Tencent: Tencent’s becomes the Alibaba of Indian startup scene

NEW DELHI/BENGALURU: Technology behemoth Tencent has emerged as the largest Chinese strategic investor in the Indian startup ecosystem, aggressively closing about 10 funding offers throughout phases over the final six-eight months. Its elevated exercise coincides with Alibaba stepping again from the home market after years of being amongst the most prolific Chinese strategics in India.

Tencent’s most up-to-date wager is on edtech startup Doubtnut, the place it has led a $15 million spherical, its second wager in the house, having earlier invested in Byju’s. The Doubtnut app permits college students to take a snapshot of a selected downside, for which it claims a video answer might be offered in 10 seconds.

The operator of in style messaging app WeChat, Tencent has additionally taken current wagers on insurance coverage market PolicyBazaar, business-to-business ecommerce portal Udaan, video streaming platform MX Player, aside from writing smaller cheques in MyGate, Khatabook and Niyo Solutions.MX Player is owned by Times Internet, an element of The Times Group, which additionally publishes this paper.

Aside of Doubtnut, it is usually in talks to take a position $12-15 million in PocketFM, in keeping with sources. Pocket FM is a social audio platform for Indian languages the place customers can discover nice high quality audio exhibits starting from audiobooks, tales, podcasts and self-help content material.

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“Tencent believes the market is correcting and valuations are getting more stable than what they were six to eight months back, making it the right time to take several bets across stages,” stated an investor who has handled the agency.

Founders additionally highlighted that the agency is being more and more versatile in the rights it calls for as a strategic investor, in a bid to get into the greatest firms. “They (Tencent) have over the last few discussions been more open to lead follow-on rounds and keeping strategic rights under check, making these deals more company friendly,” stated a founder who raised capital from the agency.

Another startup founder stated the fund can also be taking a look at India as a monetary funding market, greater than a strategic play.

It additionally comes at a time when India is rising as the subsequent frontier of development on condition that fewer Chinese startups are going public on account of the uncertainty brought on by the nation’s ongoing commerce struggle with the US and general sobering of valuations. Earlier this week, ET reported that greater than a dozen new China-domiciled massive corporates, enterprise funds, and household places of work are aggressively stepping up funding conversations with early- to growth-stage home corporations.

Overall, Tencent has made no less than 15 investments in India, together with Swiggy, Dream11, Flipkart, Hike, and Practo. Globally, Tencent has invested in over 800 corporations, 70 of that are listed and 160 are actually unicorns.

Founders stated the strategic worth derived from Tencent’s learnings in China might be crucial of their scale-up journey as they construct related fashions for India. “Their experience of working with Yuanfudao in China will help our team get fresh and valuable perspective on distribution of first edtech models,” stated Aditya Shankar, cofounder of Doubtnut.

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