Grapevine: Top Oyo execs to pool angel bets; Ola looks to raise funding from Microsoft
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Oyo Hotels and Homes CEO Ritesh Agarwal and CFO Abhishek Gupta have likely created a separate vehicle for their personal investments in startups, a media report said.

Agarwal and Gupta may pool their investments into a firm named Raaga Partners LLP, which was set up on March 5, 2016, The Economic Times reported, citing data platform The two are ‘designated partners’ at Raaga.

Oyo chief operating officer Abhinav Sinha, chief supply officer Ayush Mathur and business development head Anuj Tejpal are named as partners at Raaga, the report said.

Agarwal has transferred his shares in bus pooling app Shuttl to Raaga, the report said.

Meanwhile, The Press Trust of India reported that ride-hailing company Ola was in advanced talks with American technology giant Microsoft Corp to raise about $150-200 million (Rs 1,050-1,400 crore).

The talks are likely to be concluded in 10 to 15 days, the report said, citing sources privy to the development.

Ola, which competes with US-based Uber Technologies Inc., has previously pocketed big cheques from several other investors including Japanese internet conglomerate SoftBank Group Corp and China's Tencent Holdings Ltd.

In March, for instance, Ola raised $300 million from South Korean automakers Hyundai Motor Co and Kia Motors Corp. The previous month, it had pocketed $92 million from Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal. In January, Ola secured $74 million from existing investor Steadview Capital.

In another development, The Economic Times reported that a consortium of private equity firm CX Partners, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and International Finance Corporation (IFC) could acquire a stake of about 80% in non-bank lender Indian School Finance Co. Pvt. Ltd (ISFC).

Citing two people aware of the development, the report said that the deal value could be around $50 million (Rs 355 crore). Of this, about $37 million will be primary capital while the remaining amount will provide a partial exit to US-based investor Gray Matters Capital and a complete exit to Hyderabad-based Caspian Advisors.

Gray Matters and Caspian had planned to exit ISFC after non-banking financial company Manappuram Finance Ltd had agreed last July to acquire an 85.39% stake in the school financier for Rs 212.20 crore (around $31 million). However, the Reserve Bank of India subsequently raised concerns about the deal. In June this year, IFC proposed to invest up to $30 million in ISFC via equity and debt.

Meanwhile, Shriram Capital Ltd plans to merge units Shriram Transport Finance Co. Ltd and Shriram City Union Finance Ltd with itself, Mint reported, citing people familiar with the plan.

The move is aimed at helping investors Piramal Enterprises Ltd and TPG Capital sell their stakes in the companies, the report said.

Piramal Enterprises and TPG have been looking to exit the Shriram Group companies for the past few months. Piramal Enterprises chairman Ajay Piramal first confirmed looking into the possibility of the merger in April. He reiterated this last week.

In June, Piramal Enterprises sold its entire stake in Shriram Transport. It also holds a 20% stake in Shriram Capital and 10% in Shriram City Union. Piramal had started invested in the group in 2013. It plans to use the proceeds from the stake sale to inject capital into its lending businesses and repay its debts.

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