South-east Asian ride-hailing firm Grab has acquired Bengaluru-based payments start-up iKaaz to help expand its digital payments platform GrabPay.

Grab stated that the flexibility and scalability of iKaaz’s technology make it suitable for South-east Asia’s diverse payments landscape.

The iKaaz team will join Grab’s R&D centre in Bengaluru.

Jason Thompson, Managing Director, GrabPay, Southeast Asia, said: “iKaaz has served merchants and partners across different industries from parking lots and airports to retail stores and hotels. This set of offline payments features offers the flexibility needed to tailor the GrabPay platform to each country and partner in South-east Asia.”

Soma Sundaram, Founder, iKaaz, said: “By partnering with Grab, we now have an opportunity to see how our tech can improve the lives of South-east Asia’s more than 620 million people and its growing digital economy.”

Grab, formerly known as GrabTaxi, operates one of the largest transportation networks in South-east Asia and is one of the most frequently used mobile platforms in the region with up to 1.5 million daily bookings, according to the company.

India Investment Journal’ has in-depth coverage on related topics.

 

Angel List, a US-based crowdfunding platform and start-up community, has launched ‘Syndicates for India’ — a service that allows individual investors to pool in money and invest in larger rounds in Indian as well as US companies.

Through its platform, it has facilitated investments of $700 million combined in over 1,800 start-ups including Uber and Indian start-ups such as ClearTax, DocTalk and Squad. Some of these companies have gone on to raise follow-on amounting to $6.4 billion.

It is aimed at allowing independent investors to be part of funding rounds at larger companies, and alternatively be able to get better equity allocation and voting rights during investments in start-ups.

According to Angel List, an angel investor may write a single cheque for Rs 10 lakhs ($15,660) to a start-up. With syndicates, that same investor can lead a syndicate and pool more capital from dozens of backers who can help the company—all while having only one name added to the cap table.

Ash Lilani, managing partner at Saama Capital, and Freecharge founder Kunal Shah collaborated with Angel List to launch syndicates in India. The platform has readied investors like Sandeep Tandon, Shalini Prakash and K-Start, among others who will serves as syndicates for approved angel investors.

India Investment Journal’ has in-depth coverage on related topics.

 

International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private-sector investment arm of the World Bank, is looking to invest up to $150 million (Rs 958 crore) in Aditya Birla Finance Ltd (ABFL) to fund renewable energy projects.

IFC proposes to invest the capital through rupee external commercial borrowing which would be the first dedicated climate finance funding for ABFL.

The financing and deployment of proceeds will enable ABFL to tap the growing climate finance market and fund renewable energy projects.

IFC said that lending to renewable energy projects is a relatively new business for ABFL and through this engagement, it will be able to leverage IFC’s global expertise in the renewable energy lending to develop its project appraisal and risk management capacities.

The proposed investment will result in savings in greenhouse gas emissions as it will finance power generation through renewable and climate-friendly sources.

ABFL is a fully owned subsidiary of Aditya Birla Capital Ltd (ABCL) which is the holding company for all financial services businesses of Aditya Birla Group (ABG).

India Investment Journal’ has in-depth coverage on related topics.

US-headquartered Hewlett-Packard Inc. (HP) announced the commercial availability of its 3D printing solution in India that it said would help usher in a digital manufacturing transformation.

HP’s new Multi Jet Fusion 3D Printing solution is a production-ready commercial 3D printing system that claims to deliver superior-quality physical parts up to 10 times faster and at half the cost of current 3D printing systems, at Rs2.5 crore ($0.4 million).

According to the company, 3D printing has the potential to unlock unprecedented economic potential and disrupt virtually every part of the $12 trillion global manufacturing industry.

Sumeer Chandra, managing director, HP India, announced two partners — Mumbai-based Imaginarium and Noida-based Adroitec — as resellers of its 3D printing solution in the country. As certified HP 3D printing reseller partners, Imaginarium and Adroitec will bring expertise and knowledge of HP’s Multi Jet Fusion technology to customers deploying the solutions, as well as value added services such as the enablement of new applications and industry-leading response time and service quality.

Chandra believes as the technology and material becomes affordable, 3D printing in India will further pave its entry into other segments such as arts and design, interior decoration, fashion accessories, footwear designs, jewellery designs, animation and gaming.

India Investment Journal’ has in-depth coverage on related topics.

Mumbai-headquartered drugmaker Ipca Laboratories has fully acquired American pharmaceutical company Pisgah Labs for $9.65 million. The acquisition was made via Ipca Labs’ US subsidiaries, Ipca Pharmaceutical Inc and Onyx Scientific Ltd.

Ipca Labs said the acquisition would help it establish a foothold in the US market in the fields of contract research, intermediates manufacturing and small-volume active pharmaceutical ingredients (API).

Ipca Labs said in a statement: “Pisgah Labs has been a chemistry solutions provider for over three decades and will continue to operate out of its North Carolina manufacturing facility under the Pisgah trade name.”

Ipca Labs has previously made several similarly-sized acquisitions, including in the US. In 2015, the company had acquired 19 per cent stake in Hyderabad-headquartered Krebs Biochemicals & Industries Ltd. The year before that, the firm had acquired a manufacturing plant in Indore from Alpa Labs for Rs 71.71 crore ($12 million at the time).

Founded more than six decades ago, Ipca Labs manufactures APIs and finished dosage forms. It has a significant presence in domestic branded formulations, global branded and generic formulations, and global APIs.

Ipca’s investors include India-focused private equity firm Chrys Capital and Malaysian sovereign wealth fund Khazanah.

'India Global Business’ has in-depth coverage on related topics.

India will begin the auction of 55 oil and gas exploration blocks this week under new rules, the country's first licensing round after eight years, as it seeks to unlock its vast hydrocarbon resources.

The world's third biggest oil importer last year eased rules and allowed companies to carve out areas where they want to drill to attract greater interest and quickly monetise as much as 220 billion barrels of oil and gas resources.

The identified blocks, spread over a 59,000 sq km area, will now go under the hammer with some advantages given to companies that first identified the area. About 65 percent of the 55 blocks are on land and mostly in the north-eastern state of Assam and western states of Gujarat and Rajasthan.

The last date to submit bids is on April 3 and the contracts are expected to be signed by the end of July.

India is estimated to hold 42 billion tonnes or 315 billion barrels of oil and gas resources. Of this, 220 billion barrels are yet to be recovered.

'India Global Business’ has in-depth coverage on related topics.

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