Published: 8/25/2020

Good morning, it's Tuesday and god there was way too much happening in the US today. First off, it was YC Demo Day (more on this later in the week) and the 5 (yes 5!) companies dropped their S-1s and plan go public through an IPO (Snowflake, JFrog, Sumo Logic, Unity) or Direct Listing (Asana). Some things that stood out to me were- Snowflake's NDR is 158% (which is just bonkers) & Asana's Head of Engineering went to BITS Pilani. Oh and coming to today's news, ShareChat with another acquisition & Urban Company's employees get liquidity.

  • https://bit.ly/2YyJFrb: ShareChat acquires Circle Internet
  • ➡️ With the seed stage getting "frothy", another trend that has been accelerating is mergers & acquisitions and consolidation in certain sectors. And with that, the regional language social platform ShareChat has acquired Circle Internet for an undisclosed sum.

    ➡️ Circle Internet is a hyperlocal information platform and provides information in local languages for Tier 2/3 cities in Rajasthan & Uttar Pradesh & Kerala and is present in over 120 districts. The platform also has over 1000 volunteers who contribute towards the information available on the app.

    ➡️ The company was founded by Shashank Shekhar, Gaurav Agrawal and Uchit Kumar in 2018 and the company raised a Rs 4 Cr seed round from SAIF in 2018 followed by a Rs 30 Cr Series A by SAIF & Venture Highway. Shashank was also previously the Head of Content at ShareChat before founding Circle so he is quite familiar with the company and the team.

    ➡️ The company's team of 15 will join ShareChat but will apparently work independently. ShareChat's Corp Dev team has been quite busy as the company acquired Memer in April & Elanic in February.

    ➡️ The company is also in talks to raise a large round for the last couple of months so I can definitely see them acquiring other social companies on the cheap and really push towards growing ShareChat & Moj to fill the void left by the Chinese apps.

    2. https://bit.ly/3glPgqU: Vy Capital buys back Urban Company ESOPs worth $5M

    ➡️ In a very welcome move towards employee liquidity, Urban Company has facilitated ESOP buybacks worth $5M through a secondary transaction by Vy Capital. The UAE-based investor has backed Urban Company from their Series C round in 2017 and holds a 10.3% stake in the company.

    ➡️ This is also the third buyback Urban Company has facilitated in the last three years. Nearly 120 employees participated in the latest buyback and the company does have one of the better designed ESOP terms that I've seen from an Indian company.

    ➡️ The company has raised a total of $186M in funding over multiple rounds and is valued close to $1B as well has expanded internationally. The pandemic had hurt the company & their service providers but they stepped up by providing interest-free business advances with delayed payback periods & health insurance.

    ➡️ The company also lets its employees exercise their options at any point of time (in the US a lot of companies require employees to exercise within 90 days of leaving their company) and has really employee-friendly terms, which shows that some companies do care about their culture that also maybe helps with employee retention.

    Feedback & ❤️ always appreciated BONUS (Tweet of the day): https://twitter.com/misbahspeaks/status/1298029445177999361

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