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VC funding touches new low in July; Prosus sells part of PayU

VC funding into Indian startups touched a new low this year, with the month of July raking in $529 million. Prosus agreed to sell PayU’s Global Payments Organisation (GPO) business to Israel's Rapyd for $610 million. Microsoft has appointed Puneet Chandok as the new head of India operations.

VC funding touches new low in July; Prosus sells part of PayU

Wednesday August 02, 2023 , 5 min Read

Hello,

Valuations are dropping, again.

US-based Fidelity Investments has halved its fair valuation of conversational messaging app Gupshup to around $700 million. This is Fidelity’s third markdown of Gupshup in five months—it stripped the startup’s unicorn label in March valuing it at $957 million, followed by another slash in May to $857 million.

Then, Vanguard, the world's largest issuer of mutual funds, slashed the valuation of its stake in Ola by more than 50%, less than six months after it first devalued its stake earlier this year in February. The US investor, which holds 0.8% in Ola parent ANI Technologies, pegged the Bhavish Aggarwal-led company's valuation at $25 million. It had purchased the stake for $51.7 million.

Meanwhile, edtech giant BYJU'S has sent a notice to the founders of Aakash Educational Services (AESL) following their alleged resistance to completing a share swap that was unconditionally agreed as part of AESL’s sale in 2021.

Also, Zomato has allotted ESOPs worth Rs 2.52 crore to select employees of the company and its subsidiaries, with each share having a face value of Re 1. 

ICYMI: Rest of World documents the last internet cafés of the world.

Oh, and here are the 100 most-valued brands of the year.

Unsurprisingly, tech giants lead the pack!

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • VC funding touches new low
  • Prosus sells part of PayU
  • Microsoft appoints new India head

Here’s your trivia for today: Who was the first non-European to win a Nobel Prize in Literature?


Funding

VC funding touches new low

Venture capital (VC) funding into Indian startups touched a new low this year, with the month of July raking in $529 million. This was the third time monthly VC funding dipped below the important benchmark of $1 billion, revealing the serious challenges the Indian startup ecosystem continues to face.

Capital inflow:

  • In the first seven months of 2023, the total funding stood at $7.2 billion—a 59% decline when compared to a similar period in 2022.
  • The only transaction which crossed $100 million was for Veritas Finance, and the other large deals during this period were below $50 million.
  • The growth category received the highest amount for the month at $207 million cutting across 8 deals.
State of startup ecosytem in August: Stretched


Fintech

Prosus sells part of PayU

Prosus agreed to sell PayU’s Global Payments Organisation (GPO) business to Israel's Rapyd for $610 million in cash. The deal with the fintech-as-a-service company excludes Prosus’s biggest payments market in India as well as its units in Turkey and Southeast Asia.

Growth focus:

  • In FY23, Prosus's payments and fintech segment grew 32% to $1.1 billion on strong growth in the core payment service provider and India credit business.
  • “PayU’s GPO business has grown considerably in recent years, with payment volumes growing more than 300% in the past five years alone," said Bob van Dijk, CEO of Prosus and Naspers.
  • PayU's India business generated $399 million in revenue in FY23, fuelled by growth in enterprise and SMB, as well as diversification into newer segments.
PayU


Corporate

Microsoft appoints new India head

Microsoft has appointed Puneet Chandok, who was previously with Amazon Web Services (AWS), as the new head of India operations. He will be taking over from Anant Maheshwari who has resigned from the company.

Leadership:

  • Chandok will oversee the integration of Microsoft's businesses across South Asia, including Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.
  • "As we embrace an AI-led future, Puneet's leadership will play a vital role in ensuring Microsoft’s ongoing success in South Asia," Microsoft Asia President Ahmed Mazhari said.
  • Chandok, who holds an MBA degree from IIM Calcutta, had previously worked in organisations such as McKinsey and IBM.
Puneet Chandok

Puneet Chandok, President of Commercial business, AWS India and South Asia.


News & updates

  • Missed mark: Shares of Uber fell after it reported second-quarter results that missed analysts’ expectations for revenue but offered rosy guidance. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said during the quarterly call with investors that CFO Nelson Chai will depart the company in January 2024.
  • Ads agenda: Meta will ask users in the European Union for their consent before allowing businesses to target advertising based on what they view on Facebook and Instagram. The change stems from an order in January by Ireland's Data Protection Commissioner.
  • Bearing fruit: Scientists have successfully grown watermelons in an unlikely place: Antarctica. The agricultural feat was part of an experiment at Vostok Station, a year-round Russian research station located at the Pole of Cold.


What you should watch out for

  • GST Council to take the final call on 28% GST on online gaming, casinos, and horse racing.
  • Qualcomm, Shopify, and Titan, among others, to announce quarterly for Apr-Jun 2023.


Who was the first non-European to win a Nobel Prize in Literature?

Answer: Bengali author Rabindranath Tagore, in 1913.


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