Published: 6/5/2020

And it's Wednesday, and my oh my there was a bunch of news today. Joe Rogan is moving his podcast exclusively to Spotify (and probably made a bunch of 💰), Walmart announced that they were shutting down one of their eCommerce acquisitions (Jet.com not Flipkart), and Facebook announces its eCommerce plans and partnership with Shopify.

Coming to 🇮🇳, Khatabook announced their Series B and another ex-VC with another startup.

  • https://tcrn.ch/3bQKuPU: Khatabook raises a $60M Series B
  • ➡️ In a round that was long time a-coming, Khatabook has raised an additional $60M in a Series B led by B Capital (🤔) and included a bunch of existing & new investors ranging from Sequoia India, GGV Capital, Kunal Shah, and both Sriram Krishnans. ➡️ The company has seen great growth & adoption with 8M active users in 700+ districts across India (for context India has 739 districts), ~900k DAU with merchants adding $200M in transactions every single day! Plus their app seems to be more widely used (on a daily) basis compared to its competitors (Paytm merchant app, OkCredit, BharatPe). ➡️ An intersting fact that I found out was that the company is largely unaffected by COVID (in part because it doesn't generate any revenue yet) but also because a lot of its merchants are present in smaller towns and villages, which are presumably in orange/green zones and don't have strict lockdown rules. ➡️ Khata is probably just the first product that the company is working on, as it plans to build a suite of products for small and micro merchants across the country (and will monetize through some of them). It seems to me that the company is spending the first couple of years to build out its distribution to merchants across the country and then will build adjacent products to monetize that merchant base. ➡️ It will be interesting to see if they start offering working capital loans like a lot of their other competitors or if they come up with other product offerings that can drive revenue for their merchants and them as well.

    2. https://bit.ly/2WKRuJJ: *New online learning platform FrontRow emerges* ➡️ There's a new online learning platform on the block, it's called FrontRow and it's cofounded by ex-Lightspeed exec Ishaan Preet Singh along with Mikhil Raj & Shubhadit Sharma. ➡️ Currently there isn't much known about the co, other than the fact that "they are building something along the lines of Masterclass". Even their current website is pretty bare bones https://www.frontrow.co.in/

    ➡️ A friend of mine said yesterday that it seems like "passion economy" seems to be the trend this year, and we are definitely seeing a lot of companies popping up in the space recently.

    ➡️ The other interesting trend that I've seen is that Ex-VCs (Associates/Principals/VPs) are turning into founders. Some of the recent ones include Videt Jaiswal & Pulkit Pujara (Ex-SAIF) founding AirBlack, and Arnav Kumar (Ex-SAIF) who runs Leap Finance. ➡️ And it does make sense, you get to work at a fund with a lot of companies to see how they scale, what mistakes they make and get access to the larger startup & venture industry, which certainly helps with the first round of capital as it has with FirstRow. ➡️ And while capital & network can only get you so far, I'm intrigued to see what FrontRow's product and platform looks like.

    Feedback & ❤️ always appreciated

    More tomorrow :) BONUS (Tweet of the day): https://twitter.com/shobhitic/status/1262760354372702210