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Ola’s Foodpanda suspends food delivery; Ex-Ostro execs seek PE funding for new firm
Photo Credit: Reuters

Ride-hailing firm Ola has ended the contracts of most of its 1,500 food-delivery executives and sacked 40 mid- to entry-level employees, four people aware of the development told Mint.

However, in-house brands or cloud kitchens will continue operations at Foodpanda India, which was acquired by Ola 18 months ago.

The cloud kitchens come from Foodpanda India’s acquisition of Mumbai-based Holachef in October 2018.

A Foodpanda spokesperson told VCCircle: "As part of our ongoing business-repurposing initiatives, we are focused on building a portfolio of own food brands and curated food offerings through our fast expanding network of kitchens. Many of these offerings are already available in all major cities through the Ola and Foodpanda apps.”

The spokesperson added, “We continue to invest in expanding our facilities and kitchens, as well as our portfolio of food offerings for customers. We remain committed to our mission of building a superior food experience for millions of our customers."

In another development, Yes Bank is seeking private equity funding after reporting a surprise loss for the March quarter, two people aware of the plan told Mint.

“Yes Bank’s idea is to tap PE funds is similar to what Axis Bank did when it raised around $1.8 billion from Bain Capital and other investors in late 2017,” one of the persons said.

Other options are also being considered, including global depository receipts and foreign currency convertible bonds, the person said.

Separately, two former executives of Ostro Energy Pvt. Ltd are looking to set up a green energy platform in India, persons in the know told Mint. For this, Ranjit Gupta and Murali Subramanian, who were chief executive and chief operating officer at the green energy platform, respectively, are in talks with Singapore’s state investor Temasek Holdings and Swedish private equity firm EQT Partners to raise around $500 million (Rs 3,487.6 crore at current exchange rate). “Temasek is expected to make the substantive part of the investment,” said one of the persons.

The move comes a little more than a year after VCCircle reported that ReNew Power Ventures Pvt. Ltd would acquire rival Ostro from private equity firm Actis, striking the largest buyout in India’s renewable power sector and becoming the top green energy company by capacity.

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