It's a buyer's market for Indian tech stocks

This year has seen a steep rise in inquiries to sell shares in Indian technology startups in the private secondary market as buyers drive a hard bargain.
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Hello Reader,

A notable marker of business growth is the sale of commercial vehicles—trucks, pickups, mini-trucks, three-wheelers etc—for logistics and ferrying passengers. Over 67,000 vehicles were sold last month, which is a 24% increase YoY. 

It looks like everyone wants to buy an iPhone. Indian Apple Authorised Resellers and third-party vendors have reportedly received robust demand for the recently announced Apple iPhone series—starting from Rs 79,900. 

Meanwhile, Brahmāstra: Part One – Shiva seems to have ended Bollywood's dry spell at the cash registers. After a bumper opening day, the movie earned over Rs 77 crore in India over two days—hitting Rs 160 crore worldwide.

See you at the cinemas!

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • Decoding dip in private secondary market
  • Inside Gameberry Labs’ rise
  • Creating scalable content with AI

Here’s your trivia for today: What is the symbol ‘#’ called?


Funding

Decoding dip in private secondary market

After last year's funding high, Indian tech growth-stage startups and unicorns are undergoing market corrections, trading at 20-50% discount in the private secondary markets. While boAt saw a 35% dip, API Holdings (Pharmeasy's parent company) saw a 75% decline in Over-The-Counter (OTC) secondary market for private companies.

“The valuation of technology companies has come down since the Paytm IPO. This, followed by a drop in liquidity and attrition, has impacted secondaries of deemed-public companies," Ranjit Jha, Managing Director-CEO at Rurash Financials, tells YourStory.  

The big picture:

  • According to Qapita, nearly $70 billion worth of transactions happened in the private market in India in FY22, of which nearly a third were from secondary trades.
  • Qapita CEO Skanda Jayaraman says that as demand has fallen sharply while supply remains in excess, 'fair price' of an asset is not easy to establish.
  • General Partner led secondaries are also on the rise as funds look for liquidity.

Some startup unicorns trading at higher than average discounts in the OTC secondary market


Gaming

Inside Gameberry Labs’ rise

In five years, Gameberry Labs has not only achieved profitability with annual revenue exceeding $40 million, it has also made major headways into international markets like Saudi Arabia, the US, Spain, and the Latin America region.

Its two flagship mobile games—Ludo Star and Parchisi—have earned the startup about 100,000 daily active users in India.

Crunching numbers:

  • Around 70% of Gameberry Labs' revenue comes through in-app purchases and the rest through advertisements.
  • The startup has 110 employees and the average revenue per employee stands at $400,000.
  • It saw a 10-15% increase in the time spent on mobile video games even after lifting of lockdown.

Startup

Creating scalable content with AI

Many online businesses rely on advertisements as a major source of revenue. However, it can be tough to tailor these ads for every single campaign, especially to a large audience.

Scalenut is attempting to automate processes like Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) through artificial intelligence (AI). The SaaS platform helps small businesses and mid-market businesses to scale content and grow sustainably through organic marketing. 

Smart advertising:

  • Scalenut uses natural processing technology to assist with research and gives content reports out of a single targeted keyword.
  • Its flagship product, Talent Network, helps connect clients to ­­­­certified content creators to generate content.
  • The startup has integrated with American SaaS firm Semrush to leverage its SEO and overall content marketing.

News & updates

  • Crackdown: The Ministry of Corporate Affairs had ordered a probe by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) on 33 companies with Chinese links in India, which has arrested the alleged mastermind behind putting dummy directors in these companies.
  • Restructuring: A Kotak Institutional Equities report suggested that Reliance Industries Ltd explore the company's reorganisation into three independent entities for different business verticals—oil refining and petrochemicals, oil-to-chemicals (O2C) unit, and digital business.
  • Breakthrough: The scientists at the Netherlands Cancer Institute discovered a novel therapy to treat advanced melanoma (skin cancer) by modifying a patient's own immune cells to fight cancer.

What you should watch out for

  • Amazon Business will commemorate five years of operations in India with Small Business Week, starting today.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate World Dairy Summit, which is being held in India after a gap of 48 years.

What is the symbol ‘#’ called?

Answer: While popularly called a hashtag, the symbol ‘#’ is technically known as an ‘octothrope’—deriving its name from the eight points on the symbol.


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