"EDITION 147"

Published: 9/1/2020

Good morning, it's Tuesday and there was a bit of twitter drama on who @VCBrags might be. In other news, as predicted, Bikayi raised a seed round & a potential data breach at Paytm Mall.

  • https://bit.ly/3hO9f2T: YC-backed Bikayi raised a $2M seed round
  • ➡️ I think from the onset of the latest YC batch, Bikayi was the company that was spoken about a lot, so it's not surprising that the company raised a $2M seed round.

    ➡️ The company raised the capital from Mantis Capital (a VC fund started by the Chainsmokers), Pioneer Fund (YC alum that invests in YC companies) as well as angel investor Ankur Nagpal (Teachable founder). Interestingly, none of the reported investors have made significant investments in India (Pioneer has backed a couple other Indian YC companies).

    ➡️ The idea behind Bikayi is quite simple- give shopkeepers & SMEs an easy way to build a storefront and let them sell online as well as integrate with a payment gateway & a logistics service. Bikayi has also done something that most companies in their space haven't really done- charge Indian businesses a monthly subscription fees. Companies like Khatabook & OkCredit have previously given their products for free.

    ➡️ Bikayi has already made solid progress, with merchants on the platform doing daily transactions worth Rs 2 Cr a day, and the company already making $11k in Monthly Recurring Revenue. If we assume the average paid merchant pays Bikayi $3/mon (between cheapest & mid pricing tier), the company already has over 3000 paying customers.

    ➡️ Programs like YC have certainly helped Indian companies raise capital from American investors, but I wonder if a company like Bikayi would benefit from an Indian investor being on their cap table. Folks in the US still have a rudimentary understanding of India (and I'm sure they have no clue how Tier 3/4 India operates which is where a majority of Bikayi's merchants seem to be from). And with their competition well capitalized- I wonder how this bodes for them?

    2. https://bit.ly/2YO98go: Paytm Mall allegedly suffers a data breach

    ➡️ Paytm Mall has been in the news this week for multiple reasons- all not great though. They are piloting a group buying feature within the app (think PDD) and named the feature "Bang" (like who let them name it this?). And the company has also been in the news this week for an alleged data breach.

    ➡️ An American cybersecurity firm claimed that a group, alias John Wick, was able to infiltrate Paytm Mall's entire production database. The group has also asked for a ransom in exchange for the data.

    ➡️ To make things more interesting, the group has previously broken into multiple Indian companies previously- including Zee5, SquareYards, Stashfin, Sumo Payroll which makes me think it could be legit. Unacademy & Dunzo have also seen data breaches in the recent past but both acknowledged said breaches.

    ➡️ While no one has been able to independently verify the data breach, it would reflect very poorly on the company since they have vehemently denied any breach. To err on the safe side, if you have a Paytm Mall account, I would reset my password just in case.

    Feedback & ❤️ always appreciated BONUS (Tweet of the day): https://twitter.com/vedicakant/status/1300580865655754752

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