💰Walmart invests $200 million
Walmart invests $200 million in Indian mobile payments giant PhonePe
PhonePe has raised another $200 million as part of an ongoing round, a move that has now helped it pull $650 million in recent weeks despite the market slump as the Indian fintech giant bulks up its war chest following its recent separation from parent firm Flipkart.
Walmart, which owns the majority of PhonePe, has invested $200 million into the startup. The ongoing round values the Bengaluru-headquartered company at $12 billion pre-money. The startup has said that it plans to raise up to $1 billion as part of the ongoing round.
“We are excited about PhonePe’s future and have confidence in how it continues to expand its offerings and provide access to financial services for Indians at scale. India is one of the world’s most digital, dynamic, and fastest growing economies, and we are pleased to have the opportunity to continue to support PhonePe,” Judith McKenna, president, and CEO of Walmart International said in a statement.
At a $12 billion valuation, PhonePe is India’s most valuable fintech startup. It competes with Google Pay and Paytm, the latter of which is currently valued at nearly $5 billion.
💰Meta launches paid verification on Instagram and Facebook in the US
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced today that the company is rolling out Meta Verified on Instagram and Facebook in the U.S. The subscription service, which first launched in Australia and New Zealand last month, allows users to add the coveted blue check mark to their Instagram and Facebook accounts for a monthly fee. Meta Verified costs $11.99 per month on the web and $14.99 per month on mobile.
“Meta Verified is rolling out in the US today,” Zuckerberg said on Friday in the Meta Channel on Instagram. “You can get a badge, proactive impersonation protection, and direct access to customer support.”
You can join the waitlist to sign up for the subscription service online starting today. In addition to the monthly fee, you will have to be at least 18 years old. You need to complete the verification process and provide a government-issued photo ID to confirm your identity before being approved for a Meta Verified subscription. Two-factor authentication is also required. Meta Verified subscribers won’t be able to change their profile name, photo, username, or date of birth unless they’re willing to complete the verification process again.
Meta Verified comes with exclusive stickers on Facebook and Instagram Stories and Facebook Reels, along with 100 Stars a month on Facebook so you can show your support for other creators.
Google nixes paying out the remainder of maternity and medical leave for laid-off employees
Laid-off Google employees are asking the company to honor their approved medical time off.
Employees who were on medical leave said their access to on-site doctors was abruptly cut off while they were in treatment.
“We respectfully request a good faith effort to honor the terms of our original parental and/or disability leave arrangements for all leaves that were approved as of January 20, 2023,” a group of laid-off staffers wrote in an email to leadership.