🐛 $526M On the Chopping Block

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Good morning. It’s Earlybird here with your daily order of Indian business, tech, and startup news, with a side of fries.

In this edition:

  • 👔 India’s first pay-later tech for legal services

  • 💸 Hindenburg loses Dorsey $526M

  •  🐦️ Subscribe to Twitter Blue or lose your checkmark


*Stock data as of market close. Source.

  • Markets: Sensex and Nifty, found some wobbly footing in early trading amidst a weak trend in Asian equities, with losses led by banks and financials. Meanwhile, global oil saw a 0.20% dip to USD 75.76 a barrel.


Aether is concocting new chemical plants in Gujarat with Rs. 1000 crore investment

Aether Industries

🧪 Indian chemical and pharma company Aether Industries has announced plans to invest Rs. 1000 crore in setting up new manufacturing facilities in Gujarat, India. The move comes in response to growing demand for its products and aims to meet the needs of its expanding customer base. Here's the buzz:

The Expansion Plan

  • Aether had recently purchased 1,25,000 sq. plots at Panoli GIDC, in Bharuch district, setting the stage for a massive building-spree in the near future.

  • The company intends to commission the plants by 2025, with an indicated investment of Rs 1,000 crore, generating future employment for more than 1,000 people, according to a recent statement.

As Aether Industries primes for a strong start with its new Gujarat units and investment, the company is positioning itself sharply in the global market for specialty chemicals and pharma products.


India considers removing long-term tax benefits for debt mutual funds

Pexels / Pixabay

📜 The Indian government is reportedly considering a proposal to remove long-term capital gains tax benefits for debt mutual funds. The move is aimed at simplifying tax rules and promoting transparency in the financial sector. Here are the details:

  • The new proposal applies to debt mutual funds investing less than 35% of their shiny assets in equities.

  • Currently, long-term capital gains from debt mutual funds are taxed at 20%, with indexation benefits, if held for more than three years.

  • The proposal is expected to be part of the upcoming budget, set to be announced on 1st February.

The rationale. The move is aimed at promoting transparency and simplifying tax rules in the financial sector. The government hopes that this proposal will help increase tax revenue and reduce the complexity of tax calculations for investors.

As India considers removing long-term tax benefits for debt mutual funds, the financial sector is bracing for potential changes that could have a significant impact on investors and the industry at large.


LegalPay pioneers new pay-later tech for legal expenses

Giphy / thegoodplace

👔 In an industry first, LegalPay, a leading Indian fintech startup, has announced the launch of a new pay-later product. LegalPay Max aims to provide users with more flexible and affordable credit options, as well as a seamless digital experience. Here's what you need to know:

The Product

  • LegalPay Max provides businesses with a credit line of up to INR 50 lakhs for all forms of legal and professional fees such as transaction, regulatory, advisory, arbitration, and other legal expenses, which may be extended over a 6-month period at no extra cost.

  • The option will be available to firms looking for additional payment flexibility, allowing them to pick their chosen legal expert depending on their needs.

  • Legal professionals will continue to get 100% of their money up front, while businesses using this option will have the choice to buy now and pay later.

As LegalPay continues to innovate and expand its offerings, it is likely to play an increasingly significant role in the Indian fintech space, particularly in the legal support spectrum.


  • Of the Accenture global lay-off 7k are Indian. Accenture, the multinational professional services company, is set to lay off 7,000 employees in India as part of a global cost-cutting initiative that will reduce it’s global headcount by 2.5% within the next 18 months.

  • Delhi declared as India’s EV capital. According to a Budget 2023 release by Delhi Finance Minister Kailash Gahlot, Delhi has emerged as the electric vehicle (EV) capital of India, after becoming the first state in the country to have an above-10% share in new EV sales.

  • Singaporean big fish to double its Indian real estate holdings. Singaporean real estate giant Capitaland is looking to double its portfolio in India over the next few years, as the country sees a surge in demand for residential and commercial properties.


Catch up on the Indian funding flows from the past 24hrs:

  • NoCap Meta, a web3 startup from India, has raised Rs 2 crore to unlock the potential of the metaverse and take their digital tech game to the next level.

  • Mystifly, the SaaS and marketplace provider for the domestic airline industry, has soared to new heights with $8M from a Series B round led by CSVP.

  • Stashfin, a fintech startup, is sitting pretty after raising a cool $100M in debt funding led by Innoven Capital and a few other bigwigs in the industry.


Headline Explorer

Dribbble / Nicky Mazur

💸 Block Inc’s Dorsey loses $526M. Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Block Inc, has taken a massive hit to his wealth, losing $526M, after Hindenburg Research accused the company of fraudulent practices.

❌ Subscribe to Twitter Blue or lose the badge. In a move expected to stir some protests, Twitter will be removing legacy verified checkmarks, i.e. badges earned prior to the launch of Twitter Blue. The other shoe that’s waiting to drop is that accounts must subscribe to Twitter Blue before the deadline or face the erasure of their precious tick marks.

📱 TikTok CEO in court hearing over security concerns. TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew was grilled in congress during a Capitol Hill hearing over concerns surrounding the popular social media app's security practices. Authorities are currently wresting with how best to address consumer damages throughout the business while attempting to determine if TikTok can effectively safeguard US consumers under a Chinese owner.

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