🐛 Carl Icahn hit for $10B
PLUS: Zoom enters the Indian telecom scene
Good morning. Happy Star Wars Day. It’s Earlybird here flapping you your daily newsreel for you to catch wind of what’s going on business, tech, and startups.
In this edition:
☎️ Zoom enters the Indian telecom scene
✈️ Air India interlines with Vistara
📉 Hinderburg strikes again
*Stock data as of market close. Source.
Markets: After a 7-day rally, Nifty has finally caved following a 600-point one-way rise from 17,550 to 18,150, and concluded with modest gains on May 3. Among the fallen — stocks in technology, metals, oil and gas, and certain banking and financial services.
Zoom whizzes into Indian telecom market
☎️ Zoom Video Communications (ZVC) has grabbed itself a shiny new pan-India telecom license, allowing the online conferencing business to now provide B2B telephone services. Here’s the breakdown:
About the service. With its official license, Zoom will now be able to roll out a new cloud-based private branch exchange (PBX) service called 'Zoom Phone' to enterprise clients. PBX is like the cool kids’ club of corporate connectivity.
Zoom Phone perks. Among Zoom Phone’s features in both desktop and mobile formats are intelligent call routing, auto attendants, interactive voice response, shared line appearance, call queuing, call analytics, voicemail, and recordings.
Rapid growth. According to Zoom, Zoom Phone’s growth has doubled its growth and adoption in FY23, having filled over 5.5 million slots year-on-year.
Soon-to-merge Air India and Vistara ink interline agreement
✈️ Ahead of tying the merger knot, Air India just finished penning an interline agreement with Vistara. Here’s what that means:
An interline agreement is a contract to issue and accept tickets for flights operated by a partner airline.
According to the airlines, the alliance allows Air India passengers to easily hop onto Vistara routes from over 80 sites throughout Air India's domestic and global network.
Others before Vistara. Air India has over 100 comparable partnerships with other airlines throughout the world, including Lufthansa, United Airlines, Air Canada, and Singapore Airlines.
What the new pact covers
The agreement between Air India and Vistara covers Inter Airline Through Check-in (IATCI).
This lets passengers receive their boarding passes at the first point of departure for all travel sectors on a single ticket.
It also lets them teleport their check-in baggage to their final destination.
INDIA EDITION: WHAT ELSE IS ON THE BIRDWATCH
🖥️ Services activity hits highest in 13 years. According to a private study, India's services activity climbed to the speediest rate in nearly 13 years in April, chilling down price pressures in the process.
✈️ SpiceJet pools cash to revive 25 grounded planes. GoFirst is gone and we’re still not over it. Meanwhile, fellow low-cost carrier SpiceJet has so far raised Rs 400 crore in debt to revive 25 grounded planes to help pick up the pieces.
🥗 Swiggy dishes out Rs 31 Cr in partner claim amounts. Swiggy, India's premier on-demand convenience platform, has facilitated pay outs totaling Rs. 31 crores in claim amounts to its delivery partners for FY23.
Catch up on the Indian funding flows from the past 24hrs:
Solar Ladder, a supply chain platform for solar installation companies, announced a new raise of Rs 11 crore in seed funding from Axilor Ventures and other backers. The fresh infusion of capital will be used to provide software that automates procedures for solar installers.
Kiwi, a company that provides management solutions for credit cards, has received a $6M pre-seed investment from Nexus Venture Partners, Stellaris Venture Partners, and a group of angel investors. The cash will be utilized for product marketing and analysis.
Kazam, a device-agnostic software platform for electric mobility, has secured $3.6M in a round headed by Avaana Climate Fund, with participation from current backers. Kazam claimed the injection would be utilized toward tech innovation and enhancements to its product team.
📉 Hinderburg’s new short-sell target: Carl Icahn. Hindenburg Research is out for the kill again and is setting its sights on billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who’s taking a $10B-dent to his wealth after being accused of using a 'ponzi-like’ investment model. This comes after their previous successful short-selling efforts against Adani and The Block's Jack Dorsey.
🍏 Apple dabbles into saving accounts, at 4.15% interest. Apple has entered the financial services space with its new savings account that offers an impressive 4.15% interest rate. It seems like they're not only collecting hearts, but also collecting deposits, as they've already raked in $990 million.
📱 WhatsApp takes a whack at voice translations. WhatsApp is developing a new feature that will allow recipients to transcribe audio messages on the app. The build is currently being fine-tuned based on feedback from public testers.
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