India’s anti-competitive watchdog the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved the acquisition of Indiabulls Asset Management Company (AMC) and Indiabulls Trustee company by online brokerage firm Groww. The CCI took to Twitter to announce its approval of the acquisition. Earlier in May, Groww had announced the acquisition of 13-year-old Indiabulls’ mutual fund business for INR 175 Cr.
Back then, Lalit Keshre, the chief executive officer (CEO) and cofounder of Groww had said that the startup wants to make mutual funds even more accessible by making them simpler, transparent and lowering the cost further. Indiabulls will leverage Groww’s platform and network of 1.5 Cr customers to expand its mutual fund product. As per media reports, Indiabulls is divesting its mutual fund business in order to focus on its core business which is its retail estate asset management business.
Founded by former Flipkart employees Keshre, Harsh Jain, Neeraj Singh and Ishan Bansa in 2017, Groww offers direct plans for mutual funds and a seamless and transparent approach to invest through mobile application and a web platform. The company pits against bootstrapped-turned-unicorn Zerodha, Tiger Global-backed IndWealth, and Accel Partners’ portfolio company Scripbox.
Groww was among the six startups which turned unicorn in the second week of April this year. The Bengaluru-based startup raised $83 Mn in its Series D funding led by Tiger Global to enter the prestigious unicorn club. The round also saw participation from existing backers Sequoia India, Ribbit Capital, YC Continuity and Propel Venture Partners.
Groww posted a revenue of INR 76.16 Lakh in FY20, with a net loss of INR 7.93 Cr, a 3,348% rise from INR 23 Lakh in FY19. The startup’s expenses grew by over 2,500% to INR 8.69 Cr in FY20 as compared to INR 31.76 lakh it posted in FY19. Lately, several startups are entering the mutual fund business as India’s assets under management are witnessing a 5 fold increase in over 10 years. India’s assets under management stood at INR 36.59 Lakh Cr as on August 31, 2021 as compared to INR 6.97 Lakh Cr in August, 2011.
Earlier in August, Flipkart’s digital payment arm PhonePe had also received an approval for its board to set up an asset management company. PhonePe is also likely to seek approval from SEBI to launch its AMC business in the coming days. Earlier this year, Groww acquired 13-years-old Indiabulls mutual fund business for INR 175 Cr.
Few days ago, Zerodha cofounder Nithin Kamath took to Twitter to announce that Zerodha has received an in-principle approval from the Indian market regulator SEBI to start its asset management company. “So, we just got our in-principle approval for our AMC(MF) license. I guess now comes the hard part,” he wrote on Twitter.