Crypto united, KKR’s $625 million buy – Economic Times


Despite years of lobbying, India’s crypto industry has made little headway with regulators. Now, a clutch of exchanges are planning to unite under industry body IndiaTech and urge the government to draw up rules for the sector quickly.

Also in this letter:

  • KKR invests $625 million in Vini Cosmetics
  • Twitter open to questioning by UP police over video
  • Bitcoin tumbles again as China widens crackdown

Crypto exchanges plan multi-pronged push for regulation

China Digital Currency

Top Indian crypto exchanges are in the final stages of joining IndiaTech to increase pressure on the government to regulate


in India, several industry sources said. A multi -pronged approach could help raise awareness and push regulators to quickly establish a framework for the digital tokens.

What is IndiaTech?, or Technology Services Industry Association, is an industry association representing India’s consumer internet startups, unicorns and investors.

  • It serves as a “collaborative platform and voice” for Indian consumer internet startups and their investors to support positive business, conducive policy and regulations, according to its website.

Who’s joining? ZebPay, for one. A senior official at another crypto exchange, who did not wish to be named, also said they were in the final stages of becoming a IndiaTech member.

Senior executives at many other crypto exchanges said they were considering the proposal to join IndiaTech but added that their work with the Blockchain and Crypto Assets Council (BACC), a part of the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), would continue.

  • “It’s all about trying from different bodies and seeing what works,” said one executive who is considering the proposal to join IndiaTech. “There’s unlikely to be a single regulator anyway, so we’re just trying to do different things to see what works.”

KKR invests $625 million in Vini Cosmetics for majority stake


KKR & Co. is investing $625 million in Vini Cosmetics for a majority stake in what is the biggest private equity-led buyout in India’s consumer goods sector.

ET was the first to report on this deal on March 12.

Who’s buying, who’s selling: The secondary sale of shares was led by the founder group of Darshan Patel and Dipam Patel, who together held 60% before KKR’s investment.

According to sources,

  • KKR is acquiring 54% stake in Vini, pegging its valuation at Rs 8,600 crore.
  • Westbridge Capital is increasing its stake to 23% from 21% at present.
  • Early investor Sequoia Capital is offloading some of its 17% shareholding.
  • “The promoters have sold around 30% stake in the company,” said a source.

The Patel brothers, who set up Vini Cosmetics after the family sold Paras Pharmaceuticals to UK-based multinational Reckitt Benckiser, will continue to hold a significant stake in the company and collaborate with KKR for the next phase of the company’s growth, according to a statement.

Darshan Patel will continue as chairman and Dipam Patel will take charge as his deputy.

In other deals news…

Byju Raveendran

Byju Raveendran-led edtech firm Byju’s has raised $50 million in a Series F round led by IIFL’s private equity fund and Maitri Edtech, according to the latest regulatory filings sourced through business intelligence platform Toefler.

IIFL led the round with a Rs 255 crore ($35 million) investment, while Maitri Edtech put in Rs 108 crore ($15 million). Queries sent to Byju’s remained unanswered as of Monday evening. first reported the development on Monday.

Upside AI, a SEBI-registered investment management startup, has raised $1.2 million in a seed funding round led by Endiya Partners.

Progcap, a fintech startup focused on retail financing, has raised $25 million in a Series B round led by Tiger Global and existing investor Sequoia India at an undisclosed valuation.

Portl—a home fitness and wellness startup—has raised an undisclosed amount from Kalaari Capital in its seed funding round. The funds will be used to grow the team across hardware, engineering and Artificial Intelligence and expand the sales and marketing efforts for the Portl range of products in India.

Also Read: Sequoia-backed Zoomcar eyes US listing via SPAC

Tweet of the day

Twitter officials open to questioning over video call

Twitter officials are ready to be available over video call for questioning in the

Ghaziabad viral video case

and sought some changes to the notice issued to them, city SSP Amit Pathak said on Monday.

  • The Uttar Pradesh police, however, is having none of it, and is weighing a second notice against the microblogging platform.

Twitter in the dock: A delay in accepting India’s revised IT rules, which came into effect on May 26, has spelt trouble for Twitter, which may have lost its intermediary status under Indian law, ET reported on June 16. Since then, it has been in the dock for failing to block the video of an attack on an elderly man in Loni, Ghaziabad.

  • On June 17, UP Police summoned Twitter India MD Manish Maheshwari to appear before a Ghaziabad police station in connection with the video.
  • A day earlier, UP Police filed an FIR against Twitter Inc., its India unit and 7 others in connection with the video. This is the first FIR lodged against Twitter in India.

In other social media news: Facebook and WhatsApp on Monday urged the Delhi High Court to stay Competition Commission of India’s (CCI) notice asking them to furnish certain information in relation to a probe ordered by it into the messaging app’s new privacy policy.

During the hearing, the vacation bench of Justices Anup Jairam Bhambhani and Jasmeet Singh said it did not want to delve into the merits of the matter as the main petitions were pending before a bench headed by the chief justice. “We will pass an order. The matter will be listed on July 9 (the date already fixed for the main petitions),” the bench said.

Changes at Wipro ‘difficult but necessary’, says chairman

Rishad Premji

The changes that Wipro Ltd. has made in the past six months under new CEO Thierry Delaporte were “difficult but necessary”, but India’s third largest IT services firm is well positioned to leverage as well as enable such transformations, chairman Rishad Premji wrote in the company’s annual report for FY21.

According to the Premji scion, the demand for talent will outpace supply and become a “key dependency” for growth as enterprises and sectors accelerate their digital adoption due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

  • “With the rapid shift to digital, the demand for talent will outpace supply, and become a key dependency for growth. Already we see new delivery models, such as ‘work from anywhere’ and ‘crowdsourcing’, becoming the mainstay.” — Wipro chairman Rishad Premji

Infographic Insight

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit companies last year, it accelerated their digital journeys. But Indian enterprises have only scratched the surface of the potential that cloud technology provides, according to a new paper by CII and Deloitte.



China widens crypto crackdown, bitcoin tumbles

The People’s Bank of China summoned some banks and payments institutions recently, urging them to crack down harder on cryptocurrency trading. The PBOC, China’s central bank, urged institutions to launch thorough checks on clients’ accounts to identify those involved in cryptocurrency transactions, and promptly cut their payment channels.

Bitcoin tumbled 10% on cue.

The cryptocurrency’s bull run globally had revived speculative trading in China, where people buy cryptocurrencies using yuan via bank accounts or payments platforms. Last month, three associations issued a ban on crypto-related financial services, but the bodies are much less powerful than the PBOC.

Today’s ETtech Top 5 Newsletter was curated by Zaheer Merchant and Tushar Deep Singh in Mumbai.

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