🐛 India's new ride-hailing app
PLUS: Razer's $50M web3 fund
Good morning. It’s Earlybird here, giving you more smiles per mile with every new read on business, tech, and startups.
In this edition:
🐦️ Ex-execs sue Twitter for $1M
🚗 A new raid-hailing player has entered the game
🐍 Razer's new $50M web3 fund
*Stock data as of market close. Source.
Markets: The bulls are on a rampage and grinning over greens. Nifty breached the 17,800 mark and the Sensex surged over 200 points as investors remained optimistic ahead of inflation data. Zooming in, auto, pharma, and IT all jumped by 1% to 2%.
Twitter in trouble, former execs sue for $1M
🐦️ Several former Twitter executives, including ex-CEO Parag Agrawal, have filed a lawsuit against the social media giant, seeking $1M in damages. Here are the deets:
The lawsuit was launched in an effort to recover the costs of legal proceedings, investigations, and congressional probes connected to their prior employment.
Several costs associated with investigations by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Department of Justice were outlined in the court filing
Among the plaintiffs, apart from Agrawal, were then-CFO Ned Segal and former chief legal officer Vijaya Gadde who claimed that Twitter is obligated to reimburse them as agreed but only went as far as acknowledging their invoices.
Elsewhere… Along with Musk's pledge to "cut costs like crazy," complaints have also been made alleging Twitter of failing to pay its rent or other obligations.
Alliance Air suffers turbulence amid pilots on strike
🧑✈️ Alliance Air, a subsidiary of Air India, has been hit by a pilots' strike, leading to the cancellation of several flights. The airline has issued notices to the striking pilots and is working to find a solution to the issue.
70 and 80 pilots abstained from their posts in protest of (among other things) the non-restoration of salaries to the level they were before COVID, along with other allowances.
A source stated that the strike threw a wrench at more 70 flights.
The source also said that the pilots' contracts are being renegotiated, but some of the fleet have went ahead to go strike without prior notice.
What now? While no official statement has been released by the airline, the source claims that the pilots have been summoned back to duty and flights will normalize again soon.
BlaBlaCar plans new route into India
🚘️ French carpooling platform, BlaBlaCar, has announced a potential debut in Delhi to spearhead its expansion into the Indian market. Here’s the path they’re taking:
What brings them here. The company is looking to tap into the growing demand for sustainable and affordable transportation solutions in the country.
Fully loaded. Co-founder Nicolas Brusson mentioned that the company is all set to take India by storm, having already secured $578.5M in funding from investors, including Index Ventures, Accel Partners and others.
The Delhi scene. Luckily for BlaBlaCar, the Delhi government has already overturned the restriction on the bike taxi services provided by Ola, Uber, and Rapido. However, the regional administration is currently trying to create appropriate rules for ride-hailing services in the area.
Looking ahead. It would be interesting to see how BlaBlaCar handles the regulatory landscape and positions itself in the cutthroat carpooling and ride-sharing market as it begins to expand in India.
INDIA EDITION: WHAT ELSE IS ON THE BIRDWATCH
👔 More job ads in 3 key sectors. White-collar job postings in India have increased by 2% in March, particularly in retail, telecom, and tourism industries.
☀️ B2B startups get their time in the sun. Indian VC funds are looking to shift their focus back to B2B companies, as they seek to diversify their portfolios and cash in on the post-pandemic recovery. With a boom in e-commerce and digital adoption across India, investors are betting big on B2B.
✈️ Aviation is coming back to life. According to the latest data, passenger traffic in FY23 is up by 60% compared to the previous year. With COVID being slapped down by rising vaccination rates, Indians are taking to the skies once again.
Catch up on the Indian funding flows from the past 24hrs:
GenWise, senior citizen community platform by the former execs of BharatPe, has raised $3.5M in a round led by Matrix. The new stash will enable Genwise to offer finance, wellness, commerce, payments, and social networking to the beloved elders of Indian communities.
Oneistox, an educational platform bent on upskilling, has secured $1.2M in seed funding from Powerhouse Ventures and Y Combinator with the goal of helping professionals become more future-ready and just more talented in general.
INI Farms, an agricultural venture passionate about farm-to-table food and zero waste, just raked in 1.95M US buckeroos from Aavishkaar Capital's ESG First Fund to further its horticultural endeavors.
Giphy / Gifmania
🚢 Better supply chains, c/o Japan & Bangladesh. just proposed the creation of an industrial hub in Bangladesh that could boost supply chains to India. The Japanese government cleared $1.27B funding to build a new commercial port, among other nifty tradeways.
▶️ YouTube gives 5 more reasons to pay them for Premium. YouTube has announced five new features for its premium mobile users. Here they are in a nutshell: Mobile Video Queue, Watch Together, Smart Downloads, 1080p Premium, and video sync across multiple devices.
🐍 Razer sharpens its investment game with a Web3 venture fund. The gaming tech company known for its peripherals and laptops is jumping into the crypto space with a $50M fund aimed at blockchain gaming and Web3 projects.
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