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LIC valuation plummets ₹2 trillion within a year of IPO: Analysts still bullish on buying

LIC valuation drop

LIC (NSE: LICI), India’s esteemed Life Insurance Corporation, has always been a titan in the country’s financial landscape. However, in recent months, it has found itself in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. In a surprising twist, LIC is under extreme pressure, with its valuation plummeting by a staggering ₹2 trillion since its highly anticipated IPO (initial public offering) in May 2022.

To put things into perspective, LIC IPO, touted as the biggest ever in India, was nothing short of a colossal event in the country’s financial history. With an issue price of ₹949, LIC’s market capitalization skyrocketed to an astounding ₹6,00,242 crore (₹6 trillion) on May 17, 2022. However, when the company finally made its grand debut on both the BSE and the NSE, it disappointed investors, who were expecting it to replicate the listing-gain performance of Nykaa and Zomato on the day of listing.

LIC listed its shares at a discount of 8.11% at ₹872 per share on the NSE, and at a discount of 8.62% at ₹867.20 apiece on the BSE. As a result, the company’s valuation dropped approximately ₹42,500 crore to ₹5,57,675 crore (₹5.6 trillion) on the first day of listing itself. It was like watching a once-mighty titan stumble and falter in the face of adversity.

Between May 17, 2022, and 2023, spanning a period of 12 months, the stock price of LIC fell 39.9% YoY to a mere ₹570.

Fast forward to today, May 29, 2023, the LIC share price is trading at a mere ₹604.9, marking a drastic plunge of 36.3% from their initial issue price. This downturn has led to a substantial drop in LIC’s market capitalization, currently at ₹3.83 trillion. It’s as if LIC, the titan of the insurance world, has stumbled into a dark and treacherous abyss in just one year.

With a wealth erosion exceeding ₹2 trillion, LIC emerged as the foremost wealth destroyer, surpassing the combined wealth destruction of the top four companies – Nykaa, Paytm, Zomato, and PolicyBazar – which conducted their IPOs in 2022.

This tepid listing has left the market gasping for breath and has cast a dark shadow over the market capitalization of India’s largest insurer. It’s a tale of triumph turned tragedy, where the mighty have fallen, leaving everyone wondering if LIC can ever reclaim its former glory and rise from the ashes of this tumultuous journey.

Now let’s understand all possible reasons behind this decline in the share price of LIC and its market valuation in the last 12 months.

LIC Share Plummet: Unveiling the Causes Behind the Dramatic Drop

The decline in the share price of LIC and its market valuation over the past 12 months can be attributed to several factors:

Millennials’ Risk Appetite

One of the notable factors reshaping the market dynamics for LIC is the shifting perception among millennials. This generation, known for its inclination towards faster financial returns, no longer adheres to the traditional notion of ‘slow and steady‘ growth. With their increased risk appetite, buoyed by rising salaries and diversified income sources, millennials seek new avenues to secure their financial future.

The priorities of millennials have undergone a transformation, as they now seek investments that do not require locking their funds for extended periods right from the early days of their career. In today’s market, there is a plethora of alternative investment opportunities available, including the stock market, real estate, and various startup investments, which promise higher returns in shorter timeframes compared to LIC. Consequently, millennials are now more inclined to invest a significant amount only after evaluating deals that offer the potential for superior returns within a shorter duration, albeit with considerable risk. This shifting preference has resulted in a slowdown in the number of new policies being booked each month.

New Taxation Regulations

The dramatic fall in LIC’s stock value could be attributed to the announcement of the implementation of new taxation regulations by the Indian government on large-ticket tax savings related to life insurance companies. Effective 1 April 2023, the government eliminated the tax exemption on life insurance policies (other than ULIP) with an aggregate premium exceeding ₹500,000 (₹5 lakhs) per year. The misuse of the exemption by high-net-worth individuals prompted this decision. The removal of this tax benefit has significantly impacted high-value insurance policies, particularly market-linked ones, as it diminishes their appeal from a tax-saving standpoint. Consequently, on the same day, February 1, 2023, the shares of LIC tanked 8.4% to ₹598 apiece on the NSE.

Market Volatility

Investment companies like LIC and HDFC have been directly affected by the overall market volatility, which can be attributed to various factors such as economic uncertainties arising from an impending recession, increased inflation, massive layoffs in the tech sector, fluctuating interest rates, and shifting investor sentiment. Consumers are sceptical about the returns on long-term investments.

Stiff competition from private players

For a long, LIC enjoyed negligible competition from private players as people never considered them an alternative to LIC. However, millennials carry a different mindset.

LIC has been a dominant player in the Indian insurance market for over 60 years, enjoying nearly 64% market share. However, the openness and approach of millennials towards private sector players such as HDFC Life, ICICI Prudential, Max Life, etc., into the insurance sector in India have introduced competition and potentially affected LIC’s market position. LIC market share declined from nearly 68% in September 2022 to 64% in February 2023. In contrast, the share of private insurers increased from nearly 32% to 36% during the same period.

The private insurers have been leveraging online business tools, aggressive marketing strategies and adopting innovative strategies to attract customers. This shift towards digital platforms and modern business practices has allowed private insurers to cater to evolving customer preferences and enhance their market position. On the other hand, LIC has relied on traditional business methods and may have been slower in adopting online business tools than its peers.

This year, between January 2 and May 29, 2023, LIC stock price dropped 14.7%, from ₹709.5 to ₹604.9.

Analysts Bullish on LIC

Domestic brokerage powerhouses JM Financial and Motilal Oswal Securities are leaving no doubts about their bullish stance on LIC, following the release of its March quarter results.

With conviction, JM Financial has issued resounding “Buy” ratings and set an ambitious price target of ₹940, which shows an upside potential of 55% from the current market price of ₹607.

Similarly, Motilal Oswal has echoed the sentiment by reiterating its “Buy” rating and setting a target price of ₹830, offering a tantalizing 37% potential upside. This caused a frenzy of excitement among traders and investors eagerly eyeing their next big win.

Axis Capital, another renowned domestic brokerage firm, also seems optimistic about the investment in LIC. They have maintained a “Buy” rating with a target price of ₹720, suggesting a potential upside of 19% from the current market price.

Emkay, however, adopts a more cautious approach, reiterating its “Hold” rating on LIC. They have set a target price of ₹660, reflecting a more modest upside of 9% from the current market price.

As the market buzzes with anticipation, LIC’s potential also captivates the international stage. The foreign brokerage heavyweight Macquarie has set its sights on an enticing price target of ₹850. Not to be outdone, Goldman Sachs throws their hat into the ring with a conservative target of ₹690 for LIC’s stock, adding fuel to the fire of this extraordinary investment opportunity.

LIC recently released its financial results for the fiscal year 2023, providing an intriguing snapshot of its performance. In the fourth quarter of FY23, the insurance giant witnessed an 8.3% YoY decline in net premium income, totalling ₹1.32 lakh crore. However, on an annual basis, LIC’s net premium income increased 10.8% YoY, reaching ₹4.76 lakh crore. The most astonishing revelation came in the form of LIC’s net profit after tax and extraordinary items, which skyrocketed by an astounding 447.5% year-on-year. In Q4 FY23, the net profit surged to ₹13,190.79 crore from a mere ₹2,409.39 crore in Q4 FY22. This translates to a nearly 5.5x increase in consolidated profit within a single year, leaving observers in awe of the remarkable financial performance achieved by LIC.

Brace yourself for an exhilarating ride as LIC strives to reshape the insurance landscape and deliver astonishing returns to those who dare to seize the opportunity.


Digital Enterprise Show 2023: A Must-Attend Event to Understand the Impact of Exponential Technologies

Digital Enterprise Show

The seventh edition of DES – Digital Enterprise Show will be held in Málaga (Spain) from 13 to 15 June 2023. This three-day professional event is designed to empower individuals seeking to thrive in the digital era. This gathering caters to C-level executives, entrepreneurs, and professionals from various sectors, offering them an opportunity to explore emerging trends and exponential technologies, with a particular focus on AI (Artificial Intelligence). Additionally, attendees can connect with top IT partners to propel their organizations towards a successful future.

In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, businesses face new challenges to understand and integrate cutting-edge technologies in their operations while finding new opportunities to stay competitive and improve their financial results. Embracing digital transformation has become imperative for organizations across industries. Amidst this backdrop, DES – Digital Enterprise Show 2023 appears as a point of contact and debate where entrepreneurs, C-level executives, SMEs, emerging talent and the public sector can gather insights, exchange knowledge, and explore the latest technologies that can drive their growth.

From disruptive technologies like AI, Hyperautomation, Web 3.0 or Metaverse, to essential Cybersecurity, Data Intelligence or Multicloud, and from the latest LowCode/NoCode Solutions and clean techs, to Blockchain, or IoT, this event will reunite the best knowledge and success stories that can revolutionize businesses operations. 

To this end, DES2023 has brought together a lineup of over 450 renowned speakers, industry pioneers, and visionaries who share their expertise and insights. Over 16,000 attendees from all over the world will take the opportunity to learn from these thought leaders who have successfully navigated digital transformation journeys in their organizations. 

Among these experts stand out Mike Hayes, Chief Operating Officer at VMware, who is spearheading the company’s transition to SaaS. He oversees a team responsible for technology, enterprise data and analytics, security, and business transformation and automation. Additionally, Vala Afshar, digital evangelist at Salesforce; Shelly Palmer, Co-Founder of Metacademy and considered a “Top Voice in Technology” by LinkedIn; Nina Schick, Generative AI expert and advisor to President Biden; and Roberto Gravili, NATO colonel specializing in international security, will participate at DES2023.

Digital Business World Congress is the largest digital transformation forum that will feature all the experts attending DES2023. The congress will feature more than 270 hours of keynotes, panel discussions and interactive sessions to help businesses understand emerging trends, best practices and innovative strategies to stay ahead in the digital age. In this context, eight vertical forums focused on different industries will be dedicated to analysing the future of banking and insurance, Industry 4.0, retail, healthcare, smart cities, urban mobility, or energy and tourism, from a digital point of view. Besides that, DES2023 will gather special agendas focused on the challenges and changes that each professional role is facing. CEOs, CIOs, CMOs, CDOs, Procurement and Human Resources Directors will find answers to spread digitalization into their organizations with a holistic approach, including culture and digital skills acquisition for their people. Thanks to this complete agenda, participants at DES2023 can acquire actionable insights and strategies directly applicable to their businesses, empowering them to implement digital initiatives effectively.

DES – Digital Enterprise Show combines knowledge with use cases that shows how technology can generate income, benefits, and new business opportunities for all kind of organizations. DES2023 will also provide an exceptional networking environment, attracting leading IT companies, professionals, thought leaders, and industry experts from around the globe with the same objective: take advantage of digitalization and find the best IT partner. Attendees will have the unique opportunity to engage with peers, establish valuable connections, and foster strategic partnerships. At the same time, they assess the potential of technology and make informed decisions about their digital transformation roadmap.

DES2023 will pay attention to all spectrums of digital transformation. From large and medium size companies to startups will find invaluable knowledge and the opportunity to foster innovation and increase their business networks. In this sense, with The Scale Up! World Summit, the international summit, will organize once again a major event where startups from across the globe will reunite with the investment community to present their ideas and business models and finds new ways of growing. 

From networking opportunities and insights from industry leaders to the showcase of cutting-edge technologies, DES2023 offers a comprehensive place to navigate the complexities of digital transformation.


Retail App Downloads Q1 2023: Chinese apps dethroned Amazon, Walmart in the US

top retail apps by downloads in the US Q1 2023

Retail is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. With the advent of the digital age, retailers are embracing a multi-channel approach to tap into wider markets, combining the power of physical stores and online platforms. Surprisingly, amongst the giants like Amazon, Walmart, and Alibaba, it’s the Chinese retailers who are making the loudest noise. According to Sensor Tower’s latest report, Temu and SHEIN emerged as the top retail apps by downloads in the United States in Q1 2023, leaving industry giants Amazon and Walmart in their wake.

Let us have a look at the list of top retail apps in the United States by downloads and monthly active users, and how their rankings have changed in the first quarter that ended March 31, 2023.

Top Retail Apps by Downloads in the US

  1. Temu tops the list of most downloaded retail apps in the US in Q1 2023, dethroning Amazon. The newly launched Chinese online retailer’s ranking jumped from 7th place in 2022 to 1st place in Q1 2023, showing remarkable growth and the increasing popularity it enjoys among US consumers.
  2. SHEIN has been consistent with its ranking since 2021, securing second place in the list of top retail apps in the US by downloads in Q1 2023. The immense popularity of SHEIN among teens and young adults comes as no surprise, given that this Chinese online fashion retailer offers the most stylish yet affordable women’s clothing and accessories worldwide.
  3. The retail giants, Amazon.com and Walmart, renowned as the world’s top retailers in terms of revenue and market capitalization, have experienced a significant shift in demand among US consumers. Amazon, which was ranked 1st in both 2021 and 2022, now ranks 3rd on the most downloaded retail apps in the US in Q1 2023. Similarly, Walmart slipped from 3rd to 4th place.
  4. Nike, the renowned sportswear brand, has been steadily slipping down the list of most popular retail apps in the US based on downloads. Every year, it drops one position, from fifth in 2021, to fourth in 2022, and seventh in Q1 2023.
  5. Alibaba, the prominent Chinese e-commerce giant, has made its appearance in the top ten for the first time in Q4 2022 and maintained its position in Q1 2023.
Source: Sensor Tower

However, the rankings of top retail apps in the United States differ when considering usage by monthly active users. While download numbers provide valuable insights into initial popularity, the number of app sessions and time spent are equally important factors to consider.

It’s possible that certain apps that may not have the highest download numbers could have a strong user base and high engagement levels, propelling them to higher rankings in terms of monthly active users. Therefore, to have a comprehensive understanding of the retail app landscape, it’s important to consider both download numbers and the usage patterns of monthly active users.

Top Retail Apps by Monthly Active Users in the US

  1. Amazon’s continued reign as the top retail app in the United States by monthly active users during 2021 and 2022 is impressive. The year 2023, so far, is no exception either as it tops the list in the first quarter as well. Amazon’s reputation for reliable and timely product delivery, coupled with its exceptional customer care support, has strengthened its position as the most trusted brand among Americans.
  2. In Q1 2023, the rankings for eBay, SHEIN, and Walmart remain unchanged, maintaining their respective positions as the second, third, and fourth retail apps in the United States based on monthly active users (MAUs). This stability in their rankings suggests consistent user engagement and ongoing popularity among consumers.
  3. Interestingly, Temu, which was launched in September 2022 in the US, breaks into the list in Q1 2023, pushing out the GOAT app from the top 10.
Source: Sensor Tower

In a nutshell

The significant change in the rankings of retail apps by downloads and by MAUs in the US reflects the evolving consumer preferences and the intense competition within the online retail industry. While the retail apps with the most downloads seem to be relatively new players, a contrasting picture emerges when we explore the retail apps capturing the most monthly active users in the first quarter of 2023.

Interestingly, the US retail e-commerce sales are estimated to clock 8% YoY growth to $272.6 billion in Q1 2023, according to the Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce data.

The surge in downloads for retail apps like Temu can be attributed to the increasing number of smartphone users, particularly teens and young adults, actively downloading it. However, it’s important to note that the high download numbers do not necessarily indicate that users are spending more time on these apps or keeping them on their smartphones.

On the other hand, well-established retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and eBay have been dominating the list of top retail apps by MAUs in the United States. These retailers have successfully built a strong reputation and customer loyalty over time.

Amazon, in particular, serves as the primary starting point for 50% of surveyed US consumers embarking on their online shopping journey. One of the factors contributing to the platform’s success is its emphasis on customer reviews.

SHEIN, however, stands out as an exception. It has achieved popularity in both downloads and usage, making it the most loved app among users since 2019. This could be attributed to SHEIN’s ability to cater successfully to the preferences of its target audience, especially in the realm of affordable and stylish women’s clothing and accessories.

SHEIN has not only emerged as the leader in terms of downloads among Women’s Apparel apps but has also clocked an exceptional user retention rate, which has resulted in a larger and more engaged user base compared to its competitors. Remarkably, approximately 34% of SHEIN users continue to engage with the app the day after downloading it, indicating a high level of immediate interest and satisfaction. While this number decreases to around 18% after a week and approximately 8% after 90 days, SHEIN still retains a significant portion of its user base over an extended period.

In contrast, its competitors, such as PrettyLittleThing, ASOS, Cider, and Chic Me, report much lower retention rates falling below 5% within 90 days.

So, as the battle for dominance rages on, keep a close eye on the dynamics of the evolving retail app market in the US. Will the newcomers emerge as undisputed market leaders with their flashy downloads, or will the seasoned players maintain their reign through a legacy of customer trust? Only time will reveal the final victor in this captivating retail saga.


Nykaa’s revenue in FY23 reached a new high of Rs 51.44 billion, profit declined 49% YoY

Nykaa Revenue Profit expenses Fy23

Nykaa‘a parent FSN E-Commerce Ventures Limited has announced its financial results for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2023. Interestingly, the online fashion and beauty e-commerce company successfully attained its objective of surpassing a 30% increase in revenue for FY23, primarily driven by the expansion of its Beauty & Personal Care (BPC) business in recent quarters. Nykaa’s revenue in fiscal 2023 reached a new high of Rs 51.44 billion, with a phenomenal 36.3% YoY growth.

Nykaa’s consistent and remarkable financial performance throughout all four quarters of the fiscal year 2023 is attracting eyeballs. The first, second and third quarters recorded an astonishing 41% YoY, 39% YoY and 33% YoY growth, respectively, in the revenue from operations. The fourth quarter was no exception to the company’s meteoric rise, with an impressive 33.7% YoY growth in revenue to Rs 13.02 billion. Nykaa’s impeccable performance quarter after quarter is nothing short of a financial spectacle that leaves competitors in the dust.

Interestingly, Nykaa’s revenue from operations for the first nine months of the fiscal year 2023 surpassed its total revenue for the entire fiscal year 2022. The impressive figure of Rs 38.42 billion generated in the nine-month period outpaced the previous year’s revenue of Rs 37.74 billion. This signifies Nykaa’s exceptional growth trajectory and underscores its ability to continually surpass its own financial milestones.

On the flip side, the company reported a significant decline in its annual net profit for the fiscal year 2023.

Nykaa’s net profit plummeted by a substantial 49.2% YoY, falling from Rs 412.9 million in FY22 to Rs 209.6 million in FY23. This yearly decline was mainly due to the substantial decreases in profit during the third and fourth quarters of the fiscal year. The net profit declined a massive 71% YoY in FYQ3 2023 and a 70% YoY in FYQ4 2023.

Nykaa’s profit decline in FY23 was primarily attributed to a significant increase in overall operating expenses. The company reported a 36.6% YoY jump in operating expenses, amounting to Rs 20.22 billion.

Nykaa’s Expenses FY23

Within operating expenses, Nykaa’s marketing and advertising expenses increased 23% YoY in FY23 to Rs 5.91 billion. This elevated investment highlights Nykaa’s commitment to promoting its brand and capturing the attention of a wider audience.

Furthermore, the company’s selling and distribution expenses demonstrated an impressive surge of 74% year-on-year, reaching Rs 2.1 billion. This remarkable growth in expenses can be attributed to the expansion of Nykaa’s eB2B businessSuperStore by Nykaa, and the offline distribution of their owned brands. This indicates the company’s expanded efforts in reaching customers and ensuring efficient delivery of their products, reinforcing their commitment to customer satisfaction.

Nykaa also prioritized its workforce by allocating considerable resources towards employee benefits. With a robust growth of 50.8% YoY, the company’s spending on employee benefits soared to an all-time high of Rs 4.92 billion in FY23.

However, it is crucial for the e-commerce company to carefully manage and optimize its expenditures to ensure a sustainable and profitable business model in the future.

Before we jump to any conclusion, it is imperative to determine the revenue sources of Nykaa and identify the segment that contributed the most to the company’s overall annual revenue during the fiscal year ending March 31, 2023.

Nykaa revenue from segments

Nykaa generates a majority of its revenue from the Beauty & Personal Care (BPC) segment. This is followed by Fashion and Other segments.

The BPC segment includes Beauty businesses from Nykaa.com, Physical stores and sales of Beauty Owned Brands through 3P online and offline channels.

Nykaa’s largest segment, BPC, attained strong growth in both quarterly and yearly gross merchandise value (GMV) figures. In Q4 FY23, the BPC segment experienced a GMV growth of 29% YoY, reaching Rs 16.29 billion. On an annual basis, the segment recorded a significant increase of 33% YoY, with a total GMV of Rs 66.49 billion in FY23.

In FY23, Nykaa BPC segment reported a notable increase in order volume, while the average order value (AOV) at MRP (Maximum Retail Price) remained flat. The order volume grew by 31% YoY, totalling 34.8 million orders. Interestingly, over one-fourth of these orders were placed during the fourth quarter. However, despite the growth in order volume, the average order value remained consistent with the previous year, standing at Rs 1,857.

The sustained growth in order volume indicates Nykaa’s success in attracting and retaining customers within the BPC segment. However, the stagnant average order value suggests that customers were not willing to spend more on each transaction during the fiscal year. There could be several factors contributing to this trend. Economic issues, such as an impending recession or rising inflation, could have influenced consumer spending behaviour, leading to cautious spending habits. Additionally, changing consumer preferences and the availability of competitive pricing (such as discounts and offers) might have contributed to the flat average order value.

Nykaa Fashion segment

The Fashion segment includes businesses from NykaaFashion.com, Nykaa.com, Physical Stores and sales of Fashion Owned Brands through 3P online and offline channels.

Nykaa’s fashion segment GMV significantly increased 47% YoY to Rs 25.7 billion in FY23, reflecting the company’s successful efforts in expanding its presence and attracting customers within the fashion segment. During the last quarter, the company reported 38% YoY growth in Fashion GMV, to Rs 6.64 billion.

The Nykaa Fashion segment reported a substantial 42% YoY growth in the total number of orders placed during the fiscal year 2023, reaching a noteworthy 4.8 million. At the same time, the average order value at MRP also increased 8.3% YoY to Rs 4,507 during the fiscal year. These figures unveil a remarkable tale of soaring trends and heightened allure in the world of fashion retail.

The Others segment includes businesses from NykaaMan, eB2B business “SuperStore by Nykaa”, and International. The segment recorded a remarkable growth of 170% YoY and 204% YoY in Gross Merchandise Value during the fourth quarter and full year ended March 31, 2023, respectively.

Other main highlights

  1. Nykaa’s EBITDA (expenses before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) in Q4 FY23 increased 84% YoY, reaching Rs 707 million.
  2. For the entire fiscal year 2023, Nykaa’s EBITDA reached Rs 2.56 billion, reflecting a robust YoY growth of 57%.
  3. Nykaa’s GMV (gross merchandise value) grew 36% YoY to Rs 24.45 billion during Q4 FY23. For the entire fiscal year, Nykaa’s GMV stood at Rs 97.43 billion, reflecting a noteworthy growth of 41% YoY. This signifies the company’s ability to drive sales and attract customers, resulting in sustained growth in its business operations.
  4. On a unit level, Nykaa spent approximately Re 1 to earn a rupee of operating income in FY23. This implies a relatively efficient cost structure and the ability to generate operating income efficiently.
  5. Nykaa achieved a noteworthy achievement in managing its cash flow as it reported a substantial reduction in cash outflows from operations. In FY23, Nykaa’s cash flow used in operating activities declined an impressive 60.4% YoY, amounting to Rs 1.4 million.

Money20/20 Unveils Exciting Agenda and Stellar Speaker Lineup: Setting the Stage for the Global Fintech Show

Money20/20 Europe

Money20/20, the premier global fintech event, has unveiled its highly anticipated agenda for the upcoming Europe show scheduled to take place in Amsterdam from 6th to 8th June. With more than 300 distinguished speakers are expected to participate, including top executives from renowned global banks like HSBC, Barclays, Deutsche Bank, NatWest, and Citi, as well as innovative payments providers such as GoCardless and Stripe, and emerging fintech companies like Plum, Bunq, and Zilch, the event promises to be an exceptional gathering.

Money20/20 Europe will also host esteemed speakers such as the CEOs of the London Stock Exchange and Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, representatives from the Regtech Association, the European Banking Authority, and the Ministries of Finance in Israel and Germany, among others, who will share their insights and expertise on the industry’s most pressing topics.

“We are delighted to present an agenda carefully crafted to help the industry navigate current challenges and seize the remarkable opportunities that lie ahead. Money20/20 Europe serves as the premier platform for conducting business within the financial ecosystem. We eagerly anticipate the opening of the doors at the RAI Amsterdam Convention Centre on June 6th, where we will inspire the industry through knowledge exchange, valuable in-person connections, and much more,” said Tracey Davies, President of Money20/20.

Among the prominent speakers at Money20/20 Europe are Hiroki Takeuchi, Co-founder and CEO of GoCardless, a global leader in direct bank payments.

“I’m thrilled to participate in Money2020. I hope that my session on the future of payments will inspire everyone to embrace the exceptional opportunities before us and leverage innovations like open banking to their fullest potential, benefitting businesses and consumers worldwide,” Takeuchi said while expressing his excitement about speaking at Money20/20 Europe.

While covering a wide range of fintech topics, this year’s event will feature an increased focus on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) themes, with over 10 dedicated sessions and esteemed speakers from Visa, Frontier, the Ellen McArthur Foundation, as well as platforms like Patch and Parley.

Dazeinfo, a renowned provider of insightful business news & analysis, has partnered with Money20/20 Europe. This collaboration brings together two influential players in the industry, uniting their expertise to amplify the reach of unparalleled insightful content, ideas and discussions that would place at the event, and empower professionals in the rapidly evolving fintech landscape. Dazeinfo readers can avail a cool discount of €200 on tickets by using code DZI200.

Gerrit Sindermann, Deputy Executive Director at the Green Digital Finance Alliance (GDFA), a Swiss-based not-for-profit organization driving green digital finance innovation, will moderate a panel discussion on sustainability titled “Sustainability: Tick Box or Choice.

“At GDFA, our mission is to foster financial innovation that addresses climate, nature, and biodiversity challenges across the global ecosystem. We recognize Money20/20 Europe as a pivotal platform for shaping the landscape of green digital finance worldwide,” said Sindermann.

The event promises to be an invaluable opportunity for industry professionals to gain insights, foster collaboration, and shape the future of finance. You can follow this link to see the complete list of speakers.


Wistron’s exit from iPhone manufacturing in India: A result of failing to capitalize on first-mover advantage

Wistron exits Iphone production in India

Wistron, the first iPhone manufacturer in India, has made the decision to exit the iPhone manufacturing business in India, blaming Apple‘s stringent price negotiations strategy as the primary reason for their inability to generate profit.

This development coincides with Apple’s ongoing efforts to reduce its dependency on China alone, and shift a significant portion of its iPhone production to India. The need to reduce reliance on China as a manufacturing hub has been evident for some time, with the pandemic exacerbating the challenges faced at the largest iPhone assembly plant in the world. The disruptions caused by COVID-19 were estimated to cost the iPhone maker a staggering one billion dollars per week.

India has emerged as Apple’s primary alternative for production relocation outside China. Apple embarked on this transition gradually, initially awarding Wistron a contract to manufacture the original iPhone SE in the country. Subsequently, Foxconn and Pegatron established their own iPhone manufacturing facilities in India. By last year, even the latest flagship models were being produced in the country, which was known for its comparatively lower production cost.

A report from last year projected that considering the shift of iPhone production to India, a quarter of all iPhones could be manufactured in the country by 2025. The figure is estimated to go even higher to half of all iPhones by 2027.

What led Wistron to exit

Despite having first mover advantage, Wistron was off the track right from the beginning itself. Wistron’s struggles to generate profits from the iPhone contract may provide insight into the issues it faced regarding payment to its workers. In 2020, a major riot erupted at the company’s Bangalore plant due to wage discrepancies, resulting in millions of dollars in damages. Both the Indian government and Apple conducted investigations, which revealed serious labour law violations, including underpayment of workers, on Wistron’s part.

There were concerns at the time about the potential termination of Wistron’s iPhone contract. Ultimately, production was halted for three months, and Apple placed the supplier on probation.

While Wistron was the first company to assemble iPhones in India, it was significantly smaller than its two counterparts. This limits the impact of Wistron’s downfall on Apple’s expansion plans for iPhone production within the country.

Furthermore, it has been reported that iPhone production at the former Wistron plants will continue under new ownership. Luxshare acquired two of the plants, and has been granted a contract to manufacture flagship models from the outset. Additionally, the Tata Group is all set to complete the acquisition of the third Wistron iPhone plant and is currently preparing for iPhone 15 assembly.

However, challenges related to worker recruitment and supervision have been reported, as managers brought in from China struggled to understand and manage the distinct work culture. Recruiting local managers has proven difficult due to the plant’s location, approximately 25 miles from the city, resulting in a strenuous commute on poorly maintained and congested roads. Tata may encounter similar difficulties in addressing these issues.

The additional hurdles that may impede the new owners’ plans are the escalating salary levels and intensifying talent war in India. These factors could potentially jeopardize the overall execution of the revamped production strategy. Given Apple’s renowned reputation for enforcing strict delivery deadlines and engaging in tough negotiations with its contractors, it is plausible that meeting the production demands of iPhones at a lower cost could soon become a formidable task for the new owners as well.

Having considered these complexities, it remains intriguing to observe whether Apple can successfully scale up its iPhone production in India despite the functional challenges experienced at the factories previously owned by Wistron.


Meta’s years of fight against fake accounts and spam content on Facebook yields fruitful results

fake accounts on Facebook

The explosive surge in social media usage has brought about an alarming rise in fake accounts and spam content, including explicit adult content and sexual activity. Yet, amidst this digital chaos, Meta Platforms, Inc. (NASDAQ: META) has boldly stepped forward to take action against the audacious violators who dared to defy the policies of Facebook and Instagram. A recently released “Community Standards Enforcement Report” for Q1 2023 sheds light on the mind-boggling actions undertaken to make Facebook and Instagram a safe and joyful social platform to connect with friends, family and acquaintances worldwide.

Both social media platforms share the same content policies as it’s owned by the same company, i.e. Meta Platforms.

Fake Accounts On Facebook, Instagram

Meta has been cracking the increasing number of fake accounts and spam posts on Facebook and Instagram for almost a decade. The social media giant’s sole purpose is to provide the best possible user experience to every individual worldwide.

Facebook took action against approximately 426 million fake accounts in Q1 2023. Surprisingly, this is the lowest number of fake accounts addressed by the company in the past five years.

When we examine quarterly and yearly trends, it becomes evident that there has been a significant decline. The number of fake accounts disabled on Facebook declined 67.2% QoQ and 73.4% YoY during the first quarter of 2023. These data illustrate the fruitful outcomes of the company’s dedicated efforts to combat hackers, scammers, and other fraudsters.

An impressive 98.7% of the violating accounts that Meta took action against in Q1 2023 were identified and dealt with by the company itself. This highlights Meta’s proactive approach to detecting and addressing accounts that violate their policies. The remaining percentage of reported violating accounts was brought to Meta’s attention by vigilant users on Facebook.

The collaboration between the social media giant and its users is crucial in ensuring the enforcement of community standards and maintaining a safe and accountable online environment.

It is worth mentioning that fake accounts represent approximately 4%-5% of the total worldwide monthly active users (MAUs) on Facebook.

There is no data available for Instagram.

Spam Content on Facebook

Meta has been actively taking action against spam content on Facebook, which includes images, videos, text, and comments. This type of content often originates from automated sources, including bots or scripts, or from a person who uses multiple accounts to spread deceptive content and misleading information.

Meta removed approximately 1.6 billion spam content on Facebook in Q1 2023, a decline from 1.8 billion in both Q4 2022 and Q1 2022.

It’s worth noting that the holiday quarter of 2019 witnessed the highest surge in spam content on Facebook, with a whopping 2.9 billion pieces of content being removed from the platform. It seems scammers and spammers were extra active during the festive season, and Meta was quick to combat their malicious attempts.

But it’s not just about removal; Meta understands the importance of striking the right balance. The company restores content that is incorrectly removed or when circumstances change. Restores can happen from users’ appeals or when the company identify issues itself.

Q1 2023 witnessed a remarkable surge in the restoration of content on Facebook that was previously flagged as spam. During the quarter, a whopping 103 million pieces of content were successfully brought back to the platform, compared to only 50.6 million in Q4 2022 and 33 million in Q1 2022. This represents a massive 103.6% QoQ and 212.1% YoY increase in restored content on Facebook during the first quarter of 2023.

So, what contributed to this significant upswing in content restoration?

Two key factors played pivotal roles. Firstly, the deprecation of violating links in content enabled Meta to identify and rectify mistakenly removed content with higher accuracy. This improvement ensured that legitimate content wasn’t caught in the crossfire of spam detection. Secondly, changes to enforcement policies refined the approach to content restoration, ensuring that valuable and lawful content is promptly restored to the platform.

There is no data available for Instagram.

Adult Nudity And Sexual Activity On Facebook, Instagram

In Q1 2023, there was an increase in the prevalence of adult nudity and sexual activity on Facebook, reaching approximately 0.09%. This percentage rose from 0.06% in Q4 2022 and 0.04% in Q1 2022. This surge was primarily due to an increase in the number of sexually suggestive videos that went viral between January and March.

To provide a clearer perspective, approximately 3 out of every 10,000 pieces of content viewed on Facebook in Q1 2023 contained adult nudity and sexual activity.

It is worth noting that the highest prevalence of such content was observed in Q1 2019, ranging from 0.12% to 0.14%. This means that, on average, between 12 to 14 out of every 10,000 content views violated Facebook’s standards for adult nudity and sexual activity during that period.

In addition, the prevalence of adult nudity and sexual activity on Instagram has remained relatively stable in the last 24 months, hovering around 0.03%. This percentage is consistent with the figures observed in Q4 2022 (0.03%-0.04%) and Q1 2022 (0.02%-0.03%).

In other words, approximately 3 out of every 10,000 pieces of content viewed on Instagram in Q1 2023 contained adult nudity and sexual activity.

It’s important to consider that a piece of violating content can be published once but viewed numerous times, potentially reaching thousands or even millions of viewers. Therefore, measuring the views of violating content, rather than simply the amount of published violating content, provides a more accurate reflection of its impact on the community.

The prevalence is the estimated number of views that showed violating content, divided by the estimated number of total content views on the platform i.e. Facebook or Instagram.

Now the question arises, what measures is Meta implementing to address and combat nudity-related posts or comments shared by users on Facebook and Instagram?

In Q1 2023, Meta removed 38.6 million pieces of content (such as posts, photos, videos or comments) or accounts, involving adult nudity and sexual activity on Facebook. This demonstrates a substantial increase from 29.1 million in Q4 2022 and 31 million in Q1 2022, indicating a noteworthy 24.5% Y-o-Y and 32.6% Q-o-Q growth in content actioned during Q1 2023.

It is worth noting that the highest number of content involved in adult nudity and sexual activity on Facebook was reported in Q1 2020, with a count of 39.5 million.

In contrast to Facebook, Instagram experienced a lower likelihood of policy violations within its content. In Q1 2023, Instagram took action on approximately 11.7 million pieces of content related to adult nudity and sexual activity, marking the highest number of such actions in the last two years. This represents a 12.5% YoY and an 8.3% QoQ increase. The data suggest that during the period between January and March, there was an uptick in the sharing of explicit videos and photos containing nudity by spam actors on the platform.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg spares no effort in ensuring the vibrancy and involvement of billions of users on Facebook and Instagram. By diligently cracking down on the prevalence of fake accounts and spam content, he aims to cultivate a social media environment that is not only gratifying but also deserving of the valuable time users invest in these platforms. By achieving this goal, Zuckerberg not only seeks to extend users’ duration of engagement but also endeavours to entice back those who had previously sought a more valuable and gratifying experience elsewhere, thereby revitalizing their interest in the platforms.


Meta sold Giphy: A prized acquisition for Shutterstock?

Meta sold Giphy to Shutterstock

Meta, Inc. (NASDAQ: META), the parent company of Facebook, is frequently making headlines due to its continuous financial setbacks, whether it’s in terms of revenue or market capitalization. CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s dream project, the Metaverse, has already cost the tech company so much more than originally anticipated. Adding to their financial woes, Meta sold Giphy to Shutterstock, Inc. (NYSE: SSTK) at a loss of $262 million.

The development leads us to the question of why has Meta decided to sell Giphy, given that it is the world’s largest repository of GIFs and stickers, attracting over 1.3 billion daily search queries and facilitating over 15 billion daily media impressions.

Meta sells Giphy: A loss-making acquisition

Facebook acquired Giphy for approximately $315 million in November 2021. The acquisition aimed to enhance the user experience on Facebook and Instagram by introducing a new level of visual expression.

One interesting fact is that prior to the acquisition, Facebook disclosed that half of Giphy’s traffic originated from the Facebook family of apps, with Instagram playing a significant role in driving this engagement.

However, despite its immense popularity and user engagement, the social media giant had to sell it for just $53 million.

Experts believe that the sale of Giphy is not a strategic decision by Meta, but rather a response to a regulatory order that came from Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in October 2022. This authoritative body mandated Meta to divest Giphy in order to prevent potential anti-competitive behaviour and ensure fair access to Giphy’s content for rival platforms like Snapchat Inc. and Twitter.

In addition, CMA also hinted that Meta’s acquisition of Giphy might have been motivated by a desire to stifle Giphy’s emerging display advertising business, which had the potential to provide UK businesses with a greater variety of options for display ads. Meta, however, denied this, stating there is no evidence supporting this claim.

The CMA, in a press release, highlighted that Meta already held a substantial share, approximately 50%, of the UK’s £7 billion display advertising market.

Consequently, Meta had to sell Giphy at a significant loss of $262 million within two years of its acquisition. Today, Shutterstock revealed that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire GIPHY, Inc. from Meta Platforms, Inc. for a cash payment of $53 million upon completion, which includes working capital.

“There is a high risk that the only purchasers interested in acquiring the Giphy business (if any) will be weak or inappropriate. Each of Adobe, Amazon, Apple, Bytedance, Kauishou, Snap and Twitter indicated their willingness to discuss the opportunity but none of these discussions proceeded beyond initial contacts,” Meta said.

What’s in it for Shutterstock?

The acquisition of Giphy by Shutterstock signifies an exhilarating milestone in the company’s evolution as a comprehensive creative platform. With this strategic move, CEO Paul Hennessy expresses immense enthusiasm as it extends Shutterstock’s influence beyond professional marketing and advertising realms, and forays into more informal conversations.

What sets this acquisition apart is Shutterstock’s intent to harness its distinct competencies in content and metadata monetization, generative AI, studio production, and creative automation. By leveraging these strengths, the company aims to monetize its extensive GIF library and present customers with exceptional creative possibilities.

Nevertheless, amidst the excitement, Shutterstock maintains a pragmatic outlook regarding this acquisition. The company recognizes that Giphy’s contribution to its overall revenue in 2023 will be marginal. Therefore, Shutterstock is fully dedicated to implementing targeted monetization strategies throughout 2024. This demonstrates their acknowledgement of the long-term potential and value of Giphy, as they strategically plan to optimize its revenue-generating capabilities in the forthcoming years.

Interestingly, Shutterstock’s shares rose as much as 4% premarket.


Reliance Jio subscribers count jumps up to 430.23 million, Vodafone Idea lost over 45 lakhs in Q1 2023

Reliance Jio subscribers 2023

The entry of Reliance Jio in the Indian telecom sector has significantly impacted the industry dynamics. Since its launch in 2016, Jio has disrupted the market by offering affordable data plans and free voice calls, leading to a rapid increase in mobile subscribers in India. The number of telecom subscribers in India, including wireless and wireline, reached 1172.34 million in March 2023, showing a 0.21% MoM and 0.46% YoY growth. Mobile accounted for an impressive 97.6% of the overall telecom subscriber base, totalling 1143.93 million.

Reliance Jio continues to sit at the numero uno position, capturing a 37.6% share of wireless telecom subscribers in India as of March. The number of Jio mobile subscribers reached an all-time high of 430.23 million (43 crore) in March 2023.

Reliance Jio eating into Vodafone Idea market

Reliance Jio, the leading telecommunications provider in India, has consistently demonstrated remarkable success in attracting an expanding customer base. Jio wireless subscribers count skyrocketed due to noteworthy surge of 3.05 million (30.5 lakh) wireless subscribers during March alone, and an impressive 26.24 million (2.62 crore) surge over the course of the last 12 months, ended March 31, 2023.

During the last fiscal year, between March 20222 and March 2023, Reliance Jio’s share in the mobile telecom market increased from 35.4% to 37.6%. This substantial growth underscores Jio’s adeptness at adapting to the ever-changing demands of customers and cultivating their unwavering loyalty in the fiercely competitive Indian telecommunications landscape. Jio’s unwavering commitment to delivering customer-centric services and competitive product offerings has played a pivotal role in propelling its market share expansion.

In contrast, Vodafone Idea (VI) continued to struggle despite all the claims and strategic moves the company has made to seize its downfall. The number of wireless subscriber base of Vodafone India continued to decline. The wireless subscribers of Vodafone Idea totalled 236.75 million in March 2023, registering a loss of 1.21 million (12.1 lakh) in just one month. Over a 12-month period, whopping 24.02 million (2.4 crore) mobile subscribers of Vodafone Idea migrated from its network.

As a result, Vodafone Idea’s share in India’s wireless telecom subscribers nosedived from 22.8% in March 2022 to 20.7% in March 2023. This change highlights the challenges faced by VI in retaining its subscriber base and competing in the highly competitive Indian telecom market.

In the quarterly race of acquiring new mobile subscribers, Reliance Jio emerged as the clear winner, adding an impressive 5.71 million (57.1 lakh) subscribers in the first three months of 2023. In stark contrast, Vodafone Idea lost 4.57 million (45.7 lakh) subscribers during the same period.

Bharti Airtel, India’s second-largest telecom provider, onboarded 1.04 million (10.4 lakh) new mobile subscribers in March 2023, taking the total to 370.91 million. For 3 months and 12 months, Sunil Mittal-led telecom company added an impressive 3.3 million (33 lakh) and 10.58 million (1.06 crore) wireless telecom subscribers, respectively.

As a result, Airtel Bharti’s market share increased from 31.55% in March 2022 to 32.42% in March 2023. The steady addition of subscribers and a slightly expanded market share demonstrate Airtel’s ability to attract and retain customers in the Indian telecom market, positioning it as a formidable competition to the industry leader Reliance Jio.

The rapid growth of India’s top two telecom providers can be attributed to the introduction of 5G services in late 2022. In the last six months, Reliance Jio has successfully launched its 5G services in approximately 406 cities across 32 Indian states and union territories. Airtel, on the other hand, has expanded its 5G coverage to around 500 cities.

Broadband subscribers in India

The landscape of broadband services has revolutionized the digital realm, capturing an astounding 72.2% share of the total telecom subscribers in India. As of March 2023, the nation proudly boasted an astonishing 846.57 million broadband users. Among the industry titans, Reliance Jio leads the charge with a formidable subscriber base of 438.56 million, firmly establishing its dominance.

Bharti Airtel secures the second position with a loyal following of 241.90 million broadband customers, while Vodafone Idea continues to make its presence felt with a substantial subscriber count of 124.83 million.

In contrast, BSNL, the state-owned provider, experienced a decline in its broadband subscriber base, which dropped from 27.19 million in March 2022 to 25.37 million in March 2023. To regain its competitive edge and appeal to a wider audience in the dynamic digital era, BSNL must formulate strategic plans and adapt accordingly.

Vodafone Idea’s Battle in the Telecom Industry

In the midst of a fierce tariff war and declining margins in the telecom industry, Vodafone and Idea made the strategic decision to merge in mid-2018. The merger of Vodafone and Idea carried significant potential, with the aim of positioning the consolidated entity as India’s leading telecommunications provider, surpassing Bharti Airtel. However, the actual outcome was much of a disappointment.

In March 2018, Vodafone had 222.70 million wireless subscribers, while Idea had 211.21 million. Surprisingly, the merger marked the beginning of a troublesome trend. In August 2018, Idea experienced its first monthly loss of 3.44 million (34.36 lakh) mobile subscribers, followed by Vodafone’s loss of 2.63 million (26.26 lakh) in September 2018.

To the surprise of many, this pattern of monthly subscriber attrition persisted even after the merger of the two telecom giants.

In September 2018, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) reported a 6.69 million (66.88 lakh) M-o-M loss of VI mobile subscribers in India, reducing the total count to 434.96 million. The decline continued, and by September 2022, VI’s wireless subscriber count had dwindled to a mere 249.13 million, with a monthly loss of 4.01 million (40.12 lakh) subscribers.


A record number of Android users are switching to iPhone: Apple has the undeniable appeal and allure

android users switching to iPhone

In the ever-evolving smartphone market, a captivating trend has taken centre stage. This intriguing development unveils a remarkable surge in the number of Android users who are jumping off Android ship to embrace the iPhone experience.

Over the course of a year-long study by CIRP (Consumer Intelligence Research Partners), the shifting consumer preferences in the United States have come into focus, showcasing a notable shift in their loyalty towards the mobile ecosystem while buying or upgrading their smartphones.

What adds to the allure of this trend is the observable decline in the influx of new Android switchers since 2018. While some users continue to migrate from basic phones or embark on their maiden smartphone journey with iPhone, it is clear that a growing segment of individuals, formerly devoted to Android, are now embracing the iPhone experience. This points to a diverse array of preferences within the smartphone arena, as users take into account a multitude of factors before making their momentous decision to switch sides.

Migrating from one mobile operating system to another is always a challenge for most smartphone users. However, the CIRP report’s findings indicate that an increasing number of Android users are willingly embracing iPhones, signifying a definitive shift in users’ behaviour and preferences. In the 12 months ending March 2023, 15% of iPhone users switched from Android, considerably higher than the percentage recorded in the previous 12-month duration. This transformative trend underlines the high aspiration of owning Apple products and services, which continue to captivate a sizeable percentage of smartphone users.

Undeniably, Apple’s iPhone remains a formidable force in the global smartphone market, maintaining its position as a top performer even during the overall smartphone market decline. As revealed during the company’s recent earnings call, the iPhone division alone amassed a staggering $51 billion in revenue during the second fiscal quarter, ending March 20, 2023. Analysts attribute this resounding success to various factors, including the longevity of Apple’s devices and the robust ecosystem that engenders user engagement and unwavering loyalty.

The percentage of iPhone buyers by the previous operating system

The burgeoning number of Android users migrating to iPhones serves to solidify Apple’s reputation and resonates deeply with consumers. The seamless integration of hardware, software, and services offered within the iOS ecosystem contributes to an unparalleled user experience that consistently elicits high levels of customer satisfaction. In contrast, Android users are still on the hunt for a matching level of experience. Consequently, an increasing number of Android users find themselves irresistibly enticed to switch and join the flourishing community of iPhone owners.

The insights gleaned from the CIRP report serve as invaluable indicators of the shifting dynamics within the smartphone market. While Android continues to assert its dominance, Apple’s ability to entice former Android users highlights its ongoing triumph in capturing an expanding market share. As competition intensifies within the mobile industry, manufacturers will persist in their quest to innovate and deliver compelling features and offerings that enthral consumers and secure their unswerving loyalty.

Besides, the increasing number of smartphone users who are ditching Android for iPhone, there are another concern that must be haunting the premium smartphone OEMs, especially Samsung. The dominance of Android in the smartphone market is largely driven by first-time, budget, mid-segment range of buyers, choosing a device for less than Rs. 30K. On the other hand, Apple is able to attract smartphone users who have high buying power. These users drive the app economy by spending huge amounts on apps, whether premium or in-app purchases. Failing to attract or retain smartphone users in this category is a huge concern for companies largely depending on Android. The huge revenue gap between Apple App Store and Google Play Store is a testament to this fact.

As we forge ahead, it will be fascinating to witness the trajectory of this trend and discern whether the mounting interest among Android users in iPhones will endure. The smartphone landscape remains in a constant state of flux, and consumer preferences wield considerable influence in shaping the industry’s trajectory. The CIRP report serves as a poignant reminder that, in this ever-changing realm of smartphones, manufacturers must remain acutely attuned to the needs and desires of consumers to maintain their competitive edge and relevance.

In conclusion, the notable increase in Android users switching to iPhones signifies a palpable shift in consumer preferences and underscores Apple’s ecosystem’s undeniable appeal, allure and strength. As competition within the smartphone market continues to escalate, manufacturers must persist in their pursuit of innovation and the provision of compelling features to attract and retain customers. The findings illuminated by the CIRP report shed light on the industry’s evolving dynamics and accentuate the paramount importance of delivering an extraordinary user experience to secure a coveted market share, and Apple understands it well!


How E-learning Software Can Cater to Individual Needs


As technology continues to evolve rapidly, the need for effective e-learning solutions is becoming increasingly important. E-learning is typically defined as any type of learning that takes place via electronic means such as computers, tablets, and other digital platforms. With its convenience and cost efficiency, it’s quickly becoming one of the primary ways individuals gain access to new skills.

The global e-learning market size was valued at approximately $325.5 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach over $648.6 billion by 2030, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 13.5% between 2023 and 2030.

But how does e-learning software measure up when it comes to meeting individual needs?

In this blog post, we take a deep dive into what makes an efficient e-learning platform, from customizability options to scalability requirements. We discuss how powerful features like automated webinars can make all the difference when it comes to meeting user needs that are varied yet specific. Ultimately this blog explores how you can use advanced tools like these and others to find an online educational solution that meets your individual goals perfectly — giving you an ideal opportunity for success!

Customization: Stay Focused & Interested

In today’s fast-paced world, customization has become an essential aspect of learning. With many e-learning software platforms allowing learners to personalize their learning experience, it has become easier to focus on subjects that interest you the most. From setting your own pace to selecting preferred learning styles and choosing the content you want to learn, the flexibility provided by an e-learning tool like Blackbaud software is unparalleled. This approach ensures that each learner can receive personalized and targeted instruction, allowing them to achieve their desired learning outcomes. So, if you’re looking for a customized learning experience that suits your unique strengths and interests, e-learning software platforms are the way to go.

Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence: Personalize the learning experience

Personalization is an invaluable tool when it comes to e-learning software, as it allows learners to tailor their learning experience to their individual needs. With the help of data analytics and artificial intelligence, e-learning software can track learners’ progress and provide feedback and recommendations based on their unique strengths and weaknesses. This powerful tool enables learners to focus on the areas they need to improve while also allowing them to stay engaged with the material. By customizing content based on each individual, e-learning software can help optimize learning outcomes for every learner.

E-learning software offers inclusivity: 

In today’s society, inclusivity is more important than ever. As technological advancements continue to shape the way we learn, e-learning software must be designed to meet the needs of all learners. Thankfully, accessibility features are becoming more commonplace, allowing individuals with disabilities to engage in digital education fully. With closed video captions, alternative text for images, and keyboard navigation options, e-learning software is becoming more welcoming and accommodating. It’s incredible to see how far we’ve come in making education accessible to everyone, and we must continue to push for even more inclusivity moving forward.

Mobile Learning: Offers Flexibility

In today’s fast-paced world, time is a precious commodity. Finding time for learning can be challenging between work, family, and other commitments. Fortunately, the rise of mobile learning has made it easier than ever to access educational resources anywhere and anytime. With the help of e-learning software, learners can study using various devices, from smartphones to laptops. This flexibility ensures you can fit learning into your busy schedule without sacrificing other essential commitments. So why not take advantage of mobile learning tools and take control of your education today?

To sum it up, e-learning software has the potential to unlock learning opportunities for many that were previously unavailable. It allows for personalized learning paths, providing a platform for learners of all abilities and preferences. Most importantly, e-learning software offers convenience unlike any other form of education; you can access your learning materials wherever you may be and on whatever device you’re using at the time. Of course, this technology isn’t perfect yet – but given the current rate of growth in technology, there’s no limit to what we can expect from e-learning software over the next few years. In an age where knowledge is so highly valued and sought after, we need education platforms that can provide an individualized approach to learning, and e-learning software is undoubtedly one way to do that. Here’s to a brighter future in tech-enabled education!


The resurgence of SHEIN in India ignites aggressive ambitions of Reliance Retail in the fashion sector

Shein reentry in India

Good news for all fashion lovers in India; The most popular and adored women’s clothing and accessories brand is making a grand comeback in the Indian market. The world’s largest fashion retailer SHEIN is poised to re-enter India with a partnership with Reliance Retail, the country’s largest retailer.

The partnership between SHEIN and Reliance Retail has reportedly received approval from the Indian government.

What’s even more interesting is that the development comes at a time when US lawmakers are screening the labour practices employed by Shein, which has a significant presence in the US market, ahead of its potential initial public offering (IPO). Shein is trying to mitigate the challenges in the US by leveraging the strong ties between the US and India.

What’s in it for Reliance Retail?

Through its strategic partnership with Shein, Reliance Retail, owned by Mukesh Ambani, is strategically positioning itself to achieve dual objectives. Firstly, it aims to solidify its leadership in India’s fashion industry by offering cost-effective apparel, thereby presenting a formidable challenge to other affordable brands such as Zudio, Max, H&M, and more. As part of this endeavour, the company plans to establish physical stores to retail Shein’s clothing and accessories.

Secondly, leveraging its Ajio platform, Reliance Retail intends to capture a significant market share in the e-commerce space, particularly within the apparel category. Currently, this segment is predominantly dominated by established players like Myntra and Nykaa. By forging this partnership and expanding its digital presence, Reliance Retail seeks to expand its footprint and compete effectively in the online fashion retail sector.

According to the India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), India’s apparel industry is anticipated to reach $135 billion by 2025. That’s an impressive compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27.54% over a five-year period, from $40 billion in 2020.

What’s in it for SHEIN?

The partnership between SHEIN and Reliance Retail signifies a compelling opportunity for the fashion retailer to penetrate India’s burgeoning consumer apparel market. With a substantial population and increasing purchasing power, India offers substantial growth prospects for fashion retailers seeking expansion.

Furthermore, this collaboration allows Shein to address concerns raised in the United States regarding its labour practices. Notably, Shein’s manufacturing unit has been authorized to source cotton exclusively from countries including the US, India, Brazil, Australia, Bangladesh, Tanzania, and Pakistan. Given the scrutiny Shein faces in the US regarding cotton sourcing, the company is likely to engage with small businesses in India to procure fabrics for its global and local manufacturing operations. Thus, by partnering with Reliance Retail, Shein can diversify its supply chain beyond its prior focus on China.

Essentially, by capitalizing on India’s robust textile industry and diverse fabric options, Shein can mitigate risks associated with overreliance on a single sourcing region. Additionally, reducing dependency on China will convey a positive message to US lawmakers, fostering favourable operations in the US market and enhancing Shein’s overall business operations.

Neither Shein nor Reliance have yet made an official statement on the matter.

When India banned Shein

In June 2020, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) in India banned 59 Chinese apps, including Shein, TikTok, UC Browser, ShareIt, Clash of Kings, and others. The ban was imposed due to privacy and data security concerns, exacerbated by increased tensions between India and China at the Galwan border. As a result, these apps were prohibited from being accessed or used within India.

In July 2021, when Amazon India announced its ‘Prime Day’ sale scheduled for July 26-27, which included products from Shein, the Delhi High Court swiftly took action. Immediately, the Court issued a notice to the Indian government and Amazon, requesting a prohibition on the sales of Shein’s products on the Amazon India shopping platform.

However, in response to a petition seeking a ban on the sales of Shein’s products on Amazon India, the government said, “A blanket order for blocking the sales of Shein products in other platforms/websites cannot be passed by the Committee constituted under section 69A of the IT Act, 2000.”

Originally founded in China, Shein made a strategic decision to relocate its headquarters from China to Singapore in late 2021. This strategic move effectively transformed Shein into a non-Chinese entity, aligning with its expansion plans and facilitating favourable engagements with various markets, including India. By shifting its headquarters, Shein was able to obtain necessary approvals from the Indian government, positioning the company for smoother operations and collaborations within the Indian market.


1.7 million app rejections in 2022: A testament to Apple’s commitment to safeguard iPhone, iPad users

state of Apple App Store 2022

The Apple App Store stands as the preeminent global platform for iOS app downloads, garnering unparalleled popularity and widespread adoption. In the first quarter of 2023, a staggering 9.1 billion apps were collectively downloaded by iPhone and iPad users from the App Store, showcasing a noteworthy 12% year-over-year growth. Since its establishment in 2008, Apple has continuously implemented a multitude of privacy and security measures to safeguard its robust app ecosystem, promoting the welfare of both users and developers alike. As a result, in 2022 alone, approximately 1.7 million app submissions were rejected from the App Store, predominantly due to concerns regarding fraudulent activities and privacy-related matters.

Presently, the Apple App Store boasts an impressive array of statistics, with over 36 million registered Apple developers and an average of over 650 million weekly visitors worldwide. Its impressive reach encompasses support for more than 195 local payment methods and seamless transactions in 44 diverse currencies, ensuring a globally harmonized experience for users and developers alike.

Apple removed fraud accounts in 2022

Over the past few years, Apple, Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) has made significant strides in enhancing its systems to establish a robust and proactive account fraud detection mechanism. These advancements underscore Apple’s steadfast dedication to preventing fraudulent activities and upholding a secure ecosystem for both users and developers of the App Store.

  1. In 2022, Apple successfully identified and terminated 428,000 developer accounts suspected of engaging in potentially fraudulent activity.
  2. There was a remarkable 46.6% YoY decline in the number of developer accounts removed from the App Store in 2022 compared to the previous year. To provide context, in 2021, the App Store terminated over 802,000 developer accounts.
  3. Approximately 105,000 enrolments into the Apple Developer Program were rejected due to suspicions of fraudulent activities. This proactive measure effectively prevented bad actors from submitting their apps to the App Store.
  4. In 2022, Apple removed nearly 57,000 untrustworthy apps originating from illegitimate storefronts.
  5. In its ongoing efforts to address fraudulent and abusive activity, Apple actively takes measures against fraudulent customer accounts. In 2022 alone, Apple took action by disabling more than 282 million customer accounts found to be associated with such activities.

Apple blocked fraudulent transactions on App Store

Over time, there has been a significant shift towards digital payments as a preferred method of purchasing goods and services. Interestingly, Apple has been making substantial investments in developing secure payment technologies, such as Apple Pay and StoreKit, aimed at safeguarding its users’ financial information. Nearly 943,000 iOS apps use these advanced technologies to sell goods and services on the App Store.

  1. In 2022, Apple demonstrated a solid commitment to combating fraudulent activities on the App Store by blocking a remarkable $2.09 billion in fraudulent transactions.
  2. In 2022, Apple took significant measures to safeguard its iPhone and iPad users from credit card fraud, which is looming large with each passing year in the digital world. Approximately 3.9 million stolen credit cards were barred from being used to make fraudulent purchases on the App Store.

In a nutshell

Apple has been unwavering in its commitment to maintaining the App Store as the epitome of security and trustworthiness for iOS device users and developers. To accomplish this, the company has implemented a meticulous and comprehensive evaluation process, subjecting every app to rigorous safety checks before granting access to the App Store.

On a weekly basis, the dedicated App Store team diligently reviews an average of over 100,000 app submissions, with nearly 90% of them undergoing meticulous examination within a 24-hour timeframe. This rigorous review process ensures that each app available on the App Store adheres to Apple’s stringent standards, further fortifying the platform’s overall security and dependability.


Focus Your Cybersecurity Degree With These Specializations

Digital background depicting innovative technologies in security systems, data protection Internet technologies

There is no question that cybersecurity is more important than ever. As more businesses adopt digital systems, cybercriminals are incentivized to launch more sophisticated cyberattacks to capture as much sensitive and valuable data as possible. Home users are also at much greater risk of succumbing to cyber threats, and a single cyberattack could empty an individual’s savings and put their lives at risk.

Unfortunately, there are not nearly as many trained cybersecurity professionals as needed to counter the increasing threats in the digital landscape. Fortunately, you can help solve this problem by pursuing online cybersecurity degrees that qualify you for high-paying positions in prestigious IT departments and InfoSec agencies. While you are working toward your degree, you might consider specializing in one of the various fields within cybersecurity.

Information Security

Information security is a broad field within cybersecurity focused on protecting data. Often, information security specialists work within IT teams, offering cybersecurity support alongside other valuable IT services. It is typical for information security specialists to come from backgrounds in computer science or software engineering, as many of their responsibilities are closely associated with these fields. As an information security specialist, you might…

  • Develop network or software security
  • Create and deploy security plans and procedures
  • Configure security protocols
  • Investigate data breaches
  • Troubleshoot security infrastructure

IT Auditing

Just as a financial auditor examines an organization’s financial accounts in search of inconsistencies, an IT auditor searches an organization for digital inefficiencies and vulnerabilities. IT auditors can specialize in different fields of IT; for example, some IT auditors are focused only on regulatory compliance. You might become an IT auditor for cybersecurity by obtaining the Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) certification. As an auditor, you must have a well-rounded understanding of many components of information technology, including:

  • Network security infrastructure
  • Telecommunications
  • Computer systems and applications
  • Data analysis tools
  • Third-party risk management
  • Industry security standards

Ethical Hacking

Arguably the most interesting-sounding speciality within cybersecurity, ethical hacking is concerned with using the tools and techniques of malicious hackers and cybercriminals to identify an organization’s cyber vulnerabilities, so that the organization may strengthen their defences without risking its data or productivity. Most often, ethical hackers perform penetration tests, which involve aggressively targeting specific areas of a security system to find flaws. To work as an ethical hacker, you need to be careful to earn certifications that demonstrate your non-malicious nature, such as the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) cert, the GIAC Penetration Tester (GPEN) cert and the CompTIA PenTest+ cert.

Threat Intelligence

Threat intelligence is a field of cybersecurity involved in learning more about existing and emerging threats. Cybercriminals are constantly developing new methods of attacking secure and unsecure systems, and threat intelligence professionals collect evidence on these new attack behaviors and techniques to ensure that security strategies remain effective. Perhaps an exciting element of threat intelligence is cyber threat hunting, which strives to anticipate potential threats before successful attacks. Often, threat intelligence agents work for high-level cybersecurity firms, though some major corporations may also have threat intelligence professionals on staff.

Software Development

Many small businesses and most home users are entirely reliant on security software to protect their devices and data. Therefore, some cybersecurity experts are dedicated to developing and updating software products, like antivirus solutions, encryption tools, password managers and the like. Like cybersecurity, software development is a potentially lucrative field of IT, so enhancing your cybersecurity knowledge and skill with additional expertise in software development can make you an invaluable member of any IT team.

Digital Forensics

Forensics is the application of scientific methods to collect and understand evidence related to a crime. Thus, digital forensics is the investigation of digital techniques used in the perpetration of criminal activity. Often, digital forensics experts will work to understand the methods employed in a successful cyberattack to ensure that an organization does not continue to suffer identical attacks due to unaddressed vulnerabilities. However, because cybercrime is an increasing concern, many law enforcement agencies are hiring digital forensics experts to assist with the cyber components of all investigations.


The final speciality on this list is the field that actually predates the concept of cybersecurity by centuries. Cryptography is the art and science of codes, and for millennia, cryptographers have employed complex mathematics, linguistics and other sciences to create and decipher codes meant to keep information safe. In cybersecurity, cryptographers have a straightforward goal: to develop the strongest and most sophisticated encryption possible to prevent unauthorized users from viewing sensitive data. Typically, cryptographers have advanced degrees, so you may need to remain in school for a few years to earn your doctorate in this field before you can find work.

Thanks to the high earning potential and reliable job security, many people want to work in cybersecurity. By planning ahead and choosing your speciality now, you can set yourself up for career success.


The Amazon Advantage: Unrivalled as the Top Choice for Online Shoppers, Empowered by the Influential Role of Reviews and Ratings

Amazon choice for online shoppers

The proliferation of smartphones and the widespread availability of high-speed Internet have revolutionized the realm of online shopping, offering people unparalleled access and convenience. In this digital landscape, E-commerce websites, official brand websites, social media platforms, and Google Search have emerged as influential channels for online shoppers exploring and seeking product information before making a purchase. Notably, a recent survey conducted by PowerReviews reveals that Amazon remains the primary starting point for 50% of consumers embarking on their online shopping journey.

Following closely behind are Google and brand or retail eStores, attracting 31.5% and 14% of online consumers, respectively. These findings highlight the dynamic preferences of online shoppers, showcasing Google as a prominent destination for researching and purchasing products. At the same time, brand websites and social media platforms play a complementary role in the consumer decision-making process.

However, when it comes to the frequency of online product research, a majority of consumers still rely on Google more often than any other channel. Approximately 37% of prospective online shoppers use Google on a daily basis for their shopping needs, surpassing the 26.5% who choose Amazon. This highlights the dominant position of Google as a primary platform for daily online product research. Moreover, an impressive 92% of consumers visit Google (compared to 93.5% for Amazon) at least once a month to browse and make purchases.

Google vs Amazon for online shopping search

In terms of regular online engagement, retailer and brand websites exhibit divergent visitation percentages among consumers. Monthly visits to retailer websites encompass approximately 83% of the consumer base, whereas brand websites attract visits from 52% of consumers within the same time frame. These figures indicate that while retailer websites maintain a substantial appeal for a significant segment of consumers, brand websites experience slightly lower visitation frequencies on average.

Influence of social media among Gen Z

Now, let us delve into the distribution of respondents across different generations, specifically focusing on their use of social media platforms as the initial step in their product search endeavours.

Even though social media represents only 2% of the total respondents who initiate their product search on such platforms, Gen Z stands out with the highest percentage at 5%, surpassing other generational cohorts such as Millennials (1.75%), Gen X (1%), and Boomers (0.5%).

As younger generations embrace technology and digital platforms, their social media usage for product searches is on the rise. This indicates a shift in consumer behaviour and highlights the increasing influence of digital channels in the shopping journey. With 37%, Facebook emerges as the most popular channel for discovering new products. This is followed by Instagram at 33%, YouTube at 31% and TikTok at 29%.

So what are the factors impacting consumers’ shopping behaviour? Is it product quality, free shipping, free returns, price, brand name, or reviews?

Let’s find out!

Harnessing the Power of Consumer Influence: Ratings And Reviews Shaping Online Shopping Behavior

A remarkable 94% of online shoppers attribute substantial importance to ratings and reviews when making purchase decisions. These insights are pivotal in influencing consumer behavior, alongside other critical factors such as product pricing (93%), the availability of complimentary shipping (75%), and the option for hassle-free returns or exchanges (63%).

Acknowledging the profound impact of reviews and ratings on purchasing decisions, prominent e-commerce platforms like Amazon, Flipkart, and others actively encourage customers to share their feedback by providing ratings and writing reviews post-purchase.

According to the PowerReviews survey, an impressive 77% of respondents deliberately seek out “websites with ratings and reviews,” demonstrating a notable increase from 63% in 2018. Of particular interest is the generational contrast observed in this behaviour. Gen Z (87%) and Millennials (81%) exhibit a higher inclination towards seeking websites featuring reviews compared to their older counterparts, such as Gen X (70%) and Boomers (63%).

Once again, Amazon (94%) maintains its lead as the most trusted source for accessing reviews and making informed purchasing decisions. This is followed closely by retail websites like Target.com and Walmart.com (91%). Search engines (70%) and brand websites (68%) are also popular destinations for consumers seeking review content before making a purchase.

The PowerReviews survey, titled “The Ever-Growing Power of Reviews”, was conducted in March 2023, encompassing 8,153 participants from the United States. The survey sample predominantly comprised millennials, accounting for 53% of respondents. Gen X represented 29% of the sample, followed by Baby Boomers at 10% and Gen Z at 8%.

In a nutshell

When it comes to online shopping, the world’s largest e-commerce platform, Amazon, continues to dominate as the go-to product search engine for discerning online shoppers. This Seattle-based behemoth leaves no stone unturned in enticing online shoppers, recently introducing new shopping features like the TikTok-style Inspire on its comprehensive e-commerce platform.

The overwhelming trust and preference for Amazon as the ultimate online search and shopping destination should come as no surprise. Unlike Google, primarily known for its search engine capabilities, Amazon offers a seamless and all-encompassing shopping experience within a single platform. From product searches to reviews and actual purchases, Amazon caters to the entire consumer journey. In contrast, while Google enables product searches, the actual purchasing process often redirects consumers to specific e-commerce websites or official brand sites. With its integrated search and shopping experience, Amazon stands out as the convenient and favoured choice for countless online shoppers.

Nevertheless, Google and social media platforms are rapidly gaining ground, particularly among the tech-savvy Gen Z cohort, who rely heavily on their smartphones and laptops for a multitude of activities.