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Press - SMERGERS

The Indian travel and hospitality industries owes Indian banks ₹48,687 crore as of October 2021 as against ₹41,373.14 crore two years ago.

To explain the woes of the travel and hospitality industry, a quick search on SMERGERS showed that over 1,017 companies were listed in the travel, hotel, and restaurant industry segment. SMERGERS is a portal that facilitates sales or investments.

While the government data on the number of MSMEs and women-led units impacted or shut due to the pandemic hasn’t been available so far, a large number of such enterprises had reportedly faced temporary closure of production units, job losses, and severe impact on working capital.

Financial Express Online had reported last month citing data from online investment banking platform SMERGERS, that out of the total 1.65 lakh businesses listed for sale on the platform, 52,000 came onboard from April 1, 2020, onwards, of which 7,000 are verified or approved listings. In fact, before Covid, the daily average of businesses listing for sale was 10 that increased to 20 before the second wave, and was about to cross 25 in September.

According to government statistics, there are more than 5 million registered micro, small & medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the country with almost all states and union territories contributing to this huge number. These companies also need capital to grow but mostly have to be dependent on either banks or some opaque funding route. While loans from banks could be time consuming with a lot of paperwork and collateral, other avenues charge a high rate of interest and are much riskier in nature.

Vishal Devanath identified this lacuna and started his firm Smergers -- a play on the words SME and mergers -- in 2013, and today the platform boasts of more than 70,000 pre-screened businesses along with investors from over 170 countries. SMERGERS is a platform that brings together investors -- both individuals and corporates -- and SMEs that are in need of funding or even open to an outright sale.

According to the data from SMERGERS on MSME buying and selling, of the total 1.65 lakh businesses listed for sale, 52,000 came onboard from April 1, 2020, onwards out of which 7,000 are verified or approved listings. In fact, before Covid, the daily average of businesses listing for sale was 10 that increased to 20 before the second wave, and is currently about to cross 25.

Vishal Devanath, Founder, SMERGERS shares tips on how to bootstrap your startup. Read more on India Today's Instagram post.

Deal sizes in SME space are at least 25-30% down compared to pre-Covid times and this is a good time to pick up businesses to expand offerings and add capabilities that would otherwise take years to build, said Vishal Devanath, Founder of SMERGERS, an investment banking platform for SMEs. In a chat with ET’s Faizan Haidar, Devanath talks about the impact of Covid on SMEs, factors driving the SME deal market and what the government should do to incentivise small businesses.

Even smaller players are finding it difficult to sustain. SMERGERS, a merger and acquisition portal for SMEs, has seen a rise of 40 per cent listings by stressed companies in this segment.

“Our three existing retail shops were closed for three months due to the coronavirus lockdown. The shopping malls have recently reopened and our shops have also reopened. Our sales have reduced due to the pandemic,” said one of the companies listed on SMERGERS

“We have seen a sharp increase in traffic and in the past couple of months the number of businesses signing up to sell out or bring in an investor has gone up from 10 a day to 20 a day. We also have a huge backlog of pending deals. Meanwhile the buyer traffic has also gone up sharply since April and we are approving 60-70 a day,” said Vishal Devanath, founder, Smergers.

MSMEs in India are languishing in the doldrums with almost 4,900 of them up for sale, and double the number expected to follow in the wake of second and third waves, says online deal-making firm SMERGERS. According to a survey by Dun and Bradstreet, 82 per cent of 250 MSMEs that were surveyed, said that Covid-19 had hit them hard.

Since April 2020, at least 4,900 owners have listed their businesses for sale with restaurants, fashion, gyms, cloud kitchen and event management companies dominating the space, according to data shared by online dealmaking firm SMERGERS.

According to data from SMERGERS, globally it has 584 hotels for sale or investment on its portal. “As of June 8, of 584, 170 listed in the last one year. In India, it’s 281 of which 73 were listed in the last year,” Vishal Devanath, Founder of the company said. About 70 percent of ICRA’s hospitality portfolio applied for a moratorium, said ICRA in a recent report adding that some companies have also resorted to equity fundraising from investors and promoters.

6.3 crore Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) of India employs around 11 crore people. However, they were, unfortunately, one of the worst-hit by the first wave of the pandemic that affected their access to markets, credit, and financial security. 

“While on average small businesses had reported a 30 per cent dip in revenue for FY21 compared to FY20, main street businesses like restaurants, salons, supermarkets, entertainment centres and even businesses that were primarily catering to ‘office crowds’ are much worse affected with 90-95 per cent drop in revenues.”

"क्रैश एंड बर्न" यानी जल्दी के चक्कर में ठोकर खाना एक सच्चाई है, इसलिए सावधानी से चलना और ऐसे निवेश ढूंढना जरूरी है जो समय के साथ-साथ स्थिर रिटर्न देते हों

“Amongst all the SMEs listed on our platform, 25% have quoted Covid onslaught as the primary reason for sale and have reported a steep decline in revenues. This is more prevalent amongst restaurants, playschools, training institutes, construction material businesses, food processing units, where almost 50% of them quote Covid as the reason for sale,” said Vishal Devanath, founder, SMERGERS, a private marketplace for SME deals. 

“With a severe labour shortage across the nation, small businesses have made automation and technology adoption their top priority. While it’s heartening to see the growth in CLCSS subsidies but for India to achieve 50 per cent GDP from MSMEs ahead, it is highly imperative that the CLCSS scheme is expanded further to benefit more small businesses,” Vishal Devnath, Founder of SME-focused online investment bank SMERGERS told Financial Express Online.

With interest rates dropping and financial asset valuations hitting the roof, you may be wondering if there are any offbeat investments to protect yourself from the whims and fancies of the capital markets. Here are 5 unorthodox channels you could consider to make your money work for you - Vishal Devanath, Founder and CEO, SMERGERS. 

Buying a business often is arduous and requires long hours of research and contemplation and it is always better to have no-deal than a bad deal. Leveraging online resources and marketplaces such as SMERGERS which has thousands of small and mid-sized businesses, investors, acquirers, advisors, and franchisors advertising their deals can be invaluable to a buyer. 

Buying a running business would allow the buyer to focus on the expansion of the business through penetration of new markets, additional verticals, and new sources of revenue, thus, providing a more productive use of his efforts

Known worldwide as an authority on valuation, Aswath Damodaran, Professor of Finance, NYU Stern School of Business, delivers his first 4 day live online Masterclass on Business Valuations.

SMERGERS' interview with Startup.info about the coronavirus effect, stress & anxiety, innovation by necessity, and the need for supporting small businesses.

JITO & JBN (Jain Business Network) Bangalore organized a Mega National Networking Event Nahar JBN 360 on 14th and 15th of December, 2019 at Sheraton Grand, Bangalore. This event provided business stalwarts with a common platform to meet, connect and create new business opportunities.

Vishal Devanath, Founder & CEO – SMERGERS along with many other distinguished speakers were invited at the event. Vishal was asked to share his views on growth opportunities and challenges faced by Indian SMEs. Vishal also spoke on the role of women entrepreneurs in leadership roles. 

SMERGERS is a proud sponsor of the Valuation Workshop by Professor Aswath Damoradan to be held on 13th and 14th November at Sheraton Towers, Singapore. Aswath Damodaran, Professor of Finance at NYU's Stern School of Business, has been often referred to as Wall Street's "Dean of Valuation" and is widely respected as one of the foremost experts on corporate valuation.

15th October, Dubai – SMERGERS was awarded as one of the Best BFSI Brands at the India-UAE Strategic Conclave presented by the Economic Times held at Hilton, Al Habtoor, Dubai 2019. 

March 14th, Mumbai - SMERGERS was shortlisted as one of the most innovative fintech startups at PICUP Fintech conference organized by FICCI and Indian Banks' Association. The PICUP Fintech Awards 2019 aims to recognise and award the best innovations from Fintech companies in diverse areas.

March 6th, Bangalore - SMERGERS partnered with I-Deals Network for Business Valuation Summit, 4th edition, organized at Taj Hotel, MG Road, Bengaluru. The event provided an overview of the global valuation industry, changing regulatory landscape and the need for adopting international standards in M&A valuations. 

February 27th, New Delhi - SMERGERS partnered with YourStory and Ministry of MSMEs for Brands of India Awards 2019. The award ceremony was an attempt to recognize homegrown brands of our country. The event was presided over by Giriraj Singh, honorable minister for state for MSMEs. 41 home grown brands including Chai Point, Springfit Matresses, Cadd Center and IndiQube received awards during the ceremony.

August 29, 2017, Hyderabad - Vishal Devanath, Founder & CEO of SMERGERS was invited to VJIM Hyderabad's Silver Jubilee Lecture Series. Vishal spoke on Equity Financing and Valuations which was followed by an interactive Q&A session.

February 11, 2017, Bangalore - Vishal Devanath, Founder & CEO of SMERGERS delivered an exclusive talk on Business Valuation at Business Event held for SME businesses at Grand Magrath Hotel, Bangalore on 11th Feb, 2017. The event was conducted by AskLaila, a local search company. The event included talks from other speakers such as Geetika from Jigsaw Academy, Deepak Kumar from Webnish, Rizwan Khan from Lion Packers & Movers, V U Ismail from Shuchi Ruchi Restaurant, etc. 

SMERGERS has been recognized as 20 most promising Banking solutions in India 2016.

Online copy can be found here

Bharat Go Digital interivewed our CEO Vishal Devanath recently reagarding SMERGERS and the journey so far.

Online copy can be found here

Ahmedabad-based Nimit Finance Pvt Ltd , has picked up 50 per cent stake in Avity Agrotech Pvt Ltd, company's top executive told DealStreetAsia

SMERGERS, India's leading online investment bank for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), announces the expansion of its services to US, UK, CanadaAustralia, and the UAE. SMEs are a resilient and vibrant sector for every nation in the world. They generate a large share of jobs for the common man; they form the backbone of a nation's economy. Yet financial institutions, including investment banks, have been turning a blind eye towards this segment.

We are very happy to share that SiliconIndia has named SMERGERS as Brand of the Year 2015 in Investment Banking Platform category. The journey so far has been great and we are well on track to make M&A simpler for SMEs in the coming days.

New age digital startups are disrupting the complete spectrum of the capital raising process for businesses. For any business to grow, there is an inherent need for capital.

September 10, 2015, Bengaluru - Vishal Devanath, Founder & CEO of SMERGERS was invited for a round table conference organized on the theme of Valuations for SMEs and Startups. The conference, organized by Arthakul, Finance Club of Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research, is a platform which brings together Industry experts, intellectuals and other stake holders. The event was an interface between Industry and Academia and was held at Welingkar campus in Electronic City, Bengaluru.
April 10, 2015, Chandigarh - SMERGERS team was invited to share insights on how businesses can leverage SMERGERS.com platform to find and connect with prospective acquirers and private equity investors for their business at a conference organized by Mohali Industries Association (MIA) and Federation of Indian Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (FISME) at Hotel Mountview, Chandigarh.

March 12, 2015, Kochi - The Federation of Indian Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (FISME) and Kerala Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), in association with Hewlett Packard (HP) organized a seminar on 'Profit Mantras for Businesses' to share key information in the field of Finance, Technology and Marketing for SME businesses. Mr. Vishal Devanath, Founder and CEO of SMERGERS.com spoke about alternative methods of financing.

Another Bangalore-based online marketplace for small and medium businesses matches profiles with algorithms, filters and ratings. "This is a large and neglected sector, and the demand for investments is increasing," said Vishal Devanath, 28, cofounder of SMergers, which has profiles of 4,000 SMEs and investors.

Founded by Vishal Devanath and Krishna Bharadwaj in February 2013, SMERGERS is a Bangalore-based startup that specializes in the online financial services market. An Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) focused Online Investment Bank, SMERGERS specialize in Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A), Fund Raising, Venture and Private Equity (PE) services to SMEs, family owned businesses and growth startups.

SMERGERS is a Bangalore-based company in the online financial services market that was founded by Vishal Devanath and Krishna Bhardwaj in February 2013. It is a technology platform that connects businesses and investors across the globe.

In an exclusive interview with the Managing Director of SMERGERS, Vishal Devanath and Executive Director, Reema Mukherjee, SME Times finds that Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) can get funding through Private Equity, Venture Capital firms or Strategic Acquirers. They said, strategic acquirer not only brings in money but also expertise and network which the SME can benefit from.

SMERGERS in Media
SMERGERS on Business Line
To explain the woes of the travel and hospitality industry, a quick search on SMERGERS showed that over 1,017 companies were listed in the travel, hotel, and restaurant industry segment. SERGERS is a portal that facilitates sales or investments.
SMERGERS on Business Today
SMERGERS, an online matchmaking platform for SMEs. The platform has 70,000 pre-screened businesses along with investors from over 170 countries.
SMERGERS on Financial Express
Thousands of micro, small businesses are on sale right now. SMERGERS is an online investment banking platform facilitating buying and selling of businesses.
SMERGERS on The Economic Times
Buyer interest in SME space has gone up post-Covid: Vishal Devanath, founder, SMERGERS
SMERGERS on The Times of India
Professionals pick bargain investments in Covid-hit MSMEs listed on SMERGERS.
SMERGERS on The New Indian Express
SMERGERS sees more than 4,900 owners listing their businesses for sale
SMERGERS on Financial Express
MSME schemes 2020: What was announced, what was utilised, and what is needed in 2021
SMERGERS on Hindu Business Line
SMERGERS sees a sharp uptick in registrations, indicating the need for external funding support amongst small businesses
SMERGERS on CNBC TV18
5 alternative investment ideas: How can you put your money to work?
SMERGERS on Yahoo! Finance
SMERGERS has thousands of small and mid-sized businesses, investors, acquirers, advisors, and franchisors advertising their deals
SMERGERS on DealStreetAsia
Nimit Finance buys 50% stake in Gujarat based Avity Agrotech via SMERGERS
SMERGERS on SME Finance Forum
For the World's 460 Million SMEs, FinTech Firm SMERGERS to Become a One-stop Investment Bank
SMERGERS on The Economic Times
Bangalore-based online marketplace for small and medium businesses matches profiles with algorithms, filters and ratings
SMERGERS on YourStory
Bangalore-based SMERGERS, serving the online financial services market, is a technology platform that connects businesses and investors across the globe