30th March 2022
Good Morning! 

Petrol prices have now crossed Rs 100 in most states! The funny thing is that they've been moving up like Ruchi Soya' stock (once upon a time) over the past few days - up in 7 out of the last 8 days!! And all this is after pump prices stayed about the same for the past 4 months even though crude oil prices shot up like crazy (cough elections). 



+ 0.61%



+ 0.60%



- 0.19%



- 1.25%



+ 0.1 bps



- 2.57%

*As of market close

  • Markets: Nifty50 and Sensex were up for a second straight day yesterday,  in line with the strength seen across global markets. Sentiment was boosted by falling crude oil prices and some hope coming out of the face-to-face peace talks between Russia and Ukraine.


End Of Story?
Thats all folks

The IL&FS bankruptcy saga is finally nearing its end!

Over three years since going bankrupt, a little over half of the group's debt has been recovered, and there's hope for a little bit more.

All put together, IL&FS group companies owed Rs 99,000 crores to various lenders, including almost all of our major banks.

There were severe liquidity issues at the group and a bunch of governance lapses on the part of management and other stakeholders. In 2018, when all this came to light the government stepped in and appointed a new board of directors, headed by banking superstar Uday Kotak.

Under this board then the web of interconnected companies was unravelled, and they soon realised that only a little over half of the amounts owed by various group companies would be recoverable. There turned out to be almost 350 entities!

Then, in November last year, the board said that 235 of these entities were resolved. This was around Rs 52k crores, and Uday Kotak said that the final total would come to be around Rs57k crores. 
But now he's hopeful of an extra Rs 4k crores being recovered, we're not sure from where though.

He also said that maximum recoveries have gone to public sector banks which had apparently been smarter in their lending practices and mostly gave loans to only operating companies, and not to the holding companies to which private banks had loaned money.

Most recently, the IL&FS Building in Mumbai's BKC was sold to Canada's Brookfield for almost Rs 1,100 crores.


Edtech Comeback!
Money gun

One sector we haven't covered as much as we expected this year has been edtech. Thankfully Classplus is here to change that.

Classplus just raised $70 million at $570 million.

The company provides the tools to help coaching centres, learning institutions and even individual tutors go online. So things like delivering classes online, making the study material available online and even accepting fees online, Classplus does it all.

When they'd started back in 2019 they were catering quite well to their core audience and getting decent traction but when the pandemic hit they started getting even more traction from sources they didn't quite expect.

Creators, artists, fitness and lifestyle experts aka people in the creator economy all started using their products.
So now Classplus is serving both the academic market as well as the creator economy.

They've made decent inroads in India because of how they've localized content.
Post this round of funding they plan on expanding internationally as well as making acquisitions.
So we guess we will keep hearing from them this year.


Just Keep Raising
Money gun

Pine Labs has got into a nice routine of raising funds every few months.
They've now gone on to announce they've raised $50 million at a $5 billion valuation.

If you can't quite remember, here's some more info on what Pine Labs does: Pine Labs in general helps businesses accept online and offline digital retail transactions. You've probably already used Pine Labs. Their PoS (Point of Sale) system is quite popular in India. They claim to be in 3,700 cities and towns in India and Malaysia. It is been quite a great past 18 months for Pine Labs. After grinding it out for nearly 20 years, 2020 started with them entering the club.
And now they're valued at more than $5 billion.

Every time they raise we keep hearing how this is a pre IPO raise but we don't have any confirmed date on their IPO. It looks like they've pushed back their IPO plans because of how bad the global markets have been. Now it does look like they will be looking at going public in the 2nd half of the year, but who knows maybe we get more pre-IPO fundings.
Not that we are complaining btw as we keep saying – technically every fundraise before an IPO is a pre-IPO raise.

One interesting point is the last time we covered them also they were rumoured to have raised at this valuation only or a slightly higher valuation. We doubt this is a down round but it does look like they didn't get an increase in valuation.

Maybe that's the route other IPO hopefuls also end up going through?

On a Lighter Note

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