Welcome back to our $100 million annual recurring revenue (ARR) series, in which we take irregular looks at companies that have reached material scale while still private. The goal of our project is simple: uncovering companies of real worth beyond how they are valued by private investors. The Exchange is a daily look at startups […] …Continue Reading

India’s Reliance Jio Platforms, which recently concluded a $15.2 billion fundraise run, is ready to enter a new business: Video conferencing. On Thursday evening, the firm — backed by Mukesh Ambani, India’s richest man — formally launched JioMeet, its video-conference service that looks uncannily like Zoom. Like Zoom and Google Meet, JioMeet offers unlimited number […] …Continue Reading

The COVID-19 pandemic pushed the music industry to experiment seriously with virtual concerts. Historically, musicians and their managers have been careful about challenging the traditional concert model that became their main source of income as revenue from album sales disappeared. Is the current surge of virtual concerts here to stay or will it be abandoned […] …Continue Reading

In Indonesia, there are about 60 million “micro-merchants,” typically small store owners who sell food and other staple items, and have close relationships with their customers. Many often extend informal lines of credit to shoppers, but much of their financial tracking is still done with pen and paper ledgers. Chinmay Chauhan and Abhinay Peddisetty, the […] …Continue Reading

Two days after India blocked 59 apps developed by Chinese firms, Google and Apple have started to comply with New Delhi’s order and are preventing users in the world’s second largest internet market from accessing those apps. UC Browser, Shareit, and Club Factory and other apps that India has blocked are no longer listed on […] …Continue Reading

Facebook is no longer betting on Lasso, an app it launched a year and a half ago, to take on TikTok . The social juggernaut’s TikTok clone is shutting down on July 10, Lasso alerted users on Wednesday. Launched in late 2018, Lasso was seen as Facebook’s answer to TikTok that’s gained ground with young users, […] …Continue Reading

Instagram Stories has grown to become one of Facebook’s best products to date. As of last year, roughly half of Instagram’s users — or 500 million people — were interacting with Stories on a daily basis. That’s nearly double the entire daily active user base of all of Snapchat, which first popularized the Stories format. […] …Continue Reading

Kevin Mayer, the chief executive of TikTok said on Wednesday that the popular short-form video app complies with “all data privacy and security requirements under Indian law,” two days after New Delhi banned 59 apps including Mayer’s citing security concerns. Addressing TikTok’s 2000 employees in India on Wednesday, Mayer said ByteDance, the parent firm of […] …Continue Reading

Facebook’s recently launched app, Hobbi, an experiment in short-form content creation around personal projects, hobbies, and other Pinterest-y content, is already shutting down. The app first arrived on iOS in February as one of now several launches from Facebook’s internal R&D group, the NPE Team. Hobbi users have now been notified by way of push […] …Continue Reading

Facebook Avatars, which lets users customize a virtual lookalike of themselves for use as stickers in chat and comments, is now available in India, the social juggernaut’s biggest market by users account. The American firm said Tuesday it had launched Avatars to India as more social interaction moves online amid a nationwide lockdown in the […] …Continue Reading

You can now tip your Ola driver. The Indian ride-hailing giant said on Tuesday that it has rolled out this feature to its users in India, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom — all the nations where it currently operates. Ola said riders in each market will see a range of denominations they can […] …Continue Reading

Google is piloting a new way to bring local news about the COVID-19 pandemic to its Google News application. In partnership with regional news publications in select cities across the U.S., the Google News app will now offer a dedicated section in select markets detailing critical information like community reopening timelines, business updates, school openings, […] …Continue Reading

Zuoyebang, a Beijing-headquartered startup that runs an online learning app, said on Monday it has raised $750 million in a new financing round as investors demonstrate their continued trust in — and focus on — Asia’s booming edtech market. U.S. investment firm Tiger Global and Hong Kong-based private equity firm FountainVest Partners led the six-year-old […] …Continue Reading

Welcome back to This Week in Apps, the Extra Crunch series that recaps the latest OS news, the applications they support and the money that flows through it all. The app industry is as hot as ever, with a record 204 billion downloads and $120 billion in consumer spending in 2019. People are now spending three hours and 40 minutes per […] …Continue Reading

For Amazon, it’s never too late to try something in India. The e-commerce giant is exploring ways to further spread its tentacles in the largely offline, technology-free neighborhood stores in one of its key overseas markets. The American firm’s latest attempt is called “Smart Stores.” For this India-specific program, Amazon is providing physical stores with […] …Continue Reading

The fact that Apple takes a 30% cut of subscriptions purchased via the App Store isn’t news. But since the company threatened to boot email app Hey from the platform last week unless its developers paid the customary tribute, the tech world and lawmakers are giving Apple’s revenue share a harder look. Although Apple’s Senior […] …Continue Reading

Video chat has long been one of the chief selling points of smart screens like the Amazon Echo Show and Google’s Nest Hub Max (the regular Hub is still lacking a camera, mind). But until today, the latter only offered users the option for one-on-one calls. That’s all well and good for the most part, […] …Continue Reading