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Grapevine: Kedaara to raise $1 bn; Google, others eye local tie-ups to set up NPCI rival
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Poised to become the largest homegrown private equity brand, Kedaara Capital is looking to raise a billion dollars (about Rs 7,425 crore) for its third fund, people in the know told Moneycontrol.

In 2017, it raised $750 million for its second fund after raising $540 million for its debut fund in 2013. 

Kedaara’s limited partners (LPs) CDPQ, Ontario Teachers Pension Plan, German insurer Allianz and International Finance Corporation (IFC), among others, have been a strong support.

Kedaara earned a 6x exit on its Rs 150 crore investment in Manjushree in 2018.

Portfolio firms like AU Small Finance, Mahindra Logistics, Spandana Sphoorty and Aavas Financiers got listed and provided partial or full exits to the firm.

Meanwhile, Google, Facebook and Amazon may tie up with Indian companies to set up a rival to the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), three people close to discussions told The Economic Times.

Already, Google and Facebook have approached Reliance Jio Infocomm for a partnership, the people said.

All three want to pick up at least 15-20% in the proposed new umbrella entity (NUE). However, it is not yet clear whether all three will together buy into the same entity or form different partnerships, the report said.

RBI recently allowed Indian and foreign firms to set up for-profit NUEs that will have a say in operations of the NPCI-run Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and be regulated by the central bank. Although, RBI rules stipulate the NUE promoter will be an Indian firm.

“A stake in the NUE will give the global giants a chair at the table with regulators and banks, in making daily governance and operations-related decisions on digital payments,” said one of the persons involved in the discussions.

In another development, Oaktree, Piramal Group, Adani Capital and SC Lowy have raised their offers for the troubled Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Ltd (DHFL) by up to 50% after lenders rejected previous bids, media reports said.

The contenders have dropped as many as 50 conditions, allowing lenders to move ahead with the insolvency resolution process, three people with knowledge of the matter told The Economic Times.

While Oaktree wants to acquire the entire company, Piramal aims to buy DHFL’s retail assets. Adani Capital and SC Lowy are interested in acquiring loans given to institutions and slum rehabilitation projects.

Oaktree Capital has increased its offer to Rs 31,000 crore from Rs 27,500 crore, while Piramal has increased it to Rs 23,000 crore from Rs 15,600 crore and is willing to pay another Rs 3,000 crore on account of interest payments, the people said.

SC Lowy doubled its offer to Rs 2,600 crore for wholesale loans and Adani is willing to pay Rs 2,750 crore after raising the previous offer by a fifth, the people added.

Also, the Vedanta Group’s Twin Star Holdings and London-based distressed fund V Shape Investment Management have emerged as frontrunners to take over debt-laden Videocon Industries.

The committee of creditors has started the final consultations before voting on the proposals and will also be considering promoter Venugopal Dhoot's offer for a settlement which may be rejected given its prolonged nature of payment, dependence on bank funding and likely action from enforcement agencies, The Economic Times report said, citing bankers privy to the discussions.

Banks are staring at a combined haircut of up to 90% on loans worth Rs 57,444 crore as the bids submitted promise little cash upfront, with payments stretched over several years.

Also, FloBiz, a mobile billing app for businesses, is raising $10 million (Rs 74 crore) in its maiden institutional Series A round of funding led by San Francisco-based Greenoaks Capital with participation from existing investors, two people aware of the development told Entrackr.

“Existing investors Singapore-based Beenext and US-based Pantera Capital will join the round at a valuation of up to $45 million (Rs 335 crore),” said one of the persons.  

FloBiz provides invoice management software called My BillBook (formerly FloBooks).

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