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India’s e-commerce juggernaut Paytm receives $4 billion valuation

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Paytm

Paytm

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) – In the immediate aftermath of investments made in Flipkart and Snapdeal, another e-commerce giant in India is closing in on another large round of funding in the hopes of tapping into the country’s growing smartphone economy.

Paytm – a digital commerce platform that lets users create online and mobile digital wallets and use its e-commerce platform to pay for goods, services and bills – confirmed this week it received $60 million from Mountain Capital, the investment arm of Taiwan’s semiconductor company Mediatek.

The injection was made after Paytm received a valuation of $4.83 billion, funding which the company plans to use to launch one more financial service, a digital bank for consumers both to save and borrow money.

“We have raised $60 million from Mediatek’s Mountain Capital at a valuation of $4.83 billion,” Paytm’s founder and CEO Vijay Sharma said.

The $60 million is just one part of a much larger round – $300 million – with participation potentially from existing investors Alibaba and Alibaba’s payments arm Ant Financial, as well as other Chinese firms: VC firm SAIF Partners, Foxconn and Fosun. The $4.8 billion-plus valuation is a premium on Paytm’s valuation of $2.8 billion from a year ago.

The company has now raised $760 million to date, Sharma said, a figure the company has never officially confirmed in the past.

Economy of scale is everything in e-commerce, and that is exactly what One97 Communications, the parent company of the Paytm consumer brand, is playing into with this round of funding.

The company says it has two aims for the money.

The first will be an investment into “expansion and scaling up” of its existing lines of business in payments and commerce. Currently, that business gives consumers the ability to book and pay for events, your utility bills, your on-demand ride, your hotels and flights, and a plethora of physical goods in an Amazon-style marketplace. The second target is to use the investment to build and launch its newest service: Paytm Payments Bank, a new online bank that the company has quietly been working on for many months now. One wonders if they will expand their site through the use of subscriptions, which can be made easy by using subscription management software. This would increase the revenue no end as one-off customers become regular customers.

Paytm has been around since about 2010, and it has capitalized on trends that are unique to developing markets like India: a rapid growth of smartphones, and generally improving economies with more disposable income per capita.

A country with a population north of one billion, Indians currently only have about 21 million payment cards in circulation, according to data collected at the end of 2015. This underscores the major gap in the market that existed for effective digital wallets that you could access via smartphones.

The company today has 135 million digital wallets in use, and sees some three million transactions per day. This lays down a track record for the company – and its investors – to believe that it can strike it big again in banking and, crucially, loans.

“The majority of smartphones in India today are sold with Mediatek chipsets,” Sharma said. “So Mediatek wants to expand into security and services because they believe that from chipsets they can grow into services. We can expand our business by integrating into Mediatek’s smartphones, and Mediatek can grow its business by offering security integrations to us and others.”

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Harvard to host 17th annual India Conference this February

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (Diya TV) — For the 17th year in a row, the graduate students at Harvard University will host an India Conference. It will take place during the weekend of February 15-16, 2020. Two days of exciting discussions through panels, mixers and networking will fill the halls of the Harvard Business School and Kennedy School of Government.

The theme for this year’s conference is Foresight 20/20 – a look at what to expect from India in 2020 and beyond. As one of the largest student led conferences in the USA, the Harvard India conference attracts the biggest headliners from every field – from politics, business, entertainment & the arts. And this year is no different.

India Conference
India Conference at Harvard

With more than 100 speakers and 1000 attendees, the conference promises to have something for everyone. This year’s biggest draw from the entertainment genre is veteran Bollywood actor and self proclaimed ambassador to India, Anupam Kher. Kher has a long standing list of accolades within the film industry. In addition to his acting roles, he has been a producer, director and teacher at his own acting school. Most recently he played the role of Dr. Vijay Kapur on NBC’s primetime drama ‘New Amsterdam‘.

Some other notable speakers this year include founder of the India Today Group, Aroon Purie, Indian Olympic athelete Dutee Chand, comedian and actor, Vir Das, partner at Softbanks’ Vision Fund Lydia Jett & politician and India’s ruling party (BJP)’s sherpa to the G20, Suresh Prabhu.

The harsh winter in Harvard doesn’t seem slow down or dull these brilliant minds in any way. The India Conference at Harvard continues to retain its standing as the conference of choice for deliberating issues ranging from technology, media, politics and eduction to creating solutions for India’s path towards global leadership. The event features brainstorming sessions and sincere discussions on the very real and large scale problems that are uniquely Indian.

Diya TV is a media sponsor to the event and will be on-site covering conference. To receive a 20% discount use code RDAY20 here and to know more about the conference or speakers, head to the IndiaConference.com

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Indian Ambassador, Shringla speaks to U.S. Congress about Kashmir

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AMB. Shringla speaks to congress about Kashmir | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV)  — Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Harsh Shringla met with members of Congress at a private roundtable briefing, hosted by Southern California Congressman Brad Sherman. Sherman, who has been a supporter of India, took to Twitter recently to share his concerns about Kashmir and said serious questions about Kashmir were asked at the briefing.

President Trump is being urged to fix the H1-B visa process and do away with country-specific limits, with the latest effort for reform being spearheaded by 60 U.S. business school deans and CEO’s.

In an earthquake, seconds matter. So on the anniversary of the deadly 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake that rocked Northern California, state officials announced the launch of America’s first statewide earthquake early warning system.

Tabla Maestro Zakir Hussain will be coming to Boston next month to perform at the Berklee India Exchange, where he will also be conferred with an honorary doctorate by the esteemed music school. A Zakir Hussain Scholarship at Berklee is also being established.

And we have incredible video of three kids from India rescuing their dog from a snake that’s equal parts courageous and nuts.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Federal Court rules Trump must turn over tax returns | Diya TV News

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Trump Tax Returns

NEW YORK (Diya TV) — A federal judge ruled President Trump must turn over eight years of his personal and corporate tax returns to Manhattan prosecutors, striking down the President’s argument that a sitting president cannot be criminally investigated. The ruling was quickly appealed and this case could end up in the Supreme Court to answer the constitutional question of whether presidents can be charged with a crime.

Meanwhile, the President celebrated a victory by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, as a federal appellate court upheld most of the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality. It also ruled the FCC cannot preempt state net neutrality laws, meaning the rules of the road in states like California remain in place.

The U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee announced their Asia-Pacific and Non-Proliferation Subcommittee will be holding a hearing asking State Department officials and human rights activists to chime in on Human Rights in Kashmir, the Tamils of Sri Lanka, Muslims in Assam and the human rights situation in Pakistan, which includes the Sindh Province.

Lockheed Martin announced they will build F-16 wings exclusively in India, helping in integrating Indian industry into the $165 billion fighter aircraft market.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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