Grapevine: Freshworks, Eka founders to start fund; Reliance-Aramco talks revive
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Freshworks founder Gireesh Mathrubootham and Eka Software Solutions founder Manav Garg are set to jointly start a fund called Together to invest in early-stage startups in the business-to-business (B2B) enterprise software and software-as-a-service (SaaS) space, The CapTable reported.

Shubham Gupta, formerly with venture capital firm Matrix Partners, is the third founder of the fund, which is expected to be launched by March-end after receiving regulatory approvals.

Mathrubootham and Garg had earlier come together in November 2018 with other SaaS founders to form SaaSBOOMi, a platform to help guide the community of SaaS-based startups.

Meanwhile, Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) is finalising the contours of demerging its O2C (oil-to-chemicals) business into a wholly-owned subsidiary as talks with Saudi Aramco are back on track, people familiar with the exercise told The Economic Times.

The final deal may see a combination of stock swap and cash. The valuation of the business is not yet finalised, but is expected to be up to $85 billion (about Rs 6.17 trillion), inclusive of its debt.

As per the arrangement, RIL’s O2C business consisting of its refining and petrochemicals assets, fuel retail (51% in a joint venture with BP) and bulk wholesale marketing businesses will get hived off into a step-down subsidiary, to be initially wholly owned by RIL.

According to officials in the know, RIL is planning to provide a 10-year loan to this newly created arm for buying the assets of the O2C business.

In another development, JP Morgan’s CMBD II has sold 1.25 lakh shares of at Rs 880.15 (about $12.12) apiece in a bulk deal on the National Stock Exchange and 1.25 lakh shares at Rs 880.01 (about $12.12) apiece in a bulk deal on the Bombay Stock Exchange on Thursday, regulatory filings disclosed.

Prior to the sale, CMBD II owned 12.98 lakh shares in the company, representing a 5.7% stake. The company will continue to hold a 4.6% stake in The investor received gross proceeds of Rs 22 crore (about $3 million) from the bulk sale of shares.

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