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Private Treaties Acquires Stake In ApnaCircle.com; MouthShut Doing PT Deal For Dekhona?

Two announcements from Private Treaties, the investment arm of the Times Group. The first, it has acquired a minority stake (rumored to be in the 20-30% range) in social network Apnacircle.com. The venture funded by Sabeer Bhatia and headed by Yogesh Bansal doesn’t seemed to have evolved an inch since we covered it last. Apnacircle positions itself as an online social and professional networking site, the former part of which would be in direct competition with group company TIL’s recently launched iTimes.com.

The second piece comes via Alootechie, apparently Dekhona.com, which is in talks for hiving off 20-30 percent stake. Considering Indiatimes lacks a video thrust currently, maybe this Youtube clone could provide a ready-made back-end that could be repurposed. No word on the valuation of either of the above, but knowing how private treatises works, expect both sides to bloat numbers.

Nikhil adds: Dekhona is a Mouthshut.com group site, and MouthShut CEO Faisal Farooqui has declined to comment on the deal. Perhaps the establishment of YouTube in India has necessitated this step.

About Private Treaty deals: there have been reports in the recent past that the PT portfolio doesn’t look as great anymore, particularly since the market cap of many of the listed companies was down during the recent stock market downturn. Also take into account a situation where one of two competitors signs up for a private treaty deal; this gives it a significant marketing muscle, and the other can either also sign up for a PT deal (or raise funding), or spend money on marketing. Either way, BCCL benefits.

4 Responses to “Private Treaties Acquires Stake In ApnaCircle.com; MouthShut Doing PT Deal For Dekhona?”

  1. Is it true, they invested in IOL Broadband !!!! That company is good as dead… somone I know bought the stock at 500… there were rumours at that time of a valuation of 2000 per share in the market. Now the share quotes at 60 rs….

    This is not all.. most of the ideas here have little to do with value and more to do with ad revenues… I think this will have a dual effect too

    1. Prices of Shares on positive news could go up, for private companies it has been pointed out that even the PE / I Bankers read ET. Their judgement will be partly colored by what they know. The valuations of a company usually speak only half the story, it is the future that all "intelligent" investors invest in

    2. One point not considered so far… with a lot of PT's Times' will have it's revenue tied in, that will lead to more demand for it's ad space, leading to higher ad prices. Now the rates at which ads will be offered to PT clients as well as others will be equal.. ie high prices.. ie faster payoff for investments and higher revenues from non-PT clients… the detoriating value of investments will be covered by the latter. Also, like any PE investor .. they will make a BUMPER on some of the investments…that will cover the whole establishment cost.

  2. sane man

    including few sub prime cos, IOL Broadband- (offers IPTV , where regulations are not clear,) Today's Pen , Media Video Ltd !!!!! few more Dont remember now , if you dig more you will get more dirt. look at absolute loss of value in these companies from their peak