Equity for snackers 🤩

EV news, what's hot this week, and venture deals.

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From the weekend 🧐

Last night, the business world mourned the passing of the Chairman of Samsung Electronics, Lee Kun-hee. He was 78. 

Kun-hee, who inherited the company from his father, was well regarded for turning Samsung from a “cheap” commodity electronics parts maker into a diversified global consumer technology empire dealing in TVs, Smartphones, CPUs and Semiconductor components—the whole menu. His business had a lasting impact on the emerging economy of South Korea.

However, over the last decade or so, he took a lot of heat for being involved in a corruption scandal, bribing officials at the highest levels in the Korean government. Guess that’s not a surprise if you’re trying to make it happen in emerging economies after all. 

Anyway, here’s a profile on the man. RIP

And, the week ahead… ☝️ 

Earnings from tech companies will rock Wall Street this week. All silicon valley titans including Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft as well as Shopify, Starbucks, etc. will keep investors and analysts busy. 

Key signs that people will be looking out for: 

  • Continued growth in ecommerce sales from Amazon

  • Strong momentum in cloud revenue for AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud

  • Momentum in Digital Advertising revenue from Google, Facebook + engagement

  • Specifically about Google - are costs increasing? Is YouTube humming along okay?

Negative or positive surprises in any of these arenas could matter to everyone’s portfolio, worldwide, BIG TIME. 


Latest from the Venture oven 💰

Jumbotail, a B2B marketplace, has raised $10.5 million in a round led by a consortium of US and Canadian investors with 20+ other entities pitching in, including Nexus Ventures.

The BLR based startup essentially runs a B2B marketplace connecting wholesale buyers and sellers in the food and grocery segment, playing into India’s rapidly heating “digitization of procurement and supply chain” arena. Currently their catalogue includes staples, spices, dry fruits, packaged foods and FMCG products etc. with ample room for adjacent expansion. Fresh funds will go to bolster up tech, augment logistics capabilities and widen buyer-seller network.

What matters: India’s $500B+ wholesale market is less than 10% digitized and is mostly unorganized, which offers startups plenty of opportunity to add value across dimensions. Expect deal activity to remain robust over the next 2-3 years.

Quick look at a med-tech raise, 

EzeRx, a medical diagnostics company raised ₹1.75 crores towards the end of last week, in a round led by Odisha-based incubator KIIT-TBI, with several big name angels including Shradha Sharma pitching in. 

Pushing the needle on indigenous healthcare innovation, the company’s products make it easy to detect and capture complications with liver and lung problems or even nutrition problems like anaemia, using a minimally invasive device that requires barely a drop of blood. 

The system is also incredibly cheap, costing like ₹1 per test, driving major savings for clinics as well as patients. Funds will fuel R&D, regulatory clearances and ramping up manufacturing capacities. Sounds very promising!


EV march continues unhindered 🔌

While a generational economic slowdown is gripping the rest of the global automobile industry, Teslas are selling like hot cake. In the last 3 months, the EV giant has managed to sell 44% more cars than it did in the same time a year ago.

In its latest quarterly release, with revenues of about $8.8 billion (up 39%) and with profits of $331 million, not only did the company blow past all expectations but also made significant improvements to its cost structure. The company is on track to hit its target of selling half a million cars in 2020 and fanboys are rejoicing. Doesn’t get any better!

Hating on Musk had been in fashion for most part of the past decade, but over the last one year or so, the narrative has suddenly taken a 360 degree turn.

Meanwhile, sounds like a good year for Tesla boys everywhere:

The ex-CIO of Tesla, Jay Vijayan, raised a whopping $150 million for his automotive-retail platform—essentially a car dealer management SaaS tool that digitizes all aspects of selling cars in a dealership. The company is valued at a whopping $1 billion and clinches a home run for Vijayan who invested aggressively in building a team out of India.


Hot IPO in the making 🔥

Mrs. Bector's Foods, one of the key suppliers of McDonald’s and Burger King in India, has filed for an IPO. The confectioner who makes biscuits and other bakery products, and competes with Brittania, ITC, and other market leaders will look to raise about ₹550 crores through the stock sale. 

The firm has been around forever, slowly growing into a mammoth operation mostly concentrated in the northern part of India. In the last year, the company made a healthy ₹762 crores in revenue while bringing in about ₹30 crores of profits. 

Much like other confectioners and packaged food players, the company has been a huge winner of the lockdowns that saw Indian consumers stockpile on snacks. Finally, with other IPOs setting a great mood in the markets so far, eyes are set for a successful listing

If you’re a heavy spender at McDonald’s maybe it’s time to recoup some of your spending via equity. No, this is NOT a stock recommendation. ☝️


Tweet of the day - 🐦

2020 inadvertently opened a new growth chapter for India and we hope Freshdesk’s story gives some inspiration to the thousands of Indian entrepreneurs who’re daring to build locally but for the world!


What else are we snackin’ 🍿

💉 AZ resumes 3rd phase - Pharma giant Astrazeneca has resumed phase 3 trials of it’s COVID-19 vaccine in the US. The company had paused trials of the vaccine back in September after one of the participants developed a serious neurological illness.

🚀 Outbound - Elon Musk’s SpaceX has launched an additional batch of 60 Starlink satellites, which will serve as an important component for its upcoming global broadband internet service. The launch took place from Cape Canaveral Air Force station in Florida.

😷 Among leaders hit by COVID - the Governor of RBI, Shaktikanta Das, becomes the latest leader to contract the virus. The governor mentioned his health is fine and he’d be under observation, while dispersing his duties. Get well soon. 


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