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Nykaa gets Sebi nod for IPO

SEBI approved Nykaa’s IPO. It was one of the most awaited IPOs. It is the largest multi-brand beauty (BPC) platform for India.

Nykaa, an E-commerce beauty platform, filed preliminary papers to the Securities and Exchange Board of India for an initial public offer (IPO) in August. Nykaa seeks to raise Rs 552.5 crore through a fresh issuance of shares and an offer to sell up to 43.1million shares by existing shareholders.

The startup, which sells online beauty products, is seeking to raise Rs 4,000 crore through an IPO. It is expected to be valued at more than Rs 40,000 crore.

The majority of the Rs 4,000 crore raised through the IPO will go to paying existing investors who have sold their stakes. TPG, Lighthouse, Sunil Munjal, and Sanjay Nayar are some of the selling shareholders.

Nykaa’s FY20 revenue was Rs 1,860 crore, making it perhaps the most profitable unicorn to go public.

Paytm reserves Rs 100 cr for festive season marketing campaigns

Paytm, a digital payments company and financial services provider, has allocated Rs 100 million for marketing campaigns during the festive season. These include cashback, promotion of UPI and wallet businesses.

As part of its marketing campaign, the company launched ‘Paytm Cashback Dhamaka’ for users in all Indian districts, with a special focus on Gujarat, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.

“The company and its partners will allocate Rs 100 crore for marketing activities during the festive season. These campaigns will be aligned to promote digital payments in India and educate users about Paytm UPI for money transfers, Paytm Wallet and Paytm Postpaid (Buy Now, Pay Later) for spends, to drive financial inclusion across the country,” Paytm said in a statement.

The campaign will continue till November 14. “During peak festive season, 10 winners will win Rs 1. Lakh each. 10,000 winners will get Rs 100 cashback and 10,000 users will win Rs 50 cashback. Users can win Rs 10 Lakh daily closer to Diwali (November 3-3).” the company added.

The cashback will be provided on using Paytm for their mobile, broadband DTH recharges, utility bill payments, money transfer, booking travel tickets, paying credit card bills, booking movie tickets, FASTag payments, transactions at online and offline kirana stores etc.

According to the company’s draft red herring prospectus filed for IPO, Paytm has reported the highest gross merchandise value of Rs 4.03 lakh crore in the payments industry.

Unacademy in talks to acquire Swiflearn: Report

Edtech startup Unacademy is in talks to acquire Swiflearn in a deal worth $15-20 million, sources told Entrackr.

The transaction will be a mix of cash and stock. Swiflearn’s founders will join Unacademy along with the team members, the report added.

This will be the 11th acquisition for Unacademy since its inception. The company had acquired Handa Ka Funda, TapChief, NeoStencil, PrepLadder, Mastree, CodeChef, Coursavy, Kreatryx, Wifistudy and Rheo TV.

Grofers likely to enter horizontal e-com; plans to deliver anything in 10 minutes

Online grocery delivery platform Grofers said it continues to look for local entrepreneurs who are keen on building businesses in the instant commerce space; and has so far, partnered with 86 ‘dark store owners’ in 13 cities.

In August, Grofers had started a 10-minutes grocery delivery service in 10 cities, including Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Jaipur.

The Zomato-backed company is working with local partners to power this initiative.

Grofers founder and CEO Albinder Dhindsa tweeted: “We are still looking for local entrepreneurs who are interested in building exciting businesses within the instant commerce space.”

In a blogpost, Dhindsa said the company believes its 10-minute delivery service will help consumers in India save time and fulfil their needs in a way that is frictionless. Grofers plans to build community entrepreneurship by partnering with aspiring business women and men who will run so-called dark stores where inventory will be stored.

He noted that the company is using its platform to create markets for products that help users live healthier and more sustainable lives, while giving hundreds of Indians a chance to start their own businesses.

So far, Grofers has already partnered with 86 dark store owners in 13 cities and logged more than one million orders in the last three months after the launch of its instant delivery service.

“These dark stores run by partner companies and are available online as an alternative to the local market.” Dhindsa added.

We Founder Circle announces Global Accelerator Programme – EvolveX

Founders-led startup investment platfor We Founder Circle (WFC) has announced We Founder Circle Accelerator Programme- EvolveX. The accelerator programme will provide guidance and seed funding to early-stage growth-driven companies.

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With the help of an extensive network of seasoned mentors and exceptional entrepreneurs, the programme will catalyse the overall growth of budding startups, the company said in a statement.

The programme is expected to work at the strategic level of the startup. A mix of more than 30 global mentors that include global VCs like SOSV, CXOs from KPMG, Accenture, and Samsung, and founders like Ankit Mehrotra of Dineount, Akash Gupta of Zypp Electric and Vikas Bagaria of PeeSafe will be mentoring the startups, the company added.

Additionally, the accelerator programme also promises a fully customised acceleration roadmap for the business model. Furthermore, unlike any other accelerator programme, the startups will receive upfront funding of $20,000, and $150,000 worth of credits to take their business to the next level.

The global accelerator programme has got noticeable partners on board to address each and every requirement of startups like SOSV, MOX, Accathon Capital, The Labs, Ladies who tech, Startup Grind and Founders Lair.

Salman Khan launches Chingari’s crypto-token $GARI

Bollywood actor Salman Khan has unveiled $GARI, a crypto-token launched by micro-content, short video application Chingari.

The actor has also announced his collaboration with the app as a brand ambassador for its NFT marketplace and token reward programme in a tweet.

“The creators are shaping the future of entertainment. With the incorporation of the $GARI reward programme, the creators will further get motivated to create newer and more engaging videos on the Chingari app. It’s going to be an interesting journey hereon,” Khan said.

With this foray, Chingari, which currently offers customised videos, an extensive song library, hyper-realistic AR filters, and content in more than 20 languages and has around 50 million monthly active users and almost 85 million downloads to date, has reportedly become India’s first social network to issue crypto tokens.

The token will be built in partnership with the Solana blockchain.

GoPaisa eyes clocking GMV worth Rs120 Cr in festive season sales

Cashback website GoPaisa has announced targeting a GMV worth 120 crore for the festive season alone concluding on November 4.

The brand is eying 400 percent of growth compared to previous year’s festive season, as per the company.

“For any e-commerce player, the festive season is the peak time, and can be a game changer in terms of traction. Cashback industry has been growing in sync with e-commerce, and in the last one year, the growth rate has only accelerated. To understand its impact, this festive season will be on watch for the entire industry. We ourselves are expecting it to contribute to over 20 percent of the entire year’s sales, given that we also have some major brands on the portfolio as an added advantage,” said Ankita Jain, Co-Founder, GoPaisa.

The brand had recently announced the target to cross a GMV of Rs 200 crore by the end of FY22. The website claims to be enabling 10,000 transactions daily, serving over 3.5 million registered users on its platform.

T-Hub appoints new CEO, announces new plans of growth

Startup incubator T-Hub has announced its growth plans under its new Chief Executive Officer, Srinivas Rao Mahankali (MSR), ahead of the launch of T-Hub’s new campus sized 5,82,689 square feet.

MSR recently joined T-Hub from GAME — The Global Alliance for Mass Entrepreneurship, where he was the Chief Executive Officer, the company said in a press note, adding that he brings in 33 years of experience in the information technology industry.

T-Hub announced a number of plans including that of globalising the innovation hub under the new CEO. As per the company, the new CEO plans to create a funding ecosystem at T-Hub and plans to expedite the T-Fund initiative, which will get operationalised in 2021. The incubator also plans to set up a Funding Desk.

T-Fund is being given to the Telangana startups from various sectors and it is a co-investment fund that shall invest alongside VC’s and angel networks to further support the Telangana startups.

As per the company. T-Hub will also have nodal officers working with the central government to help startups receive grants, and curated efforts will be made to expose pre-series A and series A startups to venture capitalists across India and worldwide.

The incubator has helped over 300 Indian startups and more than 200 international startups scale globally through various 10+ market access programmes and 18+ international interventions in partnership with global ecosystem players across over 42 countries, the company said.

97% of Indian companies bet on CX innovation to protect businesses from competitors: Zendesk Report

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More Indian enterprises are investing in customer experience (CX) as a means to grow their business as compared to other countries in the Asia Pacific region, according to a study by Zendesk, in partnership with Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG).

More Indian organisations (88 percent) accelerated their CX projects over the past 12 months compared to their counterparts in South Korea (67 percent), Australia (65 percent), Singapore (62 percent), and Japan (37 percent), the report added.

The study found that the number of Champions within midsized and enterprise companies in Asia Pacific has increased from 6 percent to 8 percent since 2020, with India (16 percent) and Australia (12 percent) having the highest proportion of Champions. The greatest gains in the region were tied between India, Australia and Singapore, which all saw a six percentage point increase from 2020.

The 2021 State of CX Maturity Report surveyed more than 3,400 CX decision-makers globally — of which 921 were from APAC.

Indian organisations lead globally in their enthusiasm for a conversational future, with 79 percent of them agreeing that chat and social channels are most used by customers today and 100 percent predicting this will remain the case in the future, as per the report.

The vast majority of respondents in APAC (90 percent) agree that CX innovation is required to protect their business from competitors. And in India, 97 percent of midsize and enterprise-sized Indian organisations agree with this sentiment. In fact, three-quarters of them recognise the strategic imperative of CX innovation, significantly more so than their counterparts in South Korea (49 percent), Japan (45 percent), Singapore (42 percent) and Australia (41 percent).

Over three-quarters of larger Indian organisations (77 percent) achieved greater cross-channel visibility, a significantly higher percentage than their counterparts in Australia (36 percent), Singapore (29 percent), South Korea (23 percent), and Japan (17 percent). Around 64 percent of Indian organisations feel they made the right CX investments to increase their business resilience in the future, the report added.

GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY & STARTUP NEWS

Facebook plans to hire 10,000 in EU to build ‘metaverse’

Facebook plans to hire 10,000 in the European Union over the next five years to help build the metaverse — a nascent online world where people exist and communicate in shared virtual spaces, Reuters reported.

This would be a significant step by the company towards the concept, something top boss Mark Zuckerberg has touted in recent months.

In September, Facebook committed $50 million towards building the metaverse, where companies like Roblox Corp and ‘Fortnite’ maker Epic Games have an early foothold.

Facebook also said in July it was creating a product team to work on the metaverse which would be part of Facebook Reality Labs, its augmented reality and virtual reality group.

“This investment (in new job opportunities) is a vote to confidence in the strength and potential of the European tech sector. “Europe is hugely important to Facebook,” the company said.

Square CEO Jack Dorsey says looking to build a Bitcoin mining system

Square CEO Jack Dorsey said that the fintech firm is looking to build a Bitcoin mining system based on custom silicon and open source for individuals as well as businesses.

This would add to Square’s existing Bitcoin-focused projects, including a business to build an open developer platform, as well as a hardware wallet for the cryptocurrency.

“If we did this, we would follow our hardware wallet model: Create in the open in collaboration and collaboration with the community.” Dorsey said in a tweet.

A team led by Square’s hardware lead, Jesse Dorogusker, will investigate requisites for Square to take on the project to build a Bitcoin mining system.

In his Twitter thread, Dorsey also said that silicon design or chip design is too concentrated into a few companies, leading to supply constraints.

South Korea targets Apple over new app store regulation

Apple was on a collision course with South Korea on October 15 over new requirements that it stop forcing app developers to use its payment systems, with a government official warning of a possible investigation into the iPhone maker’s compliance.

The development comes after South Korea amended the Telecommunication Business Act in August to try to curb tech majors’ market dominance and stop big app store operators such as Apple and Alphabet Inc’s Google from charging commissions on in-app purchases.

The law went into effect last month but Apple had told the South Korean government that it was already complying and did not need to change its app store policy, a Korea Communications Commission (KCC) official in charge of the matter told Reuters.

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The regulator would ask Apple’s South Korean unit for a new company policy giving greater autonomy in payment methods, and if Apple failed to comply, would consider measures such as a fact-finding probe as a precursor to possible fines or other penalties.

Google had informed the KCC that it planned to comply with the law, including allowing third-party payment systems, and would discuss the matter with the regulator starting next week, the KCC official said.

“Apple and Google have differences in their willingness to give ground. Apple controls everything, from hardware to OS to app market to payment system.” he told Reuters.

Amazon may have lied to Congress, five US lawmakers say

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Five members of the US House Judiciary Committee wrote to Amazon’s CEO and accused the company’s top executives, including founder Jeff Bezos, of either misleading Congress or possibly lying to it about Amazon’s business practices.

The letter also states that the committee is considering “Is it appropriate to refer this matter to the Department of Justice for criminal investigations?”

Addressed to Amazon CEO Andy Jassy, the letter followed a Reuters investigation last week that showed that the company had conducted a systematic campaign of copying products and rigging search results in India to boost sales of its own brands — practices Amazon has denied engaging in. Jassy, a longtime Amazon executive, succeeded Bezos in July.

The letter states that “Credible reporting” in the Reuters story and recent articles in several other news outlets “Directly contradicts the sworn testimony of Amazon’s top executives, including Jeffrey Bezos, and their representations.”

“This reporting confirms that Amazon’s representatives misled Congress. Worst, it shows that they may be lying to Congress in possible violation federal criminal law.” the letter states.

In response, an Amazon spokesperson issued a statement that said: “Amazon and its executives were not liars to the committee. We have denied the allegations and sought to correct them.”

It added: “As we have already stated, we have an in-house policy that prohibits the use or development of private label products by using individual seller data. We investigate allegations that this policy has been violated and take the appropriate action.”

Since 2019, the House Judiciary Committee has been investigating competition in digital markets, including how Amazon uses proprietary seller data from its platform, and whether the company unfairly favors its own products.

Amazon-owned Twitch says source code exposed in last week’s data breach

Amazon-owned Twitch said that last week’s data breach at the live streaming e-sports platform contained documents from its source code.

Passwords, login credentials, full credit card numbers and bank details of users were not accessed or exposed in the breach, as per Reuters.

The platform, which is used by video gamers for interacting with users while live streaming content, had blamed the breach on an error in the server configuration change. Server configuration changes are performed during server maintenance. A faulty configuration can expose the data stored in the servers to unauthorised access.

Twitch said it was “It was confident that the incident only affected a small number users and that it was contacting those directly impacted. The platform is visited by more than 30,000,000 people per day.

Video Games Chronicle reported that approximately 125 gigabytes worth of data were leaked in the breach. This included details about Twitch’s highest-paid streamers since 2019.

Bloomberg News: Netflix’s Squid Game is valued at $900 million

Squid Game, Netflix’s biggest original series launch, is estimated to be worth almost $900 million for the streaming giant, Bloomberg News reported.

After its launch last month, the thriller’s nine-episode run became an international hit. It features cash-strapped contestants playing dangerous childhood games in a bid for 45.6 billion wons ($38.58 millions).

It is much lower than its estimated net worthBloomberg reported that the show’s production cost $21.4 million.

According to the report, approximately 132million had watched at most two minutes of the show in its initial 23 days. This surpasses the record for UK costume drama Bridgerton which was streamed on 82 million accounts within its first 28 days.

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