Team YS ( )
The Blinkit versus delivery partners saga continues.
While the quick commerce service has had to temporarily close some of its dark stores due to strikes, these shutdowns have impacted less than 1% of its revenue, its parent Zomato said in a filing. The company says the updated commission system—at the heart of the protest—was restructured to improve customer experience, and reduce cancellations and order rejection frauds.
Speaking of restructuring, Air India has approached the CCI for a merger with Vistara. This comes as more Indians are flying than ever before, with domestic airline carriers recording 13 million passengers in March—up by over 11% from the pre-pandemic levels.
In other news, Meta is reportedly going to begin mass layoffs across the entire organisation, including Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. The cost-cutting campaign will eventually eliminate 10,000 positions at the social media firm.
Amazon, too, is carrying another round of layoffs, downsizing the ads team. Also, Simpl, a Buy Now Pay Later startup, has reportedly laid off 25% of its workforce, with 150-200 employees impacted.
Meanwhile, Netflix viewers in India can heave a sigh of relief as the company has delayed its crackdown on password sharing to the second quarter of 2023. It says over 100 million households share accounts, amounting to around 43% of its user base.
Oh, and here are some AI-generated images of elderly Indian women skating.
In today’s newsletter, we will talk about
- PhysicsWallah’s marathon sprint
- Another fire at Battery Smart store
- Swiggy pilots ecom feature Maxx
Here’s your trivia for today: What is the loudest animal in the world?
PhysicsWallah (PW) is eyeing a third consecutive year of profitability despite the particularly tumultuous phase the rest of the edtech sector is going through. The three-year-old startup is growing at a faster clip than its competitors, projecting a 3x revenue growth for FY22-23 and expecting to breach the Rs 2,000-crore milestone this year.
- PhysicsWallah has been a rare profit-making edtech startup ever since its incorporation in 2020, registering a 14-fold jump in the fiscal year 2021-22.
- A key reason for PW’s strong growth, according to Rahul Maheshwari, Partner at Verlinvest-backed V3 Ventures, is its low customer acquisition cost, whereas, for several other players, that’s been a bottleneck.
- PW is sufficiently capitalised and does not plan to raise more money this year. It, however, is receiving interest from new and existing investors willing to partner for both equity and debt funding.
On Monday, Tiger Global-backed Battery Smart’s battery-swapping station in Delhi’s Janakpuri area caught fire. Located on the ground floor of a multi-storey building, the facility housed about 50 battery packs meant for powering electric vehicles. Now, frequent fires at the swapping stations are raising questions about safety lapses, quality issues, and accountability.
- Pulkit Khurana, Co-founder of Battery Smart, said a short circuit may have caused two battery packs to overheat, triggering the fire. The company is awaiting conclusive results from investigations, he added.
- This isn’t the first fire at a Battery Smart-operated swapping station. In January, a massive fire at a battery-swapping facility in Lucknow’s Badshah Nagar killed one person.
- Khurana said that all Battery Smart batteries were designed with strong fail-safe mechanisms and that both the batteries involved in the Janakpuri incident were by a manufacturer that supplies 5% of the firm’s batteries.
Swiggy is testing a new ecommerce feature, Maxx, which promises to deliver orders within an hour. At present, the pilot is conducted in select areas of Bengaluru. Users can place orders in several categories, including electronics and gadgets, pet care supplies, books and toys, home and kitchen appliances, and stationery items.
- Swiggy is expected to add new categories, including beauty and grooming, health and fitness, and essential clothing, soon.
- Orders above Rs 99 will qualify for free shipping. Users will get Rs 100 off on first-time orders above Rs 249.
- This move is a step towards creating a shopping ecosystem, from food and grocery delivery to ecommerce. Food delivery and Instamart, however, will remain the core businesses.
News & updates
- Chips wars: The European Union aims to double its global market share in semiconductors from 10% to 20% by 2030 with the European Chips Act. The legislation will infuse $47 billion as public and private investments to secure supply chains and avert shortages.
- Spurring demand: For the sixth time this year, EV carmaker Tesla has cut prices for some of its US Model Y and Model 3 vehicles ahead of the earnings report. It also recently lowered prices in Europe, Israel, Singapore, Japan, Australia, and South Korea.
- Internet access: SpaceX launched another batch of 21 Starlink satellites to help bring broadband internet to remote or underserved locations. It has already launched 4,000 satellites and is seeking permission to launch a further 30,000.
What is the loudest animal in the world?
Answer: Sperm whale. Its clicking sound can reach 233 decibels, louder than a jet engine.
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