News in numbers: Over 2.5 mn PoS machines at shops now, says NPCI

In other news, e-commerce firm Flipkart raises $1.4 billion funding from eBay, Microsoft and Tencent


Demonetisation had brought the scarcity into focus as people had to do less cash transactions. Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint
Demonetisation had brought the scarcity into focus as people had to do less cash transactions. Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint

$1.4 billion

What is it? The amount e-commerce firm Flipkart raised from eBay, Microsoft and Tencent.

Why is it important? It’s the biggest amount raised in a single funding round by an Indian start-up. It came at a pre-money valuation of $10.2 billion, signalling the confidence investors have showed in the company that saw a series of markdowns in the last couple of years. The funding—and acquisition of eBay India, that was a part of the deal—will strengthen Flipkart as it fights its aggressive and better endowed competitor Amazon.

Tell me more: There have also been talks that Snapdeal, the third largest e-commerce firm in the country, will be merged with Flipkart, along with additional funding from SoftBank.

21%

What is it? The share of the Europe, Middle East, India and Africa (EMEIA) region in global IPOs (initial public offerings) in the first three months of 2017.

Why is it important? India with 26 IPOs accounted for nearly 34% of the region’s activity that ranked it second to Asia-Pacific in IPO numbers. EMEIA ranked third with 15% share in global proceeds, behind Asia-Pacific and the Americas.

Tell me more: The EMEIA region had 77 IPOs, raising $5.2 billion in all in January-March 2017.

2.5 million

What is it? The number of point-of-sale (PoS) machines at merchant establishments/shops.

Why is it important? PoS machine availability in India trails that of BRIC nations such as Brazil and China where per capita PoS availability for swiping plastic money is higher. Demonetisation had brought the scarcity into focus as people had to do less cash transactions. The numbers inched from 1.5 million swipe machines in October 2016 to 1.7 million in December, 2.2 million in February 2017, to over 2.5 million now. SBI has led with installation of 124,000 machines.

Tell me more:The count, shared by a National Payments Corp. of India official, is a little less than Niti Aayog’s estimate of 2.8 million PoS machines in February.

17 days

What is it? The time the UK-to-China freight train would take to reach its destination in Zhejiang, travelling along the ancient ‘Silk Road’ route.

Why is it important? The time taken by the train between the two countries, spanning a route along seven other countries, is still half the duration at sea. It is also cheaper than sending goods by air. While the train brought household items, clothes and consumer fashion goods from China, it is transporting soft drinks, baby products and pharmaceuticals on its maiden return journey.

Tell me more: Chinese premier Xi Jinping’s 2013 “One Belt, One Road” policy to revive land routes for trading with the West has made London the 15th European city with a direct rail connection.

$50.9 billion

What is it? Tesla’s market cap at the end of trading on Monday

Why is it important? It is now the most valued car company in the US, beating General Motors, the 108-year-old giant, by $64 million. Tesla’s position is seen more as a reflection of investors’ faith in Elon Musk’s vision for the future of electric cars, than the present financials of the companies. GM earned $9 billion in 2016 and Tesla lost $674 million. GM sold nearly 10 million vehicles, and Tesla sold 80,000 globally.

Tell me more: Toyota, with its $172 billion market cap, is the biggest carmaker by market value at present. Volkswagen, with a sale of 10.31 million vehicles in 2016, is the largest carmaker by sales volume, closely followed by Toyota.

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