India Digest: Bhavin Turakhia plans to raise $25m for Flock; BNP Paribas, Geojit Fin spilt ways in brokerage JV

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While Bhavin Turakhia plans to raise $25m for Flock, BNP Paribas and Geojit Financial Services spilt ways in brokerage joint venture.

Bhavin Turakhia plans to raise $25m for messenger app Flock

Bhavin Turakhia, who along with his brother started and sold successful businesses like Media.net and Directi, is planning to raise $25 million for his enterprise team messenger Flock, said a report in The Economic Times.

The funds will be used to capture a bigger share of the global market for Flock which competes with global enterprise messenger Slack. Flock recently launched of its own operating system, which will enable developers to build apps, bots and integration on top of it.

“Currently, our paid users are less than 2%,” said Bhavin Turakhia, chief executive of Flock told the news paper. With the launch of the operating system and more integrations on the way, we are targeting to increase the number of paid users to over 5 per cent in next six months, he said.

Turakhias had announced an investment of $110 million in their ventures – calling app Ringo, communication app Flock, digital tax-saving solutions business Zeta and internet domain name registration company Radix. Flock alone saw an investment of over $20 million so far.

“We are good in terms of funds until the middle of next year. But we plan on dedicating another $25 million for Flock that we may raise externally,” Turakhia said.

BNP Paribas, Geojit Financial spilt ways in brokerage JV

BNP Paribas ended its partnership with Kochi based Geojit Financial Services for their brokerage joint venture, according to a report in The Economic Times.

The firm, which will now be known as Geojit Financial Services as BNP, may soon cease to be classified under the promoter group.

According to the news report, the two board members of BNP in the brokerage have resigned recently after BNP took control of rival retail broking firm Sharekhan late last month.

BNP Paribas owns almost 33.41 per cent of the total promoter holding of about 62.70 per cent in Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services, while founder and MD CJ George and his family members own 20.78 per cent. Kerala State Industrial Development Corp holds 8.51 per cent stake. Among minority shareholders, Rakesh Jhunjhunwala and his wife together own close to 10 per cent.

“As 100% of Sharekhan has been acquired by BNP Paribas that holds only 33% of stake in Geojit, it is natural that the shareholder agreement is revised with us to avoid any poten tial conflict of interest for them to be on t h e b o a rd o f both the com peting compa nies“ said George .

“A s BNP Paribas nominees are w i t h d r aw i n g from the board of Geojit, the brand agreement is also revised, resulting in Geojit removing BNP Paribas’ name and brand,“ he added.

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