🐛 Mobile exploit on millions of users

PLUS: GitHub lays off entire Indian team

Good morning. It’s your favorite avian herald here with today’s latest happenings in business, tech, and startups.

In this edition:

  • 💊 No-chill price hike on essential medicine

  • 🔥 GitHub lays off entire Indian team

  • 👾 Chinese apps execute 0-day exploit on millions


*Stock data as of market close. Source.

Markets: The Indian stock market had a bit of rollercoaster ride yesterday, with the Sensex and Nifty ending marginally lower amidst volatility. The power, oil, and gas sectors were hit the hardest, leaving investors feeling a tad worse for wear. Let's hope these sectors can turn the gas back on soon.


Historical 12% price hike on essential medicine

Tenor / goku0284

💊 Brace yourselves for a steep price hike as the cost of commonly used drugs is set to increase by a whopping 12% starting April 1st.

The historical hike. This latest pinch in the pocket is the highest ever since the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) began controlling drug prices in 2013.

Reasons for the Increase


  • The new drug pricing is based on the Wholesale Price Index (WPI), which reflects the average price level of goods traded in bulk.

  • The increase is attributed to the rise in the WPI of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), which went up by 9.8% in the past year.

Impact on consumers. This price hike may have significant implications for consumers, especially those with chronic illnesses who rely on regular medication. The increased prices could also lead to a decline in the affordability and accessibility of essential drugs, ultimately impacting public health.

To wrap. In conclusion, while the increase in drug prices is sure to pinch the pockets of consumers, it remains to be seen how it will impact public health in the long run.


54 Chinese investment proposals are sitting on the stack


🌏️ India's Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced on Monday that New Dehli has recerived around 54 Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI) proposals — and they’re all still pending due to ongoing geopolitical tensions between the two countries.

The backstory. The Government of India amended the country's FDI policy in April 2020 to prevent "opportunistic takeovers/acquisitions" from countries bordering India (ahem, like China). This also applies to investors from any of these nations.

Still on hold. With no plans of easing these restrictions, this could turn out into a standstill that is unlikely to progress any of the pending paperwork thus far.

Additional measures. The Indian government has also tightened restrictions on Chinese companies bidding for government contracts, and banned the use of Chinese telecommunications equipment in government projects.


EVs and their big dent on insurance providers

🔋 No, we’re not encouraging you to break your e-scooter, but… EVs in India are seeing higher insurance claims than traditional vehicles due to the high cost of their parts, according to insurance providers.

How much higher you say?

Compared to traditional, fuel-based vehicles, claims for insured EVs are:

  • 20% higher for two-wheelers

  • 50% for four-wheelers

This means that even minor accidents can result in costly repairs, driving up insurance claims. This is because it’s more common to replace entire modules for broken EVs than having simple repairs done. Kind of like repairing an abacus vs. a calculator.

EV insurance stats. The number of EVs insured quadrupled since before the pandemic, from 1% to 4%. There are still a lot of them out there, the uninsured.

The way forward. Before that number goes up any further, insurance companies are low-key pleading with EV makers to introduce child parts and smaller replaceable modules to dial down the cost of repairs.


  • 🔥 Github India lays off entire engineering team. GitHub, the world's leading software development platform, has laid off pretty much its entire engineering team in India, in a non-performance related round of workforce ‘streamlining’. Termination count: 142. Severance: 2 months.

  • 👔 EPF deposit rates are up 0.05% this year. The Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), India's largest social security organization, has announced an interest rate of 8.15% on EPF deposits for the current fiscal — which is up slightly from the four-decade low rate of 8.1% in last year.

  • ⚽️ Sportzcraazy takes charge of Kabaddi Adda. Sportzcraazy, a sports media platform, has acquired a controlling stake in Kabaddi Adda, an online portal for kabaddi-loving fans. Sportzcraazy claims that the acquisition would allow the two platforms to connect over 5 million sports aficionados in India each month.


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

  • Fashinza, a local fashion supply chain management startup, has secured a stylish $30M in brand new capital from Mars Growth Capital and Liquidity Group, allowing them to dress to impress and take on the world of e-commerce.

  • Nimbbl, a fintech startup, has raised a cool $3.5M in funding from Sequoia, Groww, and a host of angel investors bent on propelling the team forward the digital payments market.

  • Pi Ventures, an early-stage venture fund, is taking its own slice of goodies after raising Rs. 22 Cr from Belgium's Colruyt Group. The new injection will enable Pi to invest more heavily in deep tech and AI startups.


Headline Explorer

Giphy / Sesame Street

🏰 Disney: Where dreams don’t come true. The Walt Disney Company has started reducing its workforce as part of its ongoing restructuring efforts, with plans to cut 7,000 positions across its parks, experiences, and consumer product divisions.

👾 Attack of the China apps. Android applications digitally certified by Chinese third-party markets, exploited a zero-day vulnerability, which allowed them to steal personal data and install malicious apps on millions of end-user devices. So far, Google Play and Apple’s App Store we found to be free of these malicious versions.

🪓 Alibaba split six ways. Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant, is breaking up its empire into six business units as its founder, Jack Ma, returns to China after a prolonged absence.

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