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Hush-hush tales from the world of stock markets, banking, corporate world and corridors of power

MC Insider: Startup troubles, merger buzz, unions up in arms, creative cloud and more

Last Updated: May 18, 2022 / 08:06 AM IST

BUSINESS ‘MODELLING’

Hindsight can be a beautiful thing if the right lessons are learned and for this fintech company there were many following its IPO. Having surmised that a key factor behind the underwhelming stock performance after its listing was the meaningful misunderstanding about its business within the financial community, the company has been blitzing media professionals with meetings to facilitate a better understanding of its business and dispel misconceptions. The learnings did not end there though, with a high-ranking official at the erstwhile startup also concerned that not all the attention it received during its IPO was sincere—least of all the one it got from a certain brokerage with Aussie origins!

BLACK SHEEP

BLACK SHEEP

This venture firm's key personnel recently flew down to India to get a sense of how their portfolio is performing. One of this firm's portfolio startups has been a lodestar for controversies since the beginning of the year while the other startups in the portfolio seem to be doing well. There was also no shortage of drama thanks to its now estranged founder. The whole episode raised many questions about how unaware investors may be about day- to-day developments in startups. While the executives refused to talk about this investment to the media, they apparently exchanged notes with another VC, who is also an investor in this firm. Guess they came away with many lessons from this saga!

MERGER BUZZ

MERGER BUZZ

This space was the darling of investors for the last two years, thanks to the mega boost it got during the pandemic. But things are shifting fast now, with demand and growth flat lining. Raising funds has therefore become a difficult task, especially in the current environment where there is extreme caution. No wonder then that there is constant buzz of consolidation in this space. The rumour mills were active last week on buzz that two firms were merging, as two founders of these firms, who have a common investor, met a few times. They denied this though and said these were 'casual' catch up meetings. While the buzz seems to have fizzled for now, watch this space when the tide turns!

TAKE THAT BACK!

TAKE THAT BACK!

Public sector bank employee unions are upset with a comment made at a recent event by one of the directors on the board of the regulator. According to people who attended the event, the director reportedly said good and efficient bank employees have gone to private sector banks and only the scum and filth is remaining in PSBs. Ouch! This statement irked bank employee unions who now want an apology from the said gentleman. We learn that the employee unions have written to the government as well expressing their displeasure on the remark.

LANDING A GOOD DEAL

LANDING A GOOD DEAL

Here is a rather interesting instance of land changing hands. More than 1000 square metres of land allotted to a company that manufactures and markets fuel and lubricant additives, which in turn had utilised it for developing a residential complex, has recently been transferred to a leading Navi Mumbai builder who won the bid for about Rs 25 crore. The buzz is that a luxury real estate project is expected to come up on the land parcel.

RAIL REGULATOR?

RAIL REGULATOR?

The central government is looking to come out with a new tender for private passenger train operations in 2022-23, but until now discussions with the industry have not gone well according to many industry insiders. The government is not keen on changing the financial model for private train operations too much, while the industry has sought quicker return on investment. The industry has asked the government to setup an independent regulator to ensure smooth operations between private players and the Indian Railways, but the Railway Board is not keen to setting up an independent regulator.

GETTING TOO COSY COMES AT A COST!

GETTING TOO COSY COMES AT A COST!

The information of the shunting of Uttar Pradesh’s director general of police was shared with the media through a WhatsApp message, something that was unheard of in the state. The message said that the DGP, a 1987 batch IPS officer, was removed for 'no interest in work and disobeying orders' but the buzz is that government mandarins and the top cop had a frosty relationship from start. Goel’s detractors say he was cosying up to some Opposition leaders. No wonder, he was not invited for the law and order meeting held soon after the BJP government won a second term.

LAST-DITCH ATTEMPT

LAST-DITCH ATTEMPT

The Congress party has made several attempts to placate a certain sulking young leader from poll-bound Gujarat but to no affect, despite speculations that negotiations have worked out. That the leader is still unhappy with the Congress top leadership was obvious when he did not show up at the three-day ‘Chintin Shivir’ of the Congress party that began in Udaipur on Friday. Now the buzz is that the ball is in Rahul Gandhi’s court who is expected to meet this leader in about a week. The leader has supposedly told his close aides that he will announce a big decision only after meeting Rahul Gandhi.

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