Published: 10/23/2020

Good morning, it's Friday and I just got done watching the final presidential debate- which was quite uneventful tbh. On to the day's news, we have WhatsApp entering the Dukaan space & Cashfree with a potential Series B fundraise.

  • https://tcrn.ch/2TijmCD: Facebook adds new features & pricing tiers to WhatsApp Business
  • ➡️ The DukaanTech space has been quite hot (and controversial) lately. Along with several companies raising money (and others stealing code), we now have WhatsApp seeming to build this within the App itself- It is launching for users to shop & pay for goods and services within WhatsApp chats.

    ➡️ WhatsApp is almost synonymous with the internet in India, along with Jio maybe and it is used quite widely by consumers and businesses alike. Around 50M businesses and 175M consumers (who've interacted with those businesses) are already on the platform.

    ➡️ Companies could already use WhatsApp to display their catalog and present product information, and from July onwards they could share catalog links in chats. Now, users can take one step further and actually purchase items from the business while remaining in the app itself.

    ➡️ Soon Indian mom and pop stores will have the option of creating a store on Dukaan/MyStore/Bikayi and share the link with it's customers on WhatsApp OR just create the store within WhatsApp itself. I think its quite clear which option is easier for the businesses. Currently the Dukaan apps don't really have any additional functionality other than just creating your store, which is why stores on WhatsApp are just the same- and potentially easier to manage since you'd have one centralized app for your customers + order management.

    ➡️ I think this will be even more powerful once the Indian government FINALLY lets WhatsApp Pay launch. SMEs in India have certainly been on the mind of a lot of companies- both within India and the US & both small startups and large conglomerates. The fight for owning this customer base is just starting and WhatsApp certainly is in a very advantageous position.

    2. https://bit.ly/34mqjc7: Cashfree in talks to raise a $25M Series B

    ➡️ After Razorpay just raised their monster $100M Series D valuing the payments company at just over $1B, we now have fellow Indian YC payment gateway company Cashfree potentially raising a $25M Series B that would value the company at $150M.

    ➡️ The company has so far only raised $5.6M including a $5.5M Series A last year and also went through YC's Accelerator in 2018. The company has also been consistently clocking profits, which is quite unlike a lot of Indian startups.

    ➡️ The Series A round was led by South Korean firm Smilegate Investments and London-based Apis Partners is allegedly one of the investors in the Series B round along with new and existing investors. I'd be very interested to see if Stripe is one of the investors in the round- the American payments company has been quite active investing & acquiring companies in the US and emerging economies having just acquired Paystack (Nigeria) and investing in PayMongo (Philippines).

    ➡️ Stripe does also have a local team present in India but their product has been in beta since 2017 and they have made much progress in supporting other payment methods like UPI. Cashfree has already rolled out its financial API products to companies like Acko, CRED, HDFC and Zomato and I'm bullish on both them and Razorpay building products that developers love.

    Feedback & ❤️ always appreciated BONUS (Tweet of the day): https://twitter.com/anmolm_/status/1319510899963486213

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