WhatsApp cracks down on fake accounts ahead of elections, Foodpanda’s FY18 loss widens 5x
The 2019 general elections are around the corner. And ahead of the elections, WhatsApp has reinforced its efforts to curb the spread of fake news and ban all accounts responsible for circulating abusive and false content. So far, the Facebook-owned platform revealed it banned over 2 million accounts every month over the last three months for bulk or automated behaviour. As per WhatsApp, these efforts were particularly important during elections when certain groups could attempt to send messages at scale.
Foodpanda’s losses widen 5x in FY18
Online food delivery platform Foodpanda, which was acquired by Ola in December 2017, posted a sharp five-fold increase in its loss for FY18. The company’s loss widened from Rs 44.82 crore in FY17 to Rs 227.95 crore for the year ended March 2018, according to its filings with the Registrar of Companies (RoC). Foodpanda primarily makes money from commissions and delivery fees. In October 2018, the company had acquired Mumbai-based internet restaurant HolaChef, a move that is believed to be a part of its plans to launch its own brand of food products.
No heavy discounts on Swiggy, Zomato if new FDI rules come into play
If the new FDI guidelines, which came into effect on February 1, apply to foodtech unicorns Zomato and Swiggy, users may not be able to avail heavy discounts on these platforms soon. According to reports, the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) is planning to put in place a code of conduct for the food aggregators, and the association will be holding an internal meeting in Mumbai on Thursday. If reports are any indication, the association is looking at a strong course of action to be taken against unicorns Swiggy and Zomato, who they believe have distorted the market with deep discounts.
SoftBank’s stocks surge by 17 pc after buyback announcement
SoftBank Group, the Japan-headquartered technology conglomerate, has announced a share buyback programme where it would repurchase 112 million shares worth 600 billion yen (around $5.46 billion) in the next 11 months, which sent its stock soaring by 17.73 percent on Thursday. This is the biggest ever buyback in SoftBank’s history. SoftBank Chief Executive Masayoshi Son described the company’s shares as too cheap, and that they were worth far more than their current market value.
TiECon 2019: How to identify a potential ‘unicorn’
India has 26 'unicorns', each of them offering inspiration and motivation to other entrepreneurs. From Flipkart and Swiggy to Freshworks and BYJU'S, Indian companies are setting the bar high for the next set of entrepreneurs. At the second day of TiECon 2019, the annual flagship event of TiE Mumbai, the focus of the conversation was on this next potential set of unicorns. Investors talked about what makes a company with ‘unicorn’ potential stand out from the crowd, and the traits a successful entrepreneur possesses.
Amazon Retail is back in grocery business
After a temporary disruption following the implementation of revised ecommerce FDI rules, Amazon India’s food retail licence holding entity, Amazon Retail, is back selling grocery and food items on the marketplace. The grocery service became unavailable in India on February 1, 2019, the day when the new norms for FDI in ecommerce came into force.
New milestone! Ola facilitating 20 M insurance policies a month
Ola on Thursday said that it has achieved a monthly run-rate of 20 million in facilitating micro-insurance policies for cab rides to its customers. And all this, just within a year of its launch. Priced between Rs 1 to Rs 49, the in-trip insurance has seen a major uptake in metros including Bengaluru, Delhi, Chennai and Mumbai, and is available across Ola’s city and outstation categories.