VCC Startups weekly wrap: Ebix buys Via; Paytm Payments Bank, Zoomcar make key hires

By Binu Paul

  • 04 Nov 2017
VCC Startups weekly wrap: Ebix buys Via; Paytm Payments Bank, Zoomcar make key hires
Credit: Thinkstock

People movement was the highlight of the week gone by, with Paytm Payments Bank and self-drive car rental startup Zoomcar hiring C-suite executives. However, the Indian arm of co-working startup and decacorn WeWork lost one of its top guns, as did e-tailer Snapdeal. In another big development, US-based software firm Ebix Inc, the parent of ItzCash Card Ltd, acquired online-offline travel agency Via.com. Besides, a slew of companies declared their quarterly results, giving a glimpse into the performance of consumer Internet businesses. Take a look.

Ebix acquires Sequoia-backed hybrid OTA Via.com

Marking its fifth acquisition in India in as many months, Ebix Inc acquired Bangalore-based travel portal Via.com. Via’s enterprise value for the transaction was $74.9 million, and the acquisition is expected to close over the next few days. Via.com, operated by Flightraja Travels Pvt. Ltd, was founded in 2007 by Vinay Gupta and Amit Aggarwal. "For us taking a strong position in travel was important, since insurance, remittances, phone recharges, prepaid gift cards etc. are the things that complement a consumer’s needs when they engage in travel,” Ebix chairman and CEO Robin Raina said.


Paytm Payments Bank, Zoomcar make key hires; WeWork, Snapdeal see exits

Sudhanshu Jain, former deputy general manager at private-sector lender ICICI Bank, has joined Vijay Shekhar Sharma-founded Paytm Payments Bank as chief financial officer. Jain, who headed borrowings at ICICI Bank’s foreign currency desk, will oversee finance and strategy at the payments bank.

Bangalore-based Zoomcar has appointed former Procter & Gamble executive Sudhindra Reddy as its new chief operating officer. Reddy took over his new assignment last month.


Juggy Marwaha, a top executive at the India unit of WeWork, the world's biggest co-working startup, quit merely 10 months after joining the firm. Rajiv Mangla, chief technology officer at Snapdeal, has resigned and will be transiting out of his role by 15 December.

Q2 results: Info Edge, MakeMyTrip see revenue rise

Info Edge (India) Ltd, which operates job portal Naukri, realty site 99acres and online matrimonial platform Jeevansathi, reported a 7% year-on-year increase in revenues from operations in the second quarter of financial year 2017-18. Operational revenues rose to Rs 225.2 crore from Rs 209.9 crore in the year-ago period. Net profit, however, fell a tad to Rs 78.6 crore from Rs 80 crore in the same period last year.


Nasdaq-listed MakeMyTrip Ltd, India’s largest online travel services provider, said net revenue for the quarter through September more than doubled but higher expenses widened its losses. Net revenue, or revenue excluding service costs, surged 156.5% in constant currency terms to $139.2 million from $53.2 million a year earlier.

One97 Communications Ltd, which owns India’s largest digital payments company Paytm, reported revenues of Rs 813.88 crore for 2016-17. Its net worth stood at Rs 2,376 crore. The company, however, did not disclose its net profit or loss figures for the fiscal year.

Lendingkart, FreshMenu, NetMeds raise funds


Lendingkart Finance Ltd, the NBFC arm of Ahmedabad- and Bangalore-based fin-tech startup Lendingkart, raised around Rs 162 crore ($24.9 million) through a mix of debt and equity. The company raised this sum between August and September in multiple tranches from financial institutions and NBFCs including IFMR Capital, Capital First, Tata Capital Financial Services Ltd (TCFSl) and Manappuram Finance Ltd.

Online pharmacy NetMeds Marketplace Pvt. Ltd raised $14 million (Rs 90 crore) in a new funding round led by Tanncam Investment, a Cambodian investment holding company, and Sistema Asia Fund, the venture capital fund of Russian conglomerate Sistema JSFC.

Besides, Bangalore-based cloud kitchen operator FreshMenu has found a new backer in media conglomerate Bennett, Coleman and Company Ltd. BCCL will invest Rs 1.65 crore ($255,613) in the company in an ad-for-equity deal.


VC-backed app engagement startup Mavin on brink of shutdown

Silicon​​ Valley​-​ ​and​ ​B​a​ngalore-base​d ​Mavin Technologies Pvt​. Ltd, which offered customers incentives to engage with a particular app, is close to shutting down​ ​operations.​​ ​​​ A person in the know of things told VCCircle that the launch of “Reliance Jio dealt a big blow to Mavin, with its cheap data offerings affecting the startup’s business.” ​Mavin has laid off almost all its employees, and its website, www.mavin.co, has expired.

Bitcoin frenzy continues

Digital currency bitcoin rocketed above $7,000 for the first time last week, after a more than seven-fold increase in its value since the start of the year. The latest rally was driven by news that the world’s largest derivatives exchange operator, CME Group, is to launch bitcoin futures. As a result, the aggregate value of all cryptocurrencies hit a record high of over $200 billion on Wednesday, putting their reported market value at more than that of US banking giant Citigroup.

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