Real Estate Transaction Player Square Yards Raises $10M
Online-to-offline (O2O) real estate transaction player Square Yards has raised $10 million in a part debt-part equity round from a clutch of high net worth individuals, including global beauty brand L’Occitane CEO Andre Hoffman and the family office of Kanpur-based Lohia Group. Over 70% of the financing is debt based in the form of convertible notes issued for a fixed term at a predetermined coupon rate. Investors will have the option to convert their debt portion into equity (at a discount) when the company raises its next round of funding. Square Yards sources mandates from Indian and international developers and sells properties through direct sales, channel partners and ecommerce. The three year-old company is looking to accelerate its expansion into newer international geographies as well as build a working capital war chest as it charts an aggressive growth strategy for 2017.
East Ventures Launches Fifth Fund for Southeast Asian Startups – Corpus of $27.5 Mn
East Ventures, a Singapore-based VC firm has reportedly launched its fifth fund with a corpus of $27.5 Mn. The new fund aims to invest in startups in Southeast Asia. The capital has been raised from undisclosed prominent families and entrepreneurs. The firm will invest in more than 20 startups in a year in the region. East Ventures has around 80 companies in its Southeast Asian portfolio and has reportedly claimed to have increased its assets under management by tenfold. Launched in 2010, East Ventures has, to date, made 122 investments in 97 companies. It majorly invests in sectors such as ecommerce, software, marketplaces, games, apps, etc.
Ixigo Buys Music Discovery App Reach
Travel search engine ixigo has acqui-hired mobile content sharing app Reach, the firm said in statement. The financial terms of the deal are not disclosed. As a part of the deal, the Reach team will join ixigo to enhance its existing products and also help with consumable content for the travel space. Reach app allowed users to discover music, apps and free games from their friends’ network. It enabled users to send requests and get permission to access friends’ mobile collection to listen to music selected by them for free and install the apps they use.
Bhavin Turakhia Led Zeta Launches First Paperless LTA Claims Platform in India
Mumbai-based Zeta, a fintech startup offering smart employee benefits for tax saving under its Optima brand, has launched the first, fully digital Leave Travel Allowance (LTA) solution. The new Optima LTA Card will help organisations manage employees’ leave travel allowance claims/ reimbursements digitally and enable employees to submit claims instantly. The LTA card is compliant with all legal mandates set by the Income Tax Department. Zeta team at the back-end will track the shortest distance between two destinations using a government-approved database and thereby enable accurate assessment.
8 Startups Graduated out of the Inaugural Cisco LaunchPad Program
Cisco LaunchPad is the American multinational networking company’s initiative to accelerate startups. Over the four-month program at Cisco’s Bengaluru campus, eight startups– AlgoEngines, VuNet, Teslon, Torchfi, Navstik Labs, HaltDos, Astrome and IQLECT– worked on building solutions to requirements identified by Cisco’s internal IT organisation. The startups were given access to Cisco’s technologies and labs, mentors and an equity-free grant. The eight startups also received go-to-market guidance from both Cisco’s India and Asia Pacific & Japan sales team, with the intent to expand access to Africa and the Middle East regions in the future. Cisco also announced the opening of the application process for the second cohort which would begin in April 2017.
Flipkart Shuffles Again; 3 Top Executives Resign
Amidst the ongoing leadership changes in Flipkart, three of the top level executives have reportedly resigned from the company. The announcement came in just a day after Flipkart’s co-founder and ex-CEO Binny Bansal was replaced by Kalyan Krishnamurthy. The trio includes Saikiran Krishnamurthy, Head of etailer supply chain unit Ekart; Samardeep Subandh, Chief Marketing Officer; and Senior Vice President Surojit Chatterjee, who headed product. All three of them were hired by then Flipkart’s commerce platform head and Myntra founder Mukesh Bansal in 2015. Also, the latest changes are said to be driven by Kalyan to consolidate his control over Flipkart.