Also in this letter:
■ Cypher Capital to invest 40% of new $100M crypto fund in India
■ A91 Partners leads a $35 million investment in Plum
■ Theranos trial begins for Ramesh Balwani, ex of Elizabeth Holmes
Fundamentals remain strong, says Paytm, after BSE asks about stock slump
CEO of Paytm, Vijay Shekhar Sharma
Paytm’s parent company, One97 Communications, has said in a BSE filing that its business fundamentals remain strong and that it has shared with the stock exchanges all the information that could be related to the price of its shares.
Get up to speed quickly: Clarification comes a day after BSE sought clarification from the company about its stock price plummeting. BSE said it sought the clarification “to ensure that investors have the latest relevant information about the company and to inform the market so that investors’ interest is protected.”
Answer: In its filing, Paytm said that from time to time it has made all necessary disclosures to stock exchanges within the stipulated time frame.
“The company would also like to point out that business fundamentals remain strong, as demonstrated by our latest earnings release dated February 4, 2022. We would like to reiterate that the company is committed to complying with the listing rules,” he said.
Stocks slip further: BSE’s announcement came as Paytm shares fell 3.79% on the stock market on Tuesday, a positive day for the market.
Credit: Yahoo Finance
The stock hit a new record low of Rs 520 on Wednesday before closing the day down 3.59% at Rs 524.40.
It has now plunged 18% in the last five sessions, since the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) banned Paytm Payments Bank from adding new users. The stock has lost around 75% of its value since its issue price of Rs 2,150.
The RBI’s ban on adding new clients, due to alleged gaps in its technology systems, has potentially affected the company’s small finance bank aspirations.
No high expectations: On March 17, Bloomberg reported that an analyst at Macquarie Capital Securities (India) who was early in predicting the firm’s market woes had lowered his price target further.
Suresh Ganapathy lowered its price estimate from Rs 700 to Rs 450, citing lower valuations for fintech companies globally. He did not change his earnings or revenue estimates for Paytm, which he called “underperforming.”
Cypher Capital to Invest 40% of New $100M Crypto Fund in India
Fund based in the United Arab Emirates Cypher Capital is launching a $100 million Blockchain fund which will focus on crypto, blockchain, and other digital asset projects.
Betting big on India: Cypher Capital aims to invest 40% of the fund in new blockchain and crypto startups in India. Bijan Alizadeh, the fund’s founder, is also its sole financier.
In an interview with ET, Vineet Budki, managing partner at Cypher Capital, said that India has a combination of talent, successful projects and a large number of retail crypto investors, which makes it lucrative for venture capital funds to invest. in Indian blockchain and cryptocurrency startups.
Details: Cypher Capital will invest $200,000 to $500,000 per company, although this could be as high as $1.5 million. It will invest in tokens in a big way and also plans to acquire stakes in established blockchain funds as general partners (GPs) and limited partners (LPs) as part of its value proposition, it said.
Appointment: “India has shown exceptional interest in building the blockchain ecosystem with projects like Matic (Polygon) and is therefore of special value to us. We believe in educating people about use cases like decentralized finance (DeFi), lending and lending, and play-to-win games, and managing blockchain startups to build valuable businesses,” said Budki.
A91 Partners leads a $35 million investment in online beauty brand Plum
Plum, Founder and CEO, Shankar Prasad
Online Beauty Brand Plum has raised $35 million (Rs 270 crore) in a round led by A91 Partners, which is also an investor in rival Sugar Cosmetics.
The round also saw the participation of existing investors Unilever Ventures and Faering Capital. The company’s valuation soared to $250 million, founder Shakar Prasad told us. To date, Plum has raised more than $50 million.
The startup will use the funds to grow its omnichannel presence, accelerate expansion into categories beyond skincare, and expand into new markets. It will also invest in marketing and technology.
Founded in 2013, Plum has a portfolio of vegan, cruelty-free and toxin-free beauty brands for skincare, haircare, personal care and makeup.
With more than 160 unique items, Plum sees around 40% of sales come from offline channels, 25% from its own platform and the rest from other online marketplaces such as Nykaa and Amazon India, Prasad said.
Theranos trial begins for Ramesh Balwani, ex-partner of Elizabeth Holmes
Ramesh Balwani, Former President and COO of Theranos
The federal trial of Ramesh Balwani, a Theranos executive and former partner of founder Elizabeth Holmes, started in the US on Tuesday.
Tell me more: Balwani, who goes by Sunny, has pleaded not guilty to a dozen counts of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Her attorney began her opening statement by shifting the blame onto Holmes, who was the CEO of Theranos.
in January, a federal jury convicted Holmes on four counts. Holmes took the stand in his defense, blaming Theranos’ problems and many of his own mistakes on Balwani, who was the startup’s president and COO.
Proceedings: At the heart of his trial is whether the government can prove that Balwani intended to defraud patients and investors with false claims about Theranos technology and business. The company raised nearly $1 billion from investors promising that its blood-testing devices would revolutionize healthcare.
In opening statements, prosecutors attempted to link Balwani’s actions directly to Holmes and the Theranos deceptions. Despite his lack of experience in science and medicine, Balwani was put in charge of the Theranos laboratory.
Thailand to ban the use of digital assets for payments from April 1
Thailand has issued rules to prohibit digital assets, including cryptocurrencies, from being used to pay for goods and services from April 1said the market regulator.
Digital asset business operators providing such services must comply with the new rules within 30 days, it said.
The move was in line with earlier discussions between the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Bank of Thailand (BOT) on the need to regulate such activity by digital asset trading operators as it could affect the economy. and the country’s financial stability, the SEC said. he said in a statement.
The Bank of Thailand has repeatedly said that it does not support the use of cryptocurrencies for payments.
Today’s ETtech Top 5 newsletter was hosted by Arun Padmanabhan in New Delhi and Zaheer Merchant in Mumbai. Graphics and illustrations by Rahul Awasthi.