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Tencent to Invest $400M in Ola, Snapdeal Board Approves FreeCharge Sale To Axis Bank & More

SoftBank and Hony Capital, one of China's largest private-equity firms, led a $500 million investment in co-working space startup WeWork to set up a Chinese unit.

Here is a list of deals that happened in Indian Startup Ecosystem today. Read a brief description about all of them:

1. Bengaluru-based cab hailing firm, Ola is in talks with Tencent, the Chinese internet conglomerate to raise $400 million in its next round of funding at over $4 billion valuation, according to the media reports. 

“Tencent executives were in Bangalore last week and they met the Ola management team to discuss the transaction,” media reports added. Founded by Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati in 2010, Ola which is backed by marquee investors including SoftBank, Tiger Global and Matrix Partners, had raised about $50 million (Rs 322 crore) from New York-based hedge fund Tekne Capital Management LLC, as part of the company’s ongoing funding round, in June 2017. Prior to that the company had raised Rs 670 crore in a fresh round of funding from Ratan Tata’s venture fund RNT Capital Advisers LLP and US hedge fund Falcon Edge Capital LP.

The firm has also held talks with global tech giant Microsoft to participate in the current round, but those talks have not yet advanced.

2. Troubled ecommerce company, Snapdeal’s board has finally approved to sell its digital payments platform, FreeCharge to country’s third-largest private sector lender, Axis Bank, as reported by Economic Times.

According to the ET report, the proposed deal will value FreeCharge at Rs 385 crore-Rs 390 crore, which would be a steep plunge from the Rs 2,400 crore figure that Jasper Infotech paid in the year 2015 to acquire the company. 

“The formal announcement of the sale could be made as early as Thursday,” the sources said. 

The board of the Delhi-based company is also expected to approve the sale of its troubled online marketplace Snapdeal, to rival Flipkart, estimated at around $900-950 million.

3. SoftBank and Hony Capital, one of China's largest private-equity firms, led a $500 million investment in co-working space startup WeWork to set up a Chinese unit. The funds will be used to expand beyond current locations Beijing and Shanghai to at least five more large cities in the next six to 12 months, WeWork co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Adam Neumann told Reuters in an interview.

Earlier this month, New York-based WeWork also announced its plans to enter Japan's market with a 50:50 venture with SoftBank. The company will launch its first location in Tokyo in 2018.

4. Microsoft has launched its first "Made for India" chat messaging application called Kaizala on Wednesday. The application is designed for large group communication and can enable messages to be sent to millions of people on a group simultaneously.

Anant Maheshwari, President, Microsoft India said that Kaizala is a made for India product for the mobile first world. "It brings together the two disparate worlds of mobile only messaging apps and a digitally integrated modern workplace. The product will make it possible for organizations to interact with everyone both within and outside seamlessly.” 

Microsoft Kaizala has been optimised for 2G networks to enable connectivity in remote locations and offers features with offline support," he added.

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