Solar IPO coming ☀️
Oil losses, Byju’s moment, and Big Tech acquisitions.
Market summary: 📊
India took it easy for yet another day, so far staying flat this week. US had an up day for a change, with growth stocks particularly shining.
S&P 500 - up 1.43%
Nasdaq - up 2.20%
Nifty 50 - down 0.13%
Sensex - down 0.15%
Weekend shot of espresso ☕
🤦 Price of politics — Moody’s says India’s state owned oil retailers, including IOC, BPCL and HPCL lost a combined $2.25 billion in revenues between November and March for not passing oil price increases to consumers — a decision mostly taken to avoid souring the mood of the electorate with ongoing polls in key regions. Post poll price increases are already here though, and even more damage is expected to come in over the next few weeks. ✌️
👎 No winners in this war — eastern European war is now hurting the global fertilizer industry, after Russia, which one of the top suppliers of fertilizers worldwide, can’t trade it wares with the world due to sanctions. With supply sapped, prices have shot up almost 40% compared to last month. Meanwhile, no fertilizer = no crop, leading to global food insecurity which the UN says is looking worse than what we had seen during World War 2.
Incoming Solar IPO is drawing some attention ☀️
What’s poppin’ — Vikram Solar, one of India’s largest makers of solar modules, filed papers to raise ₹1,500 crore from the public markets, drawing some serious eyeballs as renewable energy becomes a hot theme locally.
The 16-year old business makes solar photovoltaic modules — basically your standard rooftop setups deployed in homes, factories, and offices, serving both residential and large-scale commercial demand. Vikram ties that in with more services including material procurement, assembly, construction and maintenance.
So far, the company has an installed base of over 2.5GW deployed across India and 32 other countries. Last year, the business made ₹1,610 crores in revenues, while churning a profit of about ₹56 crores.
Bottomline — certainly not Adani or Renew Power, but a sizable business with decent growth prospects as retail and low-commercial deployments pick up. Could end up becoming a hot acquisition target as well.
Daily update from India’s Venture Town 💰
Cosmetics is back! Plum, a vegan skincare brand, closed a $35 million Series C from A91 Partners, Unilever Ventures, and others — at a $250 million valuation.
Plum sells skin, hair, and body care products that are made without any animal products (think milk, eggs, and such), for both men and women. Products are sold online as well through a retailer-network reaching 250+ Indian cities — with offline adding up to 40% of business.
Revenues are closing up on ₹100 crores annually, and new capital raised will be used for expansion and improving the product catalog.
Then switching over to fintech for a bit, 🧐
Aye Finance, a lending platform supporting micro-entrepreneurs, raised ₹75 crores in debt from Triple Jump BV and Northern Arc.
Gurugram-based Aye has managed to distribute loans worth ₹5,000 crores to over 3.5 lakh small-businesses across 20 states — a segment that is often ignored by traditional banks. Capital raised will go straight to underwrite more loans.
Two major Big-Tech acquisitions we’re following 💸
💳 In Cupertino, CA — Apple quietly scooped up a UK-based open banking startup called Credit Kudos in a $150 million deal, as the tech giant seeks to deepen its “services” footprint through embedded financial products.
Credit Kudos basically sells an API-software to banks, startups, and large financial companies, that churns through online customer data and transaction history to determine creditworthiness of a customer — telling how much in loans can a user qualify for, and such.
Apple, which is keen on launching a BNPL product integrated into its wallet soon, and is looking at Credit Kudos’ tech to enable that.
👓 And then in Los Angeles, CA — Snap acquired a French neurotech startup, NextMind, known for making a brain-interfacing headband which lets users control images and videos on a screen using their mind.
Deal value wasn’t know, but NextMind was valued at about $13 million the last time they raised money. Snap will directly plug the company’s 20-something R&D team into Snap Lab — which is working on the AR Spectacle glasses, furthering Snap’s Augmented Reality ambitions. Getting closer to the future.
What else are we Snackin’ 🍿
📉 Steep fall - foreign direct investments in India declined 15% to just over $74 billion last year, mostly due to COVID. But changing geo-political mood away from globalization could further hurt these numbers.
😔 Legend gone - Stephen Wilhite, the creator of the GIFs, GenZ’s favorite language, passed away at the age of 74 due to COVID complications. Literally kept us in business.
🙌 Big Win - Byju’s will be the official sponsor of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, making it the first time ever for an Indian company to get the spot.
Hit that 💚 if you liked today’s issue.
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