AngelList launches India-focussed fund. Moody's downgrades India's ratings outlook to 'negative' from 'stable'. WhatsApp Pay roll out hits RBI's data localisation roadblock.
Table of Contents
The Future Looks Grim: Ratings agency Moody's Investors Service has changed its outlook on India’s ratings from “stable” to “negative".
In its report, Moody’s cited increasing risks that India’s economic growth will remain materially lower, partly due to lower government and policy effectiveness.
I Object, My Lord!: The Finance Ministry however said that the fundamentals of Indian economy remains robust with inflation under check and bond yields low. "India continues to offer strong prospects of growth in near and medium term", it noted.
Meanwhile: India's economic growth fell to 5% YoY in the June quarter, the slowest since 2013. ToI
Three Years A Demonetisation: Today, on the third anniversary of demonetisation, former economic affairs secretary S C Garg has said that the INR2,000 note, which the Modi government had brought to replace the older INR500 and INR1,000 notes, was being hoarded and should be demonetised. Financial Express
India's Got Angel: US-based online platform for startups, angel investors, and job-seekers, AngelList has rolled out an India-focussed venture and angel fund that will allow individuals to raise small pools of capital and deploy them in a span of 6-12 months.
The fund is structured in such a way that fund managers make 15% of the profits, while AngelList will charge a 5% fee. AngelList will also manage legal and regulatory aspects of raising funds and investing it. ET Tech
It's All About the Money: At the Web Summit tech conference in Lisbon, Portugal this week, over 2,000 start-ups vied for the attention of venture capitalists. Most potential investors had a common question for these upcoming tech start-ups - how do they plan on making money.
“The narrative on the distance to profitability and the path to profitability becomes a bigger part of the story versus growth at all costs, and you’re seeing that return,” said Ravi Viswanathan, Founder and Managing Partner of venture capital firm NewView Capital.
An increasing lot of investors have shifted their attention towards profits following a number of faltering high-profle IPOs from loss-making companies like Uber and Lyft. WeWork was forced to scrap its IPO as investors raised alarm regarding the company’s massive losses. CNBC
The Reserve Bank of India has asked the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to ensure that WhatsApp Pay is fully compliant with data localisation norms before it gets permission for a full-scale launch of its services. WhatsApp Pay needs to keep all financial data in every form in India. Financial data in any form cannot at any given point be stored abroad, it emphasised. Non-compliance could block the rollout of WhatsApp's payments service in India.
WhatsApp Payments, which is based on the unified payments interface (UPI), has been delayed and stuck in beta for over a year. Inc42
And to Many More...: In a first, small-satellite startup Kepler’s nanosatellites have successfully provided over 100Mbps of network speed to the Arctic. Kepler’s nanosatellites have successfully demonstrated achieving over 100Mbps of network speed to a German icebreaker sea vessel that acts as a mobile lab for the MOSAiC research expedition. TechCrunch
To Mars and Beyond: Elon Musk had shed more light on his plans to make human beings an interplanetary species. The SpaceX CEO has championed plans for colonising Mars for a long time now, and this week, addressing questions on comments he made at an earlier US Air Force start-up pitch day event, he unveiled more details and a timeline for the same.
In order to make a “self-sustaining city on Mars” a reality, Musk said SpaceX would need to build and fly around 1,000 Starships (at $2mn per Starship flight). This space armada could be tasked with transporting cargo, infrastructure and personnel to the Red Planet over the course of two decades. This time frame takes into consideration the fact that planetary alignment allows for a realistic Mars flight only once every two years.
Starship is being designed to maximum reuse – ideally, it would be able to carry out three flights per day. That amounts to over 1,000 flights per year per Starship. Considering that they can carry as much as 100 tons each, SpaceX would be able to launch more than 10mn tons to orbit every year. (To put that in perspective, all cargo-bearing spacecraft currently in operation have total payload capacity of just 500 tons per year.) TechCrunch
FYI: In case you’ve been wondering when Tesla will be revealing its pickup truck, which was talked up in June, you need only wait two weeks more. Musk recently tweeted that Cybertruck will be unveiled on November 21. Endgadget
Slouching Tiger, Bed-ridden Dragon: In October, China’s exports fell by 0.9% Y-o-Y – for the third straight month. And imports shrank by 6.4% - for the sixth consecutive month. The negative numbers were due to the US-China trade war that continues to drag on.
However, a partial truce that was reached with Washington recently – and prospects of a trade deal, which could be announced soon – cushioned the fall. The drop in exports was less than the 3.9% forecast by analysts and September’s 3.2% contraction. Similarly, September’s imports decline was 8.5% and October’s forecast had been 8.9%. Reuters
What’s the Deal?: China’s Commerce Ministry recently announced that Beijing and Washington have agreed to mutually roll back tariffs as part of a “phase one” trade accord. Markets rose on the news, but details remain unclear. And questions remain over which or how many tariffs will be rolled back.
The Commerce Ministry spokesman said, “If the phase-one deal is signed, China and the US should remove the same proportion of tariffs simultaneously based on the content of the deal ... This is what [the two sides] agreed on following careful and constructive negotiations over the past two weeks.”
However, reports from within the Trump administration were conflicting, and a “phase one” trade deal is still not the same as the comprehensive trade accord that will be required to end the ongoing trade war. WSJ
(We are now on your favourite messaging app – WhatsApp. We strongly recommend you Subscribe Now to start receiving your Fresh, Homegrown and Handpicked News Feed.)