Good morning, it's Thursday and it seems like the NPCI is capping the number of transactions that UPI apps can execute in an effort to limit the damage to the payments ecosystem if a system collapses. I personally am not a fan and think this just promotes mediocrity if companies' incentives are capped by regulators. In other regulator-esque news, there antitrust hearings today in the US as lawmakers evaluate the "dominance" of certain online platforms. Also House Democrat completely butchered Sundar Pichai's name and I was not a fan.
In today's news, we have some fundraising news from yesterday (nocode x data = 🤯) & a new fund by Ritesh Agarwal
➡️ Data pipeline company, Hevo, has announced a $8M Series A round led by Singapore based firm Qualgro & SF-based solo capitalist Lachy Groom (he was also a former executive at Stripe).
➡️ The company had previously raised money from Sequoia Surge & Chiratae Ventures (both of whom also participated in the round) and the current round brings the total capital raised to $12M. I do think it's very interesting that Lachy participated in this round (we've seen the rise of solo capitalists in the US but this might be the first investment by one of them in an Indian-based company).
➡️ The company lets customers load & collate data from multiple sources (Analytics, Ads, Marketing Tools & more) into their data warehouse (if you don't know what this is, don't worry). Essentially, it's a system which makes it easy for data analysis & reporting.
➡️ The company already has customers in over 16 countries and counts companies like Marqeta ($4B Card Issuing company) as its customers. The company plans to use the capital to build more integrations with tools (it currently supports 40) as well as hire sales & marketing teams in the US & Singapore.
➡️ However the product that Hevo is building, isn't new at all. There is another very well known company called Fivetran which does the same with a lot more integrations (and is valued at over $1B with investors such as A16z, General Catalyst & Matrix Partners and customers like Square, DocuSign and Lime).
➡️ The company plans to differentiate from Fivetran & others by optimizing their tools for non-technical users (we've seen a recent wave of no-code/low-code tools and this fits that trend), but is it yet to be seen if this is a real differentiator and if Hevo can go head-to-head with Fivetran.
2. https://bit.ly/2X96vVK: Ritesh Agarwal floats Aroa Ventures to back startups
➡️ India's favorite millennial founder, Ritesh Agarwal (OYO) has started a new entity, Aroa Ventures, to invest in early-stage companies. Gaurav Gulati (ex-COO Innov8 which was acquired by OYO) will head Aroa Ventures.
➡️ The firm will invest $500k - $5M in companies, especially in "businesses that have the ability to create disproportionate value through adjacencies". Ritesh is probably one of the few founders of a huge Indian startup that isn't known to angel invest in companies so this is news is interesting.
➡️ I also haven't been able to figure out how big of a "fund" this really is and what the source of capital is (unless it's Ritesh's own money). Ritesh is the 3rd Softbank-backed founder that has institutionalized his investing in recent times (Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal started Titan Capital & Vijay Shekhar Sharma started VSS Investco and VSS Holdings to invest in early stage companies).
➡️ Deal-flow & getting into deals shouldn't be a problem at all for Ritesh and I presume he could also co-invest with some of his early backers (Sequoia, Lightspeed & others). I personally am a little more interested to see what Ritesh does with this Venture fund than with OYO so once Aroa Ventures starts investing we'll know more.
Feedback & ❤️ always appreciated BONUS (Tweet of the day): https://twitter.com/aditi1002/status/1288461364105601024
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