Chai Point raises $20 million in Series C funding

Bangalore-based Mountain Trail Foods Pvt. Ltd, operator of the Chai Point network of tea stores, has raised $20 million (Rs 131.5 crore) in a Series C round of funding led by private equity firm Paragon Partners. The total funding raised by the company is now $34 million. Following the investment, Siddharth Parekh, Senior Partner, Paragon Partners will join the tea retailer board, mentions a company press statement. Founded in 2010 by Amuleek Singh Bijral and Professor Tarun Khanna of Harvard Business School, Chai Point is an online beverage platform that focuses on delivering tea to customers. Presently, the platform has 100 stores in eight cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Pune. Amuleek Singh Bijral, Co-founder and CEO of Chai Point, said a substantial portion of the investment proceeds will go towards deepening the company’s sales, marketing and service operations for the automated hot beverage dispensing business boxC.in. Paragon Partners is a private equity firm focusing on the lower mid-market segment in India with $120 million corpus. So far, Chai Point had raked in about $34 million risk capital from the aforementioned investors.…
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Fashion Portal Myntra Buys Bengaluru-Based Wearable Tech Startup

India’s leading online fashion platform Myntra has acquired Bengaluru based Witworks. Witworks is a technology start-up making smart wearable devices and their underlying software. Post-acquisition Myntra has inducted the startup’s team into its Innovation Labs; further strengthening the company’s robust technology team and augmenting its product development capabilities. Jeyandran Venugopal, Chief Technology Officer, Myntra, said, “Wearables is currently a $46 mn (INR 300 Cr) industry in India and is growing rapidly, with online contributing 60% to the total business. This acquisition will help us to solidify our position in this segment and enable us to develop and launch cutting-edge wearable products like smart shoes, connected smart watches and interactive or intelligent clothing with biosensors.” Through the acquisition, Myntra seeks to develop wearable products for their in-house brands and also leverage the technology to drive innovation and improve consumer engagement in the future. Presently, Myntra has 14 in-house/private labels across men and women’s fashion, along with an offline retail store for their private label Roadster in Bengaluru. More stores from the respective label along with other private labels can be expected from Myntra in the near future.…
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JSW Steel acquires US-based Acero Junction

JSW Steel has acquired Acero Junction Inc, an Ohio-based steel mill, for $81 million (about Rs 526 crore). With an annual production capacity of three million tonnes (mt), Acero has an electric arc furnace, ladle metallurgy furnace and continuous slab casting machine. The deal was finalised on March 28, 2018; thereby giving JSW Steel an opportunity to get a manufacturing presence in the US and gain deeper access into the North American market. JSW Steel produces hot rolled coils, a product that is typically used in consumer durables such as refrigerators, washing machines, and automobiles. It operates a 3 million tonne hot strip mill and other steel making facilities at Delaware in the US. As per reports, the transaction for Acero is likely to close in 60 days’ time, subject to fulfilment of certain conditions precedent.…
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Marico to acquire up to 22.5% in Revolutionary Fitness

On April 17, Consumer packaged goods firm Marico Ltd. said it will acquire up to a 22.5% stake in Revofit, a fitness and wellness solutions app. The company that makes Parachute and Saffola brands said the move is towards strengthening its healthy lifestyle offerings, by leveraging Revolutionary Fitness’s integrated fitness and holistic wellness solutions app, Revofit. The deal amount has not been revealed by the company, but has indicated that it is a very small investment. Going forward, the brand will continue to develop a wider bouquet of healthy foods. “I am delighted with the partnership with Revofit, a next generation digital wellness platform. This complements Marico’s aspiration to participate in the nutraceuticals and wellness space. This win-win alliance offers a wider choice to consumers looking to incorporate wellness, fitness and nutrition into their daily lifestyle,” said Saugata Gupta, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Marico. This is Marico’s second investment in a digital company.…
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HCL Tech, Sumeru Equity to buy Actian for $330 million

HCL Technologies and Sumeru Equity Partners (SEP), a private equity firm, are to jointly acquire Actian Corporation for $330 million in an all-cash deal. While HCL will own 80 percent of Actian, a hybrid data management and analytics provider, technology-focused SEP will own the remaining 20 percent. Palo Alto-based Actian—a leader in hybrid data management, cloud integration, and analytics solutions—powers insight-driven enterprises around the globe to help them solve the toughest data challenges. It owns market-leading products such as Actian Vector, the world’s fastest columnar database; ActianDataConnect, a hybrid cloud data integration platform; and Actian X, a hybrid database for next generation operational analytics. “Recent customer wins by Actian validate the potential of its offerings to help customers extract maximum business value out of data. I am delighted to welcome Actian’s employees, partners, and customers to the HCL Technologies ecosystem,” stated C Vijayakumar, President and CEO, HCL Technologies. Prior to this deal, Garnett Helfrich Capital was the majority owner of Actian. “After working over the last decade to scale up Actian into one of the leading hybrid data management platforms, we are pleased that the company is being acquired by HCL and SEP to take it to the next level of growth and continue to service and expand our worldwide customer base,” Terence J.…
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Reliance Industries to acquire majority stake in AI-based Education startup Embibe

Reliance Industries Limited has agreed to buy majority stake of 72.69% in the Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based education platform Indiavidual Learning Pvt Ltd (“Embibe”) from existing investors. The energy-to-telecom conglomerate said in a stock-exchange filing it will invest $180 million (Rs 1,175 crore) in Embibe over three years. The amount includes the sum to be paid for acquiring the majority stake from existing investors, RIL said, without elaborating. Email queries to Embibe and its venture capital backers Kalaari Capital and Lightbox Ventures, on exit amount and valuation, didn’t get a response till the time of publishing this report. Embibe, operated by Indiavidual Learning Pvt. Ltd, was set up in 2012 by Aditi Avasthi. An MBA from Chicago Booth School of Business, Avasthi has had stints at Bain & Company and Barclays. Embibe will use the capital over the next three years towards deepening its research and development on artificial intelligence in education, as well as business growth and geographic expansion, RIL said. Avasthi, who is also the startup’s chief executive, will continue in her role and drive the growth of the business, RIL added. “With artificial intelligence focused on content intelligence and automation as well as behavioural recommendations and student intelligence, our products have redefined the way ed-tech can impact the lives of students and teachers,” Avasthi said.…
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HCL Tech & PE firm Sumeru tie up to acquire US-based Actian

HCL Technologies Ltd and Sumeru Equity Partners, a technology and growth-focused private equity firm, have agreed to jointly acquire US-based Actian Corporation for $330 million (Rs 2,145 crore) in cash. HCL will own 80 per cent while SEP will own the rest 20 per cent stake of the JV entity which, in turn, will own 100 per cent shareholding of Actian, said a HCL Technologies statement. Based in Palo Alto, Actian is a leading provider of hybrid data management, cloud integration, and analytics solutions and offers products such Actian Vector, the world’s fastest columnar database; Actian DataConnect, a hybrid cloud data integration platform; and Actian X, hybrid database for next generation operational analytics. C Vijayakumar, President and CEO, HCL Technologies, said Actian will play a crucial role in upgrading HCL’s offerings in emerging technologies such as data management products and platforms. “Recent customer wins by Actian validate the potential of its offerings to help customers extract maximum business value out of data. I am delighted to welcome Actian’s employees, partners, and customers to the HCL Technologies ecosystem.” Before this deal, Garnett Helfrich Capital was the majority owner of Actian. “After working over the last decade to scale up Actian into one of the leading hybrid data management platforms, we are pleased that the company is being acquired by HCL and SEP to take it to the next level of growth and continue to service and expand our worldwide customer base,” said Terence J Garnett, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Garnett Helfrich Capital.…
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C3i Solutions acquired by HCL Technologies for $60 million

IT firm HCL Technologies has agreed to acquire life sciences and consumer services provider C3i Solutions from US-based drug maker Merck & Co. for $60 million (Rs 390 crore) in cash, the company said in a stock-exchange disclosure. HCL Technologies will acquire 100% stake in C3i Solutions. “With this acquisition, HCL will complement its broad-based IT and business services capability with the additional depth that C3i has in the life sciences and CPG verticals,” HCL Technologies said in a statement. C3i’s expertise in the clinical, pharmacovigilance, and pharma sales support domains and the strong partnership will enable HCL’s life sciences customers to become more patient-centric and offer services to IT and business stakeholders, it added. “C3i’s capabilities provide HCL with an innovative and complementary services portfolio and a vast customer base to further strengthen HCL’s position as a leading technology solutions provider to the life sciences and consumer industries,” HCL Technologies President and CEO C. Vijayakumar said. C3i Solutions is the business name of Telerx Marketing, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Merck & Co. C3i has a workforce of over 3,700 employees across 11 facilities in India, the US, Bulgaria, China, the UK, and Japan.…
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Ola acquires transport-ticketing app Ridlr

Ola, the cab-hailing major, has acquired Ridlr, a public-transport ticketing app, for an undisclosed sum, amid growing rivalry with foreign peer Uber to get a bigger share of the Indian market. Ridlr enables users to search and book public transport options on their mobile phones. The platform’s proprietary Internet of Things (IoT) devices are claimed to bring digital capabilities to public transportation in India. Combining Ridlr’s innovations in mass transit with Ola’s mobility products will enable true multi-modal mobility solutions for users at scale, Ola added. With this acquisition, Ola will bring new technology and mobility options as it works to expand into and partner with cities in India and abroad, the company said. “Public transportation serves millions of Indians every day, and powering these needs with real-time information, mobile ticketing, cashless payments, and reliable services is bound to impact their end experience. The challenge really is to make the entire ecosystem inclusive and robust for all,” said Bhavish Aggarwal, Co-Founder and CEO of Ola. “Ridlr, in a short span has made huge strides in this space, and this latest acquisition lends muscle to our efforts in making transportation a far more holistic service. I am delighted to welcome the Ridlr team on board and join our mission of building mobility for a billion people,” he added.…
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JSW Steel Buys 26% In Numetal’s India Arm To Facilitate Essar Steel Bid

JSW Steel Ltd. has acquired a 26 percent stake in the India arm of Numetal Mauritius to enable its joint bid for Essar Steel Ltd., currently in the midst of an insolvency resolution. JSW’s entry into the Numetal consortium has the potential to involve matters for the world’s largest alloy maker ArcelorMittal, rumoured to be a serious contender to acquire Essar Steel. Domestic steel giants have always been wary of steel tycoon L N Mittal-spearheaded ArcelorMittal’s Indian ambitions. With JSW Steel joining Russia’s VTB Bank, Sajjan Jindal, Chairman, Managing Director of JSW Group is back in the fray for stressed assets after losing Bhushan Steel and Bhushan Power to Tata Steel. To date, JSW has won the race for Monnet Ispat, for which it was the lone bidder. “JSW Steel in the capacity of an investor joined Numetal in submitting a binding bid for Essar Steel, which is under the corporate insolvency resolution process,” JSW said. The entry of JSW Steel in Numetal’s India SPV is not conditional to promoter issues of the Mauritius-based entity. Numetal Mauritius’ previous bid for Essar Steel was disqualified by lenders as Rewant Ruia, son of Essar Group Co-Founder Ravi Ruia, held minority stake in the company.…
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JSW Steel to acquire U.S-based Acero Junction for $81 million

On March 29, India’s JSW Steel Ltd said it has consented to buy Acero Junction Holdings for $80.85 million, as it looks to expand its operations in the United States. JSW Steel, on March 28, entered into a stock purchase agreement with JSM International Ltd, Acero Junction Holdings Inc. and Acero Junction Inc. for the procurement, the steelmaker said. The transaction is expected to be completed in 60 days and is subject to fulfillment of condition precedents and other terms as per the stock purchase agreement. The acquisition will help JSW Steel institute its presence in Ohio, US, and gain deeper access to the North American steel market, the company said in a stock-exchange filing. JSW Steel, part of the OP Jindal Group, is not new to acquisitions and has bought a number of companies over the years. In recent weeks it has bid for debt-laden peers Bhushan Steel Ltd and Essar Steel Ltd, albeit without success.…
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Cynosure to be acquired by Zensar for $33 mn

On March 21, Zensar said it will acquire Cynosure for about USD 33 million, a move that will help the Indian IT firm strengthen its play in the insurance vertical. Cynosure focuses on providing Guidewire platform implementation services to Property and Casualty (P&C) insurance carriers and clocked revenues of about USD 20 million in 2017. “The addition of Cynosure will help us strengthen our insurance vertical that accounts for about 15 per cent of our business…the total deal size is about USD 33 million along with performance-linked earnout,” Zensar CEO and MD Sandeep Kishore told PTI. The acquisition will be funded by a mix of internal accruals and external debt. As part of the deal, the entire share capital of Cynosure Interface Solutions (Cynosure India) will be acquired for an amount “not exceeding Rs 13 crore”. Zensar Technologies Inc — a wholly owned subsidiary of Zensar — will acquire the entire share capital of Cynosure Inc for “approximately USD 31 million and deferred payments, subject to meeting the performance targets over the 24 months post closing”, Zensar said in a regulatory filing. Cynosure has an offshore development centre in Bengaluru, India. “Cynosure is a Guidewire partner, and is well respected in the market place, making them experts in this area.…
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