Also in this letter:
■ China-backed fintechs earned Rs 940 crore from predatory lending: ED
■ Indian startup funding plummeted 33% in Q2: Tracxn report
■ Over 66% of Indian blue-collar workers earn less than Rs 15,000 per month: report
Rajeev Misra returns to SoftBank to launch a new fund
Rajeev Misra, CEO of SB Investment Advisers, which manages SoftBank Vision Fund, will step down from his executive role at the tech fund, according to an email from SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son that we reviewed.
New fund: Misra is likely to launch a new fund backed by Middle Eastern investors, sources said. He has led the Vision Fund since 2017, when it raised $100 billion, its largest pool of private capital.
The 60-year-old former Deutsche Bank AG executive made the Vision Fund one of Silicon Valley’s greatest high-flying startup champions before public stumbles and internal strife tarnished its star.
Son wrote in his email: “I am pleased to share that Rajeev will continue as CEO of SoftBank Investment Advisers, leading our business for SVF1, and as a trusted senior advisor and integral part of the family. SoftBank… To provide Rajeev with the time to focus on his new venture, he will transition from his current role as CEO of SoftBank Global Advisers, Director of SVF2, to Vice President, and I will take on a role more direct leadership supported by our existing management team who already manage SVF2 on a day-to-day basis.
Exit raft: Misra’s decision to step back at SoftBank will complete the conglomerate’s top investment ranks, which had been bolstered over the years by a string of hook bank hires.
In March, we reported that SoftBank had given him responsibility for its Latin American fund. The change came after the departure in January of SoftBank Group International chief operating officer and CEO Marcelo Claure, who was responsible for the Latin American fund. His exit ended a tumultuous tenure capped by a clash over pay with Son.
The cabinet had announced at the time that Michel Combes would take over Claure’s duties.
China-backed fintech firms earned Rs 940 crore from predatory lending: ED
The Law Enforcement (ED) Directorate said several Chinese-backed fintech and non-bank companies earned more than Rs 940 crore through predatory lending, in violation of Reserve Bank guidelines of India (RBI).
The ED said decisions on setting interest rates, processing fees, platform fees, etc. had been taken by fintech companies taking instructions from people in China and Hong Kong.
Details: Non-banks included Kudos Finance and Investments Pvt Ltd, Acemoney (India) Ltd and Pioneer Financial and Management Services Pvt. ltd.
The agency is carrying out a money laundering investigation against a number of NBFCs that offer instant personal micro loans. The agency said its investigation revealed that various fintech companies backed by Chinese funds had entered into agreements with these NBFCs to provide loans for terms ranging from seven to 30 days.
According to the agency, fintech companies have brought funds to lend to the public and have relied on former NBFCs for their lending licenses.
Vivo probe: Meanwhile, Indian agencies are investigating local support two Chinese nationals allegedly received to join a company that billed itself as a subsidiary of smartphone maker Vivo. Two accountants and a company secretary are already in the crosshairs of investigators, sources told us.
On Tuesday, the ED raided nearly four dozen locations linked to Vivo and its related entities, including. He is investigating whether front companies have been used to launder money.
Funding for Indian startups plummeted 33% in Q2: report
India’s startup ecosystem saw a 33% drop in venture capital funding to $6.9 billion in the second quarter of this year on the back of poor macroeconomic conditions, according to a report by Tracxn.
Quotation: “Although investors are a little wary due to the current environment, it hasn’t dampened the community’s investment spirit. They have become more decisive about which startups they want to develop and are largely focused on a long-term perspective,” said Abhishek Goyal, co-founder of Tracxn.
Dailyhunt’s parent company, VerSe Innovation, Delhivery, Udaan, ShareChat and upGrad raised the largest sums in the second quarter. In terms of cities, Bengaluru, Delhi and Mumbai raked in the most money from investors.
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Over 66% of Indian blue collar workers earn less than Rs 15k per month: report
A report by employee management platform Salarybox found that more than two-thirds of Indian blue collar workers earn less than Rs 15,000 per month. The report analyzed data from more than one million employees in 850 districts.
Tell me more: Less than 15% of employees earn between 20,000 and 40,000 rupees per month, according to the report. The average female worker earns Rs 12,398, which is 19% less than her male counterpart.
Women also made up only 27% of the workforce, he added.
Quotation: “For a long time, the theme of employment – or rather the lack of it – dominated India’s economic discourse. While employment and unemployment numbers get a lot of attention, another set of numbers is just as important: who gets paid how much. It’s time for companies to put in place interventions that highlight this huge gap,” said Nikhil Goel, CEO and co-founder of SalaryBox.
Zomato responds to customer who complained of “inflated bill”
On July 4, a Zomato customer took to LinkedIn to complain about the high cost of ordering food on the platform and accused the company of charging exorbitant commissions to restaurant partners.
Rahul Kabra shared a photo showing that his order on Zomato which cost Rs 690 would have cost Rs 512 offline. “They take 35-50% discount on hotels. So hotels raise prices to compensate. Indirectly, Zomato is the one leading to this increase. Trying to rip off their customers by acting like the good guy, let’s see for how much of time,” Kabra wrote.
Answer: Zomato – who was previously accused by India’s Competition Commission of charging unfair prices – told Kabra he was looking into the matter.
“Hi Rahul, Zomato, being an intermediary platform between a customer and a restaurant, has no control over the prices set up by partner restaurants on our platform. That said, we have forwarded your feedback to the partner restaurant and asked them to look into the matter,” he said.
Today’s ETtech Top 5 newsletter was curated by Zaheer Merchant in Mumbai and Ruchir Vyas in New Delhi. Graphics and illustrations by Rahul Awasthi.