Rubique, Samco raise funds; Unitus Ventures closes second fund of Rs 300 crore
Mumbai-based financial technology platform Rubique Technologies announced it had raised undisclosed funding in a round led by Japan’s Recruit Group and Russian venture capital management company Emery Capital. Blacksoil, along with existing investor Kalaari Capital, also participated in the round. According to some media reports earlier this year, Rubique Technologies was looking to raise $15 million - $20 million.
Samco Ventures Private Limited, the parent corporation of Samco Securities, has raised Series B funding of $7.5 million (Rs 49 crore) in a round that saw participation from existing investor Bay Capital Investments. The Mumbai-based startup helps customers with discounts on brokerage to trade in the stock market. The company had raised $3 million in a Series A round in the financial year 2016. Founder and CEO Jimeet Modi said the core broking operations of the company have been adequately capitalised, and are generating enough free cash flow.
Social impact investment firm Unitus Ventures (formerly Unitus Seed Fund) has raised Rs 100 crore to the first close of its Rs 300-crore ($46 million) second fund. The round saw participation from investors Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, Bill Gates, investment banker Hemendra Kothari, Ajay Parekh, Pradeep Singh, Pramod Saxena, Padma Chandrasekaran, and Ravi Venkatesan, among others. Unitus Ventures plans to invest Rs 5-15 crore each in about 30 startups in healthcare, education, and inclusive fintech.
It is not every day that a 23-year-old economics graduate leaves his job at Ernst&Young to start up in design, but that is exactly what Piyush Kedia did. Unhappy with a 9-to-5 job, he started freelancing in design. A few contacts from his network asked him to design their marketing content. Soon, a major publishing house got in touch. “I charged them extra, but they were cool with it. So I was earning more than my salary at EY. I left the job in early 2015 to start up Blue Vector,” Piyush recollects. This time, he focused on design, branding, and communication.
Sprint and T-Mobile, two of the Big Four wireless networks in the US, announced a merger in an all-stock deal worth about $26.5 billion. The new company will function under the T-Mobile name, with around $74 billion in revenue and 70 million subscribers. The deal still has to win approval from US regulators and comes after years of negotiation and two prior failed attempts.
Chinese tech giant Baidu – often dubbed the “Google of China” – has announced that it is selling its majority stake in its financial services arm for $1.9 billion. The company’s Financial Services Group (FSG) will spin off into an independent firm named Du Xiaoman, and Baidu will own approximately 42 percent of the new company. Current General Manager of FSG and Baidu Senior VP Guang Zhu will take over as CEO.