News in Numbers, Mar 24, 2017: Be afraid. Do something. 🏥

$6.5 billion

What is it? Snapdeal’s last known valuation, done in 2016.

Why is it important? The valuation, at which the e-commerce company raised $200 million funding in February, 2016, is likely to take a hit. Since then, it has been dogged by failed funding search and sale, as its sales trail its main competitors in India. A report two days back, later refuted by the company, put tentative sale price at $1.5-1.8 billion, almost at a third. Another report yesterday said Snapdeal was unable to rope in investors such as Alibaba Group and existing investor Softbank for fresh funding.

Tell me more: Snapdeal’s made a loss of Rs 29.6 billion rupees in FY16.


~Rs 1,600 crore

What is it? The estimated price Bharti Airtel will pay for Tikona Digital Networks Pvt. Ltd’s 4G network.

Why is it important? The deal, giving Bharti Airtel access to Tikona’s broadband wireless spectrum and 350 cellular sites in five circles, will expand the former’s reach, particularly in cities where it lacks strong presence in 4G services. It has already lined up high-speed 4G services for these circles, even as it locks horns with Reliance Jio.

Tell me more: The overall deal value might be a little more at Rs 1,700 crore s Bharti Airtel as to take on debt on Tikona’s books. Recently, Airtel also announced acquisition of Norway’s Telenor’s India operations, with 44 million subscribers.


13 degrees

What is it? The rise in the Celsius scale in Delhi in the span of 10 days.

Why is it important? In line with warnings of extreme climate and unpredictable weather changes due to global warming, spring bid adieu to the capital city quicker than usual. Thursday’s temperature of 37.4 degree-C was seven degrees above normal and the highest in March since 2010.

Tell me more: The heat onset is despite the recent spate of rain and snow in the hills. The capital is now buffeted by hot summer’s wind patterns, says Ravinder Vishen, head of IMD’s Regional Weather Forecasting Centre.


$70 million

What is it? The amount raised by Soundcloud, a music streaming firm based in Berlin.

Why is it important? It came in form of debt, while most tech startups tend to go for equity. There is an intense debate on which form of capital is better for a high growth company (Soundcloud said it wants to grow 2.5 times in 2017). Debt could be useful for a company if it believes it is not getting a fair valuation from equity investors, but there are risks, as one of the early backers of Soundcloud argued in a post recently.

Tell me more: Soundcloud, which faces increasing competition from Apple Music, Pandora and Spotify, tried to raise $100 million in equity recently, but didn’t succeed.



What is it? India’s share in global tuberculosis cases, according to a new study by  Centre for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy

Why is it important? India has the most number of TB cases in the world. Indian government’s ability to counter the crisis has come into question. An added level of danger and complexity is the growing number of multi-drug resistant TB cases. In Mumbai such cases grew by 21% in 2015-16.

Tell me more: Multi-drug resistant TB tends to be fatal, with 40% of the patients succumbing to the disease. India lacks tools that can detect such cases.

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News in Numbers, June 15, 2016: GST a step closer to reality, Ola in talks to raise funds…


What is it? The number of underwater robots British scientists working from an Indian research ship will release across a 400-km stretch of water in the Bay of Bengal to help better predict India’s monsoon.

Why is it important? These robots will measure the salinity, current and temperature and transmit this data to a satellite. A simultaneous study of atmospheric measurements by UK and India will be conducted. The two sets of data would be compared to see how ocean conditions affect monsoon patterns – which assumes significance as India is eagerly awaiting the rains after two successive years of drought.

Tell me more: The Southwest monsoon hit the Kerala coast on June 8 (a delay of seven days) and is progressing northwards slowly, according to the weather department.



What is it? The number of states whose finance ministers attended a meeting with the central government where the Goods and Services Taxes (GST) reform was discussed on Tuesday.

Why is it important? With Finance Minister Arun Jaitley saying that “virtually” all states, except Tamil Nadu, have supported the GST, the opposition now narrows down to Congress and J Jayalalithaa-led AIADMK. This brings India’s biggest tax reform (having a single tax in place of different existing ones) a step closer to reality and the Indian government is trying to get the legislation passed in the monsoon session that begins in July.

Tell me more: After the latest round of elections to the Rajya Sabha, NDA has 74 members in the House (against UPA’s 71) though it still requires the support of 163 members of a total of 245.


$300-400 million

What is it? The amount taxi aggregator Ola is reportedly looking to raise, though other reports put the figure at $1 billion.

Why is it important? This comes after Uber announced raising $3.5 billion from Saudi Arabia’s investment fund, of which it plans to invest a substantial portion in India. Both Ola and Uber are engaged in intense competition to gain dominance in India’s $12 billion taxi market. For Uber, India is extremely important as it struggles to compete with Didi Chuxing in China and for Ola, it is a matter of survival and fending off competition from cash-rich Uber.

Tell me more: Both the firms contradict each other while citing market share figures. However, Uber’s growth rate has overtaken that of Ola’s to increase its market share to 26.5% in the last two years and Ola is the leader with 52% share, according to Counterpoint Research.



What is it? The increase in wholesale price inflation in May.

Why is it important? This is the second consecutive monthly increase and the fastest since October 2014 – fuelled by rise in food prices. Wholesale food prices rose 7.88% last month compared to 4.23% in April, driven by vegetables prices. With the consumer price inflation accelerating at the fastest pace in 21 months, interest rate cuts are unlikely in the near future.

Tell me more: The above-normal rainfall predicted for this year is likely to have a softening effect on food prices.


$70 million

What is it? The amount Twitter has reportedly invested in audio streaming company SoundCloud.

Why is it important? Both Twitter and SoundCloud are struggling to increase their user base and monetise their services. SoundCloud has about 175 million monthly users, and competes with Spotify. Twitter has 320 million average monthly active users and earlier this year reported its first quarter with no growth in its user base.

Tell me more: This would be the microblogging site’s second attempt to venture into music, after it closed its one-year-old Twitter Music in 2014.

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