Good Morning, it's Wednesday and I'm hyped! Vedica and I have had a pretty cool day with Ben Thompson (of Stratechery fame) tweeting out both of Vedica's pieces on Reliance (Origins & Jio) and we've seen a huge increase in our free newsletter subscriptions! https://twitter.com/benthompson/status/1285616049229049856
In other news today, Trell is set to raise some capital & a couple of smaller VC firms are making returns.
➡️ Following the ban of the 59 Chinese Apps, the community-based platform Trell has pivoted to a lifestyle short video app (to be honest, who isn't?) and has seen some early traction with over 12M users.
➡️ And now the company is set to raise a $10M Series A from KTBN and Samsung Ventures with further participation from existing backers Sequoia Surge & Fosun RZ Capital. The company had raised $4M in a pre-series A in December last year, so I'm not super certain why they need/want to raise another round already.
➡️ Maybe availability of capital might have to with that? In recent months, we've seen a lot of buzz around the "TikTok clones" space with Mitron raising a couple of million (and potentially raising a couple million more) & Chingari planning to raise a couple of million at least as well.
➡️ I honestly am a little tired of this space already and feel that there are way too many players fighting over the same user base with no real plans to monetize in the near future. Just in the last month we've seen- Roposo, Chingari, Trell, Mitron, TikTik, MX TakaTak, Josh and Moj.
➡️ Ultimately the platforms that have the most engaging content on their platform with the best retention metrics will have a massive advantage over the others, but it's still way too soon to say who that might be.
2. https://bit.ly/2ZMGxck: Smaller VC firms generate returns
➡️ I think there has been long talk about the lack of exits in the Indian startup world, but a couple of earlier-stage firms are actually making good returns by exiting a couple of their winners and potentially delivering profits to their Limited Partners.
➡️ WaterBridge Ventures, Omidyar Network & Whiteboard Capital are among the few funds that have recently seen exits in portfolio companies or significant raises. It's important to note that these firms have funds are <$50M, and usually start backing companies from a very early stage.
➡️ WaterBridge is set to see an exit from the impending acquisition of Doubtnut by BYJU's which might return up to half of it's first fund of $30M (the acquisition and terms haven't been formally announced). WaterBridge has also exited two of it's early bets from its maiden fund- Unacademy & BlueJack (and might be close to returning it's fund already).
➡️ Rutvik Doshi, Partner at Inventus Capital, also says that Limited Partners now want actual returns from their funds and not just notional increases in paper valuations. And this is probably good news for early-stage funds who can use this track record of returning capital to raise subsequent funds (and maybe even larger ones).
➡️ A couple other firms have seen exits in their portfolio companies- IndiaQuotient with ShareChat (partial), Inventus with PolicyBazaar (partial) and Omidyar is expecting to exit it's stakes in Doubtnut & WhiteHat Jr (both in acquisition talks with BYJU's).
➡️ I have also been working on a piece on the current state of venture in India and would love some feedback, so if you'd like to read it please DM me!
Feedback & ❤️ always appreciated BONUS (Tweet of the day): https://twitter.com/ankitkr0/status/1285492576125022209
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