Ecomms Fac­ing Funds Drought May Get Manna from China Chee­tah Mo­bile, Baidu, Ten­cent hold talks with mid-stage cos in In­dia

The Economic Times - - Front Page - Aditi.Shri­vasa­tava1 @times­group.com

Ben­galuru: About half a dozen Chi­nese in­vestors, in­clud­ing Ten­cent and Chee­tah Mo­bile, were camped in In­dia last month promis­ing respite to a drought-hit fund­ing ecosys­tem, but for do­mes­tic in­ter­net com­pa­nies it’s prob­a­bly too early to cel­e­brate. Chi­nese con­glom­er­ate Fo­sun Group; Shun­wei Cap­i­tal Part­ners, the ven­ture cap­i­tal firm led by smart­phone maker Xiaomi’s founder Lei Jun; mo­bile in­ter­net com­pany Chee­tah Mo­bile; in­ter­net gi­ant Baidu; and in­vest­ment firm Ten­cent re­cently held dis­cus­sions with more than a dozen founders of mid-stage com­pa­nies in In­dia and sev­eral ven­ture cap­i­tal firms, ac­cord­ing to mul­ti­ple peo­ple aware of the meet­ings.

But in con­trast to the ear­lier blind ag­gres­sion of pre­dom­i­nantly Amer­i­can hedge funds in back­ing In­dian star­tups, the Chi­nese in­vestors are un­der­tak­ing closer scru­tiny, ask­ing dif­fi­cult ques­tions on busi­ness strat­egy, scal­a­bil­ity and growth tra­jec­to­ries, the sources said. The Chi­nese firms are drag­ging po­ten­tial fund­ing into com­pa­nies un­til they can see the kind of sales growth that can fuel their am­bi­tious ex­pec­ta­tions, the sources said.

Chi­nese in­vestors scru­ti­n­is­ing com­pa­nies, ask­ing dif­fi­cult ques­tions on busi­ness strat­egy, scal­a­bil­ity and growth

trench in the dried up river. Munde said, “In On Mon­day, King­fisher told the court Latur, that se­niorI saw some ex­ec­u­tiveswaof the now-de­funct­ter which gave air­line me —a Ravi Ne­dun­gadi feel­ing of and con­tentA Raghu­nathan ment.”—— were fully co­op­er­at­ing with the in­ves­tiga­tive agen­cies and there­fore Mallya couldn’t be ac­cused of be­ing eva­sive or non-co­op­er­a­tive in the IDBI case. In its pe­ti­tion chal­leng­ing ED’s re­quest seek­ing the ar­rest war­rant, the com­pany said it had nei­ther used any money bor­rowed from IDBI for pur­poses other than le­git­i­mate busi­ness re­quire­ments, nor Mallya di­verted any for his per­sonal ben­e­fit or gain.

Hiten Ven­gaonkar, the lawyer rep­re­sent­ing ED, said the agency has ma­te­rial ev­i­dence on the ba­sis of which it is de­mand­ing the war­rant.

Judge PR Bhavke of the spe­cial Pre­ven­tion of Money Laun­der­ing Act Court the re­jected the com­pany’s pe­ti­tion.

Terming this a big break­through in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, a se­nior ED of­fi­cial said as of now, the probe re­quired only Mallya’s ar­rest war­rant and fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion would help the agency to see the clear pic­ture and de­cide upon fur­ther ac­tion.

A lawyer said it was a mis­take from Mallya’s team to re­sist the war­rant or not to ap­pear be­fore ED in per­son.

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