China’s mood swings 🥱

Meesho’s ambition, and stuff from the week before.

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Market summary: 📊

India closed the week in style, with Sensex breaching 60K, an unimaginable feat in March 2020. US added a tiny bit, ending the week a couple points up. 

US:

  • S&P 500 - up 0.15%

  • Nasdaq - up 0.086%

India:

  • Nifty 50 - up 0.17% 

  • Sensex - up 0.27%


What’s brewing hot? ☕

Telco pulse — July carrier subscription data shows Airtel, which had been consistently gaining ground against Jio so far this year, fell behind for the month, adding only 1.94 million new subscribers, lagging Jio’s 6.14 million new additions. Meanwhile, VI continues to limp, losing 1.43 million subscribers this month. At the end of the month, Jio led the market with 37% market share. No relief package can overturn that! 

China go no chill — the Chinese intensified their attack on crypto, with several government agencies including securities regulators and major banks releasing statements that ALL crypto transactions within borders will be banned/deemed illegal here on out. Overseas companies providing crypto services to Chinese people will be banned from operating too, all in anticipation of launching the e-yuan. Not too surprising if you’ve been following China’s mood lately, and as usual, Bitcoin took a quick dump. 


Some Friday-drama in the Reliance boardroom 🧐

What happened — one of Reliance’s largest shareholders, the California State Teachers’ Retirement Fund (which is also one of THE largest institutional investors worldwide), is blocking the appointment of Saudi Aramco’s Chairman as an independent director of Reliance. 

Reliance had been trying to get Saudi Aramco to invest and own a sizable chunk (~20%) of its oil and chemical business — a deal that had gotten delayed due to COVID and the global oil crisis. Anyway, bringing Aramco’s Chairman on now as a director was a step to warm things up again.

California is blocking based on “ethical” recommendations, which could be a tricky thorn to remove even for Mota Bhai's sauve handling of affairs.

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Meesho coming of age 💰 

Rumors are, investment manager Fidelity is in talks to lead a $550-$600 million round in Meesho, doubling the company’s valuation to $5 billion.

If you’re new to Indian tech, Meesho runs a social commerce platform that makes it easy for individuals to open an online store, source merch, and resell it through their personal networks — primarily on Whatsapp and Facebook. Post COVID, the business has been dipping its feet into other areas, including groceries and FMCG goods. 

Anyway with under 10% ecommerce penetration in India, the runway is extremely long and a $500 million war chest puts the business in a formidable position.

While we’re on ecommerce, 🛒

Dotpe, which sells software to help restaurants simplify order management, delivery, digital menus, payments etc., acquired a payment system provider called Rista, entering the payments processing business. 

Well-capitalized restaurants are looking to rapidly move away from aggregators like Zomato, Swiggy, and their hefty fees — which has helped DotPe’s tech reach 7M+ end customers, processing 15 million orders each month.


That’s it for today folks! Quick look at what went down this week…

🔥 Know your game — Nazara Tech acquired content studio and talent agency OML Entertainment, that creates streaming shows, manages popular YouTubers and owns IP ranging from Music shows to comedy events. OML will help Nazara double down on eSports IP management and events. So far this year the company has made 3 acquisitions, spending close to ₹300 cores.

🤑 Cozying up — Zee and Sony are merging, putting an end to a bitter shareholder conflict. Sony is promising to invest about $1.6 billion into Zee to help sort governance problems and supercharge growth. Together, the combined entity will be churning ₹13,600 crores+ in revenues, making it one of the most formidable media operations in the country, with Zee’s current CEO Punit Goenka running the combined ship.

🙌 Netflix the OG — Netflix is acquiring British children’s books author Roald Dahl’s company for about ~$650 million+ to expand its IP catalog. Roald Dahl’s novels have sold over 300 million copies worldwide, and Netflix is hoping the IP helps the company build a family-friendly catalog of content like Disney, stopping people from churning over to Disney+. 

👏 It's here — Oyo is going to file for a $1.2 billion IPO as early as next week. At its peak, the business was valued at $9.6 billion, churning $900 million+ in revenues in 2019, but since then growth has tanked considerably due to COVID. However, there couldn't be a better time to chase the IPO though, as travel demand is just set to bounce back.

🥱 How dare you — Google is suing Indian regulators for allegedly “leaking” confidential documents from an antitrust case that showed how Google had put TV and smartphone makers on exclusive contracts if they wanted to be supplied with Android software. Google is arguing the documents helped breed an anti-Google stand in India, and will drag the CCI into the Delhi High Court. 


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