Published: 8/18/2020

Good morning, it's Tuesday. Anmol here with the news today and we have a lot to unpack! But first, if any of y'all are accredited investors in the US, DM me I might have something cool for you 👀. Also in news today were reports that Oracle is in talks to buy TikTok's US business (another surprising suitor). Lightspeed India also announced a new early stage fund (more on this tomorrow), but today Trell raises a Series A and Jio might be making a couple acquisitions.

  • https://bit.ly/3kUn0PH: Reliance looks to acquire a couple of startups
  • ➡️ Reliance Industries is reportedly in talks with several latter-stage startups to acquire them. The companies include furniture company UrbanLadder, milk (& daily groceries) platform Milkbasket and has been linked to online pharmacy Netmeds previously as well.

    ➡️ With Jio's plans of expanding JioMart into other verticals, this makes sense- the company can roll into other services to use Reliance's infrastructure.

    ➡️ The UrbanLadder deal is reportedly pegged at $30M, and Reliance might further infuse capital into the entity. The company was last valued at $119M in 2018, so this would not be a great outcomes for the investors.

    ➡️ Milkbasket, on the other hand, has been in acquisition talks with several suitors for a while now- Amazon, BigBasket & now Reliance. The company recently raised $5.5M in June and the company does 40k-50k daily deliveries.

    ➡️ I think Milkbasket slots into JioMart very well (and so would Netmeds if that acquisition happens) and UrbanLadder maybe seems more like a bet where Reliance could acquire the company on the cheap.

    2. https://bit.ly/32133ht: Trell raises a $11M Series A

    ➡️ Yet another short video app has raised money. This time it's Trell, the lifestyle centric app, which has secured $11.43M from KTBN Ventures & Samsung Ventures. Existing investors Fosun & Surge also participated in the round.

    ➡️ With the latest fundraise the company will now be valued at $43M and the company now has a lot of capital to aggressively grow over the next couple of months as it competes with Chingari, Mitron & the others.

    ➡️ The company was founded in 2016 as a community-based platform but pivoted to a short video app where it has seen a lot more traction (somewhat because of the TikTok ban). And of all the short video apps, it reportedly has the best user retention (according to data from a report in The Morning Context).

    ➡️ It makes sense why a lot of capital is being allocated to social apps currently with the void that was created with the TikTok ban. It is yet to be seen if the ban is temporary or permanent.

    ➡️ I'm going to end on an observation that I find ironic (though others might not)- Trell & the other apps have been able to thrive because of the ban on Chinese apps, but a majority of the capital infused into the company comes from outside the country (and some of it from China itself).

    Feedback & ❤️ always appreciated BONUS (Tweet of the day): https://twitter.com/jaivardhan88/status/1295329086403801089

    This post is only for paying subscribers, but it’s ok to forward every once in a while. If you received this as a forward, consider subscribing here 👉🏽 https://keepingupwithindia.com/