Deals Buzz: Softbank’s Son says will double investment portfolio to 150 firms

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

SoftBank plans to double investment portfolio to 150 companies in two years

Japanese telecommunications and internet firm Soft-Bank plans to double its investment portfolio to 150 companies over the next two years, and strategically back technology businesses that are market leaders in their segments, The Economic Times reported. SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son said at the company’s annual general meeting in Tokyo on Wednesday that its $100 billion Vision Fund would grow its team globally to 1,000 members from the current 400 to better invest and manage the fund’s portfolio. SoftBank has been particularly bullish on India, and local startups including ride-hailing firm Ola, hospitality chain Oyo and digital payments platform Paytm were three of the four companies that were highlighted from its global portfolio at the AGM. The mammoth fund, which has reordered technology investing globally, said in February that it had deployed $10 billion in India.

Apollo to exit health insurance; sells stake to HDFC

HDFC Ltd, India’s largest mortgage financier, has agreed to acquire the entire 50.8% stake of Apollo Hospitals Group in a health insurance joint venture with German reinsurer Munich Re Group as part of its strategy to tap this potential growth market, Mint reported. HDFC will pay 1,336 crore to Apollo Hospitals for the deal. It will pay an additional 10.84 crore to employees of Apollo Munich Health Insurance Co. Ltd to purchase their 0.4% stake in the company. The total deal size of1,347 crore for the entire 51.2% stake values Apollo Munich Health Insurance at 1.2 times the gross written premium for fiscal 2019, Deepak Parekh, chairman of HDFC, said at a news conference on Wednesday.

JSW Energy scouting for stressed power plants

JSW Energy, the power generation arm of the $13 billion Sajjan Jindal group, is scouting for stressed power plants to boost its thermal generation capacity, Mint reported. But the company will only consider pithead plants for acquisition, that is plants located near coal mines with assured coal supplies, a senior company executive said in an interview. “We’re focusing on growth in our power portfolio,” Prashant Jain, joint managing director and chief executive, JSW Energy, said. “I see renewable and hydroelectric power as the future, and here we will grow organically. In thermal, we will grow inorganically, because there’s excess capacity in the sector that is stressed. We’re looking at assets that are based on domestic coal supplies and out pithead plants, where there is minimum transportation cost.”

Snapdeal’s plans to acquire Shopclues hit a hurdle

Snapdeal’s talks to acquire rival online retail marketplace ShopClues has hit a hurdle after the due diligence for the transaction found significant pending liabilities on the balance sheet of the latter, reported the Times of India. Snapdeal was looking to acquire ShopClues in an all-stock deal and had started due diligence, the paper had reported last month. “ShopClues has significant liabilities, including tax and money it owes its vendors, and has also seen a significant fall in number of orders. For Snapdeal, the upside is limited while the downside is significant in taking the transaction forward,” a person familiar with the development told Times.

API startup Postman raises $50 million funding from Charles River, Nexus Venture

Postman, a platform for managing and developing application programming interfaces (APIs), has raised $50 million, Mintreported. The funding was led by Charles River Ventures (CRV) and involved participation by Nexus Venture Partners. CRV’s general partner Devdutt Yellurkar has also joined the Postman board of directors. Postman helps developers programme their software by offering API development tool-kits in a single platform. Instead of working with multiple dashboards and environments, developers can use Postman to design, test, debug, monitor, and publish APIs all in one place. An API is a form of code that specifies how two apps can exchange data and what sort of data may be requested and sent between the two.

IvyCap leads 30 crore series A investment in Biryani By Kilo

Biryani By Kilo (BBK), a delivery-led biryani brand, has raised30 crore in its Series-A funding round led by IvyCap Ventures, indicating rising investor interest in cloud kitchen brands, reported The Economic Times. The funding will primarily be used to fuel geographic expansion across west and north India, and improve technology, reach and efficiency, the Economic Times reported. Cloud kitchen is a term used for kitchens situated in remote areas — with food delivered via orders placed on an app. Other cloud kitchen brands include Freshmenu, and Rebel Foodsowned Faasos, Lunch Box, Oven Story and Behrouz.