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February 27, 2014

Deal Alert: IAN invests in London-based workforce management software startup SwiftShift

Indian Angel Network (IAN) is to make an investment in UK start-up SwiftShift, a provider of software solutions. London-based SwiftShift has developed a software solution that allows companies to quickly fill short-notice shifts using their own staff through SMS, e-mail and mobile technology. 

 
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: Helion, Accel invests in e-commerce search firm Zettata

Helion Venture Partners and Accel Partners have invested in Bangalore-based e-commerce search firm Zettata. Founded by Srinivasan Seshadri and Vikram Srinivasan, two former academics who had also worked at Bell Labs.

Source: Economic Times

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.

February 26, 2014

Deal Alert: Vishal Gondal founded wearable tech firm GOQii raises funds from Google exec, others

Former Indiagames founder Vishal Gondal’s new wearable tecg venture GOQii has raised several million dollars from angel investors including Google Senior Vice President Amit Singhal, Flextronics CEO Mike McNamara, EDventure’s Esther Dyson, Bollywood actress Madhuri Dixit-Nene, Seagate CEO Steve Luczo, and Sanjay Parthasarthy of Indix. 

GOQii’s wristband has a bevy of slick features, including a full touch display, a vibrating alarm, ultra-lightweight water resistant construction with skin sensitive materials, and automatic wireless syncing via bluetooth. The band functions include a watch, a motion sensor which can track steps, calories, distance and active time among others. 

Source: Yourstory
 
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.

February 25, 2014

Deal Alert: Ankur invests Rs. 1.5 cr in 3 early stage rural ventures

Mumbai-based impact investment fund, Ankur Capital, has invested in three early-stage ventures that focus on rural markets. The three firms are: CropIn, a cloud-based farm management systems company, home compost solutions provider Daily Dump and primary eye-care service provider ERC. The start-ups have issued convertible debt to the fund, which will invest about Rs. 50 lakh in each company for a 30% stake. Ankur Capital has a corpus of Rs. 40 crore.

Ankur Capital’s first fund will look to make 20 investments, with an average investment period of five years. For follow-on rounds of funding, the fund will invest between Rs. 2 crore and Rs. 4 crore in each investee company while aiming for gross return on investments of about 15%. 

 
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.

February 24, 2014

Deal Alert: AngelPrime leads Rs.3.1 Cr round for coder hiring startup HackerEarth

HackerEarth, a start-up which helps multinational companies hire programmers, has raised Rs 3.1 crore seed funding from Angel Prime as it prepares to expand operations in India and overseas markets. Existing investor GSF, an accelerator, also participated. The firm will use the funds to ramp up operations in India and start making inroads in markets such as Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia and United States in the next one year. 

 
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.

February 23, 2014

Entrevista with Raj Nair, Founder of Avalon Consulting

Cross Posted from the Entrevista blog.



Interview with Raj Nair, Founder-Chairman of Avalon Consulting, the Mumbai-headquartered, international consulting firm and also research and analytics firm Ugam Solutions and artificial intelligence software firm . Interview begins with how Ugam Solutions' founding & funding - especially how the company "pivoted" to completely new business in 50 days flat! The interviewer is fellow entrepreneur Chandu Nair. Chandu earlier founded, successfully raised venture capital for and exited from Scope eKnowledge, one of the earliest KPO firms in India.




The Audio (podcast) version can be downloaded from here 

Highlights:

  • Striking balance between Flexibility & Measurement in the Early Years: In the initial years of starting up,  it’s important to have the flexibility to course correct and not put pressure on the business with a rigid business model, ambitious target, etc. “There is (however) a difference between chaos and experimentation. Every day, you need to check if things are ‘happening or not happening’. You cannot be like Christopher Columbus saying 'I somehow want to reach India' and set sail without doing any homework. For every Columbus who got lucky, there are probably thousands who just lost their way.”

  • Pricing based on Value: How even with no relevant experience behind them, Raj and his team decided to price their market research services at double the prevalent rates and got away with it.

  • Spotting Entrepreneurial Opportunities - in the Pre- Liberalization Days (Market Research) and in Today's Social Media Driven Days (Germinait which mines Social Media for market research using technology tools). Very interesting accounts of the work that Germinait did  for measuring the impact of a well known teleco's ad campaign and how it's helping an leading kids TV channel measure social media conversations to decide which characters to promote.

  • Experience brings Empathy: “When I started my journey, I used to view colleagues as fellow professionals and it was all about delivering results to clients. Today, I look at them as individual persons - someone whose wife had a migraine in the morning and he had to deal with it before coming; another whose child did not get admitted into a school or that he deserved to and so on. One understands how the environment affects an individual’s behavior, output and productivity at the workplace. In one word, Empathy. And that is something that can’t be taught in a business school.”

  • Don't tell your children what (career) path to take. Only if they decide for themselves, will they will own up to the responsibility for what they do!

  • Parting Wisdom: Make sure you are having fun! "When you are enjoying, a lot of the hardships don’t seem that big. When you are not enjoying what you are doing, even a small thing becoming a big issue. So make sure whatever you are going to do will give you tremendous satisfaction and happiness. Don't do get into some line of business just because 'the money is great' (and) unless you are going to enjoy the journey."
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: Lionrock Capital, Nisa Godrej, others back baby products e-tailer Hopscotch

Singapore-based investor LionRock Capital, besides Industrialist Adi Godrej's younger daughter Nisa, Skype co-founder Toivo Annus and Diapers.com co-founder and CTO Wei Yan, have invested $2 million in Hopscotch, a Mumbai-based boutique e-commerce startup selling products for infants and kids. The funds will be deployed to boost marketing and technology. 

The 15-month-old Hopscotch, co-founded by two former Diapers.com executives Rahul Anand and Lisa Kennedy, sells curated hard-to-find merchandise using a flash sales model. It hopes to report sales of $4 million in the current fiscal selling apparel, toys, shoes and skincare products. Anand and co-founder Kennedy turned their attention to India two years ago, after Diapers.com was acquired by Amazon for $550 million in 2011. 

 
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.

February 19, 2014

Who Killed Growth Capital in India?

A huge pall of uncertainty surrounds the future of Growth Capital investing in India. Is the segment, that represents the bulk of both the supply and demand for private equity capital in India, (gulp) dead? If yes, who killed it?


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.

February 10, 2014

Profile of Boutique Investment Banks

From the Economic Times article:
Two deals lifted their fortunes. The first: advising Dr Reddy's to purchase Group Pharma, a smaller drug firm, for Rs 25 crore, which fetched them their first cheque, of Rs 50 lakh. "It was our initial capital," says Ramprasad. In their second deal, closed in just three weeks, they helped Abhishek Dalmia purchase Revathi CP, a manufacturer of drilling tools that was being advised by DSP.

In December 2001, small on capital but big on confidence, Mape— an acronym for mergers, acquisitions and private equity—was formally born in a 3BHK flat in Bangalore owned by Mathew. "In hindsight, we were foolish enough not to realise the enormity of the task,'' says Mathew. ''We were super confident and lucky." In time, Mape bagged business from both mid-sized and larger companies, even though its fee was the same as global banks. It attracted talent.

In 2005, Ajay Garg, a former colleague at DSP, joined Mape as thje third partner, though he left to start another boutique I-bank Equirus Capital. Mape also drew foreign capital: in 2006, Global Investment House of Kuwait bought 11% for $5 million, valuing it at near $50 million.
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.

February 05, 2014

Deal Alert: Gray Matters India receives equity funding from Michael & Susan Dell Foundation

Gray Matters India Pvt.Ltd (GMI), an organization that has been incubated and co-funded by Atlanta-based Gray Matters Capital(GMC), announced today an INR 45 million equity investment from Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, a philanthropicorganization focused on improving the lives of impoverished children in the United States, South Africa and India. GMI focuses onimproving the quality of education in schools through assessments, and educational analytics, and their rating tool provides high quality and relevant learning level assessments by leveraging strong partnerships with organizations like ACER, the leading Australian assessment agency.

“We are excited about this support from the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation to help us increase the role of assessments and analytics in K12 education and to help improve educational quality by making data actionable to schools. The confidence shown by the Dell family foundation, which believes in measuring educational quality through outcomes, will further augment our efforts in this direction.” said Pradeep Sharma, Country Director of GMI. The company aspires to impact more than 5,000 schools, 2 million students and 100,000 teachers in the next 5 years.

“Assessments and school ratings are a big unmet need of schools that target low-income communities , and this is a great opportunity for GMI to create industry suitable assessments and a marketof quality conscious schools in this segment.”said Prachi Windlass, Lead, Education, at the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. “GMI has a strong management teamwith a good mix of corporate, development and education backgrounds, and a deep commitment to creating sustainable social impact.” 

Since 2006, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation hasinvested more than $120 million in transforming the lives of children living in urban poverty in India. The foundation has been a strong proponent of rigorous learning level assessments in all its education programs, and also supports the implementation of the Indian government’s Continuous and Comprehensive evaluation policy in four states. This investment will complement the foundation’s broader role incatalyzing the learning assessment area in India by extending the coverage to include the growing and increasingly important affordable private school sector. 

“We are very excited to have the support of the Michael &Susan Dell foundation in improving the quality of affordable education in India,” said Calvin Clark, Finance manager at GMC. “With this support, GMI will be able to address more of the need for quality assessments in the affordable education sector.” This investment complementsGMC and GMC founder Bob Pattillo’sother education investments in India including Indian School Finance Company and Sudiksha Knowledge Solutions. GMC and its sister investment funds have made more thantwo dozen impact investments in India totaling over $30 million. 

About GMI

Gray Matters India(GMI) works towards improving education quality in schools through school assessments and analytics. GMI has worked with more than 600 schools in the past 3 years and has impacted more than 300,000 students and 15,000 teachers. GMI believes in the power of data driven decision making and aims at providing schools with actionable data analysis post assessments to help in school improvement. For more information, please visit www.graymatters.in 

About the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation

The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation (www.msdf.org) is dedicated to improving the lives of children living in urban poverty around the world. With offices in Austin, TX and New Delhi, India, and Cape Town, South Africa, the Dell family foundation funds programs that foster high-quality public education and childhood health, and improve the economic stability of families living in poverty. The foundation has committed more than $1 billion to global children’s issues and community initiatives to date. 

About GMC

Gray Matters Capital (GMC) is a private operating foundation founded by Bob Pattillo. GMC actively invests in and co-creates initiatives with partners to build sustainable, replicable business models to benefit underserved populations. Our Vision: An education and a job for 100 million women by 2036. 

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.

February 01, 2014

Tall Tales Told by Grandmas and Venture Capitalists

AZB, Amarchand Top League Tables for Private Equity, M&A in 2013

Private Equity

AZB & Partners has retained its status – for the fourth consecutive year - as the Most Active Legal Advisor for Private Equity transactions during 2013. According to the Venture Intelligence League Tables, AZB finished the year with 166 points (across 42 qualifying deals). ALMT Legal and K Law vaulted to the second spot with 80 points (across 20 deals) each.  Amarchand & Mangaldas, Samvad Partners and NovoJuris finished joint third with 76 points each (across 19 deals).

The Venture Intelligence League Tables, the first such initiative exclusively tracking transactions involving India-based companies, are based on volume of PE and M&A transactions (combined with credits based on fulfilment of criteria) advised by Transaction and Legal Advisory firms.

AZB advised PE deals during the period included KKR’s acquisition of controlling stake in Alliance Tire Group and Baring Asia's $256 million investment in Lafarge India. Large transactions advised by ALMT Legal included Emcure Pharmaceuticals’ attracting of a $150 million investment from Bain Capital, while K Law advised Nexus Ventures and Kalaari Capital on their participation in the $50 million round raised by e-commerce firm Snapdeal.com.

AZB & Partners also topped the tables in terms of deals advised by value, including the $460 million investment. Amarchand & Mangaldas (which advised KKR’s $200 million investment in Gland Pharma) came in second while Khaitan & Co. (which advised Apax Partners’ $420 million investment in GlobalLogic) finished third in terms of deals advised by value.

The year also saw a lot of new entrants like Bharucha & Partners and P&C Legal enter the Venture Intelligence Most Active Legal Advisors for Private Equity league table.
 
M&A
Amarchand & Mangaldas topped the Venture Intelligence League Tables for Most Active Legal Advisor to M&A transactions for 2013 with 136 points (across 37 qualifying deals) followed by Khaitan & Co. with 92 points (across 25 deals). AZB & Partners came in next with 90 points (26 deals).

Amarchand & Mangaldas advised M&A deals during the year included the $2.47 Billion acquisition of Videocon’s stake in Mozambique gas field by ONGG Videsh and Oil India Limited and the Holcim - Ambuja Cements restructuring deal. Khaitan & Co. advised deals included Torrent Pharmaceuticals’ $323 million acquisition of formulations business of Elder Pharmaceuticals and the $214 million stake increase by Standard & Poor's McGraw Hill in rating agency CRISIL. AZB advised M&A deals in 2013 included the $150 million acquisition of Ashirvad Pipes by Belgium-based Aliaxis Group and the completion of the 55% stake acquisition in Cello Pens by France’s BIC.

Other legal advisors who had advised a significant number of M&A deals during the year included  and Trilegal (66 points, 20 deals), J Sagar Associates (40 points, 10 deals) and Tatva Legal (34 points, 10 deals).

Amarchand & Mangaldas also topped the table in terms of value of the deals advised, followed by Luthra & Luthra  (whose notable deals during the year included the $1.75 Billion acquisition of Strides Arcolab’s Agila Specialties division by Mylan Laboratories and Indiabulls Group’s buyout of Farallon Capital from its real estate project subsidiaries. S&R Associates came in next in terms of deals advised by value.

Khaitan & Co. topped the Inbound deals chart with 16 deals, followed by Amarchand and AZB with 14 and 13 deals respectively. AZB & Partners led the Outbound M&A deals with four deals. Amarchand & Mangaldas deal count included 22 domestic deals, followed by AZB and Khaitan & Co. with 9 deals each.

New Entrants to the Venture Intelligence M&A table for Legal Advisors during 2013 include Finsec Law, P&C Legal and Bharucha & Partners
 
The full league table can be viewed online at http://ventureintelligence.in/leagues.php

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.