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Venture unions ❤️
Air India's new CEO, Inflation spike, and Coinbase wins Superbowl.
Market summary: 📊
Putin’s aggression on the Russian border made Indian investors all sweaty, with major indices giving away significant ground. US had a mixed day — with S&P ending down, but growth stocks favored.
S&P 500 - down 0.38%
Nasdaq - up 0.10%
Nifty 50 - down 3.06%
Sensex - down 3.00%
What’s brewing hot? ☕
🎁 Inflation max — consumer retail prices in India are up 6.01% for the month of January 2022, the highest it has been for almost 7 months, per official GOI stats. COVID’s repeated jolts to production and supply chains has messed up the demand-supply harmony — but looking at global nations from Turkey to Brazil to even the US, India seems to have done fairly okay in managing these numbers. Your FDs are toast though! 🤷♀️
👨 New flying man — the Tatas have brought in the former Chairman of Turkish Airlines, Mr. Ilker Ayci as the new CEO for Air India. In addition to serving the board of Turkish Air for 7+ years, Mr. Ayci is a politically well connected man — with stints with the Turkish Government, as well as serving on an investment promotion association of the United Nations. Mr. Ayci will assume office starting April..
Corporate love stories blooming on Valentine's ❤️
Growth ventures were busy writing their own tales of union yesterday.
In fitness tech — Cult.fit is acquiring one of the most popular old-school gyms, Gold’s Gym’s India operations, for an undisclosed amount.
For folks outside the tech circle, that’s a 6-year old startup buying out a 20-year old cash guzzler. Gold’s runs India’s 2nd largest gym chain, with over 140 fitness centers, across 90+ major cities. Within the hardcore body building circles, the brands’ reputation is impeccable!
Cult meanwhile, has been taking a full stack approach to revolutionizing fitness — running a network of modern fitness studios, as well as a digital fitness experience delivered via an app + accessories, apparel, the whole menu. It’s virtual products were HUGE successes during the pandemic.
Anyway, Cult plans on upgrading Golds’ existing centers to match its own standards of technology, and then allow folks in the Cult ecosystem access to these locations freely, powering a nationwide expansion.
Meanwhile, another startup is chasing a brick and mortar play, 🤝
Mamaearth announced that its acquiring BBlunt — an old-school brick and mortar hair and cosmetic care operation, for about ₹134 crores from Godrej.
In addition to its salon network, BBlunt also sells an extensive line up of hair products for men and women, pulling in about ₹50 crores in annual revenues.
Valentine was red, now want something green? 💚
Inflation is soaring. Your basic savings accounts and FDs are no longer sufficient to make your money grow. You need something that beats FDs, but is less risky than equities!
Wint Wealth fills that gap. Wint’s asset backed high-yield debt products try to deliver 9-11% of fixed returns — offering a sweet middle-ground solution between poor returns of vanilla savings accounts and FDs, and the high-returns, high-risk nature of the stock market.
Wint is backed by Zerodha, Better Capital, Kunal Shah, and 20 other big name investors, and has helped 10K+ investors deploy more than ₹180 crores across assets.
Who picked the bag in Venture Town 💰
First up, Reliance wrote a $200 million check to InMobi’s Glance, at a $1.7 billion valuation!
Glance is a pre-installed tool that lets Android users set exciting homescreens and wallpapers on their phones. Glance has a deal with almost every top Android OEM in Asia including Xiaomi and Samsung, to pre-install its tools, reaching 400M+ end users.
The OEMs love this arrangement because they get a tiny commission on the ad sales Glance makes, which is a great way to boost revenues, especially on low cost phones. Reliance is drawn by similar motivations — as they bring their ultra-low cost smartphone to market soon.
Then over to another deal in Healthcare, 🏥
India based Asia Healthcare Holdings, which runs the growth-arm of private equity giant TPG, raised a huge $170 million from Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, GIC.
AHH basically acquires and scales small healthcare firms, who offer treatments for specific issues like cancer, fertility, mother and child care. The current round will go to supplement about $200M+ in assets AHH already manages — as India’s healthcare markets becomes one of the hottest plays in Asia amidst a post-COVID boom.
Closing out — Crypto’s Superbowl win 📈
Just like how Indian unicorns have suddenly displaced legacy brands in IPL sponsorships, Crypto firms have done the same to American sports.
Real winner of the game however was the crypto industry — purchasing some of the most coveted ad spots for tens of millions of dollars.
Coinbase for example, showed a 10-second ad with nothing but a QR code — which helped its app shoot up to No.1 on the App Store within hours — taking down its website in the process! Total production costs = $0. Blockfolio, eToro, Crypto.com all saw similar jumps in downloads and visits.
Meanwhile back home, the flogging continues 👀
RBI continues to murk India’s crypto discourse — at a function last night held by an Indian banking association, the deputy governor revived chatter of a total ban in interest of the economy. His words “banning (crypto) is perhaps the most advisable choice open to India”, while even calling crypto a total ponzi-scheme.
What else are we Snackin’
❌ Right bans - GOI banned another 54 Chinese apps including popular game Free Fire citing data security concerns.
🏅 Fantasy Sports FTW - the High Court in Karnataka removed the state government’s rule that banned online gambling in October last year.
⏳ Almost done - after bids from multiple players, reports suggest Axis Bank is close to buying Citigroup’s Indian retail banking business for $2.5 billion.
Hit that 💚 if you liked today’s issue.
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