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Unicorn up for sale; egaming policy coming soon

A chronic funding slowdown in late-stage startups ultimately ends in consolidation. That’s beginning to occur within the Indian startup ecosystem.

Simply three years after it hit a valuation of $1 billion, new-age trucking logistics agency Rivigo is in serious trouble. Unable to lift funds, the startup is exploring a sale and has held talks with Flipkart or FirstCry, sources instructed us. We’ve extra within the version.

Additionally on this letter:
■ Egaming activity pressure might set spend limits in framework
■ View: Alpha founders, VC greed
■ Unicorn India Ventures to promote stakes in six startups to US fund

Logistics unicorn Rivigo in sale talks with Flipkart, FirstCry

Rivigo has held talks with ecommerce marketplace Flipkart and omnichannel baby products retailer FirstCry for a potential sale, a number of sources conscious of the matter instructed us. The logistics unicorn has struggled to lift recent funds for someday now, which is additional amplified as buyers flip skittish because of the ongoing financial slowdown.

Sure, however: The discussions round Rivigo’s acquisition have been preliminary and will or might not end in a deal, the individuals mentioned. Rivigo, they mentioned, had evaluated merging its operations with Flipkart’s logistics arm e-Kart, and FirstCry’s e-commerce focussed logistics unicorn Xpressbees.

A number of months in the past, the corporate’s board determined that it ought to search for potential consumers and that staying impartial wasn’t an possibility anymore, mentioned an individual within the know of the event.

Rivigo cap table

Backed by enterprise fund Elevation Capital (previously SAIF Companions), non-public fairness main Warburg Pincus, amongst others, the Gurugram-based logistics agency has confronted headwinds over the previous few years.

Pivots galore: Rivigo, which operated in a “relay trucking mannequin”, pivoted to relay-as-a-service mannequin throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

Twists and turns

Based on Prahlad Tanwar, accomplice at KPMG who tracks the logistics area in India, over 100 startups emerged in 2014–15 to disrupt the extremely fragmented, $60-70 billion trucking sector. However a number of pivots and no path to profitability have made it more and more troublesome for tech-enabled trucking startups to lift funds, Tanwar added.

Egaming activity pressure might set spend limits in framework


An inter-ministerial group tasked with drawing up a framework to control on-line gaming is more likely to introduce rules governing the amount of money individual players spend in a game, individuals within the know instructed us.

The duty pressure arrange by the Ministry of Electronics and Data Expertise (Meity) may additionally set a restrict on the cash spent every day by gamers on in-game purchases, in accordance with the sources, who mentioned the central concept is to make sure “shopper and gamer safety.”

The draft laws are more likely to be finalised over the following month and can then be introduced out for public session, they mentioned.

Catch up fast: The seven-member inter-ministerial activity pressure, which was arrange in Could, has members from the Niti Aayog, in addition to secretaries of the Ministry of Dwelling Affairs, the Division of Income, Division for Promotion of Business and Inside Commerce, the Ministry of Data and Broadcasting in addition to the Meity secretary.

At a gathering earlier this month, the ministerial grouping had advised that Meity amend the Data Expertise Act of 2000 to incorporate guidelines for the gaming sector, much like how the Middleman Pointers and Digital Media Ethics Code had been launched in February 2021, a authorities official who attended the assembly instructed us.

Uniform guidelines: At an earlier assembly on June 7, between representatives from gaming corporations and senior officers from the IT ministry, together with Minister of State Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the sector was requested to attract up complete insurance policies on varied features, together with an goal definition of video games of talent and probability, in accordance with a senior official.

On the assembly with Meity, representatives from practically 40 on-line gaming platforms had expressed considerations in regards to the various laws introduced by state governments comparable to Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

View: Alpha founders, VC greed

VC funding

Final week Adam Neumann, the as soon as celebrated and later controversial founding father of the office-sharing startup WeWork, raised $350 million for his latest venture Flow, a startup trying to disrupt the residential rental actual property market within the US. The large financing – the biggest cheque signed off by enterprise capital agency Andreessen Horowitz in a person firm – valued Circulation at $1 billion.

WTF second: Do not forget that the startup isn’t operational but. The event grabbed headlines and everybody weighed in on what this meant, maintaining Neumann’s unceremonious exit from WeWork in thoughts. The information was much more eye-popping having come at a time when ‘funding winter’ has hit expertise corporations throughout private and non-private markets. Other than the scale of the fundraise and the timing, it additionally stirred up hot-takes on how VCs aren’t shy to again entrepreneurs who’ve had a chequered previous.

Chequered previous: Neumann’s rise and fall have been well-documented. The OTT present WeCrashed catapulted him into the league of worldwide celeb founders. From the highs of being valued at $47 billion, right this moment WeWork’s market cap is at $3.5 billion, leaving buyers like Masayoshi Son’s SoftBank in a deep gap.

However clearly that observe document didn’t maintain away net browser Netscape cofounder and VC Marc Andreessen. Whereas saying the fund’s funding in Circulation, he wrote in a weblog publish that Neumann was a ‘visionary chief’ who revolutionised the second largest asset class on this planet – industrial actual property.

What’s the deal? Traders need to again alpha founders chasing large markets – the larger the full addressable market (TAM), the larger the potential of an outsized end result.

Click here to read the full column.


Unicorn India Ventures to promote stakes in six startups to US fund


Early-stage funding agency Unicorn India Ventures is selling its stake in six startups to a US-based investor for Rs 50 crore, doubling returns for its restricted companions (LPs).

Particulars: The businesses embrace robotics startup Genrobotics, cybersecurity agency Sequretek, buyer expertise analytics startup Clootrack, digital enterprise publication Inc42, digital media startup Inntot, and healthcare startup NeuroEquilibrium.

These had been investments from the agency’s first tranche of funds of Rs 100 crore, raised in 2016 and deployed throughout 17 early-stage startups.

This fund’s life cycle ends early subsequent 12 months.

Write-offs: Unicorn India Ventures’ accomplice Bhaskar Majumdar instructed us the agency needed to write off its funding in three corporations out of the 17 startups.

The agency exited two corporations, ecommerce personalisation startup Boxx.ai in 2019 and pharmaceutical provide chain startup Pharmarack in 2021.

ONDC might open to public by early September


Authorities-backed e-commerce initiative, the Open Community for Digital Commerce (ONDC), might open to the public towards the end of this month or early September.

ONDC is presently reside in 45 cities. These are places the place it has began doing reside transactions, albeit with invited customers. It’s not open to the general public but.

“We’re days away from opening the platform to the general public. We anticipate to go public by August finish or early September. All the opposite organisations supporting ONDC are supporting us on this endeavour. It will likely be one metropolis at a time. It might not even be a whole metropolis,” Shireesh Joshi, chief enterprise officer, ONDC, instructed us.

State of play: ONDC had set an bold goal to go reside in 100 cities by August and began pilots in 5 cities from April 29. The main focus is presently on ironing out teething troubles and bettering buyer expertise. ONDC plans to go reside in 10 extra cities within the subsequent few days, as we reported beforehand.

It’s working to extend retailers, classes, community members, places, horizontally to create the native push, T Koshy, chief of ONDC had instructed us lately.

Different High Tales By Our Reporters


Nandan Nilekani-backed ShopX information for chapter: Ecommerce platform ShopX has shut down and filed for bankruptcy. The corporate, backed by Infosys cofounder Nandan Nilekani, filed an software below Part 10 of the Insolvency and Chapter Code, filings with the Ministry of Company Affairs confirmed.

IRCTC responds to privateness considerations: Railway passengers can opt-out of the digital data monetisation plan of the IRCTC, official sources instructed ET on Monday. In addition they mentioned the exercise will strictly keep inside “the confines of legislation.” This comes after privateness consultants raised considerations over IRCTC’s Expression of Curiosity to rope in a marketing consultant to discover avenues for passenger information monetisation.

International Picks We Are Studying

■ The way to spot faux evaluations on Amazon (Wired)
■ As crypto slumps, Goldman Sachs goals for a Wall Avenue constructed on blockchain (WSJ)
■ Sony may face £5 billion in authorized claims over PlayStation recreation prices (The Guardian)

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