Investors seek clarity on regulations; What gaming cos want from Budget

VC and PE players hope the interim Budget will bring some clarity to recent circulars issued by regulatory bodies. Gaming companies hope this year’s Budget will offer some tax cuts. Hyperlab has created a robot called Helios.

Investors seek clarity on regulations; What gaming cos want from Budget

Wednesday January 31, 2024,

5 min Read

Hello,

A lot is going on at Meesho.

The ecommerce company, which was recently deemed one of the fastest-growing players in the segment, saw a considerable markdown in its valuation. Fidelity Investments has cut the fair value of its investment in the firm to $3.5 billion, down more than 33%.

"The increase in the number of outstanding shares, notably due to the ESOP pool expansion, could have contributed to this valuation shift,” a Meesho spokesperson said in response to YourStory’s query.

The company has also been busy cleaning up its platform, removing over 2 lakh poor-quality products. It enrolled the help of AI to fortify quality checks and improve keyword databases and detection capabilities on the platform.

In other news, PB Fintech, the parent entity of Policybazaar, reported its first-ever quarterly after-tax profit of Rs 37 crore in Q3 FY24. While its expenses increased 20% YoY, its operating revenue rose 42.6% to Rs 870 crore between October and December 2023.

Also, ahead of the Union Budget 2024, the Finance Ministry presented the Indian Economic Review, which showed that female labour force participation has risen to 37% in 2022-23 from 23.3% in 2017-18. This was led by a sharp increase in the share of rural women working on their own.

And lastly, Elon Musk’s Neuralink has sparked a lot of conversations on the ethics and future of implanting wireless chips in human brains. Here’s all you need to know about the company’s work on brain-computer interfaces

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • Investors seek clarity on regulations 
  • What gaming cos want from Budget
  • A robot that tracks agility, stamina

Here’s your trivia for today: What company was engaged in a seven-year-long patent dispute with Apple that was finally settled for over $500 million in 2018?


Union Budget

PE/VC investors seek clarity on regulations 

As the startup funding winter comes to a head, both companies and investors are bracing for some tough times ahead. Apart from uniform taxation across the ecosystem, venture capital (VC) and private equity (PE) players hope the interim Budget will bring some clarity to recent circulars issued by regulatory bodies. 

Key takeaways:

  • SEBI has been pushing for regulatory compliance and transparency for AIFs, which form the basis of private investment vehicles in India. 
  • Industry body Indian Venture and Alternate Capital Association anticipates potential rule changes and clarification on circulars to address concerns of the industry.
  • As part of a circular issued in December 2023, the RBI prohibited regulated entities such as banks and NBFCs from making investments in AIFs that have downstream investments in a company that has taken debt from the particular regulated entity. 
Budget 2024 VC PE

VC and PE demands for Budget 2024


Union Budget

What gaming cos want from Budget 2024

While clear taxation was part of the wishlist for the gaming sector last year, companies hope this year’s Budget will offer some tax cuts. The industry also seeks greater recognition of esports and hopes that the Budget will offer a distinction between real-money gaming firms and non-real-money gaming firms. 

Relief:

  • Among the many changes in the gaming industry last year was hiking the GST tax slab for real-money gaming firms from 18% to 28% on total winnings, which came as a body blow to the industry.
  • The creation of the AVGC (Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming and Comic) Task Force brought cheer to the sector. This year, gaming companies are also expecting government support for promoting more educational programmes.
  • The esports sector is hoping for a dedicated allocation of funds, according to Lokesh Suji, Director of the Esports Federation of India and Vice President of the Asian Esports Federation.
gaming budget


Startup 

A robot that tracks agility, stamina

Ahmedabad-based Hyperlab has created a robot called Helios, which uses a laser pointer to help athletes and fitness enthusiasts measure strength, reflexes, and stamina.

“Sports tech is picking up in India at a rapid pace. It’s the right time to build an athletics-focused product,” Co-founder Hitarth Parikh says, adding that the robust data will help fitness enthusiasts make more informed decisions about their fitness goals.

Get set, go:

  • While various fitness devices and equipment such as treadmills and weight machines are available in the Indian market today, not all of them help sportspersons measure finer aspects like agility, reflexes, and stamina, according to Parikh.
  • Helios is a smart robot that projects laser points at a distance and prompts athletes to chase the light. The device then records the movement patterns to track direction, speed, response time, and precision.
  • All of Helios’s hardware and software are manufactured in the country through two factories in Gujarat.
Hyperlab


News & updates

  • Up and up: The International Monetary Fund nudged its global growth forecast higher, citing the unexpected strength of the US economy and fiscal support measures in China. It now sees global growth in 2024 at 3.1%, followed by a 3.2% expansion in 2025.
  • High returns: Norway’s giant sovereign wealth fund reported a record profit of 2.22 trillion kroner ($213 billion) in 2023, supported by robust returns on its investments in technology stocks. The Government Pension Fund Global’s return on investment last year was coming in at 16.1% for the year.
  • AI assistant: Stellantis' Peugeot brand plans to use ChatGPT to improve the voice assistant in its cars and vans, joining rivals such as Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz in tapping the popular AI chatbot. Peugeot will launch a pilot version of the ChatGPT service, which will be able to connect to vehicle controls and answer many general or navigation-related questions.


What company was engaged in a seven-year-long patent dispute with Apple that was finally settled for over $500 million in 2018?

Answer: Samsung.


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