Daily News | 12 February

Infosys co-founder NR Narayana Murthy may soon stop backing early-stage ventures. Citing unidentified sources, Top Media sources report that his investment vehicle Catamaran Ventures won’t make any fresh bets on startups, following a portfolio review in December. “The focus will now be to look at investing more in listed firms,” one of the sources said. The shift in strategy follows a change of guard at Catamaran, whose CEO Arjun Narayanswamy left to take charge of an AI firm founded by Murthy’s son Rohan. Catamaran has invested in seven startups and as many listed firms, and runs a joint venture with Amazon called Cloudtail, the biggest seller on the e-tailer.

The spectre of angel tax continues to haunt Indian startups. According to a LocalCircles survey of over 2,500 startups and entrepreneurs, 73% have got at least one angel tax notice so far. Three in 10 startups have been slapped with three or more such notices, the study shows. Following clamour from the startup community, the government made it easier for early-stage ventures to avail tax exemptions on angel investments. But it stopped short of scrapping the tax altogether.

Amazon has indefinitely put off its plans to buy a stake in Kishore Biyani’s Future Group, Business Standard reports, citing unidentified sources. The e-commerce giant is also re-evaluating its last year’s acquisition of Aditya Birla Group’s More, and it has suspended its inorganic expansion plans in the space. The reason? An upheaval in business caused by the government’s recent FDI norms. Amazon reportedly signed a term sheet with Future Group in August 2018 to invest nearly $700 million for a 12-15% stake.

A parliamentary panel has given Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey time till February 25 to appear before it. Dorsey failed to show up on Monday to answer the panel’s questions around data privacy, regulatory oversight and the propagation of fake news on Twitter. The micro blogging platform blamed the “short notice” for Dorsey’s unavailability and despatched its junior representatives to the parliament. The panel didn’t engage with the representatives and said it expects to meet a senior executive from Twitter’s global management team if Dorsey doesn’t make it on February 25.

Telcos seem to be extending the ambit of India’s porn ban to several non-porn sites.Many people are unable to access services such as Soundcloud, the messaging app Telegram’s website, proxy sites, and torrent portals, Quartz reports, citing 130 complaints crowdsourced by the Internet Freedom Foundation. Most of the grievances came from Jio and Airtel users. Blocking access could be seen as a violation of the net neutrality principle.

Source : LinkedIn

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