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Cisco firms up VC plan for India

Global networking major Cisco is aggressively stepping up its next phase of investments in India, further to its $100 million investment in India so far. The company is scouting the region for equity investments in media, broadband and real estate, Cisco Ventures managing director Joydeep Bose said. Of the $200-million investments in India, Cisco has already invested nearly $ 100 million and the company hopes to exhaust the next $100 million in another 18 months. Immediate on the company’s plans, is forming investment-backed alliances in India. The company already has such an alliance with Satyam in the healthcare sector and is in talk with two more companies in India aimed towards the real estate and collaborative networking space in India. “We hope to close at one such equity-backed alliance deal by the end of December this year,” Mr Bose said. Cisco would seek out investment opportunities in its areas of focus, by asking partner companies to spin off such target operations into a subsidiary, in which it could take a stake of up to 18%. […]

Dhanus Tech acquires majority stake in Sreeven Infocom

Dhanus Technologies Ltd., one of India's fastest growing telecommunications companies, announced their acquisition of a majority equity stake in Sreeven Infocom Pvt. Ltd, Hyderabad based IT and ITeS service provider. This acquisition comes in accordance with the company's plans to expand into E-Governance space and strengthen telematics services and BPO service offerings in India. As a part of the deal, Dhanus Technologies has taken a 60% stake in Sreeven Infocom through an additional capital infusion into this company. Assessing the acquisition, Dhanus Technologies, Vice Chairman, S. Muthukrishnan, said, “Dhanus Technologies has always strived to deliver to its customer's efficient communication solutions; by combining different technologies on a common platform. Sreeven Infocom specializes in E -Governance and BPO services and works with key corporate, Government and quasi Government organizations across the country. With this strategic investment, we expect to target these organizations and plan to expand into the E-Governance sector and support Fleetrac systems. We expect to increase Sreeven's revenue to Rs.60 Crore by the end of the fiscal 2009-10.” […]

3i raises $1.2 bn for India Infra Fund

3i Group Plc, a London-based global private equity firm, announced that it has raised $1.2 billion for the India Infrastructure Fund that will enable it to finance projects in power, ports and other core sectors with a total value of up to 5 billion dollars. Earlier, 3i Group had announced to invest USD one billion in India's infrastructure sector, and had entered into a strategic partnership with the state-owned India Infrastructure Finance Company Ltd (IIFCL) last year. The raised funds are 20 per cent higher than the target, said a company statement. […]

Private equity activity strongest in October-December quarter

Venture Intelligence data spanning the last four years shows that the maximum inflow of funds occurred during the October-December quarter. This would imply that there are in-built incentives that propel PE investments during this season. May be, annual targets?But, PE players insist annual targets don’t drive them. They say investments are structured with respect to the return on investments and not any seasonality. Chrys Capital MD Sanjiv D Kaul called the pattern a mere co-incidence. Carlyle India head Shankar Narayanan said following a seasonal methodology to investments would be ‘suicidal’ for any PE investor. Mr Harish Fabiani, chairman of Americopr Group and a Madrid-based non-resident Indian who launched a $200-million India Industrial Growth Fund said there is simply no logic behind the pattern. […]

VC, PE funds raise Rs 28,000 cr in `07

India-focused private equity and venture capital funds raised $7 billion (Rs 27,958 crore) in 2007, excluding real estate, last year. They had garnered a similar amount in the corresponding previous year, according to data from Venture Intelligence, a venture capital research company. Some noted VCs raised funds last year. Sequoia Capital notched up $300 million, Sandalwood Capital ($350 million), Matrix India Partners ($300 million), Helion Ventures ($210 million), VenturEast ($150 million) and Nexus India Capital ($100 million). […]

Takeover rules to guide sovereign wealth funds

India has still not decided on regulations for sovereign wealth funds (SWF). However, existing provisions in the takeover code will be applicable to SWFs, according to Reserve Bank of India governor YV Reddy. The on-lending of foreign exchange reserves through IIFCL to Indian companies abroad will be treated as external commercial borrowings, Mr Reddy clarified. Globally, many countries have floated SWFs, which utilise a portion of their forex reserves to invest in a variety of assets in overseas markets to earn higher returns. Speaking at a session on ‘The Role of Government-owned Investment Vehicles in Global Capital Flows’ in the International Capital Markets and Emerging Markets Roundtable held in Washington DC on Monday, Mr Reddy said, “India has not yet considered regulatory initiatives, especially addressing SWFs. However, existing provisions regarding fit-and-proper or takeover code are applicable to all investors, including SWFs.” India is still at the stage of assessing the pros and cons of setting up an SWF. It is monitoring recent developments on enhancing transparency and disclosure in respect of hedge funds, private equity and SWFs, Mr Reddy said. […]

Mercatus Capital invested in i-Flapp Technologies

Mercatus Capital, a Singapore-headquartered angel investment fund, has closed its maiden investment in India by funding i-Flapp Technologies, a company founded by a group of Bangalore engineers with operations in Singapore. The fund hasn’t disclosed the quantum of investment but said that it typically invests $250,000 to $2 million dollars in each venture. In i-Flapp’s case, while the company will bring in technology expertise, the fund will help the start up gain a foothold in the commercial space. The engineers at i-Flapp have developed AppsD, a storage device that resembles a flash drive. The difference in this case is that instead of just files or images, the entire applications saved in a particular computer, can be loaded on to the AppsD. For example, an entire set of applications and settings on a desktop, such as Microsoft Outlook or Adobe can be saved in AppsD. […]