When A Founder Part Ways With His Legacy

9 years

What is it? The number of years after which Jan Koum will be leaving WhatsApp, the instant messaging platform he co-founded and sold to Facebook in 2014.

Why is it important? Koum’s departure from Facebook, as well as its board of directors, comes in the wake of the social media giant coming under fire for its privacy policies. A strident advocate of user privacy, Koum has reportedly had differences with the company over the issue. Co-founder Brian Acton left Facebook in September 2017.

Tell me more: Before it was sold to Facebook for $19 billion, WhatsApp raised a total of $60.3 million in capital via three rounds—one of the best capital-to-return ratio delivered by a startup.

Rs 94.3 crore

What is it? The theatre collections of Marvel superhero film Avengers: Infinity War in its opening weekend in India.

Why is it important? This is the best opening by any foreign film in India. The previous best was the 2017 film The Fate of the Furious, which made Rs 51.2 crore. The first weekend collections of Avengers: Infinity War are also higher than all Hindi films released in India this year.

Tell me more: Avengers: Infinity War has also smashed global records in opening weekend collections, a list that is dominated by superhero, science fiction and action films.

Rs 1,124 crore

What is it? Kotak Mahindra Bank’s net profit in the fourth quarter of 2017-18 on a standalone basis.

Why is it important?Although this is an increase of over 15% from Rs 976 crore posted in the same period a year ago, its profits have missed some analyst estimates. The increase in its net profit in the last quarter was due to higher net interest and fee incomes on the back of a 25% growth in its loan book in addition to a fall in its bad loans.

Tell me more: India’s fifth-largest private lender and the second-most valuable bank has the highest net interest margin in the industry, of 4.35%.

4 years

What is it? By 2022,the Indian government may reportedly ask firms hosting data of Indians to set up servers in the country, under the new National Telecom Policy.

Why is it important?This policy aims to provide access to all kinds of services, including those of government, education and health, online. This would generate lots of data and, hence, the likely prompt to set up servers locally. There have been concerns about misuse of servers abroad in terms of backdoor access to data and surveillance by countries and companies where they are located.

Tell me more: The Indian government has reportedly asked Internet firms such as Facebook and Google to set up servers in India and it is likely to force foreign smartphone companies to do the same.

$76.2 billion

What is it? India’s engineering exports in 2017-18, up 17% from $65.2 billion in 2016-17.

Why is it important? Engineering exports, which account for about a quarter of India’s total merchandise exports, hit a record high last fiscal. However, Indian engineering exports are threatened by growing protectionism in the world, rising import tariffs in the backdrop of the US action on steel and aluminium, and the latter’s complaint in the World Trade Organization against India with respect to various export promotion schemes.

Tell me more: The increase in Indian engineering exports has been mainly attributed to the steel sector, where the United States continues to be the top market.

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News in Numbers, Mar 03, 2017: Alibaba’s e-commerce move 💻💰📦

$200 million

What is it? Amount of investment from two investors – Alibaba Group Holding and SAIF Partners – in Paytm’s E-commerce venture.

Why is it important? This signals serious interest in the Indian market by China’s largest E-commerce firm, Alibaba, which has picked up 36% stake in Paytm’s E-Commerce venture.  SAIF Partners will hold 4.66% stake.

Tell me more: Indian E-Commerce market slowed down significantly in calendar 2016, after posting three-digit growth in previous years. It grew by 12% to $14.5 billion in 2016.



What is it? The growth in wealth of the top 100 richest Chinese parliamentarians and members of a top advisory body, after Chinese premier Xi Jinping took power four years back.

Why is it important? This is in sharp contrast to the Chinese premier Xi Jinping’s crackdown on corruption and plan to remove poverty after coming to power in 2013. Instead, the wealth of those in the political upper echelons who are already dollar-billionaires, have grown from 1.84 trillion yuan in 2013.

Tell me more: Beyond the richest 100, the combined wealth of all the delegates (209), half of whom are dollar-billionaires, is around 3.5 trillion yuan ($507 billion), according to the Hurun report.



What is it? The closing value of the stock of Snap Inc., owner of Snapchat, a popular photo-messaging app, on its debut on the New York Stock Exchange.

Why is it important? The stock closed 44% up from its initial public offering price of $17 a share despite steep competition from other listed players such as Facebook (with its acquired instant messaging app, Whatsapp), huge losses in 2016 and slowing user additions.  This points to investor-demand for technology stocks, this being one of the most anticipated in three years since Twitter’s debut.

Tell me more: Snap Inc. now has a valuation of $28.3 billion, and the $3.4 billion it raised in the IPO was more than the 2013-Facebook offer of $ 3 billion.



What is it? Amount of freight discount offered by Indian Railways to bulk customers, who will guarantee minimum amount of traffic.

Why is it important? Goods traffic brings in maximum revenue and cross-subsidizes losses from running passenger trains for Indian Railways, and freight revenue declined by 8% in current financial year. This move is aimed to stem the loss and bring back traffic to Railways.

Tell me more: The discount is available to bulk customers, except for coal transport, and is valid for five years.


99 million

What is it? Number of TV-owning households in rural India, as compared to 84 million in urban areas, as per Broadcast India survey.

Why is it important? This could impact how Rs 181.3 billion worth of TV advertisement money will be spent. The increase in rural viewership could also make program producers to cater to this audience.

Tell me more: The survey covered 3 lakh homes in 590 districts between November 2015 and February 2016.

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Chart of the Day | WhatsApp and Facebook data sharing

WhatsApp has been in the news over the past few days after the popular messaging service announced that it will start sharing phone numbers and other user data with Facebook. Facebook acquired WhatsApp for a whopping $22 billion in October 2014.

This is how Bloomberg reported the rationale of the deal at that time

The valuation of the deal was already regarded as lofty, at 19 times projected sales. Still, the results illustrate how far Facebook has to go to get its money’s worth for the app, which generates revenue by charging 99 cents for subscriptions after a user’s first year. Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said he’s in no rush to make money from WhatsApp, or Facebook’s other growing applications, until they reach 1 billion users.

“The right strategy is to focus on connecting the people before aggressively turning them into businesses,” he said yesterday on a conference call to discuss Facebook’s third-quarter earnings. “Once we get to that scale, then we think they will start to become meaningful businesses in their own right.”

The chart below shows WhatsApp crossed one billion users in February. It comes as no surprise then that Facebook has started to think of the messaging service as a meaningful business in its own right.

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News in Numbers, Aug 17, 2016: Hike becomes a unicorn, dengue cases on the rise in Delhi…

$175 million

What is it? The amount Indian messaging startup Hike Messenger has raised from a group of investors led by Chinese Internet firm Tencent Holdings and Taiwan-based Foxconn Technology Groupat a valuation of $1.4 billion.

Why is it important? This is Hike Messenger’s fourth and its biggest round of funding and with this, the startup has now entered the unicorn club. This would help the startup invest in services and make the product better even as it tries to catch up with the most popular or dominant messaging platform Whatsapp in India. Hike has over 100 million users, of which 95% are Indians while Whatsapp hit the 1 billion-mark globally in Feb this year.

Tell me more: Hike was launched by Kavin Bharti Mittal, son of Sunil Mittal who is the chairman of Bharti Enterprises, in December 2012. It has raised over $250 million so far.



What is it? The increase in India’s wholesale price inflation in July, up from 1.62% in June.

Why is it important? This was the fastest in nearly two years (23 months) and was due to increase in inflation of both food and non-food articles. While the former increased by 9.38% last month (compared to 8.18% in June) the latter quickened to 9.49% in July (from 5.72% in June). Cereals, pulses, vegetables and fruits were the main reasons for the increase in food inflation while fibers and oil seeds pushed up non-food inflation.

Tell me more: In the last one year or so, the gap between wholesale price index-based inflation (WPI-based) and consumer price index-based inflation (CPI-based) has narrowed: last month, CPI-based inflation accelerated to 6.07%, again the highest in 23 months.



What is it? The number of companies that have been asked by Bombay Stock Exchange to delist. They have been suspended from trading for the last 13 years.  

Why is it important? This will help public shareholders. The promoters of the delisted firms have to purchase shares from the public shareholders at a fair price arrived at by an independent valuer (who is appointed by the exchange). The markets regulator is taking steps to bring down the number of listed companies to reduce the risk of price manipulation through such firms and improve the governance of public markets.

Tell me more: The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) would reportedly attach the assets and properties of companies that fail to comply with the delisting notices. In June, it was reported that the BSE was finding it difficult to follow SEBI’s order of delisting firms that have been suspended from trading for more than seven years as half of the 509 letters sent by the exchange bounced back, indicating that the promoters are not traceable.



What is it? The number of dengue cases reported between June and August in Delhi.

Why is it important? With nearly 40% of the cases having been reported in the first two weeks of this month, the numbers suggest that the number of cases are displaying an increasing trend. A total of six cases were reported in May, 15 in June and 91 in July. Delhi reported 15,867 cases last year, the worst in 20 years and 60 lives were lost to the vector-borne disease.

Tell me more: As of June 28, India recorded 8,307 cases and at least 10 deaths from/due to dengue. According to one estimate, dengue costs India over $1.1 billion per year.



What is it? The number of airports in India that are not under the cover of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).

Why is it important? Soon, all 98 functional civil airports in the country would be brought under the security cover of the CISF, according to a decision taken at a meeting attended by ministers and officials of the Home and Civil Aviation Ministries. The Intelligence Bureau warned on Tuesday that none of the Indian airports are safe and do not have the capabilities to withstand an attack similar to that in Brussels that took place in March killing 32 people and injuring over 300.

Tell me more: The Home Ministry has ordered a security audit of all the airports and the probe committee is expected to submit its report in 20 days. The central government would then work with state governments to plug the loopholes at all airports.

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