In January 2021, the RBI formed a digital lending committee after predatory apps promising instant loans surged in the early months of the pandemic. These apps targeted Indians who had lost their income due to Covid, charging them exorbitant interest rates and using their personal data to blackmail or harass them. Now, it seems that despite the regulator’s efforts, such apps are making a comeback.

Also in this letter:
â–  Grab.in from Reliance Retail joins ONDC
â–  Oracle’s cloud unit in India aims for triple-digit growth
■ Venture capital portfolios fighting the “force of gravity”: Venky Harinarayan


Dodgy loan apps are coming back to haunt borrowers

In recent months, thousands of people have fallen prey to apps that offer quick loans online without carrying out the appropriate checks. Their customer onboarding and loan approval processes are quick and convenient, but circumvent RBI rules.

And most users who take out such loans are unaware of the fine print – and the consequences of non-payment.

Harassment: “When you apply for the loan, it says it is for 92 days. However, it is only for seven days,” said a Noida resident, who downloaded a loan app called Credit It in 2020.

“Even if it’s only for seven days, they (the loan app reps) start calling you from the fifth day to make the payment. Previously when we paid, they would update it properly. But now they don’t even update the amount paid. They just ask for more and more money!” he said.

The debt collectors, having got hold of his contact list, also called his aunt and asked her to compel him to pay. She was abused and threatened on the phone, which caused her to cut ties with her family.

Ladder: Between April 1, 2021 and March 3 this year, the RBI received 7,813 complaints against banks and non-bank financial firms over digital lending apps and debt collectors.

Pravin Kalaiselvan, director of SaveThem India Foundation, a non-profit organization that helps victims of cybercrime, said: “Over 5,500 complaints have been filed through our Google Forms since the beginning of this year.”

“Our studies revealed that most of these entities operate from Delhi, Kolkata and Bengaluru. Since December 2021, we have noticed a new trend – these apps threaten not only to socially shame victims, but also to transform their images into defamatory ways.


Grab.in from Reliance Retail joins ONDC

FLIPKART, RELIANCE, AMAZON JOIN ONDC_THUMB IMAGE_ET TECH_2

Grab.in, owned by Reliance Retail, a last-mile logistics provider, integrated its platform into the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC), according to a senior company executive.

It will support intra-city hyperlocal deliveries, said Pratish Sanghvi, co-founder.

Founded in 2014, Grab.in caters to restaurants, online grocers, offline and online retail, e-commerce platforms, Kirana stores and pharmacies.

It was acquired by Reliance Industries in 2019 and is now hosted by Reliance Retail, which owns an approximately 80% stake.

Join the club: While Dunzo, backed by Reliance Retail, is already on the ONDC as a logistics partner, Grab’s entry marks Reliance’s official entry into the highly publicized network.

ONDC is portrayed as a disruptor to break the dominance of e-commerce companies Amazon India and Walmart-owned Flipkart.

State of play: ONDC launched a pilot project in six cities in categories such as groceries and baked goods.

ONDC executives are busy integrating traders, logistics partners and other stakeholders.

We reported that platforms like PhonePe were in advanced stages of integration.

Logistics providers such as Flipkart’s logistics arm, Ekart, have already integrated into ONDC. The integration with Shiprocket went live at Lucknow in June.


Oracle’s cloud unit in India aims for triple-digit growth over the next few years

Oracle

Garrett Ilg, President of Japan and Asia-Pacific at Oracle

The Indian unit of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) is target three-digit growth over the next two years, on the back of the country’s economic growth and rising middle-class spending on technology, the top leaders said.

He is also betting heavily on the financial sector as well as government projects to drive this growth.

“The Indian economy is expected to grow by almost 8% this year. It is far above all the other economies in the world. If you take into account the size of the economy and the growth of the middle class, it’s getting richer,” said Garrett Ilg, president of Japan and Asia-Pacific at Oracle.

This comes as Oracle’s business in India has been a strong growth driver for the company – with the OCI unit growing over 100% for the third consecutive year and the software business as services (SaaS) has also more than doubled for each of the past two years.


Chargebee’s SaaS suite seeks to help customers earn more

Chargebee

Software-as-a-service company Chargebee released a heap of products aimed at helping companies extract more revenue from their subscribers, amid signs of pricing pressure facing high-growth companies and slowing demand in the US economy.

Chargebee had made successive acquisitions over the past 18 months – Brightback, numberz and RevLock in the subscription and cash flow management space – which were reversed for the customer loyalty suite.

Firms have slashed customer acquisition costs amid fears of a slowing US economy and venture capitalists frowning at previously agreed valuations and startups agreeing to raise capital at lower ratings.

The product helps businesses focus on retaining the customers they already have, at a time when businesses and consumers are forced to assess everything in their portfolios and make tough decisions, the co-founder and COO Rajaraman Santhanam.


Venture capital portfolios fight the ‘force of gravity’, says Venky Harinarayan

RESUME.

Every venture capital (VC) portfolio is battling a ‘force of gravity’ that could drive valuations down 50% as uncertainties in the macro environment and a funding winter shake up the ecosystem, said Venky Harinarayan, founding partner of venture capital firm Rocketship.vc.

The founder of Junglee Corp, which provided technology to help consumers find products on the internet and was acquired by Amazon in 1998, later joined the US e-commerce giant, playing a key role in the business for several years.

“Venture capital portfolios are illiquid because they are not marked down like public companies. In the corresponding public markets, an average tech company has conservatively been written down by 50% (in terms of market cap). So you would expect the average venture capital portfolio to be down 50% at this point,” Harinarayan told us.

“At the moment no one is raising funds, so previous assessments stand. The reality is that every venture capital portfolio struggles like a 50% force of gravity pulling it down,” he said. declared.

The ecosystem can survive the funding winter and avoid portfolio markdowns while waiting for public markets to “roar” back and, in turn, startup valuations to improve.

TWEET OF THE DAY


Other Top Stories by our journalists

Expressing Emotions at Work: Three in Four Indian Professionals Now Feel More Comfortable, LinkedIn Survey Finds

New-age policies for a new-age workforce: Two weeks ago, lifestyle tech brand Noise rolled out a “no questions asked” leave policy. Employees were allowed to take up to four weeks off a year without specifying the reason. Experts say initiatives like these encourage better work-life balance, while building accountability, commitment and loyalty.

Ransomware attacks:
An organization in India was attacked with ransomware an average of 1,787 times per week over the past six months, compared to 983 weekly attacks per organization worldwide, according to Check Point Software.


Global Choices We Read

â–  Next generation play-to-earn games have arrived. Gamers are still skeptical (Rest of the world)
â–  Virtual reality still stinks because it doesn’t smell (Cable)
â–  Silicon Valley swings between deep cuts and bold spending (WSJ)