🐛 Twitter gets high on pot

PLUS: Reliance strikes TV partnership gold

Good morning. It’s Earlybird here, crashing your inbox with a tasteful pile of news finds, curated with the business-minded in mind.

In this edition:

  • 📺️ Reliance strikes TV partnership gold

  • 📱 SEBI’s Telegram busts

  • 🪴 Twitter loosens rules on pot ads

MARKETS

*Stock data as of market close. Source.

  • Markets: India's Nifty soared to a 10-week high, with market experts predicting that it may hit 18,000-18,300 during the May series. The frolicking are keeping investors’ eyes on higher support levels up to 17,800-17,700.

STOCKS

SEBI enters chat, fines Telegram admins Rs 5.68 Cr for messing with stocks prices

Aspirant Learning

We keep telling people. There’s no hiding from SEBI, not even in Telegram.

🏢 The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has imposed a fine of Rs. 5.68 crore on three administrators of Telegram channels for allegedly manipulating stock prices. Here’s what they’re in for:

Manipulating prices

Three Telegram admins, namely, Himanshu Mahendrabhai Patel, Raj Mahendrabhai Patel, and Jaydev Zala, were accused of the following practice:

  • Step 1. Buy stocks.

  • Step 2. Brag / shill on Telegram.

  • Step 3. Wait for share prices to bloat.

  • Step 4. Dump.

The fine. The accused were slapped with a joint tab of Rs. 5.68 crore, which is double the amount of the unlawful gains gained.

Bonus round. Three other entities involved were also fined Rs. 5 lakh a pop.

ENTERTAINMENT

Reliance bags streaming partnership with HBO, Max Original, and Warner Bros.

From free IPL to exclusive network deals

📽️ After a successful run streaming the Indian Premier League (IPL) for free, JioCinema is set stream exclusive content from Warner Bros., HBO, and Max Original, a.k.a channels on cable TV that make you feel old for knowing them. Here’s the story:

The deal

  • Reliance’s broadcast division, Viacom18, has struck partnership gold after engaging in talks with the above TV networks.

  • Per their multi-year agreement, JioCinema will begin premiering Warner Bros., HBO, and Max Original content at the same time as the US, starting next month

A window of opportunity. Two months ago, Disney+ Hotstar announced that it would stop streaming popular HBO programs like Game of Thrones and Succession, leaving the door wide open for Reliance to step in.

INSURANCE

Reliance General Insurance Joins the CBDC Bandwagon

Tech in Asia

💵 Reliance General Insurance, a subsidiary of Reliance Capital, has announced that it will be accepting the central bank digital currency (CBDC) E-Rupee for its policies through Yes Bank.

Joining the digi-age. Reliance General Insurance will join the growing list of companies that accept CBDC payments. The company is also in discussions with other banks to allow payment through E-Rupee.

More on the E-Rupee. The introduction of E-Rupee is expected to bring several benefits to the insurance sector, such as secure and transparent transactions, lower costs, and faster processing times.

In practice. Customers who wish to settle their premiums can scan the ERupee QR code provided by Reliance General Insurance to make an immediate payment if they have an active e-wallet with any bank.

INDIA EDITION: WHAT ELSE IS ON THE BIRDWATCH

  • ✈️ Air India’s hiring 1000 pilots… amid union protests. Air India is set to hire over 1000 pilots as the aviation industry takes off after a tumultuous year of pandemic-related challenges. With the demand for air travel picking up again, the national carrier is readying to welcome new pilots (while some of its current ones are still unhappy with their payment structure).

  • 🥹 Apple’s new Delhi store displaces reseller. Just days after the grand opening of Apple's flagship store in Delhi, one of the brand’s premium resellers, Apple Imagine, has been denied a lease extension at Select Citywalk Mall.

  • 👔 LinkedIn’s usership in India breaks 100 million. LinkedIn, the professional networking site owned by Microsoft, has crossed the 100-million-user mark in India, reaffirming the country's position as one of its fastest-growing markets.

FUNDING DEALS

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

  • QuickReply.ai, a startup that designs and automates WhatsApp marketing campaigns, has locked in $1.4M in seed money from Matrix Partners India and Gemini Investments, among other backers. With the new injection, the firm is set to expand its product offerings and scale up the team.

  • Niro, a Bengaluru-based fintech company that offers embedded lending solutions, has raised $11M in Series A funding from European investor Carbon and other participants. The new funds will be used to expand their platform offerings, hire more staff, and further their technology development.

  • Aksum, a startup offering B2B services that streamline supply chains, has raised a neat $1M from Inflection Point Ventures and angel investors. Aksum plans to use this cash to expand their services and reach and onboard more clients onto their supply chain network.

WORLD

Headline Explorer

Giphy / WorldSkills UK

⌚️ Amazon disbands its Halo division. Amazon is shutting down the division behind its Halo fitness tracker. Behind the curtain, Amazon has struggled to compete with other fitness tracker brands in the market and has seen slow sales of its wearable device.

🪴 Twitter gets high on pot ads. Twitter is relaxing its ad policies toward cannabis in order to attract more advertisers of pot products. The social media giant has announced it will allow ads for legal cannabis products in Canada, the US, and some European countries.

🛠️ 3M to pull the plug on thousands of jobs. 3M, the US conglomerate known for its hardware safety products, is not sticking to its post-its as the Minnesota-based corporation is set to let go of 6,000 employees across the globe after recent hits to its bottom line.

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