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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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Online Food Delivery Platform Zomato Acquires Uber Eats

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Uber Eats, the online food delivery business owned by Uber, has been in the news for quite some time, saying it will cease operations due to losses from the business.  Swiggy, which is one of the leading online food delivery startups in India, had its eyes on acquiring Uber Eats. However, the deal could not fall through due to disagreements about the financial terms and taxation clauses.

The Indian public was in for a surprise when Zomato announced they will acquire Uber Eats in an all stock deal for $ 350 million.  This is one of the biggest acquisitions of this year. The Uber Eats app ceased operations and instead shows you a notice which redirects you to the Zomato platform.

Uber Eats posted on their official Twitter handle regarding the news about the acquisition.

This deal now gives Zomato a 55 % control of the market, which it now shares with its competitor, Swiggy.  The online food delivery market has been very difficult for Uber Eats to make inroads as it was already captured by Swiggy and Zomato.  The deal excludes Uber Eats’ employees as Zomato stated they will not take them. Uber will absorb these employees and allocate them other business roles.

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Sundar Pichai To Lead Alphabet Inc As New CEO

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Sundar Pichai is all set to lead Alphabet Inc., the multinational conglomerate parent company of Google. Pichai was the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Google since 2015 and now, he will also lead Alphabet Inc.

On the 3rd of December, Larry Page, the co founder of Alphabet Inc., stepped down as the CEO handing over the position to Sundar Pichai. Alphabet, which emerged in 2015 as a result of restructuring of Google, currently owns more than 12 companies, including Waymo, Malta, Makani, X Development, Calico, the healthcare software company Verily and others.

Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the co founders of Google, wrote a blog post speaking about their decision of moving out of the company, instating Sundar Pichai the CEO of Alphabet.

Larry Page showed his confidence in Sundar Pichai, who has been leading Google as the CEO since 2015. Page said, “We’ve never been ones to hold on to management roles when we think there’s a better way to run the company. And Alphabet and Google no longer need two CEOs and a President. Going forward, Sundar will be the CEO of both Google and Alphabet (sic.)”

Though Larry Page and Sergey Brin resigned from their respective posts of CEO and President, they would still remain on the Board of Directors of the Company.

Born and brought up in a middle class family in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, Sundar Pichai completed his education from IIT Kharagpur and Stanford University. Later, in 2004, Pichai joined Google marking the starting point of his successful career. Sundar Pichai gained success after creating and executing the Google Chrome project, which is now the world’s most used web browser.

In the letter, Larry Page and Sergey Brin addressed Sundar Pichai praising his efforts, abilities and contribution to Google. “Sundar brings humility and a deep passion for technology to our users, partners and our employees every day,” they added.

The cofounders also mentioned Pichai worked for the growth and development of Google and Alphabet for 15 years, through the formation of Alphabet, as CEO of Google, and a member of the Alphabet Board of Directors.. They are confident Pichai would lead Google and Alphabet with great passion.

Speaking about the blog and the role, Sundar Pichai tweeted

Twitter users congratulated Sundar Pichai for becoming the CEO of Alphabet Inc. Hours after the big announcement, the shares of Alphabet Inc., rose by 0.64 % to 1,303 dollars.

From a small company in 1998 working out of a dorm room and a garage to a multinational conglomerate, the journey of Google and Alphabet has been incredible. Watch the biography of Larry Page on our YouTube Channel

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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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