Grapevine: Accel plans sixth India fund; Ant Financial to lead Zomato funding
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Venture capital firm Accel is looking to raise up to $700 million (about Rs 4,963 crore at current exchange rate) for its sixth India fund, two persons briefed on the matter told The Economic Times.

The new fund will be much bigger than the previous one, which raised $450 million in December 2016.

“Accel plans to get more aggressive in growth deals and writing larger cheques for both new and existing companies besides continuing focus on seed deals,” said one of the persons.

The new fund is expected to be formally raised by the end of the year and will be the single largest after Sequoia Capital India, which raised a $930 million fund in 2016 and a $695 million fund in 2018, the report said.

Separately, online food delivery and restaurant discovery platform Zomato is in the process of raising $600 million (about Rs 4,254 crore at current exchange rate) in a round of funding to be led by existing Chinese investor Ant Financial at a valuation of more than $3 billion, two people in the know told The Times of India.

“While Ant Financial (Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba’s payment affiliate) is pumping in about $200 million, the rest of the capital is coming from existing backers like Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings and a bunch of hedge funds may pool in up to $200 million,” said one of the persons privy to the ongoing talks.

Ant Financial may increase its stake in the company to almost 29%, making it the largest shareholder in Zomato, the persons added.

Ant Financial first invested Rs 1,273 crore in the company to pick up 14.7% stake in February last year at a post-money valuation of over Rs 7,000 crore. It followed that up by raising its stake to 23% in November last year.

Separately, Baring Private Equity Asia is set to raise up to Rs 1,500 crore ($211.6 million at current exchange rate) through a dedicated credit fund that will invest in local bonds sold by mid-sized Indian companies, two people aware of the matter told The Economic Times.

It is seeking to tap credit opportunities that traditional lenders appear to be skipping, said one of the persons cited above.

In another development, private equity firm Apollo Global Management has offered to invest up to $150 million (about Rs 1,064 crore at current exchange rate) in troubled real estate lender Altico Capital India Ltd, two people aware of the development told Mint.

Recent media reports suggested that Altico is in talks with Apollo Global and Cerberus Capital for a stake sale.

According to the persons, Apollo wants the lenders to provide Altico with fresh debt financing of up to $250 million.

One of the persons said that Apollo is not the only investor keen on the NBFC, and that the lenders are open to meeting other investors, too.

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