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Satya plays to win 🎮
Hacked away, IPOs are back, and Amazon cools off on Visa.
Market summary: 📊
India turned red on Tuesday — with major indices receding a painful percent. US returned from a long weekend to continue its declining streak.
S&P 500 - down 1.84%
Nasdaq - down 2.57%
Nifty 50 - down 1.07%
Sensex - down 0.90%
What’s brewing hot? ☕
🙄 Celebs no shame — Spain has had enough with celebs shilling crypto with no consequences. New regulations are being brought to get advertising platforms to have their ads reviewed by the regulators atleast 10-days in advance, if they are designed to target more than 100K people at once. Governments around the world are tightening the noose on these modern day ponzis, and about time India makes a move here too!
🥴 Hackers rule — if not scammers, its the hackers. Crypto.com, one of the top exchanges for tokens was hacked last night with about $15M in Ether stolen. Security analysts say the real loss could be much higher, with the platform processing $3 billion+ in daily volumes. Fyi, this is the same company that had signed the largest sports advertising deal ever — paying $750 million to get its name on the LA Lakers stadium where legends like Kobe Bryant, Shaq, and Lebron have played.
Satya loves to take big shots 🤑
What happened — Microsoft gave Wall Street a shocker before markets opened, announcing it’s buying gaming company Activision Blizzard for a MEGA $68.9 billion — in what could be the BIGGEST acquisition ever for a tech-company!
That too, all paid for in cash!
Activision is best known for its Call of Duty game — played by more than 110 million users monthly around the world, including many of us. They also own Candy Crush, and several other popular titles.
Problems brewing — over the past few months however Activision was battling allegations of sexual misconduct at the workplace, with complaints of poor handling going up to the CEO’s office. Dozens of executives were fired. Morale was at an all time low.
Microsoft saw that as a good time to fix things up. Besides, bringing ATVI’s total 390 million+ monthly gamers across all titles, to Microsoft’s Xbox gaming universe is a great way to solidify the ecosystem — especially at a time when Sony just released its PlayStation 5, and Zuckerberg plans shenanigans with Oculus.
Lastly, with ATVI stock dead in the water for almost a year now, investors profusely thanked king-Nadella for the bailout.
Big picture — Nadella’s been quite vocal of an enterprise-Metaverse. Is this a move well beyond gaming to acquire creative assets and graphic tech with implications that could make work more immersive and fun?
Agritech continues to remain hot in 2022 💰
Arya.ag, an agritech venture, closed a $60 million Series C round from Asia Impact SA, Lightrock, and others — at a promising $300 million valuation!
Rural farmers, unable to bring their crop into metro-markets, have to settle for lower rates — which is one of the biggest problems plaguing India’s agriculture.
Arya offers farmers grain storage services and then connects them with vetted prospective buyers who can offer them better prices. They also offer logistics, and there’s a lending arm too for any credit needs. Currently, the startup operates 10K warehouses across 21 states, hoarding $2 billion worth of grain!
Worth mentioning — EY says tech-enabled agriculture could be driving $24 billion+ in value by 2025. Dozens of ventures have gotten seeded amidst COVID.
Bajaj Finance echoes HDFC 👌
What’s poppin — one of the street’s beloved lending businesses, Bajaj Finance, came out with some pretty stellar numbers for the last quarter, closing out yesterday’s business day on a high!
The lender managed to grow its profits like a solid 81% YoY — at a time when COVID X.0 is making things hard. Interest income grew 40% YoY, another sign that people are paying their loans on time. Customer base expanded like 20% YoY to 55.4 million, while bad loan ratios improved considerably.
Fyi, the business, part of the larger Bajaj Finserv empire, deals in lending, commercial loans, as well as some wealth management products — distributing its wares online as well as through the magic of a salesforce.
Bottomline — stock is already up more than 7% this year, as COVID’s blow-back worries begin to slowly fade.
Closing out — Dalal Street’s first IPO 🤙
We had the first IPO of 2022 in India yesterday — AGS Transact Technologies, a payments solutions provider, opened bids for a ₹680 crore raise.
The 2-decade old business operates ATM machines nationwide — working with banks like ICICI, HDFC, and Axis. AGS is also the largest provider of payment terminals for petrol pumps in India.
Lately, they’ve expanded into more payment software tech, including mobile wallets, payment processing terminals for merchants, and online processing.
COVID hit the business hard last year, with profit tanking 50% to ₹55 crores, but revenues of ₹1,758 crores held strong. Link to the filings.
Bottomline — highly regulated business, with nice growth components, and a steady cash cow base… not much to dislike.
What else are we Snackin'🍿
🛢️ Oil is expensive - International crude oil benchmark, Brent, jumped to $87.7 per barrel, the highest it has been since 2014.
❌ Haha just kidding - Amazon won’t ban Visa credit cards in the UK after all the noise. Both companies had locked horns over the high transaction fees Visa charges.
Hit that 💚 if you liked today’s issue.
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