Nykaa CEO Falguni Nayar explains his foray into fashion; Scott Schleifer of Tiger Global in India next week

Nykaa didn’t get into the fashion business to justify its valuation but because it saw a new opportunity to engage with customers, company CEO Falguni Nayar told us in an interview. Nayar, who was named ‘CEO of the Year’ at The Economic Times Startup Awards 2022, also spoke about Nykaa’s IPO journey, and the shift from euphoria to caution among technology investors in India and around the world.

Also in this message:
Scott Schleifer of Tiger Global will visit India next week
■ Infosys will offer variable pay of 65% for the second quarter
■ Unitus Ventures will close the third $100 million fund next year


He didn’t enter the fashion world to justify a rating: Nykaa’s Falguni Nayar

A year after her company went public, Nykaa founder and CEO Falguni Nayyar said the next big focus is achieving profitability in its fashion and business (B2B) units at reasonable growth rates, even as the company’s shares underwent a correction amid a broader rout in stocks. technology globally and in India.

Nayyar, who was adjudged “CEO of the Year” at the 2022 Economics Business Awards, managed to raise scant outside capital and turn a profit in the normally money-guzzling e-commerce sector before entering a bountiful initial public offering.

She spoke to us about the company’s journey toward market listing, the massive swing from euphoria to caution in recent tech stocks and Nykaa’s focus on fashion and B2B.

Here are some edited excerpts:

From a private company to a publicly listed entity, how has the past year been for Nykaa? You, as CEO, have seen stocks swing from booming to turbulent now, especially for tech companies…

Markets have changed in the past year after the IPO, and investors are demanding more accountability on the short-term numbers, but we’ve always focused on the economics of our unit and the path to profitability. So, explaining what is happening is not difficult.

The analysis on Nykaa Fashion is that you entered the market to expand the Total Addressable Market (TAM), because beauty alone wouldn’t get you that kind of rich valuation…

It was never to justify Nika’s assessment. We knew fashion is five times more beautiful, the customer is the same, and we know how to shop. These shoppers know that Nykaa is a fashion-forward brand, so we saw that they were willing to engage with us in the fashion arena, which is why we got into this business.

Click here for the full interview


Scott Schleifer of Tiger Global will visit India next week

Scott

He will be in India next week, several sources have told us, Scott Schleifer, global head of private investments at Tiger Global. It will be his first visit to the country since taking over responsibility for overseeing the fund’s investments in India from Lee Fixel, who moved from Tiger Global in 2019 to start his own venture, Addition.

Winter visit: Schleifer’s visit comes amid a slowdown in investment funding here. And our sources said he’ll meet the founders of several startups — those in Tiger’s portfolio and some you haven’t invested in, either.

There are meetings planned for next week. He’ll be here for a few days at least. One of the sources said that the portfolio companies will of course inform him of their performance and seek advice on weathering the stormy economic conditions.

Tiger Global is one of the most aggressive investors globally and in India, having backed companies like Flipkart, Ola, Razorpay, Upstox and more.

We reported last month that India had emerged as a major draw for Tiger at a time when it was raising a $6 billion fund — much smaller than the $12.7 billion tech vehicle it closed last year.

deflation: This, among other things, marks the first major contraction of the tech world in more than two decades, and comparisons are being drawn to the dot-com crash of 1999-2000.

Venture funding for Indian startups fell to $2.7 billion in the September quarter, from about $12 billion in the same period last year, according to data from Venture Intelligence.


E-commerce index ET

We’ve launched three indicators—E-commerce ET, profitable e-commerce ET, and unprofitable e-commerce ET—to track the performance of recently listed technology companies. Here’s how they’ve fared so far.

ET Ecommerce Tracker


Infosys will roll out variable pay of 65% for the second quarter

Infosys variable payment

Infosys employees will receive 65% of their variable salary for the July-September quarter. Eligible employees receive the payment in the November payroll cycle, according to Internal Mail.

That’s down from the 70% it gave to employees in the first quarter from April to June.

“Enterprise average return is 65% for the second quarter of FY23. Individual payout ratios will vary based on individual performance and contribution in the quarter,” the company wrote in an email Wednesday, a copy of which we reviewed.

For employees in the US and Canada, payments will be processed along with the second fortnight payroll for the month of November. Employees will receive direct communication about their salary changes on November 17th.

the others: Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) said it will give 100% of variable pay to 70% of its employees during the quarter. The remainder will be awarded variable pay based on the performance of their business unit.

Wipro, Infosys’ crosstown competitor, also offered 100% variable pay for the July-September quarter to employees up to the team leader level.


Unitus Ventures will close a third $100 million fund next year

Will Paul

Early-stage venture capital fund Unitus Ventures plans to close its third fund in India with $100 million next year, founding partner and managing fund Will Paul tells us. Unitus has supported startups like CueMath, GigForce, Masai School, and CareerNinja.

to focus: With the third fund, Unitus Ventures will increase its focus on areas such as Jobs Technology, Enterprise SaaS, and Sustainability and Climate.

there is more: The venture capital fund, with offices in Bengaluru and Seattle, plans to close a Rs 300 crore Opportunity Fund, through which it will invest in successful startups from its first two funds.

ETtech Deals Done

Startup financing

  • Edtech specialist Simplilearn has raised $45 million in a new round of funding led by global venture capital firm GSV Ventures, which focuses on education technology, the company said on Wednesday. Clal Insurance, DisruptAD and ADQ’s venture platform also participated in the round.

  • Diabetes care startup BeatO has raised $33 million in a funding round led by Lightrock India, with participation from HealthQuad, Flipkart Ventures and existing investors including Blume Ventures and Leo Capital.

  • Bengaluru-based CSR-tech platform Goodera has raised $10 million from investors including Zoom Ventures, Elevation Capital, Flipkart’s Xto10X, Nexus Venture Partners, and Omidyar Network. Bansal also invested in the startup in a personal capacity.

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ISMC Analog nears deal with five banks for $3 billion off-the-shelf chips near Mysuru

Semiconductor manufacturing

Mumbai-based ISMC Analog, one of the applicants under a government plan to set up semiconductor manufacturing units in the country, is close to closing a debt deal with a consortium of five banks led by State Bank of India (SBI) for US$3. Billion project near Mysuru, several sources told us.

details: They said the consortium of lenders has given approval “in principle” to extend a loan of up to Rs 2,500 crore for the project.

One source said ISMC has received interest from these banks because semiconductor manufacturing is a “new sector”.

“The consortium could be led by the SBI. Other senior bankers could also join it, given that the viability of the project has been established, and the applicants are big names,” said another source.

ISMC, backed by Mumbai-based venture capital fund Next Orbit and Israel-based technology firm Tower Semiconductor, has proposed building the plant in an electronics park near Mysuru.

We reported on November 8 that Reliance Industries and HCL were individually eyeing a 30% stake in ISMC.


Other top news for our correspondents

Mindtree CEO Debashis Chatterjee

LTIMindtree to focus on real estate, cost and revenue synergies: The CEO of LTIMindtree, the entity formed through the merger of Larsen & Toubro Infotech (LTI) and Mindtree, said it will focus on long-term real estate, cost and revenue synergies. The company, which has become the fifth largest IT services provider in India by market capitalization, may seek to rationalize properties in case of duplication within the same cities. But in big cities like Bengaluru, it will focus on setting up more branch offices in the long term, CEO Debashis Chatterjee told us.

India boosts Airbnb: Airbnb saw total overnight bookings by Indians grow nearly 50% in the third quarter, while domestic overnight bookings increased by about 80% over the same period before Covid. “India has been one of our most significant and fastest growing geographies,” co-founder and chief strategy officer Nathan Plecharczek tells us in an exclusive interview.


The global picks we read

■ Do you want to archive Twitter? Good luck with that (Wired)
■ Elon Musk testifies in court over the multi-billion dollar Tesla (WSJ) payment deal
■ Censorship Board Asks Meta to Restore Post Comparing Russians to Nazis (Washington Post)

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