April 17, 2024


Unlimited Technology

Zomato to invest $1 billion in startups even as losses grow, Musk loses $50 billion in just 2 days

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Zomato to invest $1 billion in startups over next 1-2 yrs even as losses grow, contribution margin falls

Zomato CEO Deepinder Goyal announced the company’s investments in startups such as Curefit, Shiprocket and Magicpin, and said the company will invest another $1 billion into more companies over the next couple of years.

Zomato said it is in the process of selling Fitso to Curefit (Curefit Healthcare Pvt Ltd) for $50 million, and is also investing cash in Curefit. Net $50 million cash investment plus value of the Fitso business (worth $50 million) will give Zomato a cumulative shareholding worth $100 million in Curefit (6.4 percent shareholding in Curefit).

The company said it has also signed definitive documents for investing ~$75 million in logistics player Shiprocket for a ~8 percent stake as part of a larger ~$185 million round.

The company saw revenue grow by 22 percent sequentially to $189 million in the September quarter, while EBITDA losses also grew to $41 million, a near 2x increase sequentially and a 4x jump year on year.

When it comes to profitability, Contribution as a  percent of gross order value was 1.2 percent in Q2 FY22 as compared to 2.8 percent in Q1 FY22.


Meta launches ‘Grow your Business Hub’ to strengthen small businesses in India

Meta (formerly Facebook) has announced the launch of ‘Grow Your Business Hub’, a one-stop destination for the micro, small, and medium businesses to find relevant information, tools, and resources curated to cater to their business goals based on their growth journey.

The announcement was made at the inaugural edition of the ‘Grow Your Business Summit’ – an event focused on the growth agenda of India’s small and medium businesses (SMB). Every month, millions of small businesses – 15 million just on WhatsApp in India – use the Meta apps to start their online journeys and grow their business, the company said.

Increasingly these businesses are able to have global reach because of Facebook and Instagram, with more than 300 million people either liking or following an Indian small business page on Facebook, it added.

On Instagram, over the past three months, people in India have created more than 1.2 million posts and comments to show their support for small businesses and buying local. More than half a million small businesses on Instagram in India have also listed either a WhatsApp number or a phone number, or an email in their bio, or are encouraging potential customers to contact them directly via DM (direct message), the firm noted.

Saint-Gobain acquires minority stake in Livspace

Manufacturing company Saint-Gobain has acquired a minority stake in Livspace, a company offering home interior solutions.

“This partnership is a win-win for both companies, aiding a faster scale-up and expanded customer reach. Livspace offers a complementary route to market, promoting solutions under the Saint-Gobain brand. We will derive significant synergies and learnings in terms of customer behaviour, technology platform, services and supply chain,” said B. Santhanam, CEO Asia-Pacific of Saint-Gobain.

This investment will complement the Group’s full range of solutions on the residential market in India which accounts for over 80 percent of the country’s building construction market, it said in a statement.

Founded in 2015, Livspace serves around 20,000 homes annually in India. The company had recently said that it plans to invest $50 million to expand its business across 80 markets including 60 new market entries across India and 20 Asia Pacific cities.

CropIn wins the Global Environment Facility’s Climate Adaptation Innovation Challenge

Agritech startup CropIn has won the Global Environment Facility’s (GEF) Climate Adaptation Innovation Challenge at COP26 UNFCCC, Glasgow, to provide digital farming intelligence solutions and increase resilience and climate adaptation of 200,000 smallholder farmers in three least developed countries in Africa over two years.

The International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) has joined as a GEF partner agency for the project. This initiative will leverage CropIn’s existing footprint across 18 countries in Africa, the company said in a statement.

Through this partnership, CropIn will be implementing its global Climate-Smart Advisory Platform, SmartFarm. The platform leverages AI models built on extensive agriculture knowledge graphs derived from CropIn’s trillions of farm pixel data, the firm added.

Capillary Technologies partners with Petron to power Fuel Loyalty Program

Customer loyalty solutions provider Capillary Technologies has announced a strategic partnership with Philippines’ oil refining and marketing company Petron Corporation.

“Capillary’s technology enables us to connect with them through better and more personalized rewards experiences tailored to individual Filipino motorists,” said Lionel Perkin Chai, Petron Corp. Marketing Head.

Leveraging on Capillary’s customer loyalty capabilities and expertise, Petron elevated its mobile application’s user interface with enhanced features and functionalities for Petron customers to fully enjoy the benefits of the loyalty program, the company said in a statement.

Some of the key features of the new mobile app include security enhancements, points tracking and transaction history, exciting benefits, latest promo offers, rewards & discounts, store locator, trip cost calculator, and customizable cardholder profile, it added.

Backed by Warburg Pincus and Sequoia, Capillary Technologies has a presence across the US, India, SEA, Middle East and China.

GoPaisa clocks 3X rise in Gadgets, Home Appliances & fashion sales during Festive Season

Cashback and Coupons Website GoPaisa has witnessed 3 times growth in the Gadgets, Home Appliances, Digital products, and fashion categories during Festive Season, it said in a statement.

The firm clocked GMV of Rs 150 crore alone in first three weeks of festive season sale. The brand had recently announced the target of INR 200 CR GMV to be covered by the end of the current fiscal.

In the first three weeks of the festive sales itself, the platform saw, a 2.5x jump in the Month-on-Month traction.

Southeast Asia internet economy to hit $1 trillion by 2030: Report

Southeast Asia’s internet economy is forecast to reach $1 trillion by 2030, as tens of millions more people take up online shopping and embrace food delivery, an industry report said.

The report, by Google, Singapore state investor Temasek and global business consultants Bain & Company, said the region had added 60 million new internet users since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, taking the total to 440 million.

The region of 11 countries is one of the world’s fastest-growing internet markets, due to a young population, rapid smartphone usage and urbanisation, and a burgeoning middle class.

The online industry for Southeast Asia is expected to grow from an estimated $174 billion in gross merchandise volume (GMV) by end-2021 to $360 billion by 2025, and $1 trillion by 2030, driven primarily by growth in e-commerce and food delivery, as consumers stuck at home turned to the internet.


Musk loses $50Bn in biggest fall after Bezos’s 2019 Plunge

Elon Musk has lost $50 billion so far this week after Tesla shares plunged for the second day in a row. It’s the biggest two-day decline in the history of the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, and the biggest one-day fall after Jeff Bezos’s $36 billion plunge following his divorce from MacKenzie Scott in 2019.

Tesla’s rout comes amid a tumultuous few days for the automaker. It started when Musk asked his Twitter followers over the weekend whether he should sell 10 per cent of his stake in the company, followed by news that his brother Kimbal sold shares just before the poll.

The drop narrows Musk’s lead over Bezos as the world’s richest person to $83 billion.

Cathie Wood’s ARK Investment Management, whose funds have been selling shares in Tesla over the past few months, lost more than $750 million in Tuesday’s selloff, while Oracle Corp founder Larry Ellison, the company’s second-largest individual shareholder, lost $2.1 billion.

Despite the slump, Musk’s fortune is still up 70 percent this year thanks to Tesla’s gains on the back of strong earnings growth and delivery numbers and a higher valuation for SpaceX.

Facebook plans to remove thousands of sensitive ad-targeting options

Facebook is planning to remove detailed ad-targeting options that refer to “sensitive” topics, such as ads based on interactions with content around race, health, religious practices, political beliefs or sexual orientation.

The company, which recently changed its name to Meta and which makes the vast majority of its revenue through digital advertising, has been under intense scrutiny over its ad-targeting abilities and rules in recent years.

In a blog post, Facebook gave examples of targeting categories that would no longer be allowed on its platforms, such as “Lung cancer awareness,” “World Diabetes Day”, “LGBT culture”, “Jewish holidays” or political beliefs and social issues. It said the change would take place starting January 19, 2022.

Advertisers on Facebook’s platforms can still target audiences by location, use their own customer lists, reach custom audiences who have engaged with their content and send ads to people with similar characteristics to those users.

US judge denies Apple’s request for pause of ‘Fortnite’ antitrust orders

A US judge denied Apple’s efforts to pause orders handed down after an antitrust case brought by “Fortnite” creator Epic Games, Reuters reported.

The iPhone maker immediately said it would appeal the denial, aiming to stave off potentially significant changes to its lucrative App Store before a December 9 deadline to implement the court’s orders.

Epic went to trial earlier this year over Apple’s practice of forcing developers to use its in-app payment system and to pay commissions to the iPhone maker. In September, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers issued a ruling that was mostly favourable to Apple.

But she expressed concern that Apple was keeping consumers in the dark about alternative payment methods and ordered Apple to lift its ban on in-app links, buttons and messages to users about other ways to pay.

Apple has appealed the judge’s ruling, asking her to pause her orders while the appeals process plays out, which could take several years.

In a sharp rebuke to the iPhone maker, Gonzalez Rogers said that Apple’s prohibitions on telling consumers about other payment methods showed “incipient antitrust conduct including supercompetitive commission rates resulting in extraordinarily high operating margins” for its App Store.

She wrote that Apple’s own in-app payment methods would still be more convenient than third-party methods and that many consumers might still choose to use it.

Apple said it will appeal Gonzalez Rogers’ denial to the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which could grant Apple a temporary stay before the December 9 deadline.

Google loses antitrust battle with EU as court upholds 2017 order to pay $2.8Bn fine: Report

The EU’s General Court ruled on Wednesday that the European Commission was right in fining Google for an antirust breach — in what represents a landmark moment for EU policy that could impact the business models of major tech players.

According to CNBC, the ruling comes after the European Commission, the executive arm of the EU, said in 2017 that Google had favoured its own comparison shopping services and fined the company 2.42 billion euros ($2.8 billion) for breaching antitrust rules. Alphabet-unit Google contested the claims using the EU’s second-highest court.

In addition, the court also confirmed the fine at 2.42 billion euros. “The General Court concludes its analysis by finding that the amount of the pecuniary penalty imposed on Google must be confirmed,” the court added.

Following the ruling, a Google spokesperson told CNBC “Shopping ads have always helped people find the products they are looking for quickly and easily, and helped merchants to reach potential customers. This judgement relates to a very specific set of facts and while we will review it closely, we made changes back in 2017 to comply with the European Commission’s decision.”

Rivian prices IPO at $78 a share, valuing at $66.5Bn: Report

Rivian Automotive, the electric vehicle maker backed by Amazon and Ford, priced its IPO at $78 a share. The deal values Rivian at $66.5 billion, CNBC reported.

Should underwriters exercise their full purchase option, the company will have a market cap of over $68 billion. The stock will trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol RIVN.

Rivian said it expects the IPO to bring in $11.9 billion.

The company recently began production on its electric pickup, the R1T, and plans to deliver 10,000 next year. It expects to lose up to $1.28 billion this quarter, while generating no more than $1 million in revenue for the period.

Prince Harry warned Twitter CEO of a coup before the Capitol riot: Report

Prince Harry has revealed he told Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey ahead of the January 6 Capitol riot that his platform was allowing a coup to be staged.

Speaking on a virtual panel for the RE:WIRED conference, the Duke of Sussex said, “Jack and I were emailing each other prior to Jan. 6 when I warned him his platform was allowing a coup to be staged. He added, “That email was sent the day before and then it happened, and I haven’t heard from him since.”

The prince said he has not met Dorsey in person. Twitter declined to comment when contacted by CNBC.

Harry criticized Twitter and Facebook for allowing misinformation to spread on their platforms, adding the scale of the problem is terrifying and no one is safe from it. The prince also took aim at YouTube, pointing to a report that found 70 percent of videos on the platform were in violation of YouTube’s own policies on misinformation.

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