Published: 1/21/2021

Happy Thursday folks! It was a big day today with the US saying good riddance to Donald Trump and the Biden-Harris administration being sworn in. I'm not American, but was moved by many parts of the ceremony, particularly Amanda Gorman's reading. Of course, it was a historic moment to see Kama Harris being sworn in as the country's first female, black, Asian VP. A lot of these glass ceilings should have been broken sooner, but I think its a good reminder of how hard these ceilings are and how many decades of concerted political engagement finally led the US here. For all its faults, and I'm not fan of American exceptionalism, the American experiment in democracy is one that has been a torch for many countries - including India - for centuries, and its not hard to see why.

Coming back to our stories of the day. Yet another start-up has entered the unicorn club. This time it is Digit Insurance. And the Flipkart - Aditya Birla Fashion deal has received approval from the CCI.

  • https://bit.ly/3o7Cos9: Digit Insurance to become the first unicorn of the year
  • ➡️ Digit Insurance has announced a new round of funding that values it at $1.9 billion, making it the first start-up to enter the unicorn club this year. The $18.4 million funding round is expected to close later this month.

    ➡️ Digit said it raised these funds as growth capital to meet solvency margin requirements. The company said it grew 32% from April to Dec 2020 compared to a 0.1% growth of the insurance industry as a whole. The company said it was profitable in all three quarter of last year.

    ➡️ Digit focusses on non-life health insurance. Besides motor and health, which are the company's core segments, Digit also focuses on small and medium businesses with products such as shop, property and fire insurance. The company's sachet insurance products are sold through retail agents and direct channel partners such as Amazon, Flipkart, Paytm, Policybazaar, Cleartrip.

    ➡️ In fact, during the pandemic Digit expanded its suite of products launching a fixed-benefit cover for Covid, under the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority’s sandbox initiative.

    2. https://bit.ly/35Ze5GQ: Flipkart-Aditya Birla Fashion deal gets approval from CCI

    ➡️ The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved the ~$200M Flipkart-Aditya Birla Fashion deal, giving a leg-up to the online fashion retail business of the Walmart Inc.-owned company. In October 2020 Flipkart had announced it was acquiring a 7.8% stake in Aditya Birla Fashion.

    ➡️ Flipkart agreed to pay ~$200M for its stake in ABFR. The deal will allow Flipkart to sell and distribute various brands of ABFR, which owns / operates brands such as Pataloons, Allen Solly, Peter England and Forever 21 in India.

    ➡️ Flipkart, which also owns Myntra, one of the country's largest apparel retailers, is strengthening its grip on the lifestyle and fashion apparel space. In July 2020, Flipkart had also invested $35 million in Arvind Fashions, a decades-old Indian retail giant.

    ➡️ The e-commerce landscape in India has become a battle between Flipkart, Amazon, and Reliance. Flipkart is clearly planting its flag on the apparel subsegment, which with ~$7B in online sales is the biggest e-commerce category after smartphones.

    Feedback & ❤️ always appreciated BONUS (Tweet of the day): https://twitter.com/VP/status/1352093996227637249?s=20

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