21st December 2021
Good Morning! 

Boy was it hard to get through the last working Monday of the year, but hey it's done now! 
It is 21st December today, growing up in the 2000s we remember how there was a time when many people used to think that 21st December 2012 would be the last day ever.
Thankfully that prediction didn't come true.
Although with the way the stock market was down yesterday, it might've felt like doomsday for many 'buy the dip' investors. 😂😭



- 2.09%



- 2.18%



- 0.23%



- 0.73%



+ 2.4 bps



- 4.50%

*As of market close

  • Markets: Headline equity indexes Sensex and Nifty50 closed at 4-month lows after a brutal sell-off yesterday. It looks like omicron + inflation fears are really getting to investors. Overnight in the US stocks were down sharply too. But today is another day - let's see what markets have in store for us.


Goodbye Citi!
Sad Goodbye

American banking giant Citi is all set to exit its retail banking business in India.

And apparently leading the race to acquire this business is Axis Bank.
Per CNBCTV18, Axis is likely to be the winning bidder for Citi's retail banking assets here with a deal of ~$1.5 billion. 

Of this, $300-400 million could be milestone-based payments, which will be made in the future only if some key criteria are met.

While neither bank has confirmed this, the journalists at CNBCTV18 seem pretty confident.
Earlier it was reported that it'd be a 3 horse race between Kotak, IndusInd and Axis Bank to but out  Citi's India retail business which involves over 2.5 million customers and more than 1.2 million bank accounts.

Interestingly, Citi's India business has been profitable. They have a Rs 68,000 crore loan book, of which Rs 28k crores were to retail borrowers. These were mainly credit cards and mortgages.

Citibank is actually the 6th largest card issuer in India with a 4%+ market share. As per CLSA's estimates, Citibank could have a credit card book of approximately Rs 9,000 crore.
They have 35 branches in India and employ over 4,000 people.

The decision to exit India was made by Citi's global management team, when they decided to exit 13 countries including Australia, Bahrain, China, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam


Two Paanchacorns!

It looks like VCs got together to give us some nice end of the year news.
We had not 1 but 3 fundings.

Razorpay Raises Again

At the end of the last year, Razorpay had just entered the unicorn club and were looking promising for them in 2021.
And now they are ending the year valued at 7.5x of their last year's valuation.

Razorpay has just raised $375 million and is now valued at $7.5 billion. So they are officially a part of the 'Paanchacorn' club.

They had raised funds back in April at a $3 billion valuation so they've more than doubled their valuation in 6 months!

Razorpay started off with their payment gateway -- so businesses can accept, process and disburse money online. Ever since the past few years, they've got into much more. They now also have a neobank that offers corporate credit cards, working capital loans amongst other stuff.

Razorpay has grown tremendously over the past few years. They now process $60 billion in transactions and are still growing at a healthy pace. To give you a context of how popular they are, consider this - out of the 42 unicorns we've had this, year 34 use Razorpay themselves!

They are now rapidly expanding internationally as well.
It doesn't look like they'll go public for at least the next 2 years though. Do you think Stripe makes an acquisition play for them before that?

OfBusiness Raises Too

The other entrant into the Paanchacorn club is OfBusiness.
They just raised $325 million and are now valued at $5 billion.

OfBusiness's core business has been providing SMEs in the infra and manufacturing space with a tech-enabled platform to procure raw materials. The reason these SMEs keep returning to OfBusiness is that their technology helps the SMEs get better products at better prices, and also speeds up procurement.

While that is their core business, sticking to the "every company is a fintech company trend", OfBusiness also has its own lending arm.
They have their own non-banking financial company (NBFC) licence for this.
Ofbusiness is already profitable and in fact, has been for the past 4 years.
Revenue wise also their numbers are quite impressive with them currently doing $1.7 billion in revenue.

Like every late-stage startup funding now the question you may have is when are they going public?
It looks like they will go public sometime next year.


But Cars24 Misses Out...

Whilre Razorpay and OfBusiness joined the coveted 'paanchacorn' club, Cars24 still has some distance to go.

They too raised some money ($400 million) and and are now valued at $3.3 billion.

Instead of just matching dealers with car sellers, Cars24 actually buys used cars and then sells them to dealers. This is is exactly why they say they can help you sell your used car in 30 minutes on the very first visit. The one drawback is that this makes their business model quite asset-heavy.

With all this money they've raised they plan on expanding globally to the Middle East, Australia and Southeast Asia.

We already have 4 unicorns in the used car space in India but Cars24 is the biggest one now with this round of funding.
Frankly, we are now expecting one of the other 3 unicorns to raise funds soon and overtake Cars24.

PS: For new readers, we've been trying to get the word 'Paanchacorn' ($5 billion valuation) into the Indian startup dictionary. Clearly, the word is catching on, but we still keep trying.

On a Lighter Note

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