PhonePe raises $200 million


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Team YS ( )


The Silicon Valley Bank saga continues. 

On Friday, SVB Financial Group filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection days after US regulators took over its banking unit. However, SVB Securities and SVB Capital—entities the company is exploring ‘strategic’ alternatives for—are not included in its bankruptcy filing.

Closer home, Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar said deposits close to $1 billion attributable to Indian startups were with the US-based bank. During a Twitter live session, the minister said he had heard that over $200 million of startups’ deposits had been transferred to GIFT City bank.

Chandrasekhar consulted with more than 450 representatives of the startup and investor ecosystem on Tuesday to assess the impact of SVB’s collapse. Following this, he wrote a letter to FM Nirmala Sitharaman with a set of suggestions to help startups wade through the crisis.

On Thursday, during a fireside chat at Lenovo Tech World India 2023, the minister further added that Indian startups should opt for local banking partners as the country’s banking system is resilient.

Meanwhile, the venture capital industry is still not having a good time. Tiger Global marked down the value of its investments in private companies by about 33% across its funds in 2022, reported Wall Street Journal. This is after SoftBank Group reported an investment loss of $5.52 billion on its Vision Fund in the October-December quarter. 

Lastly, a bit of wholesomeness to boost your weekend. Read how a retired teacher’s Facebook group for cheese toast lovers went viral.

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • PhonePe raises $200M from Walmart
  • Delhi-NCR’s very own Piano Man
  • Toy manufacturing for brands

Here’s your trivia for today: What was the original name of ​​Pillsbury Doughboy, Poppin’ Fresh?


PhonePe raises $200M from Walmart

PhonePe has raised $200 million in primary funding from Walmart at a pre-money valuation of $12 billion. With this, the digital payments and financial services unicorn has managed to pull $650 million from several global investors as it looks to secure $1 billion following its domicile shift to India last year.

Growth engine:

  • Earlier in January, PhonePe said it had raised $350 million in funding at a pre-money valuation of $12 billion from private equity firm General Atlantic.
  • The company plans to deploy the capital to build and scale new businesses like insurance, wealth management, lending, stockbroking, ONDC-based shopping, and account aggregators.
  • It will also help PhonePe fuel the next wave of growth for UPI payments in India, including UPI Lite, and Credit on UPI.
PhonePe SmartSpeakers

Funding Alert

Startup: PhonePe

Amount: $200M

Round: Undisclosed

Startup: Univest 

Amount: $1.5M

Round: Seed


Delhi-NCR’s very own Piano Man

The Piano Man (TPM) is the go-to place for jazz in New Delhi. Founder Arjun Sagar Gupta, an electronics engineer and a Fulbright music scholar, says he fell in love with jazz when his brother gifted him a music CD in high school that had Louis Armstrong singing WC Handy’s Blues.

After the success of The Piano Man Jazz Club, Safdarjung and The Piano Man, Gurgaon, Gupta is set to open the third outpost in Malviya Nagar in Delhi. YS Life explores the story behind TPM and what makes it click.

Striking a chord:

  • Some of the musicians who’ve played at the TPM include Chick Corea, Jojo Mayer, and Ivan Santos. 
  • TPM also runs a successful festival called ‘Giants of Jazz’. The 10-day musical gala was created with the intent to put together a line-up of international artists and give audiences a real taste of jazz music. 
  • The club’s spaces also offer other music genres such as classic rock, blues and pop. While the age demographic is wide, most of the guests are in their 30s and 40s. 
The Piano Man


Toy manufacturing for brands

What began as a trading firm in 2016 has grown into a promotional toy-making company with three manufacturing facilities. SM Toys, a brand under Indore-based Candytoy Corporate, is not only eliminating India’s reliance on China but is also creating jobs locally.

The toy story:

  • Candytoy Corporate has three factories, in Indore, Hyderabad and Delhi, with over 250 machines and a daily production capacity of 10.2 million toys. 
  • It had a turnover of Rs 125 crore in FY22 and expects to close the current fiscal year with a turnover of Rs 200 crore.
  • Its clients span across sectors–from airlines Vistara and AirAsia to shoe brands such as Action and Puma. 
With a production capacity of 10.2M toys a day, this company supplies promotional toys to Colgate, Puma

What began as a trading firm in 2016 has grown into a company with three manufacturing facilities. SM Toys is eliminating India’s reliance on China and creating jobs locally.

News & updates

  • Prep for fallout: WeWork said on Friday it had reached a deal to convert about $1 billion of key investor SoftBank Group’s unsecured notes into equity, in an effort to restructure its finances. Shares of the company rose 2.2% to $1 before the bell.
  • Helping hands: First Republic Bank, facing a crisis of confidence from investors and customers, is set to receive a $30-billion lifeline from a group of America’s largest banks, including JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, and Truist.
  • Age of machines: Chinese tech company Baidu announced Friday it can now operate robotaxis in a part of the capital city of Beijing with no human staff or driver inside. The move eliminates the labour cost for operating self-driving taxis—up to the permitted number of cars.

What was the original name of ​​Pillsbury Doughboy, Poppin’ Fresh?

Answer: Jonathan Pillsbury.

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