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Whole Foods invests in Instacart at 2014 valuation

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Whole Foods
Whole Foods

Whole Foods are investing in the grocery delivery company Instacart.

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — As more Whole Foods customers began to avoid the store and get their deliveries to their front door, the high-end supermarket chain is taking a stake in the four-year-old startup.

The company authorized the sale of new equity earlier this year, letting Whole Foods Market Inc. buy shares in the startup in conjunction with an expanded partnership, said people familiar with the transaction, who asked not to be identified because the details are private. Analysis by private stock market operator Equidate, based on a regulatory filing, pegged the total equity authorization at about $36 million.

The shares added to Instacart’s previous funding round at the same share price from late 2014, which valued the company at about $2 billion, according to the filing.

Before the Whole Foods investment, the San Francisco-based startup had raised more than $270 million. Instacart and its peers have benefited from a shift in an overcrowded food delivery market this year. Grocery delivery startups have received more investor dollars than companies that deliver prepared meals, a reversal from previous years, according to research firm CB Insights.

However, as the fundraising market becomes more competitive overall, startups are making cuts and emphasizing how close they are to supporting themselves with their own earnings. Instacart is no exception: Apoorva Mehta, the startup’s chief executive officer, said on stage this month at a TechCrunch conference that his company will be cash-flow positive in the next 12 months. He also dismissed questions about whether Instacart would sell to Whole Foods. “It just doesn’t make sense for us to even think about selling to a grocery store,” Mehta said.

Whole Foods and Instacart first partnered services on a delivery program in 2014 and has since expanded to more than 25 markets across the U.S. It allows customers to order food and other products directly from the Whole Foods website and have them delivered.

Grocery delivery is a key initiative as Whole Foods tries to claw its way out of its biggest sales slump since 2009. As conventional grocers have expanded their organic offerings and pushed prices down, Whole Foods has suffered under the weight of its reputation for being overpriced. That’s added pressure on the grocer to make its shopping experience more convenient.

“With more outlets for natural and organic foods, they don’t drive as far, and they don’t come as frequently,” John Mackey, the co-CEO and co-founder of Whole Foods, said during a presentation in June. “They just want convenience as the overriding value. I think that Whole Foods wants to compete for those customers to be sure, and we have a lot of things in the works.”

Walter Robb, the other CEO, said on a recent earnings call: “We feel really good about the partnership with Instacart and the results we’re seeing.”

Business

Indian IT companies curb H-1B premium processing

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H1-B visa premium processing

MUMBAI (Diya TV) — Indian IT services companies are not racing to use a H1-B visa premium processing option as in years past due to a changing business model and higher rejection rates.

Google announced a $1 billion commitment to help alleviate Silicon Valley’s housing crisis, saying they will add about 20,000 homes. While the housing plan is welcomed, many critics are upset that Google is able to do this because they exploit tax loopholes to shelter billions of dollars in revenue.

PG&E, the California public utility blamed for igniting several wildfires caused by downed power lines that killed dozens and destroyed thousands of homes, agreed to pay $1 billion in damages to local governments.

Laxman Narasimhan will becoming CEO of consumer goods group Reckitt Benckiser this fall.

He was Chief Commercial Officer at PepsiCo.

And India’s lunar lander will launch this July for the moon, and will launch its first mission to study the sun in 2020. ISRO is also planning to have a space station for India by 2030.

Ravi Kapur & Alejandro Quintana contributed to this report.

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Business

India blocks entry of a Palestinian rights group into the U.N.

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Modi blocks Palestinian Rights

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Twitter for India’s support in blocking the entry of a Palestinian rights group into the UN.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s U.S.-India Business Council held day one of the India Ideas Summit, convening government officials from the U.S. and India, as well as business executives and thought leaders from around the globe. Google CEO Sundar Pichai and NASDAQ CEO Adena Friedman won Global Leadership Awards respectively.

And U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke as well, highlighting what he hope to accomplish during his visit to India in a few weeks.

Warriors star forward Kevin Durant announced on Instagram he had successful Achilles tendon surgery in New York surrounded by family and friends. His team will square off against the Raptors tomorrow night for Game 6 of the NBA Finals. Diya TV will be there with pregame and postgame analysis.

And Ravi Kapur and Jonathan Choe will take you inside TD Garden in Boston where St. Louis Blues are looking for their first Stanley Cup and the Boston Bruins are looking to add to their collection.

Ravi Kapur & Alejandro Quintana contributed to this report.

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Trump calls 50% tariffs by India on US motorcycles unacceptable

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Indian Tariffs unacceptable

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — President Trump said though India reduced import tariffs on American motorcycles from 100 percent to 50 percent, it is still too high and not acceptable to him.

The Michigan Board of Education voted to approve new social studies standards, which now include Sikhism for the first  time. The new standards will give more than 1.4 million public school students in Michigan context about the Sikh community.

In a list compiled by the New York Times, Palo Alto Networks CEO Nikesh Arora and j2 Global CEO Vivek Shah are two of the top ten highest paid CEO’s amongst U.S. publicly traded companies.

While Arista Networks CEO Jayshree Ullal, Syntel co-founder Neerja Sethi and Confluent co-founder Neha Narkhede are among the richest self-made women according to Forbes.

And Ravi Kapur and Jonathan Choe will recap an eventful night in Toronto, where the Golden State Warriors held off the Raptors in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, after losing their star Kevin Durant to an Achilles injury.

Ravi Kapur & Alejandro Quintana contributed to this report.

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