Troubles for one of India’s first true startup companies, big data analytics enterprise Mu Sigma see far from over. Fresh reports citing sources aware of the plans say that present CEO Ambiga Subramanian is planning to start her own venture after her exit from the company.
Subramanian, as reported a couple days ago, is currently amid negotiations for a partial stake sale in the Bengaluru-based analytics firm to her former husband and founder Dhiraj Rajaram. She, who holds a 24 per cent stake, has teamed up with PE and investment firm General Atlantic to jointly sell about 48 per cent of their combined shares in the company.
Ambiga has refused to include a non-compete clause in the agreement (for a stake sale in Mu Sigma) and is likely to start a related business once the deal is complete,
said one of the sources.
She is currently mulling over the decision to put her expertise, garnered earlier at Motorola, to use and start her own company in competition with the current one. She is, thus, likely to also rope in over half -a-dozen high ranking executives from Mu Sigma to join her at the new company, say sources.
There is a rift within the organisation, with the loyalties in the top management getting divided between Subramanian and Rajaram. Some of the top executives of Mu Sigma are likely to join her in the new venture.
The source also goes on to shed light on the fact that not only is the company weary at key operational positions — U.S and Bengaluru, but is also facing the exit of nine of fifteen executives from the top-level leadership team.
Ever since the marital separation of the founder Rajaram and CEO Subramanian this year in May, there has been an air of uncertainity around the future of the company. There have been reports of immense global traction and that of Rajaram being after the complete piece of the pie — with backing from a couple of sovereign funds.
While the deal is yet to reach a conclusion, one could expect to see some sparks fly between the two parties over the issue of valuation mismatch. Rajaram is valuing the enterprise at $800 million while Subramanian and General Atlantic expect a valuation of $1 to $1.2 billion for their stake. There is now also chatter about other investors planning to disinvest their stake in the Mu Sigma, and plan to:
sell 4-5% equity of the company through employee stock option plans and they too will be selling out along with Subramanian and General Atlantic.
In addition to Rajaram, the list of other the potential heavy-weight bidders, includes Blackstone, Bain Capital, CVC Capital and Warburg Pincus. Singapore’s GIC Pvt. Ltd, government-run investment firm Temasek Holdings and Malaysia’s Khazanah Nasional Bhd also have a vested intersest in India’s earliest unicorns.