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Spotting Putin ✌️
Ukraine’s crypto love, More unicorns, and India's sugar high.
Market summary: 📊
India’s party extends into another day, as cooling oil prices and electoral mood gives investors plenty confidence. US had a green day too, after rate-hikes take out some of the unpredictability from the markets.
S&P 500 - up 1.23%
Nasdaq - up 1.16%
Nifty 50 - up 1.84%
Sensex - up 1.84%
What’s brewing hot?☕
🤩 Ukraine likes taste of crypto — after donations sent to crypto wallets saved the day for Zelensky’s men, Ukraine has now signed a bill recognizing and legalizing digital currencies in the country, a win that the crypto bros are cheering! Close to a $100 million has been sent to the government’s official wallet to date as donations, while Ukraine’s local crypto exchange Kuna witnessed a 200% increase in volumes after Russia started shooting em rockets.
🏨 Oyo shuffles some ranks — travel hasn’t fully recovered, IPO plans are being delayed, so a cornered Oyo thinks its a good time to reorganize leadership and get the blood charging a bit. Oyo’s ex-head of hotel business is being promoted as its India CEO. The south-east region CEO is being moved up to lead Global marketing. Meanwhile, Bloomberg is reporting Oyo is slashing IPO prices by almost 50% seeing the carnage in Zomato and PayTM, while placing renewed focus on the co-working business.
India could be buying cheap oil from bro Putin 🛢️
Nothing’s official yet, but Reuters says it looks like India may be looking to hedge its exposure to the oil crisis by buying oil directly from Putin at a fire sale — helping out a friend after sanctions make it hard for him to deal his wares.
Some context: after western nations sanctioned Russian energy, global oil prices shot up as supply got cut off. Now India, who imports 80%+ of its oil needs, is spending more of its foreign reserves to buy expensive oil from the US and Mid East, which is pulling the rupee down.
Meanwhile, the Russians are ready to sell their oil for pennies on the dollar — eager to fund the war and to save trade. Could there be a win-win situation for both of our nations?
What will it take? 🤔
Abandon existing contracts with suppliers from the US and Middle East
Indian refineries will have to invest to change machinery to suit new crude refining processes
Negotiate a long term deal with Russia for a set price — hard to do in a volatile market, bubbling with so many variables
Bottomline — it’s a tricky move geopolitically. Russia has been a major and reliable trading partner for us for decades. However, a faction of citizens and analysts believe the US and the Middle East could be alienated, and right next to Russia up there could be India, treated as a global pariah.
New unicorns on the block this week 🦄
Amagi, a cloud software provider to media companies, closed a $95 million round from Accel and a few others, revising valuation to more than $1 billion — making it the 12th unicorn of the year! 🚀
Amagi, which has been around for 14+ years, sells software to help content producers manage, distribute and monetize their work across OTT platforms, cable, and other streaming platforms. Besides that, Amagi’s integrated real-time engines places ads as content is played, helping all stakeholders effectively monetize.
Revenues are doubling each year, thanks to a post pandemic boom in streaming, and capital raised will be put towards building more tools.
Then, on to a western startup you guys must already know about ☝️
Linktree, the popular link-in-bio tool, raised a mammoth $110 million from industry legends like Index, Coatue, and a bunch of others — at a $1.3 billion valuation.
Linktree is the same website your favorite influencer uses to drive traffic from their Instagram account, which lets people showcase work and collect payments. Over 24 million users use the tool — and a premium product sold to large enterprises like HBO make up the bulk of their revenue.
Google solidifies it’s AR chops 🥽
It’s acquisition season for Pichai’s boys.
After buying Mandiant, a cybersecurity-company for $5 billion barely a few days ago, Google is now buying an augmented reality component maker called Ruxiam, for an estimated $1 billion — solidifying its AR hardware chops.
Ruxiam develops Micro LEDs, which are used in making AR/VR headset displays and are deemed as the most promising tech to replace the currently popular OLED technology. The company was founded in 2017 but till now hasn’t released any commercial product, so it looks like Google is solely buying them for their R&D superiority.
Y'all GenZ might have forgotten, but Google has been an AR pioneer since it launched the Google Glass in 2014, which failed to appease users, but reminded the industry of what’s possible. Google is now internally working on project IRIS, set to launch in 2024.
What else are we Snackin’ 🍿
🧐 Track the gram - Meta will allow parents to track time their children spend on Instagram, and will unveil parental supervision features for its Quest VR headsets. One way to win adults!
🤷 Anything for growth - Netflix is testing a feature which will charge users for sharing their accounts with members outside their family. LOL
📈 Sugar high - India’s Sugar exports jumped 2.5x between October-February to 47 lakh tonnes, thanks to high demand and sustained production.
Aight folks, it’s Holi and then the weekend, so we decided to take today off — so no newsletter coming on Saturday. We wish y'all a happy freaking Holi, a much deserved one after 2 long years in this pandemic. Get LIT, and will see y’all like clockwork on Monday. 🤙
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