Ashneer Grover seeks indemnity; MediBuddy bags $125 million

Sources tell us that BharatPe’s beleaguered co-founder and managing director Ashneer Grover, who is in discussions with the firm, has sought protection from any future action as part of his settlement. He has also filed an arbitration petition in Singapore as he wants to protect his 9.5% stake in the company.

Also in this letter:
MediBuddy raises $125 million and more deals signed
New SEZ Act should factor in hybrid work structure: IT Industry
China asks banks, firms to report ant group links


BharatPe’s Ashneer Grover seeks compensation from future action

BharatPe co-founder Ashneer Grover has sought compensation for any future action taken against him in the ongoing settlement talks with the fintech firm, sources familiar with the matter told us.

The news comes even as Grover has filed an arbitration petition at the Singapore International Arbitration Center (SIAC) seeking to retain his 9.5% stake in BharatPe.

Read also: Ashneer Grover in talks to sell his 9.5% stake in BharatPe

Compromise, then compromise: Those aware of the goings-on said Grover is actively indicating his willingness to settle with the board and the company. It marks a turnaround as both sides have been trying to resolve the issue after a series of public clashes between them for nearly two months.

  • A person with knowledge of the matter said, “Talks were held last week and he (Grover) mentioned that he wants compensation rights…

Bharatpe Audit: Meanwhile, consulting firm Alvarez & Marsal (A&M) has put out preliminary results of the ongoing BharatPe investigation, which leaked earlier this month. On February 4, we reported that as per preliminary investigation findings, BharatPe controller Madhuri Jain, who is Grover’s wife, her brother Shvetank Jain and her brother-in-law Deepak Jagdishram Gupta, allegedly committed fraud in the company.

Bharatpe

Public Disputes: The fight between Grover and Bharatpe has been going on for months. On February 10, Jain wrote to BharatPe’s board alleging that it had accepted his ‘resignation’ even though he had not submitted a tender, as we reported last week.

Earlier, Grover had sought Rs 4,000 crore from the investors and board of BharatPe for a 9.5% stake in the company. However, ET reported on February 10 that they had held talks with outside investors as the existing shareholders did not negotiate with them on their demands.


MediBuddy raises $125 million from Quadria Capital, LightRock India

Satish Kannan

MediBuddy founders (from left) Anbaskar D and Satish Kannan

Healthtech startup MediBuddy has raised $125 million in a funding round from Quadria Capital and LightRock India.

Digital Healthcare Platform will use this fund to strengthen the technology platform including customer awareness, hiring, data science capabilities, clinical research and product development.

Other supporters: The latest funding round saw participation from existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners, India Life Sciences Fund III, Rebright Partners, Jaffco Asia, TeamFund LP, FinSight Ventures, InnoVen Capital, Stride Ventures and Alteria Capital.

Other Complete Deals

asset operation software platform Facility said it has raised $35 million in a funding round led by Dragon Investment Group, with participation from Brookfield Growth and existing investors Accel India and Tiger Global Management.

What is possibly the largest venture capital fund in the defense sector? NewSpace Research & TechnologiesA Bengaluru-based startup that specializes in drone technology has raised $21 million in a round led by the Pavestone Technology Fund. The money was raised at an undisclosed valuation. The startup aims to become a unicorn within the next five years.

fleet management platform Fleetx.io said it has raised $19.4 million in a funding round led by IndiaMart, with existing investors IndiaQuotient and Benext also participating. The startup said the funds will be primarily used for hiring, improving its product and growing its business.

Pillows and Sleep Accessories Manufacturer-to-Consumer (M2C) Brands slipsia has raised $2 million from its parent company Agile Ventures. Slepsia will use the funding to expand its customer base in Tier-II and Tier-III cities.


New SEZ Act should factor in hybrid work structure, says IT industry

SEZ Act

The IT-business process management industry is working with the government to ensure that a hybrid work structure is created in any new legislation that replaces the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) Act.

Seeking Clarity: The $227 billion sector is also seeking clarity on issues such as the impact of work from home on income tax exemption under Section 10AA and expansion of SEZ reserves to include investments on infrastructure and employees.

Officials and experts tell us that some of these clarifications, which could be amendments to existing policies, will go a long way in achieving long-term commitments to the industry.

Budget Announcement: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said during her budget speech that the SEZ Act will be replaced with a new law that will help states become partners in “development of enterprise and service centres”.

Citation: “We are very active in discussions with the government on SEZs. In fact, the clarification on the hybrid act does not depend on the new Act. We are requesting them to bring this clarification at the earliest as companies need it to prepare their long term plan. This will give them the assurance and stability of knowing that the alternative is available,” said Debjani Ghosh, president of IT industry association Nasscom.

Tax issue: NASSCOM is seeking clarification on the tax implications of Section 10AA, a provision under the Income Tax Act that allows deduction for businesses set up in SEZs.


China asks banks, firms to report exposure to Jack Ma’s Ant Group

ant group

Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter, reported that Chinese authorities have asked state-owned firms and banks to launch a fresh investigation into their financial exposure and other links to Ant Group Co Ltd.

The report said several regulators, including the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, had asked institutions by January to closely examine all exposure to the Jack Ma-controlled fintech group, its subsidiaries and even its shareholders. .

Regulatory Crisis: Ant has been subject to extensive restructuring by China after regulators derailed its $37 billion initial public offering in late 2020.

effect: Chinese technology stocks had their worst two-day fall since July, sparking renewed fears Beijing could impose more sanctions for the private enterprise.

Shares of Tencent Holdings Ltd. sank 5.2% on Monday, sparked by speculation about an unspecified, imminent crackdown on China’s biggest social media and gaming firm that company spokesman Zhang Jun later denied. Traders pointed to warnings from regulators over the weekend about scams in the metaverse to talks about more sanctions on the gaming industry.

SoftBank may cut Alibaba stake Meanwhile, SoftBank Group Corp is likely to reduce its stake in Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba, an analyst said, as the Japanese conglomerate invests in unlisted startups and repurchases its shares through its second Vision Fund. . SoftBank sold 20 million shares of Alibaba last quarter and “will need to sell more in 2022,” Jefferies analyst Atul Goyal wrote in a note.

Goyal estimates that the group will need $40 billion-45 billion in cash this year if it keeps up with the current pace of investment in startups and as part of a 1 trillion yen ($8.7 billion) program announced in November. Shares to buy back.


Swiggy eyeing $800 million IPO early next year: Report

Swiggy

Swiggy, backed by SoftBank Group, has begun preparations to raise at least $800 million in an initial public offering (IPO) early next year, Nikkei reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Logistics Firm: According to the report, Swiggy has started adding independent directors to the board, and plans to position itself as a logistics company and not just a food delivery firm.

Swiggy doubled its valuation to $10.7 billion on January 24 after raising $700 million in a round led by asset manager Invesco, which we confirmed last September.

Pandemic boost: India has seen a spurt in demand for food and grocery delivery especially during the pandemic. Swiggy’s grocery delivery service Instamart is now competing with the likes of Zomato-backed Blinkit and Zepto, which are wooing customers with the promise of 10-minute delivery.

Reality check for rivals, peers: Swiggy’s rival Zomato had a great start in the public markets last year but shares have seen a fall below the issue price after reporting weak numbers in the third quarter.

Shares of other new-age companies such as Paytm, Policybazaar, Nykaa and Cartrade, which listed to much fanfare last year, are hitting new highs every few days amid a global fall in tech stocks and the threat of war in Ukraine.

Today’s ETtech Top 5 newsletter was produced by Arun Padmanabhan in New Delhi and Zaheer Merchant in Mumbai. Graphics and illustrations by Rahul Awasthi.

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