Good morning- we're on to Thursday and today was a little weird for us in SF. I woke up and the sky was orange and dusty and it mostly stayed that way throughout the day- was quite disorienting to be honest. And in today's news- the YC continuity fund makes their first India investment & Indian companies might be able to go public in other countries
➡️ 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 that started out as a platform for investing in mutual funds has expanded to digital gold & 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 & 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.
2. https://bit.ly/2FnZCtq: Draft norms for overseas listings coming soon
➡️ I think we've seen how 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), and while listing in India might be quite hard for these high burn high growth companies it's not uncommon in the US.
➡️ And thus, the MCA is close to releasing a draft report on Indian companies being able to list overseas without having to list in India first. Several Indian companies incorporate themselves elsewhere to avoid this conundrum previously (MakeMyTrip is incorporated in Mauritius).
➡️ The move will be quite welcomed by Indian founders & investors alike as there haven't been too many exit opportunities for the Indian unicorns. Once this goes into effect, companies like Ola, OYO, Paytm or maybe even BYJUs might seriously consider listing in the US.
➡️ I also had a realization after reading the two stories I talk about today & some trends in the seed stage that I wrote about yesterday- a company started in India could go public in the US without having raised any capital from Indian investors (go through YC, raise a seed from US VCs, raise capital from YC Continuity & Global Growth Funds, and then list in the US itself), so would this still be considered an Indian company?
Feedback & ❤️ always appreciated BONUS (Tweet of the day): https://twitter.com/anandlunia/status/1303709092033093634
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