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Weekly newsletter

  1. 1. Top Headlines HT Media to invest up to Rs 1.95Cr in CloudByte raises $2.1M in Series A funding led by Nexus OneAssist Raises $3.5M from Sequoia Capital PE-backed FINO buys Nokia’s prepaid mobile payment services biz in India. Cairn Energy sells 3.5% more in Cairn India for $365M. Yatra acquiring Travelguru from Travelocity. ERP solutions provider Valgen raises Rs 2.25Cr angel funding from Blume, others AB InBev buys out Corona maker Modelo for $20 bn Weekly Executive Review India’s economy may be slowing down, but imports still seem to be pouring in. New data out on Friday showed a sharp turn towards the negative in India’s trade balance. The country’s balance of payments deficit for the quarter ending March was $5.7 billion. That’s compared to a surplus of $2 billion in the same period in 2011. Meanwhile the current account deficit for the March quarter reached $21.7 billion, which amounts to 4.5% of GDP. In other news, the Reserve Bank sounded a warning on Thursday with its latest financial stability report. The report said risks had increased because of the slowdown at home and the debt crisis abroad. It also said the critical concern was a fall in asset quality. But the report added that RBI’s stress tests showed a banking crisis was unlikely. RBI governor D. Subbarao said that despite the problems, India’s financial sector remained stable. He also stressed that banks were well capitalized and that leverage remained at healthy levels. 1
  2. 2. Moving to corporate developments, the Indian units of billionaire AnilAgarwal’s Vedanta Resources are finally set to merge. On Mondayshareholders of Sterlite Industries and Sesa Goa agreed to create a newcompany called SesaSterlite. Among shareholder votes, about 79% ofSesa Goa’s and 92% of Sterlite’s were in favour of the merger. But theadvisory firm I-I-A-S said some portion of votes had been rejected asinvalid. The merger also includes other subsidiaries like Cairn India andVedanta Aluminium. Vedanta had been counting on the new merger tosimplify its business structure in India and reduce debt from largeacquisitions like Cairn India. But some minority shareholders in SesaGoa had criticized the plan as being against their interests.Coca Cola’s global chairman and CEO Muh-tar Kent announced thecompany would invest $5 billion in India by 2020. He said this wouldmean an extra $3 billion over what Coca Cola had committed earlier. Atpresent, Coca Cola India stands at the seventh position in company’sglobal portfolio.Hyundai is looking to introduce a range of new engine technologies togain greater market share. It plans to bring its full range of dieselengines into the country. These will include a 1.1 litre engine that can fitinto its popular i10 vehicle. At present, Hyundai has to import all itsdiesel technology into India.And finally, search provider Just Dial may have delayed its IPO, but ithas just raised money from private investors. Sequoia Capital has put inRs305 crore and SAP Ventures, another Rs22 crore. Back in August, JustDial had filed its draft red herring prospectus. The company postponedthose plans, but will file a fresh prospectus in July and go public nextyear. 2
  3. 3. Inside The StoryHT Media to invest up to Rs 1.95Cr inHyderabad-based software development company Comp-U-Learn TechIndia Ltd (CTIL) is raising up to Rs 1.95 crore from ad-for-equity mediainvestor HT Media Ltd, as per a stock market disclosure.HT Media, thepublisher of the Hindustan Times newspaper among other mediabrands, is picking 100 zero per cent fully convertible debentures ofComp-U-Learn.Although the pricing of the shares on conversion has notbeen disclosed, at the current market price, it could pick as much as fiveper cent stake based on current equity base.The promoters, who heldonly 15 per cent in Comp-U-Learn as of March 31, are also subscribingto fresh shares of the company. So the final equity stake being picked byHT Media could be a tad lower than 5 per cent.CloudByte raises $2.1M in Series A funding led by NexusCloudByte Inc, a one-year-old Cloud startup focusing on storagevirtualisation, has raised Series A funding of $2.1 million, led by NexusVenture Partners. Kae Capital also participated in the round.CloudBytewas started in 2011 by a team of five – Srivibhavan Balaram, UmasankarMukkara, Shailesh Bam, Felix Xavier and Sunil Navalgi.The fundingwould be used to expand sales in the US and the Asian markets, and alsofor ongoing product development. A part of the funding would be alsoused in hiring talents for its India and US offices. CloudByte isheadquartered in California, with its engineering team based inBangalore, and has another office in Singapore.OneAssist Raises $3.5M from Sequoia CapitalMumbai-based OneAssist Consumer Solutions Pvt. Ltd has raised $3.5million (Rs 19.93 crore) from Sequoia Capital India and LightspeedVenture Partners. OneAssist, a year-old company, offers personalisedmobile and financial security and management solutions via its products 3
  4. 4. WalletAssist, MobileAssist, EverydayAssist and TripAssist.Started byfounder duo of Gaurav Maini and Subrat Pani, OneAssist offers an on-call customer support under various categories from mobile phonesecurity to fraud assistance. All the services are subscription-based. Italso offers combo packs for joint subscription (for two users).PE-backed FINO buys Nokia’s prepaid mobile paymentservices biz in IndiaMumbai-based financial inclusion services provider FINO has acquiredthe prepaid mobile payment business of erstwhile Nokia MobilePayment Services in India for an undisclosed amount. The acquired firmhas been christened Alpha Payment Services India Pvt Ltd, to be headedby Shweta Aprameya. It will now focus on prepaid payment serviceofferings, such as money transfer, utility bill payment, mobile and DTHrecharge, etc., under the brand Takatak Money.This service would bebank and telecom operator-agnostic, and would aim to cater to therequirements of both urban and rural customers. FINO currentlyservices 50 million customers across a host of banking products andservices.Cairn Energy sells 3.5% more in Cairn India for $365MUK’s Cairn Energy has sold additional 3.5 per cent stake in its formerIndian arm Cairn India for Rs 2,060 crore ($365 million) through openmarket on Friday. The British energy firm has been looking to encashmore from its key asset in India as it pools in resources to bankrollother inorganic expansions around the world.Over the past threemonths, the British firm has announced two deals worth over $1 billioncumulatively. These include a deal to acquire Nautical Petroleum for$644 million and another to acquire Agora Oil & Gas for $450million.Cairn Energy had earlier sold around 40 per cent stake of CairnIndia to Vedanta in tranches, starting with 10 per cent holding in July2011 for approximately $1.4 billion in cash. 4
  5. 5. Last December, it sold another 30 per cent stake to Vedanta for $4.1billion. Cairn Energy had earlier planned to distribute the bulk of stakesale proceeds to its shareholders.Yatra acquiring Travelguru from TravelocityGurgaon-based online travel agency (OTA) Yatra Online Pvt Ltd isacquiring online hotel distribution network TravelGuru fromTravelocity in yet another high profile consolidation move in the Indiane-commerce space. The deal value and other details of the transactioncould not be immediately ascertained, but sources said anannouncement is expected on Saturday, June 30.Travelguru is knownfor its hotel and holiday bookings services even as it also offers flightsearch through a partnership with other OTAs such as Goibibo.com andVia.com. Yatra offers both hotel and airticket booking services and adeal with Travelguru would boost its hotel and holiday booking practiceto take on its key rivals Nasdaq-listed MakeMyTrip and Cleartrip.ERP solutions provider Valgen raises Rs 2.25Cr angelfunding from Blume, othersChennai-based Valgen Infosystem Pvt Ltd, which provides ERP solutionsfor SMEs and SMBs, has recently raised Rs 2.25 crore in angel fundingfrom Blume Ventures and a couple of angel investors.Blume led theround with Rs 1.25 crore, of which Rs 75 lakh had already beentransferred and the balance would be received soon. Following thisinvestment, Karthik Reddy, managing partner of Blume Ventures, joinedthe board of Valgen.Valgen was set up in 2010 by B Hariharan and VijayR Lakshmanan. The company is currently pushing growth and asignificant portion of the money raised would be used for productdevelopment, besides marketing and hiring talents. It also plans toexpand into other cities. 5
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