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SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son in India next week; why Sebi cracked down on YouTube influencers

SoftBank Corporation founder and chief executive Masayoshi Son is expected to visit India next week after a gap of over four years, sources familiar with his plans told us.

This and more in today’s ETtech Top 5.

Also in this letter:
■ Apple partner Foxconn plans 300-acre plant in Bengaluru
■ ETtech Deals Digest: Funding stays under $1 billion in Feb for startups
■ Creator community, Shorts key focus: YouTube CEO Neal Mohan

SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son to visit India, meet govt officials, founders

During his visit to India, Masayoshi Son will likely meet government officials and some of SoftBank’s portfolio founders and CEOs in New Delhi.

Significance of his visit: Son’s India visit comes at a time when SoftBank has been hit due to major losses incurred by its ambitious $100 billion Vision Fund last year amid a tech rout.

SoftBank has scaled back its investment activity to offset the losses. In India, it has part sold stakes in listed firms like Delhivery, Paytm, and Policybazaar.

SoftBank’s India bets: The Japanese conglomerate is among the largest foreign tech investors in India and has deployed $15 billion here over the past decade.

Some of its early big bets in India include Ola, Oyo, Paytm, Snapdeal, and Flipkart. It has also backed new-age businesses like Lenskart, FirstCry, Meesho, Unacademy, OfBusiness, and Delhivery.

Arm ditches UK, to pursue US-only listing: SoftBank-owned British chip technology firm Arm said on Friday it will pursue a US-only listing this year, ending speculation about a primary or a secondary listing in the UK.

Apple partner Foxconn plans 300-acre plant in Bengaluru, to create one lakh jobs


Apple’s major supplier Foxconn Technology Group plans to invest about $700 million on a new plant in Karnataka to ramp up local production in a bid to reduce dependence on China as Washington-Beijing tensions grow.

Make-in-India push: The Taiwanese company will build iPhone parts on the 300-acre site close to the airport in Bengaluru. The factory may also be used to assemble Apple’s handsets and produce some parts for its nascent electric vehicle business.

The Centre has offered financial incentives to Apple suppliers such as Foxconn, which began making the latest generation of iPhones at a site in Tamil Nadu last year.

Smaller rivals Wistron Corp. and Pegatron Corp. have also ramped up production under the Make in India initiative.

Job creation: The new plant will employ about 100,000 people and create other opportunities for Karnataka, according to Union Minister of State for Electronics and IT, Rajeev Chandrasekhar and Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai.

Foxconn’s sprawling iPhone assembly complex in the Chinese city of Zhengzhou employs some 200,000 people during the non-peak production season.

A 17-member delegation of Hon Hai Technology Group (Foxconn) led by its chairman Young Liu arrived in Bengaluru on Friday and held a preliminary meeting with Karnataka Information Technology Minister CN Ashwath Narayan.

The team had earlier met top officials in Delhi and PM Narendra Modi.

ETtech Deals Digest: funding for startups remains sluggish in February


Funding activity for Indian startups remained muted in the second month of 2023, as new-age businesses raised $809 million in venture funding, a significant drop of about 84% from the $5.2 billion they raised in February last year, data from market intelligence firm Tracxn showed.

Overall funding trend across Indian startups

February 2023 was the driest month in at least a year for Indian startups when it comes to funding. The month saw the least amount of money coming in as funding for Indian startups in the last one year, according to data from Tracxn. For the first time in the last 12 months, cumulative funding for startups remained under $1 billion.

Top funding rounds for the period

Indian startups raised 41% less money in February than in January, when they had raised $1.38 billion across 157 rounds, whereas in February, startups could only raise $809 million across 84 rounds.

Most active VCs this week

Here are all the startups that raised funds this month.

Tweet of the day

ETtech Explainer: What’s behind Sebi’s crackdown on YouTube influencers


On Thursday, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) barred 45 entities, including actor Arshad Warsi and his wife Maria Goretti, from the securities market in cases related to the manipulation of share prices of two companies by uploading YouTube videos.

ETtech tries to answer some questions about Sebi’s action:

What’s the case? The case pertains to YouTubers uploading misleading videos on their channels and recommending viewers to purchase shares of Sadhna Broadcast Ltd and Sharpline Broadcast Ltd for lucrative returns.

The regulator has impounded illegal gains to the tune of Rs 54 crore made by the entities, as per two separate interim orders.

Also read | Sebi cracks down on ‘pump & dump’ YouTube schemes

What are pump and dump schemes? In these, manipulators attempt to influence the stock price by misleading investors to buy certain shares via social media platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, Telegram, and WhatsApp groups.

The videos are marketed heavily for additional reach and once investors buy enough shares, manipulators offload the inflated shares and book profits. Investors, on the other hand, face huge losses once the shares are dumped.

Read the full explainer here

Creator Community, Shorts key focus: YouTube CEO Neal Mohan

Neal mohan

YouTube’s new chief executive officer Neal Mohan has laid down his roadmap for the video streaming platform in his first official communication to the creators’ community after taking over from Susan Wojcicki – work closely with the creator community and strengthen Shorts for more user engagement.

Quote Unquote: “Creators and artists are the heart of YouTube, and I’ll continue to put them first. In today’s challenging macroeconomic climate, we’re offering opportunities to grow a business on our platform,” Mohan said in a company blog post.

Also read | Who is Neal Mohan, the new Indian American CEO of YouTube?

Creator community support: Referring to a research from Oxford Economics, he said YouTube’s creative ecosystem supported more than two million jobs in 2021 in Brazil, Canada, the United States, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, France, Australia, Germany, the United Kingdom, India, and Turkey combined.

Shorts strategy: A key part of Mohan’s and YouTube’s strategy to widen the platform’s reach is to focus more on Shorts – the platform’s short-video feature akin to Instagram Reels or TikTok videos.

“YouTube Shorts is giving creators greater reach – Shorts is now averaging over 50 billion daily views. And last year, the number of channels that uploaded to Shorts daily grew over 80%,” Mohan said.

Today’s ETtech Top 5 newsletter was curated by Megha Mishra in Mumbai and Gaurab Dasgupta in New Delhi. Graphics and illustrations by Rahul Awasthi.

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