Team YS ( )
First, layoffs. Then, no hikes.
In the latest cost management measure, tech giant Microsoft will not raise pay for all full-time workers this year. CEO Satya Nadella, in an internal memo, said this was necessary to generate “enough yield” to invest in the company’s major shift toward AI. Microsoft earlier laid off 10,000 employees.
Meanwhile, the Karnataka High Court dismissed a GST notice issued to Gameskraft Technology. The notice accused the online gaming company of evading Rs 21,000 crore in taxes, marking the largest claim of its kind in the history of indirect taxation.
The case dates back to September 2022 when a GST intelligence unit served a show-cause notice to Gameskraft, alleging that it had failed to pay the aforementioned sum in GST between 2017 and June 30, 2022.
In pictures: Some of the most beautiful post offices around the world.
Oh, and if you ever wondered how many passengers fly across the globe on a daily basis, here’s a chart visualising the busiest airports. However, despite passenger traffic increasing by 54% from 2021, the travel and tourism industry is yet to fully recover to pre-pandemic peaks.
So far, it’s 95% done.
In today’s newsletter, we will talk about
- SoftBank’s losses widen in FY23
- ONDC’s steady growth story
- FIR against Ashneer Grover
Here’s your trivia for today: Which country’s airship carried out the first verified trip to the North Pole?
Tech woes widen SoftBank’s losses
SoftBank Group Corp, which has invested in Indian tech startups such as Delhivery and Paytm, reported a record loss of $32 billion (4.3 trillion Japanese yen) across Vision Fund I and II, wider than the loss of 2.55 trillion Japanese yen posted a year ago as the tech industry struggles to grow.
Also, SVF India Holdings (Cayman) Limited, a SoftBank arm, has divested a 2% stake in Paytm’s parent One97 Communications for reportedly $120 million through an open market transaction in order to comply with SEBI regulation.
In the red:
- SoftBank Group Corp made investments totalling only about $3.14 billion across its two primary funding vehicles in the 2022-2023 financial year–a significant reduction from $44.26 billion invested in the year prior.
- SVF I, founded in 2017, registered $101.0 billion in cumulative returns on $89.6 billion of total investments.
- An early investor of fintech unicorn, Masayoshi Son-led SoftBank had earlier in November 2022 offloaded a 4.5% stake in Paytm for Rs 1,631 crore through an open market transaction.
Round: Pre-Series A
Round: Pre-Series A
ONDC’s steady growth story
The Open Network For Digital Commerce (ONDC) is picking up pace, logging up to 25,000 orders a day now compared to 50 a day in January. The number of retail merchants on the platform is also witnessing an uptick to over 35,000 from about 800 in January, ONDC said in a statement on Thursday.
The latest ONDC data comes at a time when users are curious about how the system works, especially given that food order values on ONDC are much lower than on alternate food delivery platforms like Zomato and Swiggy.
- ONDC said it has expanded its geographic footprint, with the number of cities with merchants present, having increased to more than 230 from 85 in January.
- The platform also added mobility service in Kochi in January and in Bengaluru in April. The service has seen a jump to more than 35,000 rides a day from these two cities.
- Mobility app Namma Yatri joined the ecommerce protocol last month.
FIR against Ashneer Grover
The Delhi Police Economic Offences Wing (EOW) has registered an FIR (first information report) against BharatPe’s former MD and Co-founder, Ashneer Grover, his wife Madhuri Jain, and other family members, based on the criminal complaint filed by the company.
- Among other charges, BharatPe has levelled allegations of sham transactions and embezzlement of Rs 71.76 crore, and illegitimate payments of Rs 7.6 crore to bogus HR consultants.
- Besides EOW, BharatPe has also filed a civil suit with the Delhi High Court seeking Rs 88.67 crore in damages.
- The ousted co-founder is facing lawsuits from BharatPe co-founders Bhavik Koladiya and Shashvat Nakrani to reclaim their shares in Resilient Innovations, the parent entity that runs BharatPe.
News & updates
- Flying high: Emirates reported record profit and revenue figures for the year ending April 2023, as passenger numbers surged by 123%. It reported an annual profit of 3 billion, after recording losses for the two previous years thanks to pandemic-related travel restrictions and skyrocketing fuel prices.
- An AI buffet: Google has announced a flurry of AI products. The Alphabet unit demonstrated or referenced at least 15 different AI products and features ranging from software solely for creating smartphone wallpaper to another for organising personal files to yet another for photo editing.
- Super app: Uber has launched flight bookings to its UK app as part of the ride-booking giant’s push to become a travel “super app”. It has started rolling out the new booking tool for domestic and international flights to UK customers, and plans to expand it to users across the country in the coming weeks.
Which country’s airship carried out the first verified trip to the North Pole?
Answer: Italy, in 1926 by a semi-rigid airship Norge.
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