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Andhra Pradesh Government Flags Off The Blockchain Business Conference

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The Andhra Pradesh Government, in a bid to make Vishakhapatnam the blockchain capital of India, launched the Blockchain Business Conference yesterday. This flagship initiative by the Government of Andhra Pradesh marks the second leg of the Fintech Valley Vizag initiative that was started in March 2017, with the Fintech Spring Conference.

The two day conference will explore blockchain technologies, its applications and how it will impact the financial services industry. Regional and international experts, startups, corporates, regulators, entrepreneurs, policymakers and academics will be participating in this event. More than 50 startups from across the world will be showcasing their products and solutions in the fintech and blockchain domains.

Speaking at the conference, the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, N. Chandrababu Naidu said, “I want to make Visakhapatnam not only India’s capital for fintech or blockchain technologies, it will be a center of excellence for the global community.

ICICI Bank and Mahindra Finance also inaugurated two new accelerator programs at the conference which will mentor and finance 30 startup companies and help them in solving problems. The Government is also looking to triple the size of their Rs. 100 crores angel fund by bringing in co investors and domestic institutions. A Rs. 500 crores fintech fund will also be set up, which will function separately from the innovation focused angel fund. With a target to engage with 50 startups this fiscal year, the fintech fund will receive Rs. 100 crores from the government and the remaining amount will be raised from co investors such as the Small Industries Development Bank of India.

Along with the Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, Lokesh Nara, the IT Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Gulshan Rai, the Special Secretary of Cybersecurity and Prime Minister’s Advisory, Mr. Ravi Menon were the other keynote speakers at the event. Speaking about the disruptive blockchain technology, Lokesh Nara said Andhra Pradesh was the first state to use blockchain pilots and the technology has also been already taken up by the IT sector.

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Apple’s New Launch – iPhone 11

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Apple Inc., launched its iPhone 11 lineup on September 10th 2019.  The launch happened in San Jose, where the headquarters of the Company are located.  The iPhone 11 lineup includes the iPhone 11, the iPhone 11 Pro and the iPhone 11 Pro Max.  The price of the new iPhones ranges from $ 699 to $ 1099, with the iPhone 11 being the cheapest.  During the launch, Apple also introduced other devices like the next gen Apple watch, the 7th gen iPad and the Apple Arcade.

The new iPhone 11 is an upgraded version of the iPhone XR, while the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max are upgrades of the iPhone XS and XS Max respectively.  The iPhone 11 is directed at the price sensitive Indian market.

During the launch, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller said, “iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max are the most powerful and advanced smartphones we have ever made. They are packed with sophisticated technology that pros can count on to get their work done, and for anyone who wants the very best device made, even if they are not a pro.”

Specifications

iPhone 11

The new iPhone 11 will be available in three storage variants of 64GB, 128GB and 256GB.  The iPhone 11 will be powered by A13 Bionic, which is a new processor designed by Apple. The smartphone will have a 6.1 inch LCD screen with a resolution of 1792 X 828 pixels.  The rear camera of the iPhone 11 consists of two lenses and both have a 12 megapixel image sensor. The iPhone 11 is dust and water resistant and will be available in black, green, yellow, purple, red and white variants. 

iPhone Pro and iPhone Pro Max

The Pro and Pro Max versions are quite expensive compared to the iPhone 11.  They are priced at $ 999 and $ 1099 respectively. The smartphones will be available in three storage variants of 64GB, 256GB and 512GB.  The rear camera of both the smartphones consists of three lenses. The OLED display of iPhone Pro and Pro Max are 5.8 and 6.5 inches respectively.  Just like the iPhone 11, these models are also dust and water resistant. 

 

The iPhone 11 lineup will be released on September 20th 2019 in the United States of America and on September 27th 2019 in India.

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Jack Ma Retires From Alibaba At 55

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Jack Ma retired from Alibaba, the Company he built 20 years ago, on September 10th 2019 as its Chairman.  Ma announced last year he would retire from Alibaba in September 2019.

Jack Ma co founded Alibaba in 1999 as a B2B marketplace site, at his apartment in Hangzhou, China.  Alibaba Group Holding Limited is now one of the biggest and most valuable companies in the world. The Company owns and operates businesses in numerous sectors around the world.  With a market value of $ 420 million, Alibaba made Jack Ma one of the richest people in China, with a net worth of $ 35.6 billion. He is also considered one of the wealthiest and most powerful people in the world.

Jack Ma decided to retire from Alibaba in order to pursue educational and philanthropic work.  Daniel Zhang, who is the CEO of the Company since 2015, will step into Jack Ma’s shoes as the executive chairman of Alibaba. 

To bid farewell to Jack Ma, the Company held a four hour celebration at an Olympic sized stadium in Hangzhou with a capacity to accommodate 80,000 people.  Jack Ma, who is known for his colorful personality and performed at a Chinese music festival, did not disappoint anyone this time either.  Ma, dressed as a rockstar with a fake wig and holding an electronic guitar, gave a powerful performance in front of his employees. 

Speaking about his retirement at the event, Jack Ma said, “After tonight, I will start a new life. I do believe the world is good, there are so many opportunities and I love excitement so much, which is why I will retire early.

Even though Jack Ma retired from Alibaba as its Chairman, he will stay on the Company’s board till 2020 and will remain a lifetime partner of Alibaba Partnership. 

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Binny Bansal Sells ₹531 Crore Worth Flipkart Shares To Walmart

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Binny Bansal, an Indian billionaire, entrepreneur and co founder of the e-commerce website Flipkart, sold $ 76.4 million worth of his shares in Flipkart to Walmart’s Luxembourg entity FIT Holdings SARL.

Binny Bansal, along with his partner Sachin Bansal, co founded the Flipkart and served as its Chief Executive Officer until January 2016.

Walmart, a multinational retail corporation, bought Flipkart in 2018 and back then, Bansal sold a small portion of his shares and held 3.85 % of stake.

Now, according to the documents filed by Flipkart with the regulators, Binny Bansal transferred 539,912 equity shares to FIT Holdings SARL.  These shares are valued to be $ 76.4 million (approximately Rs. 531 crores.)  This latest deal left him with only 3.52 % stake in Flipkart.

Vivek Durai, the founder of Paper.vc, a business intelligence platform, said, “With this transfer, Binny Bansal has monetised a small portion of his shareholdings. He had sold 1,122,433 shares for about $ 159 million during the Walmart takeover.”

According to his contract with Walmart, Binny Bansal is entitled to sell more than half of his shares to Walmart by August 2020 and he could gain around $ 400 million from this transaction.

Bansal, who is mostly based in Singapore, is now an investor in India’s  startup ecosystem and is also the co founder of xto10X Technologies, which was launched last year.

In December 2018, Binny Bansal invested a sprawling $ 25 million dollars in the online insurance startup Acko.  He also invested in several AI and healthtech startups.

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