- Earlybird India: Get smarter with the latest in Indian business & tech
- 🐛 Massive asset freeze on Manappuram CEO
🐛 Massive asset freeze on Manappuram CEO
PLUS: Visa goes CVV-free in India
Good morning. Earlybird here delivering your daily dose of business and tech news, all in delightful morsels that won’t clog your windpipe.
In this edition:
👀 Next on ED’s hit list: Manappuram Finance
💳️ Visa ditches CVVs in India
💵 Tax squeeze on crypto influencers
*Stock data as of market close. Source.
Markets: Hear that? It’s the gentle ebb and flow of the stock market (and some screaming in the background). In a twist of fate, the Nifty has formed a shooting star pattern on its weekly charts, which could signal a potential downturn in the market. Traders are now keeping a watchful eye on the 18,000 mark as a crucial level for the index's future performance.
Next on ED’s money-laundering hit list: Manappuram Finance’s MD
👀 The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has frozen assets worth Rs 143 crore belonging to V P Nandakumar, CEO of leading gold loan company Manappuram Finance. Here’s the tea:
The move comes as part of an ongoing investigation into a money laundering case involving Nandakumar’s private assets.
The assets were allegedly acquired using funds generated through illegal activities and diverted into Nandakumar’s stash of immovable properties and other assets under the names of his family members.
Various incriminating documents pointing to money laundering were also confiscated during the searches.
In cahoots. The involvement of Manappuram Finance Limited's chief finance officer (CFO) and other workers accused of assisting in the money-laundering scheme is still under probe, according to authorities.
Visa goes CVV-free in India, with new token tech
💳️ Visa, the global paytech company, has announced the launch of its new tokenization technology in India, which eliminates the need for a card verification value (CVV) for online transactions. Here’s what that means:
Tokenization technology replaces sensitive card information with unique digital identifiers, or "tokens," to help prevent fraud and data theft.
This applies to online and mobile point-of-sale transactions, as well as in-app purchases.
Bonus perk: With the new tech, users will no longer need to enter their CVV at checkout, making the payment process faster and more convenient… in case typing those 3 numbers ever got in your way.
Where it’s at. Visa's tokenization technology has already been rolled out to several banks in India, including Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, and ICICI Bank. The technology is expected to be adopted by other banks and payment providers in the country in the coming months.
INDIA EDITION: WHAT ELSE IS ON THE BIRDWATCH
✂️ Meesho layoffs Part 3: 15% more let go. Social commerce platform Meesho has announced its third round of layoffs, with 251 employees being let go as the company seeks to lean out and be more profitable. In a hard-hitting email to employees, Meesho CEO Vidit Aatrey stated that they had made “judgement errors in over-hiring ahead of the curve.”
🏏 IPL bats another record-high in Disney Star views. The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 has broken records once again, with the Disney Star Network reporting a significant increase of 2.5 crore viewers in the fourth week of the tournament.
🏦 JK Bank logs annual profit high score of Rs. 1,197 crore. Jammu and Kashmir Bank has announced its highest-ever net annual profit of Rs. 1,197 crore this year, while sporting its highest capital adequacy ratio in 10 years at 15.39 %
Catch up on the Indian funding flows from the past 24hrs:
THB, a data analytics firm that delivers intel to healthcare enterprises, has secured $20M in funding from investors including Filter Capital and Edelweiss Discovery Fund. THB plans to use the funds to expand its product offerings, invest in R&D, and grow its team to better serve the healthcare industry.
PropertyPistol, a proptech startup that offers home buyers consultancy services, has secured Rs 45 crore in a funding round led by ICICI Bank and Baring Private Equity Partners India, with plans to use the injection to expand its services and further develop its tech platform.
Uzhavarbumi, a D2C agri-tech business promoting farm-to-table commerce just bagged Rs. 7 crore investment from Anicut Capital, a major venture capital firm. Uzhavarbumi plans to use the new funds to boost its tech, equipment, and marketing.
🏦 HSBC might just split the business. HSBC will soon face a shareholder vote on whether to split the bank by way of a "strategic restructuring" that would result in the formation of a new financial entity based in Hong Kong.
🌾 World food prices boil over, a first in a year. The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported that world food prices have risen for the first time in a year, driven by higher costs of meat, sugar, and rice.
💵 Kenya chases crypto influencers for more taxes. Kenya's tax authority is set to launch new legislation targeted at crypto influencers, who are seen as key players in driving adoption of cryptocurrencies in the country. The move comes as the government seeks to increase revenue through taxation of the nascent crypto industry, which has seen significant growth in Kenya in recent years.
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