PhonePe launches the ecomm application on ONDC; Web3 attracts newbie investors

After several forays into e-commerce over the years, PhonePe is now betting on the government’s open network for digital commerce as it seeks to create its own shopping app and break away from its Flipkart roots.

Also in this letter:
■ Early-stage investors still betting on Web3 solutions
■ Despite lower expected attrition, margin impact will remain high for IT companies
■ Digital India Act to cover social media, OTT, metaverse and more


PhonePe plans another foray into e-commerce via ONDC

Co-founder and CEO of PhonePe, Sameer Nigam

Digital payment company PhonePe is developing a detailed plan to power its e-commerce plans as it integrates with the government’s Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC).

Previous forays: The fintech player’s e-commerce ambitions are nothing new.

It has already made attempts with offerings such as Switch, loosely based on the “super app” concept, and Stores, which aimed to facilitate hyper-local merchant discovery.

E-commerce on PhonePe_Graphic_ETTECH

What’s new? While PhonePe Switch and stores still exist, the Walmart-owned company will now launch a separate consumer app by the end of the month on ONDC, India’s infrastructure offering to break the dominance of commerce giants. electronic Amazon and Flipkart, owned by Walmart.

PhonePe’s buyer app will be a consumer-facing platform for buyers to choose various products from sellers. His name remains secret.

PhonePe is a major payments player in the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) digital railroad and will be making a splash in e-commerce with the hyper-competitive grocery category.

PhonePe course

Grocery to start: Launched in its home country of pilot battleground Bengaluru, PhonePe will battle against fast-trading players including Zepto, Swiggy Instamart and others.

The company has established an independent team and will adopt an intra-city model to solve hyperlocal commerce, founder and chief executive Sameer Nigam told ET in an interview.

Come off: It has earmarked up to $15 million for its entry into ONDC, and the capital will be deployed over the next 18 months, Nigam said. PhonePe is looking to break away from its Flipkart roots after being acquired in 2016 as an idea-stage startup.


Early-stage investors still bet on Web3 solutions

Ashish Singhal, CEO and Co-Founder, CoinSwitch Kuber

Co-founder and CEO of CoinSwitch Kuber, Ashish Singhal

Despite the bloodbath in the cryptocurrency market and skepticism around the usefulness of Web3 solutions, early-stage Indian founders in this sector continue to attract funding from investors.

What’s going on? Last week, CoinSwitch Kuber launched a $10 million Web3 Discovery Fund. It will cut checks between $25,000 and $250,000 for services, products, and industry infrastructure startups, Ashish Singhal, co-founder and CEO of CoinSwitch Kuber, told us.

The fund will also give these startups access to big-name investors such as Tiger Global, Sequoia Capital, Ribbit Capital and Coinbase Ventures.

Seed investor Elevation Capital, a partner in the discovery fund, plans to expand the sector’s assessment team and continues to have a “high capital commitment” to Web3 startups, said Vaas Bhaskar, director. of the fund, which has backed Polygon and announced six investments over the past 12 months.

PE-VC investments in Web3

Tensile proof: As valuations correct and FOMO dies out in the market, venture capitalists are focusing on Web3 startups with evidence of customer attraction. The easing in sentiment and funding has impacted the broader tech industry, as we reported in July.

But for Web3, at least half a dozen funding deals are on the way across infrastructure, analytics, and gaming, as the industry takes interest in both crypto-native and traditional funds. .


ET E-Commerce Index

We have launched three indices – ET Ecommerce, ET Ecommerce Profitable and ET Ecommerce Non-Profitable – to track the performance of recently listed technology companies. Here’s how they’ve fared so far.

ET eCommerce Tracking


Despite an expected decline in attrition, the impact on margin will remain high for IT companies

Computer science

Indian IT service providers will face pressure on their margins unless they can add better prices to the already expected benefit of lower churn rates, experts said.

During the first quarter, major IT companies such as Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Infosys and Wipro reported an impact on margins of 150 to 240 basis points from wage increases.

They implemented measures such as better utilization, cost optimization and pricing across key skill sets to control cost pressures, indicating that the margin impact had largely reached its lowest level. low, but experts are wary.

In the April-June quarter, large cap IT companies missed margin estimates due to inflated talent spend despite strong revenue performance.

Even if those pressures ease, there are still pent-up costs that need to be passed on if margins are to fully recover, said Peter Bendor-Samuel, chief executive of IT consultancy Everest Group.


Digital India Act to Cover Social Media, OTT, Metaverse and More

social-media-640-min

The Digital India Act (DIA), the future digital regulatory framework, will cover crimes on Twitter, Facebook and the Metaverse, and monitor OTT platforms like Netflix and Amazon for content that could spread misinformation or incite violence, two people aware of the development told us.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) is rushing to roll out DIA, which will have specific guidelines on the safety of children and women. The new regulations will replace the current IT Act 2000 by the winter term, ET has learned.

DIA hopes to cover everything digital: from social media platforms, OTT platforms and online apps, to blockchains and the metaverse.

“It has been 22 years since technology legislation was enacted in the country, and since then, many technological innovations have taken place. We are in the fifth generation of technological transformation and have entered the Meta world and next-generation communication,” Gulshan Rai, the first National Cybersecurity Coordinator for the Prime Minister’s Office, told ET in response to a question. sent to MeitY.


Foxconn chairman Liu spots ‘improvement in government efficiency’

States rush to woo Foxconn as electric vehicle, and chip-making plan takes shape

Taiwan’s Foxconn will expand in India amid improvements in the overall industrial environment and “improvement in government efficiency”, President Young Liu said, stressing the growing importance of the southeastern nation. Asia for the world’s largest contract manufacturer amid tensions with China.

“We believe that India will play a very important role in the future. So overall, I think our development in India, I see it actively moving in a positive direction – that is, it’s going to get better and better,” Liu told reporters. investors and analysts during the company’s second quarter earnings call last week.

In June, Liu had met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and officials from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MietY) with updates on electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing and product expansion in the region. manufacture of electronics and semiconductors.

We reported earlier that the company was building another facility inside its Foxconn Hon Hai factory near Chennai where it manufactures iPhones.


Other Top Stories by our journalists

Initial Public Offering

Digit Insurance files DRHP for Rs 1,250 Cr IPO: Digit Insurance has filed draft documents for its initial public offering (IPO), and the digital insurance company is seeking to raise Rs 1,250 crore from a new share issue and sale offer (OFS ) of 10.94 crore shares.

Beauty & Personal Care Driving E-Commerce Growth: E-commerce sales volume increased by 69.4% in FY22, compared to 44% in FY21, according to a report by Unicommerce in conjunction with Wazir Advisors. The beauty and personal care category continued to drive this growth, with volumes up 143% year-over-year.

Chair of the SBI on Startup Loans: SBI Chairman Dinesh Khara said on Tuesday that his bank caters to startups through exclusive branches, which would prevent founders from selling their shares to investors for lack of loans. “There is no source of funds like debt for startups,” he said.

HCL Tech will expand its links with hyperscalers: HCL Technologies, India’s third-largest software company, plans to expand its partnership with hyperscalers and follow a diversified product and service strategy among moves to tap into a broader total addressable market, the chairperson said. Roshni Nadar Malhotra.


Global Choices We Read

■ Unstable Connection: Kashmir Influencers Seeking to Become Known on the Internet but Cannot Connect (Rest of World)
■ Google’s new bot learned to take orders by scraping the web (Wired)
US approves nearly all tech export requests to China, data shows (WSJ)

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