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Max Financial to sell minority stake; Dunzo, Coverfox in talks for fresh capital
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Billionaire Analjit Singh, promoter of Max Financial Services, plans to sell a minority stake in the company and some real estate assets to repay loans, a report in Business Standard stated.

Max Financial Services had accrued the debt by pledging promoter shares in two listed firms. The stake sale is expected to be completed in four to six months, the report added, citing merchant banking sources.

The company’s life insurance business will not be sold or merged with a strategic investor, as was the case in 2016, Business Standard reported. In August 2016, Max Financial Services Ltd had inked a deal to merge with mortgage lender HDFC to create the largest private life insurer in the country. However, in 2017, the deal was called off after Insurance and Regulatory Development Authority of India objected to the transaction structure.

Later in 2018, Max Financial was in the race to acquire IDBI Federal Life Insurance and had even sought board approval to raise capital from TPG, KKR Capital Markets India Pvt. Ltd and Standard Chartered Bank for the acquisition. But in June 2018, the firm scrapped its deal to acquire the insurer.

Dunzo’s new funding round

Bengaluru-based daily tasks management app Dunzo, run by Dunzo Digital Pvt. Ltd, is close to securing $15-20 million from a new strategic investor and existing backer technology giant Google, a report in Mint stated, citing three persons in the know.

Google will put in money in the company on a pro-rata basis, the report added.

Dunzo also recently entered the business-to-business segment, offering logistics services to businesses to increase its revenues, the Mint report added, citing two people familiar with the development.

“These are capital-intensive businesses and funding is like oxygen for them,” an investor in the grocery-delivery space told the business daily.

In February, regulatory filings showed that the firm had raised Rs 22.49 crore ($3.1 million at current exchange rates) in its Series C funding round from early-stage venture capital firm Blume Ventures and others.

It had also raised Rs 7 crore from venture debt provider Alteria Capital in November last year.

Founded in 2015 by Kabeer Biswas, Ankur Aggarwal, Dalvir Suri and Mukund Jha, Dunzo is a chat-based task management app that fulfills tasks such as grocery and restaurant deliveries, instant local courier services and home services. Its services are available via a mobile app on both Android and iOS platforms. It currently operates in Bengaluru, Delhi, Gurugram, Pune, Chennai and Hyderabad.

Coverfox in talks to raise Series D capital

Online insurance platform Coverfox is in discussions with investors from China, the US and UK to raise an estimated $50-60 million in a Series D round of funding, The Economic Times reported, citing people in the know.

Glitterbug Technologies Pvt. Ltd, which runs Coverfox, has appointed the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited to identify investors. The deal, if it goes through, will value the venture at $150-200 million, the report added.

“The new round could see the entry of two new investors and is likely to close over the next two months,” one of the persons mentioned above told ET.

The firm will use the capital to develop its agent-facing app Coverdrive, build its data sciences team and for marketing and general corporate purposes, the report added.

In April 2018, Coverfox completed its $22-million (Rs 144 crore) Series C funding round, which was led by International Finance Corporation, the private-sector investment arm of the World Bank.

Coverfox had raised its Series C round in numerous tranches between 2016 and 2018 from a number of investors including Dutch insurance, pension and asset management firm Aegon NV; venture capital firms Accel Partners and SAIF Partners; Infosys co-founder NR Narayana Murthy, through his family office Catamaran Ventures; Infosys co-founder Senapathy Gopalakrishnan and Sudha Gopalakrishnan, through Pratithi Investment Trust; and Venkatram Krishnan and Subba Rao of NuVentures.

Till date, the company has raised about $45 million, the ET report stated.

The company was established in 2013 by IIT Bombay graduate Devendra Rane and MICA Ahmedabad alumnus Varun Dua. Dua quit Coverfox in 2016 to float Acko General Insurance Company, an online insurance policy provider.

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