an impact by keeping its capital and operating expenditures low; thereby enabling the company to providing affordable eye care, especially in the remote villages that have hitherto not had access to such services.

Ennovent Circle member and angel investor, Sadeesh Raghavan, further adds, “ERC with its portfolio of eye care services is backed by a passionate team and will impart a huge social impact in Assam where limited healthcare infrastructure, especially for eye care exists. The Ennovent Circle has done a tremendous job in matching high potential sustainable enterprises working in low-income markets such as ERC with like-minded angel and institutional impact investors.”

About Ennovent
Ennovent is an innovation accelerator. We provide services to accelerate for-profit innovations for sustainability in low-income markets in developing countries. We specialise in helping clients discover enterprises with novel solutions, develop business models to start-up enterprises, provide finance by facilitating early-stage investments and grow operations to scale profit and impact. Since 2008, Ennovent has worked with over 25,000 Network members, 16 Circle members and 10 Solution clients to accelerate over 115 innovations in 10 countries. www.ennovent.com

About ERC Eye Care Pvt. Ltd.

ERC provides affordable, quality eye care to underserved communities in North East India through a hub & spoke model with vision centres, satellite clinics and a hub hospital. ERC also offers primary medical services such as optical retail, pharmacy and consultation services. Since commencing operations in May 2011, ERC operates three vision centres and runs 10 vision camps a month in remote villages across Assam.

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

December 15, 2013

Deal Alert: Online art firm Springr gets seed capital from TiE-Kerala

Springr, a Kerala based start-up platform for Art, today received an angel funding of Rs 3.5 lakh from TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs) Kerala in the form of an interest-free loan. This is said to be the first startup project to officially receive TiE funding. The one year-old startup is planning a community based Art project. Springr is also raising funds for the Malayalam movie 'Oraalpokkam' through the crowdfunding route. 

Springr converted about 10,000 square feet space in a 100-year-old spice warehouse at Mattancherry for setting up a Music Recording Studio, Artists Residency and Events venue. 

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

December 11, 2013

Deal Alert: Moody’s buys KPO Amba Research; deal size estimated at $90-M

Global credit rating agency Moody's has acquired knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) services firm Amba Investment Services which provides investment research and quantitative analytics for global financial institutions. Post-acquisition, Amba will operate as part of Copal Partners, Moody’s Analytics majority-owned subsidiary. Avendus Capital was the sole financial advisor to Amba for this transaction. Amba is expecting to generate close to $39 million in revenues in 2013. 

Based on this, media reports estimate Moody’s to have paid between $80-100 million towards this acquisition. Amba was founded in 2003 by four senior executives from Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, and JP Morgan Andrew Houston, Mohan Alexander, Brad West, and Anand Aithal. It has around 1,000 employees with delivery centres located in Costa Rica, India and Sri Lanka. 

From the Venture Intelligence PE Deal database: In 2007, Amba had raised $10 million from Helion Venture Partners.



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

December 10, 2013

Deal Alert: IDG Ventures leads Rs.21-Cr second round for financial data firm Heckyl

Financial data analytics startup Heckyl Technologies has raised a second round of funding led by IDG Ventures India. The Mumbai-based company will receive INR 21 crore with participation from existing investor Seedfund and angel investor Rajiv Dalal. Venkatesh Peddi, vice-president at IDG, joins Paula Mariwala of Seedfund on the board of Heckyl. 

The company, founded by four former Merrill Lynch executives in 2010, provides a real-time news and data analytics platform for traders and brokerages. 

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

Deal Alert: Unilazer to lead Rs.36-Cr in lingerie e-tailer Zivame: report

UTV founder and entrepreneur Ronnie Screwvala's Unilazer Ventures is leading a $6 million, or Rs 36 crore, investment into Bangalore-based Zivame, a lingerie e-commerce startup. Existing investors too are participating in this round. The latest funding would be deployed to bolster technology backbone - to improve personalization, recommendations and visual merchandising - as well as marketing to get more tier II women buy online. 

Zivame has now raised $9 million including $3 million from IDG and Kalaari Capital in January this year. 

Source: Times of India

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

Deal Alert: Villgro invests in three social enterprises – OneBreath, Ecozen Solutions and Artoo

Social enterprise incubator Villgro has invested in three companies – OneBreath, Ecozen Solutions and Artoo. 

OneBreath, co-founded by Vijay Simha, Matthew Callaghan and Bryan Loomas, is a medical device company that is developing an innovative low-cost mechanical ventilator intended to improve acute ICU care for patients across all communities.

Ecozen Solutions, founded by IIT Kharagpur alumni Devendra Gupta, Prateek Singhal and Vivek Pandey, is a renewable energy company, focusing agriculture and rural communities.

Ecofrost Technologies, an affiliate of Ecozen, is working on a solar micro cold storage system. Artoo, founded by entrepreneurs Sameer Segal and Indus Chadha, has developed an Android and Cloud-based platform that allows financial institutions to take all field processes online and track their business with real-time input. 

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

Deal Alert: DSG Consumer invests in ethnic snack maker Tierra Food: report

Singapore-based venture capital fund, DSG Consumer Partners, has invested in Tierra Food India Pvt Ltd, a food processing and ethnic snack food company based out of Kochi. Tierra would utilise the funds to expand sales network, increase consumer promotion spends, introduce innovative products and for market research and development. The company has launched its products in select cities of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andaman in May 2013 and has a retail outlet network of 30,000 in Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. It has planned an investment of Rs 10 crore in the next 12 months. 

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

Deal Alert: Nine Indian startups in Startup Chile’s latest batch

Start-Up Chile, the start-up accelerator run by the Chilean government, has announced the list of selected startups for its 9th batch and Indian startups account for 9% of the list. The Indian startups in the selected group include: 

Field Assist – a secondary sales automation solution that monitors performance of salesmen on a real time basis using QR Technology. 

ReportGarden - helps users create reports using their WYISWYG editor. 

TeliportMe - an Android app, that lets users explore places through images and panoramas taken by other users. 

TechChamp – start-ups would be able to reach out to their early adopters and evangelists using TechChamp. 

TommyJams - aims to provide venues and performance spaces for artistes from across the world in India. 

TAO Education - uses open source content to help users with personalized learning. 

Zestbuds - A food discovery and restaurant review app for mobile devices.

Etyacol - a mobile app development start-up, developing applications in areas like location based tracking, customer profiling, etc. 

Storyberry - builds interactive kids stories in a digital format. 

Source: Nextbigwhat.com

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

December 09, 2013

Why NEN's Srikrishna wants Indian entrepreneurs to stop reading Techcrunch

From Srikrishna's blog post (emphasis mine)

    Every time I hear an entrepreneur in India tell me “It’s Angel List meets GitHub” I try not to grimace...Silicon Valley, even within the context of the United State is in many ways unique – and unlike anything in India...Many of their assumptions are not grounded in the reality of today’s India – may not even in today’s America. All they see is that a startup to sell tampons online raised $250K with just an idea on a napkin. Or Pinterest raised whatever astronomical amount of money without any real monetization strategy and Fred Wilson invested in Zemanta (who’d by then acquired a million downloads) even whilst acknowledging that none of them were clear how they’d make money.

    The reality of the Indian entrepreneurial ecosystem is that we are yet to see more than one turn or “generation” of tech entrepreneurs. A large amount of money is following very few quality deals. The VCs are acting as PE players would elsewhere. Angel groups are acting like VCs would. Everyone’s looking for revenue, customers and traction (all of which are good), but not quite the high risk/high reward perspective of early stage funders. To be fair to the funding community in India, the supply side problem of deal quality is compounded by the fact that there have been very few exits, and their LPs, may be looking for medium risk/medium returns.

    The needs of the Indian market and Indian consumers are quite distinct. Enterprises in India do have needs similar to those of companies elsewhere – databases, analytical tools, HR software, CRM systems – but their behavior and culture often are different. Consumers on the other hand can and do have very different needs. So when we talk of “building the Amazon or Zappos of India,” and unimaginatively try reproducing something done elsewhere, it serves no one well. The good news is that oodles of young entrepreneurs are starting companies each day in India. Now if only they paid a whole lot more attention to what their customers are saying and what problems those customers face than what TechCrunch is reporting from the Valley, I’d like to think, we’d see a whole lot more innovation and business building amongst Indian entrepreneurs.

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

Deal Alert: Lightspeed invests $550-K in mobile spam blocker maker Phone Warrior

Lightspeed Venture Partners has invested $550k in New Delhi -based start-up Phone Warrior, an application that blocks spam calls and text messages on the mobile. Founded in 2012 by Chandan Gupta and Vaibhav Padlikar, Phone Warrior claims to have a user base of a million across the globe and the funding will be used to market the product further. It competes with services like Truecaller. 

Source: Yourstory.com

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

Deal Alert: ah! Ventures invests in uFaber Edutech

Mumbai-based online education marketplace uFaber Edutech has raised Rs 37 lakhs in funding from ah! Seeders, the seed investment network of Club ah! uFaber lists courses on professional skill-development, hobbies, crafts, academics as well as vocational courses for students to build on their skills. Users can learn from individual resources, engage one on one with experts, participate in projects and courses with them and interact with peers. 

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

December 08, 2013

Deal Alert: Matrix Partners India invests in TechMed

Matrix Partners India today announced that it has picked up significant minority stake in TechMed, a Hospital Lab Management (HLM) pathology chain based out of Chennai. TechMed has partnered with hospitals across South India to provide testing services for patients within hospital premises. Each HLM center in the hospital is supported by a proximate state-of-the-art mother center to provide results for a wide array of tests quickly. Dr. T.G. Rajaramanan, a general surgeon, started Techmed in 2009.

“As a budding surgeon, I saw that getting reliable tests quickly at the hospital doorstep is a hassle. In addition, retaining manpower was tough, and training them tougher. Hospitals mostly outsourced high-end tests affecting both commercials and turnaround time. My desire to find a commercial, operationally viable solution led me to the HLM model. Joining hands with Matrix Partners India is an important milestone in our journey”, said Dr. T.G. Rajaramanan, Founder and Managing Director of TechMed

“We found Dr. Rajaramanan's vision inspiring and believe TechMed provides a win-win solution for hospitals and patients alike. Pathology has tremendous growth potential and TechMed’s innovative business model suitably complements our growing healthcare portfolio”, said Asish Mohapatra, Director, Matrix India

TechMed currently has 30 HLM and collection centers across South India and two ‘state-of-the-art’ mother centers to support the HLMs for high-end tests. The chain plans to expand its operations to over 300 centers in South and East India in the next two years, and subsequently a pan India presence. Dr. Wasim Mohideen, Dr. Masood Ikram and Mrs. Mohana Pillai lead operations along with Dr. Rajaramanan in a team full of young, passionate doctors. TechMed is currently ramping up its human capital in both clinical and non-clinical domains. 

About TechMed:

TechMed is an exclusive “Hospital Lab Management” (HLM) pathology chain in South India. Dr. T.G. Rajaramanan started TechMed along with co-founder Dr. Wasim Mohideen in 2009. It aims to provide faster and accurate pathology test results within hospital premises at affordable costs while eliminating operational and commercial hassles for hospital management. Headquartered in Chennai, TechMed has a large network of HLMs that are supported by ‘state-of-the-art’ standalone mother centers (starting with Chennai and Bangalore). Highly trained pathologists and technicians are enabled with technology and efficient operating systems to ensure quick turn around and high quality of reports. TechMed conducts wide array of tests pertaining to pathology, biochemistry, microbiology, immunology, histopathology and hematology. Further information is available at www.techmedhealthcare.com  

About Matrix Partners India: 

Matrix Partners India is an investment firm with INR 3,000 crore under management. The firm invests in companies targeting the Indian consumer market at the seed, early and early growth stages. In healthcare, the firm has invested in several market leading companies/ chains like Centre for Sight (eye care), Cloudnine (maternity and infant care), Mewar Ortho (orthopedic care), Enhance (cosmetology) and Meditrina (interventional cardiology). It has also invested in other leaders like Mswipe (mobile POS), Muthoot Finance (gold loan NBFC), Quikr (online classifieds), TreeHouse Education (preschools), U2opia (social mobile apps), Verse/ NewsHunt (vernacular mobile platform) and W (women’s ethnic wear) among others. Matrix Partners has a global network of funds investing in the US, China and India with US $3 billion under management. Further information is available at www.matrixpartners.in 

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December 06, 2013

Deal Alert: Matrix Partners India invests in Traffline

Matrix Partners India today announced that it has invested in the first institutional round of funding for Birds Eye Systems Private Limited, which offers real-time traffic and travel information for Indian cities through a variety of mobile and internet channels under the Traffline brand. 

Brijraj Vaghani, the co-founder and CEO, has extensive experience in the mobile sector with Qualcomm and Nextwave Wireless in the US, before moving back to India and starting Birds Eye Systems. His co-founder and CTO, Ravi Khemani, has worked previously with careerbuilder.com in the US and Sears International in India.

“Getting access to accurate and real-time traffic, travel and local information is a large problem for millions of Indian commuters in major cities. We want to address this problem using an approach tailored to Indian ethos and travel conditions. We partner with private players, government, police, public transport utilities and our users to ensure that information is real-time. We aim to own the everyday door-to-door travel and information space on mobile, be it private vehicles, public transport, or local businesses, across major Indian cities” said Brijraj Vaghani and Ravi Khemani, co-founders, Birds Eye Systems Private Limited 

Nitin Agarwal – Investor, IAN said “We are very pleased for the Traffline team. This is an endorsement of our belief in the company and its founders, as well as of the ability of IAN to source, evaluate, and nurture high-potential startups at a very early stage.” Rajiv Dadlani – Investor, IAN added “We have always believed in Brij and Ravi. Their focus and determination was the key factor in our investment decision at the angel stage. We look forward to continuing to work with them, as well as with Matrix Partners India, to grow Birds Eye into a valuable company.” 

“We are excited by Traffline’s unique approach of using technology to solve the offline traffic and transportation problem in India. Traffline is a pioneer in this space and we’re investing to expand the product to 10 cities in India and multiple transport modes in a short timeframe. We look forward to partnering with Brij and Ravi in their journey to build a large company. We continue to focus on more early stage investments in the mobile space in India.” said Vikram Vaidyanathan, Director, Matrix India  

About Birds Eye Systems Private Limited: Birds Eye Systems provides real-time traffic information across 4 major Indian cities under the Traffline brand. Traffline’s products already have several hundred thousand users, and have been covered extensively in major offline and online media outlets. With a network of data sources running into several thousands, Traffline prides itself on its ability to provide short, contextual, conversational calls to action to millions of commuters daily. Further information is available at www.traffline.com  

About Indian Angel Network: Indian Angel Network is India’s only national, nimble and Asia’s largest business angel investors network of nearly 250 business angels investing in start-ups and early stage ventures. Built "By Entrepreneurs, For Entrepreneurs", entrepreneurs can gain access to the vast business network of IAN's influential members, strategic direction and operational guidance apart from financial investment which is critical for creating large, valuable companies. Indian Angel Network has funded over 50 start-ups across multiple sectors like IT, Mobile, Healthcare, Education and Hospitality across India and overseas and has made several successful exits. In 2012 alone, IAN invested over US$ 11 million in 17 start-ups making it almost a deal every 3 weeks. In 2013, IAN has already invested in 7 start-ups including an impact investment in a socially relevant venture and has provided some brilliant exits to its investor base – like 22 times in 5 years, over 6 times in 15 months of investment, etc. Further information is available at www.indianangelnetwork.com  

About Matrix Partners India: Matrix Partners India is an investment firm with INR 3,000 crore under management. The firm invests in companies targeting the Indian consumer market at the seed, early and early growth stages. The firm has invested in several market leading companies including Verse/Newshunt (mobile vernacular language platform), U2opia (social mobile apps), Twist Mobile (mobile games), Mswipe (mobile POS), Quikr (online classifieds), Stayzilla (online hotel reservations), Centre for Sight (eye care chain), Cloudnine (maternity and infant care chain), Muthoot Finance (gold loan NBFC) and TreeHouse Education (preschools) among others. Matrix Partners has a global network of funds investing in the US, China and India with US $3 billion under management. Further information is available at www.matrixpartners.in
Venture Intelligence is the leading provider of data and analysis on Private Company Financials, Transactions (private equity, venture capital and M&A) & their Valuations in India. Click Here to view our products list including the Free Deal Digest Weekly: India's First & Most Exhaustive Transactions Newsletter.

December 05, 2013

Deal Alert: ASAPP Media acquires B2B magazine IPF Online

Mumbai-based ASAPP Media Information Group, a B2B media & information group, has acquired the entire shareholding of IPFOnline Limited and along with it the entire print and online business of the company. The deal involves acquisition of the stake held by IPF Online's founder and publisher RV Pandit besides equity investors IL&FS Investment Management (IIML) and HDFC.  

Indus Advisors acted as the financial advisor to the sellers while BDO India acted as the financial advisor to the buyer. 

From the Venture Intelligence PE Deal database: In August 1999, IIML had invested in IPF Online. 

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

Deal Alert: Triodos invests Rs.50-Cr in MFI Grameen Koota via NCDs

Microfinance firm Grameen Financial Services Private Limited (GFSPL), better known as Grameen Koota, has received Rs.50 crore through listed non-convertible debentures (NCDs) from Triodos Fair Share Fund and Triodos Microfinance funds managed by Triodos Investment Management.

Grameen Koota’s total NCD outstanding now stands at about Rs.131.90 crore. Bangalore-based GFSPL began in the 1990s as an NGO and became a Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC-MFI) under its present name. 

Source: apnnews.com
 
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December 04, 2013

Deal Alert: Info Edge hikes stake in Meritnation.com to over 50% with addl Rs 10-Cr investment

Applect Learning Systems, which runs the e-learning site MeritNation, has raised Rs 10 crore investment from Info Edge (India), the publicly listed firm which runs online classifieds web sites including Naukri.com. The investment is likely to be used for brand building, updating content and expansion of the sales team. With this investment, Info Edge has invested around Rs 71.5 crore into Applect across five different rounds – a Rs 6.5 crore round in July 2008, Rs 5 crore round in May 2010, Rs 20 crore round in September 2011, Rs 30 crore round in February 2013 and a Rs 10 crore round now. It currently owns 55.81% stake in Applect, up from around 54% stake it owned in February 2013 after the Rs 30 crore investment round.

MeritNation caters to K-12 students across various state educational boards as well as pan-India boards such as CBSE and ICSE. It also helps students prepare for entrance exams such as JEE. The portal had reported operating revenues of Rs 9.82 crore for the financial year ended March 31, 2013, up 141% from Rs 4.07 crore in the previous fiscal.

Source: BSE, MedianaNama 
 
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Deal Post: Photography start-up Flatpebble raises funding

Hyderabad-based photography start-up Flatpebble has raised funding from angel investors including Raghu Bathina, Lax Gopisetty of Hyderabad Angels, Ram Jayam and Sitaram Banda. Flatpebble, owned by TechClove Technologies, offers a platform where one could hire the services of a photographer on the web. The company claims to have facilitated nearly 185 jobs for photographers across 75 cities. About Rs 90 lakh has been transacted on the site. The company now covers 175 cities in India with over 800 portfolios. The funding will be used to acquire new customers, improve the product and expand the team.


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December 02, 2013

Deal Alert: Wipro to acquire US-based mortgage risk mgmt firm Opus CMC for $75-M

Listed IT services firm Wipro is to acquire US-based mortgage due diligence and risk management service provider Opus CMC (Opus Capital Markets Consultants) for $75 million (Rs 465 crore). The amount includes a deferred earn-out component. Portico Capital Securities served as the exclusive financial advisor to Opus CMC with respect to this transaction. 

Founded in 2005 and headquartered in Lincolnshire, Illinois, Opus CMC provides comprehensive risk management solutions to the mortgage industry in the US. It offers loan level due diligence, valuation support, forensic analysis, and advisory services on all classes of mortgage products, residential and commercial ranging from re-underwriting whole loans to collateral reviews of securitized pools. Its customers include top global banks, mortgage conduits, mortgage investors, and independent mortgage originators. It has over 490 employees, including over 315 loan underwriters, spread across 5 centers in the US. 

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

Deal Alert: Accel, Kae Capital invest $500-K in Eventifier

Eventifier, an 18 month-old startup that provides event archiving service, has secured an investment of $500,000 from Accel Partners and KAE Capital. Founded by Jazeel Badur Ferry, Nazim Zeeshan and Mohammed Saud from Mangalore in June 2012, Eventifier is a social media content aggregator tool, which enables event organizers and attendees to get a quick glimpse of all audience-generated social media content related to an event. It has grown to archive more than 2,000 events across the world. The firm’s client list includes Clinton Foundation, Pearson, WWW Conference, NASA and Twitter. The company will use the funds to scale up marketing and sales and also implement analytics for creating better reports.

Source: Times of India

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

December 01, 2013

Deal Alert: Accel, Ventureast invest Rs.48-Cr for 30% in K.Ganesh’s in-home healthcare firm Portea

Accel Partners and Ventureast have together acquired 30% stake in Portea Medical, a tech-enabled, in-home healthcare services company, majority-owned by serial entrepreneur duo Krishnan Ganesh and Meena Ganesh. Accel and Ventureast will invest Rs.48 crore ($8 million) split equally in the company.

Portea, targeted at a senior citizens and undertakes more than 2,000 home visits in Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai and Mumbai at present. It will expand operations to Hyderabad, Chandigarh and Pune. It has over 150 doctors, nurses and physiotherapists on rolls.



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November 29, 2013

Rajiv Bajaj, The Maverick Scion

From the Business Today cover story profile of the Bajaj Auto Managing Director in the context of Bajaj Auto's plans to launch a controversial Quadricyle:

The company had already proved itself to be an outlier by not taking on an equity partner who would feed it technology. Each of its rivals had one. Hero and Kinetic had Honda, TVS had Suzuki, Escorts had Yamaha and LML had Piaggio. Bajaj had Kawasaki, but only as a technology supplier, with no equity. "Not having an equity partner that provided the technology, such as Honda for Hero, gave us the opportunity to learn. What we got was technical drawings from Kawasaki. The process, the why and the how, and the manufacturing were not transferred completely from Kawasaki. We made mistakes, but we learned," says Joe.... By the turn of the century, Bajaj began to become self-reliant in technology. The last motorcycle it built with Kawasaki's technology was the Eliminator in 1999.


...The well wishers of Indian manufacturing groaned in unison when a strike broke out on June 25 at Bajaj Auto's Chakan plant, near Pune. It would only make the slowdown worse. But they had not reckoned with Rajiv Bajaj.

...After 40 days, Bajaj took the unusual step of giving the workers a week to end the strike. Else, he would shift most of the production out of Chakan to his other plants in Aurangabad and Pant Nagar. The strike ended a day after the deadline. Union leaders tried to save face with the pretexts of the slowdown and the festival season.

"The strike was withdrawn unconditionally. After a few days of the strike, we managed to produce about 1,900 Pulsars at Chakan and 1,200 to 1,300 in Aurangabad. So there was no real loss in retail," says S. Ravikumar, Head of Business Development. "I think everyone has understood that when Rajiv says something, there is a high probability he would go ahead and do it."
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Startup Events Galore

From a Business Today article on the phenomenon:

http://media2.intoday.in/btmt/images/stories//august2013/start-upevents_071513011248.jpg
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November 28, 2013

Deal Alert: RVCF, IvyCap join existing investor IDG in follow-on funding for security tech firm Aujas

Information risk management services company, Aujas Networks has raised Series B funding from Rajasthan Venture Capital Fund (RVCF), IvyCap Ventures and existing investor IDG Ventures India. Girish Gupta of RVCF and Vikram Gupta of IvyCap Ventures will join the company’s board. The current investment will be used to fuel organic growth. 

Aujas, founded in 2008 was incubated by IDG ventures through an Entrepreneur in Residence program. The company now has presence in India, Middle East and the United States and serves customers in the banking and telecom sector. Aujas also works with the government on cyber security. Nearly half of the company’s business comes from the United States and Middle East. Aujas currently employs 180 people. 

Source: Press Release
 
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Deal Alert: Freshdesk raises $7-M funding from Accel Partners, Tiger Global

Chennai-based online customer support and helpdesk solution company Freshdesk has raised $6.99 million from venture capital firm Accel Partners and Tiger Global in a fresh round of funding.

From the Venture Intelligence PE Deal database: In November 2011, Accel India had invested $1 million and in April 2012 Tiger Global and Accel India had invested $5 million in Freshdesk 

 
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November 27, 2013

Deal Alert: Omnivore buys minority stake in aquaculture diagnostics equipment firm Eruvaka

Agri-business focused Investment firm Omnivore Partners has bought a minority stake in Eruvaka Technologies Pvt. Ltd, a Vijayawada-based maker of diagnostic equipment for aquaculture farmers. Eruvaka Technologies, founded last year, has developed a solar-powered product that integrates sensors, mobile connectivity and decision-making tools to monitor aquatic farms. The product allows shrimp and fish farmers to monitor their ponds and remotely control automated equipment such as aerators and feeders thus reducing cultivation risk. 

Source: Mint

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Deal Alert: Experifun, Sudiksha receive seed funding from Edupreneurs

Education start-ups Experifun and Sudiksha Knowledge Solutions have been selected for seed funding in the inaugural ‘Edupreneurs’ programme, a partnership of Pearson and Village Capital. 

Led by a team of alumni from the IIT and IIM (A), Experifun helps science teachers bring their subject to life by providing them with kits and activities to conduct classroom experiments. Designed in its R&D lab in Bangalore, Experifun products are patentable, affordable and suited to both urban and rural schools. 

Sudiksha operates pre-schools in underprivileged urban neighbourhoods through an innovative model that recruits local women to run branches under an incentivised profit sharing scheme. 

 
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Deal Alert: KKR invests $200-M in Gland Pharma

Gland Pharma Limited ("Company" or "Gland Pharma"), a leading Indian pure-play generic injectable pharmaceutical products company, today announced an agreement under which KKR, a leading global investment firm, will acquire a minority stake in the Company for approximately US$200 million, including KKR's acquisition of the entire stake held by Evolvence India Life Sciences Fund ("EILSF"), an existing private equity investor in Gland Pharma. 

Established in 1978 and based in Hyderabad, Gland Pharma develops and manufactures generic injectables primarily for the US market, and also for India and other semi-regulated markets. In 2003, Gland Pharma was the first company in India to get US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for pharmaceutical liquid injectable products. Gland Pharma has also pioneered pre-filled syringe technology in India and exports products in this format to the US market. Having pioneered Heparin technology in India, Gland Pharma has a strong position in the US market for that product through its marketing partner. 

Gland Pharma Founder-Chairman P V N Raju said, "Gland Pharma is at an important juncture in its evolution where we have proven our sterile manufacturing capabilities, established ourselves as a high-quality manufacturer of complicated injectables products and achieved a track-record of strong financial performance. Our partnership with KKR will help us in our next phase of growth as we look to materially expand our manufacturing capacities and invest more in our development work with the goal of expanding our product registrations." P V N Raju also said, "We thank the Vetter family of Ravensburg, Germany, who are investors in Gland Pharma, for inspiring Gland Pharma in the niche field of pre-filled syringes. Vetter Pharma, owned by the Vetter family, enjoys a pre-eminent position globally in the field of pre-filled syringe technology." 

Gland Pharma Vice Chairman and Managing Director Dr. Ravi Penmetsa added, "We are very excited about the Company's future given our strong pipeline of innovative injectable products that are awaiting FDA approval. In addition to securing growth capital, we look forward to leveraging KKR's global network of relationships to help enter new markets." Dr. Ravi also said, "We wish to thank Evolvence India Life Sciences Fund for its contribution in positioning the Company on an impressive growth trajectory, aided in particular by the team's pro-active engagement with the Company in addition to the capital invested." 

Commenting on the agreement, KKR India Chief Executive Sanjay Nayar said, "Gland Pharma has a track record of strong financial performance as well as long-standing relationships with Indian and international pharmaceutical companies and we believe there is significant potential for it to grow these partnerships even further. We are excited to invest behind a high-quality promoter family and management team led by Dr. Ravi. We look forward to working closely with them to help build out the business and create value for all stakeholders." 

KKR's investment in Gland Pharma represents its fourth announced investment from the KKR Asian II Fund and its second overall private equity investment in India in 2013. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

About Gland Pharma

Established in 1978, Gland Pharma is a research-focused organization continuously developing niche products for the Indian and global pharmaceutical markets. It has pioneered Heparin technology in India and has a position of leadership in the GlycosAminoGlycans (GAGs) range of molecules. The company manufactures Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) and injectable formulations for niche segments such as Osteoarthritis, Anti-coagulants, Gynaecology, and Ophthalmology. For further information, please visit the company's website at http://www.glandpharma.com/ 

About KKR

Founded in 1976 and led by Henry Kravis and George Roberts, KKR is a leading global investment firm with $90.2 billion in assets under management as of September 30, 2013. KKR manages assets through a variety of investment funds and accounts covering multiple asset classes. KKR & Co. L.P. is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: KKR). KKR has a more than 20-year track record of healthcare investing around the world, including investments in HCA, Accellent, Ambea, Biomet, China Cord Blood Corporation, Genesis Care, Jazz Pharmaceuticals and PRA International. Most recently, KKR has announced its plan to invest in Panasonic Healthcare (Japan). The firm has invested more than US$1 billion in private equity in India since 2006. 

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November 26, 2013

Deal Alert: SVB releases report on Indian angel investments

Silicon Valley Bank has released the India Halo report providing a snapshot of investments made by angel groups in India from 2005 to 2012. The report shows that the Median Angel Round Size in India is Rs.1.52 crore (compared to about Rs.3.72 crore in the US). The Pre-Money Valuations in pre-Series A rounds is Rs.10 crore in India (compared to Rs.15.5 crore in the US). The report also provides a split up of angel investments by City (Mumbai and Bangalore accounting for about a quarter share of the pie each) and by sector (IT & ITES and Telecom/Mobile related sector accounting for more than 65% of the pie; followed by Manufacturing at 9%, Education at 7.9% and Life Sciences at 7.3% ) 

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

November 25, 2013

Zomato investment signals ascent of Corporate VCs in India?

In the context of online restaurants review service Zomato raising about $20M with revenues of less than $2M, seed investment specialist Anand Lunia has a quora post on how corporate VCs (like Naukri, One97, etc) have more "courage, belief and patience" to take such leaps of faith than pure commercial VCs. Extract:


That a large proportion of Consumer Internet companies, at least in the past, have been funded by Corporate Investors. Perhaps regular VCs have preferred topline first businesses like restaurants, healthcare chains, pharma manufacturing (!).

The early stage VCs in India have done a decent job, however, of following these corporate nurtured ventures  with Series B/C investments, in a slightly herd like behaviour (the way everybody queued up recently for a certain on-line fashion co was funny.)
...The operating word for the failed ones was 'revenue'. The operating word for the successful ones was Product and Usage. Revenue is the best strategy for continuous funding rounds in India. Having a corporate venture fund who will go all the way up to $10-20 M investment without seeking validation from one more VC is a big advantage.

Going after a large market was another big mistake that many made. That explains the pivots pretty much every E-Commerce company made AFTER raising a large VC round. This also explains the pivots that many content companies did into  E-Commerce. What are the  chances that Zomato would have been doing table reservations/food delivery/gourmet food E-Commerce after raising the first $2M?  


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Deal Alert: Education content firm InOpen raises funds from Japan’s Benesse Holdings

InOpen Technologies, an education content company incubated in Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B), has raised a strategic investment in return for a small minority stake from Japanese education firm Benesse Holdings. Benesse has made this investment from the Benesse Social Investment Facility (BSIF), which invests in companies focused on solving social issues in education, child care and other related fields in emerging Asian countries and Japan. InOpen is the first investee of BSIF. InOpen and Benesse will collaborate to jointly develop products for the global education market, starting with the USA and Japan. Unitus Capital advised the company on this transaction. InOpen is also looking to attract an investment from a financial and/or impact investor. 

In August 2011, venture capital firm Ventureast had invested $500,000 in a seed round for a minority stake in InOpen. Co-founded by Rupesh Kumar Shah and Dr Sridhar Iyer in 2009, InOpen's flagship product is ‘Computer Masti,’ a computer science learning solution that has been implemented in over 200 schools and used by 5,00,000 students in India. It has recently introduced a Science curriculum, Small Science. InOpen achieved break-even in FY2012, and has seen three times growth from 2010-11. It has two revenue streams: schools and governments. In schools, it supplies content, teachers and system administrators. InOpen works with the governments of Assam and other states to teach government school students and junior employees. 

Benesse, which was established in 1955 as a publishing company, is now engaged in education, lifestyle, senior/nursing care and language/leadership training businesses in Japan and international markets. 

 
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Deal Alert: Rajan Anandan invests in online food ordering service TravelKhana

Google India head Rajan Anandan has acquired minority stake in TravelKhana, an online food delivery service for railway passengers. Anandan and associates of Pushpinder Singh, chief executive of New Delhi-based Duronto Technologies Pvt Ltd, which owned and operated TravelKhana, have together invested about Rs 3 crore in Travelkhana. In October, Duronto Technologies had raised an undisclosed amount from Palaash Ventures. 

 
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November 24, 2013

Deal Alert: First Light invests in pre-school chain Sudiksha

Sudiksha Knowledge Solutions, which runs 22 pre-schools in and around Hyderabad, has attracted an investment from US-based First Light Investment. Sudiksha works mostly in slums and among low-income communities with 600-odd students.

From the Venture Intelligence Social VC Investments database: In Nov-12, Sudiksha had raised capital from Impact Circle. 

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

Deal Alert: Trivone Digital acquires Godot Media

Trivone Digital Services, a digital media and content company backed by Accel Partners, has acquired Bangalore-based content services company Godot Media. Trivone will now use services offered by Godot Media such as article and blog writing, copyright and SEO services, apart from handling social media accounts for clients to expand its offering. Godot is self funded and includes companies such as ING, Sotheyby’s and Slide.ly among others as clients. 

Source: MediaNama

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November 21, 2013

Entrevista with Cosmic Circuits Founder Ganapathy Subramaniam

Cross posted from the Entrevista Blog



Interview with Ganapathy Subramaniam, Founding-CEO of Bangalore-based semiconductor tech company Cosmic Circuits. (Cosmic was acquired in early 2013 by Silicon Valley-based, Nasdaq-listed electronic design giant Cadence.) The interviewer is fellow entrepreneur Chandu Nair.

The Podcast can be downloaded from here.

(Use Right Click > Save As to save the file to your desktop)

Highlights

Reading the Wind
How Ganapathy, as part of visiting customers in October 2012, realized that Cosmic Circuits could no longer remain an independent company. (Its customers and partners wanted a strong Number 2 player in the segment to provide a balance to the Number 1 player, Synopsis.) 

Making the company Due Diligence ready
How Cosmic's decisions to rope in a Big 4 audit firm (just five years into its existence) and go in for an ISO certification, stood it in good stead when it came to due diligence at the time of its acquisition. Ganapathy advises that, once the company grows to a certain size, even as the founders enjoy the fruits of that growth, they would do well to take the time and effort to streamline processes.

Valuing Customer Traction over Venture Capital
Why Cosmic Circuits passed on a term sheet from a Silicon Valley VC within days of starting up.

Importance of separating lines of businesses - even in a startup 
"Startups should live and die by its focus on one line of business," says Ganapathy. If one of the business lines is a cash cow, the "negativity" of the failing businesses does not reach the CEO. Specific to Cosmic, in hindsight, the company would have been better off it had separated the fabless semiconductor business from the IP business - something it did as part of the sale of the IP business to Cadence.

Focus on productivity versus putting in long hours
A firm follower of Stephen Covey's "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People," Ganapathy believes leading a balanced life - whether it is ensuring time for family or playing badminton almost everyday - helped ensure his stress levels were in control. (This outlook ensured that Ganapathy's approach to work as the CEO of Cosmic wasn't too different from that at TI.) A 14 hour or more of work just ends up making the founder irritable and leads to costly friction with colleagues, he says.

Attraction of Texas Instruments as a workplace
Apart from the great pay check, the ethical culture, the opportunities to learn from the best in the field and also the freedom to operate independently encouraged Ganapathy to continue with TI - effectively his first and last job as an employee - for a straight 16 years. When he was deputed to work in TI USA, he decided - on his own - that he would be more productive working from home and proceeded to do so for three months. And his supervisor never asked him about his whereabouts!

Impressions Left by Early Education
How his early school education (in the small town of Sivakasi) instilled a spirit of Nationalism - the echoes of which were felt later in his career, including in creating a vision for Cosmic (to build a highly valuable company out of India in the semiconductor technology space).

Man on a Mission
Ganapathy would like to help develop at least ten $100-M+ Semiconductor IP companies out of India over the next 15 years, by working with entrepreneurs, VCs and the government. He is also also making personal investments in startup companies in the sector.

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