Kaalakaandi Box Office Collection Day 1: Saif Ali Khan’s Film Gets A ‘Slow Start,’ Collects…

Kaalakaandi Box Office Collection Day 1: Saif Ali Khan's Film Gets A 'Slow Start,' Collects...

Box Office: Kaalakaandi: Saif Ali Khan in the film. (Image courtesy: Kaalakaandi Film)

NEW DELHI: 

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. Kaalakaandi features Saif Ali Khan in the lead role
  2. The film grosses Rs. One crore
  3. The film also stars Deepak Dobriyal

Saif Ali Khan’s latest release Kaalakaandi, which opened to positive reviews on Friday, has ‘grossed one crore net’ at the box office on Day 1, Box Office India reported. The film stars Saif Ali Khan as the protagonist, who has been diagnosed with stomach cancer. Saif’s character does not have much time in hand and he realises that he should make the most of the remaining days. Box Office India also reports that because the film is set in the backdrop of Mumbai, it has performed a little better in Mumbai and Pune as compared to other cities. Earlier, of Kaalakaandi, film distributor Akshaye Rathi told Indian Express that the film will perhaps manage a score of Rs.1.5 crores on opening day and that the first weekend collections will be limited to single figures.

Kaalakaandi released at the box office with Anurag Kashyap’s Mukkabaaz and Zareen Khan’s 1921.

1921 was the best out of the three films with collections set to be in the 1.50 crore net range, reported Box Office India while Mukkabaaz had the lowest number with around 75  lakhs net.

In his review for NDTV, film critic Saibal Chatterjee gave Saif’s film 3 stars out of 5. “For cinema trivia geeks, Kaalakaandi is strewn with interesting takeaways. The principal protagonist (Saif Ali Khan), who like the conscientious but dull bureaucrat Watanabe in the Akira Kurosawa classic Ikiru, is diagnosed with stomach cancer and given only a few months to live. The multiple tales unfold in parallel arcs. It is only in the penultimate scenes and a zany final shot that the plot connects a few of the characters but only in a tenuous manner. Kaalakaandi takes a while to warm up but when it does it sets a lively pace, especially in the second half,” he wrote.

Apart from Saif Ali Khan, Kaalakaandi also stars actors like Deepak Dobriyal, Vijay Raaz and Kunaal Roy Kapur.

[“Source-ndtv”]

iPhone Slow: Apple Apologises Over Handling of Issue,

iPhone Slow: Apple Apologises Over Handling of Issue, Drops Price of Out-of-Warranty Battery Replacements

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Apple will offer battery replacements for $29, down from $79
  • Apple apologised over its handling of the issue
  • Will issue iOS update with greater battery life transparency

Facing lawsuits and consumer outrage after it said it slowed older iPhones with flagging batteries, Apple is slashing prices for battery replacements and will change its software to show users whether their phone battery is good.

In a posting on its website Thursday, Apple apologised over its handling of the battery issue and said it would make a number of changes for customers “to recognise their loyalty and to regain the trust of anyone who may have doubted Apple’s intentions.”

Apple made the move to address concerns about the quality and durability of its products at a time when it is charging $999 (roughly Rs. 64,000) for its newest flagship model, the iPhone X.

The company said it would cut the price of an out-of-warranty battery replacement from $79 (roughly Rs. 5,000) to $29 (roughly Rs. 1,850) for an iPhone 6 or later, starting next month. In India, the cost of out-of-warranty battery replacement was approximately Rs. 6,500 inclusive of taxes, as per industry sources. Apple has confirmed that the new price starting next month will be Rs. 2,000, exclusive of taxes. The company also will update its iOS operating system to let users see whether their battery is in poor health and is affecting the phone’s performance.

“We know that some of you feel Apple has let you down,” Apple said in its posting. “We apologise.”

On December 20, Apple acknowledged that iPhone software has the effect of slowing down some phones with battery problems. Apple said the problem was that aging lithium batteries delivered power unevenly, which could cause iPhones to shutdown unexpectedly to protect the delicate circuits inside.

That disclosure played on a common belief among consumers that Apple purposely slows down older phones to encourage customers to buy newer iPhone models. While no credible evidence has ever emerged that Apple engaged in such conduct, the battery disclosure struck a nerve on social media and elsewhere.

Apple on Thursday denied that it has ever done anything to intentionally shorten the life of a product.

At least eight lawsuits have been filed in California, New York, and Illinois alleging that the company defrauded users by slowing devices down without warning them. The company also faces a legal complaint in France, where so-called “planned obsolesce” is against the law.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Venture debt firms see pick up in demand as equity deals slow

Venture debt firms lend to new economy start-ups which are high-growth companies, asset-light and might have cash burn. Photo: Priyanka Parashar/MintVenture debt firms lend to new economy start-ups which are high-growth companies, asset-light and might have cash burn. Photo: Priyanka Parashar/Mint

Mumbai: The slowdown in the availability of equity funding and a downward pressure on valuations in the venture capital ecosystem in the country has emerged as a business opportunity for firms which lend to technology start-ups.

Lending to start-ups is referred to as venture debt, and is substantially different from regular corporate lending which is generally asset-backed and provided to profit-making companies. Venture debt firms lend to new economy start-ups which are high-growth companies, asset-light and might have cash burn.

Typically venture debt firms charge interest rates in the mid teens, while equity investors look for returns which are above 25%.

While 2015 was a record year for venture capital (equity) funding, with $5.4 billion being invested across 473 deals, a majority of the investment activity occurred in the first half of the year. The second half of the year saw a marked slowdown, as several start-ups, especially in the food-tech sector, struggled to raise funds and had to scale back operations to conserve cash.

Temasek-backed InnoVen Capital closed 2015 with a lending of Rs.275 crore to 27 start-ups, the best year for the non-banking financial company (NBFC) since it started operations in India in 2009.

The firm has lent close to $150 million since starting operations here, having backed 70 start-ups so far.

“Recently, we have seen that equity capital is not easy to come by, so this (venture debt) becomes an important diversification tool for founders, said Vinod Murali, managing director at InnoVen Capital India, adding that there is a growing realization among start-up founders that equity is not the only source of capital.

“In the global arena too, venture debt has taken off with a lag with venture equity, I think even in India we are seeing that happen at this stage,” he added.

Trifecta Capital, which is registered as a category II alternative investment fund with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) and has raised over Rs.200 crore from investors such as RBL Bank Ltd and others, is a relatively new company involved in the business.

Since starting operations in October, the fund has already lent Rs.50 crore to four start-ups and is witnessing a strong pipeline of deals.

“Clearly there are times when equity is available more easily and valuations tend to be more flexible, but what we are seeing in 2016 is that valuations are under pressure. Companies are realizing that they need to stretch their money as far as they can,” said Rahul Khanna, founder and managing partner at Trifecta Capital.

“In many ways, venture debt taken along with or after an equity round can give the company a three-to-five-month runway, which could mean a difference between raising money at X valuation or 1.5X valuation,” he said.

Apart from providing additional capital source to start-ups, venture debt has other benefits such as helping start-up founders reduce their equity dilution, while looking to raise capital to fund growth.

“To some extent if they are raising money and they are not getting the terms they want, then taking venture debt also helps in terms of dilution. For example, a start-up looking at raising $10 million, and not getting the targeted valuation, can raise $8 million in equity and the remaining $2 in debt, thereby reducing the equity dilution,” said Khanna.

Venture debt providers are hopeful that the current momentum in business will continue in 2016, given the current scenario in venture equity funding and the strong deal pipeline that they are witnessing.

InnoVen Capital is targeting to lend around $65-70 million (approximately Rs.350-400 crore) this calendar year.

“The final number would depend on opportunities, but we are feeling comfortable with that kind of estimate,” said Murali, adding that a recalibration is happening in the industry, which is making business more efficient and cutting flab.

According to Khanna, Trifecta is looking at making one or two investments every month, going ahead, with a ticket size ranging from Rs.5 crore to Rs.25 crore.

“Lot of financing activity happened in last 18-24 months, and many of those companies were consuming cash pretty quickly. So these start-ups are now looking at extending their runway, we are seeing some of that activity play through,” he said.

[“source-Livemint”]