Reliance Retail To Invest $200 Million – Latest news headlines

Reliance Retail has acquired 25.8 per cent stake in online delivery platform Dunzo

Reliance Industries Limited’s (RIL) retail arm has invested $200 million in online delivery platform Dunzo as it looks to get a foothold in the country’s rapidly growing market of quick delivery.

Reliance Retail has acquired a 25.8 per cent stake in Dunzo for $200 million (around Rs 1,488 crore).

Dunzo raised $240 million in its latest funding round that was led by Reliance Retail Ventures Limited.

Existing investors Lightbox, Ligthrock, 3L Capital and Alteria Capital had also participated in the funding round.

“This round is a reinstatement of confidence of existing and new investors in Dunzo’s potential and success in creating an exceptional user experience. The capital will be used to further Dunzo’s vision to be the largest quick commerce business in the country, enabling instant delivery of essentials from a network of micro warehouses while also expanding its B2B business vertical to enable logistics for local merchants in Indian cities,” the two entities said in a statement.

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SpiceJet To Deposit $5 Million In 2 – Latest news headlines

Madras High Court has ordered winding up of SpiceJet and taking over of its assets over unpaid dues

Madras High Court has ordered winding up of private carrier SpiceJet Limited and directed the official liquidator attached to the High Court to take over its assets, in a plea filed by a Swiss company over unpaid dues.

The airline had failed to make payment of over $24 million to a Swiss company SR Technics for maintenance, repair and overhauling of aircraft engines, modules, components, assemblies and parts.

The order was passed by the high court on December 6, 2021.

However, SpiceJet in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange today said, “the Madras High Court through its order dated December 6, 2021 has stayed the earlier order of winding up and appointment of official liquidator for a period of three weeks, subject to the condition that the Company deposits the amount equivalent to $5 million within a period of two weeks.”

The court was allowing a company petition from Credit Suisse AG, a stock corporation registered under the laws of Switzerland, which appealed for winding up of the Indian firm under the provisions of the Companies Act, 1956 and appoint the Official Liquidator of the high court as the Liquidator with all powers under Section 448 of the Companies Act to take charge of SpiceJet’s assets, properties, stock in trade and books of accounts.

The “respondent company (SpiceJet) has miserably failed to satisfy the three pronged test suggested by the Supreme Court in Mathusudan Govardhandas & Co. v. Madhu Woollen Industries (P) Ltd., and hence had rendered itself liable to be wound up for its inability to pay its debts under Section 433 (e) of the Companies Act 1956,” Justice R Subramanian said in his order on Monday and directed the private carrier be wound up and the official liquidator take over its assets.

According to the petitioner, SpiceJet had availed of the services of SR Technics, Switzerland, for maintenance, repair and overhauling of aircraft engines, modules, components, assemblies and parts, which are mandatory for its operations. An agreement for performance of such services for a period of 10 years was entered into between SpiceJet and SR Technics on November 24. 2011.

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Latest News Today – Google Fined RUB 3 Million for Violating Personal Data

Russia on Thursday fined Google RUB 3 million (roughly Rs. 30 lakhs) for violating personal data legislation, Google’s first fine for that offence, Moscow’s Tagansky District Court said.

Google confirmed the fine and offered no further comment.

The penalty comes amid a wider standoff between Russia and Big Tech, with Moscow routinely fining social media giants for failing to remove banned content and seeking to compel foreign tech firms to open offices in Russia.

State communications regulator Roskomnadzor said last month that Google, a subsidiary of Alphabet, could be fined up to RUB 6 million (roughly Rs. 60 lakhs) for not storing the personal data of Russian users in databases on Russian territory.

Russia has previously fined Google for not deleting banned content. Google has also irked the Russian authorities by blocking some YouTube accounts owned by pro-Kremlin figures and media.

© Thomson Reuters 2021

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Latest News Today – Amazon-Backed Wiliot Raises $200 Million In Investment

Wiliot, a technology company backed by Amazon Web Services and Qualcomm Inc, said on Tuesday it raised $200 million in a funding round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2.The company, which makes chips that can be embedded on product packaging to help track items during their manufacturing, shipping, and sale, did not disclose the valuation at which the funds were raised.

Its technology can be integrated into vaccine vials and food packaging, among others. Wiliot says it aims to expand the internet-of-things network to include everyday products. The company was founded in 2017 and is headquartered in Israel, with a presence in California, Germany, Ukraine, Australia and Taiwan

The investment marks another major bet on Israeli growth companies from Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group Corp

In recent months, SoftBank has also invested in artificial intelligence-based facial recognition startup AnyVision and cloud firm Redis Labs. Wiliot also counts the investment arms of Samsung Group and Verizon Communications Inc among its backers. The company plans to use the fresh funds to expand its operations in preparation for the upcoming launch of its V2 product

Amit Lubovsky, director at SoftBank Investment Advisers, will take a seat on Wiliot’s board as part of the deal.The company raised $70 million in a previous funding round in February last year

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Latest News Today – ShareChat Raises $145 Million From Temasek, Others At $3

ShareChat allows users to post content in 15 Indian languages.

Content-sharing platform ShareChat has raised $145 million in fresh funding from Singapore’s Temasek Holdings and two other investors, giving it a valuation of $2.88 billion, the company told Reuters on Tuesday.

The funding signals growing fascination for content-sharing and short-video apps that have become popular ever since New Delhi last year banned ByteDance’s TikTok and some other Chinese apps following an India-China border clash.

ShareChat allows users to post content in 15 Indian languages. After TikTok was banned, the Indian firm also launched a similar short-video sharing app named Moj which has since become popular and clocked millions of downloads.

The latest funding round was led by Temasek and Moore Strategic Ventures, with participation from a fund jointly set up by Mirae Asset and South Korean web portal Naver Corp, ShareChat said in its statement. Reuters is first to report the fund raise.

The latest investments come around four months after ShareChat raised $502 million from Tiger Global, Snap Inc, Twitter and some others, which at the time valued it at just over $2.1 billion.

“Investments raised this year including this additional capital infusion will help the company double down (on) its strategic priorities,” ShareChat said.

The company will continue to invest in artificial-intelligence capabilities of video app Moj and enhance its in-app editing tools, said CEO Ankush Sachdeva.

ShareChat has 180 million active users. Moj has 160 million users and counts Facebook’s Instagram Reels as its top rival.

India’s digital startups ecosystem is becoming a darling of investors.

China’s Ant Group-backed food delivery firm Zomato had a stellar debut on bourses last week, valuing the firm at $13 billion, while others including SoftBank-backed ride-hailing firm Ola are also eyeing IPOs.

ShareChat has no immediate IPO plans and the company for now will focus on expanding its current business and offerings, a source familiar with the strategy said.

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Latest News Today – Foreign Exchange Reserves Rise By $835 Million To Hit

Foreign currency assets include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of non-US units

The country’s foreign exchange reserves rose by $835 million to touch a record high of $ 612.73 billion in the week ended July 16, 2021, RBI data showed. In the previous week ended July 9, 2021, the reserves had surged by $ 1.883 billion to $ 611.895 billion.

In the reporting week ended July 16, 2021, the increase in forex reserves was on account of the rise in foreign currency assets (FCA), Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) weekly data released on Friday showed. The FCA, a major component of the overall reserves, rose by $ 463 million to $ 568.748 billion in the reporting week.

Expressed in dollar terms, foreign currency assets include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of non-US units like the euro, pound, and yen held in the foreign exchange reserves.

Gold reserves were up by $ 377 million to $ 37.333 billion in the reporting week, the data showed. The special drawing rights (SDRs) with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) were up by USD 1 million at $ 1.548 billion.

The country’s reserve position with the IMF declined by $ 7 million to $ 5.1 billion in the reporting week, the data showed.

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Latest News Today – OYO Raises $660 Million In Debt Funding From

Oyo is among the first Indian startups to raise capital through term loan funding route

Hospitality company Oyo Hotels and Homes raised debt funding of $660 million from global institutional investors through the term loan funding (TLB) route, according to a statement released by the firm. The Gurugram-based unicorn will utilise the funds to repay its past debts, strengthen its balance sheet, and other business purposes including investment in product technology, in a bid to revive its COVID-hit business. 

The term loan funding route refers to a tranche of senior secured syndicated credit facility from global institutional investors. With the current round of funding, Oyo is among the first Indian startups to raise capital through the term loan funding route.

The offer or the proposed issuance was oversubscribed by 1.7 times and the company received commitments of close to $1 billion from the leading global institutional investors. Oyo said in its statement that the deal was upsized and increased by 10 per cent to $660 million driven by strong interest from marquee investors.

“…delighted by the response to OYO’s maiden TLB capital raise that was oversubscribed by leading global institutional investors. We are thankful for the trust that they have placed in OYO’s mission of creating value for owners and operators of hotels and homes across the globe,” said Abhishek Gupta, Group Chief Financial Officer, OYO.

”…Our two largest markets have demonstrated profitability at the slightest signs of industry recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic,” he added.

“As a part of OYO’s board, it’s heartening for me to see the strong interest from the investor community in the company, leading OYO to become the first Indian startup to be independently assessed by the world’s leading credit rating agencies – Moody’s and Fitch,” said Dr. W. Steve Albrecht, a member of OYO’s Board of Directors and Chairman of the Audit Committee.

Founded in 2013 by Ritesh Agarwal, Oyo is now a leading multinational chain of leased and franchised hotels, homestays, and living spaces. Initially, Oyo consisted of only budget hotels but gradually, the startup expanded globally with vacation homes, hotels, and rooms across various countries.

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Latest News Today – WhatsApp Says It Banned Over 2 Million Accounts in in

WhatsApp says that it banned 20 lakh accounts between May 15 and June 15, 2021, to try and prevent harmful behaviour. In its first transparency report, published under the new Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, the company revealed that it had banned 20,11,000 accounts in this one-month period. The Facebook-owned messaging platform identifies Indian accounts through the +91 country code of the mobile number used to register. It also added that India alone accounts for 25 percent of all the accounts banned in the world.

WhatsApp published the first edition of its intermediary guidelines report on Thursday, and in this, the company highlighted its own actions to prevent harmful behaviour. “Our top focus is preventing accounts from sending harmful or unwanted messages at scale,” WhatsApp said in its report that it also shared on email to Gadgets 360. “We maintain advanced capabilities to identify these accounts sending a high or abnormal rate of messages and banned 2 millions accounts in India alone from May 15 – June 15 attempting this kind of abuse.”

“In addition to the behavioural signals from accounts, we rely on available unencrypted information including user reports, profile photos, and group photos and descriptions, besides deploying advanced AI tools and resources to detect and prevent abuse on our platform,” WhatsApp added.

According to WhatsApp, it received a total of 70 reports for account support, 204 for ban appeals (of which it took action on 63), 20 for other support, 43 for product support, and 8 for “safety issues”. It added that almost 95 percent (or 19 lakh) of the account bans were carried out automatically, after the service detected “automated bulk messaging”, or spam.

It added that the number of accounts that were banned has gone up significantly since 2019, because “our systems have increased in sophistication, so we are catching more accounts even as we believe there are more attempts to send bulk or automated messages.”

In its report, WhatsApp shared that the global average is about 8 million accounts banned per month, which is to say that bans in India (most of which were for bulk messaging or spam) accounted for a fourth of all the bans in the world.

This is not surprising given that India is the largest market for WhatsApp — some industry estimates suggest that India accounts for almost 400 million users, of the 2 billion active users worldwide, or approximately one user from India out of every five that WhatsApp has.

WhatsApp added that subsequent editions of the data transparency report will be published 30-45 days after the reporting period, to allow sufficient time for data collection and validation. 

Does WhatsApp’s new privacy policy spell the end for your privacy? We discussed this on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and wherever you get your podcasts.

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Latest News Today – Battlegrounds Mobile India Crossed 34 Million Players in

Battlegrounds Mobile India has crossed 34 million players one week after its official launch on July 2. Developed by South Korean company Krafton, Battlegrounds Mobile India is the Indian avatar of PUBG Mobile which was banned in the country last September. The new game was announced in May and released for the public earlier this month. Since then, it has seen a peak of 16 million active users and Krafton has thanked players in India for making this possible.

In September last year, PUBG Mobile was banned in the country and the news came as major disappointment for the millions of players. Then in May this year, Battlegrounds Mobile India was announced and fans were eagerly waiting for its release. The game kicked off its beta on June 17 soon after which it went into early access for all players. Now, after its official release on July 2, Krafton has shared through a press release that the game crossed 34 million players in its first week. The developer also shared that since launch, the game has seen 16 million daily active users at its peak.

Battlegrounds Mobile India also garnered 2.4 million peak concurrent players since launch. It is also the number one free game on Google Play, where it is exclusively available for now. Krafton organised a launch party on July 8 which saw around 500,000 concurrent viewers on the first day.

“We would like to thank our users in India for their support. We are committed to bringing new and more entertaining contents to Battlegrounds Mobile India to bring greater joy to our fans and players. With Battlegrounds Mobile India as a start, Krafton hopes to grow and further develop together with India’s video gaming and esports industry,” said Wooyol Lim, Head of Battlegrounds Mobile Division at Krafton.

To further expand the Battlegrounds IP, Krafton plans on organising e-sports tournaments in India, details for which are currently unclear. The developer has already invested over $30 million (roughly Rs. 223 crores) in the Indian e-sports industry.

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and Google News. For the latest videos on gadgets and tech, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Vineet Washington writes about gaming, smartphones, audio devices, and new technologies for Gadgets 360, out of Delhi. Vineet is a Senior Sub-editor for Gadgets 360, and has frequently written about gaming on all platforms and new developments in the world of smartphones. In his free time, Vineet likes to play video games, make clay models, play the guitar, watch sketch-comedy, and anime. Vineet is available on [email protected], so please send in your leads and tips.

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