In an attempt to rebuild Hong Kong’s tourism sector post COVID-19, the city is handing out 500,000 plane tickets to foreign tourists. The giveaway will begin at the start of March and last about six months. Tourists can win the free tickets via different ways such as lotteries and two-for-one purchases.
Closer home, Indian edtech companies’ cost cutting strategies continue.
While BYJU’S has trimmed its workforce, another edtech unicorn Unacademy will reportedly give stock options to employees based on their performance instead of cash appraisals.
ICYMI: The world’s largest waterlily recognised by Guiness World Records.
Oh, and here’s an interesting piece on the mysterious history of the Worcestershire Sauce.
A slice of food history to end your week with!
In today’s newsletter, we talk about
BYJU’S lays off 1,000 employeesBudget a dampener for investorsReliance Retail to accept Digital Rupee
Here’s your trivia for today: Who was the first woman to pilot the Space Shuttle?
BYJU’S lays off 1,000 employees
Edtech unicorn BYJU’S has laid off 900-1000 employees in a fresh round of layoffs. The cuts have happened mainly in the marketing, design, logistics, and tech teams in India, and product teams in the international business.
Employees were informed about the layoff over video calls that had senior directors and HR personnel present. Reasons for the job cuts ran the usual gamut—including cost-benefit analysis, and lack of revenue generation.BYJU’S axed around 2,500 jobs in October as part of its cost-cutting measures.
Round: Series A
Startup: A Toddler Thing
Amount: Rs 2.2 Cr
Amount: Rs 30 lakh
Budget a dampener for investors
Budget 2023 wasn’t quite what Indian private equity and venture capital players had hoped for as their expectations about Long Term Capital Gains Tax (LTGC) and regulation of Alternate Investment Funds (AIFs) weren’t met.
The fine print:
Provisions under Section 56(2) (viib) of the Income Tax Act have been amended to ensure that exemptions to Angel Tax are offered only to SEBI-registered AIFs. The Budget was a missed opportunity for the government to bring in much-needed taxation reforms for private sector investors. While the announcement of the Agriculture Accelerator Fund by the Finance Minister was welcomed, the incubator and accelerator ecosystem, at large, was left wanting for announcements extending further support.
Reliance Retail to accept Digital Rupee
India’s largest retail chain, Reliance Retail, said it will accept the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), called e₹-R, at its stores. The initiative, which will begin from the company’s Freshpik store in Mumbai, will eventually be rolled out to its other outlets across the country.
The Mukesh Ambani-led firm has partnered with Innoviti Technologies, ICICI Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank to enable acceptance of the Digital Rupeee₹-R was introduced by the Reserve Bank of India in December for retail markets across select Indian cities in a pilot mode, with access limited to consumers of certain identified banks.Initially run on pilot in four cities–Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru and Bhubhaneshwar–the CBDC programme was extended to eight other cities.
News & updates
Premium AI: OpenAI is launching a paid subscription version of ChatGPT called ChatGPT Plus. At a $20 monthly fee, it will include access to the chatbot during peak usage times. The current free version limits access when usage is high.Fully electric: Volvo Cars is gearing up to convert all its mainstay models into electric vehicles and to introduce a luxury electric van aimed at boosting sales in Asia. The Swedish carmaker is expected to launch at least six new battery electric vehicles through 2026.Worst times: Dealmakers globally are enduring their worst start to a year in two decades, as economic and financing headwinds continue to prevent a bounceback in mergers and acquisitions. Global deal values ended January at about $124 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Who was the first woman to pilot the Space Shuttle?
Answer: Eileen Collins
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