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Grapevine: ByteDance may back Lido Learning; Fourth Partner Energy seeks $150 mn
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China’s ByteDance, the parent of short-video app TikTok, is in talks to invest in Mumbai-based education-technology startup Lido Learning, a media report said.

The planned move is part of the Chinese company’s attempt to tap into an opportunity in India’s rapidly growing ed-tech sector, The Economic Times reported, citing sources it didn’t identify.

Lido Learning has been in talks with several potential investors to raise $20 million (Rs 150 crore), the report said. It cited Lido CEO Sahil Sheth as saying that the company was indeed looking for funds. Sheth didn’t give any details.

Lido, owned by Quality Tutorials Pvt. Ltd, had raised $3 million in its Series A funding round in May 2019.

It mopped up $10.5 million in a Series B round of funding earlier this year. It first snagged $3 million from Picus Capital and other investors in March and then secured $7.5 million in April.

For ByteDance, the planned investment is a move to expand its India presence after the government banned TikTok and 58 other Chinese apps following a deadly border clash between Indian and Chinese soldiers.

In another development, The Economic Times reported that solar power services provider Fourth Partner Energy Pvt. Ltd is looking to raise about $150 million (Rs 1,100 crore).

Citing two people aware of the development, the report said that the company’s promoters will likely dilute additional stake in this round.

The development comes just days after the company said it had raised fresh debt capital from Zurich-based impact investor responsAbility Investments AG.

Fourth Partner Energy is backed by US-based private equity firm TPG Capital. In 2018, TPG had invested $70 million (Rs 475 crore) in Fourth Partner through its social impact arm, The Rise Fund, to acquire a majority stake.

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