Chakna time 😋
Edtech raises, Cutting travel losses, and Putin playing Western leaders.
Market summary: 📊
India opened the week lower, as investors struggle to read Putin’s mood. US markets were closed for President’s day on Monday.
Nifty 50 - down 0.40%
Sensex - down 0.26%
What’s brewing hot? ☕
😎 Many talents — Donald Trump’s resume now reads “tech entrepreneur”. The Trump Media Group’s new social platform, meant to diss Twitter and allow censorship free discourse, went live on the App Store on Sunday. Surprisingly, the marketing team did a killer job, helping Truth Social jump up to the No.1 spot on Apple’s App Store within hours of launch. Fyi, Trump Media is in the process of raising $300 million via a SPAC merger, and will be trading publicly soon. There’s a host of other products in the pipeline too!
🤷♀️ New game, new players — an exciting survey from investment platform Groww shows how young folks in semi-urban rural India are slowly gravitating towards equities and crypto as their primary preferred channels of parking wealth. Despite the market’s shaky performance in 2022, 96%+ of those surveyed suggest they’d continue to invest in equities directly. When asked for preferred investments, people vote for IPOs and crypto at the top, and favor IT stocks specifically. Financial advisors may scoff at the trend, but the data is remarkable nonetheless.
Street gets ready for some snacks 😋
What’s poppin — Indian local snack-king Bikaji Foods is all set to file docs for its upcoming IPO sometime this week — looking to raise over ₹1,000 crores from public investors, at a $1 billion valuation!
Like most iconic Indian food brands, Bikaji had a modest start in 1987, out selling bhujia in the town of Bikaner, RJ. The brand steadily grew with the rise of the ready-to-eat food category in India, expanding its portfolio to over 300+ products that even include frozen foods.
Bikaji’s manufacturing is spread across 3 states, producing over 400 tonnes of snacks daily, with sales volumes growing about ~14% through the last 5 years. Revenues for FY20 topped just over ₹1,000 crores. How does your D2C snack brand stack up?
Anyway, the ready to eat snack market in India is a $13 billion opportunity, growing 8-9% a year. Rise in disposable income of the middle class is a strong tailwind. Growth in international market is strong too. But competition is equally intense — with Haldirams, Balaji Wafers, as well as giants like HUL, Britannia, fighting it out for more share.
Bottomline — looking at investor enthusiasm for Bector’s foods, and other similar bids in the last couple years, odds are Bikaji outshines too.
Sleepy day in India’s Venture Town 💰
Invact Metaversity is back. The virtual-learning company closed a $5 million seed round from Arkam Ventures, Antler India and others, barely days after raising its first round from like 70+ Angels.
Founded by the ex-Twitter India boss, Invact wants to build universities in the Metaverse. For folks bored of staring at YouTube to get upskilled, the company is building a virtual university campus, where students and teachers will don virtual avatars and enjoy the experience from the seat of their couch. Currently, Invact is offering an MBA alternative program to kick things off.
Anyway, with the backing of western VCs, the company plans on accelerating tech-development, and plan an expansion in the US and Europe market.
And then onto an edtech closure, ☝️
Entrackr says Lido Learning, an ed-tech venture which had raised upwards of $10 million from who’s who including Up-Grad founder Ronnie Screwvala’s fund, has unfortunately shut shop. Lido was prepping for a $30 million round from giants like Temasek, but metrics were too soft to help make the leap happen. All in the game!
Flipkart trims some travel baggage ✂️
What’s poppin’ — Flipkart sold off its travel arm, Cleartrip’s Middle East operations, to another travel platform called Wego — as losses become painful to manage amidst delayed travel recovery.
Flipkart had picked up the battered Cleartrip which was struggling to keep lights on, thanks COVID, for a paltry $40 million! Despite the oxygen resupply, Cleartrip reported a 67% drop in revenues for 2021, while losses expanded 77%.
Obviously not a good look for Flipkart carrying that burden on the IPO roadshow (which is coming hopefully soon).
Anyway, Wego, which is backed by Tiger Global, is one of the leading travel platforms across the Middle East and North Africa. The deal helps them capture more share.
Otherwise a sleepy news day with the US markets closed.
What else are we Snackin’ 🍿
🐕 Dog cash - Tesla will accept Dogecoin as a payment at its Santa Monica supercharging station, the first such move across the Tesla’s charging network. Good marketing for sho!
💉 Pharma R&D progress - GOI has partnered with homegrown pharma company Panacea Biotec to develop vaccines for emerging COVID variants.
🍏 Green hydrogen - Adani Group is joining hands with Canadian power-storage company Ballard to make hydrogen fuel cells in India.
👋 Shit hit the fan - Putin is painstakingly building up a case to justify his invasion of Ukraine. The RUS President recognized the independence of two separatist regions last night, and ordered troops into Ukraine on peacekeeping duties.
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