Uber Execs Traveling Globe to Reassure Regulators After Controversies

Uber Execs Traveling Globe to Reassure Regulators After Controversies

Uber executives are travelling the globe to reassure regulators that the company is changing the way it does business, after a string of controversies, including a data breach, hurt the ride-hailing firm’s reputation, its Asian head said on Monday.

“We’ve learned very quickly and we’re tacking very quickly,” Brooks Entwistle, Uber Technologies Inc’s recently appointed chief business officer for Asia Pacific, told Reuters in an interview at the company’s offices in Tokyo where he is meeting Japanese regulators.

Uber this month disclosed that it covered up a 2016 data breach which compromised data of some 57 million customers and drivers. That revelation prompted governments around the world to launch probes into Uber’s handling of the matter.

In the meanwhile, Uber plans to move ahead with a deal to bring in Japanese technology company SoftBank Group as a major investor by disclosing the pricing early next week in formal tender offers to the ride-hailing service’s investors, two people familiar with the plans said on Friday.

The start of the tender follows Uber’s disclosure of the 2016 data breach. The people familiar with the plans did not say how much investors would be offered for the shares, or say if the price had been cut do to the breach or governments’ response to the disclosure.

Investors will have 20 business days, or about a month, to respond to emails and letters to be sent early next week, said one of the sources, who declined to be named because they were not authorized to discuss terms before they are public.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Regulators ahead of the curve for fintech sector, says Nandan Nilekani

Nilekani says he does not invest in fintech start-ups because he does policy-related work for the government and does not want to have a conflict of interest. Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint

Nilekani says he does not invest in fintech start-ups because he does policy-related work for the government and does not want to have a conflict of interest. Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint

Bengaluru: Getting millions of rural Indians online, organizing sectors like pharma and logistics, and utilizing Jan Dhan Yojana, Aadhaar and mobile phones are three areas that entrepreneurs can tap into to build sustainable businesses, said former Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) chairman Nandan Nilekani.

Nilekani was speaking on a panel at LetsIgnite, a conference for angel investors and start-ups in Bengaluru, organized by LetsVenture (run by IndiePitch Solutions Pvt. Ltd), an online platform for deal-making for angel investors.

The conference focused on helping first-time angel investors understand the nuances, with panel discussions and workshops on various themes.

Nilekani himself is an angel investor in LetsVenture. He has also invested in Power2SME (BEBB India Pvt. Ltd), a start-up that makes procurement easier for small and medium enterprises; Mubble, an app that helps consumers track their telecom spends; and Tracxn Technologies Pvt. Ltd, a start-up data analytics firm.

Speaking about his investment strategy, he said that he does not invest in fintech start-ups because he does policy-related work for the government and does not want to have a conflict of interest.

“I don’t invest in Aadhaar-based start-ups because I don’t want to profit from something I created. I don’t invest in education because I only do philanthropy. Those are my rules,” he said.

Nilekani also said that for sectors like fintech, the regulators were ahead of the curve, and that it was only in the physical world that regulations—like those regarding taxis and bikes—might pose a hindrance to start-ups.

“We have the technology, the regulatory environment and the financial power to build a completely new architecture (for fintech) where millions of businesses and hundreds of consumers can get loans on tap. That’s going to create billions in value in the next five years,” he said.

Nilekani said that entrepreneurs need to have long-term vision and invest in building a robust team, not just rely on founders, even if there is easier access to capital.

“In those days we couldn’t think of not making money, nowadays it’s not like that. But we had 10-13 years to build Infosys. Today, you need to get your act together in six months,” he said.

[“source-Livemint”]