"WEEK 7"

July 20 - 24

Hey folks! Vedica here with our weekly recap of the week's news and one in-depth story (from the paid newsletter). What a week, folks. We dropped part II of our Reliance story, "From Oil to Jio", this week and have to see the response has been pretty awesome.

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I have to admit it was a huge thrill to get a shout-out from Ben Thompson on Twitter and in his newsletter! And it's been a good weekend too. I'm really excited about the BBC's adaptation of "A Suitable Boy" which airs tomorrow. Who else is going to be watching? I'm all up for discussion.

Weekly Recap

  1. JioMart launches mobile apps: JioMart's mobile apps (for both iOS & Android) were formally launched last week. The Android app has 100K+ downloads and Reliance has said they are 250K+ orders a day

  2. How can agritech companies scale: Abhishek Mohan of Sequoia talked about how tech can help the agricultural sector in the country through input and market linkages, use of IoT and in bringing farmers access to the best advice.

  3. Plant-based meat products startup, Imagine Meats, is launched: Bollywood couple Genelia and Riteish Deshmukh have a launched, Imagine Meats, a plant-based meat product. The company is partnering with global ingredients manufacturers.

  4. PolicyBazaar aims for a 2021 IPO: PolicyBazaar is aiming to go public at a valuation >$3.5B sometime in 2021. The company is currently selecting a couple of underwriters to lead the IPO process.

  5. Trell set to raise $10 Mn Series A: Following the ban of the 59 Chinese Apps, the community-based platform Trell has pivoted to a lifestyle short video app and has seen some early traction with 12M+ users.

  6. Smaller VC firms generate returns: WaterBridge Ventures, Omidyar Network and Whiteboard Capital are among the few funds that have recently seen exits in portfolio companies or significant raises. These firms have funds that are <$50M, and usually start backing companies from a very early stage

  7. Payment gateway Cashfree consistently clocks profits: Cashfree, the YC-backed payment gateway co, has certainly taken a contrarian path by focusing on profits over growth. being profitable for the last 3 years now. The company has seen 10x+ growth in revenues and profits over the last couple of years.

  8. NPCI launches UPI AutoPay feature for recurring payments: NPCI last week announced UPI AutoPay to enable recurring payments on top of UPI. The product is targeted towards any sorts of transactions that one might encounter on a weekly / monthly / yearly basis. Customers can create an e-mandate for transactions <₹2000; transactions above that amount will require users to re-authenticate with their UPI PIN.

  9. WhatsApp pilots financial projects: WhatsApp plans to offer credit, insurance and pension products to lower-income individuals and those in rural areas in India in an effort to help MSMEs in the country. The platform has been working with ICICI, Kotak Mahindra and HDFC in an effort to bring financial services to it's roughly 400M userbase in the country.

  10. Jodo raises a ₹28.5 Cr Seed round from Matrix and SAIF: Jodo has raised ₹28.5 Cr (~$3.81 M) from Matrix and SAIF along with a 15 angels including Amit Rajan, Nithin Kamath (Rainmatter Capital) and Kunal Shah. Jodo is a full-stack financial service that lets parents pay school fees for their children in monthly payments with 0% interest and auto-debit features.

Policybazaar aims for 2021 IPO in India tech’s debut

In what might be a first for India's startup eco-system, PolicyBazaar aims to go public in 2021 at a valuation >$3.5B. The company is currently selecting a couple of underwriters to lead the IPO process.

The company also plans to raise around $250M in a round of financing at a $2B valuation before the IPO. It will be interesting to see who they bring on as investors (I would assume the large global funds are the prime players).

The company has raised significant financing over the last decade from the likes of Tiger Global, SoftBank and Tencent and could potentially be the first Indian company to deliver returns to these funds through an IPO.

The company intends to list in Mumbai and I am actually quite curious to see what Dalal Street thinks of the online insurance aggregator and financial services company. That said, the company is also open to a dual listing (potentially in the US?) if the Indian laws change in time.

There has been a lot of talk of IPOs by Indian unicorns in 2021/2022 but lets see if these actually pan out. Historically speaking, we haven't seen many public exits by Indian startups, but it is something the industry certainly needs.

Reads of the Week:

  1. Let's get you to product management by Vindhya C

  2. TikTok, the Facebook Competitor by Adam Connor

  3. Alibaba's Big India Bet by Saumya Roy

  4. Build institutions, not apps by Mark Lutter

  5. India, Jio, and the Four Internets by Ben Thompson

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