Published: 6/5/2020


Happy Friday, we made it to another weekend!

First up, we have yet another opinion piece on the Facebook x Jio investment (by me!)- https://www.dealstreetasia.com/stories/guest-post-whatsapp-jio-185916/ and I’d love to hear all your thoughts/feedback/criticism. Would also super appreciate it if y’all share it on Twitter or with friends & family on WhatsApp :D

Coming to the day’s news, we have another global company making a broader play for the kirana space, and the Indian version of Masterclass that looks interesting:

  • https://tcrn.ch/2Y3tXou (Techcrunch): Amazon makes a play for the Kirana stores
  • ➡️ It really does seem like kirana stores are the next frontier for global tech companies. After the announcement of Jio and Facebook working together on their JioMart initiative, Amazon is launching “Local Shops on Amazon”

    ➡️ Through this consumers will be able to discover and purchase items from local stores in their area, and the stores will fulfill and order themselves. And while the list of stores that can participate in this program range from groceries to electronics and apparel but will likely only include essential & food items while India’s eCommerce ban continues.

    ➡️ Amazon has also been working with kirana stores to store and deliver Amazon order for them as last-mile delivery is both very logistically challenging & expensive in the country.

    ➡️ Kirana stores have been the lifeblood of the Indian economy, especially in the pandemic where online grocers have usually been backed up with orders and slots, kirana stores have mostly been much better stocked and prepared to serve their customers.

    ➡️ The next year will be interesting in the #KiranaTech space in all facets of the business since you have players in the logistics, khata, payment collection, and new entrants like JioMart who want to build more full-stack solutions for these stores.

  • https://bit.ly/2VzpmZA (YourStory): Masterclass or MasterSchool?
  • ➡️ I came across this fairly new Indian company called MasterSchool today. And if the name sounds familiar, it’s probably because you might have heard of Masterclass, the platform where you can take classes from the world’s best instructors (from Malcolm Gladwell to Martin Scorsese and even Gordon Ramsey).

    ➡️ There has been a definite trend in bringing companies and models that have worked in the US to India to see how they do here. While some aren’t suited for the Indian market others thrive. MasterSchool is a platform where you can take pre-recorded courses from Indian celebrities like Nawazuddin Siddiqui & Sabira Merchant in areas people might be passionate about (Acting, Filmmaking, Art and so forth).

    ➡️ Masterclass (in the US) has seen a significant surge in new subscribers and course consumption as people have more free time at home and want to try out new things. Similarly, MasterSchool has seen a positive trend in consumptions with a peak of 350 sales a day.

    ➡️ It will be interesting if they can continue to onboard new celebrities to the platform (who are probably very very expensive) and continue to push growth at low CAC costs. The company currently has 12,000 paid subscribers and is potentially looking to raise venture capital to grow their operations.

    ➡️ The questions I have is if they can repeatedly get new celebrities and courses on the platform while also being able to recruit users to purchase individual or all-access subscriptions (while also ensuring they properly price these subscriptions) and retain existing users. They are building a marketplace where both sides might have limited supply with a hard to measure demand, but in a space which is currently very hot.

    Feedback & ❤️ always appreciated

    More on Monday :) BONUS (Tweet of the day): https://twitter.com/sajithpai/status/1253327147474681858