🐛Rs 2,250 Cr Tax Evasion

PLUS: Twitter’s new monetization feature

Good morning. It’s Earlybird here with a chill Saturday newsfeed on business, tech, and startups — with just a dab of chaos. Cut to tax fraud.

In this edition:

  • 📜 3 companies accused of Rs 2,250 Cr evasion

  • 🫰 Kotak’s Fund of Funds deferred

  • 🐦️ Twitter’s new monetization feat


*Stock data as of market close. Source.

  • Markets: Last open session marked the 9th consecutive day of index gains, with bank stocks shining especially bright. Keep your eyes on the prize but keep your portfolios in check, as we continue to see some positive momentum in the market.


DGGI blows tax evasion whistle at PolicyBazaar, Go Digit, and HDFC

Giphy / Transparency International

📜The Directorate General of GST Intelligence (DGGI) has sent notices to digital insurance provider PolicyBazaar, non-banking financial company HDFC, and its subsidiary, Go Digit General Insurance, for alleged Goods and Services Tax (GST) evasion amounting to Rs 2,250 crore ($301M).

What Happened?

According to DGGI sources, the companies are suspected of not remitting GST collected from customers to the government. They are also accused of availing of Input Tax Credit (ITC) based on fake invoices and incorrect filings.

What’s Next?

The three companies have been asked to respond to the notices within 15 days. Failure to do so could result in severe consequences, including arrest and prosecution. This move is part of the Indian government's efforts to crack down on tax evasion and boost revenue collection.


Kotak defers Fund of Funds (FoF)


💰️ Kotak Investment Advisors Limited has put plans to deploy its Fund of Funds (FoF), the ‘Kotak India Alternate Allocation Fund‘, on hold due to economic uncertainty in the investment space. Here’s what went down:

  • A KIAL spokeswoman stated that the decision was made as a result of the current fall in PE/VC valuations.

  • Kotak Investment Advisors Limited (KIAL) has already begun speaking with limited partners and will soon be returning the money it withdrew for its FoF.

  • The FoF was introduced as an alternative investment fund (AIF) in August 2022 with a goal of raising Rs 1,500 crore, with a greenshoe option of Rs 750 crore.

In summary. The decision by Kotak Investment Advisors Limited reflects the challenges faced by the investment industry in India, However, it also highlights the importance of careful planning and risk management.


Accenture delays start dates of fresh recruits amid layoffs


“BRB, still firing.” 

🔥 Speaking of deferring things, Accenture, the global IT consultancy firm, has reportedly delayed the start dates of fresh recruits due to the recent wave of layoffs. Here’s what’s happening:

  • Accenture spokesperson Rachel Frey elaborated, “In some cases, for example for some recent graduates, we are adjusting start dates based on the needs of our clients and business,”

  • According to a Bloomberg story, Accenture Plc is delaying these dates as it attempts to rebalance its enormous staff for a setting that is more cost-conscious.

  • The delayed onboarding has also been discussed on several private Reddit forums, and nothing stirs FUD like Reddit forums.


  • 🚘️ Tata Motors’ passenger cars will be pricey in May. Tata Motors is jacking up prices for its passenger vehicles next month. The hike will be the third this year and comes amidst a broader trend of rising input prices and supply chain disruptions.

  • 💧 Drip’s well runs dry. Drip Capital faces a dry spell as the Indian trade financing startup has reportedly laid off 20% of its employees, despite raising $175M in late 2021.

  • 🚗 Hyundai India to roll out new SUV. The Exter, a new entry-level SUV and the 8th in Hyundai’s SUV line up, will be introduced in the second half of this year, per a Friday release.


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

  • Purple Style Labs, a local fashion and beauty brand just checked out $14M in Series C funding from ValueQuest, Masaba Gupta, and others. The new purse of funds will be used to expand in both domestic and international markets, and develop new product categories.

  • Startup Stairs, a seed-stage accelerator is partnering with smart codec provider HDSM to boost 20 startups through a new joint Rs 50 crore Growth Acceleration Fund.

  • Cyfirma, a cybersecurity company providing attack surface discovery, has secured $5.5M in a funding round led by Z3Partners. With this funding, Cyfirma aims to help companies across industries prepare for potential cyber threats and stay one step ahead of cyber attackers.


Headline Explorer

Giphy / The Adventures of Pete & Pete

🛢️ Russia’s on a roll selling oil. Russia's oil exports have reached a near-three-year high in March, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). Overall oil shipments were up by 600,000 barrels per day to 8.1 million bpd.

🐦️ Like, Retweet, and Subscribe ($). Twitter has announced plans to allow users to offer content subscriptions as part of its push for monetization. The new feature will enable users to charge their followers for access to exclusive content such as newsletters and live chats.

💵 JPMorgan profits stuffed by high interest rates. JPMorgan Chase has reported a 52% jump in profits for Q1 2023, beating expectations despite the ongoing turmoil in the banking industry. The secret ingredient? Higher interest rates that have made loaning from the bank more expensive.

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