🐛 JioCinema takes on Netflix

PLUS: SIDIBI’s 50,000-EV financing plan

Good morning. Earlybird here with your happy meal full of news nuggets and the latest happenings in business, tech, startups.

In this edition:

  • 🚗 SIDIBI’s 50,000-EV financing plan

  • 🎬️ JioCinema bets Rs 2,000 Cr to take on Netflix

  • 📱 Instagram Reels gets major upgrade


*Stock data as of market close. Source.

  • Markets: Indian stock market analysts predict that the Nifty is likely to trade with a bullish bias in the coming week, opening up investment opportunities. If retained in the upcoming week, the 17,700 mark is anticipated to serve as a firm support zone, and Nifty will begin to move in the direction of 18,000 levels.


SIDIBI’s new scheme aims to finance 50,000 EVs

Dribbble / Cabify

Did someone say financing?

🚗 EV-based firms in India have something new to look forward to because the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has just launched a financing scheme to fund the purchase of 50,000 electric vehicles (EVs).

What we know so far

  • The new program is called Mission 50K-EV4ECO, and aims to develop the EV ecosystem including uptake for two, three, and four-wheelers through direct and indirect loans.

  • This comes as part of India's push towards a greener future through the incentivized the adoption of EVs.

Direct vs indirect loans

  • Direct. SIDBI will provide loans to qualified MSMEs including aggregators, fleet operators, and EV leasing providers.

  • Indirect. This loan type will facilitate access to capital and lower landing costs. It’s aimed at particularly small, unrated, focused, and growing NBFCs actively involved in EV financing.

What lies ahead. Following the program’s pilot phase, SIDBI plans to scale the ecosystem further with ‘multilateral support.’


JioCinema bets 2,000 Cr to take on Hotstar, Netflix, and others

Dainik Bhaskar

🎬️ JioCinema, the video streaming platform owned by Reliance Jio, has announced big plans to take on streaming giants like Hotstar and Netflix. Here’s a quick recap:

  • JioCinema is planning to invest a whopping Rs 2,000 crore production budget to acquire and produce new content, as well as to enhance the platform's user experience.

  • The film and entertainment contender is also planning the ambitious goal of rolling out 100 movies and TV shows over the next 18-24 months.

  • According to Jyoti Deshpande, the head of Reliance Industries Limited's media division, this amount of investment in content creation is unpresidented in the Indian entertainment industry.

Brownie points

  • JioCinema's choice to make the Indian Premier League (IPL) available to watch for free on its platform was a resounding success, as the app saw a phenomenal 5 crore new downloads on the first weekend of the competition.

  • During the first weekend, the platform had over 147 crore views and added 10 crore new viewers.


Tata brings incubation and upskilling with e-platform Neuskills


💻️ Tata Digital, the tech-savvy arm of Tata Group, has launched its very own edtech platform called Neuskills. Here’s it is in brief:

What's Neuskills? Neuskills is an online platform that offers courses and training programs in a variety of fields, including technology, finance, marketing, and more. Plus, there’s some German flare in the name, and it’s quirky.

What’s more

  • To kick things off, NeuSkills will begin offering 2 bootcamp-based courses later this month, namely data analytics and frontend development.

  • According to the NeuSkills website, initiates could also earn a shot at an internship or even a full time join at Tata Group.

  • The program lists Tata businesses including BigBasket, 1mg, Croma, AirAsia, Tata Cliq, Tata Consultancy Services, Cult.fit, and Westside as spots where internship and employment opportunities will be opened.

Pricing. Although media sources also allude to a 'introductory' price of Rs 60,000, NeuSkills stated that the training will cost INR 1 lakh plus GST.


  • 🐄 A new moo-ve to support dairy production. The government of Himachal Pradesh has announced a new scheme worth Rs 500 crore ($67M) to provide financial assistance to daily farmers, increase milk production, improve breed quality, and promote the use of technology in the sector.

  • 🚲️ Entry-level cars and bikes have lost their mojo. Sales of entry-level cars and bikes in India have seen a steep decline due to rising expenses in obtaining regulatory requirements. Compared to their respective peaks between 2016-2018, these numbers fell by up to 57%.

  • 🫒 India’s drizzling in more oil imports. India's edible oil imports increased by 8% to 11.35 lakh tonnes in March, driven by rising demand and lower production in the country. The import of palm oil rose by 7.7%, while that of soybean oil increased by 23%.


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

  • HDFC Bank, India's largest private sector bank, has announced plans to raise Rs 50,000 crore ($6.7B) through the issuance of bonds in the next 12 months to support its lending operations and meet its capital requirements amid the ongoing pandemic.

  • Cyfirma, a company that provides attack surface discovery, has secured $9.2M in a Series A funding round led by Larsen & Toubro and OurCrowd, with participation from other investors. The new funds will be used to accelerate its Cyfirma’s global expansion and product development initiatives.

  • Direct2U, an Indian last-mile logistics startup, has recently secured Rs. 1.8 crore in seed funding from Inflection Point Ventures, to expand its team and operations.


Headline Explorer

Giphy / Archie Comics

🪟 MS Activision bid totals 3 antitrust blockers. Checking in on one of the world’s largest gaming deals to boot, Microsoft's $68.7B plan to acquire gaming giant Activision Blizzard is now under threat from antitrust lawsuits and competition concerns in the US, UK, and EU.

👀 Is Elon Musk building another OpenAI rival? Remember that open letter co-signed by tech leaders asking for a 6-month pause on AI — Elon Musk being one of them? Apparently… Musk is reportedly developing a new AI-driven project to rival Open AI, which he co-founded in 2015.

📱 Instagram Reels gains major creator-focused feats. Several enhancements to Instagram Reels are being made specifically for content creators. Meta has announced that a new dedicated menu for popular music and hashtags will be available on Reels, as well as improved metrics and editing tools. As an added feat, Facebook Gifts will also make its way into Instagram. [Giveaway ideas intensify]

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