Japanese investor SoftBank Group Corp was the leading newsmaker this past week as its tender offer to acquire a stake in US ride-hailing firm Uber succeeded.
The move could signal consolidation in India's ride-hailing market in the future as SoftBank is already the single-largest shareholder in Uber's main local rival, Ola.
In other news, Infosys Ltd, India’s second-largest software services exporter, sold its entire stake in a US-based startup while third-ranked Wipro put more money in another US startup.
Infosys is selling its entire stake in ANSR Consulting Holdings Inc., which helps multinational companies to bring in-house or captive units to India, for $1 million (Rs 6.4 crore). The IT services giant had bought a stake of around 5% in ANSR two years ago for $1.4 million (then Rs 9 crore).
ANSR was the first company Infosys had backed from its $250 million Innovate in India fund. This fund was carved out of a larger $500 million corpus earmarked to invest in global startups.
Meanwhile, Wipro invested $2.05 million in data management software maker Imanis Data Inc. The billionaire Azim Premji-led IT company had earlier invested in the US-based software company in 2015 through its venture capital arm, Wipro Ventures.
The latest investment takes the total Wipro has put in Imanis to $4.05 million. Wipro holds a stake of less than 20% in Imanis on a fully diluted basis.
A consortium led by SoftBank will buy a 17.5% stake in Uber by buying shares from some existing shareholders through a tender offer and by making a fresh cash infusion into the ride-hailing firm. The group is buying shares from existing shareholders at a valuation of $48 billion and injecting $1.25 billion at a valuation of $68 billion.
The consortium includes Dragoneer Investment Group. SoftBank will get a 15% stake while the rest of the consortium will own about 3%.
SoftBank already has stakes in ride-hailing companies around the world, including in China’s Didi, Brazil-based 99, India’s Ola and Southeast Asia-based Grab, all of which compete with Uber.
SoftBank was also in focus as its executive Lydia Jett has joined the board of online retailer Flipkart.
At SoftBank, Jett was looking after consumer Internet and e-commerce investments at the company’s Vision Fund. The Vision Fund, a $93 billion fund that the Japanese telecom and Internet conglomerate, had invested about $2.4 billion (Rs 15,300 crore) in Flipkart in August.
Jett has been with the SoftBank since 2015. She had worked with investment banks Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan previously. She has an MBA from Stanford University.
The development comes shortly after Jett quit the board of e-commerce firm Snapdeal. In July, Snapdeal, one of the first bets of SoftBank, had walked out of a merger deal with Flipkart. SoftBank then acquired a stake in Flipkart.
Delhi-based Appario Retail Pvt Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of the joint venture between Amazon India and Ashok Patni, the co-founder of Patni Computer Systems, has received Rs 140 crore ($21.85 million) from its parent Frontizo Business Services Pvt Ltd.
Appario received this sum in two tranches this year—Rs 100 crore in November and Rs 40 crore in August. The funds come three months after it was reported that Amazon India and the Patni group scion are floating a joint venture.
MonkeyBox buys 75 In A Box
Blume Ventures-backed MonkeyBox Food Tech Pvt. Ltd, which delivers nutritious food to school children in Bengaluru, has acquired food delivery startup 75 In A Box in an all-stock deal.
“The acquisition is a strategic move for us as we try to expand our product offering to adults. 75 in a Box has considerable experience in the adult health food sector and is a perfect fit for us,” MonkeyBox co-founder Sanjay Rao told VCCircle.
While 75 In A Box will serve vegetarian and non-vegetarian food from its own kitchen, MonkeyBox will add non-vegetarian menu to four of its existing kitchens in February to cater to the needs of the corporate clientele.
GoMechanic to buy VOW CarClinic
Gurgaon-based automobile servicing platform GoMechanic is set to acquire car servicing and repair startup VOW CarClinic, the founders of both startups told VCCircle. The deal is in the final stages of closing.
All of VOW CarClinic’s customers base, technology assets, and service partners will be on-boarded by GoMechanic over the next few weeks, Abhishek Menon, co-founder of VOW CarClinic, told VCCircle.
In December 2016, GoMechanic raised $250,000 (Rs 1.68 crore then) from seed investment platform Venture Catalysts. In February this year, GoMechanic secured Rs 2.5 crore in funding from venture capital firm Orios Venture Partners and angel investor Dhianu Das.
The startup connects users with automobile repair and maintenance service providers.
VOW CarClinic, run by GreyHair Ventures Pvt Ltd, was founded in early 2016. It is a marketplace for car servicing and repair needs in the online-to-offline consumer Internet space. Users can avail the firm’s services via a website and mobile application.
In January this year, VOW CarClinic raised an undisclosed amount of angel funding from Vishal Malik, founder and director of IT services firm Gemini Solutions and a group of Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi alumni.
Sheroes acquires Babygogo
Sheroes, the women’s-focused career platform, has acquired Delhi-based child healthcare startup Babygogo. The founders of Babygogo will join Sheroes as co-founders.
This is the second acquisition in less than five months by Delhi-based Sheroes. In August, Sheroes had acquired Bangalore-based online career restart platform Women Restart.
Babygogo was started as a technology platform to hand-hold parents, particularly mothers, by offering baby care advice. In March 2016, Babygogo had raised Rs 2 crore ($300,000) in a seed funding round led by angel investor Rajul Garg and a number of healthcare executives.
In August 2016, Sheroes had raised Rs 12 crore in a Series A round of funding led by Gurgaon-based investment firm Lumis Partners. The HR Fund, angel investor Garg and Quintillion Media, led by media entrepreneur Raghav Bahl, had also participated in the round.