El Salvador - World’s first Bitcoin country💲

BYJU's acquires Gradeup, Ola cab business crosses pre-Covid levels, and more.

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El Salvador Becomes First Country To Have Bitcoin As Currency💲

El Salvador on Tuesday has become the first country in the world to accept bitcoin as legal tender, despite widespread domestic skepticism about cryptocurrencies and international warnings of risks for consumers.

Ahead of the rollout, the Central American nation bought 400 bitcoin with a market value of about $20 million.

The country's president Nayib Bukele said the move is aimed at allowing Salvadorans to save on the $400 million they currently spend annually on commissions for remittances.

Critics say bitcoin could increase El Salvador’s regulatory and financial risks, and polls show Salvadorans are wary of the volatility of the cryptocurrency, which can shed hundreds of dollars in value in a day.

BYJU's acquires Gradeup; makes 8th acquisition in 2021🚀

Byju’s, the world’s most valuable edtech company with a valuation of $16.5 billion, said it has acquired Gradeup, one of India's largest online exam preparation platforms. The company didn’t reveal the value of the deal.

Gradeup will be rebranded as Byju’s Exam Prep and will cater to students preparing for over 150 exams over 25 exam categories. It would be covering government jobs and PG entrance exams such as IAS, GATE, CAT, Bank PO/Clerk, Defence, UGC-NET.

Other key acquisitions of BYJU's include Aakash Educational Services (for an estimated $1 billion), Great Learning (for $600 million), Toppr (for $150 million), and US-based Epic (for $500 million). It had also acquired smaller startups like HashLearn and Scholr.


Hot Shorts⚡

  • GoKwik, an e-commerce enablement platform, has raised $5.5 million in a funding round led by Matrix Partners India.

  • Zoho Corp, India's largest SaaS company, has invested $5 million in Voxelgrids, an Indian startup that builds Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanners to foster the development of deep technological capabilities.

  • Flipspaces, a tech-enabled interior designer, has raised $2 million. The capital will be used to grow the US business, where the Mumbai-based startup claims to have seen 25X growth.

  • Trillbit, based in Boston, has raised $1.5 million in funding from Refex Capital and Good Growth Capital. The funds will be used to support business development efforts.

  • Fleek, a subscription management platform based in Bengaluru, has raised $1 million in seed funding headed by Axilor.

'India is moving again': Ola cab business crosses pre-Covid levels, says Ola CEO🚕

Ola’s gross merchandise value, or GMV, crossed pre-pandemic levels in the week to August 31, CEO Bhavish Aggarwal said earlier today. GMV is a metric that measures the total value of sales over a certain period of time.

He said the recovery from the second wave of Covid-19 infections has been three times faster as compared with the first wave last year.

Aggarwal said the 10 million people used Ola for the first time ever in FY21. He said as people move, they want to feel safe so they’re switching to personal or shared mobility instead of public transport.

He said the company is ensuring Ola rides are safe. Over 3 lakh drivers on Ola are vaccinated and it will have 100% of them vaccinated soon.

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Crypto not currency; needs to be regulated as an asset: ex-RBI DG Gandhi

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- Milton Berle

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