Elon Musk-Twitter saga updates; Udaan takes convertible note route to raise $120m

Elon Musk is now called “Chief Twit” on Twitter. On Wednesday, the boss of Tesla and SpaceX entered the headquarters of the microblogging platform in San Francisco, armed with a sink. “Enter the Twitter headquarters – let him in!” he later tweeted, posting a video of his entrance.

It’s unclear if he was just a twit or was conveying a message that Twitter was in a ton of trouble (the sinking of the kitchen refers to acknowledging every bit of bad news all at once). But at the very least, it looks like he’s finally buying Twitter. And he made it clear that he would not be laying off 75% of the staff, as had been speculated.

But there could be more twists to this pretzel-shaped tale ahead of Friday’s court deadline to close the deal. And for everyone knows, the maverick boss can still fire 74% of the staff.

Credit: Twitter (@elonmusk)

Also in this letter

■ Udaan taps convertible note route to raise $120m
■ ETSA 2022: a high-level jury will select the winners tomorrow
■ CCI order opens door to IndusOS supported by PhonePe


Doesn’t plan to lay off 75% after takeover: Elon Musk tells Twitter staff

musk

Elon Musk does not plan to cut 75% of Twitter staff when he takes over the company, Bloomberg reported. He said the tech billionaire assured employees of the microblogging platform on Wednesday that there would be no mass culling.

Musk, whose $44 billion Twitter deal appears set to close on Friday, denied the previously reported figure in an address to employees at the company’s San Francisco office, the report added.

U-turn: Musk’s assurance should cause Twitter employees to breathe a sigh of relief after a Washington Post report last week suggested he planned to lay off 75% of Twitter staff once he took over. company control.

According to the report, Musk told potential investors likely to back his Twitter buy that he plans to lay off nearly three-quarters of Twitter’s 7,500 employees, leaving the company with a small team. The report cited documents and unnamed sources familiar with the deliberations.

Let this “sink in”: Along with walking in with a sink and changing his Twitter bio to Chief Twit, Musk also posted some conventional messages including, “Meet a lot of cool people on Twitter today!”.


He also shared his views on Twitter, reiterating what he said was his main reason for acquiring the company: “A beautiful thing about Twitter is how it empowers citizen journalism – people are able to disseminate information without establishment bias”.


NYSE delisting: Shares of Twitter Inc will be suspended from trading on Friday, the New York Stock Exchange’s website said, ahead of a court-ordered Oct. 28 deadline to complete the $44 billion deal.

Reuters had reported on Tuesday that equity investors including Sequoia Capital, Binance, Qatar Investment Authority and others had received required documents for the funding commitment from Musk’s lawyers.

Read also | Elon Musk says Twitter can’t be ‘free for everyone’, reveals why he bought it


Udaan raises $120m via convertible bonds, IPO delayed

Lightspeed-backed Udaan raises $120 million

B2B e-commerce startup Udaan has raised $120 million through convertible bonds and debt from existing shareholders and bondholders, the company’s chief financial officer, Aditya Pande, said in an internal email to employees. .

Sources tell us that $30-50 million is expected to come in another tranche.

In inverted commas: “With this round, the total funds raised by Udaan through convertible notes and debt over the past four quarters exceeded $350 million, making it one of the largest instrument fundraisings structures of the country”, wrote the financial director in his letter.

He added: “Continued focus on customer-centric thinking and initiatives to strengthen our value proposition to them has resulted in repeat buyer rates increasing monthly by 5% over the past 2 quarters.”

IPO delayed: Pande said in the note that the company plans to go public within the next 12 to 18 months, signaling a delay in its initial public offering (IPO) plans. The delay comes at a time when most startups are extremely cautious about going public, as most investors are reluctant to place heavy bets.

Udaan CEO Vaibhav Gupta told us in February that the company plans to go public by May 2023. However, we reported on October 12 that IPO plans would likely be delayed for another two quarters. due to the global economic downturn.

Operation of alternative routes: As transactions become more difficult, many companies resort to raising funds through debt instruments, thereby preserving valuation.

We had reported how online pharmacy marketplace PharmEasy, which has dropped plans to go public, is also looking to raise around $100 million through convertible notes. In January, Udaan had also raised $200 million through the same channel from a group of investors before Microsoft stepped in, bringing the total to around $225 million.


Meta Revenue Reaches, Profits Drop Over 50% as Ad Revenue Falls

meta

Meta, Facebook’s parent company, reported a 4% drop in third-quarter revenue to $27.7 billion from $29 billion a year earlier. Net income was $4.4 billion, down 52% from a year ago as expenses climbed 19%.

Meta’s revenue has been hit hard by its spending in the metaverse and slowing growth in social media and digital advertising. Meta’s share price has fallen 61% since the start of the year.

Metavers, a white elephant? Meta said its Reality Labs division, which is responsible for virtual reality and augmented reality efforts that are at the heart of the Metaverse, lost $3.7 billion from $2.6 billion a year earlier. He said the division’s operating losses would increase “significantly” next year.

“Even excluding its large investment in the metaverse, Meta has grown from $15 billion in annual investments in 2018, 2019, and 2020 to $30 billion in annual investments in 2022. To put that into perspective, excluding your significant investment in the metaverse, Meta invests more in capex than Apple, Tesla, Twitter, Snap and Uber combined! wrote Brad Gerstner, Meta shareholder and CEO of Altimeter Capital.

Instagram a saving grace: Meta Platforms Inc’s Instagram now has 2 billion monthly active users worldwide, closing in on the 2.96 billion who use Facebook, a sign of the social media giant’s changing makeup.

During its quarterly earnings call, Meta said more than 2 billion people now use its WhatsApp messaging app every day. The total number of monthly users for its app family is 3.71 billion globally.


ETSA 2022: a high-level jury will select the winners tomorrow

collage of all the jury members ET Startup Awards 2022 Graphic ETTECH

The 2022 edition of the Economic Times Startup Awards tomorrow will see its high-level judging panel select winners in nine categories to celebrate the excellence of India’s burgeoning startup ecosystem.

Led by Salil Parekh, CEO and Managing Director of Infosys, the judging panel will meet virtually to choose the winners, at a time when the global startup and tech ecosystem is rocked by economic and geopolitical uncertainty.

The nominees announced: So far, we’ve revealed the nominees in 7 categories – Bootstrap Champ, Top Innovator, Comeback Kid, Social Enterprise, Best on Campus, Woman Ahead and Midas Touch, with each category having five nominations.

Jury speech: Jurors Sanjeev Bikhchandani and Arundhati Bhattacharya think growth at all costs is very 2020 and the startup world has been forced to move on. What matters today is good unit economics, sustainability and a path to profitability. And solving complex socio-economic challenges across multiple sectors.

Sharing their views on what they will be looking for among the applicants, jury members Shailendra Singh, Sriharhsa Majety and Sahil Barua said this is a startup with a resilient business model, built with a long-term mindset that will see it become a giant company. in the next decade, will be a clear winner.

Watch this space tomorrow for more!

TWEET OF THE DAY


CCI command opens Play Store door to PhonePe’s Indus app

phonepe 1

The Competition Commission of India’s order against Google, ordering the tech giant to allow alternative app stores in its default Play Store on the Android ecosystem, will help Indus App Bazaar, owned by PhonePe, to directly reach users and grow, a senior official told us.

But how? “It will help us provide choice to users and scale the business for apps with finer services,” Indus App Bazaar co-founder Rakesh Deshmukh told ET. “We will continue our work to create a seamless experience for the user, which can only happen once Google allows the same Android permissions as the Play Store, such as installing from unknown sources, etc. “, did he declare.

retired player : IndusOS, one of the few operating systems of Indian origin, started in 2013, with a focus on Indian languages.

Prior to China’s invasion of the smartphone market, IndusOS powered over 100 smartphone models, from brands such as Micromax, Celkon, Karbonn, Swipe, and Intex, among others. It was the second operating system in India in 2016, behind Android but ahead of iOS and Windows Mobile.

Today’s ETtech Top 5 newsletter was curated by Gaurab Dasgupta in New Delhi and Siddharth Sharma in Bengaluru. Graphics and illustrations by Rahul Awasthi.

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