Flipkart’s digital payments firm PhonePe to raise $700 million from existing investors

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – PhonePe, the digital payments unit of Walmart’s Indian e-commerce arm Flipkart, said on Thursday it would sell a stake to existing investors for $700 million, helping it fuel growth in a crowded market that includes Google and Amazon .

FILE PHOTO: The logo of India’s e-commerce firm Flipkart is seen in this illustration picture taken January 29, 2019. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui/Illustration

PhonePe’s fundraising, from Flipkart investors led by Walmart, will give it a valuation of $5.5 billion, the company said in a statement.

PhonePe is also using the opportunity to assert its independence from the Flipkart Group which runs a successful e-commerce business in India rivalling Amazon’s local unit.

It will have its own board of directors, which will include founder and CEO Sameer Nigam and former Flipkart boss Binny Bansal, who is no longer at the company he co-founded.

PhonePe will also have employee stock ownership

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Digital transfusion: technology leaders urged to openly question existing business models

Maybe digital transformation — now a well-worn, perhaps overused term — could use a rebranding. “Digital transfusion,” anyone? 

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Photo: Joe McKendrick

Technology executives and professionals, often pushed to the forefronts of such efforts, are being asked to redesign their companies’ business models, often with shaky and begrudging support from their business colleagues. The business side of the house could use transfusions of knowledge on what technology can and cannot accomplish, and the technology side of the house could use of transfusions of support and direction on which way to take technology. 

The nine components of digital transformation were explored in an MIT Sloan Management Review article published six years ago, but, as well all know, that is six centuries in Internet time. Recently, two of the original study’s authors, Didier Bonnet (Capgemini Invent, IMD Business School) and George Westerman (MIT Sloan), updated their observations on digital transformation, noting that while

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How existing streetside tech can be reinvented for the future

This article was originally published by Stephen Goldsmith on Cities Today, the leading news platform on urban mobility and innovation, reaching an international audience of city leaders. For the latest updates follow Cities Today on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube, or sign up for Cities Today News.

The times they are a-changing, and local officials are on the front lines of the social, technical and operational changes that are sweeping the country. The federal government may or may not assist cities and states with these new realities, but for local officials, the key to success over the next ten years will be effectiveness. Operational excellence requires not only improvements to routine activities on which the public depends, but also the ability to see how today’s assets can be tomorrow’s opportunities.

Look at a streetlight — what do you see? Right now, it may

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Existing UV light technology has potential to reduce Covid-19 transmission indoors

A recent study has shown that a UV light technology already used to prevent the spread of other airborne diseases in buildings has the potential to be effective against Covid-19.

The research, published in the journal PeerJ, found that upper room UV germicidal irradiation (UVGI) can kill SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, which can be transmitted by aerosolised droplets that float in the air.

UVC is known to be very effective at ‘killing’, or inactivating, microorganisms however this type of UV light is harmful to humans. Upper room UVGI cleverly uses UVC light to create an irradiation field above the heads of room occupants so it can disinfect the air whilst keeping people within the room safe.

The study, led by researchers from Queen Mary University of London and Leeds Beckett University, tested the feasibility of upper room UVGI to reduce Covid-19 transmission by analysing historical published data examining the effect

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Existing antidepressant helps to inhibit growth of cancer cells in lab animals — ScienceDaily

New research has shown that the antidepressant sertraline helps to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. The substance acts on a metabolic addiction that allows different types of cancer to grow. This is shown by a study on cell cultures and lab animals performed by various research labs of KU Leuven. Their findings were published in Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Cancer cells use different biological mechanisms to stimulate their growth. In certain types of breast cancer, leukemia, skin cancer, brain tumours and lung cancer, among others, the malignant cells produce large amounts of serine and glycine, two amino acids. This production stimulates the growth of cancer cells to such an extent that they become addicted to serine and glycine.

“This mechanism is an interesting target because cancer cells are so dependent on it,” says Professor Kim De Keersmaecker, head of the

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A potential treatment based on a natural protein may offer broader benefits than existing drugs — ScienceDaily

Scientists at Scripps Research have uncovered a potential new strategy for treating eye diseases that affect millions of people around the world, often resulting in blindness.

Many serious eye diseases — including age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and related disorders of the retina — feature abnormal overgrowth of new retinal blood vessel branches, which can lead to progressive loss of vision. It’s a phenomenon called “neovascularization.”

For the past decade and a half, eye doctors have been treating these conditions with drugs that block a protein, VEGF, that’s responsible for spurring new vessel growth. Such drugs have improved the treatment of these conditions, but don’t always work well and have potential safety issues. The Scripps Research scientists, in a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed that a new approach that doesn’t target VEGF directly is highly effective in mice and has broader benefits

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