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STARTUP DIGEST: Nazara acquires Datawrkz, Evenflow Brands acquires 4 consumer labels, US probes Alibaba's cloud unit & UK to crack down on 'misleading' crypto ads

STARTUP DIGEST: Nazara acquires Datawrkz, Evenflow Brands acquires 4 consumer labels, US probes Alibaba's cloud unit & UK to crack down on 'misleading' crypto ads

STARTUP DIGEST: Nazara acquires Datawrkz, Evenflow Brands acquires 4 consumer labels, US probes Alibaba's cloud unit & UK to crack down on 'misleading' crypto ads
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By Aishwarya Anand  Jan 18, 2022 7:51:40 PM IST (Published)

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Nazara acquires majority in ad-tech company Datawrkz
Diversified gaming and sports media platform Nazara Technologies has entered into an agreement to acquire a 55% stake in programmatic advertising and monetisation company Datawrkz, valuing the company up to Rs 225 crore.
The company said the deal is being done through two tranches. In the first tranche, it will acquire a 33 percent stake for Rs 60 crore, of which Rs 35 crore is partly payable in cash and the remaining Rs 25 crore will be paid either through cash or share swap.
It reserves an option to acquire an additional 22 percent in the second tranche that is expected to close in Q4 FY23, the firm said.
Datawrkz tech offerings will enhance in-house capabilities of Nazara for optimising its customer acquisition spends as well as enhance yields on ad monetisation of its large consumer base. This ad revenue monetisation is expected to assist many of the companies in the ‘Friends of Nazara’ network, the company added.
With this deal, Datawrkz aims to establish itself as a key player in gaming, covering both demand and supply side offerings for the gaming ecosystem in the US and India.
Founded in 2013, Datawrkz is an advertising technology firm that offers publishers, agencies and brands a range of programmatic advertising and ad monetisation solutions to improve their user and revenue growth.
Evenflow Brands acquires four consumer brands in India
Roll-up e-commerce firm Evenflow Brands has acquired four consumer brands in India to expand reach, portfolio and demand.
The acquisition includes two sports and fitness brands, Vifitkit and Yogarise; Frenchware, a kitchen label; and Cingaro, a gardening brand; all with an annual run rate between $500,000-2 million.
The founders of Frenchware and Cinagro will also join Evenflow as consultants, said the company in a statement.
"We are looking to triple the growth for each of these brands in the next six months. We took our time to build our playbooks and formulate our expansion plans. At present, all four brands are Amazon only but we are in the process of onboarding them on other marketplaces including Flipkart, Meesho and Jiomart," said Utsav Agarwal, co-founder & CEO at Evenflow.
Founded by former Uber executives Utsav Agarwal and Pulkit Chhabra in 2021, Evenflow has acquired all these brands at an upfront amount basis EBITDA multiple valuations and performance earn-outs spread over three years.
The company has altogether acquired seven brands. The other brands include Xtrim, a sports and fitness accessories brand, baby-care brand BabyPro and Rusabl, an online brand in the daily sustainables category. With sports, kitchen and gardening still being under-penetrated categories in the country, Evenflow plans to build them into strong brands.
Fintech Legalpay launches healthcare focused SPV fund for retail investors
Litigation finance startup LegalPay has launched its interim finance healthcare-focused fund for retail investors.
Through fractional ownership, investors can invest starting Rs 10,000 per opportunity in asset-backed legal and debt financing asset classes, the company said in a statement.
Under this Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), retail investors can invest for as low as Rs 10,000 and diversify their investment portfolio just like the HNIs do. Interim Finance under IBC, 2016 is short-term super-secure financing that allows an insolvent company to remain operational while undergoing the Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP).
LegalPay targets mid-market companies, including MSMEs, undergoing insolvencies, requiring Rs 10 lakh-5 crore.
82% of Indian workforce considering changing jobs in 2022 : LinkedIn Report
The online professional networking site LinkedIn in its latest research revealed that India’s workforce is optimistic about the future of work and 82% of the respondents are considering changing their jobs in 2022.
Additionally, 86% of professionals in India are confident about the strength of their professional networks as they enter into the new year looking for new job opportunities. They also believe that their job roles, careers, and overall job availability could get better in 2022.
The new job-seeker research mentioned that the Great Reshuffle in India is being led by freshers with up to 1 year of work experience (94%) and Gen Z professionals (87%), who are more likely to consider changing jobs in 2022.
The survey reveals that 30% professionals are leaving their current jobs due to poor work-life balance, 28% leave due to unsatisfactory compensation, and 23% do so for greater career ambitions.
According to the report, professionals in India admit that flexible working arrangements will be top priority, when looking for new roles in this year.
Furthermore, the report lists improved work-life balance, more appreciation, and most importantly, better salary, as the top reasons that can convince professionals in India to stay with their current employer in 2022.
The survey highlights that 37% of the working women are likely to quit their current job due to poor work-life balance, when compared to 28% working men. Additionally, about 48% women are willing to stay with their current employer if they get better pay, when compared to 39% working men.
The report also uncovers the underlying sentiments of job-seekers in India, during the pandemic. Despite the confident outlook towards the future work, 71% of professionals say they question their abilities at work more now than before the pandemic, while 63% say they suffer from imposter syndrome.
Findings show that lack of face-to-face support from supervisors and peers (40%), having to take on new responsibilities (34%), and having to use more technology (31%) are the top 3 work stressors for professionals in India.
Netflix earnings to set the pace for 2022 streaming wars
Netflix will be the first major streaming service to report earnings this week, offering investors a sign of whether companies have started to pull in enough new customers to justify big spending on online programming in 2022, as per Reuters.
The dominant streaming service reports fourth-quarter results on Thursday. Wall Street will watch for how many customers Netflix picked up overseas as the pace of streaming growth levels off from torrid pandemic gains of 2020.
Wall Street is watching to see if the streaming wars are paying off as companies add high-profile and expensive shows such as Walt Disney Co's (DIS.N) new reality series with the Kardashian family, a "Lord of the Rings" series on Amazon Prime Video and a "Game of Thrones" prequel on AT&T’s HBO Max.
Netflix raised prices on Friday in its biggest market, the United States and Canada, where analysts say growth is stagnating.
Netflix, which does not air live sports, had forecast it would it would spend $17 billion on programming in 2021. It has not disclosed spending for 2022.
US examining Alibaba's cloud unit for national security risks, sources tell Reuters
The Biden administration is reviewing e-commerce giant Alibaba's cloud business to determine whether it poses a risk to US national security, sources told Reuters.
This comes as the government ramps up scrutiny of Chinese technology companies' dealings with US firms.
The focus of the probe is on how the company stores US clients' data, including personal information and intellectual property, and whether the Chinese government could gain access to it, the people said. The potential for Beijing to disrupt access by US users to their information stored on Alibaba cloud is also a concern, one of the people said.
US regulators could ultimately choose to force the company to take measures to reduce the risks posed by the cloud business or prohibit Americans at home and abroad from using the service altogether.
Former President Donald Trump's Commerce Department was concerned about Alibaba's cloud business, but the Biden administration launched the formal review after he took office in January, according to one of the three people and a former Trump administration official.
Shopify, pair up in China as e-commerce competition intensifies
Canadian e-commerce giant Shopify has partnered with China's, to let merchants in the United States sell to JD's customers in China, Reuters reported.
The strategic partnership comes amid tight competition in the e-commerce space in China with players like Pinduoduo, Alibaba Group Holding and Douyin.
Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
The deal will let Shopify merchants sell on JD's cross-border platform JD Worldwide and open up access to its 550 million active customers in China, the companies said.
Shopify merchants in the US can start selling their products in China within three to four weeks instead of waiting for 12 months to do so, a wait-time typically required by foreign brands to sell in the country, Shopify said.
This is part of a larger strategic partnership between Shopify and focused on solving cross-border commerce challenges for merchants in the US and China, the companies added.
Britain to crack down on 'misleading' cryptocurrency adverts
Britain is to crack down on "misleading" advertisements for cryptoassets, which often target retail consumers with poor knowledge of the risks, the finance ministry said on Monday.
As per Reuters, rising prices of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ether have been accompanied by a surge in advertising for such assets, particularly in London, prompting repeated warnings from Bank of England that investors they could lose all their money.
The finance ministry said that about 2.3 million people in Britain now own a crypto asset, but research suggests that understanding of the sector is declining, suggesting that some users may not fully understand what they are buying, the ministry said.
"Cryptoassets can provide exciting new opportunities, offering people new ways to transact and invest -- but it’s important that consumers are not being sold products with misleading claims," Britain's finance minister Rishi Sunak said in a statement.
The finance ministry set out findings from a public consultation on promotions for cryptocurrencies.
Advertising of cryptoassets will be brought within the scope of existing financial promotions legislation, the ministry said.
UK self-driving startup Wayve raises $200 mn to scale up technology
British self-driving technology startup Wayve has raised $200 million from investors to scale up its autonomous driving technology globally and launch more pilot projects with commercial fleet partners, as per a Reuters report.
The Series B funding round brings the startup's total fundraising to $258 million and includes new investments from venture capital firms D1 Capital Partners, Moore Strategic Ventures and Linse Capital, plus fresh capital from investors including Microsoft.
UK online grocery technology company Ocado has invested in Wayve and has announced an autonomous delivery trial with the startup. Wayve is also running an autonomous delivery trial with British supermarket chain Asda in London.
Twitter expands feature allowing users to flag misleading tweets
Twitter will expand its test feature which allows users to flag misleading content on its social media platform to Brazil, Spain and the Philippines, Reuters reported.
The company had introduced the pilot test of the feature in August last year, as a part of its effort to reduce misinformation on its platform.
It was first tested in the United States, Australia and South Korea. Since it was first announced, Twitter said it has received around 3 million reports from users who have used it to flag tweets which they believe are in violation of its policies.
The social media giant last year launched another program called Birdwatch, which lets participants write notes and provide additional context to misleading tweets, though those notes are held on a separate website.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk to visit Berlin factory in mid-February
Elon Musk will visit Tesla's factory in Berlin in mid-February, the chief executive tweeted on Tuesday, following speculation on Twitter that he would be in Germany this month.
"I obv can’t comment on every rumor, but this isn’t true. Am headed to Berlin mid Feb, not this week," Musk tweeted in response to an article by website Drive Tesla CA which cited a tweet claiming he was visiting Berlin on January 16.
Musk added in a separate tweet that rumours around his travel plans online were becoming a "security issue," in response to an apology from the account owner who first posted the wrong travel date, Sawyer Merritt.
As per Reuters, Musk said last year he expected the Berlin factory to have received its licence to begin mass production of its Model Y cars by December, but bureaucratic hurdles and an ongoing court case over the factory's water use have delayed the process.
A first hearing in the court case will take place on February 11, although regional finance minister Joerg Steinbach told German newspaper Tagesspiegel earlier this month that the license to begin production could come before the case was resolved.
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