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India’s Smartphone Brands Are All Set to Make Most of This Festive Season!

India festive season sales

India festive season is just around the corner. Smartphone manufacturers are leaving no stone unturned to make it more exciting.

India’s top smartphone brands such as Samsung, Realme, Oppo, Vivo, and Xiaomi will reportedly offer higher margins as well as some out-of-the-box incentives to retailers to make the most of this upcoming festive season.

Surprisingly, these brands are willing to go out of their way to offer retailers incentives such as international trips, Covid-19 insurance, and helping out with their household chores, such as grocery shopping, electrical works, and plumbing, to boost their smartphone sales during the festive season.

Deepak Nakra, offline sales head, Realme, said that the company will provide Covid-19 insurance worth Rs 2 lakh to retailers, in addition to assisting them with groceries, electrical work, plumbers, and other necessities, so that their families can be at ease while they work. Realme is one of the top 5 smartphone vendors in India.

A Mumbai-based retailer who is a member of Samsung’s President Club said “if you are part of the Club and meet your targets, then there is an all-expense paid international/domestic trip. This was not there last year when we were given robot vacuum cleaners, exercise bikes, etc.”

Despite this, smartphone brands may struggle to meet demand this festive season due to supply challenges. This could result in a 5-15% decrease in headset shipments, as per Faisal Kawoosa, founder of tech market research firm TechArc.

Marketing Strategy of Smartphone Brands

Shashi Sinha, chief executive of media buying group IPG Mediabrands said that headset makers continue to spend on advertisements in order to attract more eyeballs of users from tier 1 and tier 2 cities in India. In fact, companies are expected to promote models that remain unaffected by the shortage of chips.

Smartphone brands will also have to be careful about where they spend their advertising dollars. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, most people are avoiding outdoor activities, such as traveling, shopping at malls, going to movie theaters, so brands will spend on outdoor advertising only in specific places with higher footfalls.

It is important to note that the festive season, from September to December, accounts for about 40-50% of the annual ad spending by smartphone makers in India.

Brands Pushing the Sales of High-Ends Devices

Due to inventory challenges, some smartphone companies are pushing mid and high-end devices that priced more than Rs 15,000, at the cost of lower-priced devices.

A Jaipur-based retailer said that smartphone companies instructed them to first push the sales of devices costing Rs 15,000 or more, instead of cheaper devices. And, once they cross the targets, they can increase the margins as well.

Xiaomi, the market leader, will offer better margins to its “preferred retail partners” if they sell some high-end smartphones that are currently in stock.

One must note that margins of handset players vary between 3% and 9% depending on the model.

Food for Thought

The smartphone market in India experienced a drop in device sales during the second quarter, mainly due to the increasing Covid-19 cases in the country. However, the demand for smartphones has revived and is expected to increase more during Diwali which is India’s biggest festival. Therefore, all smartphone companies are trying their best to capitalize on this opportunity, which will result in increased market share. The sales during the Diwali festival will have a significant impact on how the year unfolds.

Byju’s Revenue Increased 82% YoY In FY20, While Net Loss Jumped 30X

byju's revenue FY20

With a net worth of $16.5 billion, Byju’s is not only the most valued startup in India but also the most valued ed-tech startup in the world. Recently in March 2021, the startup raised $456.7 million and $350 million.

The company, operated by Bengaluru-based Think and Learn Pvt Ltd, has filed its consolidated financial statements for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020. Let’s take a look at how Byju’s business grew during FY19-20 just before the Covid-19 pandemic began.

  1. Byju’s revenue from operations increased a strong 82.31% YoY in fiscal 2020, to Rs 2,381 crore.
  2. In just one year, Byju’s net loss soared from Rs 8.82 crore to Rs 262.1 crore. That’s nearly 30x increase in annual net losses.
  3. India accounted for a whopping 75.4% of the company’s consolidated revenue in FY20. Byju’s India revenue from operations amounted to Rs 1,795 crore, with a strong increase of 59% YoY.
  4. Byju’s revenue from outside India increased an astonishing 232.2% YoY in FY20, to Rs 586 crore.
  5. A whopping 70.4% of the company’s annual consolidated revenue came from the sales of tablets and SD cards bundled with its courses, making it Byju’s largest revenue contributor during fiscal year ended March 31, 2020.
  6. Byju’s consolidated revenue came from the sales of tablets and SD cards increased an astonishing 132% YoY during FY20, to Rs 1,675.7 crore. Interestingly, India accounted for over 90% of these overall sales.
  7. Byju’s revenue from the sale of reference books increased 22.2% YoY to Rs 560.6 crore during the last fiscal year. That’s nearly 23.5% of the company’s total revenue.
  8. Byju’s revenue from tuition and service fees amounted to Rs 144.7 crore with an increase of 15.8% YoY.
  9. It is important to note that Byju’s maintained a healthy positive net cash flow from its operations, that increased 66% YoY to Rs 126.6 crore during FY20.
  10. Byju’s total expenses skyrocketed 119.5% YoY in FY20, to Rs 3,022 crore. Nearly 40% of these were spent on advertising and promotional activities.
  11. It’s important to note that Byju’s spent Rs 1.27 to earn a single rupee of operating revenue on a consolidated basis.
  12. Byju’s advertising and promotional expenses skyrocketed 156.9% YoY in FY20, to Rs 1,175.6 crore. During the fiscal year, the company spent approximately Rs 162 crore on Indian cricket team sponsorships.
  13. Byju’s has boosted its spending on the production and procurement of educational content to keep up with the growing number of students on its e-learning platform. The company spent 15.2% of its annual expenses on the production of streaming content and study material. These expenses soared a strong 81.3% YoY to Rs 458 crore during FY20.
  14. Byju’s travelling and conveyance expense had swelled to Rs 266.4 crore during FY20, up 202.7% YoY.

Food For Thought

Byju’s – The Learning App was launched in 2015. The company has grown faster than any other ed-tech startup in India over the last 2-3 years. The Covid-19 pandemic has become a windfall for Byju’s as a growing number of new students have begun to use their platform, and existing students have begun to spend more time on this learning app.

Therefore, in a bid to become a one-stop platform for all educational requirements, the Bengaluru-based company has made some of the largest acquisitions, such as WhiteHat Jr, Aakash Educational Services, Epic, Great Learning, and Toppr, among others.

It would be interesting to see if Byju’s can reduce its expenses and net losses in the coming years.

Global Mobile Shopping Apps 2021: SHEIN Is Winning Hearts [REPORT]

Mobile Shopping Apps 2021

The Covid-19 pandemic prompted a sea change in consumer behavior, with record numbers of people turning to mobile and apps to do their daily shopping, hunt bargains, and collect digital coupons.

The Mobile Shopping Apps 2021 report by AppAnnie reveals the growth of mobile shopping apps by downloads and time spent across all major markets. And how the mobile-first shopping habits replaced in-store purchases.

  1. The mobile retail boom is showing no signs of slowing down as the global time spent in shopping apps on Android phones grew 49% YoY in Q1 2021.
  2. By May 2021, Android shoppers spent an average of 2 billion hours per week on shopping apps, up 51% from pre-pandemic levels.
  3. Indonesia topped the list of top 15 countries in terms of annual rise in time spent using shopping apps on Android phones. The country witnessed a whopping 87% YoY growth in mobile shopping app usage.
  4. However, India ranked first among 15 major countries in Q1 2021, with 1.6 billion hours spent in shopping apps on Android phones.
  5. Digital-first shopping apps seem to drive better engagement than P2P Marketplace and Bricks & Clicks. India’s Flipkart, Amazon, Ajio, Myntra, and JioMart are among the world’s top 10 breakout shopping apps by downloads across iOS and Google Play between June 2020 and May 2021.
  6. In 2020, time spent in SHEIN shopping app on Android phones has skyrocketed across APAC, EMEA, AMER regions. And this trend continues in 2021 as well.
  7. Interestingly, the global downloads of SHEIN app grew 12% YoY to reach 40.1 million in Q2 2021. While the number of SHEIN monthly active users increased 24% to 71 million.
  8. SHEIN, as a mobile-first retailer, leverages ‘influencer’ style product placements in images, allows for outfit ‘likes,’ and encourages shoppers to submit user-generated content to target young females.
  9. Approximately 96 percent of SHEIN users in the Americas are female. While 61% of users were between the ages of 16 and 24.
  10. SHEIN has emerged as the most popular mobile shopping app in the US. Surprisingly, the SHEIN android app usage increased an astonishing +215% during the last 12 months, totalling 22.9 monthly million hours.
  11. Between June 2020 and May 2021, SHEIN android app engagement grew  +170% YoY in Mexico, +490% in the UK, +530% YoY in France and +550% YoY in Canada.
  12. The average order value (AOV) and average spend have been increasing since last one year. In June 2021, the global mobile user spent $88 every time he or she ordered from a shopping app, up 22% YoY.

Food For Thought

People are spending more time on their smartphones than ever before, particularly on shopping apps. This trend began after the Covid-19 lockdown was imposed across all major markets. Generation Z and millennials have seen spending more time in shopping apps, with particular concentration on apparel and footwear sections. Therefore, all global retailers such as Flipkart, Amazon, Jio, Shein, Alibaba, etc. are trying to gain a sizable market share by attracting more customers. The social media giant Facebook has added a “Carts” feature to its messaging platform WhatsApp to make in-app shopping easier for all its users.

It would be interesting to see if this mobile shopping trend continues post-pandemic.

Minimum Broadband Speed In India Increased Fourfold: TRAI

Broadband Speed in India

The Internet has come an integral part of our everyday lives. We can’t even imagine a day without it. Surprisingly, the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated Internet adoption faster than ever before. Today, we need the Internet for all basic day-to-day activities, whether it is for work from home or a child studying from home, or for live video conferencing with friends and relatives in different parts of the world, or for accessing entertainment activities via OTT platforms and social media.

However, India which is one of the fastest-growing countries in the world disappoints in terms of Internet speed. According to the Ookla global index, India stands at 122 out of 139 countries in terms of mobile broadband speed and 68 out of 180 in terms of fixed broadband speed. As of July 2021, India has mobile broadband download speeds of 17.77 Mbps and fixed broadband download speeds of 60.06 Mbps.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released its recommendations on “Roadmap to Promote Broadband Connectivity and Enhanced Broadband Speed”. TRAI wants the Indian government to look into issues such as India’s current Internet scenario, minimum broadband speed, infrastructure creation, and promoting broadband connectivity.

Let’s have a look into the salient features of the recommendations by TRAI:

  • The definition of broadband has been reviewed by TRAI officials, and the minimum download speed for broadband connectivity in India has been increased fourfold, from the present 512 Kbps to 2 Mbps.
  • Fixed broadband is divided into three categories based on download speeds: Basic, Fast and Super-Fast.

(i) Basic Broadband which can serve up to five online individuals simultaneously while accessing light applications with a download speed ranging from 2 Mbps to 50 Mbps.

(ii) Fast Broadband which can serve up to five online individuals simultaneously while accessing moderate level applications with a download speed ranging from 50Mbps to 300 Mbps

(iii) Super-Fast Broadband is suitable for accessing high-use applications with a download speed greater than 300 Mbps. This would also be suitable for institutions such as hospitals, schools, business establishments, as well as IT professionals who are working from home using cloud-based resources.

  • Indian government should consider reimbursing 50% of the monthly fixed-line broadband subscription charges, up to Rs. 200 per month per subscriber, to each rural fixed-line broadband subscriber through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) platform. Due to the fact that this will be in the form of DBT, users will receive the reimbursement directly in their linked bank accounts.
  • TRAI Authority recommends that the government incentivize all broadband service providers in order to accelerate the growth of fixed-line broadband services in India. This incentive will be in the form of an exemption of license fee. However, the big service providers who have other revenue sources such as mobile services do not need to be incentivized.
  • Smartphones have the potential to greatly facilitate the use of broadband services. Therefore, the authority have suggested that government can consider incentives for local device manufacturing which can further result in price cuts in mobile devices.
  • In order to enhance mobile broadband speed in rural and remote areas, using BharatNet network, optical fiber connectivity with Service Level Agreements (SLA) should be made available to service providers for fiberisation of the cellular networks backhaul connectivity.

Food For Thought

The broadband subscriber base in India has significantly been increasing over the last 4-5 years. Between 2016 and 2020, the country has witnessed a 33% CAGR growth in the broadband subscriber base. As of June 2021, there are approximately 792.78 million broadband subscribers in India. About 44.6% of these comes from rural India. This is the reason India currently has the second-highest online population in the world, accounting for more than 10% of the world’s total internet users.

Facebook India Removed 33.3 Million Harmful Content: The Never-Ending Battle [REPORT]

facebook removes harmful content

Today, the world’s largest social media platforms, Facebook and Instagram, are places where people can express themselves. And, in order to provide a safe platform for all of its 2 billion users, And, in order to create a platform that is safe for all of its 2 billion users, Facebook Community Standards and Instagram Community Guidelines are introduced which define what is and is not allowed in the Facebook community. Please note that Facebook and Instagram share content policies which means that if the content is considered illegal or violating on Facebook, it is also considered violating on Instagram.

Facebook has released its monthly report under the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 for the period of 46 days, from 16 June 2021 to 31 July 2021.

In India, Facebook removed a total of 33.3 million harmful content pieces between 16 June and 31 July 2021. This figure was slightly higher than the 30.5 million pieces of content removed between 15 May and 15 June 2021.

It is important to note that removing a piece of content from Facebook or Instagram includes removing posts, photos, videos, and comments, as well as covering up photos or videos that may be upsetting to some audiences with a warning.

The ‘SPAM’ accounted for the majority of these takedowns, with 25.6 million content pieces removed during the 46-day period ended on July 31st, 2021. In addition, the company removed approximately 3.5 million and 2.6 million content pieces related to ‘Violent and Graphic Content’ and ‘Adult Nudity and Sexual Activity’ from its India platform, respectively.

The social media giant has also provided the ‘Proactive Rate,’ which is a metric that shows the percentage of all content or accounts acted on that Facebook found and flagged even before users do. During the 46-day period, 99.9% of all SPAM and Violent and Graphic related content or accounts on Facebook were found and flagged before the Indian users reported them.

Instagram’s Response to Harmful Content

Between 16 June and 31 July 2021, Facebook also removed approximately 2.86 million pieces of content from the Instagram India platform. Approximately 1.1 million of these harmful content pieces were classified as Violent and Graphic. The company says 99.8 percent of all such content or accounts were found and flagged before Instagram India users reported.

While Facebook’s machine learning algorithm was quite successful in automatically detecting the most kinds of violations, it fell short of identifying ‘Bullying and Harassment’ related content. The proactive rate for Bullying and Harassment content on Instagram was 64.6 percent, while it was just 42.3 percent on Facebook.

Between 16th June and 31st July, Facebook received 1,504 reports through the Indian grievance mechanism and responded to 100% of these 1,504 reports. However, in 1,326 of the 1,504 reports, Facebook provided tools to help users resolve their issues. From the remaining 178 reports requiring specialized review, Facebook reviewed content in accordance with their policies and took action on 44 reports in total. The other remaining 134 reports were reviewed but may not have been taken action on as per Facebook.

Instagram, on the other hand, received 265 reports through the Indian grievance mechanism and responded to all of them. In 181 of these 265 reports, the company provided tools to help Indian users resolve their issues.

“Account has been hacked,” “Bullying or Harassment,” “Fake profile that’s pretending to be me,” “Inappropriate or Abusive Content,” “Lost access to a page or group I used to run,” and so on were among the several categories of reports received by Facebook and Instagram India.

The top complaint highlighted by Indian users was ‘account has been hacked,’ which received 474 and 77 reports, respectively, on Facebook and Instagram.

Food for Thought

Surprisingly, the number of harmful content removed by Facebook is much higher than the content removed by Google. The search giant removed 526,866 and 576,892 pieces of content using automated detection processes in India in June and July 2021, respectively.

Due to the increasing adoption of smartphones and the Internet, people are spending more time on social media apps, particularly during the Covid-19 lockdown. Combating the growing number of hackers, and other malicious users have become a constant uphill battle for all social media platforms. Facebook, which has 320 million users in India, has been fighting against harmful content promoting misinformation for a quite long time now. Between March and October 2020, the social media giant had removed over 12 million coronavirus-related misinformation posts. This will likely continue in the near future.

Google India Removed A Record Number of Content In Just One Month [REPORT]

google removal of content

As the internet penetration is growing in India, so the job of Google. As everyone now has an access to Google, the number of fake or duplicate content has also increased over the last few years. Therefore, Google has made a few strict policies in order to combat the harmful content and deliver high-quality, reliable information to all its users worldwide. Every month, Google receives a significant number of complaints from its users, and the search giant removes content that violates its community guidelines, content policies, or local legal requirements.

Every month, Google publishes the transparency report in accordance with the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 (“IT Rules”).

In the month of July 2021, Google received a total of 36,934 complaints from individual users located in India. Surprisingly, the number of complaints from India in the last 3 months has gone up by 33%. In April 2021, Google received only 27,762 complaints from the country. These complaints are classified into several categories such as Copyright, Trademark, Defamation, Counterfeit, Impersonation, Circumvention, Graphic Sexual Content, Other Legal, etc.

Please note that these complaints relate to third-party content that is believed to violate local laws or personal rights on Google’s SSMI (Significant Social Media Intermediaries) platforms. A “Significant Social Media Intermediary,” as defined in the IT Rules, is a social media intermediary with a number of registered users in India that exceeds a particular threshold set by the Central Government.

Google Sets A New Record

Google’s removal of harmful content has significantly increased in the last three months. In April 2021, the search giant removed 59,350 pieces of content in India. Surprisingly, this figure has increased over 61% in just three months.

In July 2021, Google has removed a total of 95,680 pieces of content based on users’ complaints – the highest number ever. A whopping 99.1% of these removals, totalling 94,862 items, were related to Copyright content. Trademark stands at second, with 0.8% or 807 pieces of content removed during the last month.

Now you must be wondering why are there significantly more removal actions taken compared to the number of user complaints received by Google? Well, the search giant explained in the transparency report that each unique “URL” in a specific complaint is treated as an individual “item”. However, a single complaint may specify multiple items (URLs) that potentially relate to the same or different pieces of content.

In addition, the search engine giant also used technology to detect and remove malicious content from its platforms. This includes the use of automated detection processes for some of Google products to prevent the dissemination of harmful content such as child sexual abuse material and violent extremist content.

In July 2021, Google removed a total of 576,892 pieces of content as a result of automated detection processes. That’s 50,026 more than June month when the number of removal actions taken as a result of automated detection mechanisms used by Google’s SSMI platforms stood at 526,866.

Please note that the “removal actions” number for automated detection represents the number of instances where Google removed content or prevented the bad actor from accessing the service.

Food For Thought

Google has been removing fake and harmful content from its search results since 2010. Every day, the search engine giant discovers thousands of new unsafe ULRs, many of which are legitimate websites that have been compromised. Apart from URLs, the company also cracked down harmful ads from its search results and other platforms such as YouTube, in order to maintain the trust of its advertisers. In March 2019, Google had removed approximately 2.3 billion ads that violated its policies. In 2018, the company had removed over 3 million fake business profiles from Google Maps.

Google is making constant efforts to improve its Search Engine and other platforms such as YouTube, Google Maps, Gmail, Google Drive, etc. for its users.

Happy Birthday Warren Buffett: Saluting The Richest Philanthropist!

Warren Buffett

Seldom are people like Warren Buffett born. Worth just about $114.75 in 1942 to owning The Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A) and being worth a whopping $103.9 billion today, was a fun-filled road with all the ups and downs for the world’s 6th richest person.

It would be an understatement to call Warren a visionary. In fact, he envisioned what most of us would never at the very young age of 10, that he would become a millionaire by the time he was 35.

Name: Warren Buffett
Date of Birth: 30th August 1930 (Age 91)
Net Worth: $103.9 billion as of 30 August 2021

When Warren Buffett started off his career after education, he went through quite a struggle though he was very intelligent. Soon after, he was picking stocks that others were ignoring and his stocks went going up. He was devouring every annual report and remembered the balance sheets in his mind and he would know even after 3 years if the stocks got cheap and if he should buy them. During the first 5 years, he was in business, between 1957-1961, the Dow Jones rose by 74% while Warren Buffett’s investment had gone up 250%. In 1961 at the age of 30, he reached Millionaire status.

Although most of his life has been public, there are some interesting yet less known facts about Warren Buffett we found here:

1. Warren Buffett is known to exemplify the virtues of modesty, thrift and plainspokenness that he learned from his childhood in Omaha, Nebraska, US.

2. Warren Buffett considers himself lucky, to be born in the Americas at his time to a supporting family, going to public school and having a father who supported him in his ideas of whatever he wanted to become. Later in life, he continued that demeanour with his kids.

3. Warren Buffett started selling chewing gum and only allowed them to buy the entire pack instead of individual stocks. This strategy of waiting to reap rewards is even evident in his business principles today. He believes that very few practices the discipline of saying NO to something they are uncomfortable with in lieu of fast profits.

4. Warren Buffett liked numbers and he had a very amazing photographic memory and ability to recall and compute those numbers as required to see how they fit into the big picture. When he was 8-9 he knew he was going to make money in stocks and he used to keep charts on all kinds of stocks and he had memorized the population of different countries from the World Almanac his aunt bought him.

5. While in 10th grade, Buffett accumulated $2000 from delivering newspapers and spent $1200 of his earning to purchase a 40-acre farm in Nebraska. He hired a farmer to work the farm. This is something he practised even later when he chose to buy only those ailing companies, where he could trust the owners to manage the operations.

6. Buffett bought his first stock of three shares of Cities Service Preferred at $38 apiece, in 1942 when he was only 11 years old. He learned a big lesson for a beginner when he sold them off too early as he saw the stocks dipping and the same rose to $200 a share after his selling it at a marginal increase. He understood that he should trust his instincts and not be influenced by what people around him did. He follows this till date in his financial involvements to such a great extent that his company only has an entry strategy of NO EXIT.

7. Warren was so informed and read so much that when at 19 he was not selected in Harvard, he chose wisely, to go to Columbia to study, where his financial idol, Benjamin Graham, taught. Graham’s principles of the speculating value of a company and buying stocks greedily when people fear was a lesson that made him rich and his choices respected.

8. When he first formed the company after his education at Columbia, he had difficulties convincing more people to buy from him and he went to Dale Carnegie’s classes to learn public speaking and tune his presentation skills. Every year, people wait to hear him at the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meet

9. During the days when the financial crisis was unveiled in 2008, he was viewed as the go to person, if you are in trouble, Warren Buffett can save you. The scenario has been recreated in the HBO movie ‘Too Big To Fail.

10. When asked what helped him more, his intelligence or his discipline, Warren Buffett quoted, “To be a Great Investor you don’t have to have a Terrific IQ. What you do need is the right temperament, you need to be able to detach yourself from the views of others. You need to be able to look at the facts about a business or an industry and evaluate a business unaffected by what people think. And that is very difficult for most people.

11. On being asked in an interview of how he gets it right when it comes to investing in companies, he said, “Most people have a herd mentality which can develop into a delusional behaviour. You have to come to your own conclusions based on the facts and if you don’t have enough facts to come to your own conclusions, you forget it and move to the next. The willingness to walk away from things is what is most needed.

12. And when it comes to preparing for a career, he suggests, “Make a list and put down the things you like about your close friends and the qualities of those who you don’t like. Start focusing on the habits that you like and make it a part of your lives and change the qualities that you do not like. It’s enormously important to have people work with you in life, people will work with you if they like you. You choose what kind of human being you will be and others choose whether to associate with you or be led by you.

13. Warren enjoys every day at the office as he never knows when it could be a big buy day. So that his respected decisions do not become trends and attract a lot of competition, he tries to invest quietly. Knows as the Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffett believes, “You have to learn to value businesses, you don’t have to be right on anything except one. There is no game like playing stocks, except you should not play too often.

14. Being humorous, having a humble lifestyle and yet a shrewd businessman within, he addressed a room full of students with an IQ of 160, to sell the extra 30 points to someone who needs it, as that’s all they need to be investors.

15. Though not technical, Warren Buffett’s daughter admitted in an interview that she hasn’t seen her father drink a sip of water, he survives on corn-on-the-cob, burgers and fries and cola. Even on his visit to China, he just survived on the McDonald’s coupons he had taken with him, his close friends say.

16. With such humility and such simple ways of life, the fourth richest man in the US, happily quotes “1% of my total wealth is enough for me and my family to lead a comfortable life, eating what we would like to eat and having a comfortable place to stay. The rest is of less use to us and more use to the world” and hence has donated most of his wealth for philanthropic activities through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and by building a foundation with a $1 Billion fund each for his children, so that they can decide what cause they would support and do the needful. His story is much more than a guiding light to break the belief of earning to leave a legacy.

17. He also ranked 16th among the World’s Most Powerful People 2018, by Forbes.

18. On 23 June 2021, Warren Buffett resigned a trustee of the Gates Foundation.

Interestingly, we see a trend of him being more inclined to invest in the sectors he was associated with in his childhood – namely – newspapers (his investments in three newspapers including Washington Post and Omaha World-Herald), FMCG (based on his school days selling the chewing gums experience) and Investment (his aspiration to be a businessman at a very young age and his first stock purchase at 10).

The one who practices simplicity and humility, in spite of being rich and famous, is no less than a legend in our view. We salute this great man and his greatness and wish he lives to fulfil his desire of being the “oldest man there was”. Just a Medal of Freedom (from Obama) is not enough to honour him. He would need a lot of happy reformed people to fuel his smile.

We wish you to be more charismatic, healthy and amazing as always.

Happy Birthday Warren Buffett!

The post is a part of a B’day Series where we celebrate the birthday of renowned personalities from Tech Industry, very frequently. The series includes Entrepreneurs, C-level Executives, innovators or renewed leaders who moved the industry with his exponential skill set and vision. The intent is to highlight the person’s achievements and touch base the little known, but interesting, part of his life. You can see the list of all earlier celebrated tech personalities, including Mark Zuckerberg, Marissa Mayor, Sean Parker, Andy Rubin, Julian AssangeSir Richard Branson, Sergey Brin, by following this link or subscribe to your daily newsletter.

To make it more exciting, we suggest you make use of the comment section if you are among the ones celebrating their birthday with today’s featured personality.

Happy Birthday Sheryl Sandberg: Thanks For Making Facebook So Awesome!

Sheryl Sandberg

For the woman who has built the task force and established teams of two billion-dollar companies, Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB), being chosen as the 22nd Most Powerful Woman by Forbes, should certainly not have been a surprise. Sheryl Sandberg all of 52 today, knows just how much effort it takes to be an inspiring visionary.

While Facebook is an engineering focused company too, the core mission of Facebook is to connect people and allow them to share their lives while giving full control over what each of the users of the network share. Facebook currently has 2.9 billion monthly active users and 1.91 billion daily active users and that is surely the testimonial of what Sheryl Sandberg – overseeing sales, marketing, business development, human resources and communications – and Facebook, valued over $1 trillion – had achieved together.

Name: Sheryl Kara Sandberg
Date of Birth: August 28, 1969
Net Worth: $1.9 billion (As of August 2021)

Of the really rewarding and extraordinary achievements of Sheryl Sandberg, some interestingly less known facts about Sheryl are worth noticing. Here they are:

1. Interestingly, Sheryl always topped her class and apart from being a good student, she taught aerobics in the 1980s while she was in high school.

2. Being the oldest sibling, Sheryl was taking the responsibilities and organizing play sessions for her young and was greatly appreciated by her parents for her Leadership qualities.

3. When Sheryl was down with fever in her school days, though she got the medication and care, her father sent her to school quoting that Fever was never a reason to miss school.

4. She was awarded John H. Williams Prize for the top graduating student in economics in 1991 at Harvard College.

5. Having worked with professor Larry Summers, her mentor and thesis adviser in school, she was pulled in to help him in the World Bank Project, where she got to work for about one year on health projects in India dealing with AIDS, leprosy and blindness.

6. Larry Summers, who was also then United States Secretary of the Treasury under President Bill Clinton, appointed Sheryl Sandberg as Chief of Staff, after she earned her Harvard Business School M.B.A., with the highest distinction.

7. Before joining Facebook, Sheryl spent 6 years as a vice president of global online sales and operations at Google. She was involved in launching Google’s philanthropic website Google.org. Eric Schmidt was her mentor who she praises even today for his valuable career advice.

8. When being interviewed by Mark Zuckerberg for Facebook, she quoted to him that as she was being hired for her negotiation skills, she was going to use that skill in the interview to negotiating her pay. That we say is a very smart move.

9. In 2008, Sheryl joined Facebook for the role of COO (Chief Operating Officer). Later in 2012, she became the eighth member of Facebook’s board of directors, which also made her the first female member.

10. She was named to the board of the Walt Disney Company in 2009 and joined the Board of Directors of Starbucks with a $280,000 annual salary.

11. In 2016, she is in the 7th place on Forbes’s list of ‘World’s Most Powerful Women‘. Currently, she is the world’s 22nd most powerful woman.

12. On the 50 “Women to Watch” in 2007 by The Wall Street Journal, Sheryl ranked no.19.

13. Sheryl made the 15th place on the list of ‘America’s Richest Self Made Women‘, released by Forbes in 2021.

14. 2012 saw Sheryl among the Time Magazine’s Time 100 annual list of most influential people in the world. She has also been ranked among the 50 “Most Powerful Women in Business” by Fortune Magazine. She has been on one list or the other consistently from 2007.

15. In 2020, Sheryl was ranked 8th on Fortune’s Most Powerful Women in Business.

16. In October 2012, Sheryl had nearly US$790,000,000 in about 34 million Facebook stocks, of which, in August 2013, sold 2.4m shares in the company worth US$91 million. By the end of it she was left with 5% of her total stake in the company. She sold more of her shares again in April 2014 until she was left with just about 0.5% stake in the company.

17. Sandberg’s advice to young men and women is to never decide a job based purely on its designation as that does not mean anything when it comes to work. She asks people instead to focus on their skills and cultivate gender equality when with peers.

18. In 2013, Sheryl Sandberg published a bestselling book “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead“, about how stereotyping has affected women internally to lean back and not take as many initiatives, causing barriers preventing women from taking leadership roles in the workplace, be it raising their hands, bringing up genuine issues or even negotiating their appraisals. She does see breaking that social stigma and bringing equality both at the workplace and at home, a key aspect of future growth.

19. In April 2017, Sandberg released her second book “Option B”. The book digs deeper into the lives of a diverse group of people who have overcome obstacles, identifies the best ways to communicate with and assist others in crisis, and provides practical advice for building resilient families, communities, and workplaces.

20. The learning from her book ‘Lean In’ has been extended at LeanIn.org, her initiative to empower women, in the form of ‘Lean In Circles‘ and the one she is most proud about is the group of Dads who have formed a Circle to enable their daughters to follow those lines and make use of opportunities around them.

With such a wonderful career and thought of an equitable society, we strongly feel Sheryl and her ‘Lean In’ movement would make a considerable impact in reforming the rules of the corporate game and societal mindset, to allow more women to share stage with men, get appreciated and be heard in board rooms and bring about a positive change.

Sheryl Sandberg, we wish you this, and many more amazing birthdays to come, showering you with great health and happiness, to achieve a lot more visionary objectives and empower a lot more leaders like you.

Happy Birthday, Sheryl Sandberg !

The post is a part of a B’day Series where we celebrate the birthday of renowned personalities from Tech Industry, very frequently. The series includes Entrepreneurs, C-level Executives, innovators or a renewed leaders who moved the industry with his exponential skill set and vision. The intent is to highlight the person’s achievements and touch base the little known, but interesting, part of his life. You can see the list of all earlier celebrated tech personalities, including Mark Zuckerberg, Marissa Mayor, Sean Parker, Andy Rubin, Julian Assange, Sir Richard Branson, Sergey Brin by following this link or subscribe to your daily newsletter.

To make it more exciting, we suggest you to make use of the comment section if you are among the ones celebrating their birthday with today’s featured personality.

Happy Birthday Charles Rolls: The Co-Founder of Rolls-Royce

Charles Rolls

Speed, motor, and aviation were all words that inspired this young boy to become the first motorist during his school days. Hailing from a wealthy family, Charles Stewart Rolls (27 August 1877 – 12 July 1910) has many firsts to his credit including his death. His contributions to the motor and aviation industries laid the groundwork for our current routine activities.

On the occasion of his 144th birth anniversary, here are few interesting yet less known facts about Charles Rolls – the co-founder of Rolls-Royce car manufacturing company.

Date of Birth: 27 August 1877

Died: 12 July 1910

  1. In 1894, Charles enrolled at Trinity College, Cambridge, to study mechanical and applied science.
  2. Rolls was a keen racing cyclist who spent most of his time at Cambridge bicycle racing. In 1896, he won a Half Blue and in the following year, he became captain of the Cambridge University Bicycle Club.
  3. In October of 1896, he travelled to Paris to purchase his first car, a Peugeot Phaeton. Interestingly, his Peugeot car was the first car he bought in Cambridge, as well as one of the first three cars he owned in Wales.
  4. In 1902, Rolls opened one of Britain’s first car dealerships to import and sell the French made Mors. In 1903, he set a world land speed record of 93 mph while driving a 30hp Mors in Dublin.
  5. In May 1904, Rolls was introduced to Fredrick Henry Royce by a friend Henry Edmunds, who was also a director of Royce Ltd. In spite of his fondness for three or four cylinder cars, Rolls was impressed with the two-cylinder Royce 10. In a subsequent agreement signed on December 23, 1904, he agreed to take all of Royce’s cars. These cars would have two, three, four, or six cylinders and be labelled as Rolls-Royces.
  6. In 1906, Rolls and Royce formalised their partnership and established Rolls-Royce Limited, with Royce providing technical expertise and Rolls providing financial backing and business acumen.
  7. By 1907, Rolls’ interest had shifted to flying. After failing to persuade Royce to design an aero engine, Rolls resigned as Technical Director from the board of Rolls-Royce Ltd in 1909, though he remained a non-executive director.
  8. He purchased one of the six Wright Flyer aircraft built by Short Brothers under licence from the Wright Brothers and made more than 200 flights.
  9. On June 2, 1910, he became the first person to fly a non-stop double crossing of the English Channel in 95 minutes. He was awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Aero Club in recognition of his achievements.
  10. On 12 July 1910, 32-year-old Charles Rolls died in an air crash at Hengistbury Airfield, Southbourne, Bournemouth. Unfortunately, his Wright Flyer’s tail broke off during a flying display. He was the first Briton, and the eleventh internationally, to be killed in an aeronautical accident. In addition, ​it was also the first powered aviation fatality in the United Kingdom.

“I do not think that a flight across the Atlantic will be made in our time, and in our time I include the youngest readers.”

The above lines by Charles Rolls express his desire for many more inventions and innovations in the aviation industry. With his tragic death, the world lost a young aviation futurist and his deeds. Despite the fact that he lived for a little more than three decades, like a shooting star in the sky, he has made a lasting impression on humanity with his great creations.

The article is a part of the B’day Series where we celebrate the birthday of renowned personalities from across Industries, very frequently. The series includes Entrepreneurs, C-level Executives, innovators or renewed leaders who moved the industry with his exponential skill set and vision. The intent is to highlight thCharles Rollse person’s achievements and touch base the little known, but interesting, part of his life. You can see the list of all earlier celebrated tech personalities, including Mark Zuckerberg, Marissa Mayer, Sean Parker, Andy Rubin, Julian Assange, by following this link or subscribe to your daily newsletter.

Mobile Gaming Market H1 2021: India Remained the Biggest Market by Downloads [REPORT]

Mobile Gaming Market 2021

The adoption of Internet and smartphones have increased over the decade. People are now using mobile phones for almost everything, from entertainment to shopping, payments, travels, and games. Interestingly, the mobile gaming is one of the fastest-growing industries not only in India but also worldwide. Consumers are now spending more on in-app game purchases than ever before. The global consumer spending on mobile gaming apps is estimated to surpass $120 billion by the end of 2021.

The latest App Annie report reveals some surprising data related to global and India mobile gaming market 2021, users’ spending, game downloads, etc.

  1. The consumer spending on global gaming market is all set to surpass $204 billion in 2021, across mobile, console, handheld and PC/Mac gaming.
  2. Surprisingly, mobile will see 50% more consumer spend than all other forms of games by the end of 2021.
  3. The demand for mobile games has increased significantly since the Covid-19 lockdown began, and it shows no sign of slowing down. In fact, the global weekly downloads surpassed 1 billion for the first time in March 2020 and have remained stable since then.
  4. Globally, users downloaded 30% more mobile games per week in Q1 2021 than in Q4 2019, totalling over 1 billion game downloads per week.
  5. In the first half of 2021, consumers spent $1.7 billion per week in mobile games, up 40% from pre-pandemic levels.
  6. Globally, people spent nearly 5 billion hours per week on mobile games from January 2020 to H1 2021.
  7. In H1 2021, there were 815 games that exceeded $1 million in consumer spend each month on average, with 7 of them exceeding $100M. That’s an impressive 25% increase from 2019 when 652 games surpassed $1M and only 2 games surpassed over $100M in monthly consumer spend.
  8. India continue to be the world’s biggest mobile game market by downloads. It was 2018 when India surpassed United States for the first time to become the top market by mobile game downloads.
  9. Ludo King emerged as the top game in India in H1 2021, in terms of the number of downloads and active users. However, Join Clash 3D is the world’s top mobile game by number of downloads and PUBG MOBILE is the world’s top game by active users.

Food For Thought

The Covid-19 pandemic has increased the amount of time and money spent on mobile games. Top gaming publishers such as Tencent, Nintendo, Zynga, NetEase, AppLovin, and others are increasingly prioritising mobile as part of their platform of choice to expand their user base, and eventually witnessed the significant increase in their revenues over the last one year. According to Sensor Tower report, the mobile gaming market generated $79.6 billion across the App Store and Google Play in 2020, with a 26.2% YoY increase. This figure is expected to increase drastically in the upcoming years. Games like PUBG, Honor of Kings have already established themselves as the top money-spinners on a global scale. After witnessing global success, PUBG Mobile, the popular battle Royale game, has made a comeback as an Indian-exclusive version called ‘Battlegrounds Mobile India‘ to lure Indian consumers.

Indians Spend 5X More Time On Homegrown Short Video Apps Than Global IG Reels and YT Shorts [REPORT]

India Short Video Apps 2021

It’s been more than a year since the most popular short-video app TikTok was banned in India. Surprisingly, within a month or two, TikTok lost all its 200 million Indian users to some emerging homegrown alternatives such as Mitron, Roposo, Chingari, MX TakaTak, Josh and Sharechat.

The latest report from Redseer reveals interesting trends and the growth factors which is making the short-form video content one of the most on-demand digital content segments among the Indian users.

  1. The total time spent by Indians on short video apps for 2021 is expected to be nearly 18% of total the time spent on digital content includes OTT audio, OTT video, News Aggregators, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and shortform.
  2. Homegrown short video apps (Chingari, Josh, Roposo, etc.) are estimated to account for nearly 15% of the total time spent on Internet whereas global short video apps (such as YT Shorts, IG Reels) expected to take up remaining 3%.
  3. The shortform video category will be ranked second in terms of time spent by Indians, trailing only Google and Facebook Ecosystem.
  4. The short video app users in India grew from just 125 million in 2018 to nearly 240 million in 2021.
  5. The short video app MAUs are expected to grow more than 2x to reach nearly 650 million by 2025. The addition of 300 million new Internet users by 2025 will be driving growth.
  6. Nearly 40% of Smartphone users in India are already using short video apps in CY 2021. This figure is expected to increase to nearly 60-75% by CY 2025.
  7. The number of short video content creators in India has nearly doubled (Since June 2020 when TikTok got banned) and now stands at 40-45 million, with the majority coming from smaller towns and cities.
  8. The shortform video segment has the potential to account for 20% of India’s digital ad market, which is estimated to reach $25-35 billion by the end of 2030.

Food for Thought

The ongoing covid-19 pandemic, combined with the work-from-home culture, has resulted in people spending more time on their smartphones than ever. Indian consumers, particularly millennials, are spending more time in watching and creating short form videos. As a result, the consumption of short video content is expected to overtake OTT video content in the near future. Global apps such as Reels, YouTube Shorts, and Dubsmash are facing stiff competition from India-made short video apps. However, it would be interesting to see how the equation shifts once TikTok returns to India.

Happy Birthday Nick Denton: The Founder of Gawker Media

Nick Denton

The blog post is the quick reach of the day. Establishing one such blog network company with a large reader base is absolutely amazing. Nick Denton, through his online platform Gawker Media, has created a buzzword and accumulated readers from all the walks of life. Starting the company in his apartment in Soho to transform it into a mammoth firm to went bankrupt, has been an incredible journey.

Date of Birth: 24 August 1966

Net Worth: Between $10 million and $50 million (as of 2016)

Before joining the Financial Times as a journalist soon after the college, Nick Denton started freelancing for British newspapers in the 1990s. Later in 2002, Gawker Media was founded with two sites Gawker.com and Gizmodo.com, a gadget centre. On the 55th birthday of Nick Denton, we bring few interesting yet less known facts about the internet entrepreneur and the founder of Gawker Media.

  1. Nick attended the University College School (UCS) in Hampstead, London, for his education. He studied Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at University College, Oxford. There he was the editor of the university’s magazine. He began his career as a journalist at the Financial Times. In 1998 he quit the FT, determined to start his own internet venture.
  2. In October 1998, Nick Denton co-founded a social networking site, First Tuesday and Moreover Technologies (later acquired by LexisNexis), with some of his schoolmates from UCS.
  3. Gawker Media was founded in October 2003, with the tagline “Today’s gossip is tomorrow’s news.” The company was formerly known as Blogwire, Inc and and Gawker Media, Inc.
  4. Gizmodo.com, Lifehacker, Jalopnik, io9 (science fiction), Deadspin (the sports blog), Kotaku (the gaming blog), Jezebel, and Fleshbot were other 8 sites owned by Gawker Media. Together, they were generating more than 450 million page views every month during 2010. Gizmodo and Lifehacker have been the largest sites of Gawker Media.
  5. Nick Denton was featured in the Sunday Times’s Rich List 2007 with an estimated net worth of approx £140 million ($205 million), which was based on the sales of his previous companies and the then-current value of Gawker Media.
  6. On March 18, 2016, the Florida jury ordered Nick Denton to pay $115 million for publishing a sex tape on Gawker Media that showed a former professional wrestler Hulk Hogan (Terry Bollea) having sex with his friend’s wife. On March 21, Hulk Hogan was awarded a total of $25 million, including $10 million from Denton personally.
  7. In 2007, Owen Thomas, one of the editor of Gawker.com at the time, outed Peter Thiel in a blog post entitled Peter Thiel is totally gay, people. Later in 2016, it was revealed that Peter Thiel was secretly covering the costs of Hulk Hogan’s lawsuits against Nick’s Gawker Media.
  8. On August 1, 2016, Nick Denton filed for Chapter 11 personal bankruptcy protection to prevent wrestler Hulk Hogan from seizing his assets.

“Forget about someone’s resume or how they present themselves at a party. Can they blog or not? The blog doesn’t lie.”

The enthusiastic blogger’s above quote demonstrates his keen interest in writing and desire to be in the blogging business. Let us wish Nick Denton many happy blogging years in the future on his birthday.

The post is a part of a B’day Series where we celebrate the birthday of renowned personalities from Tech Industry, very frequently. The series includes Entrepreneurs, C-level Executives, innovators or renewed leaders who moved the industry with his exponential skill set and vision. The intent is to highlight the person’s achievements and touch base the little known, but interesting, part of his life. You can see the list of all earlier celebrated tech personalities, including Mark Zuckerberg, Marissa Mayor, Sean Parker, Andy Rubin, Julian AssangeSir Richard Branson, Sergey Brin by following this link or subscribe to your daily newsletter.

To make it more exciting, we suggest you make use of the comment section if you are among the ones celebrating their birthday with today’s featured personality.

Happy Birthday Sergey Brin: You Got Us Googling Around The Clock!

sergey brin

We’ve all experienced how difficult it is to break a habit, especially one that has become ingrained in our lives. Who’d have imagined that two young adults in their twenties would shake up our routines and make our lives easier? On September 15, 1997, Sergey Brin and Larry Page registered Google.com. Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL) is an engineering-focused company, as evidenced by its breakthrough products. Today, Google has become the backbone of our digital existence, and we can’t picture a day without it.

Name: Sergey Brin
Date of Birth: August 21, 1973
Net Worth: $112.9 Billion (as of August 2021)

Sergey Mikhaylovich Brin is the Co-founder of Google and Alphabet Inc., the parent company of Google. Born to a mathematics professor at the University of Maryland (father) and a researcher at NASA (mother), it seems rather obvious today that Sergey Brin was destined to have a passion for technology, solving problems and building innovative products. On his 48th birthday today, we bring a few interesting yet less known facts about Sergey Brin.

  1. In May 1993, Brin received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland with high honors in Mathematics and honors in Computer Science. In September 1993, Brin enrolled at Stanford University to study computer science. In August 1995, he was awarded the Master of Science.
  2. Sergey Brin met Larry Page for the first time in 1995 at Stanford University. Brin had volunteered as a tour guide for the potential first-year students who had been admitted, but were still deciding whether to attend. Brin’s crew included Page, an engineering major from the University of Michigan. Initially they appeared to differ on most subjects, but after spending time together, they became intellectual soul mates and good friends.
  3. In 1996, as part of a Stanford research project, Larry Page and Sergey Brin developed a search engine “BackRub” (the predecessor to the Google search engine), named for its unique ability to analyze the “back links” pointing to a given website. They also developed the PageRank algorithm that later became Google’s core search algorithm, which orders sites in search results based on the number of other websites that link to them. Later, they come up with a new name Google (after Googol) and registered the domain name on September 15, 1997.
  4. Brin was also responsible for GoogleX and Special Projects, divisions responsible for developing world-changing technology like driverless cars.
  5. In December 2019, Sergey Brin stepped down as president of Alphabet, parent company of Google, but remains a controller shareholder and a board member.
  6. In a 2000 interview with the Academy of Achievement nonprofit, Brin revealed two of his favorite books that have influenced him – “Surely You’re Joking Mr. Feynman!” by Richard P. Feynman and “Snow Crash” by Neal Stephenson.
  7. In 2002, Brin was recognised one of the top 100 innovators under the age of 35 in the MIT Technology Review TR100. In 2004, Sergey Brin and Larry Page were elected “Fellows of the Marconi Foundation” at Columbia University after receiving the Marconi Foundation Prize, the “Highest Award in Engineering”. In 2004, Brin and Larry Page received the Golden Plate Award by the American Academy of Achievement.
  8. In August 2013, Brin and his wife Anne Wojcicki started living separately after Brin had an extramarital affair with Google Glass’s marketing director Amanda Rosenberg. Their divorce was finalised in June 2015. In 2018, Sergey Brin reportedly married Nicole Shanahan, a lawyer and founder of a legal-tech startup ClearAccessIP.
  9. Few people know that Sergey Brin was an early investor in Tesla Motors (now known as Tesla Inc.).
  10. In 2004, Sergey Brin, at the age of 31, was the youngest member of Forbes 400 richest people in the world. In November 2009, Sergey Brin and Larry Page were named the 5th most powerful people in the world by Forbes.
  11. Sergey Brin was ranked 9 on the list of Forbes Billionaires 2021, with an estimated net worth of $95.6 billion.
  12. Between 2000 and 2017, Brin donated $2.2 billion through his Brin Wojcicki Foundation and the Sergey Brin Family Foundation, primarily to fund Parkinson’s research and underserved populations. In 2011, Sergey Brin has contributed $500,000 to the Wikimedia Foundation which runs Wikipedia through his the Brin Wojcicki Foundation. In 2013, Sergey Brin and his then-wife, Anna Wojcicki, contributed $50 million to the Michael J. Fox Foundation as part of the Brin Wojcicki Challenge to battle Parkinson’s disease. In 2018, he contributed about $1 million to the University of Maryland for computer-science education.

“We do lots of stuff. The only way you are going to have success is to have lots of failures first.”

“Obviously everyone wants to be successful, but I want to be looked back on as being very innovative, very trusted and ethical and ultimately making a big difference in the world.”

Do make use of comment section to wish Sergey Brin on his birthday.

Disclaimer: The article is a part of the B’day Series where we celebrate the birthday of renowned personalities from across Industries, very frequently. The series includes Entrepreneurs, C-level Executives, innovators or renewed leaders who moved the industry with his exponential skill set and vision. The intent is to highlight the person’s achievements and touch base the little known, but interesting, part of his life. You can see the list of all earlier celebrated tech personalities, including Mark Zuckerberg, Marissa Mayer, Sean Parker, Andy Rubin, Julian Assange, by following this link or subscribe to your daily newsletter.

To make it more exciting, we suggest you make use of the comment section if you are among the ones celebrating their birthday with today’s featured personality.

CRED Mint: Instant Borrowing Upto ₹10 Lakh To Lure Worthy Users!

CRED Mint launched

CRED launched CRED Mint (peer-to-peer), a peer-to-peer lending product for its members. This is the latest attempt by the $2.2 billion Indian startup unicorn to monetize its 7.5 million users.

CRED, a fintech platform, was founded by Kunal Shah, a serial entrepreneur. It started as a credit card repayment platform that rewards users for paying their bills. However, it has added products like rent payments to its offering as it strives to be a full-fledged financial service provider.

CRED Mint is being launched in partnership with Liquiloans – a registered RBI P2P non-banking financial company (NBFC) that Shah has been an early investor.

CRED Cash, a short-term loan product, is also offered by CRED. CRED, a Bengaluru-based startup, claims it is the country’s most trusted fintech lender with a loan portfolio of more than Rs 2,000 crore.

“Because of our high-trust community, we have NPAs of less than one percent. So we now have the confidence to launch the first community product. There is a lot of idle money sitting in people’s accounts which is earning less than the inflation rate. They are effectively losing money,” Kunal Shah told Moneycontrol in an interview.

Mint promises to offer its members returns up to 9 percent per year. Mint members can borrow or lend between Rs 1 lakh and Rs 10 lakh in less than two minutes. They can also request withdrawals in one click with no penalty. Lenders will also earn interest for the time they invested.

Although traditional P2P lending platforms have been relatively successful, they are often scrutinized hard because they target borrowers with low incomes and poor credit histories. Shah wants to change this by allowing P2P lending for those with credit scores of more than 750 – India’s most creditworthy citizens.

Indeed, this will change the way small borrowers seek loans from traditional banks. Instead of struggling with required paper works, now borrowers with good credit ratings can turn towards CRED Mint to avoid all hassle. This is being seen as another move by another fintech startup to give traditional financial institutions a run for their money!

Shah’s optimism is partly based on the positive response he received from CRED employees who have been using the product. He stated that 70-80 percent have already invested in the product and will continue to do so every month.

CRED, a two-and-a-half-year-old startup from India, is one of the fastest-growing startups in India. In less than 2 years it achieved unicorn status, despite having a very low revenue figure. It is often ridiculed for its increasing valuation, despite its uncertain revenue and profitability. However, CRED is not the only one in this group.

It partnered with IDFC First Bank in late last year to provide short-term loans. This was its first chance at making money and it was valued at nearly a billion dollars.

CRED claims that its 7.5 million users represent 35 percent of premium cardholders in India, and that it processes 25% of Indian credit card bill payments.

It raised $215 million earlier this year from investors like Tiger Global Management and Sequoia Capital. It recently raised $215million at a $2.2 billion post-money valuation. This makes it one of the fastest privately-held startups to reach a unicorn. In October 2013, it was worth $800 million.

The startup ecosystem has also been abuzz with news that Shah is already raising his next round of funding, at a valuation of over $4 billion. Two people close to Shah reported that he was in San Francisco for the past month and had conversations with Andreessen Horowitz, the Silicon Valley heavyweight who has invested in Coinbase, Instacart, and Airbnb.

Facebook Wants To Redefine Online Meetings With Workrooms, And It’s Mind-Boggling

Facebook Workrooms

Technology knows no bounds, and neither do its users. Perhaps, that’s why Facebook has introduced Horizon Workrooms for those who don’t think Zoom meetings are a good enough substitute for the real thing. Facebook has launched a virtual reality app that lets you and your coworkers feel like sitting around a table in a conference room.

Facebook launched Horizon Workrooms on August 19, 2021. This app is free for Oculus Quest 2 headset users, which costs $299 onwards. It is the most ambitious attempt by the social media giant to allow groups to interact in VR, and to expand the use of the niche medium beyond gaming.

Up to 16 VR headset users can make use of Facebook Workrooms to meet in a virtual conference room. To make it look funkier, each avatar is a cartoon-like character that hovers slightly above a virtual table and appears as an upper body. The app can support up to 50 people in one meeting. The rest of the participants are able to join the virtual meeting as video callers, who appear on a flat grid-like screen within the virtual room.

Participants in meetings wearing Oculus VR headsets can use their hands and fingers to gesture in VR. Avatars’ mouths seem to move in lifelike manners while they speak. People can share images or make presentations on a virtual whiteboard.

Oculus, Facebook’s subsidiary, has been making efforts to make VR social interaction more popular than ever before for years. In 2016 and 2017, Oculus launched virtual-hangout apps Oculus Spaces and Facebook Spaces, respectively. It allows small groups to gather in VR. The company, however, shut down both VR apps in October 2019. Instead, it announced a virtual social world called Horizon, aiming for the launch in 2020. Looks like Mark Zuckerberg & Team is trying to crack some tough nut as Horizon is still not available for most users. Finally this week, Facebook confirmed that the app is still in private beta testing.

The possibility of working in a workspace may give users an idea of what Facebook is up to with Oculus. It also helps people to understand how well Facebook blended hardware and software since its acquisition of Oculus in 2014, besides hinting how much more time users will have to wait to have a perfect system in place.

How Far Facebook Can Go With Workrooms

In recent weeks, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other tech industry executives have been quite vocal about visions for a “metaverse.” This term is a reference to a decades-old sci-fi dystopian idea for a virtual universe that offers an escape from everyday life. Despite having limited knowledge and understanding, tech executives speak optimistically about what such a metaverse could be, with Facebook going so far as to create a “Metaverse product group” under the leadership of Andrew Bosworth, VP of Facebook Reality Labs.

Although Facebook workrooms might seem a step closer to social virtual universe, it is not the vision Zuckerberg has presented to users.

The app uses a variety of technologies and tricks to make it feel as real as possible. Wearers of headsets can view their computer screen in VR using an accompanying desktop application. Facebook Workrooms uses both spatial audio and hand tracking to enable users to interact in a way that is similar to real life, albeit with few challenges.

It’s evident that Facebook still has some issues to work out; Bosworth, the Facebook executive, was giving a demo of Workrooms describing it as an interactive way to connect with coworkers virtually than video chat. His avatar suddenly froze mid-sentence. The pixels of its digital skin changed from flesh-toned to flesh-toned grey, before he had been disconnected.

Despite all the excitement, Facebook still has problems with VR, even with Workrooms. It must convince people, or in this case companies, to purchase its headsets and use them frequently. And it must adapt to new ways of interaction within virtual worlds.

Quest 2 can track hands, and even individual fingers, making it possible for users to do gestures naturally and make a sign within Workrooms. However, if you touch both hands together during a VR meeting, it’s probable that they will simply overlap in an awkward manner that disrupts the illusion of presence and reality.

The VR headset is the final component. Bosworth anticipates that users will use the app for around 30 minutes. A second team from Facebook is currently working to improve the ergonomics of VR headsets. Although it may not seem like much, the Oculus Quest 2 weighs in at just over a pound. This was noticeable during a half-hour meeting.