Grapevine: Freshworks raises $150 mn; Subhash Chandra may lose control of Zee Entertainment
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Software-as-a-service (SaaS) company Freshworks Inc. has raised $150 million (Rs 1,050 crore) in a new funding round from existing investors that include Google, Sequoia and Accel, a media report said.

Citing sources it didn’t identify, Moneycontrol reported that the latest round of funding values the company at $3.5 billion.

It also said that this was a pre-IPO round and that the Chennai-based company could raise more funds before listing its shares on stock exchanges by 2021.

Previously, the cloud-based business software firm had raised $100 million (around Rs 685 crore then) in a Series G round of funding, VCCircle reported in July 2018.

The company, formerly known as Freshdesk, had then said that global venture capital firms Accel and Sequoia Capital had led the investment with participation from CapitalG, the VC arm of tech giant Google’s parent Alphabet. The firm had also said that the round had taken its overall external funding to $250 million.

Meanwhile, media baron Subhash Chandra may lose control of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd as lenders are planning to sell their pledged shares, a media report said.

Citing three people familiar with the development, Mint said that the lenders have already initiated discussions with potential bidders, including strategic investors, to sell close to a 10.77% stake.

“Large investors such as Sony Corp. and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp group have evinced interest to buy Zee’s shares,” said one of the three people.

Yesterday, it was reported that Russian financial institution VTB Capital had kick-started the process of selling a 10.71% stake in the media company

Chandra’s Essel Group companies hold a 22.37% promoter stake in Zee. Of this, 21.48% has been pledged as collateral against finances availed by Essel Group firms. If the entire pledged holding is sold off, Chandra will be left with 0.89% stake in Zee.

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