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Grapevine: Naspers may back Meesho; I Squared may rev up its telecom infra platform
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Social commerce startup Meesho is in talks with South African conglomerate Naspers to raise up to $130 million (about Rs 897 crore at current exchange rate) in a fresh round of funding at a valuation of up to $650 million (Rs 4,486 crore), three people in the know told The Economic Times.

Keys also operates 14 hotels with 975 rooms in 14 cities under management or franchise agreements. Besides, it owns two land parcels for hotel development in Goa and Raipur.

Owned by US investor Nicolas Berggruen, the son of an international art dealer, Keys Hotels is valued at $125 million (Rs 875 crore).

In March, VCCircle had reported that Lemon Tree, which counts private equity giant Warburg Pincus as an investor, has signed a pact to acquire Keys Hotels to expand its business in the mid-market hotel category. New Delhi-based Lemon Tree had said in a stock market disclosure that it will buy Keys from Berggruen Hotels Pvt. Ltd for an undisclosed amount.

Lemon Tree will expand its operating portfolio to 75 hotels with 7,322 rooms in 44 cities in India after the acquisition. It also has a pipeline of 33 hotels with 3,389 rooms in 26 cities that it aims to open by 2020-21.

Lemon Tree owns some hotels and operates others through long-term leases.

Meanwhile, social commerce startup Meesho is in talks with South African conglomerate Naspers to raise up to $130 million (about Rs 897 crore at current exchange rate) in a fresh round of funding at a valuation of up to $650 million (Rs 4,486 crore), three people in the know told The Economic Times.

Recently, Facebook invested $25 million in the startup.

In 2018, Meesho received $50 million (Rs 365 crore) in its Series C round of funding at a valuation of up to $250 million.

Meesho, owned and run by Fashnear Technologies Pvt. Ltd, is based out of Bengaluru. It also has an entity incorporated in California, US, called Meesho Inc.

Separately, Mint reported that New York-based I Squared Capital may invest about $300 million (about Rs 2,069 crore at current exchange rate) in its telecom infrastructure platform in India called Lightstorm Telecom Ventures.

The news comes after I Squared Capital sold in April rooftop solar power producer Amplus Energy Solutions Pvt. Ltd to Malaysian state-run oil and gas company Petronas for Rs 2,700 crore.

Also, two people in the know told Mint that Wadia Group-controlled GoAir has revived plans for an initial public offering (IPO).

The budget airline, which has mulled going public several times in the past, last weighed an IPO in 2017, the report said.

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