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EbixCash buys 70% stake in AssureEdge; Google reportedly mulls ShareChat acquisition

EbixCash buys 70% stake in AssureEdge; Google reportedly mulls ShareChat acquisition
Photo Credit: Thinkstock

End-to-end financial exchange platform EbixCash said on Monday that it has acquired a 70% stake in Mumbai based BPO (business process outsourcing) firm AssureEdge Global Services as it aims to streamline fulfilment, collections and last mile delivery. 

EbixCash is a subsidiary of Atlanta based Ebix,  which provides on-demand software and ecommerce services to the insurance, financial, healthcare and e-learning industries. Financial details of the deal have not been disclosed.

AssureEdge currently hires close to 1,800 employees across six contact centers across India, according to a statement. The company plans to grow its employee strength to close to 2,500 by the end of March 2021. 

EbixCash will rebrand itself as EbixCash Global BPO services to reflect the AssureEdge acquisition. Meanwhile, current CEO Bhupesh Tambe will continue to head the company with a 30% stake in the venture. 

The company would benefit in cross-selling value through AssureEdge’s clientele of 34 large corporate clients across BFSI, telecom, entertainment and ecommerce sectors.  

Also read: Failed deal with Ebix, pandemic pummel Yatra’s first quarter earnings

“AssureEdge can serve to handle fulfilment, collections and last mile delivery for EbixCash, as we converge it with our EbixCash financial and insurance technology platforms,” Robin Raina, Chairman of the Board, President  and CEO, Ebix said in the statement. 

Google eyes ShareChat acquisition

Technology giant Google is in preliminary talks to buy Mohalla Tech owned social media platform ShareChat for close to $1.03 billion, according to a report by the Economic Times

ShareChat currently offers content in 15 languages and claims to have over 160 million monthly active users (MAU). It operates a short video format called Moj, which has about 80 million MAUs. The platform gained popularity after the ban of TikTok and other Chinese applications in India. 

In September this year, Sharechat announced that it has secured $40 million in a growth round from returning investors Twitter, Lightspeed Venture Partners, SAIF Partners and India Quotient. Including the latest round, the total equity capital raised by the company stood at $264 million. 

The platform was valued at $650 million in September. The speculation around the deal size highlights the Mountain View based giant’s growing interest in the Indian market, the report said. 

Read: ShareChat sets up Silicon Valley centre, appoints new product exec 

Spring Marketing Capital invests $1 million in Purplle 

Spring Marketing Capital, a Bengaluru based branding and marketing focused fund, has made its first bet of $1 million from its maiden fund in Mumbai based e-commerce beauty products platform Purplle, according to a report by the Economic Times. 

Purplle, founded in 2011 is already backed by names such as IvyCap Ventures, JSW ventures and Blume Ventures. 

Its last funding round was in January this year, where the company, operated by Manash Lifestyle, raised $8 million from Belgium-based investment firm Verlinvest

The report said that Purplle has a revenue run rate of around Rs 500 crore so far and the company is looking to expand to other geographies. 

Spring, which focuses on early-stage, consumer-facing startups, was launched last year by the former chief marketing officer of Sequoia Capital India, Raja Ganapathy, and ex-group chief executive of DDB Mudra Vineet Gupta, along with former chairman of Lowe Lintas, Arun Iyer. 

Speciale Invest backs space tech startup Astrogate Labs 

Bengaluru-based space tech startup Astrogate Labs has raised an undisclosed amount of funding in a bridge round, called pre-series A, led by early-stage, deep-tech investors Speciale Invest. 

Astrogate provides optical/laser communication terminals and is working to solve challenges in radio-based communication systems. 

Anicut Angel Fund and SuprValue.vc also took part in the round, along with participation from existing investors FirstCheque.Vc. 

Astrogate Labs was founded in 2017 by Nitish Singh and Aditya Kedlaya. The fresh funds, the company said, will be used to support growing satellite downlink needs with a network of optical ground stations and in-space relays. 

“Currently, space systems largely rely on RF protocols for interplanetary, inter-satellite and space-to-ground communication. RF works, but is both limiting on bandwidth and expensive. We are excited to partner with Astrogate Labs, who we believe is disrupting the small satellite communication market - by increasing bandwidth 10x+ and reducing cost 10x+. The team has a unique mix of domain strength and tenacity that will get them to space,” Vishesh Rajaram, Managing Partner, Speciale Invest, said in a statement.