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JSA scores Facebook’s first Indian buy opposite Sand Hill & CA firm [& Vishnu Jerome]

Facebook gets M & active in India
Facebook gets M & active in India

J Sagar Associates (JSA) won the mandate to represent long-standing client Facebook on its first Indian acquisition, in its buy of Bangalore-based mobile software analytics company Little Eye Labs for around $15m, which was advised by a local CA firm.

Facebook drafted in JSA Bangalore partner Vivek Chandy and senior associate Sharath Chandrashekar for its first Indian acquisition. It is understood that JSA has acted for the social network in India for several years, but the firm declined to comment when contacted.

Facebook was also advised by its long-standing US counsel Fenwick & West, through its Bay area partner Ken Myers and associate Vishal Dave in Mountain View. Fenwick had also acted on Facebook’s 2012 IPO and its subsequent acquisition of Instagram.

Little Eye drafted in chartered accountancy firm Dawn Consulting, which provides “financial strategy and implementation support to early stage and established enterprises”, including M&A advisory services, according to its website. Consultants G Srinivasan and Prakash Subramaniam, who are both MBA graduates, led on the deal for the firm.

Sand Hill Counsel co-founding partner Shantanu Surpure represented GSF (Global Super Angels), which was one of the earlier investor in Little Eye alongside VenturEast Tenet Fund.

[Update 10 January: According to a press release from JSA, Poovayya & Co partner Vishnu Jerome and advocate Vikram Jeet Singh acted for “one of the investors”, but a JSA spokesperson could not confirm further details due to confidentiality restrictions. The JSA release also noted that Dawn Consulting was assisted by advocate TN Ramachandran.]

Surpure, who is dual qualified and based in California and Mumbai, commented: “Indian technology companies can produce products for the global market.

“However, the market for exits has always been limited in India and therefore this deal proves that Indian technology companies can target a Silicon Valley exit where the exit ecosystem is robust - similar to what Israeli companies have been so successful in doing. Expect more cross border India-US deals.”

Little Eye, founded in 2012, makes software to analyse the performance of apps for Google’s mobile operating system Android, reported TechCrunch yesterday. Facebook bought the company – its first acquisition in India - for between $10m and $15m according to a number of media reports.

Little Eye’s team will move to Facebook’s California headquarters in Menlo Park.

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