India’s Mohalla Tech, known for its social media platform ShareChat and the short-video app Moj, has raised $502 mn from investors led by Lightspeed Ventures and Tiger Global at a valuation of over $2.1 bn. Combined users of the 2015 founded start-up are 280 mn. Snap and Twitter also participated in the latest round. Sharechat, Moj, and other similar platforms have benefitted from the Indian government’s decision to ban several Chinese apps.
upGrad claimed to have crossed the milestone of ₹100 cr monthly revenue and hit an Annual Revenue Run Rate of ₹1,200 cr. The startup now aims a 25% revenue growth during the quarter ending in June. The edtech startup registered a 100% revenue growth in 2020, while offerings jumped 3x along with garnering 1 mn “learners across 50+ countries.” It had registered 10 mn hrs of learning experiences and acquired three companies in 2020.
Byju’s has acquired test preparation firm Aakash Institute for a nearly $1bn cash and stock deal to build one of the largest education groups in India, The institute, backed by Blackstone Group, will continue to function independently under the leadership of Founder JC Chaudhry and Aakash Chaudhry. It has over 200 brick and mortar educational centres across India and teaches aspirants of the country’s top engineering and medical schools.
Microsoft Build 2021 will be held virtually between May 25 to May 27. The proper schedule of the event is yet to be released. The event’s website has been updated with the dates for Build 2021, but it lacks details. The small description available on the card reads, “Microsoft Build is where developers, architects,. Start-ups and students learn, connect, and code together, sharing knowledge and expanding their skill set, while exploring new ways of innovating for tomorrow.”
Google said that it will not be exhibiting Mobile World Congress 2021, the world’s largest mobile phone show. Earlier, Nokia, Sony, Ericsson and Oracle also pulled out from the show. “Following our current COVID-19 travel restrictions and protocols, Google has made the decision to not exhibit at Mobile World Congress this year,” Google said in a statement. GSMA, the organisers of MWC, in Feb laid out a proper plan for the physical event.
A Citrix study said that 52% of people want a hybrid model — an option to choose to WFH or office. It went on to say that 16% don’t want to return to the office and would prefer a permanently WFH role. 45 % will change jobs to stay in flexible and remote work options. Tim Minahan, Executive VP of Strategy, Citrix said “both companies and employees have seen the benefits more flexible work models can bring in terms of productivity, engagement and well-being”.
Cognizant has announced that it will cover the cost of vaccination of its 200,000 full-timers and their families around 50,000 people. Along with them, it will also cover the cost of around 3.5 lakh contingent staff such as contract, support and security personnel, and their families. Infosys, Accenture, Vedanta and NTPC have already announced a plan to bear the cost of Covid-19 vaccinations for its workforce and their dependents.
Infosys has vested ESOPs of nearly Rs 40 cr to 30 of its top executives. CEO Salil Parekh received shares worth Rs 4.33 cr while COO Pravin Rao got Rs 1.94 cr of stock. CFO Nilanjan Roy, HR head Krishnamurthy Shankar, Presidents S. Ravi Kumar and Mohit Joshi also received ESOPs. Janhavi Nilekani, the daughter of Infosys Chairman Nandan Nilekani and promoter, gifted shares worth Rs 106 cr to Tanush Nilekani Chandra, her son.