Home Hacking Razorpay eyes IPO in two to three years; hacking-as-a-service on the rise

Razorpay eyes IPO in two to three years; hacking-as-a-service on the rise

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In the first of a series of interviews with this year’s winners of The Economic Times Startup Awards, the cofounders of Razorpay – which won Startup of the Year – said the payments company is looking to go public over the next two to three years and doesn’t need to raise any more funds as it continues to grow revenue at 100% annually.

Also in this letter:
■ Hacking-as-a-service flourishes as new technologies go mainstream
■ Indians may not be willing to pay Rs 719 a month for Twitter Blue: experts
■ Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried planning escape to Dubai: report


Razorpay looking to go public in two to three years: cofounders

Razorpay founders

Razorpay, winner in the prestigious Startup of the Year category at The Economic Times Startup Awards 2022, is looking to go public over the next two to three years and doesn’t need to raise any more capital even as it continues to grow revenue at 100% annually, its founders Harshil Mathur and Shashank Kumar told us.

Winners ETSA 2022

Beating targets: Razorpay, which is valued at $7.5 billion, has already surpassed its annual gross transaction value (GTV) target of $90 billion for this year, hitting the $100-billion mark even as online businesses are starting to see a slowdown.

Mathur, Razorpay’s CEO, said while the tech world is in the throes of a slowdown, the broader India ecosystem is not seeing any dip in consumption, leading to growth in digital payments from sectors like education, travel and others. The Bengaluru-based fintech firm is also expanding aggressively into offline payments following its acquisition of Ezetap earlier this year.

Razorpay acquisitions

IPO story: Kumar also said Razorpay wants to go public with its payments, credit and neo-banking story, and its international and offline payments, too.

“The markets will also understand that much better. Business-to-business (B2B) payments and fintech is a slightly complex ecosystem. Unless we have proof, it will be harder to demonstrate how these things connect together,” Mathur said, adding that the company is also considering its options in terms of moving its headquarters. Razorpay’s parent firm is domiciled in the US.

Razorpay funding

Valuation: Asked if Razorpay was concerned about its high valuation amid a correction in startup valuations, Mathur said they have built a sustainable business and that helps them not be at the mercy of the market.

“For us our valuation is not a cause for celebration or a cause for concern. Funding does not drive our business and the advantage of a B2B is that it (is) built in a sustainable fashion. We are not dependent on just fund infusions,” Mathur said.

Also Read | ET Startup Awards 2022: Razorpay wins Startup of the Year


Hacking-as-a-service flourishes as new technologies go mainstream

hacker

In parts of central India, families of prospective grooms are being asked whether the boy does ‘cyber’. If he does, then he is assumed to have a steady income and a good lifestyle, and therefore, considered a good match.

Cyber, short for cybercrime or hacking, has become the latest ‘as-a-service’ offering in the world of tech. These days it is not unusual for someone sitting in Gurugram or Guwahati to set up a phishing scam for a customer in Europe or to digitally spy on someone in the UK.

Spurt: In the past few years, there has been heightened awareness around cybersecurity risks such as ransomware and phishing scams. While this may have prompted most enterprises and individuals to improve their cybersecurity practices, it may have also given rise to a whole new industry.

“It is possible that there has been an increase in these cases because there’s more awareness around cybercrime, and the ease with which you can find someone to carry it out,” said NS Nappinai, a Supreme Court lawyer and founder of a cyber safety initiative, Cyber Saathi.

Hackers for hire: A quick internet search will lead you to someone who is willing to set up a phishing operation to scam an individual or an entire enterprise.

“As emerging technologies like 5G, metaverse and cryptocurrency gain prominence in the mainstream, attackers now have new launchpads to explore more advanced attacks. This has led to a significant widening in the cyber threat landscape where “attackers-for-hire” have been a notable feature,” said Vicky Ray, principal researcher-Unit 42, Palo Alto Networks.

India, with its vast pool of tech talent, has its fair share of hackers for hire.


Indians may not be willing to pay Rs 719 a month for Twitter Blue: experts

Twitter Blue

Indian users may not be willing to pay Rs 719 for Twitter’s blue check mark when it is rolled out here, social media experts and brand strategists told us.

Cost-conscious: India is a price-centric market across segments, and is cautious about every rupee spent, they added.

Monetising a Twitter handle and paying money each month may not be an option that Indians would be excited about, Harish Bijoor, business and brand-strategy specialist, and founder, Harish Bijoor Consults Inc, told ET.

Perception shift: Over time, people will learn to recognise those handles that have the original verified status and those that have bought their way in, he said.

“Particularly in mediums that are all about content, the unbought blue tick garners more respect than something which is bought,” Bijoor said, adding that people will pay for an advertising medium, not a content medium.

On hold: Twitter, as predicted by commentators, on Friday suspended its $8 subscription programme to combat a growing problem of users impersonating major brands.

Also Read | The real cost of Twitter’s blue-tick saga


Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried planning escape to Dubai: report

Sam Bankman Fried

Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of the now-bankrupt crypto exchange FTX, is planning to flee to Dubai in the UAE, according to a report by crypto news website Cointelegraph.

Yes, but: The report said while the plan was made assuming that the US “doesn’t have any extradition treaties” with the UAE, the two countries signed a mutual legal assistance treaty (MLAT) in February 2022 to work against criminals.

Also Read | The rapid rise and dizzying fall of Sam Bankman-Fried

Bankman-Fried, also known as SBF, is currently under the supervision of local authorities in the Bahamas along with cofounder Gary Wang and director of engineering Nishad Singh, Reuters and others have reported. According to one report, Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison, who is in Hong Kong, is also planning to leave for Dubai.

Argentina rumours: Earlier, it was rumoured that SBF was in Buenos Aires, Argentina, after Twitter users posted the coordinates of his supposed flight to that country. SBF denied this before confirming to Reuters that he was still in the Bahamas, where FTX was based.

Also Read | “Never invest because of FOMO”: former Softbank COO warns investors over FTX

TWEET OF THE DAY


Indian BPM services could hit $100B revenue in 10 years: Nasscom

BPM industry

Higher demand for business process management (BPM) services following the Covid-19 pandemic could see the $44 billion Indian IT services market growing to $100 billion in the next 10 years, senior executives at technology industry body Nasscom told ET during an exclusive roundtable.

Rapid growth: The Indian BPM industry, with revenues of $44 billion, is estimated to have grown at a rate of over 14% in FY22 compared to the previous fiscal year and accounted for nearly 40% of global sourcing spend, according to a report by Nasscom in collaboration with HFS Research, titled ‘The Evolution of BPM Services – Cost, Outcomes, and Growth’.

“About $44 billion of the $90 billion BPM outsourcing services market already comes to India… if the demand events continue, perhaps in the next 10 years we could be a $100 billion dollar industry,” said KS Viswanathan, vice president, industry initiative, Nasscom.

According to the report, the BPM segment is also moving up the value chain from live customer interface services to integrated technology-led business operations.


Many laid-off edtech workers open to large pay cuts amid job crunch

Edtech pay cut

As a wave of fresh job cuts sweeps across the edtech sector, laid-off professionals and worried employees at troubled firms are reaching out for placements. Recruitment firms as well as startups that are hiring are seeing a big influx of calls and resumes from edtech professionals looking for new jobs, as trouble in the sector looks likely to escalate.

Lower pay: Job consultants say many are willing to take pay cuts of even 20-40%. At the senior level, it could go up even more, factoring in the value of employee stock options.

“The edtech sector didn’t factor in the possibility that things might move back to a physical model after the pandemic. Now they are suffering the consequences,” says Anshuman Das, managing partner of executive search firm Longhouse Consulting.

Teachers bear the brunt: Tech, sales and marketing, content, product developers, teachers and contractual staff like testers, have all been affected. While the first two categories have comparatively more opportunities, teachers are among the worst hit.


Other Top Stories By Our Reporters

D Venkatesh Lentra founder

Lentra raises $60 million: Cloud-based lending software provider Lentra has raised $60 million in fresh funding led by existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners and the Susquehanna International Group (SIG) Venture Capital. Citi Ventures also participated in the round. The company said it would use the capital to expand into international markets, for acquisitions and for product enhancement.

Political parties diversify to reach out to tech-savvy masses: Political parties are diversifying to reach out to tech-savvy masses in audio-format meeting rooms, spurred on by the ability of these digital platforms to focus on smaller, grassroots groups. The ruling DMK in Tamil Nadu recently took visitors on a guided tour to some of the iconic spots in Chennai linked closely to the Dravidian movement.

Salesforce’s Arundhati Bhattacharya on leadership and more: Arundhati Bhattacharya, CEO of Salesforce India and the former chairman of public sector lender State Bank of India, has shattered glass ceilings all her life. In her book, ‘Indomitable – A working woman’s notes on life, work and leadership’ – Bhattacharya chronicles a working woman’s experiences in the corridors of India’s largest public sector bank.


Global Picks We Are Reading

The tech CEO spending millions to stop Elon Musk (The Washington Post)
Russia’s sway over criminal ransomware gangs is coming into focus (Wired)
How Cambodia’s scam mills reel in new “cyber slave” workers (Rest of World)



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