#cybersecurity | hacker #hacking | Accel’s new India fund, Slowing growth of AePS & more, Technology News, ETtech

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Accel’s new India fund

What’s the news?

Accel India, backer of leading technology startups such as Flipkart, Freshworks and Swiggy, has raised about $550 million for its sixth India fund, taking its assets under management to $1.5 billion. This makes Accel VI among the largest corpuses for an India-focused venture capital fund, which last raised $450 million three years ago.

Where will the money go?

Accel said it would continue to scout for early-stage deals across consumer internet, enterprise, financial services, healthcare, and Software as a Services (SaaS) startups.

The firm’s previous fund saw 80% of its investments in the range of $2 million or less. Of its 120 active portfolio companies, the venture fund has 44 firms valued at more than $100 million. Read more.

Aditya Ghosh joins Oyo board

What’s the news?

Aditya Ghosh, the India and South Asia head of hospitality chain Oyo Hotels & Homes, has stepped down from his role, and will join its board of directors, a little over a year after the 44-year-old joined the SoftBank-backed company.

Ghosh will be succeeded by Rohit Kapoor, who was heading Oyo’s new real estate business, the Gurugram-based company announced in a prepared statement. Kapoor’s new role will be effective from January.

What’s next?

Ghosh said he will now focus on governance, profitability, communications, consumer experience and security and safety at the seven-year-old company, which has emerged as one of the most richly valued startups from India.

Ghosh is the second new director appointed in less than a month, after Oyo announced that it had inducted Betsy Atkins, chief executive of investment firm Baja Corporation, as an independent director last month. The development comes at a time when Oyo has stated its intention to go publicly trade on the bourses, but is yet to share a date on when that might take place. Read more.

ETtech Top 5: Accel's new India fund, Slowing growth of AePS & more
Slowing growth of AePS

What’s the news?

The rate of growth in transactions through Aadhaar-enabled payment system (AePS) in the April-October period of the current financial year has dropped by more than two-thirds from the year-ago period, data from National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) shows.

According to NPCI, which runs the platform, biometric-based transactions grew by 10% to 208 million transactions in October 2019 from 189 million in April. Further, the transactions dropped in November to 196 million

Why is this happening?

The transaction count on AePS has not grown aggressively, given many large public sector banks have introduced limits on the number of transactions their customers can do on other terminals, a senior banker told ET.

Large public sector banks such as State Bank of India and Bank of Baroda had limited the number of transactions their customers can do on other bank micro ATMs, ET reported on October 3.

Among other reasons, bankers said some agents were splitting single transactions into multiple small ones to earn more commission, which is why such limits were imposed. Read more.

ETtech Top 5: Accel's new India fund, Slowing growth of AePS & more
Google may get relief in phishing probe

What’s the news?

India is not likely to act against Google after the search giant said last week that nearly 12,000 users may have been targeted in state-backed cyber attacks globally, which included around 500 users in the country, according to a top government official. The government is nevertheless planning to issue a notice to Google asking why it had not informed the authorities about the attack.

Why the relief?

Google may not be treated the same way as WhatsApp as the attack was not due to any vulnerability on its platform that hackers could exploit, unlike the Facebook-owned instant messaging app, where a flaw was used to inject malware, affecting 121 users in India, including activists, lawyers and journalists.

In the case of Google, cyber hacking techniques such as phishing were employed, with users being responsible if they fell prey to the phishing attempt, the government official said. Read more.

ETtech Top 5: Accel's new India fund, Slowing growth of AePS & more
TikTok & politics

What’s the news?

Political agencies, campaigners and strategists are weighing how to ramp up their presence and content on TikTok for the future elections as the Chinese video-sharing app gains popularity in India.

What are they doing?

Although Bytedance-owned TikTok has stated that it would not allow political ads on the platform because there’s a mismatch with the experience, digital agencies and marketers said there are ways of promoting the desired political content on the app. TikTok currently has 200 million users in India. Read more.

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