1mg is the 21st Indian unicorn of 2022; TikTok hacked, over 2 billion user records stolen


The Tata Group-backed online e-pharmacy 1mg has joined the unicorn club, amid a largely bleak tech funding environment. The Tata Digital-owned company has clawed back funds internally but has seen its valuation more than double in just over a year.

Source: Tenor

Also in this letter:
â–  Gig workers are young and financially stressed, report suggests
â–  Over 2 billion user data stolen in TikTok hack
â–  90% of comments on my Twitter profile are bots, says Musk


1mg enters unicorn club after $41m funding from Tata Digital

Auntie 1mg

Online pharmacy 1mg entered the unicorn club after a $41 million internal funding round led by Tata Digital, sources close to the development tell us. Following the cash injection, 1mg was valued at $1.25 billion. Tata Digital had acquired 1mg at a valuation of around $450 million in June last year.

In inverted commas: “The new funding came at a significant premium. Talks were expected to conclude at a higher valuation before markets get choppy. The company will look to raise a larger round later this year or next year” , told us one of the people in the know.

While 1mg founder Prashant refuses to answer, queries to Tata Digital have elicited no response.

Indian startup unicorns in 6 SEP 2022_Graphic_ETTECH

Compete with peers: The new funding comes at a time when 1mg rival PharmEasy is also looking to raise a new round after scrapping its IPO plans. Reliance NSE, 1.05% owned, Netmeds is another rival for 1mg besides Apollo. We reported last year that pharmacies like 1mg and PharmEasy were experimenting with offline stores for omnichannel play.

Join the Tatas: Tata Digital, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Tata Group, acquired a majority stake (51-60%) in 1mg for a total transaction amount of around $220-240 million last June. We had reported that the deal size was a mix of primary and secondary investments from Tatas as well as some existing investors. Since then, the Gurugram-based company has seen its operating income more than double to Rs 627 crore in the financial year 2022 from Rs 309 crore. Its losses also increased by almost 70% to Rs 526 crore.

The acquisition of 1mg is the latest move from the salt-to-steel conglomerate to flesh out its digital portfolio and build its super app set. ET first reported a possible Tata-1mg deal in November 2020.


Young, Financially Stressed and Uninsured – The Story of India’s Gig Workers

gig workers

In a survey of over 4,000 workers from platforms such as Swiggy, Zomato, Uber, Ola, UrbanClap and Amazon, it was found that workers in India are young, financially stressed and largely uninsured.

The report, titled “Data Ownership and Wellbeing of Gig Workers,” was released by CIIE.CO – an IIM-Ahmedabad incubator and accelerator – and sheds light on the growing plight of gig workers, who do not have a social safety net.

Go further: According to the report, 42.1% of respondents said they had no increase in income over time. In an inflationary environment, this means people earn less each year. About 51.5% of people said they were unable to save money. Of the 3,926 people surveyed, 43.3% agreed that their job was a significant cause of stress and 20% cited economic stress as a major contributor to their stress. One of the reasons platform workers are likely unable to save regularly is that they are vulnerable to wage volatility, according to the report.

State of matter_Graphic_ETTECH

What else: “The lack of a collective voice, coupled with an inability to compete in the marketplace, leads individuals to continue working for platforms even when there are few opportunities for financial growth. The other is the fact that a large many individuals are the sole breadwinners and what could have been disposable income is normally often returned to households,” the report points out.

Types of insurance policies held by survey respondents_Graphic_ETTECH

Suggested solutions: The report’s authors suggested a transition to the tools of the future, including open distributed ledgers (blockchains), big data, and data flows between entities. They proposed a decentralized platform that contains holistic data about a gig worker.

Read also | Gig Interrupted: How Indian gig workers are struggling with a lack of social safety net


A MESSAGE FROM SOFTBANK

Digital heroes are transforming startup history and catalyzing India’s new tech

softBank_Banner

Powered by over 70,000 tech startups, India’s digital economy is potentially the biggest draw for the common good of the coming decade and is set to catalyze India’s new tech. Despite the cyclical boom and bust comments, it is clear that the disruptive digital services and products of India’s new era startups will fuel the country’s quest for a $5 billion economy.

And yet, as India’s founders mature, they must also shift into self-preservation mode in the face of mounting macroeconomic pressures and a changing operating environment. Certainly, as startups brace for a tough funding winter, many are reframing their growth strategies, prioritizing long-term sustainable growth backed by a strong corporate governance framework and a strong unit economy over a growth model at all costs.

At the ‘Global Unicorn Series’ hosted by Manoj Kohli, Country Head of SoftBank Group International India and Chairman of the CII Unicorn Forum, the founders of some of the country’s leading startup champions share their survival instincts, growth ambitions and lessons learned during their extraordinary journeys.

From Zomato to Nykaa and Meesho to Shiprocket, the founders of India’s most disruptive startups decode their startup playbook to build sustainable, resilient businesses that power India’s digital economy. More here.


TikTok hacked! Over 2 billion user data stolen

ICT Tac.  (Photo: Unsplash)

cyber security Researchers uncovered a potential data breach in China’s short-form video app TikTok on Tuesday, allegedly involving up to 2 billion user database records. TikTok’s storage, which they claimed contained the user’s personal data.”

Tweet the truth: “This is your warning. #TikTok has reportedly suffered a #data breach, and if true, there may be fallout in the coming days. We recommend that you change your TikTok #password and activate the two-factor authentication, if you haven’t already,” BeeHive CyberSecurity tweeted.

TikTok denies: A TikTok spokesperson reportedly said in news reports that their security team “investigated this statement and determined that the code in question had no relation to TikTok’s main source code.”

Yes, but: The Microsoft 365 Defender research team has just discovered a vulnerability in the TikTok app for Android that can allow hackers to take control of private, short videos of millions of users after they click on a malicious link .

Microsoft discovered a high-severity vulnerability in the TikTok Android app that could have allowed attackers to compromise user accounts with a single click.

TWEET OF THE DAY


Closed deals ETtech

GoMechanic workshop

â–  SoftBank plans $35 million bet on GoMechanic in India: SoftBank Group is in talks to invest $35 million in Indian car service and repair startup GoMechanic, in what would be one of The Japanese investor’s smaller bets in India through his Vision Fund, which typically signs bigger checks, two sources told Reuters. Vision Fund’s preliminary talks with GoMechanic are hovering around a $600-700 million valuation.

â–  GroMo Raises $11M in Funding from SIG Venture Capital: GroMo, a fintech platform for distributing financial products in Tier 2 cities and beyond, has raised $11M in equity from SIG Venture Capital. an investor group led by SIG Venture Capital, the Asian venture capital arm of SIG, a global proprietary trading and private equity firm.

â–  CashFlo Raises $8.7 Million in Funding Led by General Catalyst: Supply chain finance startup CashFlo has raised $8.7 million (Rs 70 crore) in funding in its second fundraising round. fund led by General Catalyst. Founded in 2018, CashFlo helps companies and businesses automate their core financial processes and better manage cash flow.

â–  Suite42 nabs $4.3m in funding led by Omnivore, Orios: B2B food processing startup Suite42 nabs $4.3m in funding co-led by Omnivore and Orios Venture Partners, with participation from Titan Capital , All In Capital, Pointone Capital and Udaan’s Sujeet Kumar. It plans to use the capital for talent acquisition, developing the “Suite42 Standard” in the food processing ecosystem, among others.


Up to 90% of comments on my Twitter account are bots: Elon Musk

Elon Musk

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk hit Twitter again on Tuesday, claiming that 90% of comments on his tweets are actually bots or spam replies. Musk shared screenshots of replies from the fake Twitter account of Changpeng Zhao, founder and CEO of major crypto exchange Binance.

Twitter bot issues: “And 90% of my comments are bots,” Musk said in a tweet. One follower asked Musk, “Do you think the number of likes you get has a similar ratio of bots to humans at 90%?”


Brewing Battle: Earlier this month, Musk took on the microblogging platform run by Parag Agrawal after a leading cybersecurity expert claimed that up to eight out of 10 Twitter accounts were fake. Dan Woods, global head of intelligence at cybersecurity firm F5, told The Australian that over 80% of Twitter accounts are likely to be bots – a massive claim as Twitter claims only 5% of its users are bots/spam . The Musk-Twitter trial is scheduled to begin on October 17.

Today’s ETtech Top 5 newsletter was curated by Gaurab Dasgupta in New Delhi and Judy Franko in Bengaluru. Graphics and illustrations by Rahul Awasthi.

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