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Mogo to Make Corporate Investment in Bitcoin – Business Wire

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Mogo Inc. (NASDAQ:MOGO) (TSX:MOGO) (“Mogo” or the “Company”), a financial technology company focused on empowering consumers with innovative digital financial solutions through its mobile app, today announced that it plans to make an initial corporate investment of up to $1.5 million in bitcoin and will consider additional investments in 2021 as it monetizes its $17 million investment portfolio. The initial purchase would represent approximately 1.5% of Mogo’s total assets as of the end of the third quarter of 2020.

This initial financial investment builds on Mogo’s significant product development related investments in bitcoin over the last several years. MogoCrypto1, launched in 2018, is the easiest way to buy and sell bitcoin in Canada. It enables members to buy and sell bitcoin at real-time prices instantly through the Mogo app, 24/7 from their mobile device, bringing a new level of convenience and accessibility to bitcoin ownership for all Canadians. In addition, the Company recently announced its bitcoin rewards program, a first of its kind in Canada, that provides members with the opportunity to earn bitcoin through engagement with Mogo’s products and enables them to accumulate bitcoin over time.

We are strong believers in bitcoin as an asset class and believe this investment is consistent with our goal to make bitcoin investing available to all Canadians. In addition, we believe bitcoin represents an attractive investment for our shareholders with significant long-term potential as its adoption continues to grow globally,” said Greg Feller, President and CFO of Mogo. “We plan to initially allocate a modest portion of our capital toward bitcoin investments and will consider additional investments in bitcoin as we monetize some of our existing $17 million portfolio which we expect to begin doing in 2021.”

Bitcoin has increased more than 200% in 2020, driven by rising mainstream acceptance as well as growing endorsement from institutional investors and leading global fintech companies. Despite this surge, the majority of Canadians do not own or have exposure to bitcoin. Earlier this month, Mogo reported a 135% month-over-month increase in the dollar value of bitcoin traded on the Mogo platform from October 2020 to November 2020.

Mr. Feller added: “As the only well-established Canadian company publicly traded on the TSX and NASDAQ, offering a simple and low-cost way to buy and sell bitcoin through our award-winning app, we are well positioned to capitalize on the fast-growing demand for bitcoin.”

1To be eligible for MogoCrypto, members must first pass Mogo’s identity and security verification process and agree to the MogoCrypto Terms and Conditions. For more information, see MogoCrypto Terms and Conditions: https://www.mogo.ca/pdfs/MogoCryptoTermsAndConditions.pdf

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release may contain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of applicable securities legislation, including statements regarding our intention to invest in bitcoin, our belief that bitcoin represents an attractive investment and the expected appreciation of bitcoin. Forward-looking statements are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable by management at the time of preparation, are inherently subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies, and may prove to be incorrect. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual financial results, performance or achievements to be materially different from the estimated future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by those forward-looking statements and the forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance. Mogo’s growth, its ability to expand into new products and markets and its expectations for its future financial performance are subject to a number of conditions, many of which are outside of Mogo’s control. For a description of the risks associated with Mogo’s business please refer to the “Risk Factors” section of Mogo’s current annual information form, which is available at www.sedar.com and www.sec.gov. Except as required by law, Mogo disclaims any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, events or otherwise.

About Mogo

Mogo — a financial technology company — offers a finance app that empowers consumers with simple solutions to help them get in control of their financial health and be more mindful of the impact they have on society and the planet. Users can sign up for a free account in only three minutes, begin to learn the 4 habits of financial health and get convenient access to products that can help them achieve their financial goals including a digital spending account with Mogo Visa* Platinum Prepaid Card featuring automatic carbon offsetting, free monthly credit score monitoring, ID fraud protection and personal loans. Members can also easily buy and sell bitcoin 24/7 through the Mogo app, as well as participate in Mogo’s new bitcoin rewards program. The Mogo platform has been purpose-built to deliver a best-in-class digital experience, with best-in-class products, all through one account. With more than one million members and a marketing partnership with Canada’s largest news media company, Mogo continues to execute on its vision to gamify financial health and become the go-to financial app for the next generation of Canadians. To learn more, please visit mogo.ca or download the mobile app (iOS or Android).

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Exclusive: India plans foreign investment rule changes that could hit Amazon – Cape Breton Post

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By Aditya Kalra and Krishna N. Das

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India is considering revising its foreign investment rules for e-commerce, three sources and a government spokesman told Reuters, a move that could compel players, including Amazon.com Inc, to restructure their ties with some major sellers.

The government discussions coincide with a growing number of complaints from India’s brick-and-mortar retailers, which have for years accused Amazon and Walmart Inc-controlled Flipkart of creating complex structures to bypass federal rules, allegations the U.S. companies deny.

India only allows foreign e-commerce players to operate as a marketplace to connect buyers and sellers. It prohibits them from holding inventories of goods and directly selling them on their platforms.

Amazon and Walmart’s Flipkart were last hit in Dec. 2018 by investment rule changes that barred foreign e-commerce players from offering products from sellers in which they have an equity stake.

Now, the government is considering adjusting some provisions to prevent those arrangements, even if the e-commerce firm holds an indirect stake in a seller through its parent, three sources said. The sources asked not to be named because the discussions are private.

The changes could hurt Amazon as it holds indirect equity stakes in two of its biggest online sellers in India.

Amazon, Walmart and Flipkart did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Yogesh Baweja, the spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, which is working on the issue, confirmed to Reuters any changes will be announced through a so-called “press note,” which contains foreign direct investment rules. He did not give any details.

“It’s a work in progress,” Baweja said, adding an internal meeting on the subject last took place about a month ago.

“Of course Amazon’s a big player so whatever advice, whatever suggestions, whatever recommendations they make, they are also given due consideration.”

FRAYED TIES

The 2018 rules forced Amazon and Flipkart to rework their business structures and soured relations between India and the United States, as Washington said the policy change favoured local e-tailers over U.S. ones.

India’s e-commerce retail market is seen growing to $200 billion a year by 2026, from $30 billion in 2019, the country’s investment promotion agency Invest India estimates.

Domestic traders have been unhappy about the growth. They see foreign e-commerce businesses as a threat to their livelihoods and accuse them of unfair business practices that use steep discounts to target rapid growth. The companies deny they are acting unfairly.

“The way the government is thinking is that marketplaces are not doing what they are supposed to do. The government wants to tinker with the nuts and bolts of the policy,” said one of the sources who is familiar with the talks on the policy changes.

LIMITING WHOLESALE TIES

India’s trade minister Piyush Goyal has been critical of e-commerce companies in private meetings and told them to follow all laws in letter and spirit, Reuters has previously reported.

In the face of growing trader complaints and an antitrust investigation, Goyal last year said Amazon was not doing “a great favour to India” by making fresh investments.

Among other changes, the government is considering changes that would effectively prohibit online sales by a seller who purchases goods from the e-commerce entity or its group firm, and then sells them on the entity’s websites, two of the sources said.

Under existing rules, a seller is free to buy up to 25% of its inventory from the e-commerce entity’s wholesale or another unit and then sell them on the e-commerce website.

A boom in e-commerce in India accelerated last year when the COVID-19 pandemic drove more shoppers online. Flipkart, in which Walmart invested $16 billion in 2018, and Amazon are among the top two players.

“Ecommerce has already made its mark for itself in the country, particularly during COVID-19,” Commerce Ministry’s Baweja said. “They are bound to grow and a conducive environment should be there, which is good for the brick-and-mortar as well as e-commerce.”

(Reporting by Aditya Kalra and Krishna Das in New Delhi; Additional reporting by Aftab Ahmed; Editing by Euan Rocha and Barbara Lewis)

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Exclusive: India plans foreign investment rule changes that could hit Amazon – TheChronicleHerald.ca

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By Aditya Kalra and Krishna N. Das

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India is considering revising its foreign investment rules for e-commerce, three sources and a government spokesman told Reuters, a move that could compel players, including Amazon.com Inc, to restructure their ties with some major sellers.

The government discussions coincide with a growing number of complaints from India’s brick-and-mortar retailers, which have for years accused Amazon and Walmart Inc-controlled Flipkart of creating complex structures to bypass federal rules, allegations the U.S. companies deny.

India only allows foreign e-commerce players to operate as a marketplace to connect buyers and sellers. It prohibits them from holding inventories of goods and directly selling them on their platforms.

Amazon and Walmart’s Flipkart were last hit in Dec. 2018 by investment rule changes that barred foreign e-commerce players from offering products from sellers in which they have an equity stake.

Now, the government is considering adjusting some provisions to prevent those arrangements, even if the e-commerce firm holds an indirect stake in a seller through its parent, three sources said. The sources asked not to be named because the discussions are private.

The changes could hurt Amazon as it holds indirect equity stakes in two of its biggest online sellers in India.

Amazon, Walmart and Flipkart did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Yogesh Baweja, the spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, which is working on the issue, confirmed to Reuters any changes will be announced through a so-called “press note,” which contains foreign direct investment rules. He did not give any details.

“It’s a work in progress,” Baweja said, adding an internal meeting on the subject last took place about a month ago.

“Of course Amazon’s a big player so whatever advice, whatever suggestions, whatever recommendations they make, they are also given due consideration.”

FRAYED TIES

The 2018 rules forced Amazon and Flipkart to rework their business structures and soured relations between India and the United States, as Washington said the policy change favoured local e-tailers over U.S. ones.

India’s e-commerce retail market is seen growing to $200 billion a year by 2026, from $30 billion in 2019, the country’s investment promotion agency Invest India estimates.

Domestic traders have been unhappy about the growth. They see foreign e-commerce businesses as a threat to their livelihoods and accuse them of unfair business practices that use steep discounts to target rapid growth. The companies deny they are acting unfairly.

“The way the government is thinking is that marketplaces are not doing what they are supposed to do. The government wants to tinker with the nuts and bolts of the policy,” said one of the sources who is familiar with the talks on the policy changes.

LIMITING WHOLESALE TIES

India’s trade minister Piyush Goyal has been critical of e-commerce companies in private meetings and told them to follow all laws in letter and spirit, Reuters has previously reported.

In the face of growing trader complaints and an antitrust investigation, Goyal last year said Amazon was not doing “a great favour to India” by making fresh investments.

Among other changes, the government is considering changes that would effectively prohibit online sales by a seller who purchases goods from the e-commerce entity or its group firm, and then sells them on the entity’s websites, two of the sources said.

Under existing rules, a seller is free to buy up to 25% of its inventory from the e-commerce entity’s wholesale or another unit and then sell them on the e-commerce website.

A boom in e-commerce in India accelerated last year when the COVID-19 pandemic drove more shoppers online. Flipkart, in which Walmart invested $16 billion in 2018, and Amazon are among the top two players.

“Ecommerce has already made its mark for itself in the country, particularly during COVID-19,” Commerce Ministry’s Baweja said. “They are bound to grow and a conducive environment should be there, which is good for the brick-and-mortar as well as e-commerce.”

(Reporting by Aditya Kalra and Krishna Das in New Delhi; Additional reporting by Aftab Ahmed; Editing by Euan Rocha and Barbara Lewis)

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Salesforce's First India Investment is Cloud Startup Darwinbox – BNN

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(Bloomberg) — Salesforce.com Inc. is making its first investment in an Indian company, a developer of human resources software that serves several of Asia’s largest tech startups.

The U.S. giant’s venture arm is leading a $15 million financing round for Darwinbox, its first in India and its only investment in Asia outside of Japan. Headquartered in Hyderabad, the startup has already raised $35 million from backers including Lightspeed India, Sequoia Capital and 3one4 Capital among others.

Darwinbox counts some of the world’s largest brands and Asian startups among its customers including Puma, Nivea, Indonesian online mall Tokopedia and Singapore’s Zilingo. It develops touchless attendance systems and provides hiring and onboarding and employment engagement tools to more than a million employees of 500 customers across 60 countries. The startup last raised funds in 2019 and has grown 300% since then, co-founder Jayant Paleti said.“Adoption of cloud-based services by enterprises was double the global average before the pandemic,” Paleti said in a phone interview. The former investment banker cofounded the startup in 2015 along with a colleague and a childhood friend, a former McKinsey consultant. “Since the pandemic, we are seeing a shift to the cloud within a few quarters that would have otherwise taken three or four years,” he added.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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