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Daily Digest Of Tech Policy News And Updates (April 23, 2021)

Bringing you quick updates on the tech space, policy making and digital rights from India and across the globe.

E-commerce and the COVID-19 second wave

India is now seeing record daily infections and deaths from COVID-19, as the second wave rages on, pushing infrastructure and people to the brink. Several states have imposed a night curfew in the wake of rising cases, however, e-commerce companies and deliveries remain function. Some e-commerce platforms are hiring extensively to replace demands for delivery and supply chain staff who are falling sick due to the the virus. Companies are doubling recruitment, while they also increasing testing of their staff and lobby for vaccination rollout.

While BigBasket is recruiting double the number of workers it needs to meet the rise in demand. Zomato has rolled out a priority delivery feature for Covid-related emergencies, chief executive Deepinder Goyal said on Twitter. Orders can be marked as relating to a COVID-19 emergency; the company will prioritise these orders.

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Read: E-commerce companies step up hiring to meet staff shortage [Economic Times]


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#NAMA today: IT Rules and Intermediaries

Watch our discussion on the IT Rules 2021 and their on impact Intermediaries, today at 3:15PM (IST) on YouTube or Twitter.

In case you missed it, here’s the agenda and a reading list.


Crypto platform CoinSwitch Kuber raises funds from Tiger Global

Crypto-currency investment platform CoinSwitch Kuber has raised US$ 25 million (Rs 181 crore) in a Series B round from Tiger Global Management, at a valuation of over $500 million, it said in a statement. .

The company saw 350% growth in user base since January, it now has over 4.5 million users and has crossed $5 billion in transaction volumes as of March 2021. It plans to onboard 10 million users this year. CoinSwitch was founded in 2017; and launched India-focused CoinSwitch Kuber in June 2020 “to simplify crypto investments for Indian retail investors”.

CoinSwitch Kuber will use the funding to improve technology, product, and security capabilities. It will also set aside a substantial sum for brand building and for awareness around cryptocurrencies through marketing; and for hiring talent.

In January, the company had raised $15 million in Series A funding from leading global fintech and crypto investor Ribbit Capital, San-Francisco based crypto focused investment firm, Paradigm and Sequoia Capital India.

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Elon Musk’s SpaceX may need to seek permits for satellite internet in India

The Indian government will ask Elon Musk’s SpaceX to apply for relevant permits under the country’s telecom rules before offering its Starlink satellite internet services. The government will try and find out whether SpaceX will require both ISP and VSAT service authorisations under the unified license regulations or just one to offer high-speed satellite internet services in India. In November, SpaceX requested India to facilitate approvals to use satellitle technology for internet access in remote areas.

Read: India to ask SpaceX to seek permit for offering satellite Internet service [Economic Times]

Instamojo acqui-hires Showman

Instamojo has acquired Bangalore-based virtual theatre and vernacular content platform Showman. This will help the company strengthen its product and research team; Showman’s founders will be absorbed into the Instamojo team. Showman operates a virtual theatre that enables users to buy movie tickets online.

Read: Instamojo acquires entertainment startup Showman [Mint]

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I cover health, policy issues such as intermediary liability, data governance, internet shutdowns, and more. Hit me up for tips.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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