Deals RoundUp - Purplle, KPTL, Amin Group, Jyoti Structures, SIDBI, Paytm, Voonik, Kyron, Freshdesk, TA Associates, Resonance Eduventures, Trak N Tell and Snapdeal

Snapdeal, an indian online marketplace today announced an update to its policies for the sellers on its platform. The changes have been incorporated basis feedback received from sellers and will be effective from 14 July 2016.

Purplle To Close $6 M Series B Round

Purplle, an IvyCap Ventures-backed online marketplace for beauty products and spa and salon services, is closing a Series-B round of around $6 million with participation from JSW Ventures, existing investors and another investor who's likely to join in.

The company will use some part of the capital to set up a warehouse in Bengaluru to serve the Southern market which makes up 15 per cent of its annual GMV of Rs 150 crore as quoted by ET.

"We will continue to be a marketplace as it is very difficult to predict which SKUs do well in the beauty segment. Our focus will be on enabling sellers who stock up to 15 days inventory with us in our warehouses for insight on price elasticity and sales," says Manish Taneja, cofounder of

He further adds that the platform will grow its beauty services business in the spa and salon category which is currently available in 12 cities.

KPTL, Amin May Acquire Jyoti Structures

Kalpataru Power Transmission (KPTL) and The Amin Group is set to acquire Jyoti Structures after the lenders took control of the power transmission contractor after a strategic debt restructuring, as per a report by Economic Times.

According to the sources, Amin will invest Rs 500 crore ($75 million) as equity for a majority stake. Subsequently, promoter’s stake in the company is expected to halve from the current 23.5 per cent.

While bankers said the proposals were still in the early stages, these were discussed at the joint lenders’ forum (JLF) meeting held last Thursday. “These companies which have shown interest are already in the power transmission space, and as such, an acquisition could help revive Jyoti Structures,” a banker present at the meeting said. Lenders to loss-making Jyoti Structures had decided to convert some part of their loans into shares at a value of R26.9 apiece as part of a strategic debt restructuring (SDR) scheme.

SIDBI To Review 10 Proposals Worth $100M For Govt’s Fund of Funds

The Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) is set to review ten proposals from alternative investment funds seeking a commitment of Rs 675 crore ($100 million) from the Fund of Funds for Startups a part of the government’s Startup India initiative as quoted by DealStreetAsia.

“We are taking 10 proposals, seeking commitment from Sidbi for Rs 675 crore with a total corpus of approximately Rs 4,200 crore, for in-principle clearance from the Venture Capital Investment Committee. The process will be held on July 12 in Mumbai,” said SIDBI Chairman Kshatrapati Shivaji.

SIDBI has already committed a total Rs 168 crore so far to six alternative investment funds from the Rs 500 crore provided for the Fund of Funds in 2015-16.

Paytm Launches Small Loans For Merchants

Payments services and e-commerce firm Paytm on Monday said it has started offering collateral-free working capital loans for merchants on its platform as quoted by DealStreetAsia.

Paytm has received investments from Alibaba Group, SAIF Partners and Sapphire Venture. The company was launched in 2014 and as of April, Paytm wallet claimed to have over 120 million users, with over 90 million transactions every month.

One97 Communication Ltd, which operates the Paytm platform, has partnered with financial institutions such as Capital Float, which will offer loans to merchants such has kirana stores, auto and taxi drivers and milk cooperatives based on their payments history, said the firm in a statement.

A range of other lending institutions, including Aditya Birla Finance and Capital First, have indicated interest in joining as partners, it added. These small loans would be in the range of Rs10,000 to Rs1 lakh, which can be increased later based on the eligibility criteria and the working capital needs of merchants, Paytm said.

“Financial inclusion is our main agenda. Availability of unsecured loans at low interest rates has been a challenge for small merchants till now, forcing them to borrow through high-cost methods like chit funds. By accepting payments through Paytm consistently, merchants can now get a digital footprint at zero cost, courtesy which they will get access to low-interest loans,” said Kiran Vasireddy, senior vice-president at Paytm.

Voonik Scouting For Acquisitions

Voonik Technologies Pvt Ltd, which owns and operates eCommerce platform, Voonik, is scouting for more acquisitions in the fashion domain and usually completes a deal within two weeks. The company will make the acquisition from a $20-million Series B fundraise led by existing investor Sequoia Capital in June 2016. While the round saw participation from repeat investor Seedfund, it also attracted new backers including Japanese eCommerce operator Beenos, Singapore-based venture capital fund Beenext, Tancom Investments and Times Internet.

The firm is looking at the acquisition route to add new features or products, as per DealStreetAsia report. Recently, it launched two other fashion platforms, Mr Voonik, an exclusive app for men’s fashion and Vilara, a marketplace for designers and boutiques.

Global Accelerator Kyron Is Close To Raising $3M Maiden Fund

Global startup accelerator Kyron is planning to raise about $3 million for its maiden fund by the next quarter from limited partners to invest in startups between seed and Series A rounds.

Kyron is run by ANSR Consulting which had raised $9 million in a round led by Accel Partners last year. Infosys Innovation Fund has also invested in the company as quoted by DealStreetAsia.

Bangalore-based Kyron, launched in 2012 as a global accelerator, has incubated over a dozen companies. Last year, it started a new program through which it has identified the business needs of Fortune 500 companies and linked them with innovative solutions offered by startups — effectively acting as a matchmaker. The startups work with the MNC for six months.

“We are raising the fund to invest in such startups and validate our thesis,” Raju said. “We are in a unique position because through our due diligence of startups in our portfolio, we know how the founders think and operate. And we would come in at a sweet spot between angel funding and Series A,” said Venkat Raju, Managing Director, Kyron.

Tiger Global-Backed Freshdesk Sees Interest From Global Investors

Tiger Global-backed Freshdesk Inc. has been approached by several investors to buy a stake in the firm, as quoted by DealStreetAsia.

Freshdesk, the cloud-based customer support platform that is also backed by Google Capital and Accel Partners, has got an offer from a US-based strategic investor for purchasing a stake at a valuation of more than $500 million, said one of the three people without naming the investor as the talks are private.

“They could raise up to $100 million and beyond at a very high valuation,” said the concerned people. “Some of the large investors that have held talks with the company include the likes of Singapore government’s investment arm Temasek,” said the concerned people, requesting anonymity.

“A lot of US-based investors who have invested in technology in India have approached us, so have late-stage investors from Europe, though we are not in active fundraising mode right now,” said Mathrubootham, adding that the company is open to bringing in a new investor if a good offer comes its way.

TA Associates in Talks to Acquire Stake in Test-prep Firm Resonance

Private equity firm TA Associates Management Lp is in talks to buy a minority stake in Kota-based Resonance Eduventures Ltd, a company that prepares students for admission to engineering and medical colleges, said two people with direct knowledge of the development. US-based TA Associates plans to buy about 27% in Resonance for Rs.400 crore, said one of the two people cited above, asking not to be identified as the talks are private, as reported by DealSreatAsia.

CLSA Capital Partners and India Buildout Fund Investment Management Pvt. Ltd are seeking to sell their combined 27% stake in Resonance to TA Associates after plans for an initial public offering (IPO) were deferred, said the second person. Resonance has hired investment bank o3 Capital to find buyers for the investors.

WhatsApp Co-Founder Brian Acton Invests In Trak N Tell

Gurgaon-based car tracking telematics solutions startup, Trak N Tell, has raised an undisclosed sum of funding from a group of investors, led by WhatsApp cofounder Brian Acton.

While the terms of the Series-A round were not disclosed, Acton, along with two other investors, whose names have also not been revealed, are believed to have pumped in about $3.5 million (Rs 23.3 crore) in the nine-year-old venture, making this the latest transaction in the country's startup ecosystem involving a high profile Silicon Valley-based tech entrepreneur.

"We are very pleased to have Brian on board, and he's been of tremendous help in terms of strategizing, and planning for the company's next stage of growth," Pranshu Gupta, chief executive of Trak N Tell told ET.

Founded in 2007, Trak N Tell provides sophisticated vehicle telematics solutions, which claims to allow for predictive engine failure, preventive maintenance notification and fuel monitoring system, among others.

Snapdeal Refreshes Seller Policies, Makes it Simpler to Sell Online

Snapdeal, an indian online marketplace today announced an update to its policies for the sellers on its platform. The changes have been incorporated basis feedback received from sellers and will be effective from 14 July 2016.

Reduction in marketing fees: As part of the policy update, Snapdeal has reduced the marketing fees for 120+ sub categories, including for digital products, electronics, women’s fashion, FMCG products, sports and fitness goods, fashion jewelry, kitchen appliances, automotive accessories etc. Post this change, Snapdeal will have the lowest marketing fee, for ~300 sub-categories out of the total approx. 600 sub-categories, across all leading marketplaces. The marketing fee for nearly 30 sub categories has been increased marginally. While the reduction in fee ranges from 0.2 - 18%, the increase ranges from 0.5 to 5.5%.

From penalties to awareness: Building on the success of its self-serve platform for sellers, Snapdeal has unveiled a simpler framework of do’s and don’ts for its sellers. The self-serve platform helps sellers resolve their queries easily and together with the simplified policies, this is expected to enable the sellers to avoid the imposition of penalties due to ignorance or complexity.

Sharing the cost of returns and exchanges: To share the cost of returns, Snapdeal will bear the cost for reverse pickup and payment collection, while packaging and shipping will be borne by sellers. In case of replacement/exchange also, reverse pick up costs will be borne by Snapdeal.

The policy refresh is a part of Snapdeal’s initiatives to make the seller journey more transparent and frictionless. It closely follows the upgrade of the seller panel, seller app and sellers ad platforms. Detailed policies have been communicated to sellers to help them prepare for the changes.

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