Published: 9/30/2020

Good morning, it's Wednesday and apologies for the late newsletter today. After watching the first presidential debate- I was exhausted and needed a break. We have a new company raising money today and Google's new Play store billing policy.

  • https://bit.ly/36ik36t: Google's Play store billing policies update
  • ➡️ On Tuesday, Google updated their Play store policies to state that apps that sell content and digital goods will have to use Google's billing system and pay Google 30% of the payment to facilitate the payment. Understandably, people were upset about this.

    ➡️ This only includes in-app purchases, subscriptions and digital goods and does not include the likes of payments for physical goods or services (food delivery/ride-sharing), bill payments et al. Apple and Google have both included these policies from the very start of their app stores and companies have long complained about the rake which is possibly too high.

    ➡️ And while I can come to terms with the fact that maybe the rake that the companies collect is possibly too high, I do think Indian startups don't really have much bargaining power in this debate. They need google and it's ecosystem more than it needs them.

    ➡️ I think a lot of people fail to acknowledge the platforms Google and Apple have built in the smartphone era. In the pre-smartphone era it was a lot harder to build and distribute your app/service to users and the rake was much more exorbitant. And while people will be perennially upset with the platforms they depend on, I'm afraid they don't really have an alternative.

    2. https://bit.ly/349AUG1: SquadStack raises a $5M Series A led by Chiratae Ventures

    ➡️ SaaS Sales Acceleration company SquadStack has raised a $5M Series A round led by Chiratae Ventures with participation from existing backers Blume Ventures as well. The company has raised money from the likes of Amit Ranjan, Deepinder Goyal, Girish Khera, Zishaan Hayath, Anthill Ventures, 91springboard and Abstract Ventures in prior rounds as well.

    ➡️ The company plans to use the capital to accelerate product growth & hire product, engineering and data and I assume will follow the Indian playbook of SaaS companies building in India but selling to America.

    ➡️ The company builds products to help businesses scale with better conversions, speed, accuracy, flexibility, and cost savings, and already counts the likes of Zomato, Walmart Group, Times Group, Delhivery, Nestaway, Upstox, ZestMoney, and the Tata Group as its customers.

    ➡️ All in all, the company has over 200 customers (though seems like mostly in India) and I assume the company will use the new capital and their playbook for cracking India and take it westward where there is a much higher potential for future revenue.

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