Nobody gets JEDI 🤷
Edtech consolidation, Trump bacc, and Europe’s hot listing.
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Market summary: 📊
Last week’s softness fades, as India added some more on Wednesday. US party looks lit too, with Big Tech not missing 1 beat.
S&P 500 - up 0.34%
Nasdaq - up 0.16%
Nifty 50 - up 0.39%
Sensex - up 0.37%
What’s brewing hot ?☕
✅ Now we restructure — Adani Group is courting bankers for a $1 billion loan to refinance all debt related to one of the crown-jewel assets in the company’s portfolio — the Mumbai Airport. Adani, on an aggressive nationwide airport acquisition spree, had purchased stakes in the airport from old owners GVK (and others), who had essentially run themselves into the ground managing it. JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank, and Barclays are apparently already putting a deal together.
✅ 2021 FTW — Indian startups closed the first half of 2021 with $12.1 billion raised, the highest ever in 6 months, topping ALL of the capital raised in 2020! 382 deals were announced, making 16 startups unicorns, and with major IPOs hitting the market, all that liquidity and capital rotation is gonna make the party even LIT-errrr. BTW, we compiled a list of all 2021 unicorns in case you’re curious who’s hiring…
Great Cloud Wars of 2021 ⚔️
What happened — the widely publicized, $10 billion comprehensive cloud-first digitization project of the US Department of Defense, called “JEDI”, will be scrapped — ending multi-year infighting between Nadella and Bezos’ boys, and of course the Trump admin.
Some backstory — the first-of its kind contract, to bring the US military's entire IT stack into the 21st century, was awarded to Microsoft in 2019. But rival Amazon was pissed, and broad consensus was that Microsoft was favored, despite AWS’ solution being superior, because Trump hates Bezos.
Amazon ran with that, challenging the government in courts.
Why care — last year, AWS made $45 billion, so a $10 billion contract is a sizable pot that could arm a competitor and forever change the landscape.
Going forward — Pentagon is now looking at taking a multi-cloud approach to the solution, instead of procuring from just a single provider, will source and integrate solutions from Google, Oracle, Microsoft, Amazon, and even IBM.
The ongoing ransom attacks may have pushed the needle on diversification.
Big picture — global governments spent $438 billion on IT last year, sizable chunks of which will be cloud-native in the future.
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What’s baking on Venture Street 💰
After an eventful start to the week, startup news-mills went silent for a bit. Quick look at a few tiny updates:
Recently turned 🦄 Moglix, which runs a B2B ecommerce platform, acquired Vendaxo — a marketplace for used industrial machinery. Working with MSMEs and large manufacturers, the platform added some transparency and credibility to the used machines business, connecting 70K+ verified buyers and sellers. Surprisingly, used machinery is a ₹64K crores market in India, and Moglix just multiplied its TAM by a few orders of magnitude here.
Meanwhile, edtech UpGrad (which runs a Coursera like service for India), is putting together a $250 million war chest for acquisitions, eyeing expansions into international markets, and looking to land bigger swings on the dominance of Byju’s and Unacademy. That’s a big fat pot.
Quick look at a major EV infra deal 🔌
Volvo, Daimler and Volkswagen — three of the largest truck makers in the EU, announced a $600 million joint venture, to build 1,700 charging stations to support long-haul electric trucks and buses, across Europe.
Lack of charging infrastructure is a major bottleneck for automakers worldwide, and this is one of the most aggressive moves where automakers take matters into their own hands, instead of waiting for governments. Operations will commence next year, with more partners joining soon.
Big Picture — quite possible automotive giants in India are forced to work out similar arrangements here, if things are to move any faster.
Closing out — you say IPO? 🍳
2 quick updates from the global IPO markets for ya… ☝️
Firstly, that was quite fast, but Zomato’s IPO will start accepting bids as early as July 15th. Deepinder & Co. are asking for just over a billion from public investors, at a $10 billion valuation. While the young folks look excited, the conservatives are sounding the “profitability” horn — as you’d expect. But any shenanigans here could mess things up for followers PayTM, Policybazaar, and the rest.
Second, expat readers here would love to know this, but Wise (earlier Transferwise) — a global cross border payments app just had a successful listing in London, booking $10 billion in market cap. With 10 million users, and $85 billion in annual payment volumes, this is one of most successful fintech stories of the past decade.
What else are we snackin’ 🍿
⚡️ Fat severance - Andy Jassy’s Day 1 in office saw Amazon stock jump 4%, taking Bezos’ post-retirement pot to $211 billion.
👋 Your turn - Trump is suing FB and TWTR, as well as Dorsey and Zuck in personal capacity, for violating Freedom of Speech, for booting Don off the platforms. Grab the popcorn!
Hit that 💚 if you liked today’s issue.
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