SoftBank Vision Fund has bought stake worth at least $2.6 billion in Flipkart Ltd, in a deal that provides a part exit to some of the e-commerce company’s investors, boosts the ability of India’s largest internet firm to take on arch-rival Amazon India, and gives SoftBank Group Corp. a piece of India’s most valuable start-up. The latest round of funding takes Flipkart’s cash reserves to more than $4 billion. Flipkart didn’t disclose the amount, but SoftBank invested roughly $1.4 billion directly in Flipkart, three people familiar with the matter said on condition of anonymity. Read more here.
Netflix doubles down on India investment, snaps up ‘Baahubali’
Streaming service Netflix has acquired the rights to stream S.S. Rajamouli’s war epic Baahubali: The Beginning and Baahubali 2: The Conclusion as it works towards strengthening its presence in India. The deal is worth $4 million (around Rs25.5 crore), according to a person familiar with the development who asked not to be identified. Read more here.
Hindustan Unilever will not hike prices this quarter
Hindustan Unilever Ltd, India’s largest consumer packaged goods company by sales, has cut the prices of its detergent bars and soaps on the assumption that it will benefit from input tax credit under the goods and services tax (GST). A month into the new indirect tax regime, P.B. Balaji, chief financial officer at HUL, has his task cut out—ensuring that the assumptions made prior to the rollout of GST are realized. “The next 3-6 months will be about extremely meticulous, detailed work,” he said in an interview. Read more here.
Mobile wallet company MobiKwik is looking at raising over $100 million from investors this year to fuel its expansion. MobiKwik recently inked an agreement with Bajaj Finance under which the latter invested Rs225 crore (about $35 million) in the digital payments company for a 10.83% stake. “We had said that we plan to raise about $150 million and this investment (from Bajaj Finance) is the first tranche. We are in talks with private equity and venture capitalists to raise over $100 million,” MobiKwik Co-Founder Upasana Taku told PTI. She added that more funding is expected to come in during the latter half of the year. Read more here.
Lok Sabha passes Banking Regulation Bill for non-performing assets
The Economic Times
The Lok Sabha has passed the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2017 introduced last month to replace the existing ordinance promulgated in May this year to empower the Reserve Bank of India to deal with stressed assets. Replying to a debate on the bill on Thursday, finance minister Arun Jaitley said the process of resolution of bad loans will start shortly. The finance minister said the Reserve Bank of India had already identified top 12 loan defaulters and more cases will be taken up for resolution. Read original article here.
Branded clothes from Baba Ramdev, coming soon to an apparel store near you. After food, medicines and cosmetics, the yoga guru-turned-tycoon who discovered the business potential of everything homegrown is ready to raid the next big consumer market: branded apparel. Read more here.
SoftBank fund said to be in talks to invest $2 billion in Flipkart
SoftBank Vision Fund, the technology investor founded by Masayoshi Son, is in talks to invest directly in India’s Flipkart Online Services Pvt. Ltd, according to people familiar with the matter, after talks to fold SoftBank-backed Snapdeal into Flipkart fell apart. Read more here.
Snapdeal-Flipkart deal falls apart in win for founders Kunal Bahl, Rohit Bansal
Snapdeal, run by Jasper Infotech Pvt. Ltd, has walked away from a potential sale to Flipkart and will now try and survive as an independent entity by selling its logistics unit and cutting costs. The decision is a win for Snapdeal founders Kunal Bahl (chief executive officer) and Rohit Bansal (chief operating officer), who were against the sale from the beginning. For now, they have won the bitter boardroom battle against Snapdeal’s largest investor SoftBank Group Corp., which was pushing for the sale to Flipkart. Read more here.
The proposed Snapdeal sale to Flipkart has been put on hold and may be called off as the founders and shareholders of the struggling online marketplace have not yet agreed on the terms of the deal, three people familiar with the matter said. Read more here.
Zomato partners with Ola, allows users to book rides and pay through Ola Money
Two of the country’s leading consumer technology brands, Ola and Zomato, on Thursday announced a strategic alliance that will allow them to cross-sell services on each other’s platforms. Cab hailing service Ola (ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd), which has recently pioneered an in-car infotainment system called Ola Play, will allow its riders to browse and order from restaurants from within cab. This will be done through a native Zomato feature on Ola Play tablets. Read more here.