It got worse for Twitter in India
An argument that began over what constitutes free speech in India has reached a crescendo as
Also in this letter:
RBIlooked fintech, neobanks
- FamPay’s Huge Fundraising Round
- The valuation of Apna.co is multiplied by 5
Twitter may have lost its intermediary status
Twitter appears to have lost its status as an intermediary in India as it does not yet comply with the country’s revised regulations that came into effect on May 26, ET told ET.
Why is this important: The microblogging platform could now be equally liable under the law for any illegal content (for example, obscene images or impersonation) on its platform as the person posting such content. The company may no longer be able to avail itself of the protection under the “safe harbor” clause.
The San Francisco-based company has yet to name three key executives – India’s new IT rules require them to be permanent employees – despite several nudges from the government, including a “final notice” sent on. June 5. She appointed a lawyer as a grievance. and nodal agent on a contract basis, which is not in accordance with the law, sources told us.
Twitter had previously said it “will endeavor to comply with applicable law,” but is considering asking for changes to parts of the rules that hinder free speech. The government then accused the company of seeking to undermine the country’s legal system.
Regulatory system for digital banking intermediaries likely
Hi, Ashwin here. The Reserve Bank of India is evaluating a more formalized regulatory and supervisory mandate for India’s burgeoning digital banking ecosystem.
What is happening: A central bank team gathered stakeholder views from various industry forums as well as banks to define the scope and definitions of the new classes of digital banking intermediaries that have mushroomed at the intersection of finance and of technology.
Neobank, a buzzword in global and Indian fintech circles, is also under review.
What is that? Neobanks are digital entities without physical branches that offer – independently or in partnership with traditional banks – a full or selected range of banking services.
- In India, companies like Razorpay, Open, Niyo and Jupiter as well as global giants like Amazon and Revolut are all trying to expand these offerings.
However, regulatory uncertainties weigh heavily.
Challenges in India: Currently, these banking intermediaries are poorly regulated and do not have their own definition. They operate through different models where their regulations follow the nature of their partnership with licensed banks.
For example, a neobank that opens bank accounts for its corporate clients may need a correspondent trade license, while some businesses that work with merchants to offer current account and expense management services should apply for the license. payment aggregator.
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■ Apna.co, a professional networking platform for blue and gray collar workers, has raised $ 70 million in a new round from renowned US investors, Insight Partners and Tiger Global.
Ultra fast growth: Apna.co’s valuation has increased five times to reach $ 570 million in just three months. Founder CEO Nirmit Parikh said his startup has grown 50 times in size over the past year. This is one of the main reasons the two-year-old company has managed to raise so much money at this point.
What’s in a name? ‘Apna’ means ours in Hindi. During our conversation with Parikh, he made reference to the popular song “Apna Time Ayega” from the movie “Gully Boy” at least twice explaining how the song was an inspiration behind the startup’s broad vision to enable cols. blues and grays towards getting a better job and improving their livelihoods.
- Parikh seems to be really inspired by the song as you could see that Apna’s holding company is called ‘ApnaTime’ Tech Pvt. Ltd.
■ FamPay, which offers payments and financial services to teens, raised $ 38 million in one of the largest Series A fundraisers by an Indian startup in recent years. Elevation Capital, formerly SAIF Partners, led the new funding round.
New investors: Besides Elevation Capital, General Catalyst, Rocketship VC and Greenoaks Capital have joined the cycle as new investors in the two-year startup.
Why is this important: Just his size, at this point. Sources tell us that it was initially looking to raise between $ 20 million and $ 25 million as part of its Series A funding round, but strong investor interest pushed the startup to increase its size to $ 38 million. .
The deal values FamPay between $ 150 million and $ 170 million, according to sources.
What does it do? Essentially, it allows adolescents to have an almost digital bank account, with the consent of their parents. This could be their ‘pocket money’ or any allowance given by parents to the FamPay account that a child can use to pay online or offline. These kids are digitally savvy enough to make online payments for their food orders or whatever. Of course, parental controls apply.
■ Fintech platform Flexmoney said it raised $ 4.8 million in funding led by Pravega Ventures. The Series A cycle also saw participation from Silicon Valley-based Z5 Capital as well as other individual investors.
■ Omnichannel men’s underwear brand XYXXpicked up Rs 30 crore in its Series A, led by DSG Consumer Partners and Synergy Capital Partners. Existing investor Sauce.VC also participated in the round.
■ Startup of beauty and personal care products aimed directly at consumers Pilgrim landed nearly Rs 13 crore in its Series A, led by Fireside Ventures, Rukum Capital and the founding teams of Boat, NoBroker and the founder and CEO of Bewakoof.com.
■ Private equity veteran Rohan Ajila and the consumer-focused SPAC of Manipal Group chairman Gautham Pai raised $ 170 million through an IPO in the United States. The ad hoc vehicle focused on the consumer sector called Global Consumer Acquisition Corp. Acquire companies with an enterprise value of $ 500 million to $ 1 billion.
IT companies requalifying their clients’ staff
India’s three largest IT services companies, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Infosys and Wipro, are re-qualifying and certifying their clients’ employees in various technologies, as part of a global digital transformation campaign.
- Some organizations want these IT service companies to take full ownership of their retraining and employee qualification efforts, executives from TCS, Wipro and Infosys told ET.
Why now? Pressure from the client side to retrain their workers has grown over the past 15 months after the Covid-19 pandemic forced organizations to shift to a remote working model, forcing them to reinvent how to hone and to train their employees. They hope to train the client workforce in application development, data science, artificial intelligence, and the industrial Internet of Things.
Almost all payment methods, digital and cash, saw a monthly drop in May due to sluggish economic activity in India amid the second wave of Covid.
Cuemath plans new funding of $ 1 billion
Startup Edtech Cuemath plans to raise at least $ 100 million in a new round of funding this year, its chief executive said, as the company targets a valuation of $ 1 billion by the end of 2022, Reuters reported.
- India’s IT sector has seen a significant influx of capital as students transitioned to online learning due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Google-backed education tech startup pocketed $ 40 million in Series C funding led by LGT Lightstone Aspada and Alpha Wave Incubation run by Falcon Edge in December of last year.
Last week, Byju’s became India’s most valued startup after $ 340 million in funding from investors such as UBS Group, Zoom founder Eric Yuan, Blackstone, Abu Dhabi Sovereign Fund ADQ and Phoenix Rising – Beacon Holdings.
New outage at HDFC Bank
HDFC Bank’s mobile banking app suffered an hour-long outage on Tuesday afternoon. The reason for this downtime is not yet known.
In December last year, the Reserve Bank of India blocked HDFC Bank from launching new digital initiatives or issuing credit cards before convincingly fixing their systems, a move unprecedented in the Indian banking system.
While HDFC Bank submitted an outage control plan to the RBI in January this year, it has already suffered three digital outages in recent months. RBI had also appointed an external IT company to perform a special audit of HDFC Bank’s IT infrastructure in February this year.
Why is this important? Continued disruptions to its digital services could be a blow to its prospects of resuming its credit card business and expanding its digital payments game. HDFC Bank is one of the largest card issuers in the country with 14.9 million credit cards in circulation and 37 million debit cards as of April 2021.
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Encourage entrepreneurship: Quess Corp has set up a new unit called Quessworks to encourage employees to innovate and create business solutions that can be marketed independently to customers.
More antitrust issues for Amazon, Flipkart: India’s Competition Commission (ICC) plans to speed up the resumption of investigation into allegations of anti-competitive behavior at Amazon and Walmart’s Flipkart, even as the country steps up scrutiny of big tech companies.
More incoming jobs: UST, a digital transformation solutions company, will increase its Hyderabad office workforce to 1,000 and then double it to a thousand more by the end of 2023.
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