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NEWSLETTER - August, 2019
PORTFOLIO UPDATES

IndianMoney Insurance gets its new CEO

IndianMoney Insurance has appointed Rahul Brahmne as CEO. Brahmne was previously Vice President at online insurance platform Turtlemint, leading Sales and Operations.

 

Brahmne said that the company’s focus this year would be on health and life insurance products, as well as creating a transparent distribution model for customers. IndianMoney has over 5 million existing customers and plans to scale up its call center operations to 3,000 seats to serve this extensive customer base.

 
 

HealthifyMe is targeting Rs. 100 cr. in revenue

Bengaluru-based HealthifyMe is among the few startups to have innovated and successfully used artificial intelligence (AI) to increase its market opportunity. The health and fitness startup combines technology and human services to deliver measurable impact for users via its mobile app. It was co-founded in 2012 by Tushar Vashisht and Sachin Shenoy, and has raised $25 million so far. From 1 million customers three years ago, HealthifyMe has now grown to more than 10 million customers across more than 300 cities in India.

 
 
 
INDUSTRY UPDATE

The Hottest Phones for the Next Billion Users Aren’t Smartphones

Millions of first-time internet consumers from the Ivory Coast to India and Indonesia are connecting to the web on smart feature phones that cost only about $25. These hybrid phones, fueled by inexpensive mobile data, provide some basic apps and internet access in addition to calling and texting. While global smartphone sales began sliding last year as markets became saturated, smart feature phone shipments tripled to around 75 million from 2017, according to research firm Counterpoint. Some 84 million are likely to be shipped this year.

 
 

An interesting interview with Will Cathcart, WhatsApp’s global head, on their India plan

WhatsApp is bullish on it prospects in India as it has doubled its MAUs in India to 400 mn over last 12 months. The company is now 100% compliant with data localization laws and plans to launch payments later in the year. In an interview, Will talks about WhatsApp’s India roadmap.

 
 

Rise of ‘Micro’ and ‘Nano’ influencers in India

'Nano' influencers are people with only 500 to 1,500 social-media followers, but they are fast gaining traction among digital agencies and brands. 'Micro' influencers are the next tier with typically up to one lakh followers. Companies are increasingly favouring smaller influencers as they are similar to people who follow them and their recommendations carry more weight in some cases than even Bollywood superstars .

 
 

Amazon may buy stake in Reliance Retail

Amazon is in exploratory talks with Reliance Retail to acquire up to 26% in the country’s largest brick-and-mortar retailer. This will be Amazon’s second investment in Indian physical retailers, after taking a stake in Shoppers Stop and follows a breakdown of talks between Alibaba and Reliance. Amazon was also reportedly in talks with another physical retailer, Future Group. Amazon’s strategy in India is markedly different and may have been influenced by the regulatory environment in India.

 
 
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