Ahead of Diwali, there come the big-bang announcements from startups and tech giants. Reliance Jio is looking to bring smartphone cheer to millions with its JioPhone Next, which will launch on November 4.
Among startups, the biggest festive season news is the slew of IPOs — from Nykaa to Fino Payments Bank’s listings to Policybazaar to Paytm’s official announcements of their IPO dates.
But before we get into that, two stories that caught our attention:
- ? Finally, Crypto Regulations? India’s regulations and laws pertaining to cryptocurrencies and crypto investments are most likely to come around the Union Budget in February 2022.
- ?MPL Moves Base. Karnataka’s online gaming ban has forced gaming unicorn to move its HQ to Delhi. Now that’s an own goal, but it remains to be seen whether this law will survive legal challenges being mounted by startups and gaming bodies.
?The JioPhone Next Story Begins
When Reliance Jio and Google announced their collaboration on the JioPhone, we knew there will be something game-changing, and the JioPhone Next promises to be that and more.
⚒️What’s The JioPhone? Running an optimised version of Android called Pragati OS, it features text and image-based translation for 10 Indian languages and is priced at INR 6,499. It will go on sale on November 4 and is Reliance’s way of getting 300 Mn 2G users to the 4G umbrella and thereby get them into Jio’s digital services walled garden.
✋Just Another Phone? While the older JioPhones brought in the subscribers for Jio, these users never graduated to using digital services, smartphone games and apps like Disney+Hotstar, Netflix, Zee5, Paytm, Spotify and others.
With JioPhone Next, Reliance is looking to change this. But it’s also looking to bring many of these new-to-internet users over to its own services such as JioMart, My Jio (subscriber management app), JioTV (digital TV), JioSaavn (music streaming), JioMeet (video conferencing), and others in digital media, edtech and healthtech space.
?The Endgame? All this is to drive up its ARPU and revenue. Given that Reliance Jio sees 12%-72% higher tariffs from smartphone users compared to feature phones, consumers buying or upgrading to JioPhone Next could potentially boost Reliance Jio Platforms’ FY23 revenue by up to 10% even with no changes in mobile tariffs, as we have seen in our past coverage.
The JioPhone Next could represent a sizable business for Jio. The company and Google have invested millions in developing the phone. Will it deliver in an ultra-competitive market?
Indian Startups’ IPO Corner
- ?Fino’s Lukewarm Debut. Fino Payments Bank’s IPO got off to a tepid start with just 51% subscription. Demand from retail investors was not matched by the institutional investors and QIBs, who did not place any bids.
- ?Nykaa’s Firecracker! Nykaa saw its issue being subscribed over 1.5 times (155%) on the opening day, thanks to strong demand from retail investors and qualified institutional buyers (QIB) and over 5 times on day two.
- ?Policybazaar Sets A Date. The insurtech unicorn will open its IPO for subscription on November 1, aiming to raise up to INR 5,951.56 Cr.
- ?Paytm Next In Line. The fintech giant will open its IPO on November 8 with a price band of INR 2,080-INR 2,150.
Here’s a look at the day one subscription performance for the recent tech startup IPOs:
Indian Startup Funding Counter
In 2021, the Indian startup ecosystem seems to be crossing new milestones every month and there’s yet another one to celebrate this year.
- ?Big Cheers! The Indian startup ecosystem crossed the landmark of $100 Bn in funding since 2014.
- ?$1.4 Bn In A Week. Startups raised over $1.4 Bn across 55 deals, with Groww’s $251 Mn Series E round, which tripled its valuation to $3 Bn, being one of the highlights.
?⚖️The Battle Over Pe
It’s one syllable but it’s causing a whole lot of heartache for PhonePe and BharatPe.
⏲️The Latest: BharatPe has filed six trademark cancellation actions with the Delhi high court against Walmart-owned PhonePe for using the ‘Pe’ suffix in the Devanagari script. This comes days after PhonePe withdrew its injunction plea with the Bombay High Court
?Why? PhonePe has objected to BharatPe’s usage of the ‘Pe’ for its newly-launched ‘buy now pay later’ product postpe. Even after withdrawing its case, it has the option of filing a new one against BharatPe’s usage of ‘Pe’
⚔️The Background: The saga between the two fintech giants had seemingly ended when earlier this year, the Delhi HC dismissed an injunction plea by PhonePe against BharatPe. But PhonePe revived legal proceedings last week, which has seemingly forced BharatPe to file counter lawsuits.
⚖️Which Way Will The Courts Decide? Both companies have invested significantly in and-building and if at all BharatPe or PhonePe have to rebrand themselves, it would be present a challenge in service adoption.
Indian Startups’ Unicorn Corner
Bengaluru-based insurance aggregator Acko became the latest entrant to the coveted unicorn club and the second insurance tech startup to get there after Digit Insurance broke through earlier this year. With Acko’s entry, 2021 has given 33 startups to India’s ? club!
Finally, here’s a look at the other major stories and developments from the week that went by:
- ?A Very BNPL Diwali! In last week’s edition of The Outline, we looked at the rise of BNPL amid the festive season spending and whether it could lead to a debt crisis in the long run
- ✈️Adani Books Cleartrip. In a bid to take on Tata and Reliance in the super app race, the Adani Group has picked up a minority stake in Flipkart-owned Cleartrip, which will result in collaborations or travel-related products and services
- ?Apple Takes A Big Bite! The tech giant doubled Its business in India in fiscal 2021, according to Tim Cook and other reports indicate that it will report record $3 Bn in revenue from India this year
- ?OATS For Breakfast? Bajaj Auto MD Rajiv Bajaj took potshots at EV startups Ola, Ather and others, claiming that established companies will win the EV game too
- ?OYO-Zostel Saga Continues.. Hitting back at Zostel, OYO wrote to SEBI to deny the allegations laid forward by the company and said that the agreement ended mutually
- ⛈️Raining Crypto Ads. They are everywhere these days and you can’t escape them, but where are the guidelines to ensure consumer protection and best practices? We examined this in last week’s edition of India’s Crypto Economy.
- ?India’s D2C Economy. In our inaugural edition, we dived into the entry of Thrasio and what it means for the ecommerce industry.
That’s all for this week, folks. Watch out for a more data-packed newsletter every Sunday as we recap the week’s biggest stories and developments.