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Amazon to buy 9.5% stake in Future Retail

Amazon is set to acquire a minority stake in Future Retail next week, potentially giving the ecommerce platform access to nearly a third of the country’s organised food and grocery market through the Big Bazaar and Nilgiris supermarket chains and other outlets, The Economic Times reported. The deal by Amazon’s investment arm is pegged at about 2,500 crore. Future Retail has more than 1,100 physical stores across India. The companies started exploring an alliance in January this year when Future Group founder Kishore Biyani first met Amazon founder Jeff Bezos at his Seattle headquarters. That was followed by a series of meetings by executives of both companies in India and the US. Read more

Softbank’s Kabir Misra’s fund to invest in Meesho, Acko

RPS Investment Fund, set up by SoftBank Investment Advisers managing partner Kabir Misra, is set to pick up stakes in social commerce startup Meesho and insurance provider Acko, Mint reported, citing two people familiar with the matter. The $200-250 million fund counts SoftBank Group Corp. as the anchor limited partner. RPS is looking to invest close to $10-15 million in Meesho as part of a larger funding round. Russian billionaire Yuri Milner may participate in the proposed funding round. Meesho last raised $11.5 million in a series B round from Sequoia India, SAIF Partners, Y Combinator and Venture Highway. It has received a total of roughly $15 million in capital so far. Read more

Shunwei Capital raises $1.21 billion for its sixth global fund

Chinese early-and growth-stage venture capital fund Shunwei Capital has raised one of its largest funds yet at $1.21 billion, taking the total assets under management by the firm to over $3 billion across all its funds, The Economic Times reported. The size of its latest and sixth fund is particularly significant for India which has emerged as the second most important landscape for Shunwei Capital after its home ground China. he venture capital firm started by smartphone maker Xiaomi founder Lei Jun and Tuck Lye Koh initially began with relatively small cheques in India even while the fund remains an active growth stage capital provider in China. But over the past few quarters, Shunwei has been doubling down on India with larger cheque sizes at growth stages for companies, leveraging its learning from the Chinese market and betting on startups that can gain from the mobile internet boom. Read more

Altico invests 650 crore in Renaissance’s warehouse project

Altico Capital India Ltd, a real estate-focused non-banking financial company (NBFC), has entered the warehousing and logistics sector by investing 650 crore in Renaissance Group’s ongoing industrial and warehousing park project in Bhiwandi near Mumbai, Mint reported. The investment includes 50 crore co-investment from Asia-focused investment firm and Altico’s founding shareholder Clearwater Capital Partners Llc (now called Fiera Capital after the latter acquired it earlier this year). Altico is also backed by Abu Dhabi Investment Council and Varde Partners Inc. The transaction is in line with Altico’s strategy to diversify beyond commercial office and residential real estate, into infrastructure, health, education and hospitality. This is to achieve the firm’s goal of doubling its loan book to $2 billion in the next 18 months. Read more

Aavishkaar plans to raise $300 million for South Asia fund

India’s biggest homegrown impact investor by size of investments, Aavishkaar Group, plans to raise $300 million for its South Asia-focused fund early next year to invest across financial services, agriculture, energy and health, Mint reported. The fund will be used for investments in Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar and Laos among others. Aavishkaar is part of the Aavishkaar-Intellecap conglomerate, which also owns companies such as IntelleGrow, a non-banking financial company (NBFC) which lends to small and medium enterprises; Tribe, a fintech platform connecting lenders to small entrepreneurs; and Arohan, an east-India focused microfinance lender. The funds will be raised from sovereign investors in Singapore, Japan, Australia and the UK, in addition to Asian development finance institutions. Read more

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