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16th December 2021
Good Morning! 

We are super excited today. Spider-Man is out in theatres and we can't wait. Frankly, our level of happiness is close to our Friyayyy level and it's only Thursday. What a great week!
  MARKETS
 

SENSEX

57,788.03

- 0.57%

NIFTY

17,853.20

- 0.60%

US$

76.23

+ 0.47%

GOLD

48,065

- 0.01%

10-YR

6.36%

+ 0.8 bps

OIL

5,389

+ 0.77%

*As of market close

  • Markets: 4 down days in a row now! Should we be worried? It's going to be interesting to see how our markets react to this US Federal Reserve Bank's decision announced last night. Keep scrolling for more on that.

Monetary Policy

Raise The R̶o̶o̶f̶ Rates
Raise the roof

The central bank of the United States, the Federal Reserve Bank yesterday announced its monetary policy plans for 2022. Markets across the world had been waiting for this with bated breath almost, as most experts expected a tightening cycle to begin soon.

So here's The Gyst of what transpired in the US overnight:

Stocks were mildly lower going into the announcement but actually went up once it was confirmed that the Fed will start hiking interest rates starting 2022.

The central bank will first accelerate the tapering of its bond-buying program. At the peak of the program, when the pandemic was really bad, they were buying $80 billion of US Gov bonds and $40 billion of mortgage-backed securities to keep financial conditions easy.

The speed at which this buying will be cut now has been increased, from earlier $15 billion per month reduction, to now $30 billion per month starting December. They hope to bring it to zero by March 2022.

The other thing Fed officials spoke about was interest rates in the US. The latest "dot plot" shows decision-makers now expect 3 rate hikes in 2022, starting with a 0.25% increase in the June quarter.

They also expect 2 further rate hikes in 2023 and then 2 more in 2024.

In spite of all this 'hawkish' talk by the central bank, stocks in the US went up on the announcement. Now why this happened is just a guess (and it's as good as yours) but it could be because there's now a certainty for investors regarding the path ahead instead of just talk and rumours.

Now it'll be interesting to see how our markets react come 9:15!

PS: Here's a chart of the Fed's balance sheet over the years - can you spot the crises?
US Fed Balance Sheet

Tech

COVID Boom
Money gun
 

India's first health-tech SaaS unicorn has raised some some money again.

Come on guys we know you can guess it.
Okay, it's Innovacer.
Don't be too hard on yourself if you didn't get it, we last covered them when they joined the unicorn club way back in Feb (feels a whole decade away doesn't it?).

They have now gone on to raise $150 million and are now valued at $3.2 billion – more than double their valuation in Feb when they were valued at $1.3 billion.

What do they do?

We know healthtech SaaS sounds like mumbo jumbo but they do something similar to us!
Collating data from different sources (albeit they do on a much much larger scale)
They connect to various datasets from healthcare records, insurance companies, primary care providers and pharmacies to give a single view of the patient.

So it's like The Gyst but for healthcare data which can then be used to recommend actionable insights. This generally results in better outcomes and lower costs.
Like most of our other SaaS unicorns, they have a majority of their workforce here in India but they cater mostly to the US market.

COVID Acceleration

The Healthcare industry was one of the last sectors that tried to adopt technology and then COVID hit.
Innovacer cleverly also created some solutions to deal with the pandemic and they managed to grow 100% in 2020.
We don't have their 2021 numbers, but with the increase in valuation, we are pretty sure their business has done well.
 

Tech

Fintech Raises
Show me the money

Not 1 but 2 fintech startups raise some money.

Uni Funding

No no this wasn't another unicorn funding. Theres actually a fintech startup called 'Uni', and they just raised $70 million.

Uni is tackling a problem that actually quite a few other startups are trying to solve as well. 
India has many people with bank accounts but very very few with credit cards, so almost no access to formal credit. They want to change this, and have an interesting solution to the problem.

Instead of using their tech to give a credit card-like product (like fellow startup Slice), they Uni instead offers users a pay-later card once it determines creditworthiness.
The pay-later card automatically splits the total bill into 3 months.
If customers pay within 3 months, they are not charged any interest fee. If they pay everything in the first month itself they get a 1% cashback reward.

Doesn't this feel like a great and innovative twist to the BNPL offering?

Instead of them having to make the tie-ups with merchants they have tied up with Visa, so automatically their cards are acceptable in quite a few areas.

We didn't get any idea of how many users they have but it seems like they are already present in 50 or cities here.

Uni is working on developing a number of new products and hopes to give out $200 million a month in credit in the next 9 months.

PS: Their name is interesting too. Maybe they are doing that whole "you manifest you destiny" thing you know, name your startup Uni so you can become a Unicorn?


JusPay Raises Too

JusPay also ended up raising $60 million from Softbank and some other investors.

Juspay offers end-to-end payments processing technology to merchants.
One confusion that seems to come up a lot with Juspay is people think they are a payment gateway.
But they are not a payment gateway.
What their main product does is it acts like a consolidation service on top of payment gateways.

So for example: If a startup uses both PayU and Citrus at the same time but wants to route some customers (depending on certain logic) to one of the payment gateways, JusPay helps do that.

They also have other products like HyperSDK, Express Checkout and UPI in a Box.

JusPay claims to process 300 million online transactions per month with a gross transaction value of over $5 billion.

They plan on using this new money to solve new use cases and hire more people.

On a Lighter Note

Campus Ambassador Program

If you are a college student do check out our campus ambassador program. 
Follow this link for the details!

If you have more time ...

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