- Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), owned by Reliance Strategic Business Ventures Limited (RSBVL), has acquired a stake of about $20 million in the SaaS company NowFloats.
Reliance Industries Limited(RIL), owned by Reliance Strategic Business Ventures Limited (RSBVL), has acquired a stake of about $20 million in the SaaS company NowFloats.
By December 2020, RSBVL plans to make an additional investment of up to Rs 75 crore, subject to certain milestones being reached by NowFloats. His shareholding in the Hyderabad-based company will increase to 89.66 percent following the additional investment, a regulatory filing with the BSE said.
The filing added that this investment will further assist RIL’s digital and new trade initiatives.
Neeraj Sabharwal, Nitin Jain, Ronak Samantray, and Jasminder Gulati founded NowFloats in May 2012. NowFloats, as a SaaS company, allows digital presence for SMBs and businesses. The company also offers discovery platforms for local content, online business management suite, website promotion, marketing solutions, among others.
The company raised $17.4 million from investors including Iron Pillar, IIFL, BlackSoil, Omidyar Network, and so on. In FY19, the company posted INR 32.56 Cr in revenue and INR 43.24 Cr in a net loss.
NowFloats, particularly in the deep tech space, is the latest in Reliance’s startup acquisitions. Reliance purchased a 92.7 percent stake in Tesseract, a VR startup based in Mumbai, in August. RIL has entered into nearly 49 international mergers and acquisitions, strategic investments and joint venture deals over the period between FY18-FY19.
- Some of its tech-focused acquisitions were: Find Reliance Industries Limited to buy a stake in Fynd’s fashion e-commerce platform for INR 295 Cr (around $42.33 Mn).
- The e-commerce platform of Fynd will possibly be integrated with Reliance Retail and the forthcoming e-commerce network of the company, which would work on an offline-to-online (O2O) model in which Fynd already operates.
- Haptik: Reliance Industries has entered into a definitive business transfer agreement with chatbot manufacturer Haptik Infotech through its subsidiary Reliance Jio Digital Services Limited to acquire an 87% stake in the company. The investment was made to help Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd leverage the capabilities of Haptik to create India’s largest speak, voice, and vernacular assistant, RIL said in April.
- Haptik was created in 2013 and is one of the largest conversational AI systems in the world with a focus on key customer engagement using cases such as customer support, concierge, lead generation and live chat.
The deep-tech sector reported a total investment of $9.58 million in the first quarter of 2019, a mere 1% compared to e-commerce, which earned $958 million. The scope was India’s only start-up sector to receive less funding than the quarterly average.