May 19, 2020

US investor KKR looks to lucrative Australian property market with Pepper Group acquisition

Pepper Group
KKR
Australian mortgage industry
Australian real estate industry
Addie Thomes
2 min
US investor KKR looks to lucrative Australian property market with Pepper Group acquisition

Money lending company Pepper Group has agreed to sell up to American investment firm KKR in a deal worth more than AU$650mn.

The US private equity giant is looking to move into the lucrative Australian real estate space, spurred by a property boom that has seen demand and prices rise, especially in cities such as Sydney.

Pepper Group, a mortgage provider, saw lending activity rise by more than a third during the course of 2016, while traditional banks credit grew by 6.5% due to greater concern over risk associated with mounting household debts.

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Pepper Group Chairman Seumas Dawes told Reuters: “We believe it represents a compelling opportunity for shareholders, allowing them to choose to either obtain liquidity for their shares at an attractive valuation or remain invested in the Pepper business.”

Australia’s mortgage industry is currently worth around AU$1.7trn, with many overseas companies looking to dig into the sector’s high profitability.

KKR clearly sees the potential in non-traditional financial companies driving this growth. Able to innovate and bring new products to market faster than large banks, companies drawing on fintech advances are drawing in more consumers looking for convenience and quick solutions.   

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Jun 8, 2021

Timeline: India takes unicorn leap with six in five days

India
Unicorns
Startups
tech
Kate Birch
2 min
We chart an historic week in India’s startup tech industry, where from April 5-9 the country achieved six unicorns

We chart an historic week in India’s tech industry, where in just five days, between 5-9 April 2021, the country achieved six new unicorns, bringing India’s total to 10 in 2021 to date, an immense unicorn leap from just seven in 2020 and six in 2019.

April 5: Meesho

India’s first social commerce unicorn, Meesho raised US$300m from SoftBank, Facebook and Shunwei Capital, giving the Bangalore-based startup a US$2.1bn valuation, a threefold jump from its previous funding round in 2019. Founded in 2015 by two IIT-Delhi graduates, Meesho connects producers and resellers, helping small businesses sell through social media. It has 45m customers and has enabled 13m entrepreneurs to start their online businesses with no investment.

April 6: CRED

Founded just over two years ago, Bangalore-based credit card repayment app CRED raised US$215m from Falcon Edge Capital and Coatue, nearly trebling its valuation to US$2.2bn from its January US$80m round. Allowing customers to pay off their credit card debt while earning CRED coins which they cash in for rewards, CRED has grown rapidly during COVID-19, doubling its customer base to nearly 6 million in a year.

April 7: API Holdings / Groww

The first epharmacy startup to gain unicorn status, PharmEasy (API Holdings), which has digitised 60,000 brick and mortar pharmacies and 400 doctors across India, raised US$350m in a round led by Prosus Ventures. Founded by four former Flipkart employees as a way of making investing simple, investment platform Groww became India’s second-youngest fintech unicorn, raising US$83m in Series D funding led by Tiger Global, quadrupling its previous round in September.

April 8: ShareChat

New Delhi-grown social media startup ShareChat, founded in 2016 by Mohalla Tech raised US$502m from Lightspeed Ventures, Tiger Global, Twitter and Snap taking its raised total over six rounds to US$766m and pushing its valuation to US$2.1bn. The funding will be used to grow its user base and short video platform Moj, which launched in 2020 following TikTok’s ban in India. The regional language startup claims 280m users.

April 9: Gupshup

AI-led conversational message startup joined the unicorn club after raising US$100m from Tiger Global giving it a ten-fold valuation of US$1.4bn. The smart messaging platform, which has seen accelerated growth during the pandemic, was founded in Bangalore in 2005 by serial entrepreneur Beerud Sheth, whose online freelancing platform Elance is now listed. Gupshup’s API enables 100,000+ businesses to build messaging and conversation experiences across 30+ communication channels. 

 

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