Grapevine: Coatue to lead funding of BharatPe; Brookfield to pile into IndoStar
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New York-based hedge fund Coatue Management is looking to lead a round of funding up to $100 million (Rs 714 crore at current exchange rate) in digital payments firm BharatPe, which services offline retailers and businesses, at a valuation of $500 million, three people familiar with the development told Mint.

Existing investors such as Ribbit Capital, Insight Partners and Steadview Capital will also participate in the latest round. These investors along with Sequoia and Beenext invested close to $50 million in the company’s Series B round of funding in August.

“There is high appetite among global investors to tap businesses that focus on digitising small shop owners and creating a layer of financial inclusivity,” said an investor directly aware of the deal. “As long as retention numbers remain high, there is potential to build a very large financial services play.”

BharatPe, owned by Resilient Innovations Pvt. Ltd, helps merchants accept payments from any Unified Payments Interface (UPI) app for free. The company has started lending working capital in partnership with banks. It has also applied for an NBFC (non-banking financial company) licence to start lending from its own books, the persons mentioned above said.

Meanwhile, Canada’s private equity investor Brookfield has agreed to infuse up to Rs 1,000 crore ($140 million at current exchange rate) in Everstone Capital-backed IndoStar Capital Finance. The infusion, which will fetch Brookfield more than 30% stake, will trigger an open offer, four people with knowledge of the development told The Economic Times.

Other investors in IndoStar include Goldman Sachs, Beacon Capital and Baer Capital.

“There is a primary sale now, which will be followed by a secondary sale, which means some private equity investors will exit this company in the next few years,” said one of the persons.

“Everstone and Brookfield will hold around the same stake after this fundraising,” another person said. “The other investors will eventually be bought out by Brookfield over a three-year period.”

In another development, Canada’s Brookfield and the UK’s Actis are in separate discussions to acquire close to 300 megawatt solar assets out of 5.5 gigawatt solar portfolio of cash-strapped Acme Cleantech Solutions for Rs 1,200 crore ($170 million at current exchange rate).

The sale would allow the company to pay off a Rs 700 crore loan that it got from Piramal Finance Ltd, a person in the know told The Economic Times.

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