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Startup Digest: Zilingo debtholders recall loan, Delhivery IPO subscription at 1.6x, Twitter saga continues

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Startup Digest: Zilingo debtholders recall loan, Delhivery IPO subscription at 1.6x, Twitter saga continues


Startup Digest brings you a quick wrap of all the news that matters.

Startup Digest: Zilingo debtholders recall loan, Delhivery IPO subscription at 1.6x, Twitter saga continues
Singapore's Zilingo debtholders recall loan, company appoints financial adviser
Fashion technology startup Zilingo's debtholders have decided to recall their entire loan, leading the Singapore-based company to appoint a financial adviser to assess options, its board said on Friday.
"Due to Zilingo's failure to fulfill prior obligations under the loan agreement, the company's lenders have made the decision to accelerate the repayment of the entire loan," Zilingo's board said in a statement to Reuters.
The board suspended its CEO and co-founder Ankiti Bose in March with the backing of major investors, pending a probe by an independent firm they hired.
BharatPe appoints law firm to take back Ashneer Grover's shares in the company
Without naming Ashneer Grover, BharatPe, in a statement said the company had initiated action to claw back a former founder's restricted shares following a governance review.
The firm added it would take all steps to enforce its right under the law. The changes for a more robust governance framework, as per the statement, were being undertaken due to the planned initial public offering.
These include a new code of conduct for senior management and employees, a new and comprehensive Vendor Procurement Policy, blocking of vendors involved in malpractices, and regular internal audits.
Delhivery IPO total subscription at 1.63 times
The initial public offering of logistics services provider Delhivery was subscribed 1.63 times on the final day of the bidding against IPO size of 6.25 crore shares.
Delhivery is planning to mobilise Rs 5,235 crore through its public issue that comprises a fresh issue of Rs 4,000 crore and an offer for sale of Rs 1,235 crore by shareholders.
The offer size was reduced to 6.25 crore from 10.75 crore shares as the company raised Rs 2,346.7 crore from 64 anchor investors, including Baillie Gifford Pacific Fund, Schorder International, AIA Singapore, Amansa Holdings, Aberdeen, Goldman Sachs, and Singapore.
Non-institutional investors bid for 30 percent shares of the allotted quota, while qualified institutional buyers have subscribed 2.66 times. Retail investors bid for 57 percent of the shares reserved for them, while employees booked 27 percent of their portion.
Mass resignations at White Hat Jr after employees protest ‘Back To Office’ Drive
More than 800 full-time employees of WhiteHat Jr, a platform to learn coding, have resigned in the last two months after being asked to return to office, this as per multiple reports. Meanwhile sources told CNBC-TV18 that the number is between 200-250 resignations.
These employees resigned voluntarily as they did not want to return to office, an Inc 42 report said.
WhiteHat Jr. spokesperson told CNBC-TV18, "As part of our back-to-work drive, most of our Sales and Support employees have been asked to report to Gurgaon and Mumbai offices from April 18. We have made exceptions for medical and personal exigencies and have offered relocation assistance as required. Our teachers will continue to work from home”.
This is not the first instance as recently Unacademy let go of over 600 employees. Earlier this year Lido Learning shut shop leaving employees and parents in a lurch.
Cryptocurrencies may soon attract 28% GST like betting and casinos in India
Goods and Service Tax (GST) Council is likely to consider levying 28 percent GST on cryptocurrencies. The government's view is to bring cryptocurrencies at par with lottery, casinos, race course and betting, sources told CNBC-TV18.
The GST Council has nominated a law committee to take up the proposal to levy 28 percent GST on services and all activities related to cryptocurrencies soon. The law committee's view will be tabled before the GST Council for a formal nod.
The proposal is likely to be tabled in the next GST Council meeting, but no decision has been taken on the date yet.
Centre warns Ola, Uber: Solve customers' complaints or face penal action
Cab aggregators Ola, Uber, Jugnoo and Meru attended a meeting called by the consumer affairs ministry to explain details on operations, fare pricing algorithm and drivers’ payment structure, sources told CNBC-TV18.
After the discussions, inputs will be incorporated to formulate guidelines for online cab aggregators to protect consumers.
The guidelines will be in addition to the already existing protocols issued by central and state transport departments. The consumer affairs ministry is likely to lay down standard operating procedures (SOPs) on addressing consumer grievances with set timelines, the sources said.
Swiggy shuts down Supr Daily, Genie operations in five cities citing losses
Food and grocery delivery platform Swiggy said it will suspend operations of its subscription-based delivery service, Supr Daily, in five cities, as it is yet to demonstrate profitability, as consumer internet companies focus on cutting spends in an increasingly challenging environment.
The announcement came on a day when Swiggy also halted its pick-and-drop service Genie in multiple cities. To be sure, unlike Supr Daily, which is being scaled down for business reasons, the company said Genie will not be temporarily available in a few cities due to a surge in demand, resulting in a shortage of delivery partners.
Swiggy buys Times Internet’s restaurant tech platform Dineout
Food aggregator and delivery platform Swiggy on May 13 said that it has signed a definitive agreement with Times Internet to acquire Dineout, a restaurant tech platform.
Swiggy did not disclose the size of the deal and said that Dineout will continue to operate as an independent app post the acquisition.
The acquisition will help Swiggy to expand its offerings to dining out table reservations and events, Swiggy said. Swiggy also said that the acquisition will allow its restaurant partners to reach more customers. Dineout has a network of over 50,000 restaurants, which Swiggy would leverage.
Byju’s said to be in talks with lenders for $1 billion funding: Report
Edtech giant Byju’s is in talks with lenders to raise more than $1 billion in acquisition financing as the online education provider looks to expand its business rapidly, Bloomberg News reported citing sources.
The startup is in talks with banks, including Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase & Co, for the funding to acquire another edtech company, the report added.
The news comes after Byju’s-owned upskilling platform Great Learning acquired Singapore-based Northwest Executive Education for a $100 million cash and stock deal.
Byju’s-owned Great Learning buys Northwest Executive Education to strengthen higher education vertical
Byju’s-owned Great Learning has acquired Singapore-based Northwest Executive Education in a cash and stock deal as it looks to strengthen its higher education vertical.
Byju’s bought the Singapore-based company through its wholly owned upskilling platform Great Learning, valuing Northwest Executive Education at a little less than $100 million, sources told Moneycontrol.
Byju’s is aggressively focusing on the higher education segment and Northwest Executive’s acquisition is expected to aid the strategy.
Gross irregularities, fraudulent dealings & massive Losses: FHRAI urges SEBI to axe Oyo IPO
The Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) has once again strongly urged the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to call off Oyo's initial public offering (IPO) citing the massive losses suffered by the hotel rooms aggregator in recent years.
As per reports, Oyo incurred losses of Rs 3,943.84 crore in FY20-21 translating to a loss of over Rs 76,077/- every minute. Since its inception in 2013, Oyo has been running in losses and its total turnover fell a drastic 69 percent from Rs.13,413 crore in 2020 to Rs.4,157 crore in 2021.
FHRAI has cautioned that Oyo's IPO will only wipe out public wealth while enriching its founders and key management. FHRAI had previously objected to gross misstatements and inadequate disclosures contained in the Draft Red Herring Prospectus (DRHP) filed by Oyo.
Razorpay offers $75M ESOP buyback bonanza for 650 employees
Fintech unicorn Razorpay has announced its fourth and largest employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) sale for its 650 existing and former employees as part of a $75 million transaction.
The purchase will be led by Lightspeed Venture Partners along with participation from Moore Strategic Ventures who will subsequently join the company’s cap table.
Razorpay has facilitated the ESOP sale consecutively for the last three years. Last year, the sale was worth $10 million. To date, the company has awarded ESOPs to 1,940 existing and former employees across levels.
Zerodha founder warns that ESOPs of many firms issued in the last three years will be out of money
Zerodha founder Nithin Kamath has warned that employee stock ownership plans (ESOP) issued by many companies and startups over the last three years would be out of money.
Essentially, the value of the shares with the employees will be worth much less than the price at which they were vested. The value of the shares have been eroded by the recent market sell-off, particularly in tech stocks, which reminds Kamath of the dot com boom in the 1990s.
“This could affect the morale of many, which will make it even harder for those running the business," Kamath tweeted as part of a seven-tweet thread.
CoinDCX launches CoinDCX Ventures, Rs 100 Cr earmarked to nurture Web3 ecosystem
Crypto exchange CoinDCX has announced the launch of its investment arm — CoinDCX Ventures, which will invest in early-stage crypto and blockchain startups globally.
The exchange has earmarked Rs 100 crore for CoinDCX Venture to fund such early-stage startups and nurture the Web3 ecosystem (blockchain-based internet technology).
CoinDCX Ventures has already made several investments in the space, which included a wallet solution, cross-chain bridge protocol, Web3 notification protocol, Web3 social engine as well as distributed storage and computing protocol, to name a few.
IPO-bound Navi appoints Meesho founder as independent director
Sachin Bansal-led Navi Technologies has appointed Vidit Aatrey, the founder of social commerce platform Meesho, as an independent director on its board.
With this appointment, the number of independent directors on its board reached four. Overall, Navi's board now comprises seven members, according to the company statement.
The appointment of Aatrey, effective from April 9, is subject to completion of formalities, it added.
Global Tech & Startup News
Twitter legal team tells Elon Musk he violated a non-disclosure agreement
Elon Musk on Saturday tweeted that Twitter's legal team accused him of violating a nondisclosure agreement by revealing that the sample size for the social media platform's checks on automated users was 100.
"Twitter legal just called to complain that I violated their NDA by revealing the bot check sample size is 100!," tweeted Musk, CEO of electric car maker Tesla Inc.
Musk on Friday said that his $44-billion cash deal for Twitter Inc was "temporarily on hold" while he waits for the social media company to provide data on the proportion of its fake accounts. He added later that he remained committed to the deal.
Uber to cut costs, slow down hiring: CEO Dara Khosrowshahi tells staff
Uber Technologies will scale back hiring and reduce expenditure on its marketing and incentive activities, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told employees in a letter.
To address the shift in economic sentiment, Uber will slash spending on marketing and incentives and treat hiring as a “privilege,” Khosrowshahi said. "We have to make sure our unit economics work before we go big,” he added.
The company will now focus on achieving profitability on a free cash flow basis. The Uber CEO's letter comes shortly after the ride-hailing giant announced its Q1, 2022 results. It signals a recovery from the pandemic with revenue growing 136% to $6.9 billion (YoY). But, suffered a net loss of $5.9 billion due to equity investments in Grab, Aurora and Didi.
Tiger Global hit by $17Bn in losses in tech rout: Report
New York-based Tiger Global has been hit by losses of around $17 billion during this year's technology stock selloff, marking one of the biggest dollar declines for a hedge fund in history, the Financial times reported.
The firm, one of the world's biggest hedge funds, has erased around two-thirds of its gains in four months, the newspaper said, citing calculations by LCH Investments.
Market-leading technology and growth stocks have suffered this year as investors worry that rising interest rates will dent their future earnings.
SoftBank Vision Fund posts $26 billion loss
Japan's SoftBank Group has reported a record $26.2 billion loss at its Vision Fund investment arm, as rising interest rates and political instability whiplashed high-growth tech stocks.
The loss was in stark contrast to a year earlier when SoftBank delivered a record annual profit, putting founder and CEO Masayoshi Son's strategy of concentrating heavily on riskier, high-growth stocks under more scrutiny, Reuters reported.
The group's annual net loss was 1.7 trillion yen ($13.15 billion). The Vision Fund unit's assets, including the Latin American funds, were worth $175.6 billion at March-end. That compared to an acquisition cost of $141.6 billion.
Bitcoin slides 50% from its all-time high
Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market cap, once touted as a hedge against inflation and dubbed as digital gold, plunged to $25,000 briefly on Thursday. It has witnessed a drastic fall from its all-time high (ATH) of $68,000 in November 2021 and altcoins are following in its wake.
This is because digital currencies—that were supposed to buck broader economic trends—have been hit by twin forces this week. One, the Federal Reserve's hawkish stance on inflation and interest rates. Two, an unexpected crack in stablecoins that supposedly hold the market together.
Digital assets are moving in tandem with traditional assets these days. The phenomena began after hedge funds and wealth management firms forayed into the space. This, combined with the central bank's aggressive monetary policy, weighs on stocks and cryptos alike.
Global crypto regulation body likely in next year, top official says
Global market regulators are likely to launch a joint body within the next year to better coordinate cryptocurrency rules, a senior watchdog official said.
Ashley Alder, the chair of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) said the boom in digital currencies such as bitcoin was one of the three main areas authorities were now focused on, alongside COVID and climate change.
"If you look at the risks we need to address, they are multiple and there is a wall of worry about this (crypto) in the conversations at an institutional level," Alder said during an online conference organised by the OMFIF thinktank.
Apple retires the revolutionary portable music player iPod Touch
Apple on Wednesday announced that it is retiring the iPod Touch, marking the end of the iPod product line more than two decades after the pocket-sized portable music player made its debut. The primary reason behind the decision is the product losing its relevance in the age of modern devices.
Today, a user can stream Apple Music on iPad, iPhone, HomePod mini, MacBook, and even through AirPods paired with an Apple Watch. The arrival of these products have cannibalised the sales of iPods.
According to a company statement, customers can still purchase the iPod (for Rs 19,600) till the existing inventory is exhausted. It added that the legacy of iPods will be carried forward through its other products.
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