Policybazaar jumps 23% | No Ban on Crypto | OLA’s GC quits

Policybazaar stock jumps 23% on debut, India likely to regulate-not ban crypto, OLA’s General Counsel quits, Funding Deals & more.

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Policybazaar shares end 22.74% higher on market debut

Shares of PB Fintech, the parent company of Policybazaar and Paisabazaar, rose more than 20% over the IPO price on its stock market debut on Monday, in yet another stellar listing for a new-age internet company in India.

The stock was listed at a 17.35% premium on the BSE and hit an intraday high of Rs 1,249 before ending the day at Rs 1,202.90 — 22.74% higher than the issue price. This gave the firm a market capitalisation of Rs 54,070.33 crore.

PB Fintech founders Yashish Dahiya and Alok Bansal at the company’s listing event at the NSE

While this represents another stellar listing for an Indian tech startup, PB Fintech, Paytm and other fintech firms in India will have one eye on their counterparts in the US. That’s because some of these US fintech companies, which were embraced by private investors, have seen lukewarm trading in the public market.

Launched in 2008 as a price-comparison site, Policybazaar started India’s first online insurance marketplace in 2011. In 2014, the parent company — PB Fintech — launched Paisabazaar as a credit comparison platform. The fintech startup turned unicorn in 2018 after a SoftBank-led funding round.

Govt may introduce bill on cryptocurrencies in the winter session of Parliament

The government is likely to introduce a bill on cryptocurrencies during the winter session of Parliament beginning November 29, amid concerns over such currencies being allegedly used for luring investors with misleading claims and for funding terror activities, sources said on Monday.

Currently, there are no particular regulations or any ban on the use of cryptocurrencies in the country. Against this backdrop, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Saturday, held a meeting on the cryptocurrencies with senior officials and indications are that strong regulatory steps could be taken to deal with the issue.

The government plans to introduce the bill on cryptocurrencies in the first week of the winter session.

In August, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said she was awaiting approval from the Cabinet on the cryptocurrency bill.

The three-week-long winter session is scheduled to be held from November 29 to December 23.

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  • Digital service provider to restaurants, Petpooja, has raised $4.5 million (around ₹33.5 crores) as a part of a new funding round led by Aroa Ventures, the family office of Oyo founder Ritesh Agarwal.
  • Packaged food company Wingreens Farms has raised Rs 124 crore in a round led by alternate investments focused Investcorp and impact investor Omidyar Network India.
  • StartPack, a New York-based firm that helps entrepreneurs set up shop in the US, has rebranded as doola and raised $3 million in a seed funding round led by Nexus Venture Partners.

After CFO and COO, Ola’s General Counsel quits ahead of IPO

Ride-hailing app Ola’s General Counsel Sandeep Chowdhury has quit after a nine-month stint in the firm, people familiar with the development said.

Chowdhury’s exit comes weeks after Moneycontrol reported that Ola’s Chief Financial Officer Swayam Saurabh and Chief Operating Officer Gaurav Porwal also left the company.

These exits come just ahead of Ola’s plans to list on the public markets and are being viewed as a red flag by experts.

Other exits in the recent past include Ola’s founding member Pranay Jivrajka, Ola Electric’s co-founders Ankit Jain and Anand Shah. Nitin Gupta, who was the CEO of Ola Financial Services, also resigned last year, while Ola’s chief business officer Sanjay Bhan, also left the company in less than a year.

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