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Furniture rental company Rentomojo suffered a data breach where hackers gained unauthorised access to its customer database by exploiting cloud misconfiguration through extremely sophisticated attacks. Thankfully, it didn’t have any impact on the financial information of customers.
Meanwhile, layoffs continue unabated.
Twitter rival Koo downsized its workforce by 30% over the last year, with an estimated 90 employees impacted. It is joined by neobanking unicorn OPEN, which reportedly laid off 47 employees based on performance evaluation. Elsewhere, SaaS firm F5 eliminated a massive 620+ jobs—firing 9% of its employees and cutting bonuses.
In other news, Paytm may achieve an overall EBITDA breakeven (after ESOP cost) by FY25! Motilal Oswal analysts estimate the financial services firm will benefit from surging mobile payments, improving its contribution margin and operating leverage to drive profitability.
Talking of financials, IT major HCL Tech released its fourth-quarter earnings, with net profits and revenue both up over 10% YoY. Nokia, too, posted a 10% increase in net sales, courtesy of its Indian business which saw a 4x jump in sales to €853 million.
Also, cigarettes-to-hotels conglomerate ITC became the 11th Indian firm to cross Rs 5 trillion in market cap as its shares hit a lifetime high of Rs 402.65 on the National Stock Exchange.
ICYMI: As CEO Tim Cook opened Apple’s second store in Delhi, fans and tech enthusiasts celebrated in their own way.
While one got an apple haircut, another walked in with the first-generation iPhone, MacBook and other devices.
In today’s newsletter, we will talk about
- Ecom Express woos D2C brands
- Solving urban parking issues
- Ayurvedic wisdom cracking global market
Here’s your trivia for today: What’s the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world?
Ecom Express woos D2C brands
There has been a boom in the D2C space. With several brands and products now in the market, there has been an increase in demand for priority shipping—an opportunity most ecommerce logistics companies are looking to tap into.
Ecom Express has launched a suite of products to rope in D2C and digital brands with faster deliveries and micro fulfilment centres, putting it in the same competitive space as logistics aggregators like Shiprocket.
A step ahead:
- Ecom Express has launched three new services, including Same Day Delivery (SDD), Same Day Delivery+ (SDD+), and Next Day Delivery (NDD).
- A month ago, it launched its ExpressPlus (EXS+) delivery, including air and surface transport, to deliver shipments across pin codes within 48-72 hours, with a lowered turnaround time of nearly 50%.
- While its primary revenue will continue to come from ecommerce shipments, roping in D2C and digital brands from traditional retailers is likely to drive growth for the coming year.
Solving urban parking issues
Car parking is a major problem in India. As per an IBM survey, a driver wastes up to 19 minutes trying to find a parking space in Delhi. The situation is even worse in Mumbai and Bengaluru.
To address these parking issues, Dhananjaya Bharadwaj joined hands with Abhimanyu Singh to conceptualise ParkMate.
- ParkMate is an app-based autotech that offers smart, hyperlocal, and on-demand parking solutions. The Moradabad-based startup started operations in May 2022.
- Its Trishool system provides a hybrid FASTtag+ANPR+UniPay enabled system that automatically scans the licence plate and permits/logs the entry of vehicles.
- ParkMate has also developed the Kavach System for residential complexes and automobile dealerships.
Ayurvedic wisdom cracking global market
Medimix brand is over 50 years old, with its products being sold in 25 countries. Lasakan Cholayil is now expanding its legacy through Sadhev, a luxury ayurvedic brand specialising in face and hair care products.
- “Medimix struggled to enter the premium space as it was always associated with Indians living abroad or old-timers,” Cholayil explains.
- He and his mother spent three years doing groundwork before officially launching Sadhev in 2019, aiming to venture into the relatively unexplored luxury Ayurveda category.
- Sadhev is a digital-first brand. Its strategy involves setting up exclusive brand outlets, and in 2022, launched its first store in Bengaluru.
News & updates
- Ka-boom: SpaceX successfully launched its next-generation Starship cruise vessel for the first time atop the company’s powerful new Super Heavy rocket. However, the upper stage failed to separate and the test flight exploded mid-air.
- Crackdown: Amazon has launched its Anti-Counterfeiting Exchange (ACX), an initiative to help retail stores label and track marketplace counterfeits as part of the ecommerce giant’s efforts to crack down on organised crime on its platform.
- End of an era: Jaguar Land Rover will officially rebrand to JLR in order to push forward for a brand overhaul ahead of introducing a family of new electric cars and SUVs. The British carmaker ditched the name after 75 years as it switches to its house of brands strategy.
What’s the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world?
Answer: Damascus, Syria. Archaeological evidence points to the city being inhabited for at least 11,000 years.
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