These latest stories from the tech space will keep you updated with trends today.
1. Kenya’s MarketForce launches its “Troops” project
Kenyan retail-tech startup MarketForce has formalised the launch of its Troops project into a B2B wholesale e-commerce marketplace.
The startup, which specialises on leveraging gig workers for order collection and fulfilment, also allows retailers to self-serve through a website and mobile app.
Launched two years ago, MarketForce enables consumer brands to optimise how they deliver essential goods and services to retailers and consumers by bridging the information gap in last mile distribution.
In May, press revealed that MarketForce had raised US$350,000 in seed funding to help it build upon its existing momentum.
In addition, the fund was to enhance its product to unlock new revenue streams.
How long did it take Amazon to begin selling more ebooks than physical copies after its Kindle launch?
A. A single fiscal quarter
B. Less than three years
C. About seven years
D. It still sells more printed copies
Answer: See end of post.
2. China lays out ‘rectification’ plan for Jack Ma’s fintech empire Ant
The People’s Bank of China, being the country’s central bank, has summoned Ant Group for regulatory talks.
Described as a whirlwind holiday exercise for the company, reports noted that the plan was to “rectify” its regulatory violations.
The meeting came less than two months after China’s financial authorities abruptly halted what could have been a record-setting initial public offering of Ant.
Reports revealed that the decision was reached over the firm’s regulatory compliance issues.
Concurrently, however, Jack Ma’s e-commerce giant Alibaba is under investigation by China’s top market regulator over alleged monopolistic behavior.
3. Indian startups nets $9.3 billion in 2020
Owing to the strong wave of the coronavirus pandemic, this year, the Indian tech ecosystem was only able to net $9.3 billion.
The net raiser, according to industry analysts, is $5 billion down to last year when startups approximately raised $14.5 billion.
Press revealed that this new figure is the first time since 2016 that startups in India, one of the world’s largest startup communities, would raised less than $10 billion in a year.
In addition, the number of deals fell from 1,185 last year to 1,088 in 2020.
Despite, however, the slowdown, Indian startups saw substantial rebound in the second half of this year.
Tech Trivia Answer: Less than three years
In June 2010, Amazon announced that it had sold 143 ebooks for every 100 printed books in the prior three months — a figure that included hard copy books that didn’t have a Kindle version, not to mention that the store offered only 630,000 Kindle books at the time compared to its physical library of nearly two million titles.
At the time, Amazon said it was astonished considering that it had been selling hard cover books for 15 years, and Kindle books for only 33 months. The company launched its first Kindle e-reader in November 19, 2007. The shift occurred even faster on Amazon UK, which introduced the Kindle in August 2010 and by May of the following year ebooks outsold printed books at a ratio of more than 2 to 1.
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