Apple's Creative Head Officially Leaves the Company, Indian Startups Welcome SEBI Approval for DVRs & Other Top Business News Today

Indian startups welcome SEBI approval for DVRs. Meesho in talks to raise funds from South African MNC. 1mg raises $70m in Series D funding round. Big NBFCs need greater scrutiny to prevent market contagion, RBI warns. But losses from failure of large banks has decreased. Facebook wants Libra to fly, but reality might clip its wings. How an American company helped China build military-enhancing technology. Jony Ive, the creative genius behind Apple's iconic hardware from the iPod to the MacBook, is officially leaving the company after three decades. Xi Jinping heads to Osaka with a risky gamble. Trump strikes conciliatory tone with Modi and Abe.

 

Moving on to the top Business news today: 

 

 STARTUPS 

Indian startups welcome SEBI approval for DVRs. Meesho in talks to raise funds from South African MNC. 1mg raises $70m in Series D funding round.  

 

The Right to Vote: Indian start-ups have welcomed SEBI’s approval for issuance of shares with differential voting rights (DVRs), although more details are awaited from the market regulator.

 

The move is expected to increase founders’ powers within their companies and enable Indian startups to list their companies on domestic stock exchanges.

 

DVRs are already common in the US and China. Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Ma, for example, operate their companies under DVR norms.

 

With Love, From Africa: Social commerce start-up Meesho is reportedly in talks with South African MNC Naspers to raise $120-130m in funds.

 

Meesho offers a three-way marketplace between resellers, SMBs and micro-entrepreneurs to connect with potential buyers via social media.

 

If the deal materialises, it would raise Meesho’s valuation to $600-650m and would come in the heels of the startup having raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Facebook.

 

Additionally, it would add to the Indian portfolio of Naspers, which includes Swiggy and Byju’s.

 

Health is Wealth: Health-tech startup 1mg has raised $70m in a Series D funding round.

 

The Gurugram-based company said the funds will be used to expand 1mg’s supply chain and team up with hospitals, pharmas, insurance agencies, and the government.

 

1mg has catered to 70 million customers through its pharmacy, diagnostic and consultation verticals, as per the company’s own estimates.

 

 NBFC 

Big NBFCs need greater scrutiny to prevent market contagion, RBI warns. But losses from failure of large banks has decreased.

 

Shadow Banking: Non-bank lenders’ sources dried up due to the NBFC crisis sparked by IL&FS’s default last year, the RBI said in its biannual Financial Stability Report.

 

NBFCs are the largest borrowers of funds from the financial system but banks and mutual funds decreased lending to these shadow banks and housing finance companies (HFCs), creating a cash crunch.

 

Spreading Chaos: The central bank also warned of a contagion effect arising out of failure of big NBFCs and HFCs. This could lead to losses similar to those caused by failure of big banks. This underscored the need for “greater surveillance over large HFCs/NBFCs”.

 

Silver Lining: On the bright side, the central bank noted that losses from contagion risks arising out of failure of large banks are lower for March 2019 when compared to March 2018.

 

This is due to better capitalisation and improved market discipline, the RBI said, as better-performing companies raised more funds while those with asset quality issues were subject to higher borrowing costs.

 

 TECH 

Facebook wants Libra to fly, but reality might clip its wings. How an American company helped China build military-enhancing technology.

 

On Your Mark: Facebook’s ambitious plan to disrupt global finance sets into motion in the first half of next year. That is, unless real-world obstacles don’t destroy Mark Zuckerberg’s dreams.

 

First there are regulatory hurdles, then competition with already-existing cryptocurrencies, then there’s public apprehension about digital currencies, and then there’s public skepticism of Facebook’s commitment to privacy and ethics.

 

India is Facebook’s biggest market, with over 260 million users (not counting the 200 million+ WhatsApp users). And the RBI and the government have been dismissive of legalising crypto transactions in the past, and this stance doesn’t seem likely to change in the near future.

 

Furthermore, even if the red carpet was rolled out for Facebook in India, it would have to compete with payment giants like Paytm and PhonePe while convincing a massively diverse population of both its intentions and Libra’s mechanisms.

 

Mr. Zuckerberg has a long and tedious (and interesting) year ahead of him.

 

Keys to the Kingdom: It’s a tale worthy of a Hollywood flick – how a struggling American chip-making company was handed a lifeline by a Chinese military supplier in exchange for technology that gave China access to superior chips.

 

How superior? Well, this technology is now being employed by China to enhance nuclear weapons, improve missile defence systems, pursue artificial intelligence, and develop the next generation of supercomputers.

 

The technology that was handed to the Chinese refers to x86chips, which are made by only two companies – AMD and Intel. After AMD finalised a deal with a Chinese company (that invariably reported to the Chinese government), it led to Beijing laying its hands on the golden egg. Read this thrilling tale here.

 

 APPLE 

Jony Ive, the creative genius behind Apple's iconic hardware from the iPod to the MacBook, is officially leaving the company after three decades.

 

Bye Bye Jony: For 27 years Sir Jony Ive served as the creative genius behind Apple’s iconic hardware, which has elicited widespread admiration and inspired a generation of designers.

 

Now, nearly three decades later, Ive is officially parting ways with Apple to work on his own design firm, LoveFrom. However, Ive will continue to advice and work with Apple from the outside (Apple’s press release can be read here).

 

Ive began working for Apple as a member of its design division in 1992. He was appointed senior VP of industrial design by Steve Jobs five years later.

 

Ive was the creative mind behind the design of the iPod, iPad, MacBook and parts of the iOS interface (and Apple Park, too). His design philosophy was influenced by the credos “form follows function” and “less is more”, and impacted the look and feel of Apple products for years.

 

While Jobs concocted the ingredients for an Apple product, Ive made it irresistible.

 

 TRADE WAR 

Xi Jinping heads to Osaka with a risky gamble. Trump strikes conciliatory tone with Modi and Abe.

 

Xi Blinks: Chinese President Xi Jinping will reportedly ask Donald Trump to end the international US camapign against Huawei – in exchange for agreeing to a trade deal with Washington.

 

This is a risky gamble to say the least and it underscores how important the telecom company is for Beijing. Xi will be asking Trump to end his two-pronged attack on China (via banning Huawei and tariffs) and in return he would sign a trade deal that is already awaited.

 

The X factor, then, is what the trade deal would involve for the two countries – particularly, what is Xi ready to sacrifice for Huawei? Meanwhile, China has become a poll issue in the upcoming US Presidential election. To ensure his re-election, Trump desperately needs to bring home a deal, or at least the blueprint of one.

 

All Eyes On Osaka: Trade talks stalled in May when Trump accused China of breaking a deal they’d agreed to sign. Now, with Trump and Xi slated to meet in the sidelines of G20 on Saturday, all eyes are on Osaka. Will they reach a consensus? The repercussions are high; the expectations ... not so much.

 

Three is Company: If a merry three-way fist bump between Trump, Shinzo Abe and Narendra Modi is any indication, all is well in Osaka.

 

Prior to leaving for the G20 summit, Trump had tweeted his displeasure over Indian tariffs. And the day before he had lambasted security pacts between Washington and Tokyo, saying if America was attacked, Japan was not required to help and could “watch it on a Sony television”.

 

But today gave tense observers reason to hope. Trump and Modi reportedly agreed to trade talks and Trump did not bring up his security complaints during his meeting with Abe.

 

Trump said there will be “very big” trade deals with India and Japan. Well, the sooner the better.

 

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