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Transfin. Podcast E32: Cash Burn, Mixed Signals, Robo Cab

Professor of Financial Economics and Part-time Value Investor, Transfin.
Apr 29, 2019 6:39 AM 2 min read



Tracking the wide range of news & analysis out there, cross-sector and often cross-geography, is a fun albeit intense way to make a living. It's no wonder one gets even more excited going voice-borne, courtesy our Weekly Podcast i.e. LongShorts. Through a few data points, lots of insights, and even more banter...we typically aim to cover narratives and nuances which we "feel" are important. We started slow, but with 32 episodes and two seasons behind us, LongShorts has so far been a delight. Many more to come.  


Today’s episode or ‘season finale’ touches on…


Paytm Mall’s size-able $150-$200 million cash burn over Diwali season, our views on cash-backs and discounts as a viable growth strategy


Across the two seasons, we have time and again touched on the Indian startup ecosystem and discussed at length how Indian startups have shown staggering growth in a very short time. An underlying theme amongst most of them has been differentiating on the basis of cashback/discounting. Paytm has been no different. According to a recent report, Paytm Mall burned c. $200bn during the Diwali Sale Season last year in discounts and cashbacks. We debate if and how discounting can be used as a successful business model strategy. 
Rich domestic market valuations and thoughts on the presence or absence of corresponding underlying credit growth
Sensex and NIFTY recently clocked their record highs. Credit growth, however, seems to have slowed down. We throw some light on how retail-level consumption has gone sluggish, while investment in industry and services still look robust and what this might mean. 
Tesla and Robo-taxis. Enough said!
A day ahead of its quarterly earnings report, Elon Musk announced that Tesla expects to deploy 1 million completely self-driving “robotaxis” on the road next year. He added that a person who owns a Tesla can monetise the car by putting it out as a robo-taxi service. We deliberate how feasible this robo-taxi narrative is. 
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