(Photo: HT)
(Photo: HT)

Deals Buzz: VG Siddhartha seeks 8,000-10,000 crore valuation for CCD

In other news, New York-based I Squared Capital plans to invest around $300 million in its wholly owned Indian subsidiary, Lightstorm Telecom Ventures

Mumbai: Mint brings you your dose of the top deals news, reported from newsrooms across the country

VG Siddhartha seeks 8,000-10,000 crore valuation for CCD

Cafe Coffee Day’s founder VG Siddhartha is seeking a valuation between 8,000 and 10,000 crore from Coca Cola for his coffee chain; The Economic Times reported citing two people aware of the development. That would peg the valuation of the coffee retailer anywhere between three to four times its sales, which is expected to close at expects to close at about 2,250 crore for the year ending March 2020. The development comes after ET reported on Thursday that the US-based beverages maker was looking to buy a stake in the Bengaluru-based firm. The company clocked in sales of 1,777 crore and 1,814 crore in fiscal year 2018 and 2019, respectively, according to regulatory filings. Set up in August 1996, Siddhartha’s coffee shops business has grown to include 1,750 stores across India with 60,000 vending machines. It also has outlets across Europe as well as in Malaysia, Nepal and Egypt.

I Squared Cap may invest $300 million in its telecom infra platform Lightstorm

New York-based I Squared Capital plans to invest around $300 million in its wholly owned Indian subsidiary, Lightstorm Telecom Ventures, Mint reported citing a person aware of I Squared Capital’s investment strategy in India. The infrastructure-focused private equity firm plans to acquire optical fibre networks to set up a carrier-neutral telecom infrastructure platform in the country. The investment comes after the PE firm sold its solar power business, Amplus Energy Solutions Pvt. Ltd to Malaysia’s state-run oil and gas company, Petroliam Nasional Bhd or Petronas, for 2,700 crore. I Squared Capital has over $13 billion of assets under management. It focuses on energy, utilities and transport in North America, Europe and high-growth economies. In India, I Squared Capital has so far set up two platforms—Cube Highways, a roads and highways platform; and the recently-divested Amplus Energy Solutions. Cube Highways was set up along with International Finance Corp. (IFC).

Social commerce startup Meesho may get $120 million funding from Naspers

Meesho, an online marketplace for suppliers and resellers, is in talks with the South African internet group Naspers to raise a fresh $120-130 million financing round, The Economic Times reported citing three people aware of the development. The development comes after social media giant, Facebook recently invested $25 million in the Bengaluru-based firm. If Naspers does invest, the valuation of the social commerce firm is likely to go up to $600-650 million. Founded in 2015 by IIT-Delhi graduates Aatrey and Sanjeev Barnwa, the company charges a 10-20% commission to resellers for selling their products on the platform. The resellers also have the option to sell through Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram through the Meesho app.

Skilling firm Degreed raises funds from Jump Capital, Owl, others

Degreed, a startup that helps organizations improve staff skills, raised $35 million equity funding from existing investors Owl Ventures, Jump Capital, Signal Peak Ventures and GSV Accelerate, along with new investor Alliance Bernstein, Mint reported. Separately, the startup also raised $40 million in venture debt from Alliance Bernstein Growth Stage Capital. The Bengaluru and San Francisco-based firm plans to use the funds to focus on improving user experience and expand into countries including India, Singapore and Australia. Founded in 2012, Degreed allows enterprises to learn and measure the skills required for the smooth functioning of their workforces. It then uses machine learning to provide people and businesses with the tools, analytics, and feedback they need next to upskill their professional abilities. The fresh funds will also be used to enhance their skills measurement and insights functionality, and strengthen integration, data science, and client enablement capabilities. The company has a 220-strong client base that includes Cognizant, Conduent, Asian Paints, Atlassian, Imperial Brands, Unilever, and TELUS International.

Online pharmacy 1mg raises $70 million from Corisol Holdings, IFC

Online pharmacy 1mg raised $70 million in a series D funding round led by European family office, Corisol Holdings at a valuation of around $200 million, The Economic Times reported . The round also saw participation from the World Bank arm International Finance Corporation (IFC), along with South Korea's Redwood Global and Korea Omega Healthcare fund. Existing investors Sequoia Capital, Maverick Ventures, HBM Healthcare investments, Omidyar Network and Kae Capital also invested in the round. The Gurugram-based firm plans to use the funds to enter tier-III towns and villages for its e-pharmacy business, expand its labs business to 100 cities, and grow its data science team to build new products such as a digital doctor and AI health bots. The company is shoring up its partnerships for a pan-India expansion and would also set up the supply chain, logistics and infrastructure to make it happen, Prashant Tandon, CEO of 1mg told ET. The online pharmacy firm, which is also involved in diagnostics and consultation businesses, had serviced 70 million unique patients last year across its three verticals.

LGT buys majority stake in Validus

Validus Wealth, a wealth management firm, sold a substantial majority stake to LGT, a private banking and asset management group owned by the princely family of Liechtenstein for an undisclosed value, Mint reported. Validus was earlier known as WGC Wealth when it was promoted by Wadhawan Global Capital, which is also the promoter of troubled Dewan Housing Finance Corp. Ltd (DHFL). Validus was recently bought out by its employees, resulting in its new avatar. Post the deal, the remaining stake in Validus will be held by its current management team. The company, which caters to high net-worth individuals in India, began operations in September 2018. It offers investments, lending, succession planning and protection services for investors with a presence in cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai and Pune.