News in numbers, Jan 20, 2016: VC-backed startups’ funding falls, ad spending in 2016…

 

Rs 4.34 per unit

What is it? The price at which Finland-based Fortum Finnsurya Energy has bid to build a 70-MW solar plant in Rajasthan under NTPC’s Bhadla Solar Park tender.

Why is it important? This is the lowest solar tariff in India, beating the recent bids by SBG Cleantech and Sun Edison at Rs 4.63 per unit. Though such low tariffs raise concerns about the viability of these projects, the government says this has been possible “through transparent auctions with a ready provision of land, transmission and the like”. Lower crude prices tend to be bad for solar energy firms, but India’s energy push is opening up opportunities for some of them.

Tell me more: State-owned NTPC conducted the reverse bidding for 420 MW solar projects to be set up at Bhadla’s Solar Park – Phase II on Monday.

 

35 seconds

What is it? The minimum time it will take to book a train ticket on IRCTC website.

Why is it important? The railway ticket booking website has deliberately kept the booking time to 35 seconds to prevent automated software from exploiting the system. The 35 second wait time was arrived at after considering that it takes at least 35 seconds to fill in the needed information. This is expected to reduce complaints from individual users who end up not being able to book tickets online.

Tell me more: In 2014-15, 18.3 crore tickets were booked on the IRCTC website and 14.9 crore between April-December 2015.

 

6%

What is it? The rate at which print advertising is estimated to grow in 2016 in India, according to a report by media agency GroupM.

Why is it important? However, print’s share in ad spending is estimated to decrease from 32.4% to 29.7% in 2016. Share of digital and television advertising are expected to increase to 12.7% and 47.1% this year. The growth in print sector is to be driven by auto, banking and finance and the government, besides regional advertising of telecom and consumer product brands in vernacular papers.

Tell me more: Total ad spending is estimated to grow 15.5% in 2016 to Rs 57,486 crore. Digital spending is likely to grow the fastest at 47.5% while growth rates of television and radio advertising are likely to slow down from 2015.

 

$1.5 billion

What is it? Amount venture capital-backed startups raised on 114 deals in the October-December quarter of 2015, according to a report by CB Insights and KPMG.

Why is it important? This is a decline of 46% in funding and 18% in number of deals in the last quarter of 2015 compared to the previous quarter. In Q3 of 2015, VC-backed startups raised $2.8 billion on 139 deals. An indicator that startups may not enjoy the same steady flow of VC money as in the previous quarters. India recently announced setting up a fund of funds with a $1.5 billion corpus to spent over four years.

Tell me more: At a global level too, there was a 30% drop in funding to $27.2 billion invested across 1,742 deals, marking the “lowest quarterly deal activity since Q1 2013”.

 

6.9%

What is it? China’s economic growth rate in 2015.

Why is it important? It is the slowest in 25 years. A slowdown in China, which is the second largest economy and the second largest importer of goods and services, is bound to affect the global economy. Concerns over China’s slowdown and a slump in commodity prices have prompted the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to cut its global economic growth forecast to 3.4% in 2016 from its October projection of 3.6%. It has kept China’s growth projection unchanged at 6.3% this year. China’s release of its weak economic growth prompted speculation that the government might announce some stimulus package, causing global stocks to rise.

Tell me more: China’s economic slowdown in the last two years comes as its government is trying to transition to an economy that is led by consumption and services rather than exports and investments.

Read More

News in numbers, Dec 16, 2015: India’s falling exports, purchasing power in 71 global cities…

$20 billion

What is it? India’s merchandise exports in November.

 

Why is it important? It fell for the 12th consecutive month, a decline of 24.4% on a year-on-year basis. Shows the effect of global meltdown, decrease in global demand and lower commodity prices on Indian exports. Fall in exports of engineering goods (fall of 28.6% in terms of value), petroleum products (54% decline) and gems and jewellery (21.5% fall) had a significant impact on overall export figures. After the financial crisis in 2008-09, India had diversified its exports towards Asian markets (accounts for half of India’s exports in 2015-16 so far) and this continent leads the fall in export growth this financial year.

 

Tell me more: Imports fell by 30.3% in last month compared to November 2014, thereby recording trade deficit of $9.7 billion this November. Since the beginning of 2015-16, exports have contracted 18.4% and imports fell by 17%.

 

73

 

What is it? Number of minutes a Delhiite needs to work to buy a kilo of rice, according to UBS’ Prices and Earnings 2015 report, which compares the purchasing power in 71 cities worldwide.

 

Why is it important? It’s an indicator of how expensive a kilo of rice is, given average wages in a city, and is useful for comparisons across geographies and over time. Delhi tops the list, ahead of Cairo (66 minutes) and Nairobi (62 minutes). A Mumbaikar can buy the same after working two-thirds of that time – or 49 minutes. Rice is the cheapest at Oslo, where one needs to work just four minutes to buy a kilo of rice.

 

Tell me more: In terms of net hourly pay, the two Indian cities in the study – Mumbai and New Delhi – figure among the bottom 10. While New Delhi is last but four, Mumbai is in the sixth position backwards.

 

0.4%

 

What is it? Share of patents in India that came from industry-academia collaboration between 2000 and 2014, according to a report by Thomson Reuters.

 

Why is it important? Shows industry – academia collaboration – which often boosts innovation – has a lot of ground to cover in India. Academia and government filed 20% of patents and the corporate segment filed over 70% between 2010 and 2014.  

 

Tell me more:  According to the study, the main focus areas in innovation in India are in the following categories: human necessities, chemistry and metallurgy, physics, performing operations and transporting and electricity.

 

Rs 4.63

 

What is it? The price at which, SBG Cleantech has bid per kilowatt-hour (kWh) to build a 350-megawatt (MW) solar project in Andhra Pradesh. SBG Cleantech is a joint venture between SoftBank Group Corp., Bharti Enterprises and Foxconn Technology Group.

 

Why is it important? The price bid is the same as the record low solar tariff when US-based Sun Edison bid for a 500 MW tender put out by NTPC in Andhra Pradesh. This could mean such low tariffs are here to stay raising concerns about the viability of such projects. Also, signals the interest by global players in India’s solar industry where the government has a solar energy target of 100 gigawatt by 2022. For SBG Cleantech, this is the first renewable energy project it has won in India after the joint venture was set up this June. SoftBank has pledged to invest $20 billion in solar energy projects in the country.

 

Tell me more: The 350 MW capacity is to come up in a solar park being developed by state-run NTPC and it would buy the power produced from the plant.

 

 

What is it? The amount the two new Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises – Pune and Rajkot – have spent to acquire five players each for the upcoming IPL season in 2016 at the draft conducted in Mumbai on Tuesday.

 

Why is it important? With a salary cap of Rs 66 crore for the players, both the teams are now left with Rs 27 crore each (40.9%) to buy the rest of the squad.

 

Tell me more: While Pune owned by Kolkata-based New Rising picked up MS Dhoni for the stipulated price of Rs 12.5 crore, Suresh Raina was the first preference for Rajkot owned by Intex Mobiles who was bought for the same price.

Read More