Deals RoundUp: Helion Venture Partners, GrocShop, Campus Diaries, JCPenney, SoftBank, and One Touch Response

India’s first technology-led on-demand safety and immediate assistance service company today announced a partnership with, India’s largest insurance web aggregator to introduce a new Safety Plan for customers, with FREE of cost insurance.

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CFO - R Natarajan Leaves Helion Venture Partners as Funds Dry Up

Helion Venture Partners continues to be plagued by management-level exits with another top executive resigning while the firm's fourth fund remains stalled, according to two people aware of the developments.

Chief financial officer R Natarajan, who was overseeing Helion's Bengaluru operations, has put in his papers amid delays by the investment firm in raising capital for a new fund, as quoted by ET.

Helion is now expected to shutter its Bangalore operations and continue managing its existing investments from its Gurgaon office, they said. Natarajan will be succeeded by Sanjay Chaturvedi, previously CFO at Cello Writing and earlier at Moody's group company Amba Research, in Gurgaon.

Apart from top-level exits, Helion, has been facing trouble with fund raising.

It halted seeking capital for its proposed $300-million fourth fund following the resignations of three seniors executives in December, the sources said.

Grocery Delivery Startup GrocShop Folds Up as Pain Spreads

Mumbai-based online grocery delivery firm GrocShop has shut down, joining the growing list of startups that failed to find a profitable growth model in a segment which until recently was attracting investors in droves but is now feeling the pinch of a slowdown in funding.

GrocShop co-founder Ayush Garg told Techcircle that the startup, operated by GrocTech Solutions Pvt Ltd, was late in entering the grocery delivery business and that its competitors grew faster. “We were also not an expert in the operational business and, therefore, outsourced it. We also failed to raise a follow-on round of funding,” said Garg.

The startup was founded in November 2014 by IIT-Bombay alumni Rahul Kumar and Garg. It launched its operations in March 2015 and raised seed funding from IIT-Bombay alumni network. It offered its services in Mumbai, Bangalore and Pune.

GrocShop shut operations in Pune and Bangalore by December before closing down the company early this year, as reported by TechCircle.

The Company has seen multiple casualties over the past few months. Startups have found the going tough in the segment that has high logistics and customer acquisitions costs and wafer-thin margins. A slowdown in funding has made matters worse.

Content Portal Campus Diaries Raises Funding From Aarin Capital, Others

Campus Diaries Media and Communications Pvt. Ltd, which operates a content discovery portal targeted at school and college students, has raised Rs 1.5 crore ($220,000) from Aarin Capital and others in its second round of angel investment.

Ravi Mantha of Sagelock Investments and 3one4 Capital Partners, the family office of former Infosys finance chief and Aarin co-founder TV Mohandas Pai, also participated in this round.

“The new capital will be used to develop the technology platform and make it a collaborative portal that helps the student throughout his life cycle, from admissions to jobs,” Sumit Saurav, a co-founder of the company, told Techcircle.The transaction was closed in March, according to VCCEdge, the data research platform of VCCircle.

Campus Diaries was founded in 2012 by Saurav, Sonic Prabhudesai and Raj Chourasia. It raised its first round of funding from Rajeev Ahuja of Aegis and other investors in 2013.

JCPenney to Set Up Tech Centre in Bengaluru

JCPenney is the newest entrant to Bengaluru's technology landscape, joining other global retailers like Target, Tesco, Victoria's Secret and Lowe's.

The $12.6-billion US retailer is opening a technology centre here that will have 1,000 employees when fully operational in about two years. It expects to hire 450 people by the end of this year. The centre will have engineers to manage its internal IT systems, as also to develop digital, e-commerce and analytics solutions as reported by ET.

"We are looking at India predominantly as a talent play, and not for doing incremental stuff. We are going to replatform, redesign and do cutting-edge work... there will be global roles for people here," Michael Amend, executive vice president of omnichannel in JCPenney, told TOI in an exclusive interaction.

SoftBank May Face SEC Inquiry Over Nikesh Arora's Alleged Conflicts

SoftBank Group Corp is being examined by United States' The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over allegations about former president & COO Nikesh Arora's activities before his exit last week, reports Bloomberg citing sources.

It says SEC is looking into whether Arora has conflicts of interest or engaged in questionable manner as well as SoftBank's investor disclosures.

It notes that this is just a preliminary step and neither SoftBank or Arora has been accused of any wrongdoing.

Nikesh Arora, who was tipped to be the successor of SoftBank founder and CEO Masayoshi Son, had resigned abruptly last week.

Arora said he had quit the company since Son had decided to remain CEO at least for the next 5-10 years as quoted by ET.

"The difference of expected timelines between the two leads to Arora's resignation from the position of representative director and director of SBG with the expiration of the term of office and his next steps." SoftBank had said at the time of Arora's exit.

One Touch Response Partners With to Launch New Safety Plans

India’s first technology-led on-demand safety and immediate assistance service company today announced a partnership with, India’s largest insurance web aggregator to introduce a new Safety Plan for customers, with FREE of cost insurance.

The economically priced Family Safety Plan is priced at just Rs. 2,999/- and includes a 12 month subscription of OTR’s 24X7 on-demand safety & assistance service, along with a personal accident insurance worth Rs. 100,000. In addition to this,the user can avail benefit of emergency services such as tow truck and ambulance worth Rs. 1500 FREE. The Family Safety Plan provides coverage to upto 4 members of a Family who can avail OTR’s on demand 24 X 7 Safety and Assistance services. This plan is available across Delhi NCR.

For a family of four, the annual subscription for the Family Safety Plan works out to just Rs. 2/- per day cheaper than a cup of tea or even the daily newspaper.

Delhi has repeatedly been cited as the most un-safe city for women. Further, when faced with an emergency, which could be a medical one or a breakdown on the road, users do not have a single number to call during their time of distress and can find themselves stressed and therefore able to effectively coordinate between response agencies such as fire services, police and medical services, depending on their emergency. This can result in critical time being lost that can further exaggerate the situation. While several mobile applications exist to deal with individual emergency challenges, they are limited in their applicability as they are not supported by quick action and immediate on-ground response, which differentiates OTR as the only and most comprehensive solution.

OTR’s safety and immediate assistance services is accessed via a touch of the button through its app (available on iOS, Microsoft and Windows) or on the phone.

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