Three months ago reports surfaced the international retail giant Walmart was looking to invest in homegrown ecommerce startup Flipkart. While sources suggested the deal may close as soon as March, but new reports hinted Seattle based ecommerce giant Amazon.com was also looking to make a bid for a potential investment in the company. Since then, there has been a continuous back and forth between Walmart and Amazon to finalize a record breaking deal.
Recently, a number of key Flipkart shareholders agreed to sell their stakes in the company to Walmart. However, sources close to the development said SoftBank, which is the largest shareholder in Flipkart, is holding out for a better price. In order to become the largest investor in the Bengaluru based company, Walmart Inc., has already reached an agreement with the New York based investment firm Tiger Global Management, the South African media conglomerate Naspers, the venture capital firm Accel and China’s Tencent Holdings. According to The Economic Times, Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal may sell a part of their stake in the company as well. However, a new hurdle in the form of the ecommerce firm eBay, may hamper the deal.
Recode reported, Walmart may have to first work out a deal with eBay, a Flipkart investor and partner, in order to buy a majority stake in India’s online shopping site. eBay, which invested close to $ 500 million in Flipkart last year, has a 5% stake in the business and handed over its eBay India operation as a part of the deal. Along with the investment, the San Jose based firm also signed a four year exclusive commercial arrangement to partner with Flipkart. The four year exclusive commercial arrangement gave the merchants who sell on Flipkart access to more than 150 million new customers from eBay, while eBay sellers outside of India got access to a new group of consumers inside the country. In accordance with this agreement, Walmart may not be able to seal merchandise based deals with Flipkart, unless Walmart and eBay come to some agreement. Recode further added, according to one person familiar with the arrangement eBay can also take back control of the eBay India brand name if Flipkart is acquired.
On the other hand, SoftBank has reportedly remained relatively cold to overtures made by Walmart. The Japan based venture firm invested close to $ 2.5 billion in Flipkart last year after the failed merger deal between Flipkart and Snapdeal. According to a report by The Economic Times, SoftBank was offered a $ 10-12 billion valuation to purchase its shares in Flipkart. One of the sources also said, “Discussions with SoftBank are still ongoing. Most of the others have come aboard. In a deal like this, there are always ebbs and flows, but there is a time factor to consider as well.”
Flipkart has slowly grown to become one of the most valued company in the Indian startup ecosystem. With close to 8,000 permanent employees, the company has made at least 10 acquisitions in the 10 years of its existence. The firm managed to establish itself in the ecommerce industry by introducing the “cash on delivery” payment method, one of the biggest factors for its success.
Note: This article will be updated as and when we get further information.
Bernard Arnault Replaces Bill Gates As Second Richest Man In The World
According to a report released by Bloomberg, Bill Gates, the co founder of Microsoft, was replaced as the world’s second richest person by Bernard Arnault, the Chairman of LVMH. Bill Gates was ranked as the 2nd richest person in Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index for the last 7 years. However, he was replaced by Arnault after the French businessman added $ 39 billion in 2019 to his wealth, pushing his net worth to $ 108 billion.
Arnault, aged 70, joined world’s most exclusive wealth club after Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates, when his fortune surpassed the $ 100 billion mark for the first time in June 2019. As the chairman and CEO of the luxury goods maker LVMH, most of Arnault’s wealth comes from his holdings in Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior. He holds a 97 % stake in Christian Dior. Apart from Louis Vuitton, Bernard also oversees 70 other luxury good companies like Givenchy, Marc Jacobs, Sephora and Fendi, to name a few.
Arnault and his family are among the list of luxury titans who pledged more than $ 650 million for the reconstruction of the Notre Dame Cathedral, which was destroyed by a massive fire in April 2019.
Bill Gates, with a net worth of $ 107 billion, lost the title of being the world’s second richest man because of his philanthropic work. Gates donated over $ 35 billion to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, founded in 2000 by him and his wife Melinda Gates. The primary focus of the Foundation is to enhance healthcare and reduce extreme poverty. Amazon’s Bezos’ net worth was up slightly this year to $ 125 billion, despite his divorce settlement with his former wife MacKenzie Bezos, which saw MacKenzie keep 4% stake in his multinational technology company. This made MacKenzie Bezos the 4th richest woman in the world.
Declared the richest man in Europe, Bernard Arnault has been climbing the ladder to success continuously. His $ 39 billion addition to his wealth in 2019 alone, according to Bloomberg, is the biggest individual gain among the 500 people it ranks.
iPhone Unknown Facts
Introduced by Steve Jobs in the year 2007, the iPhone is a technological revolution which changed the fate of smartphones forever. It is also safe to say, the iPhone is one of the most coveted smartphones in the world.
Here is a list of few things you may not know about this amazing piece of technology.
Unknown facts about iPhone
1) The iPhone was originally called ‘Purple.’ Scott Forstall, the ex software head of Apple, revealed, the phone was initially named ‘Purple,’ after ‘Purple Dorm,’ the building where it was built and developed.
2) Cisco Systems owns the patent for the name iPhone for its VoIP phone. When Apple released its iPhone, Cisco sued Apple for using its name. Both the companies then reached a settlement and agreed to work together on products later in the future.
3) If you ever observed the iPhone commercials, you will notice, all the iPhones show the time as 9:41 A.M. Apparently, 9:41 A.M., was the time when Steve Jobs first unveiled the iPhone.
4) The retina display on the iPhone is its most expensive feature.
5) We are all aware of the rivalry between Apple and Samsung. Samsung was seen trashing the iPhone in many of its commercials. Still, it looks like these companies are not rivals after all. According to technology intelligence experts, the processor that powers the iPhone is actually manufactured by Samsung. Now that’s a shocker.
6) When the iPhone was introduced, founder Steve Jobs first used it to make a prank call to order 4,000 lattes from a nearby Starbucks store.
7) iPhones are the most profitable products created by Apple. They account for up to 70 % of Apple’s total revenue.
8) The iPhone earned 73 % of the profit of the smartphone industry in 2018.
9) In 2007, iPhone was awarded the Invention of the Year by TIME magazine.
10) By 2015, Apple sold around 700 million iPhones. Reports also suggest, the users of iPhone are more loyal to their brand than Android users.
Do you know any other interesting facts about the iPhone? Comment below and let us know.
Union Budget 2019 – Startups Get Major Advantages
The Union Budget of India is mostly about giving us an insight into how the government decides to spend public funds for the overall development of the Country.
India’s Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, presented her maiden budget to the Parliament on Friday and walked us through the various plans which may take India’s economy to $ 5 trillion by 2025.
The Indian startup ecosystem felt, the Interim Budget, which was helmed by Piyush Goyal in February, had overlooked their problems.
However, giving a major boost to thousands of startups across the Country, the Narendra Modi led Government announced a list of measures the Government is going to take to “release the entrepreneurial spirit” in the Country.
Keep reading to find out what the Budget for new India has in store for business heads and startup founders.
Budget 2019 highlights for startups
1) The Modi Government will soon launch a TV program exclusively for the startups in India, which will air on the Doordarshan channel. This program will serve as a medium through which emerging startups could meet venture capitalists and investors. This TV program will be directed, executed and run by startups themselves.
2) The Startup India Scheme, which was launched in 2016 to support entrepreneurship among women and marginal segments of the society by providing them financial assistance, has produced more than 300 entrepreneurs as of today. Mrs. Sitharaman said, this scheme will continue till 2025. This can prove to be a major boost for aspiring entrepreneurs.
3) A reduction in Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Income Tax for electric vehicle (EV) makers and owners has been proposed in the Parliament. This move could prove to be profitable for EV startups in the Country.
4) Sitharaman announced, startups will no longer be under the scrutiny of Angel Tax. Angel tax is applicable to startups which have raised their capital by selling shares above the market value. This excess capital is considered as income and taxed accordingly, a move which was started in 2012. The waiver of angel tax could be a huge relief for startup owners.
5) The Finance Minister proposed a 100 percent foreign direct investment (FDI) to insurance intermediaries. The FDI limit is currently 49 %. Apart from this, the Government also announced 100 % FDI in single brand retail startups. Startups like PepperFry and UrbanLadder, which operate single brand stores, will benefit from this move.
6) The Government will also establish around 100 business incubators—80 for livelihood businesses and 20 for tech, in the financial year 2019-20. According to the Government, this will help create up to 75,000 skilled entrepreneurs.
7) Businesses with an annual turnover below Rs. 5 crores can file quarterly GST returns, said Sitharaman.
Apart from all this, the several measures announced for labour laws, rental segment and education can have an indirect impact on the startups of our Country. With so many incentives announced to boost the Indian startup ecosystem, we may see a substantial growth in Indian startups.
What is your opinion about Union Budget 2019? Comment below and let us know.
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