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SoftBank may invest $200 Mn in Nykaa at over $700 Mn valuation

Udit Agarwal

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SoftBank may invest $200 Mn in Nykaa at over $700 Mn valuation

Mumbai-based online fashion startup Nykaa is in early talks with Japan’s Softbank to raise around ₹1,110-1,480 crores ($150-200 million), according to people aware of the development.

If the funding comes through, it will mark the startup’s first foreign investment, having only raised capital from Indian funds and investors, so far. It will also take the startup’s valuation to around ₹5,190-5,930 crores ($700-800 million).

Nykaa was founded by former investment banker Falguni Nayar in 2012. It provides a multi-brand online platform offering a wide range of fashion and beauty products, across categories like hair, skin, personal care, wellness, and fragrance.

The startup claims to have more than one lakh products, across over 850 brands on its platform. It has also expanded its offline presence through 20 brick and mortar stores and the number of stores is expected to touch 50, in the next two years. The beauty startup is also counting on its private label products across categories like nail paints, fragrance, shower gels, and make-up, to grow its business.

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Nykaa last raised ₹113 crores from Lighthouse Advisor’s India Fund III, in a secondary deal, in September 2018. Earlier in May 2018, Nykaa had raised ₹170 crores in a series D funding round from Sunil Munjal, Harsh Mariwala, and Dalip Pathak, according to CrunchBase.

Nykaa has claimed in a report that they have crossed the revenue mark of ₹560 crores for the FY17-18, along with maintaining positive EBITDA for two consecutive quarters. It is expecting a 100% revenue growth in the fiscal years of 2018.

Other players in the beauty e-commerce segment competing with Nykaa include Purplle, NewU, Avon, and The Body Shop, Iba Halal Care, among others. Last month, cosmetics brand Iba Halal Care raised ₹21 crores in series A funding round from Addvantis. According to a report by RedSeer, a research firm, Indian cosmetics industry categorized into skin care, hair care, oral care, fragrance, and color cosmetics segment, is pegged at $6.5 billion and is expected to touch $20 billion by 2020, growing at a CAGR of 25%.

Must Read: OYO signs MoU with Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board

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Sachin Bansal may back Ola with $100 million investment

Udit Agarwal

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Sachin Bansal may back Ola with $100 million investment

Flipkart Co-Founder and former CEO Sachin Bansal may invest up to ₹740 crores ($100 million), in the Indian cab-hailing giant Ola, as reported by Economic Times. If the investment comes through, it would be the largest personal investment in the Indian internet space.

The deal has not yet been confirmed either by Ola or Sachin Bansal.

Walmart‘s acquisition of the Indian e-commerce behemoth Flipkart, in a massive $16 billion deal, reportedly, helped Bansal accrue around $1 billion, after selling his entire stake of 5.5%. The investment will be worth 10% of his total earning earnings from the Walmart-Flipkart deal.

Sachin Bansal has been an active investor in the Indian startup ecosystem, backing a number of startups, a majority of his investments were early-stage, ranging from $1-2 million.

Must Read: SoftBank may invest $200 Mn in Nykaa at over $700 Mn valuation

If the reports are to be believed, the Bansal’s investment in Ola is expected to be largely through subscription of new shares of Ola, with a small component coming through a secondary sale by existing investors.

With the investment, Bansal is expected to enter as a small but significant shareholder in Ola. Sachin Bansal and Ola’s founder Bhavish Aggarwal have a good relationship since the two came together to raise concerns over how domestics startups did not have a level playing field with their deep-pocketed global rivals like Amazon and Uber.

Later, the two banded with other local startups and entrepreneurs to launch an industry group called Indian tech. With the entry of Bansal as an investor in Ola, will further strengthen Aggarwal’s position and control in the cab-hailing startup, with the foreign investors holding the majority take in Ola.

Earlier in August, Sachin Bansal had come in support of differential voting rights for Indian entrepreneurs, to help them gain more say and decision making freedom. It was also reported that Bansal was in talks to launch a $1 billion venture capital, fund to invest in Indian startups.

Read More: Top Helion Venture Partners Portfolio funding Companies

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MakeMyTrip Rolls Out In-Destination Activity Suggestions

Udit Agarwal

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MakeMyTrip Rolls Out In-Destination Activity Suggestions

India’s leading travel company MakeMyTrip has launched a range of standalone and curated experiential offering for travelers, marking its foray into experiences domain. The travel company has done a soft launch of Experiences on its Android app, which will be followed launch on its iOS app later.

During the initial phase, MakeMyTrip has launched rolled out the service in 10 Indian metro and cities including, Jaipur, Pune, Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Goa, among others. These experiences include a range of activities from leisure to adventure offering amusement park visits, daycation at resorts, museum visits, luxury spas, adventure sports, among others.

While these services are offered as standalone and can be booked separately, the Gurugram-based OTA will also be including them in their travel packages.

With the new vertical MakeMyTrip is looking to target the customers who are looking to explore experiential offering rather than the travel, as it tries to enhance customer engagement and stickiness of its app.

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Rajesh Magow, Co-Founder, MakeMyTrip, said, “We have leveraged insights from millions of consumers about what they like at various destinations and what they value as good experience. We expect these high-frequency use cases to drive even higher engagement.”

Earlier in August 2018, it was reported that MakeMyTrip had infused around ₹69 crores in its Indian subsidiary. MakeMyTrip has been expanding its outreach in the Indian travel domain, looking to create a one-stop solution for all travel needs of its customers.

In July 2018, MakeMyTrip had invested an undisclosed amount of funds in SaaS-based travel solutions provider Bitla Software. It is to be noted that the online travel agency is following the footsteps of community-driven global hospitality company Airbnb, that launched Experience service in March last year and another Indian OTA Cleartrip, that launched the service earlier this year in May.

Indian tourism industry has a huge growth potential, even though there is a fierce competition in the domain with the growing number of startups looking to leverage the opportunity.

 Read More: OYO signs MoU with Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board

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OYO partners with payments platform PhonePe

Udit Agarwal

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OYO partners with payments platform PhonePe

Global hotel chain OYO has partnered with the digital payments platform PhonePe, enabling OYO users to seamlessly book a room through the PhonePe app. The tie-up will enable OYO to access more than 100 million PhonePe users.

As a part of the tie-up, the users will be able to book more than 125,000 exclusive rooms, currently part of OYO’s chain of hotels across India through the PhonePe app.

PhonePe users will have access to a wide range of OYO offerings like OYO Rooms, OYO Townhouse, OYO Home, SilverKey, Capital O and Palette Resorts, OYO caters to the accommodation needs of a variety of travelers.

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Commenting on the partnership, Rituraj Rautela, Head In-App Platform, PhonePe said, “OYO is one of the fastest growing unicorns in India that has transformed hotel and room bookings for Indian travelers. We are excited to have them as one of our early partners to build an open payments ecosystem, connecting our partners and PhonePe users. The tie-up would enable all our users to access OYO’s quality offerings across 160 cities in India while maintaining the convenience and security of their payments through PhonePe.’’

PhonePe users will be able to book any OYO hotel in India by paying a token amount of ₹99 upfront and paying the remaining amount later at the hotel. This will not only provide an enhanced customer experience to both the OYO and PhonePe users but also reach each other huge customer base, thereby customers.

The digital payments platform will also offer a more flexible and agile environment to OYO, to experiment with its offerings on the go, while ensuring a safe and secure payment channel for the users.

Read More: OYO signs MoU with Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board

PhonePe already has a number of partners on its platform including redBus, Goibibo, Ola, Delhi Metro, and Mumbai Metro. These partnerships have helped the payments platform to offer better services and a hassle-free payment experience to its users.

It is looking to further partner with players across categories like Travel, Commute, Food, Hyperlocal, Retail, Entertainment on its platform as a part of its micro-app strategy.

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