Invesco won’t budge ❌

State spending, Venture investing, and IPO buzz.

👋 Happy Monday folks!

As usual, turned out to be a lazy news Sunday. Let’s dig into a few important things here and there…

Kicking off the week ☕

Early stage wildfires — Crunchbase released some early stage investing data that is getting plenty attention, particularly shedding light on aggression at the Series A level. $45 billion has been raised so far this year by Series A ventures, across 2,100+ deals, with average deal size up 30% YoY to ~$18 million. Insight Partners, a typical late/growth stage firm, has deployed the most $$, with a16z, Sequoia, and Tiger Global following closely — highlighting a trend that more and more late-stage mega firms are pulled into the wild west of early investing. 

Release brakes — as the economy stands up again, and revenue gaps are slowly plugged, GOI believes it's time to give its Ministries some breathing room and hence will take off spending limits it had placed for the rest of the fiscal year. At the start of the 2.0 wave, all departments were asked to limit expenses to ~20% of their earmarked budgets, which rings well for small businesses, vendors, and government contractors.


Invesco stays firm on its demands  ❌

What happened — Invesco, who is leading the irked group of shareholders who kicked off the coup at Zee Entertainment, aren’t happy with the Sony merger deal and are still pushing for a replacement of board members, to “increase governance” at the new company.

Some hand-holding — Invesco and other major investors in Zee, who own nearly 18% of the company, had moved to replace CEO Punit Goenka and appoint 6 new directors to the company’s board last week, only for the Zee CEO to walk in a couple days later with a buyout offer from Sony, as a counter to retaining control.

Anyway, Inveso and its friends say the deal was struck in an “erratic manner” lol, and that governance issues will persist without comprehensive overhaul.

What’s next — the acquisition offer that Sony made is non-binding, and subject to negotiations which will be carried out over the next 90 days. If some sides aren’t happy, the deal could fall through. 

Markets meanwhile are fully rejoicing in the infighting, with Zee stock up 90% over the past month!

Not just another department store 🛒

The Wall Street Journal got its hands on some inside deets of the upcoming Amazon department stores, and a few things stood out… 

  • Stores will mostly focus on clothing, apparel, fashion and will exclusively push Amazon’s own white label products over third-party merchants

  • Complete automation at the trial room (no carrying your own clothes in - just request it via a screen, 1-click and order more for testing, automated sizing and scanning etc.)

  • Stores littered with QR codes and Smartphone catalogs; Buy right there, or get it shipped at home

Why care — Amazon’s products aren’t exactly “exclusive”, so to draw consumers in for a repeat purchase, there has to be a distinct differentiation. So far, excessive focus on technology looks like it.


Closing out Mixed Signals 👀

2021 IPO market seems red hot, but we’ve barely seen half of it…  

Nearly ₹45,000 crores will be raised from the public markets over the next 2 months, led by Nykaa, PolicyBazaar, Mobikwick, as well as oldies like Emcure Pharma, with 70 or so on the roster to go public, making this year one of the most prolific years in history. 

Meanwhile, with Sensex toppling 60K with ease, the party is looking a bit jittery as hardline conservatives become increasingly nauseous. Add to that, the looming blowup of China’s Evergrande Group, and we’re entering some serious out of balance territory.

What else are we snackin’ 🍿

🚀 Space race - Blue Origin is apparently planning on sending 90-year-old Star Trek actor William Shatner to space on its maiden civilian expedition meant to counter competitor SpaceX.

💪 Blockchain FTW - CBSE is working on using blockchain technology to store past results so the records database becomes tamper proof.

Hit that 💚 if you liked today’s issue.

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