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Grapevine: Vi dials KKR, Carlyle, others; Cred to become unicorn
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After the recent fundraising talks with an Oak Hill-led consortium went sour, Vi (Vodafone Idea) has dialled other US-based private equity players, including KKR and Carlyle Group, to secure up to $2.5 billion (Rs 18,100 crore) via convertible instruments, people told The Economic Times. 

The new investors may also push Vi’s co-promoters – UK’s Vodafone Plc and the Aditya Birla Group – to make some capital infusion, one of the persons said adding that they may also demand stricter covenants such as corporate guarantees in case of payment defaults. 

The initial funding – to be used to ramp up Vi’s 4G networks and clear a portion of its dues—is part of the telco’s stated plans to raise an overall Rs 25,000 crore via a mix of debt and equity. 

Also, serial entrepreneur Kunal Shah’s two-year fintech startup Cred is set to become a unicorn (valued at $1 billion or more) upon finalising a $200 million (about Rs 1,450 crore) round at a valuation of over $2 billion (Rs 14,489 crore), two sources told The Economic Times

The new financing will largely be done through existing investors including DST Global, Tiger Global, Sequoia Capital and Ribbit Capital. A new investor is said to be joining the round. “It is in the final stages of paperwork and should be completed formally in two-three weeks,” one of the sources said. 

Separately, multi-brand car servicing platform GoMechanic is in talks with Sequoia Capital to lead its Series C round of $50 million (Rs 362 crore), people told Entrackr.  

The new round will likely help GoMechanic onboard more workshops and ramp up its spare parts vertical, GoMechanic Spares, one of the sources said. 

“The new round may also see participation from a couple of new investors including Eight Roads Ventures. It would value GoMechanic at over $200 million,” said another person. 

In December 2019, the company raised its Series B round.

That round also involved participation from Hero Motocorp’s chairman Pawan Munjal. 

Also, Shapoorji Pallonji (SP) Group is looking to raise up to Rs 4,000 crore ($552 million) in debt from foreign investors to repay Indian lenders, Business Standard said adding that this could be a last-ditch effort by the Indian conglomerate to circumvent the non-performing asset (NPA) label by March-end. 

A banker told Business Standard that SP Group is in talks with SSG Capital and other institutions to raise funds. The group has already placed at least three of its assets on the block.  

The group owns 18.5% stake in Tata Sons that is estimated to be valued around Rs 1.75 lakh crore.

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