Arzooo raises $70 million to bring ‘best of e-commerce’ to physical stores in India

Arzooo, an Indian startup that is attempting to bring the “best of e-commerce” to physical stores, has raised $70 million in a new financing round as it looks to scale its platform to more cities. SBI Investment and Trifecta Leaders Fund led the Bengaluru-headquartered startup’s Series B funding. Tony Xu, founder of Doordash, Celesta Capital and 3 Lines VC also invested in the new round. Millions of retail stores in India are struggling to compete with larger retail chains and e-commerce giants Amazon and Flipkart because they don’t offer a wide selection of items and they are unable to provide customers with best prices. Founded by two former Flipkart alums, Arzooo is attempting to solve this by working with big brands to secure large inventories and selling them to retail stores at better prices. The startup, which currently operates in consumer durables and electronics category and provides stores with access to over 10,000 different products, says it works with over 30,000 ret

Mapan’s services helps low-income Indonesians users afford goods and services

Mapan’s team, with CEO Ardelia Apti in the front In Indonesia, arisans are traditionally rotating savings and credit associations (RSCA) that let groups of people, primarily women, save and borrow money together. Mapan digitized that concept, and turned it into a service where users, also mostly women, can use it to pay for goods and services. The company announced today it has raised a Series A of $15 million. The round was co-led by Patamar Capital and PT Astra Digital Internasional, a subsidiary of conglomerate PT Astra International Tbk (also known as Astra International). The round included participation from BRI Ventures, SMDV, Blibli, Prasetia Dwidharma, Flourish Ventures and 500 Global. Mapan says it helps people get access to financial services in a country where 51% of adults are unbanked , or don’t have access to a bank account. Mapan is currently available in Java, Bali, Sumatera, Nusa Tenggara and Sulawesi, with plans to expand into the rest of Indonesia. It current

FTC hammers Walmart over years of ‘facilitating’ money transfer scams

The Federal Trade Commission is suing Walmart for sitting by while scammers bilked customers out of more than $197 million, the agency alleged in a statement on Tuesday. It’s seeking a court order that would force Walmart to give money back to customers, on top of civil fines. In a brief response, Walmart described the lawsuit as both “ factually flawed and legally baseless .” Money transfer scams are widespread, and they can involve everything from promises to share an inheritance to lies about a family emergency . They happen just about everywhere, from Zelle , Venmo and Cash App to crypto ATMs and popular dating apps . In this case, the FTC alleges that Walmart “turned a blind eye to fraud” that went down inside its stores. The retail giant offers money transfer services under in-house brand names, such as Walmart2Walmart. Between 2013 and 2018, the FTC claims that Walmart failed to protect its customers in several ways, including by failing to train its staffers and using “

Tesla lays off nearly 200 Autopilot workers, shutters San Mateo office

Tesla has gutted the data annotation team working on Autopilot, laying off nearly 200 employees and shutting down the San Mateo, California office where they worked. The layoffs, first reported by Bloomberg , have been confirmed by sources who talked to TechCrunch on condition of anonymity. The cuts come amid a broader reduction of jobs at Tesla. However, these layoffs targeted personnel once deemed critical to the company’s Autopilot advanced driver assistance system and more notably efforts by CEO Elon Musk to further develop automated driving functions through the $12,000 optional FSD system. Until today, Tesla had hundreds of data annotation employees working on the Autopilot team in San Mateo and Buffalo, New York. The San Mateo office had a headcount of 276, and after laying off 195 staffers from all ranks — supervisors, labelers and data analysts — the team is left with 81 workers, who sources say will be relocated to another office. Most of the workers were in moderately l

Facebook and Instagram are removing posts offering to mail abortion pills

In the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, some Facebook and Instagram users planning to help distribute legal abortion pills are finding themselves censored. According to a Motherboard report , users on Friday began seeing Facebook remove posts offering to mail abortion pills — the same day that the Supreme Court issued the ruling. Remarkably, Facebook’s moderation on the issue was so aggressive that users saw their posts removed within seconds. One user observed that their account was suspended after a post that read “I will mail abortion pills to any one of you. Just message me.” Motherboard was able to replicate the phenomenon, also earning a 24-hour account suspension in the process. The key phrase for automated removal appears to be “abortion pills” as other posts with other combination of terms didn’t flag the platform’s moderation systems. The Associated Press reported similar behavior on Instagram, with some users seeing their posts offering

Pinterest pins down a new CEO: Google exec Bill Ready

After a 12-year run, Pinterest co-founder Ben Silbermann is stepping down from his perch as CEO of the popular image and link-sharing service. Following word of Silbermann’s departure, Pinterest’s stock price rose by more than 8% in after-hours trading. That initial pop may have been a sigh of relief from some investors, who’ve watched Pinterest’s stock steadily decline over the last year. Or, perhaps it’s a vote of confidence for Pinterest’s incoming chief executive: Google commerce boss Bill Ready.  In 2021, Pinterest announced a goal to steeply increase the number of women among its leadership ranks. Yet this transfer of power means another man will be in charge of a service that’s uniquely popular among women . More on this particular man: Ready most recently oversaw Google’s shopping and payments efforts . Earlier, Ready roamed PayPal’s halls as its chief operating officer, and before that, he ran Braintree (which PayPal snapped up in 2013 for $800 million). Ready is also a b

UK urgently needs new laws on use of biometrics, warns review

An independent review of UK legislation has concluded the country urgently needs new laws to govern the use of biometric technologies and called for the government to come forward with primary legislation. Among the legal review’s ten recommendations are that public use of live facial recognition (LFR) technology be suspended pending the creation of a legally binding code of practice governing its use, and pending the passing of wider, technologically neutral legislation to create a statutory framework governing the use of biometrics against members of the public. A handful of UK police forces have been keen adopters of LFR, which has led to civil rights challenges and ongoing condemnation by human rights groups. A year ago, the UK’s information commissioner also went public with concerns about reckless and inappropriate use of LFR in public places. Since then, we’ve also seen the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) fine the controversial, U.S.-based facial recognition compa

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