Snapdeal sale still in limbo as cash reserves dwindle
Struggling online marketplace Snapdeal needs to urgently seal a funding round or sell itself to larger rivals Flipkart or Paytm, as fast-depleting cash reserves leave it with a runway of less than four months, according to three people close to the development. This could put Snapdeal’s board, which has struggled to reach a consensus over its valuation and sale, under higher pressure to reach an agreement. Read original article here.
Softbank changes track in India as initial bets go sour
After some of its expensive initial bets in India soured, Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp. is making another attempt at finding attractive investments in India’s internet business by selling its also-ran portfolio companies to bigger rivals, some of which it turned down in the past. SoftBank, which invested nearly $2 billion in five Indian start-ups in the year to November 2015, is trying to sell struggling online marketplace Snapdeal to bigger rival Flipkart, Mint reported on 22 March. Another portfolio company Grofers, a groceries ordering app, is in talks to merge with the online groceries market leader BigBasket, Mint reported on 19 April. SoftBank may also invest more cash into Flipkart and BigBasket while it is separately in discussions to invest up to $1.5 billion in Paytm, India’s largest payments app, Mint had reported then. Read original article here.
Nifty closes at all-time high of 9,306.60 points, valuations rich
The National Stock Exchange’s (NSE’s) benchmark Nifty rose to a record closing high on Tuesday and the BSE Sensex ended just 57 points short of the psychologically important mark of 30,000 as better-than-expected quarterly corporate earnings and the forecast of a normal monsoon buoyed investors. Rich stock valuations failed to deter investors, who also rode the tail of a worldwide rally sparked by a centrist victory in the first round of the French presidential election. Read original article here.
Sequoia Capital invests $3 million in Satya Paul owner Genesis Colors
Venture capital investor Sequoia Capital India has invested $3 million of additional capital in its initial public offering (IPO)-bound portfolio firm Genesis Colors Ltd, two people in the know said. Genesis Colors, the owner of luxury fashion labels such as Satya Paul, plans to sell shares to the public to fund expansion and provide an exit opportunity to its investors. The firm filed its draft IPO papers in September and got market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India’s (Sebi) approval in February. Read original article here.
Ronnie Screwvala to set up Rs100 crore fund for online scholarships
Media and entertainment industry veteran Ronnie Screwvala, who runs online education start-up Upgrad, is planning to set up a Rs100 crore fund which will provide scholarships for professionals seeking to enhance their skills through online courses. In an interview, the former CEO and founder of UTV Group said he has already pledged Rs10 crore as initial corpus, and plans to raise Rs100 crore in the next 12 months. Read original article here.
H-1B visas: India talks tough, signals it may hit back over US curbs
India has signalled it could respond against the US move to restrict H-1B visas by capping the royalty payout by American companies in India to their parent firms. Not only does the veiled threat signal a toughening of India’s stance, the move, if implemented, risks escalating into a full-blown trade war that could harm the otherwise warm relationship between the two countries. Read original article here.
The crisis at online marketplace Snapdeal, which is up for sale after struggling to raise funds, is the culmination of a series of errors by its co-founders and its board, raising questions about the roles of all parties involved. Venture capital firms Kalaari Capital and Nexus Venture Partners, both of which have representatives on Snapdeal’s board, are in a tussle with SoftBank Group Corp., which has two board seats, over the company’s valuation in a potential sale. Read original article here.
Online grocer BigBasket, run by Supermarket Grocery Services Pvt. Ltd, and smaller rival Grofers India Pvt. Ltd have initiated talks for a merger that, if consummated, will also see SoftBank Group, an existing investor in the latter, participate in a $60-100 million funding round in the merged entity, said three people aware of the development. BigBasket needs the money. By far the best-funded online grocery store, it has held talks with investors such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc, Amazon.com Inc, Tencent Holdings Ltd, and Fosun International Ltd for a fresh round of funds. The talks haven’t progressed far, the people cited above said. Read original article here.
Delaying an Air India flight can cost you a fine of up to Rs 15 lakh
The Economic Times
After the Shiv Sena MP snub, Air India is going all out on unruly passengers with a new set of rules that includes steep fines. The airline, according to a TOI report, is planning to fine Rs 5 lakh for delaying a flight up to an hour; Rs 10 lakh for delay between one and two hours and Rs 15 lakh for delaying beyond two hours. "Recent incidents of unruly behaviour and assault on AI employees by passengers (whether VVIP or otherwise) have caused severe damage to the morale of employees. Even a hotel has right of admission reserved. AI must have a procedure for handling unruly passengers," said an official. Read original article here.
Snapdeal acquisition to benefit Tiger Global more than Flipkart
A $1 billion buyout of struggling online marketplace Snapdeal by Flipkart may yield more immediate benefits to Tiger Global Management, Flipkart’s largest investor, than to the buyer or to Indian consumers. The buyout is being arranged by Tiger Global managing director Lee Fixel and SoftBank Group Corp., which count Flipkart and Snapdeal as their largest holdings, respectively. The deal may see SoftBank buy some of Tiger’s holdings in Flipkart and put additional cash into the company, said two people familiar with the matter. Read original article here.