BigBasket gets $150 million in funding, becomes the latest unicorn

Source: Business Standard, May 06, 2019

New Delhi: Mirae Asset-Naver Asia Growth Fund (Mirae-Naver), a leading investor operating in global growth markets, the UK Government’s development finance institution,CDC Group, and Alibaba Group said on Monday they have led a $150-million round of fundraising for Supermarket Grocery Supplies (SGSPL), which owns the Bigbasket brand.

The round values Bigbasket at over $1 billion, according to the company, making it the newest Unicorn out of India. Business Standard first reported the deal on March 28.

The financing round, which Mirae-Naver has led through one of its funds, marks the group’s largest investment in India. Mirae Asset-Naver Asia Growth Fund is a joint venture between Seoul-based Mirae Financial Group and Naver Corporation, South Korea’s leading internet company. Alibaba Group, which had previously led the Series E round at SGSPL in 2017, participated in the current financing round as well. The Jack Ma-led group aims to enable the growth of local Indian companies like SGSPL, as more users come online in the country. Read the rest of this entry »

London’s new UK-India tech hub to nurture technolgy start-ups

Source: The Hindu Business Line, Apr 29, 2019

London: A new United Kingdom (UK)-India tech hub was inaugurated in London on Monday to promote cross-border technology transfer in early stage businesses between the two countries.

The hub, described as a first-of-its-kind collaboration between a venture capital (VC) fund and a business district, has been set up by UK-based VC fund Pontaq at the new Royal Albert Dock business district in East London.

It aims at promoting bilateral investments in the field of financial technology (fintech), artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain and smart cities.

“Brexit or no Brexit, Indian tech companies will always choose the UK as one of the locations of choice,” said Dr Mohan Kaul, Chairman of Pontaq. Read the rest of this entry »

Capital gains tax relief likely for investors exiting startups

Source: The Economic Times, Apr 24, 2019

The government is considering exempting investors from tax on capital gains accrued when they exit a startup, in a bid to attract more funds into the sector. The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) is weighing two alternatives to deliver this incentive — one, a blanket exemption, and two, a conditional exemption based on funds redeployed. The latter would be on lines of the benefits offered to nascent firms in the UK.

“We want to recommend that they should be exempt from capital gains while exiting,” an official told ET, adding that DPIIT is yet to make this recommendation to the revenue department. DPIIT will moot the idea when the new government takes over. The final budget for FY20 is likely early in July. Read the rest of this entry »

Startups see RBI’s fintech sandbox as a positive but wary of some clauses

Source:, Apr 23, 2019

Mumbai: Startups have welcomed RBI’s proposal to start the so-called regulatory sandboxes where they can test out new financial products in realtime with limited regulations, but are wary of some of the eligibility criteria.

According to Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) draft consultation paper released last week, testing will, however, be for a limited set of customers, and only 10-12 companies. Industry experts and fintech startups said sandboxes help startups beta-test new products with less capital than usually required.

“Sandboxing has been happening across the globe. In the last couple of years, regulators in Asian countries like Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, and Indonesia, apart from the US and European Union, all have their own fintech sandbox,” said Anurag Jain, chairperson, Digital Lending Association of India (DLAI).

The RBI proposal comes just months after regulators from the UK, US, Hong Kong, and several other countries announced a global alliance to test fintech products. Pilots developed under this alliance are allowed to scale up. Read the rest of this entry »

Startups get angel tax breather: 277 startups secure all-clear from Income Tax department

Source: The Economic Times, Apr 11, 2019

New Delhi: As many as 277 startups have got an all clear certificate from income tax department, shielding them from the what has been popularly dubbed as the angel tax, as the government gets cracking with the implementation of the new startup framework. A total of 302 entities had applied for it, said a government official privy to the development.

The move comes after the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) amended the startup framework in February to ring-fence them from ‘angel tax’. Read the rest of this entry »

With the devil in detail, start-ups lose angel investors

Source: The Hindu Business Line, Mar 14, 2019

Mumbai: The Indian start-up ecosystem is losing its angels fast. A problematic tax law, arbitrary exits and rise of incubators and accelerators have led to a steep decline in the number and value of angel investments in the world’s fastest-growing major economy.

According to a data collated by start-up research platform Tracxn Labs, angel funding witnessed a sharp 88 per cent decline at $2.52 billion in 2018 against $7.46 billion in the previous year. The number of rounds also declined to 509 (686).

For the uninitiated, angel investor is a private individual who provides or writes the first cheque for any business that is starting up, for an equity stake. The investor also provides the start-ups with the much-needed initial hand-holding and mentorship. Read the rest of this entry »

CBDT notifies relaxed norms for start-ups

Source:, Mar 07, 2019

NEW DELHI: The income tax (I-T) department has notified the modified norms for start-ups to enable them to seek ‘angel tax’ exemption for investments of up to Rs 25 crore.

The modified norms, which are aimed at encouraging budding entrepreneurs, will be effective retrospectively from February 19, when the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) relaxed the norms for start-ups.

The DPIIT, under the commerce and industry ministry, on February 19 raised the investment limit for ‘angel tax’ exemption to Rs 25 crore and extended the period of availing benefits to 10 years for start-ups. Read the rest of this entry »