India’s Zomato raises $100M from Tiger Global, says it is planning to file for IPO next year

Indian food delivery startup Zomato has raised $ 100 million from Tiger Global and is preparing for the next phase of its journey: an IPO.

Tiger Global financed the capital through its investment vehicle Internet Fund VI, according to a regulatory filing. Info Edge, a major investor in Zomato, confirmed the development Thursday evening, adding that the new round valued Zomato at $ 3.3 billion post-money.

In an email to employees earlier today, Zomato co-founder and chief executive Deepinder Goyal said the startup had about $ 250 million cash in the bank and several more “big name” investors would be joining the current round to increase its cash reserve to about $ 600 million “very soon.”

“Important note — we have no immediate plans on how to spend this money. We are treating this cash as a ‘war-chest’ for future M&A, and fighting off any mischief or price wars from our competition in various areas of our business,” he added in the letter, reviewed by TechCrunch.

Zomato, which acquired the Indian food delivery business of Uber early this year, competes with Prosus Ventures-backed Swiggy in India. A third player, Amazon, has also emerged in the market, though it is currently servicing food delivery in only select suburbs of Bangalore.

Goyal told employees that the 12-year-old startup is also working for its IPO for “sometime in the first half of next year.” (It’s unclear how Zomato plans to achieve this target, but it is likely looking at listing in the U.S. or some other market. Current Indian law requires a startup to be profitable for at least three years before they could publicly list in India — though there has been some proposal to relax this requirement.)

The new pledge from Zomato is the result of a major economic improvement in its business in recent quarters. Until mid-last year, Zomato was losing more than $ 50 million a month to win and sustain customers by offering heavy discounts.

The Gurgaon-headquartered firm, which like Swiggy eliminated hundreds of jobs in recent months as coronavirus ruined the appetite of Indians ordering food online, said in July that its losses for the month would be less than $ 1 million.

The startup also faced obstacles in raising new capital. It kickstarted its financing round a year ago, but had secured only $ 50 million as of a month ago. The startup had originally anticipated closing this round, at about $ 600 million, in January this year.

In an emailed response to TechCrunch queries in April, Goyal had attributed the delays to the spread of coronavirus and said he expected to close the round by mid-May. He wrote to employees today that Tiger Global, Temasek, Baillie Gifford and Ant Financial had already participated in the current round.

Startups – TechCrunch

Trusty.care Raises $1.5M to Offer Healthcare and Financial Planning Solutions for Medicare Patients

“My younger brother was in a car accident and didn’t have health insurance. The experience of seeing the financial impact of insurance on individuals is at the heart of what we do. For retirees, health care costs are their second-largest expense during retirement and the best way to control those costs is getting the right insurance.” The healthcare system has become increasingly complex for retirees and Trusty brings much-needed transparency for a financially vulnerable population. CEO and Cofounder Jo Schneier shares more about this mission-driven benefits management platform that empowers brokers and financial advisors to deliver prudent service to their elderly clients.
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Cube closes $5M Seed round to scale its financial planning software

This morning Cube announced that it has closed a Seed round worth just over $ 5 million. The software startup, focused on financial planning and analysis (FP&A) work, raised $ 3.8 million of the total recently, with remaining $ 1.25 million having come in an earlier Pre-Seed round.

Christina Ross, Cube’s CEO and founder, told TechCrunch that she started raising the most recent tranche of capital in March, winding up with a few term sheets within a few weeks. Eventually the startup picked Bonfire VenturesBrett Queener to lead the round, with Operator Collective, Clocktower Technology Ventures, Alumni Ventures Group, Techstars, and others taking part.

So, what is FP&A and why is Cube attracting so many interested investors? Let’s talk about both.

Attack the spreadsheets

There’s an old startup chestnut that I can’t source this morning, but goes something like this: If you want to know where to found a startup, just go to a big company, walk around until you figure out where they still use spreadsheets, and build something that will replace them. Voilà, you have a company.

Ross is doing something similar with Cube.

She detailed her work experience in an interview, noting stints at GE, at Deloitte doing financial work, at Rent The Runway as employee 34 and first head of finance, at Criteo where she was its North America head of finance, and, finally, at Eyeview as its CFO. She has helped growing companies manage and track their monetary resources, and draw a plan for the future.

Or in industry-speak, she has spent a lot of time doing FP&A, a business process where she says there are still too many old-fashioned spreadsheets.

That’s where Cube comes in. Ross noted during our chat that lots of what a CFO does is being automated, with Carta, Bill.com, Expensify, and other tools, but that FP&A is still something of a crap experience.

What Cube does is collect information from a company’s general ledger (think Quickbooks), CRM (say, Salesforce), and HRIS (ADP, perhaps) into a single repository. From there the company’s FP&A denizens can control and sort the data, viewing it using Cube’s own visualization tool, spreadsheets, or web interface.

Once you can see the information in a manner of your choosing, you can get to the real work of FP&A, namely sketching out the future. What is that sketch good for? Providing a company’s leadership with profit and loss forecasting, and other operating details.

In Ross’s conception, FP&A is actually pretty simple. Put away all the numbers, it’s just telling the story of the past, and writing the story of the future for any given company.

It’s a neat problem to solve, and one that Cube can charge handsomely for helping with. Pricing for the company’s service starts at $ 850 per month, and goes up from there (the startup also offers a discounted startup plan).

But don’t worry, Cube isn’t trying to build a slightly better note taking app and then begging people to please, please pay for a pittance for it. The startup wants to build a part of companies’ financial brains. And as its product will sit next to the nexus of spend and cash, the startup is probably right to demand a higher fee than we often see from less mission-critical SaaS products.

Its business-importance and price point, we presume, were part of why Cube didn’t struggle to raise during a pandemic. Based in New York City, the startup intends to triple its staff size in the next year now that it has closed its funding cycle.

Cube’s software isn’t something that I’ll ever use, but I’ve been at a startup at the time when it began to mature its accounting and finance functions. It’s a struggle to just get the numbers in line, let alone get the books so perfect that you can raise your eyes from the fine print to glance at the horizon. If Cube can help more companies do just that, it could do well for itself.

More when Cube shares growth numbers.

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TechCabal Daily – This African telco is reportedly planning to layoff a third of its staff – TechCabal

TechCabal Daily – This African telco is reportedly planning to layoff a third of its staff  TechCabal
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iObeya raises $17M to digitize management planning processes like Agile

As we move deeper into the pandemic, companies are looking for ways to digitize processes that previously required in-person meetings with manual approaches. Investors appear to be rewarding companies who can achieve this. iObeya, a French company that helps digitize management planning processes like lean and agile, announced a $ 17 million Series A today.

Red River West led the round with help from Atlantic Bridge Capital and Fortino Capital Partners. It has now raised a total of $ 20 million, according to the company.

Tim McCracken, who heads up the company’s US operations, says the name comes from the Japanese word for the large room where companies did all their planning. Many companies gather a group of people in a conference room and line the walls with sticky notes and white boards with their plans for the coming weeks and months.

Even before the pandemic struck, it wasn’t the most effective way to record this valuable business content, and iObeya has developed a service to put it in the digital realm. “And so one of the things that they did with those obeya rooms was they had lots of different visual management boards with post it notes and with different types of indicators that they would use to manage their business. And so what iObeya does is digitize that type of visual management, so that you can access it from multiple locations and share it amongst teams and basically eliminate the need for doing it on paper and on walls,” McCracken explained.

This involves digitizing four main areas that include lean management, factory floor management, agile programming and finally what they call the digital workplace, which includes design thinking, virtual whiteboarding and brainstorming. All of these approaches have lots of planning associated with them and could benefit from being moved online.

Image Credits: iObeya

They are approaching 100 employees with the majority in France right now with a small office in the U.S. in Seattle, but they will be using this money to expand with plans to add 50 more. He says that the company has always looked at diversity when it comes to its hiring practices.

“We want to try to attract, not only experienced salespeople, as well as the support organization around them, but also really do as much outreach in the local community to see how we can ensure that our workforce reflects the community,” he said.

As the company had to shut down offices due to COVID-19, McCracken says their own software helped them make that transition more smoothly. “We actually use our own software to manage business so we had very little disruption to our actual work. At the same time, the volume of work increased probably four to five fold, simply because of increased demand for the software. So we had to manage not only moving from working in an office to work at home, but also the increased workload,” he said.

The company was founded near Paris in 2011. They plan to use the money to expand operations in the U.S. and build awareness of the company through greater sales and marketing spend.

Startups – TechCrunch