A quick roundup of the developments in the Indian and international digital, tech and business ecosystem.

Funding

  • Digital risk management and cybersecurity platform CloudSEK has raised Rs 3.5 crore from IDFC Parampara, per a company statement.
  • Grofers has raised $60 million from Softbank Vision Fund, marking its valuation at $425 million, per the Economic Times.

Developments in the digital ecosystem

  • Investment bank Wolet Capital Corp (specialising in US-India cross-border deals) has sued Flipkart and Walmart Inc alleging that they failed to pay for advisory services related to the acquisition of Upstream Commerce, reports the Economic Times
  • Karix Mobile has partnered with WhatsApp to offer WhatsApp Business APIs to its customers. For customers in India, Karix will offer two deployment models – Managed Cloud and On-Premise. For global customers, the API will be available through Karix.io, its cloud communication PaaS.
  • Reliance Industries is in advanced talks to buy a majority stake in Mumbai-based hyper-local logistics startup Grab a Grub services, reports the Economic Times. Grab has been talking to buyers for the last 6-7 months.
  • 42,890 villages are yet to be covered with basic telephony services, reported the Economic Times, citing a DoT official. Of the 62,000 unconnected villages in 2014, only a third were able to go up on the telecom connectivity index. This is because the programs run by ailing state-owned BSNL are nonstarters.
  • Ola has appointed Andrew Balint as its chief marketing officer for Australia and New Zealand, per B&T.
  • Axilor Ventures chairman Kris Balakrishnan said there was an urgent need for clear government guidelines over data privacy and protection, pointing to the huge patient data being generated today, reports Telangana Today.
  • Akamai’s “State of the Internet/Security” report on ‘Retail Attacks and API traffic’ studied 3 topics which it says organisations are not as cognizant of as they should be – credential stuffing, Rise in API traffic, and under-reporting of IPv6. There main findings were: 
    • Akamai detected 28 billion credential stuffing attempts from May-December 2018. This means over 115 million attempts to compromise or log in to user accounts every day. Credential stuffing is a credential abuse technique where hackers user botnets to try stolen login information across the web, on the premise that many people use the same credentials to log in to multiple accounts and services
    • Retail was the most targeted segment in with 10 billion credential stuffing attempts
    • 83% of the hits were API driven per a survey held in October 2018
    • Growth in API volume is important when considering risk, because some tools can’t handle API growth 
    • Organisations will have to deal with API traffic for protection as IoT devices increase in number
    • IPv6 may be under-reported since many systems capable of IPv6 usage still prefer IPv4

Policy developments

  • Facebook will launch a clear-history feature this year, reports CNBC. Facebook first announced this feature at the F8 conference last year, reportedly in reaction to Cambridge Analytica. The feature will allow users to see information about the apps and websites they have interacted with, and delete this information from their accounts.  
  • The US Federal Trade Commission will launch a task force to monitor competition in the US technology market, reports the Verge. The force will include current officials working in the agency’s Bureau of Competition, and 17 staff attorney to investigate anti-competitive behaviour in tech.