I’m in India right now, and two quick observations:
WhatsApp ubiquity. It is everywhere. Family uses it to stay in touch and people use it to receive business orders as well. It does everything. There is a lot of talk about Instagram being one of Facebook’s best buys, but if the pervasiveness of WhatsApp in India is similar in other markets, this may be the most killer acquisition by FB.
Paytm is everywhere as well. The India-based payment and e-commerce unicorn is valued at $4.2B and is reportedly on the cusp of raising an additional $1.5B from SoftBank, which would bring its valuation into the $7-$9B category. Its logo is everywhere you want to make a purchase.
Paytm’s CEO & Founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma will be speaking at The Future of Fintech and we’re looking forward to discussing this investment (if the rumors are true), the similarities with Alipay, and Paytm’s plans for dominating India.
To get $1000 off a ticket through April 21st (tomorrow), use the code GlobalUnicornhere.
We took a look at deals to beauty & grooming startups to get a better idea of where investment activity is going. Within the packaged products segment (also the largest category), startups producing skincare goods have received the most deals since 2012.