Knock Knock..Bezos here. Your food order..

Amazon India: Food delivery + Launch of NextBigWhat 4.0 - and more.

Hello there

Welcome to the new edition of NextBigWhat’s newsletter. If you like it, press the heart button. If you have a feedback to share, please press the reply button.

Today, we are happy to announce the 4.0 version of NextBigWhat !

Summary? Well, it’s all about you. We want to be the most useful friend out there - will save you time, bring actionable wisdom and importantly, help you screen the future!

Let’s get on with today’s updates.


Walmart plans to spin off PhonePe from Flipkart

Walmart is planning to demerge PhonePe, so that its ownership will be vested directly with the US retail giant - this will enable Walmart to enter India’s payment space directly.

This is interesting, given that India’s Fintech battle is currently fought between PhonePe, Google, Amazon and Paytm - PhonePe’s demerger will give Walmart a huge leverage in India to operate/invest independently.

Following the demerger, Wal-mart will have about 82% stake each in PhonePe and Flipkart separately, with a combined valuation of $27-30 billion, as per ET.

What’s surprising is the sloooowww movement from WhatsApp - it is the only platform in India, which can become a superapp, though struggling with regulations and maybe, focus.


Why are Electric bikes sloowww?

Well, Bangalore based startup Ultraviolette Automotive is launching its first two-wheeler, the F77 – a premium electric bike, equivalent to a 200-250cc motorcycle.

Backed by TVS Motors, the startup aims to fill the gap of providing a high-tech power-packed and power-efficient alternative to ICE (internal combustion engine) two-wheelers in the premium category.

“Building a high performance motorcycle comes with no shortcuts, and neither are there enough benchmark vehicles to learn and improve upon. What we had to do was start the development of the motorcycle from ground up – right from the chassis and a new architecture for the motorcycle to the battery tech that can deliver the kind of energy required, keeping multiple complex safety constraints and harsh Indian conditions in mind.”

Read this deep interview with founders of the startup.


Knock knock! Who’s there? Amazon..? Who? Your food order !

Well. Amazon is entering food delivery space this Diwali with a warchest of ~$500mn.

The company will focus on the restaurant commission by charging one-fourth of what the competition is charging.

In addition, the company will offer the delivery of food for free for Amazon Prime members [via].

On a side note, this post on LinkedIn has gone viral - this pretty much sums up the issues with Zomato/Swiggy, i.e. artificial price jacking.

What do you think is happening here?

Related debate: Tech Startups' Growth & Ethics: Inversely Proportional?


Aside, the next batch of NextBigWhat’s product management course starts this October. Details here.


GST on logo? Hello there!

Some Indian conglomerates and foreign banks are among those under the scanner for allowing subsidiaries or Indian entities to use brand names and logos they own for free.

The indirect tax department wants these entities (like Tatas, Mahindra groups) to put a valuation on the brand names and logos, charge fees from the subsidiary or group company and pay 18% GST on that (will amount to a few thousands of crores) - via ET.


Bajaj Auto looks to script “Hamara Kal” with Urbanite brand EVs

Bajaj auto is set to unveil personal electric two-wheelers under Urbanite brand on October 16th. The President of Urbanite business unit of Bajaj Auto, Eric Vas reaffirmed the company’s commitment towards electric mobility and aims to make it a significant player in coming years [via]


WeWork India to raise $200mn

The company, which raised around ₹500 crore of debt recently, will raise the fresh funds through a combination of equity and structured debt.

“...It’s business as usual for WeWork India. Whatever has happened doesn’t impact the India business and we continue to believe in the brand. We have been building the business ourselves and co-working has helped our traditional commercial office business a lot," said Jitu Virwani, chairman of Embassy Group, which is the holding company of WeWork India).


Honda patents a pedestrian alert system for e-bikes in India

Honda has just got an Indian patent for a new alerting system that warns pedestrians by sending out sound signals to avoid accidents.

According to the patent, this device is meant for two wheelers which have a space constraint and cannot deploy the technology used in hybrid cars [via]