Published: 11/16/2020

Happy Monday! Hope everyone is recovering from their Diwali fun. It's still Sunday here, but I'm already suffering post-Diwali blues. But let's get to the news today.

  • https://bit.ly/2UwmMCo: SoftBank leads MindTickle's $100M valuation round
  • ➡️ Sales enablement platform MindTickle has raised $100 million in a mix of equity and debt funding, led by Japan’s SoftBank Vision Fund 2, along with participation from existing investors Norwest Venture Partners, Canaan, NewView Capital and Qualcomm Ventures. This is SoftBank's first SaaS investment in India.

    ➡️ MindTickles sales readiness platform has seen growth accelerate in the last 8-10 months, with the company's next focus being on providing in-depth analytics and introducing more personalised recommendations to sales teams using artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities.

    ➡️ MindTickle, started off servicing mid and large enterprises in the tech sector and today has clients across industries such as financial services, pharma, medical devices, and oil and gas. Of its 200 enterprise clients, which include MongoDB, Nutanix, Cloudera, Merck & Co, and the Benetton Group, more than 40 are Fortune 500 companies.

    ➡️ With this investment the company's valuation will double to around $500 million post-money, from when it raised $40 million led by Norwest Venture Partners in July last year. The company will deploy the fresh capital to expand globally, and invest in product development. MindTickle said it has seen 170-180% growth in revenues in the last one year and expects to close this year with an annual recurring revenue (ARR) of $30-$40 million.

    2. https://tcrn.ch/3puEYKR: Reliance Retail buys Urban Ladder for ~$25M

    ➡️ Reliance Retail has acquired a ~94% stake in furniture and decor platform Urban Ladder. This is yet another move by Reliance to push further into e-commerce as the largest retail chain in India gears up to fight Amazon and Flipkart.

    ➡️ Reliance acquired its stake in Urban Ladder for about $24.43 million. Reliance also retains the option to acquire the remainder stake in the seven-and-a-half-years-old startup and has said it proposed to invest up to $10.06 million more in Urban Ladder by December 2023.

    ➡️ The deal is a steal for Reliance. Urban Ladder had raised about $115 million from Sequoia Capital, SAIF Partners, Steadview Capital, and MIT and other investors. In the financial year that ended in March, the Indian startup reported a loss of $6.63 million on a turnover of $58.2 million.

    ➡️ Urban Ladder, along with Pepperfry, has pioneered online furniture retail in India. However, the growth of these companies has been undercut a bit by traditional furniture companies like Nilkamal and Godrej also moving to omnichannel sales same model.

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