The week that was: from Jio attracting global investors to the rise of TikTok rival app Mitron
Vivek Ramachandran’s interest in cybersecurity sparked in the year 2000 when internet giant Yahoo was rocked by one of the largest cyber-attacks. All of 17 then, Vivek wondered how a single hacker could bring down the networks of a giant like Yahoo. And from then till now, Vivek’s interest in the subject has grown by leaps and bounds.
Today, Vivek is an influential voice in the world of cybersecurity. He is currently the Founder and CEO of Pentester Academy, a Cybersecurity training platform. Backed by Sequoia Capital, Pentester has been training several thousand students across the world. Prior to starting his teaching career, Vivek, an IIT Guwahati graduate, worked for majors like Reliance and Cisco.
And as we discuss cybersecurity, it is also important to look at security in the real world. Managing gated communities has always been a wearying, inefficient, and error-prone processes. Keen to bring security and safety into the ever-expanding world of gated premises, Vijay Arisetty, Abhishek Kumar, and Shreyans Daga started security management startup MyGate in 2016.
“Every Indian household, on an average, lets two to three people come to their homes in a day. It is difficult for one security manager to check who is allowed and who is not. That is how MyGate came into being,” Vijay says. The end-to-end community management platform, which is using automation to disrupt the sector, serves 1.6 million homes in 17 cities. Prior to the coronavirus-led lockdown, MyGate was doing close to 90 million visitor validations every month.
Now that's how one uses data to manage security. But, in real life, Reliance Jio has captured the imagination of investors.
In three years, RIL spent $3 billion in acquisitions across verticals, according to Morgan Stanley Research. “The acquisitions reflect its ambition to disrupt the consumer space through the use of technology,” it states. One glance through the app stores will reveal that there are more than 20 apps and services currently live under Jio, with many more under testing.
Jio Platforms, which includes RIL’s internet services, has attracted $10.5 billion in investments from top global VCs and PEs, valuing the entity at over $65 billion. This is higher than the valuations of internet economy giants like Zoom ($42 billion), Uber ($35 billion), Twitter ($34 billion), and Airbnb ($26 billion). Jio’s investors include Facebook ($5.7 billion), Silver Lake Partners ($747 million), Vista Equity Partners ($1.5 billion), General Atlantic ($870 million), and KKR’s Asia PE Fund ($1.5 billion). Reliance has diluted about 17.1 percent equity stake in Jio.
Talking about popular platforms, there is now anIndia alternative to TikTok called Mitron, which is developed by an IIT Roorkee student.
Mitron is already in the top 10 spot of the ‘Top free’ apps on Google Play, and has a rating of 4.7 stars on Google’s Play Store.
TikTok downloads almost halved between March and May across the world, coinciding with growing negativity around the platform. The biggest gainer in all this was Mitron, a free short video and social platform that helps users showcase and view innovative videos. The platform, currently enjoying its moment in the sun, provides an easy and seamless interface for users to create, edit, and share their videos, along with browsing through a library of top videos from across the world.