Online driver aggregating platform DriveU has closed a mezzanine investment round of Rs.7 cr. led by California-based Stevens Creek Ventures. The funds will be used by the startup for expanding geographical reach. DriveU currently operates across India’s six largest metros – Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi NCR, Pune and Hyderabad, and claims to have served over 6 lakh trips since inception.
Credit ratings are difficult to live with and just as difficult to live without. A lot of ink has been spilled about the fact that the bonds of Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd (IL&FS) were rated investment grade as late as July 2018. The firm started defaulting on its debt in September. IL&FS is not unique. One can’t but think that aggressive lobbying by powerful rating agencies has a lot to do with that. This piece outlines the sources of the problems and the potential solutions. Problem 1: Conflicts of interest from non-rating business. Solution: Rating agencies should be forced to divest from non-rating business. Problem 2: Issuer-pay model. Solution(s): a) The regulator should pick the rating agency, or b) greater disclosure. Problem 3: Over-reliance on ratings in regulations. Solution: Provide alternatives to ratings. The RBI should also insist that bank borrowers obtain multiple ratings with the regulator picking the agency. Competition combined with reward for good performance will enhance the quality of ratings.
Global professional services company Accenture has acquired Systems, Applications and Products (SAP)-based provider Intrigo Systems for an undisclosed sum. US-based Intrigo Systems would help Accenture clients build digital supply chains that manage cross-functional business decisions, collaborate with suppliers in real-time and simplify compliance.
US-based investment firm Avenue Capital is acquiring a 27 per cent stake in Asset Reconstruction Company (India) Ltd (ARCIL) from a clutch of six existing investors. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. ARCIL, which manages distressed asset worth Rs.12,000 crore, expects the deal to be completed in the next quarter. Avenue Capital primarily focuses on investing in distressed debt and other special situations investments in the United States, Europe and Asia.
Grocery delivery platform Milkbasket has raised close to $1.37 million (Rs.10 cr.) in a fresh round of funding from US-based venture capital firm Mayfield Fund. In May, Milkbasket had secured $7 million in its Series A funding led by venture capital firm Kalaari Capital. The round saw participation from Singapore based BeeNext and its existing investors, Unilever Ventures and Blume Ventures. In January, the Gurgaon-based startup had raised $3 million in a pre-Series A round led by Unilever Ventures Ltd.
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