At a time when fake news is considered to be real news and when people are pointing out flaws in every aspect, it comes as no surprise that controversies and scam haven’t spared even the startup world! While this year saw major acquisitions and mishaps, it also saw controversies of a different kind. Here’s our yearly wrap up of what happened in the controversial world of 2018!
1. Everything about the Walmart and Flipkart deal
Even before the Walmart takeover, Flipkart was already doing really well. From securing $ 5 billion through multiple investments in 2017, to doing really well in different investment series in a given time, Flipkart’s market position was quite strong at the time. While Sachin Bansal stepping down as CEO was written in the cards from the very beginning, Binny Bansal’s exit came as a result of an issue which took place over 2 years. Binny Bansal, the ex CEO of Flipkart, was being blackmailed by a co worker he was involved with and the only way he saw fit to resolve the problem was by stepping away from the company. To make matters interesting, prior to the takeover by Walmart, the Flipkart CEOs were also accused of evading tax!
2. The Paytm Data Leak Controversy
Ranked number two on the list of the most successful startups in India, Paytm has been embroiled in its fair share of controversies. Primarily formed as a digital payments company, Paytm grew by 10 times since the day it was founded to where it is today. However, despite being one of the first Indian startups to secure an investment from Berkshire Hathaway, Paytm stayed on the headlines for being involved in multiple controversies. The first major issue was Vijay Shekhar Sharma admitting on video he had shared data with the Prime Minister of India without obtaining consent from the users. While this issue cleared in due time, another one promptly popped up. Paytm again hit the headlines because of the data extortion case levied against the Vice President of Corporate Communications, Paytm, Sonia Dhawan, her husband Roopak Jain, another Paytm employee, Devendra Kumar and his friend, Rohit Chomal. The four of them were accused of creating a plan to extort $1.4 million from Vijay, threatening to release the “personal data” in public otherwise. A typical case of jumping from the frying pan into the fire, right? Three of the four accused are still in jail and are waiting for their case to be heard.
3. The Huawei controversy
Over the last few years, Huawei has been trying to expand all over the United States. However, in the beginning of 2018, a lot of almost sure deals started falling through, citing international political concerns as a major issue. Initially expected to sign major deals with major telecommunication companies like Verizon, Wireless and AT&T, the deals fell through without a warning of any kind. The reasons are attributed to Huawei’s alleged ties with the Chinese Government, which a lot of people saw as a threat, especially in the United States.
4. The Apple affair
Despite being all about introducing a series of new phones in this last year, Apple was involved in quite a heated controversy. Recently, Apple was in the headlines not for the phones released by the company, but for the fact that Apple was accused of “throttling.” Simply defined, throttling is defined as a process wherein the makers slow down the performance of older iPhones to save the phones’ battery life. Although Apple CEO Tim Cook came forward with a public statement saying they should have been more forward and transparent about the practice, the response was considered to be less than satisfactory. Furthermore, one of the major reasons throttling was a concern was the indirect push it gave people to constantly upgrade to new iPhones. The status of this issue now is, two federal agencies, the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Services, are investing the case.
5. The Xerox and Fujifilm Holdings deal
Early in the year (on January 31, 2018, to be precise,) Xerox agreed to enter a merger with Fujifilm Holdings wherein Fujifilm would have a major stake in Xerox. Furthermore, the deal was expected to touch the $ 18 billion mark in the printer industry. However, the deal quickly turned sour with all the fights and quarrels that took place over the deal. Finally, after a long drawn out battle, the reinstated board of Xerox backed off from the deal. Now, Fujifilm is filing a lawsuit of $ 1 billion against Xerox, saying they were facing major damages with regards to the breach of contract!
The year 2018 certainly was interesting, especially when related to all the controversies in the startup world. If you think we missed out on any other issues such as these, comment and let us know!
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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