"WEEK 14"

Sep 6 - 12

Happy Sunday! Vedica here with update today. It's been slightly insane on the West Coast with the wildfires. I woke up to a red sky on Wednesday and spent the whole day thinking I had landed on Mars; it's improved since then but still feels like a sepia-tinged reality. The air quality is Delhi-esque, so I'm definitely missing home! We had fewer updates this week because of the Labour Day weekend here in the US, but lots of interesting news over the week, nonetheless.

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Weekly Recap

  1. PagarBook set to raise $7 Mn from Sequoia Capital: Employee management app PagarBook is allegedly in talks to raise $7 million from Sequoia Capital in what would be the second funding round for the Bengaluru-based company. PagarBook lets small companies manage attendance, salaries, advance payments and overall payroll management. (See the “What We’ve Read” section for more).

  2. India's GDP contraction should alarm everyone says Raghuram Rajan: Former RBI Governor, Raghuram Rajan in a LinkedIn post raised concerns about the dire state of the economy, and recommended some steps that could be taken to contain the damage. Highly recommend reading the whole thing.

  3. Silver Lake leads a $500M investment into BYJUs: BYJUs announced a new round of funding led by Silver Lake, which will value the company at $10.8B. Existing investors Tiger Global, General Atlantic and Owl Ventures also participated in the round which totaled $500M.

  4. Hasura raises a $25M Series B led by Lightspeed: Hasur has announced a $25M Series B round led by Lightspeed Venture Partners (through their US fund not Indian) with participation from existing backers Vertex Ventures US, Nexus Venture Partners, Strive VC and SAP iO Fund. Hasura provides companies with an open source engine which plugs into their databases and lets them access data through a GraphQL API.

  5. Groww raises $30M from YC Continuity: The investment platform, Groww, announced a Series C of $30M led by the YC Continuity Fund and participation from existing investors including Sequoia, Ribbit Capital and Propel Ventures.

  6. Draft norms for overseas listings coming soon: There haven't been many (if any at all) startups that have gone public in India in the last several years (IndiaMART is the only one that I can think of). Now, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs is close to releasing a draft report on Indian companies being able to list overseas without having to list in India first.

Groww raises $30M from YC Continuity

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The investment platform, Groww, announced a Series C of $30M led by the YC Continuity Fund and participation from existing investors including Sequoia, Ribbit Capital and Propel Ventures. This is YC's first investment out of their Continuity Fund and was hinted at earlier last week when Vedica interviewed Anu Hariharan (Partner at YC)

The platform allows users to invest in mutual funds & stocks and has a simplistic UI geared for a smartphone to make it easier for younger Indians to get started with investing. While 150M Indians use digital payments apps every month, only 20M of them invest in mutual funds or stocks.

The company started out as a platform for investing in mutual funds, but has expanded to digital gold and Indian stocks in recent months and plans to continue adding different investment products in the future - including the ability to buy stocks of companies listed in the US.

There are already over 8M users who've registered for the mutual funds product, while 200k users have bought stocks on the platform. The company also competes with several players in the Industry including Paytm Money (mostly on the mutual funds side) and Zerodha (on the stocks side) and both companies also see a majority of their usage on mobile platforms.

India is a country where we have historically done a better job saving and investing than some of its western counterparts, and is also now seeing an upsurge of participation in the financial markets with 2 million new stock market investors added in the last quarter alone. And companies like Groww will only help to serve those markets as well as bring more Indians online to invest - I just hope they don't use gimmicky tactics to exploit users.

What we've read this week

Building PagarBook by Adarsh Kumar

Behind bars by Supriya Nair

Armed with lakhs of new viewers, TV bosses quell internal resistance on SSR coverage by Pooja Prasanna

The True Story of Lee Kuan Yew’s Singapore by Haonan Li and Victor Yaw

The woman taking over TikTok at the toughest time by Mike Isaac and Taylor Lorenz

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