Venture Intelligence Deal Digest

The Top Deals. Each Week. In One Place. June 12, 2015
The Big Story

Sahara raises $850-M from Reuben Bros to refinance foreign hotels: Report


Billionaire brothers David and Simon Reuben have acquired control of the crisis-hit Sahara Group’s Grosvenor House hotel in London and the two US properties - Plaza and Dream Downtown - in a $850-million (INR 5,500 crore) debt refinance deal, the Sunday Times reported. “David and Simon Reuben, whose empire stretches from data centres to horse racing, clinched the purchase of two loans against the properties from Bank of China late last week.” The Grosvenor House hotel was put on sale by its lender Bank of China earlier this year after a ‘technical default’.

The three hotels were acquired by Sahara between 2010-2012 at an estimated valuation of $1.55 billion.

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Done Deals

Private Equity Fund Investments

Arpwood Buys 21% in Senvion for Rs.716-Cr

Economic Times

Arpwood Capital has purchased 21% stake in German wind turbine maker Senvion (formerly RE Power) for $112 million (about INR 716 crore).

From the Deal Digest Archive (Jan 23, 2015): Publicly listed wind energy firm Suzlon agreed to sell a 100% stake in its European subsidiary Senvion SE, to US-based Centerbridge Partners LP for EUR 1 billion (approx INR 7,200 Cr) in an all cash transaction and future earn out of upto an additional EUR 50 million (approx INR 360 Cr).

Aussie SWF leads $40-M fourth round for Applied Solar


Delhi-based solar power company Applied Solar Technologies (India) Pvt. Ltd (AST) has raised $40 million in its fourth round of funding led by Future Fund, the Australian government’s sovereign wealth fund, with participation from existing investors Bessemer, Capricorn Investment Group and IFC. The investment, which closed late last month, is AST’s fourth funding round to date, taking its overall private equity funding to more than $85 million.

In 2009, Bessemer had invested an undisclosed amount in the company. In 2010, IFC led a $21 million second round of funding; This was followed by a $24.6 million round in 2012 in which BVP, IFC and Skoll Foundation-backed Capricorn Investment Group participated.

Sequoia invests Rs. 100-Cr in pharma co La Renon

Economic Times

Sequoia Capital is picking up a minority stake for INR 100 crore in Ahmedabad-based pharmaceutical company La Renon Healthcare, which specialises in the chronic disease segment. The seven-year-old company, founded by former Claris Life Sciences senior executive Pankaj Singh, will use the funds to move into new segments like gastroenterology and respiratory and also invest in research & development (R&D). This is the company’s first round of capital raise and Citadel Management Consulting was the advisor on the deal.

La Renon expects to close the current financial year with topline of around INR 325 crore with a target of reaching INR 1,000 crore in the next 4-5 years.

Norwest leads $16.5-M Series B for food ordering app Swiggy


Food ordering app firm Swiggy has raised $16.5 million in Series B funding led by Norwest Venture Partners (NVP) with participation from existing investors SAIF Partners and Accel Partners and an undisclosed global investment entity. The funds will primarily be used to support the next phase of growth including expanding Swiggy’s footprint to other cities in India.

From the Venture Intelligence PE/VC Deal Database: In Feb-15, Swiggy had raised $2 million from Accel and SAIF. (Subscribers to the database can login to view the valuation, deal structuring and other transaction details.)

Nexus invests in US-based Rancher Labs’ $10-M Series A

Nexus Venture Partners, along with Mayfield, has invested in the $10-M Series A round of US-based Rancher Labs a startup developing Docker infrastructure software. The funding will be allocated to furthering product development and expanding the company’s engineering and development teams. The software allows organizations to run containers in production, across any cloud. Rancher was founded by the team behind (in which Nexus had also invested) which was acquired by Citrix in 2011. The founding leadership team includes Sheng Liang as Chief Executive Efficer, Shannon Williams as Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Darren Shepherd as Chief Architect and Will Chan as Vice President of Engineering.

Accel leads $9-M round for outsourcing consulting firm ANSR

Times of India

Lalit Ahuja-promoted ANSR Consulting has raised $9 million (INR 54 crore) in a round led by Accel India and a clutch of family offices. ANSR helps Fortune 500 companies establish strategic offshore captive centres and has helped 18 global companies including Wells Fargo, Target, Time, SuperValu, Lowe's and L Brands to set up offshore captive centres. ANSR is also looking to bring 30-40 GICs (global in-house centres) into India in the next 5 years.

Snow Leopard, Paytm invest $5-M in hyperlocal travel service platform Jugnoo


Mobile-enabled, on-demand hyperlocal travel service platform Jugnoo, which connects auto drivers with passengers, has raised $5 million in a Series A funding from Snow Leopard and Paytm. The company is planning to expand its services to over 15 cities across the country by the end this year. Earlier, the company had raised $1 million in funding from from investors including Rakesh Mathur, the CEO of Flywheel (earlier co-founder of Junglee) and actress Saumya Tandon.

Sequoia, Seedfund to invest $5-M in fashion app Voonik

Fashion app Voonik is to raise $5 million in Series A funding from Sequoia Capital India and Seedfund. The funds will be used to enhance their personalisation and style recommendation technology. Founded in 2013 by Sujayath Ali and Navaneetha Krishnan, Voonik is a personal shopping app which allows users to buy what suits their body, lifestyle and budget. With over half a million SKUs, it offers multiple stores on a single platform and lets consumers shop in a single checkout. Voonik’s mobile app registers close to 2,500 purchases daily from 1,500 unique customers.

From the Venture Intelligence PE/VC Deal Database: The deal was concluded in March 2015 with Sequoia Capital via Sequoia Capital India Investments IV, investing INR 9.98-Cr. Seedfund via Seedfund 2 invested INR 2.21-Cr. Shailendra Singh, Managing Director, Sequoia Capital India has joined the board. In Feb-14, Seedfund, via Seed Fund II, invested INR 2.25 Cr along with other investor who invested 0.5 Cr. The company had raised funding of INR 2.5 crores as part of a the Bloomberg TV Pitch Season 3. Bharati Jacob of Seed Fund has joined the board. The company is incubated by Microsoft Accelerator.

In Feb-14, Seedfund, via Seed Fund II, invested INR 2.25 Cr along with other investor who invested 0.5 Cr. The company had raised funding of INR 2.5 crores as part of a the Bloomberg TV Pitch Season 3. Bharati Jacob of Seed Fund has joined the board. The company is incubated by Microsoft Accelerator. In Feb-15, Seedfund invested an additional INR 1.5-Cr via a Rights Issue. (Subscribers to the database can login to view the valuation, deal structuring and other transaction details.)

IvyCap invests Rs.30-Cr in lingerie e-tailer Clovia

Economic Times

IvyCap Ventures has invested in online lingerie retailer Clovia. IvyCap has an investment ticket size ranging between Rs 25-Rs 30 crore, while picking up between 25%-35% in each of its portfolio companies.

From the Venture Intelligence PE/VC Deal Database: Other VC investments in the online lingerie space include Zivame (IDG Ventures India, Kalaari Capital, Unilazer); PrettySecrets (Orios VP, IndiaQuotient) and Cloe (Mountain Apollo)

Canbank VC invests Rs.11-Cr in security services firm SISA

Canbank Venture Capital, through its Fifth Fund viz., Emerging India Growth Fund, has invested INR 11 crore by way equity shares and convertibles for a minority stake in Shiva Industrial Security Agency (Guj) Pvt Ltd (SISA). With a turnover exceeding INR 55 Cr, Surat-based SISA provides security services with more than 4000 guards and 150 plus cash vans. It provides Manned Guarding, Cash Handling, Electronic Security Equipment, Event Security and Emergency Response Services to corporates, Industrial Units, Airports, Metro Stations, Public & Private Sector Banks, Malls/shopping complexes, Apartments, Hospitals etc.

The funds from CVFCL shall be deployed towards adding branches to boost the existing guarding strength and also to add another 100 cash vans in FY16. The company also proposes to give added thrust to high margin business segment like Emergency Response Services & Event Management Security services. SISA aims to become one amongst India’s top ten Security Services Providers and reach a turnover of INR 150 Crore by FY18.

SIDBI VC invests in online printing firm Printland


Printland Digital India Pvt Ltd, the parent company of online printing solutions startup, has raised funding from SIDBI Venture Capital Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI). The funding will be used to invest in technology, launching new products and client acquisition. Printland was advised by Langham Capital on this funding.

In September 2013, Printland had raised Rs 5 crore in debt and equity from SIDBI and existing investors Evista Venture Capital and Sanjeev Kakar. Prior to this, the company had raised $164,000 from Evista Venture Capital in March 2013.

Liquidity Events (Private Equity)

Bessemer sells IL&FS Transportation Networks shares worth Rs.26-Cr, Registers 0.7x

Bessemer, through Bessemer India Capital Holdings II Ltd, has sold 17,70,000 shares on NSE of publicly listed IL&FS Transportation Networks Ltd fetching INR 25.71 Cr on June 5, 2015. The sale, at INR 145.24 per share, constituted 0.72% stake of total outstanding shares of IL&FS Transportation Networks Ltd. Post this exit Bessemer will hold 3,647,755 shares (1.48% Stake)

From the Venture Intelligence PE Deal database: Bessemer had invested INR 100-Cr in IL&FS Transportation Networks in Sep-09 and INR 12.85-Cr in a Right Issue offer in Mar-14.

BigBasket buys logistics co Delyver

Economic Times

Online grocer Big-Basket has acquired logistics provider Delyver in a cash-and-stock transaction. Both the companies are backed by serial entrepreneur and investor Krishnan Ganesh. BigBasket will use the Delyver fleet to reach orders within 90 minutes, directly competing with other delivery platforms including Grofers, PepperTap and Local Baniya. The company will retain the brand name and use Delyver's two-wheeler fleet to do hyperlocal deliveries across all cities.

From the Venture Intelligence PE/VC Deal Database: In Mar-14, Delyver had raised INR 6-Cr from Agnus Capital. (Subscribers to the database can login to view the valuation, deal structuring and other transaction details.) In Jun-12, the company had raised INR 1.1 Cr from K.Ganesg, BigBasket founder V S Sudhakar and others.

Angel Investment

Allizhealth raises $350-K from Mumbai Angels, other individual

Pune-based preventive healthcare start-up Allizhealth has raised $350,000 from Mumbai Angels and other individual angel investors including Dr. Ranjan Pai, Chairman - Manipal Education and Medical group and Rahil Shah, Director at NM Medical. The funding round was led by Dr.Aniruddha Malpani, member at Mumbai Angels. Allizhealth plans to use these funds to further enhance its service offerings by improving its mobile app, expanding its team and building a health analytics backend.

Allizhealth is co-founded by Chinmoy Mishra, who worked earlier with US-based technology and health insurance company Aetna, along with Dr. Rasmi Mishra, Gaurav Vij and Dhairya Gupta.

IAN invests $350-K in compression software start-up AdStringO

Mumbai-based AdStringO Software, a mobile compression software company, has raised $350K investment round led by IAN investor members Arihant Patni, Vishal Khare and Viswanath Ramachandran. AdStringO endpoint compression helps enterprises penetrate the rural market by providing solutions for servicing of customers. Floated in second half of 2014, the company will use the funds to strengthen the R&D team to discover other possibilities and further build on its solutions as well as increase marketing awareness about its products.

Art & Design marketplace PosterGully raises $160-K

Delhi-based curated marketplace for artists and designers, PosterGully has raised $160,000 from a group of angel investors through the LetsVenture platform. The round was led by Natarajan Iyer, former consultant at Egon Zehnder. Other participants included Rajesh Sawhney, Nish Bhutani, Vivek Mulchandani, Vikram Saxena, Mineral Enterprises Limited, Bhavika Enclave and Anuj Chowdhary. PosterGully has also been a part of the startup accelerator, launched by former Reliance Entertainment president Rajesh Sawhney, GSF Accelerator.

From the Venture Intelligence PE/VC Deal Database: In Nov-12, PosterGully was incubated at The Hatch.

KCL, angels invest Rs 90 Lakh in e-tail analytics firm Teritree

Economic Times

Digital marketing and personalisation startup, Teritree Technologies has raised INR 89.71 lakh ($140,000) in its first round of funding led by Mauritius-based investment fund KCL and a group of 10 angel investors that includes top executives from Microsoft, Cisco, Facebook, HP and IBM. The Bangalore-based company's technology tracks user activity on online retail sites and continuously records and collates content and customer activity. Teritree will use the funding to improve its technology and also increase hiring. This is the first investment for the three-year-old company, that hopes to close a second angel round this fiscal.

Travel tech app Guiddoo raises angel funding

Business Standard

Guiddoo, a travel technology start-up that has an in-destination mobile app with the same name, has raised seed funding from angel investors including Pawan Borle, senior vice-president, Fly Dubai, Abrar Ahmad, partner at Travel Capitalist Ventures, and chartered accountants Nirmal Singh, Sanjay Shah and Ushik Gala. The funding will be utilised to fuel expansion plans and product innovation. Guiddoo will look to raise Series-A funding for which it has appointed Dexter Capital Advisors as the exclusive advisor.

The company’s in-destination travel app has curated content for over 300 monuments, attractions and locations around the world. The app has over 100,000 downloads and continues to add 1,000 new users a day.

Former SpiceJet execs invest in hotel rooms aggregator Zen Rooms

Economic Times

SpiceJet’s former CEO Sanjay Aggarwal and former chief commercial officer Kaneswaran Avili, along with an executive from AirBnb, are investing in Zen Rooms, a budget hotel aggregator with operations in Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines and India. Zen Rooms is set to launch in five countries with about 4,000 rooms. Founded by Vinay Gupta, Kiren Tanna and Madhur Yadav, the firm is also in advanced talks to raise funds from Singapore-based investors.

From the Venture Intelligence Blogs

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Other Private Equity / Strategic Investments

Van Herk Groep invests $20-M in affordable housing firm VBHC

Economic Times

Rotterdam-based global investment firm Stichting Van Herk Investments has invested $20 million in affordable realty player VBHC Value Homes. Van Herk Group had first invested in VBHC in July 2014

From the Venture Intelligence PE-RE Deal database: Other PE investors in VBHC include IFC, Carlyle, LIC Housing Finance, HDFC PMS and India Financial Inclusion Fund.

Tatas make INR 68-Cr fourth round of investment in Swiss solar firm Flisom

Business Line

Tata Industries and a group of strategic investors have invested 10 million Swiss franc (INR 68 crore) in the fourth round of funding for Swiss start-up solar company Flisom, which is developing innovative technologies for manufacturing of flexible thin film CIGS solar modules. In 2013, the company received an investment of 42.5 million Swiss franc (about INR 290 crore) for the pilot-production plant with an annual capacity of 15 MW at Niederhasli-Zurich in Switzerland.

Mergers & Acquisitions

PVR buys DLF’s DT Cinemas for Rs.500 crore

Publicly-listed PVR Ltd is to acquire the cinema exhibition business of DLF Utilities Limited which is operated under the brand name of "DT Cinemas", for INR 500 crores on a slump sale basis. DT Cinemas currently operates 29 screens with approximately 6,000 seats across 8 properties in the National Capital Region and Chandigarh. In the next 12 months, DT proposes to add 10 new screens at two properties in the National Capital Region. Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas was the legal advisor to PVR and EY India and Luthra & Luthra were financial and legal advisors respectively to DLF.

Currently, PVR has 467 screens across 105 locations in 43 cities. As a result of the proposed acquisition, PVR will have a presence in 44 cities with 115 multiplexes and 506 screens.

Mahindra Holidays invests Rs.202-Cr to hikes stake in Finnish firm HCR by 64.7%

Listed company Mahindra Holidays & Resorts (MHRIL) is to increase its stake in Holiday Club Resorts of Finland from 23.3 % to 88%. The additional 64.7% is being acquired by investing Euro 28 million (about INR 202 crore). The balance 12% stake will be owned by the management of the Finnish company. MHRIL will also infuse Euro 10 million (about INR 71 crore) in Holiday Club in the form of equity/ loan to finance the growth of the company in the near future. In FY14, the target company reported revenues of Euro 123 million.

In 2014, MHRIL had picked up 23.3 % stake in Holiday Club for INR 125 crore for the initial share acquisition. Launched in 1986, Holiday Club Resorts is one of Europe’s leading vacation ownership firm owning 30 resorts.

Anheuser-Busch InBev exits JV with RJ Corp

Belgium-headquartered Anheuser-Busch InBev has exited its joint venture with RJ Corp to go solo through Crown Beers India Pvt. Ltd., its wholly-owned subsidiary. The deal will allow Anheuser-Busch InBev to expand in India independently through additional brand investment and capacity expansion. J. Sagar Associates (JSA) advised Anheuser-Busch InBev while Covington and Burling LLP were international advisors on the transaction. RJ Corp was represented by Dua Associates.

Time Technoplast sells Polish subsidiary for Euro 11-M

Publicly-listed Time Technoplast has divested its stake in its Polish subsidiary Novo Tech SP which is engaged in manufacture of anti spray flaps and some entrance mattings to a Poland-based Private Equity fund. The deal also includes 100% subsidiary of Novo Tech, GrassTech Romania, with overlapping product range. Novo Tech has been valued at an Enterprise Value of approx., Euro 11 million (Equity Value of Euro 7 million) as against company's investment of approx Euro 2 million.

Bombay Minerals acquires 25.5% in Orient Abrasives for Rs.90-Cr

Bombay Minerals and Cura Global Holdings will acquire 25.52% (30534857 equity shares) of Orient Abrasives Ltd at a price of INR 29.50 per share aggregating to INR 90 crores from its current promoters. They shall also make an open offer for acquiring shares from public up to 26% at the same price.

Aryan Coal Beneficiation acquires 63% in SV Power with Rs.100-Cr investment

Economic Times

Lender IDFC has replaced the promoters of SV Power and brought in a new equity investor to revive the foundering utility following missed payment schedules. Aryan Coal Beneficiation or ACB (India), a coal beneficiation company will replace KVK Energy, as the biggest shareholder of the SV Power with a INR 100 crore equity investment. As per the new arrangement, ACB (India) will hold 63% stake in the company while IL&FS will continue to hold 37%. The old promoter KVK Energy will write off its entire equity stake and bankers will take a hair-cut of close to INR 50 crore. Post this exercise, lenders' exposure would stand at INR 280 crore.

SV Power, a 63 MW plant located in Korba, Chhattisgarh was promoted by KVK Energy, which has the backing of private equity fund Old Lane founded by Vikram Pandit, the former chief executive of Citigroup, and a private equity fund of IL&FS.

JetSynthesys acquires mobile gaming co Xerces Tech

JetSynthesys Pvt. Ltd., a part of the Navani family owned JetLine Group of Companies has acquired Pune based gaming company Xerces Technologies. The target company has developed some of the most downloaded games across various app stores such as Cricket Unlimited, StickMan fighter, Bull Fighter, Mad Car Racing and the movie based game Bang Bang.

Essel Group to acquire 60% in Simba Energy’s African oil and gas assets

Essel Group, through Essel Group Middle East, is to acquire a 60% participating interest in the portfolio of the African oil and gas exploration projects owned by Simba Energy Inc., a Canadian publicly traded oil and gas company.

LetsTransport acquires mini truck hiring platform Shifter


Gurgaon based online mini truck hiring service LetsTransport has acquired Shifter, a Bangalore-based operating in the same space.. LetsTransport is owned by Diptab Ventures Private Limited

Other Deals - Listed Firms

UTI-IAS buys Mallya’s 3.97% stake in United Breweries on loan default

Financial Express

Unit Trust of India Investment Advisory Services, the security trustee in relation to term loans secured by a pledge over 1.04 crore shares of United Breweries, has acquired promoter Vijay Mallya’s 3.97% voting rights on pledged shares in the company following a default. As a result, Mallya’s voting rights in the company have shrunk to just 0.06%.

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Fund News

Healthcare-focused Quadria Capital closes $304-M fund


Quadria Capital, a Singapore-and India based, healthcare-focused private equity group, has raised $304 million for investments in Asia. The firm is focused on making equity investments in mid-sized healthcare companies in South and Southeast Asia. It has already completed one investment in India, in Medica Synergie, a hospital network in eastern India.

Fulcrum Ventures closes Fund II at Rs.100-Cr; ropes in SIDBI as investor

Economic Times

Chennai-based, healthcare-focused Fulcrum Venture India has roped in Small Industries Development Bank (SIDBI) as an investor in its second fund and announced the final close of Fulcrum Venture India Fund II with INR 100 crore.

Fulcrum is planning to raise its third fund in 12-15 months targeting INR 250 crore from a mix of institutional and domestic high net worth individuals.

AIFs to get to invest 25% of corpus abroad

Financial Chronicle

Domestic private equity and venture capital funds will soon get to invest more in overseas markets, as market regulator Sebi is expected to hike the investment limit for them in case of Indian-owned companies operating abroad. Investment limit for alternative investment funds (AIFs) would go up to 25% of their total investible corpus from 15% at present. To begin with, the overall limit for investment under this route may be capped at $500 million. The move is aimed at allowing domestic AIFs to diversify their investments and helping Indian entrepreneurs tap this route to meet their funding requirements for setting up operations abroad.

Sebi would allow AIFs to invest also in equity and equity-linked instruments of offshore venture capital undertakings, i.e. a foreign company whose shares are not listed on any of the recognised stock exchanges in India or abroad. Such investments would be made only in those companies that have an Indian connection, like a company that has its front office overseas with back office operations in India.

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Deals in the Making

PE/Strategic Investment

Milner, Google Capital in talks to invest Rs.400-Cr in health tech startup Practo

Times of India

Russian billionaire Yuri Milner and Google Capital are part of a consortium of investors who are close to putting Rs 400 crore into healthcare technology startup Practo. Existing venture capital investors Sequoia Capital and Matrix Partners will also participate in this new round of financing, valuing the Bangalore-based Practo Technologies at around Rs 2,000 crore - that's almost double its valuation from the previous round. Practo's latest round will also see some amount of secondary exits by early investors.

Maternity care chain Cloudnine in talks to raise Rs.300-Cr


Cloudnine Hospitals, a maternity care chain backed by Matrix Partners and Sequoia Capital, has started talks with existing and new investors to raise Rs.300 crore to fund its expansion into cities such as Noida and Coimbatore. Cloudnine, which was founded in 2007 and received Rs.145 crore in funding from Matrix and Sequoia, currently has 16 hospitals, mostly in Bengaluru. It wants to set up 12 to 15 more units. The company has also started expanding into related areas such as gynaecology, paediatrics and infertility.

Unitech in talks to raise Rs 200-Cr for ongoing housing projects

Economic Times

Realty firm Unitech plans to raise about Rs 200 crore from private equity players to part finance its working capital needs for ongoing housing projects. The company is in talks with some PE players and the deal is likely to be finalised in the next three months. The company has no plans to launch new housing projects this year and would focus on delivery of existing projects.

Unitech has ongoing projects in Delhi-NCR, Chennai, Bangalore and Kolkata. It would raise funds in projects where substantial sales bookings have been achieved. During 2014-15 fiscal, Unitech's net loss stood at Rs 128.33 crore against Rs 69.74 crore profit in the previous year. Income from operations increased to Rs 3,431.18 crore in the last fiscal from Rs 2,953.44 crore in 2013-14.

MakeMyTrip in talks to invest $30-M in HolidayIQ


Nasdaq-listed online travel agency MakeMyTrip Ltd is in talks with Bengaluru-based holiday information company Leisure and Lifestyle Information Services Pvt. Ltd, which owns and operates online portal, for a nearly $30 million investment. The move is in keeping with the company’s articulated strategy of buying out or acquiring stakes in travel-related start-ups in South-East Asia.

HolidayIQ is looking to improve its existing technology and increase offerings, including content, in the cities where it is currently present. The travel content website is backed by global investment firms Tiger Global Management and Accel Partners. Both investors invested a total of $5.5 million in the company in 2013.

Capvent in talks to pick up 35% in Wonderchef Home Appliances for Rs. 80-Cr

Times of India

Zurich-headquartered investment fund Capvent is close to investing Rs 80 crore in celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor's Wonderchef Home Appliances, which sells a premium range of kitchen appliances and cookware, in lieu of 35% stake. The fund-raise is expected to value the Mumbai-based company at around Rs 300 crore, post the investment. The fresh capital will be used in brand building and pushing its e-commerce platform. Mid-market investment bank Equirus Capital has been given the mandate for this transaction.

Wonderchef, founded and promoted by ex-Sodexo India CEO Ravi Saxena, is expected to clock sales of about Rs 100 crore with plans to double the number in a year. Kapoor holds around 30% in the company.

Sequoia backed e-tail tech firm Sweet Couch looks to raise Rs.40-Cr in Series-A

Business Standard

Mumbai-based e-tail tech startup, Sweet Couch Technologies, is planning to raise between Rs 35 crore and Rs 40 crore in a Series-A round of funding from existing investors and private equity players in 2015. A majority of the proposed funds will be used for product enhancements, including building algorithms and machine learning.

From the Venture Intelligence PE/VC Deal Database: In May 2014 Sequoia Capital had invested $1.7 million in Sweet Couch

NDTV Convergence in talks to raise funds for e-comm foray

NDTV Convergence Limited, a subsidiary of publicly-listed New Delhi Television Ltd, has non-binding term sheets with “certain potential investors” for entering into e-commerce ventures in the field of food, auto and gadgets.

Electrosteel Steels may get investment from Tata Group, Singapore investor

Business Standard

Electrosteel Steels, a group company of Electrosteel, has got an indication for investment in the company from Tata Group, as well as from a Singapore-based financial investor. The company makes products like Pig Iron, Billets, TMT Bars, Wire Rods and Ductile Iron Pipes. Electrosteel is setting up a 2.51-million tonne integrated plant in Bokaro district of Jharkhand and had a debt of close to Rs 10,000 crore on March 31, 2014.

Secondary Issues

IndusInd Bank plans Rs 4,800-cr equity share sale

Business Standard

Private sector lender IndusInd Bank is planning to sell shares worth $750 million (Rs 4,800 crore). For this, it has hired Morgan Stanley, CLSA, JM Financial, JPMorgan and Credit Suisse as arrangers.

At the end of March, the capital adequacy ratio fell to 12.09% from 13.83% a year earlier. In financial year 2014-15, total advances grew 25% to Rs 68,788 crore and deposits rose to Rs 74,134 crore, up 23%. For the full year, net profit stood at Rs 1,794 crore, up 27%.


Piramal Realty in talks to acquire DB Group’s South Mumbai land for Rs 1,000-Cr

Economic Times

Piramal Realty is in advanced talks with DB Group to acquire a prime sea-facing, 2.2 acre plot of land at Marine Lines in South Mumbai for over Rs 1,000 crore. In addition, the Ajay Piramal-led company is also expected to give DB Group 20% of built-up space on the property. The proposed deal with Piramal Realty comes after DB Group's decision to scrap its plan to develop India's tallest 126-storey, five-star luxury hotel on the plot that oversees the Arabian Sea. The group had initially proposed the project under the name of Park Hyatt Tower in 2008. It had acquired the plot located close to SK Patil Udyan at South Mumbai's Charni Road in 2005 from Suresh Estates, another developer operating in South Mumbai.

Wipro in talks to buy Advent-backed British BPO firm Equiniti: report

Business Standard

IT services firm Wipro is looking at acquiring Equiniti, a UK-based back-office services provider that manages pensions of millions of UK civil servants in a deal that is estimated at over £1 billion (around Rs 9,779 crore). Equiniti, which is owned by private equity player Advent International, employs around 3,000 people. The other possible buyers of Equiniti include the Canadian pension fund Omers and the buyout firm Hellman & Friedman.

JPVL seeks HP govt nod to sell two hydro projects

Times of India

Jaiprakash Power Ventures Limited (JPVL), a subsidiary of Jaypee Group, has once again approached the state government seeking permission to sell its two hydro power projects located in Kinnaur district of Himachal Prades to a new buyer, reportedly the Jindal Group. While the request is under consideration, the final decision would be taken by the cabinet in its next meeting. The two hydro projects, Kachham-Wangtoo and Baspa-II, have a combined generation capacity of 1391 MW.

The deal to sell the project to Abu Dhabi National Energy Company PJSC (TAQA) at Rs 10,500 crore was called off at the last moment.

Temasek to buy Intel Cap’s 8% stake in Policybazaar for Rs. 110-Cr

Times of India

Singapore sovereign fund Temasek is picking up close to 8% stake held by Intel Capital in insurance web aggregator for around INR 110 crore. The deal values Policybazaar upwards of INR 1,500 crore. Following the sale, Intel Capital, which had picked up its stake for around INR 30 crore in April 2011, will completely exit Policybazaar.

Founders United Trust - which comprises former managing director of Canaan Partners Alok Mittal, Google India MD Rajan Anandan, ChrysCapital co-founder Ashish Dhawan, MakeMyTrip founder Deep Kalra and founder Prashant Tandon - recently picked up a stake of around 1.5% in the company. The company had raised INR 300 crore in April from PremjiInvest, Steadview Capital, Ribbit Capital and Tiger Global. Tiger Global is the single largest investor in Policybazaar with more than 30% stake while Info Edge owns 18%. Investors together hold about 70% in the company while the management and founders, including Yashish Dahiya, hold the balance. Dahiya personally holds 9%.

Hardy Oil to buy RIL’s 90% stake in Gujarat Block


UK's Hardy Oil & Gas plc is in talks to acquire Reliance Industries' entire 90% stake in a gas discovery block off the Gujarat coast. RIL wants to exit Gujarat-Saurashtra offshore basin block (GS-01) as it feels that reserves discovered so far are not economically significant. Hardy currently owns 10% interest in the block where a gas discovery, named Dhirubhai-33, was made in 2007.

The GS-01 licence is located in the Gujarat-Saurashtra offshore basin off the west coast of India, northwest of the prolific Bombay High oil field, with water depths varying between 80 meters and 150 meters. The retained discovery area covers 600 square kilometers.

Italian Co Enel Green eyes controlling stake in Bharat Light & Power

Economic Times

Italian renewable energy multinational Enel Green Power (EGP) is in advance negotiations with green energy generation company Bharat Light & Power (BLP) to make a significant investment for a controlling stake in the company. Enel Green, a subsidiary of Italy's biggest power company Enel Power, may invest around INR 900 crore ($150 million) as fresh equity commitment in BLP to support expansion plans of its 450-500 MW capacity from the current 172 MW over the next 2-3 years. The equity value of BLP's wind portfolio is likely to be at INR 1,200 crore once the deal is completed. The company also has a debt of around INR 550 crore.

BLP's early stage investors include DFJ, VenturEast and UTI Capital who amongst them own two thirds of the company..

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Other News

India Ahoy!

China’s Dalian Wanda Group looks to invest $10-B in India

Economic Times

Chinese-real estate player, Dalian Wanda Group, plans to invest $10 billion in India in the next 10 years to construct industrial townships and retail properties. The Dalian Wanda Group is looking at building five industrial parks in India, besides shopping malls and theme parks.

The group had entered India through a deal with the Reliance Group in December 2012 to develop the Dhirubhai Ambani Knowledge Centre in Navi Mumbai.

New Venture

Fmr Infy, TCS execs start BPO venture Antworks

Economic Times

Asheesh Mehra, who headed information technology giant Infosys Technologies' BPO operations in the Asia Pacific, Japan and Middle East regions, has resigned from the company, to start his own venture. Mehra has launched Antworks, a business process outsourcing and technology startup catering to the healthcare and financial services industry.

The startup, which has been co-founded with former Tata Consultancy Services and WNS senior executive Govind Sandhu earlier this year, will be headquartered in Singapore, and will have three delivery centres in India, with the first one coming up in Pune later this month.

Expansion / Diversification

Kotak Mahindra, ING Bank in cross-border tie-up

Business Standard

Kotak Mahindra Bank and ING Bank have joined hands for exploring opportunities arising from cross-border business, investment and trade flows across various regions, including Europe. A memorandum of understanding (MoU), signed between the two, covers an array of co-operation in areas such as trade finance, remittances and services related to non-resident Indians, funding to counterparties' corporate relationships, fee-based products, direct banking and digital strategy, and cross-border debt capital markets and mergers and acquisitions.

ING Bank will give clients from The Netherlands and the other 39 countries where it is active in commercial banking access to Kotak's services in the Indian market, while it will offer the combined clients in India the opportunities of ING's international network.

Burman Hospitality signs up as North India franchisee for mexican restaurant chain Taco Bell

Business Line

Mexican-style quick service restaurant chain Taco Bell has entered the North Indian market with the launch of its first restaurant in New Delhi, after a partnership with Burman Hospitality Pvt Ltd, its first franchisee in India incorporated by the promoter family of Dabur. Taco Bell, which is part of the Yum Brands, has six restaurants in Bangalore and Mumbai.

Lohiya Group to set up Rs. 500-Cr edible oil plant in Nellore

Business Line

Edible oil maker Lohiya group, with its flagship brands Gold Drop and Gold Plus, is setting up a new refinery plant in Nellore in Andhra Pradesh with an investment of Rs. 500 crore. The company is expecting land allotment from the Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation and hopes to start operations in the first phase of the proposed plant in about 10 months from now. While the first phase of the plant will involve Rs.100-crore investment to create 500 tonnes of additional capacity, the total investment in the subsequent phases will go up to Rs. 500 crore in next two to three years. Lohiya now operates two refineries at Kakinada and Mankhal and has a total capacity of 1,335 tonnes per day.

New Incubators

Viridian Group, ESpark form JV to support startups in India


Viridian Group has formed a joint venture with UK-based Entrepreneurial Spark to support startups in India earmarking fund of up to $300 million for the purpose. The JV, Viridian-ESpark will offer an 18-month accelerator programme to budding Indian entrepreneurs besides providing funding support. The selected startups will work with a team of global business enablers, external mentors and experts with enormous experience in their domains – on all aspects of starting and running successful companies.

Regulatory News

Regulator allows pension funds to invest 5% of assets in REITs

Economic Times

Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) has allowed pension funds to invest up to 5% of their corpus in regulated real estate investment trusts.

The National Pension System (NPS) has a corpus of Rs 86,000 crore. The revised guidelines will also apply to NPS Lite and Atal Pension Yojana.

SEBI rejects MCX proposal to hold 15% stake in MSEI

Business Standard

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has rejected Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX)'s request to increase its stake in Metropolitan Stock Exchange of India (MSEI, formerly known as MCX-SX). A few months ago, MCX had proposed to convert the warrants it was holding in that exchange into equity, which would have allowed it to raise its stake to 15%. MCX received warrants when equity base of MCX-SX was restructured and its promoters - Financial Technologies and MCX - had converted their equities into warrants, which were to be disposed of in three years. That three-year period for MCX is expiring on June 19 as Sebi has also rejected MCX's request to extend the time limit.


Anshu Jain resigns as Deutsche Bank co-CEO

Germany's biggest lender Deutsche Bank appointed John Cryan as its new CEO on Sunday after co-chief executives Anshu Jainand Juergen Fitschen resigned following criticism from investors.

R Seshasayee replaces K V Kamath as Infy Chairman

IT major Infosys today appointed board member R Seshasayee Non-Executive Chairman in place of K V Kamath, who is set to take over as head of the New Development Bank of the BRICS group in July. Seshasayee, whose appointment is with immediate effect, has been an Independent Director on the company's board since January 2011 and is the chairperson of the Audit Committee.

Manoj Kohli quits Bharti Airtel after 10 year stint, likely to partner US energy firm: report

Economic Times

Bharti Enterprises managing director Manoj Kohli is leaving the Sunil Mittal-led group after over a decade, three people familiar with the matter said. Kohli, who earlier headed Bharti Airtel in India and Africa, is likely to quit by the end of this month. Among the options he is considering is partnering a US-based renewable energy firm for its India venture

Diwakar Gupta named VP at Asian Development Bank


Manila-based Asian Development Bank (ADB) has appointed Diwakar Gupta of India as Vice-President for Private Sector and Cofinancing Operations. Gupta will be responsible for operations of the Private Sector Operations Department and the Office of Cofinancing Operations. He succeeds Lakshmi Venkatachalam.


Adani gets nod to develop Vizhinjam port in Kerala

Business Standard

The Kerala Cabinet cleared the lone bid submitted by Adani Ports and SEZ Limited to develop the Rs 6,500-crore Vizhinjam port project, Thiruvananthapura.

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About Avalon Consulting

Avalon Consulting

With Rs. 86,000 crores over 6 year old un-exited VC/PE investments, India had entered a “Looming Logjam” phase in 2014. Did the situation change during 2014? Are these the “Acche din”? Join us at Apex’15 to know, as Raj Nair, Chairman, Avalon Consulting moderates a panel discussion on “How Long will the Acche Din Last”.  

Founded in 1989, Avalon Consulting is an international management consulting firm that offers services in growth strategy, business transformation and transaction support to clients across a wide range of sectors including Agribusiness, Automotive, Chemicals, Construction, Education, Engineering, FMCG, Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Retail. It has offices in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore and Singapore serving clients across India, Middle East, South East Asia, China, Europe and the US. Avalon Consulting is among the Top 15 Consulting Firms Overall in Asia (Vault List 2014).

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