JioMart comes to WhatsApp; Zomato clarifies Eternal rebranding

More than two years after Meta acquired a 9.99% stake in Jio Platforms from Reliance for Rs 43,574 crore, the two companies have announced that users in India will soon be able to browse and buy groceries at JioMart without leaving WhatsApp. It’s the first end-to-end shopping experience on the popular messaging app anywhere in the world, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said.

Also in this letter:
■ No plan to rename Zomato app to Eternal: Deepinder Goyal
■ Byju’s receives a clean FY21 audit from Deloitte
■ CEO of Tech Mahindra unfazed by moonlighting; others disagree


Reliance and Meta advertise groceries on WhatsApp in India

Jio Platforms, a subsidiary of Meta and Reliance Industries, has announced the launch of an end-to-end shopping experience on WhatsApp.

Details: The first-of-its-kind initiative will allow users in India to browse JioMart’s grocery catalog, add items to their cart and complete the purchase without leaving WhatsApp, they said.

The announcement was made at Reliance’s Annual General Meeting.

Launching an end-to-end shopping experience within WhatsApp is a long-term goal of Meta Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

In April 2020, Meta (then Facebook) acquired a 9.99% stake in Jio Platforms in an all-cash deal worth Rs 43,574 crore to boost its presence in India.

In their words: Zuckerberg wrote on Facebook: “This is our first-ever end-to-end shopping experience on WhatsApp – people can now buy groceries from JioMart directly in a chat. Business messaging is a domain with real momentum and chat-based experiences like this will be the go-to medium for people and businesses to communicate for years to come.

Mukesh Ambani, President and CEO of Reliance Industries, said, “When Jio Platforms and Meta announced our partnership in 2020, Mark and I shared a vision of bringing more people and businesses online and creating truly innovative solutions that will add convenience to everyday life. the life of every Indian.

5G deployment: Ambani also said that Reliance Jio Infocomm is planning to invest Rs 2 lakh crore in 5G. It will launch services in several key cities – including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata – by October and aims for pan-India coverage by December 2023.


No plans to rename Zomato app to Eternal: Deepinder Goyal

Deepinder Goyal

Deepinder Goyal, co-founder and CEO of Zomato, said he has no plans to step back from the day-to-day running of the food delivery business. It was responding to questions raised by shareholders following Zomato’s announcement earlier this month of its intention to rebrand itself as “Eternal.”

Clarification: In a letter to the exchanges, Goyal said Eternal remains an internal identity that aims to bind all Zomato businesses together under a common name and mission. “There are no plans to rename the Zomato app to Eternal,” he clarified.

He added, “We didn’t want the Blinkit team to feel like a son-in-law after the transaction was completed. We had to make sure that Zomato and Blinkit were placed on the same level in the important hierarchy of our daily working life.”

Catch up fast: ETtech reported on Aug. 1, citing an internal communication, that Zomato is internally renaming itself to “Eternal,” a larger organization that would house multiple companies, each with its own CEO.


Byju’s receives a clean FY21 audit from Deloitte

Byju's

Byju’s, India’s most valuable startup, has finally received an “unqualified” or clean report from auditor Deloitte on its financial results for FY21, which it will share with the company’s equity and debt investors. next week, key sources familiar with the development told IANS. .

Catch up fast: On Monday morning, we reported, citing sources, that Byju’s had told its investors it was likely to finalize audited financial statements by September 6. He is expected to hold his board meeting next week once he receives the final report, which will be presented to the directors.

The development came after the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) asked Byju’s parent company, Think & Learn, about the reasons for the 17-month delay in filing its audited accounts.

Differences with Deloitte: The recognition of Byju’s earnings had been a point of contention between the company and Deloitte, according to several people familiar with it.

But in an interview with ET in May, founder Byju Raveendran said the delay in filing its financial statements was due to the multiple acquisitions the company had made.

Fundarise speaks: Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth funds are in active negotiations with Byju’s to join the company’s planned $400-500 million fundraising round, people familiar with the development told us.

Tweet of the day


Tech CEO Mahindra unfazed by moonlighting; others disagree

CP Gurnami.

CP Gurnami, CEO, Tech Mahindra

Senior executives at IT giants TCS and Tech Mahindra have taken opposing stances on some tech companies’ controversial moonlighting policies. While Tech Mahindra CEO CP Gurnami claimed it was “not rampant”, TCS COO N Ganapathy Subramaniam said it was an “ethical issue “.

What is moonlight? Moonlighting refers to pursuing more than one job at a time. While not a new phenomenon, remote working in India’s tech industry has resulted in employees adopting this option in greater numbers.

Earlier this month, food delivery startup Swiggy introduced a moonlighting policy to allow its employees to take on after-hours projects and earn extra cash.

Differences: Gurnami said Tech Mahindra plans to make moonlighting a policy so employees stay honest about pursuing more than one job at a time. “Honestly, I’ll probably make it a policy. If you want to, of course. But be open about it and share with us,” Gurnami said.

CEO of Tech Mahindra, CP Gurnami and COO of TCS, N Ganapathy Subramaniam_Story Quotes_ETTECH2

His comments came days after Wipro CEO Rishad Premji called moonlighting “cheating” in a tweet. The IT giants have faced record levels of attrition this year, with Infosys and TCS seeing an increase in employee departures in the June quarter. Only Wipro was successful in keeping attrition levels low.


Merak launches $100 million fund for start-ups

Funding

Early-stage venture capital firm Merak Ventures on Monday launched a $100 million fund to support 18 to 20 promising early-stage startups over the next three to four years.

Co-founded by Manu Rikhye and Sheetal Bahl, the venture capital firm said it will invest in early-stage B2B and emerging tech companies that create sustainable business models and use new technologies to help solve real problems and create a large-scale impact.

While the fund will continue to be sector neutral, some investment themes it will actively pursue are insurtech, enterprise SaaS and climate tech. The company will also provide support in strategy, business development and fundraising by systematically calling on its networks.

Early-stage funding has been gaining ground lately as venture capital firms remain cautious about writing large checks amid deteriorating macro conditions.

Today’s ETtech Top 5 newsletter was curated by Zaheer Merchant in Mumbai and Ruchir Vyas in New Delhi. Graphics and illustrations by Rahul Awasthi.

Lance B. Holton