Multiple Investments & an IPO Approval, Highlights of PE Activity in India for End April – Early May 2013

11th May 2013
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During the week ended 5 May, 2013, there were seven PE/VC deals worth $1.38bn compared to 15 deals worth $169mn in the previous week. Bharti Airtel raising $1.26bn (Rs 67.96bn) from Qatar Foundation Endowment by selling 5% stake through a fresh issue of shares, was the largest deal during the week.

The year 2013 has so far aggregated $3.08bn of PE investments across 147 deals compared to $3.07bn (186 deals) during the same period last year.

PE Deals that happened during the week are:

Investor (s)TargetStake (%)Value ($mn) Stage Industry
Qatar Foundation EndowmentBharti Airtel51260PIPETelecom
DEG, Proparco, IFC, FE Clean energy, Asia Clean Energy and GS Power CoNSL Renewable PowerNA60GrowthElectricity
Asian Development BankNSL Renewable PowerNA30GrowthElectricity
TPG CapitalFlexituff International19.425PIPEManufacturing
CLSA PECamson Bio TechnologiesNA4.6PIPEManufacturing
Snow Leopard TechnologyVoylla RetailNA0.5EarlyServices
Ankit Khera, Rahul Bhatia, othersBluegape LifestyleNANAEarlyServices
Source: Four-S PE Database

The Startups View

In the startup space, Voylla.com, a jewellery and accessory e-tailer owned by Bangalore-based Voylla Retail Pvt Ltd, has raised Rs 25mn in funding from Pune based Snow Leopard Technology Ventures, a venture fund that provides seed capital to internet and technology businesses in India. The money raised will be primarily utilised to expand the startup’s operations and marketing initiatives.

There have been a slew of deals in the online jewellery segment. In November 2012, artificial jewellery retail business Youshine, raised $1mn in its second round of angel funding. Bluestone, another online jewellery store raised $5mn funding from Accel Partners in January 2012. In 2011, CaratLane.com, another diamond and jewellery portal run by Chennai-based Caratlane Trading Ltd, raised $6mn from Tiger Global Management. The trend is interesting given that jewellery buying is associated with touch-and feel factor.

Bluegape LifeStyle Pvt Ltd, the company that owns and operates Bluegape.com, a fan merchandise and customisation platform, has raised an undisclosed amount in Angel funding from Aniket Khera (fund manager at Wegmans Financial Services Ltd), Rahul Bhatia (portfolio manager at Willow Investment Management, LLC) and an unnamed internet entrepreneur. All the investors have invested in their personal capacity. The funds will be primarily invested in signing up with more brands for their exclusive fan merchandising rights. It will also be invested in improving the logistics and warehousing.

Newsmakers for week ended 29 April, 2013

The biggest newsmaker that week was Kerala-based mobile VAS firm MobME, which received an NSE approval for IPO. MobME Wireless Solutions Ltd, a Kerala-based mobile VAS firm, has received in-principle approval from the National Stock Exchange (NSE) to go for an IPO. The company filed a DRHP to list on the NSE’s SME platform in February this year. It has offered 705,600 equity shares, comprising around 25% stake, through the fresh issue. According to sources, the firm is looking to raise around Rs 250mn ($4.6 million) from the IPO. Interestingly, MobME is one of the very few tech startups to skip the conventional route of fundraising from VC investors.

This week was a busy one for many other startups and investors as well.

Yebhi.com - Big Shoe Bazaar India Pvt Ltd, which runs fashion and lifestyle e-tail venture Yebhi.com, has raised $12mn (Rs 650mn) from its existing investors in a bridge round. Its existing investors include Fidelity Growth Partners India, Qualcomm Ventures, Nexus Venture Partners and Catamaran. The firm has been in the market to raise a much larger round of fresh capital and the bridge funding will allow the firm to burn some more cash in the interim period.

Apalya - Networking equipment giant Cisco along with other investors like IDG Ventures India, Indo US Venture Partners and Qualcomm has invested $10mn in Apalya Technologies, a mobile video streaming service provider. Cisco benefitted from this investment by adding the live television and mobile video capabilities to its Videoscape architecture. Additionally the integration would place both the companies as multi-system operators in India. This would help them operate multi cable or direct broadcast satellite TV systems. Apalya had previously raised $7.5mn from IndoUS Venture Partners, IDG and Qualcomm in 2011. Prior to that Qualcomm and IDG had put in $3mn in 2009 and Mumbai Angels had invested in an angel round in 2008 in the company.

Qubole - Bangalore and US-based Big Data startup Qubole Inc raised $7mn in Series A funding from Charles River Ventures, an early-stage venture capital fund, VC firm Lightspeed Venture Partners, and angel investors Venky Harinarayan (founding partner of Cambrian Ventures) and Anand Rajaram (senior vice-president at Walmart Global eCommerce). Qubole has also passed a major milestone in processed data volume, breaking the half petabyte mark since coming out of beta. Qubole Data Service is now open to enterprises of all sizes, and free trial accounts are available.

Seclore - Security software firm, Seclore Technology raised $6 Mn from Helion Venture Partners and Ventureast Proactive to fund company’s footprints in South Asia, Europe and North America. Post funding, both Helion and Ventureast, will own about 30% of the company. Seclore was incubated by IIT Bombay and in 2010, it raised $0.5 million from Ventureast's Tenet Fund and other angel investors.

SmartRX - Smart Cloud Technologies Pvt. Ltd., the developer of SmartRX, a software platform for patient management received $500K from Ventureast Tenet fund with two other unknown investors. SmartRX will be using funds to develop a customer base in India and abroad. Founded in 2011, Smart Cloud Technologies is a Bangalore based healthcare company which provides online healthcare solutions, consultation, etc. and in managing patient database and appointments.

DataWeave - Bangalore-based startup DataWeave Software Pvt Ltd raised seed funding worth Rs 15mn ($270,000) from Blume Ventures, TLabs (Times Internet), 5ideas Startup Superfuel, Meta Studio Advisors and a group of angel investors, namely Rajan Anandan, Pankaj Jain, Bharathram Thothadri, Krishna Mehra and Abhishek Gupta. DataWeave helps users discover, monitor and visualize public data on the web in a uniform format: APIs, dashboards and visualizations. It works by extracting and structuring relevant data and then stores it. The data is then aggregated, analyzed, normalized and represented in a consumable manner.

Plustxt - Bangalore-based Plustxt Mobile Solutions Pvt Ltd, which offers a text messaging platform that enables a sender to translate text to the language of the recipient, has raised an undisclosed sum from Mumbai Angels and InMobi co-founder Amit Gupta. Plustxt is available on iPhone and Android OS-powered devices including tablets. The service will be extended to BlackBerry, Windows and Java phones soon. The Plustxt messaging platform provides full control to the sender over the text he/she sends. That is, the sender can decide whether the recipient can/cannot copy or forward the text to others.

ShepHertz - Delhi-based tech startup ShepHertz Technologies Pvt Ltd has raised an undisclosed amount in funding from Kae Capital, Mumbai Angels and Blume Ventures. The money raised will be invested in marketing, product development and hiring more people. ShepHertz provides mobile backend as a service (MBaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and multiplayer gaming network engine for app developers.

This week’s PE Activity information was provided by Research4India, the research services arm of Four-S Services Pvt Ltd.

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