Earnings are here 🖖
Mega checkout raise, YouTube pays bills, and Netflix ain't cheap.
gm fam! 👋
Hope startup day was fun. Somehow we’re into week 3 of 22 and the business world is now picking pace. We’re also entering peak earnings season — Indian banks and some consumer giants will keep the headlines busy this week, while in the west, from Netflix to IBM, major tech giants will get the ball rolling.
Anyway, easy day today, let’s hit it ✌️
Kicking off the week ☕
🔌 Good response — Indian government’s incentive schemes to accelerate electric-vehicle battery production within the country has received great response. 10 local firms have applied — including Ola, Reliance, TVS, Amara Raja, Exide, and even L&T. About ₹18,100 crores (almost $2.5 billion) in incentives are on the table, expected to deliver manufacturing capacity of about 130GWh+, more than 2x of what GOI was hoping to attract, and enough to deliver more than a million cars a year.
HDFC delivers at a critical time 🔥
What happened — India’s top-most private lender came out with some pretty strong performance numbers for its September-to-December quarter, giving Dalal Street much needed confidence amidst Omicron’s attack.
Profits jumped, revenues expanded, while bad assets were brought under control — all meeting investor expectations.
Quick look at the numbers:
Total Revenues of ₹26K crores, grew a solid 12% YoY
Net Profit of ₹10.3K crores, up 18% YoY
Money made on interest grew by 13% YoY — a good sign that people have been making payments
Lastly, bad loans on HDFC’s books came down to ~1.26% of its loan book, a tiny yet significant 0.1% improvement from last quarter.
Bottomline — these numbers are more relief than anything else. Expect other banks to follow, which should help sustain 2022’s newfound momentum.
Meanwhile, HCL continued IT’s winning streak 🤙
HCL Tech followed TCS, INFY and other competition in reporting robust growth — expanding revenues by 15.7% YoY for the quarter. Profits however tanked, and just like other IT giants, people are quitting the company in hoards. Startup fever much?
Couple weekend raises in Startup Town 💰
From Silicon Valley, an instant-checkout platform, Bolt Financial, closed a mammoth $355 million round from BlackRock, Credit-Ease and others — 2x’ing valuation to $11 billion!
8-year old Bolt offers one-click checkout technology to merchants — letting people save their credentials (address, emails, payment), making transactions faster and helping merchants improve conversion. Merchants also get a bunch of fraud detection and security tools in the backend which make life easier.
Amidst COVID, transactions using the platform have jumped 200%, with Bolt expecting to reach 100 million shoppers in the next year.
Bottomline — checkout pages have become hot property to upsell, cross-sell, and make some extra $$ for merchants. Like a million startups competing here!
Meanwhile, back home in India 👇
Hero Motors doubled down on its EV disrupting wildcard, putting another ₹420 crores into electric-scooter maker Ather Energy.
Hero already owns like 35.8% of the business, and some of Ather’s tech will soon be found in Hero’s bikes, set to release in March this year!
YouTube pays big money 🎥
What’s poppin’ — Mr. Beast, YouTube’s most popular creator has had a remarkable year — closing out his bank account with $54 million in income for 2021, making him the highest earning YouTube star in history, per Forbes.
Large part of the success was driven by Beast’s Squid Game replica, which got like 200 million+ views in just a month — more than the OG series got on Netflix even! Beast’s channel closed 2021 with 88 million subscribers, adding more than 30M during the year.
Why care — 2021 was a pivotal year for the creator economy, where we saw mass quittings to dance on TikTok, billions channelized by platforms to secure the best creators, and record VC flooding creator tools. Just the start.
Closing out — Pricing power flex time 🤧
What’s poppin’ — Netflix announced its raising prices on its service in mature markets like the US, for like the 5th time in the last 5 years!
When House of Cards, Netflix’s first self-produced series had released, it would cost some $7.99 for the standard plan. Following the latest revision, that plan is up more than 90% since to $15.49 today.
High inflation, rising wages, and other price hikes are making content production expensive. Prices probably going to stay the same in growth markets like India though — because competition and all that.
Big picture — literally all subscriptions, from YouTube to Amazon Prime to Walmart and Costco, are expected to rise sometime this year. Keeping growth buzzing despite these hikes will be the real challenge though. Check back at the end of 2022!
What else are we Snackin'🍿
🔥 Strong growth - India's passenger vehicle exports increased 46% last year, with Maruti delivering the most vehicles.
🤔 Keep dreaming — analysts say Apple’s AR Headset will cost $2,000, and will feature an M1 processor, worst case coming out in 2023. Dreams gone too far?
🤷♀️ Tata bye bye - Novak Djokovic has been deported from Australia after losing the legal battle. Serbia, his home country, isn’t taking these actions lightly.
Hit that 💚 if you liked today’s issue.
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