Published: 2/18/2021

Good morning, it's Thursday and damn has there been a lot of news lately. There's been a bunch of acquisitions and financing rounds so won't be able to cover all of them today but will be talking a bit about the proposed acqusition of BigBasket by Tata and a really hot fintech seed investment.

  • http://tcrn.ch/2Zr6ahJ: Tata Group reaches agreement to buy BigBasket
  • ➡️ So I know this transaction hasn't officially closed, but since TechCrunch is reporting on this I think it's fair to assume the deal is nearing its final stages hopefully. The Indian conglomerate has agreed to a deal in which it will acquire over 60% of BigBasket that will value the grocery delivery startup at around $2B.

    ➡️ I'm honestly surprised that there hasn't been more chatter around this given that this is probably the ecosystem's next major exit since the Flipkart acquisition and the other interesting insight is that more Indian conglomerates are getting comfortable with acquiring tech-first or tech-enabled startups (Jio acquired a couple in the last year or two as well).

    ➡️ The deal would also lead to a complete exit for Chinese internet co Alibaba which owned ~30% of BigBasket and I'm sure both parties are happy about that (BigBasket gets the Chinese investor off its cap table amidst this geopolitical conflict and Alibaba probably recoupes a lot of its capital and makes some profits)

    ➡️ The deal also suggests that BigBasket will look to list in the public markets as soon as the next year and I'd be interested to see where that happens (in India vs the US). I believe that Tata also has ambitions to build a consumer super-app and BigBasket would likely be a core and important part of that plan so we will look to see what comes out of that.

    2. https://tcrn.ch/3pwfefK: Zolve raises $15M in a seed round

    ➡️ We are certainly in a boom market for second-time founders as ex-TaxiForSure founder Raghunandan G has raised $15M in a seed round for his new company Zolve. The round was led by Accel and Lightspeed with participation from Blume, Founder Collective and several angels including Kunal Shah and Ashish Gupta.

    ➡️ The company is tackling an interesting segment- financial services for individuals moving from India to the US & from US to India. The premise for the company seems to lie in the fact that a person can't use their built-up credit history from country A as they move to country B.

    ➡️ Zolve wants to solve that by helping folks set up banking and other financial services through their partnerships with banks in both India and the US so the experience is just as banking with their national bank (though I assume the actual banking app might be a much better experience than your average Indian bank).

    ➡️ The company is also building financial services for those in India as well- buying shares in companies listed on U.S exchanges (competing with the likes of Vested and others who also offer this) as well as letting users buy bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies from exchanges based in the US or Europe (this part seemed very interesting to me but it doesn't make complete sense to me why someone would buy bitcoin on a US exchange vs an Indian one)

    ➡️ The company has already onboarded 5000 customers and has revenue sharing agreements with its banking partners. I assume that this will really pick up once the pandemic winds down and international borders open up more when more Indian international students start going back to the US to study.

    Feedback & ❤️ always appreciated BONUS (Tweet of the day): https://twitter.com/BeingPractical/status/1361919623336132611

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