There can be just one Hero

Read in browser >

The Signal

July 14, 2021

Good morning! Sachin Bansal is going to make his way into the unicorn club again, a report from The CapTable says. The founder of Flipkart is trying to raise capital for Navi Technologies, which is trying to be a completely digital bank. The report says the talks are still in the early stages but Bansal values his company at $4.5 billion. Big billion day, indeed.

Anyway, on to the day's stories:

  1. Shein was banned but now it is back.

  2. Racist abuse and social media. You know the story.

  3. Apple is planning its own Brexit.

If this newsletter was forwarded to you, consider subscribing, it’s free.






+ 0.76%




+ 0.76%




- 0.13%




- 0.15%




- 0.21%




+ 0.09%




+ 0.02%




- 2.64%

*As of market close

Stocks: Indian benchmark indices gained a fair bit of ground on positive global cues. Other Asian markets continued their positive run from Monday, despite a global surge in commodity prices and retail inflation.

Cryptocurrencies: The Indian government has listed 23 legislations it plans to introduce in the monsoon session of Parliament that begins July 19. The cryptocurrency bill is not among them. This means we may have to wait until at least FY23 for a formal framework for the industry.



Hero Vs Hero

Hero Vs Hero

The Hero brand, known for its two-wheelers, is in for a bumpy ride. Pawan Munjal-led Hero MotoCorp., the world’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer, is looking to enter the electric vehicle market. This hasn’t gone down well with nephew Naveen Munjal, who is the MD of Hero Electric — the market leader in the electric two-wheeler (E2W) segment.

Speaking to Moneycontrol, Naveen cited a non-compete clause agreed upon during the corporation’s 2010 restructuring which allows the companies to enter any segment but restricts brand usage. This means Hero MotoCorp. that has joined hands with Taiwan’s Gogoro to develop EVs for release next year might not be able to roll them out under the ‘Hero’ brand.

At present, Hero Electric has around 42% share of the E2W market and manufactures 75,000 units a year. Its dominance is already under threat from Ola Electric’s impending entry, and a family feud could only make matters worse.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on email


Not So Kwik

On Monday, digital payments platform Mobikwik filed the draft red herring prospectus for its INR 19 billion ($255 million) IPO with Sebi. However, the company’s path to the bourses could be troubled.

Business down: At a time when many digital payments players have seen tremendous growth, Mobikwik’s financials look less than impressive. For FY21, its total income, revenue from operations, and gross merchandise value all fell, while losses widened, compared to the previous financial year.

Red flags: But perhaps more importantly, according to a BloombergQuint report, auditors have flagged a number of concerns about the prospectus. These include uncertainty about the company’s future operations and irregularities concerning the payment of statutory dues such as PF contributions, employees’ state insurance, income tax, and GST.

The prospectus also denies a data breach exposing the sensitive data of 100 million users that was reported earlier this year. The denial has been issued before but, as this The Ken story ($) suggests, hasn’t been very convincing.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on email


Kick It Out Already

Kick It Out Already

England’s penalty shootout defeat to Italy in the Euro 2020 final on Sunday has triggered a familiar problem: racial abuse on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Within seconds of three English players, particularly those of colour — Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, and Bukayo Saka — missing their respective penalties, the nasty stuff followed. It was worse on messaging platforms like Telegram, where neo-Nazis frequently organise.

The ugly: Rashford, in particular, has been a standout figure over the past year with his several off-the-field initiatives. But this is not nearly the first time he has been abused online. Rashford, according to a recent study, is the most abused footballer online. In fact, it’s a shame that none of them are strangers to racial abuse, particularly on social media.

The bad: Social media platforms have tried measures to prevent racial abuse but they’ve been woefully inadequate. Simply banning certain keywords or terms does little. Banning accounts is like playing whack-a-mole. A bigger concern might be whether they really want to solve the problem. This Twitter thread from a BuzzFeed News reporter sheds light on Facebook employees’ frustration with the company’s apathy to racism.

The good: Football teams now often take a knee at the start of a game, a popular gesture against racial abuse, even though British politicians like Priti Patel have labelled it “gesture politics”. Many influential organisations, powerful clubs, popular players, and rich sponsors are protesting vociferously. The UK government has an ‘Online Safety Bill’ in the works that may now be further tightened.

The Signal

Racism, not just in football or sport but overall, isn’t understandable or acceptable. It has to stop. Don't do it, don’t tolerate it, don’t look the other way.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on email


Shein Returns To India

Comebacks are always celebrated. Shein’s made a comeback too. But it is going to be looked at with suspicion and curiosity rather than fanfare. The platform is still banned but it is back in India as a seller.

Where? Amazon. Shein has been a success story in China and across the world, beating the likes of H&M and Zara when it comes to fast fashion. The clothes are cheap and trendy and they sell like hotcakes. Tension between India and China meant it couldn’t make deeper inroads into the Indian market. It has now got another chance.

How? This part is not very clear. Is it coming to India as a seller through another platform or is there going to be a reseller in the middle? This is the second company that has made its comeback to India after being banned. The first? PUBG or as it likes to be now called: Battlegrounds Mobile India. The publisher, Krafton, had to publicly distance itself from Tencent when it returned. But not everyone is convinced.

It will be curious to see how Shein’s return will be perceived. Boycott or cheers?

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on email


Apple Could Be Out Of The UK

Apple Could Be Out Of The UK

Apple could quit the UK if it has to pay a lot for patent infringement, the iPhone maker told a court.

Out: The company is fighting a patent battle with Optis Cellular Technology whose patented tech iPhones use to connect to 3G and 4G networks. It may have to shell out about $7 billion if it loses the case, an outcome not “commercially acceptable”. If it doesn’t agree to abide by the court’s ruling, it may anyway be thrown out of the UK.

Not the first time: Apple had earlier been hit by courts in several patent infringement lawsuits brought by Qualcomm. The company had reportedly held back $7 billion of Qualcomm royalties.

Efficient: Some firms deliberately infringe another’s patents in a practice called efficient infringement. Not everyone can afford expensive legal battles. The infringers reckon that even if patent owners go to court, the legal cost and ultimate settlement would be less than the cost of licensing the tech.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on email


Selling time: Paytm is planning to raise $268 million in a pre-IPO funding round before its planned listing around November.

Shorts fired: After its initial pilot in India and the US, YouTube Shorts will now be available in 100 countries across the globe.

Okay, Google? The French antitrust agency has slapped a $593 million fine on Google for failing to follow an order to hash out a deal with publishers to use their content on its platform.

Looney tokens: Warner Bros. is all set to take over the NFT or non-fungible tokens space with its release of 91,000 limited-edition tokens. It will feature Looney Toons characters like Bugs Bunny, Tweety, and Porky Pig in addition to basketball star LeBron James.

Making hay: Animall, a Bengaluru-based startup for connecting cattle buyers and sellers, has raised INR 1.026 billion (~USD 14 million) in its third round of funding from existing investors as well as Sequoia Capital.

Make space for local: SpaceX may begin partnering with Indian firms to manufacture satellite communications equipment such as antenna systems and user terminal devices ahead of its plans to launch Starlink broadband services in the country next year.

No investment promos: TikTok has banned financial services promotions on its platform, including financial investments and cryptocurrencies.



Attack of the goldfish: In the latest example of invasive species wreaking havoc on local water systems, authorities in Minnesota have pulled thousands of giant goldfish from a lake. They’ve issued an appeal against the release of pet fish into water bodies. This is a huge problem in India too with many invasive alien species, especially catfish, destroying local biodiversity.

Thanks, Obama: We all have that one friend who’s brilliant at making playlists. In this case, it’s the former US President recommending over three dozen songs by artists ranging from Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones to Lil Baby and J. Cole.

Very nice...not: Actor Sacha Baron Cohen has filed a $9 million lawsuit against a US-based Cannabis company for allegedly using his Borat character on a billboard ad.

The Signal
Have a nice day!
Written in with
Is this mail forwarded to you? Subscribe here
Like us? Refer The Signal to your friends.
Share on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn
Don't want to receive The Signal? Unsubscribe here.

© 2021 The Signal - NC Media Networks
All rights reserved.

Older messages

Microsoft is building a $500M firewall

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Read in browser > The Signal July 13, 2021 Good morning! TED talks are coming to Clubhouse. The audio-only social media platform has tied up with the American media organisation. TED will be allowed

Apple wants to play ball

Monday, July 12, 2021

Read in browser > The Signal July 12, 2021 Good morning! British billionaire Richard Branson beat Jeff Bezos to space. The owner of Virgin Atlantic hovered around in space for a bit and then came

Microsoft knows a trick

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Read in browser > The Signal June 28, 2021 Good morning! It seems, according to a Bloomberg report, that the reason why Apple, Google, and the like are so bullish on autonomous cars is that it will

Facebook’s in the middle of a fight again

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Read in browser > The Signal June 29, 2021 Good morning! Krafton, the publisher of PUBG, and a clutch of investors have infused capital worth $9 million in streaming gaming platform company, Loco.

The biggest crossover since Avengers

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Read in browser > The Signal June 30, 2021 Good morning! Last year was a weird one. It recorded one of the highest unemployment rates because of the pandemic induced layoffs but according to reports

What the pandemic sped up for publishers, how the Delta variant is disrupting office return timelines and more

Thursday, August 5, 2021

As a loyal reader, we wanted to keep you up to date on the latest exclusive content available to Digiday+ subscribers. Digiday+ members have access to analysis from senior editors like senior media

Aug. 5 - Stitch Fix scaling video styling | The Container Store lands Q1 profit

Thursday, August 5, 2021

The Container Store notches its first Q1 profit in more than a decade; Wayfair revenue drops more than 10% as category demand wanes; SKU'd: How jeans are staging a comeback; Brandless raises $118M

🥇 The content site gold rush

Thursday, August 5, 2021

​ ​ ​ how to get ready for the upcoming content site rush, the #1 thing you should do when starting up, ask these 4 questions before buying a business, a cybersquatting lawsuit, and making your first

How prevalent is ad fraud in your industry?

Thursday, August 5, 2021

Report: The state of global ad quality and industry benchmarks in 2021 Now more than ever, global advertisers demand greater clarity and confidence in their digital investments. DoubleVerify's 2021

How to Create and Sell Over $2M of Your Online Course (with the Skills and Knowledge You Already Have)

Thursday, August 5, 2021

Plus: How to validate your e-commerce products on a budget AND Streamline Art is hiring! ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

A swift rebound for private debt

Thursday, August 5, 2021

FullStory rides Atlanta's unicorn wave; Pico to merge with Betsy Cohen-backed SPAC; Sonoma Bio picks up $265M; Chronus brings in $78M Read online | Don't want to receive these emails? Manage

Aug. 5 - McDonald's links with esports giant FaZe Clan | KFC opens themed hotel

Thursday, August 5, 2021

KFC lets guests 'chick-in' to themed London hotel; Marketers remain committed to NFTs through buzzy tech's booms and busts; Instacart hires ex-Facebook ad chief as new president; Why Molson

The Infrastructure Bill, Bitcoin and Crypto

Thursday, August 5, 2021

Listen now (2 min) | To investors, The infrastructure bill that is currently making its way through the government has a lot of crazy things in it. This isn't exclusive to this specific piece of

Chipping away at Amazon’s dominance [Crew Review]

Thursday, August 5, 2021

On multiple fronts Amazon's Drone Delivery Dream Crashes Remember Amazon Prime Air? Neither do we, but it is the spearhead of Amazon's global drone delivery efforts—or at least it was. Source:

The Latest From SaaStr: Two Great SaaStr Sessions with HubSpot’s new CEO, Yamini Rangan

Thursday, August 5, 2021

To view this email as a web page, click here Two Great SaaStr Sessions with HubSpot's new CEO, Yamini Rangan By Jason Lemkin · Thursday, August 5, 2021 Yamini Rangan is HubSpot's new CEO, as