PoS-itive additions 💳📊

1.4 billion

What is it? The amount e-commerce firm Flipkart raised from eBay, Microsoft and Tencent

Why is it important? It’s the biggest amount raised in a single funding round by an Indian start-up. It came at a pre-money valuation of $10.2 billion, signalling the confidence investors have showed in the company that saw a series of markdowns in the last couple of years. The funding – and acquisition of eBay India, that was a part of the deal – will strengthen Flipkart as it fights its aggressive and better endowed competitor Amazon.

Tell me more: There have also been talks that Snapdeal, the third largest commerce player in the country will be merged with Flipkart, along with additional funding from SoftBank.



What is it? The share of the Europe, Middle East, India and Africa (EMEIA) region in the global IPOs (initial public offerings) in first three months of 2017.

Why is it important? India with 26 IPOs accounted for nearly 34% of the region’s activity that ranked it second to Asia-Pacific in IPO numbers. EMEIA ranked third with 15% share in global proceeds, behind Asia-Pacific and the Americas.

Tell me more: The EMEIA region had 77 IPOs, raising $5.2 billion in all in Jan-Mar, 2017.


>2.5 million

What is it? The number of point-of-sale (PoS) machines at merchant establishments/shops.

Why is it important? PoS machine availability in India trails that of BRIC nations such as Brazil and China where per capita PoS availability for swiping plastic money is higher. Demonetisation had brought the scarcity into focus as people had to do less cash transactions. The numbers inched from 1.5 million swipe machines in October, 2016, to 1.7 million in December, 2.2 million in February, 2017, to over 2.5 million now. SBI has led with installation of 124,000 machines.

Tell me more: The count, shared by a National Payments Corporation of India official, is a little less than Niti Aayog’s estimate of 2.8 million PoS machines in February.


17 days

What is it? The time the UK-to-China freight train would take to reach its destination in Zhejiang, travelling along the ancient ‘Silk Road’ route.

Why is it important? The time taken by the train between the two countries, spanning a route along seven other countries, is still half the duration at sea. It is also cheaper than sending goods by air. While the train had brought household items, clothes, and consumer fashion goods from China, it is transporting soft drinks, baby products and pharmaceuticals on the maiden return journey.

Tell me more: Chinese premier, Xi Jinping’s 2013 “One Belt, One Road” policy to revive land-routes for trading with the West, has made London the 15th European city with a direct rail connection.


$50.9 billion

What is it? Tesla’s market cap at the end of trading on Monday

Why is it important? It is now the most valued car company in the US, beating General Motors, the 108 year old giant, by 64 million dollars. Tesla’s position is seen more as a reflection of investors’ faith in Elon Musk’s vision for the future of electric cars, than the present financials of the companies. GM earned $9 billion in 2016, and Teslalost $674 million. GM sold nearly 10 million vehicles, and Tesla sold 80,000 globally.

Tell me more: Toyota, with its  $172 billion market cap, is the biggest carmaker by market value at present. Volkswagen, with a sale of 10.31 million vehicles in 2016, is the largest carmaker by sales volume, closely followed by Toyota.

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News In Numbers – July 29

News In Numbers: July 29


3.5 years

The last reign of Japan’s Toyota as the world’s largest automaker by sales. On Wednesday, this ended when the numbers for the first half of 2015 were released, and Volkswagen leapfrogged Toyota to the top slot. Toyota was also number one from 2008 to 2010, before ceding it for a year to General Motors in 2011. In India, however, none of the top three global makers dominate the pecking order, which is led by Suzuki (global ranking of 9 in 2014) and Hyundai (global ranking of 4 in 2014).



The interest coverage ratio, a measure of the ability of companies to pay interest on their loans, of 4,797 companies from India — the lowest among countries surveyed by the International Monetary Fund. This effectively means the debt levels are at risk and could deteriorate further. Indian companies fared the worst in a recent stress test conducted by the IMF, indicating that borrowing costs and earnings would worsen if the dollar continues to appreciate. Elsewhere in the Indian economy, the total stressed advances at all banks in India increased to 11.1% of total advances in March 2015; as of December 2014, the infrastructure sector had the highest share in this.


28.5 years

The average age of startup founders in Bengaluru, according to a report by a San Francisco-based research firm. Thus, the city, sometimes termed “India’s Silicon Valley”, has the youngest entrepreneurs in the world, with an average age that is eight years less than that in Silicon Valley. Bangalore is the only Indian city to figure in this list of top 20 startup ecosystems in the world. Although Silicon Valley beat Bangalore in almost all aspects such as fund raised, number of women founders, number of employees with startup experience, the Indian city has a higher percentage of startups with at least one tech founder than the former.


Rs 32,239 crore

The loss to the government in 2014 due to counterfeiting and illicit trade in seven industries — tobacco, alcoholic beverages, auto components, computer hardware, FMCG and mobile phones — according to a FICCI report. The grey market in the tobacco industry accounted for the maximum revenue loss, nearly a quarter of the total amount mentioned above. This marks an increase of nearly 50% from 2012. Due to illicit trade, the estimated loss to these sectors increased by over 44% to Rs 1,05,381 crore in 2013-14, from Rs 72,969 crore in 2011-12.



Number of people who died in Gujarat due to incessant rains in the 48-hour period up to 4 pm on Tuesday. Banaskantha district was the worst affected, accounting for eight deaths. The National Disaster Response Force has shifted around 1,000 people to safer locations. Gujarat has received over half its average annual rainfall, of which 25% was reported in just five days till Tuesday. Last month, around 50 people reportedly lost their lives due to heavy rains in the state, with the Saurashtra region being the worst affected.



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