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Bangladesh regulator orders telcos to stop providing free access to social media


Bangladesh regulator orders telcos to stop providing free access to social media – TechCrunch

Bangladesh’s regulator has ordered telecom operators and other internet providers in the nation to stop providing free access to social media services, becoming the latest market in Asia to take a partial stand against zero-rating deals.

Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, the local regulator, said late last week that it had moved to take this decision because free usage of social media services had spurred their misuse by some people to commit crimes. Local outlet Business Standard first reported about the development. Bangladesh is one of the largest internet markets in Asia with more than 100 million online users.

Technology companies such as Facebook and Twitter have struck partnerships, more popularly known as zero-rating deals, with telecom operators and other internet providers in several markets in the past decade to make their services free to users to accelerate growth. Typically, tech companies bankroll the cost of data consumption of users as part of these deals.

In Bangladesh, such zero-rating deals have been popular for several years, said Ahad Mohammad, chief executive of Bongo, an on-demand streaming service (Extra Crunch membership required), in an interview with TechCrunch.

Grameenphone and Robi Axiata, two of the largest telecom operators in Bangladesh, enable their mobile subscribers to access a handful of services of their partners even when their phones have run out of credit. Both telecom firms have said they are in the process to comply with Dhaka’s order. Other zero rating deals remain in effect, a person familiar with the matter said.

It remains unclear whether Free Basics, a program run by Facebook in dozens of markets through which it offers unlimited access to select services at no cost, will continue its presence in Bangladesh after the nation’s order. Facebook relies on telecom networks to offer data access for its Free Basics program.

In Bangladesh, Facebook struck deals with Grameenphone and Robi Axiata, according to its official website, where Facebook continues to identify Bangladesh among dozens of markets where Free Basics is operational.

Several nations in recent years have balked at zero-rating arrangements — though they have often cited different reasons. India banned Free Basics in early 2016 on the grounds that Facebook’s initiative was violating the principles of net neutrality.

Free Basics also ended its program in Myanmar and several other markets in 2017 and 2018. Facebook did not respond to requests for comment.

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insurtech startups undervalued?”,”content”:{“rendered”:”

On the heels of Hippo’s funding roundu00a0and our exploration of how the private markets appear to be more conservative than public investors at the moment, we’re asking a new question: are a bunch of insurtech startups undervalued?n

Hippo — an insurtech startup focused on home insurance — put together a $150 million round at a $1.5 billion post-money valuation after growing its gross written premium to $270 million “in the past 12 months.” At that valuation, and at pre-adjustment premium scale, Hippo is super-cheap compared to Lemonade, another venture-backed insurtech startup that just went public.n


n

The Exchange explores startups, markets and money. You can read it every morning on Extra Crunch, or receive it for free in your inbox. Sign up for The Exchange newsletter, which drops Saturdays starting July 25.n


n

There’s no need to relitigate Hippo’s valuation and how the private markets have valued the firm. But our work yesterday does give us the chance to do some fun math on other players in the neo-insurance space, namely, Rootu00a0and MetroMile. Using data accrued from financial filings and valuation data from Pitchbook and Crunchbase, we can grok how much the two firms are worth using Hippo’s and Lemonade’s current premium multiples.n

""If you aren’t familiar, the cohort of startups we’re looking at have raised well over $1 billion as a group; VCs really believe in them. How they are priced then, and how they exit, will help determine the results of many a venture fund.n

So, are other players in the startup insurance market cheap at their last private price when compared to Lemonade and Hippo? Did their venture backers overpay? Let’s find out.n

Cheap? Expensive?



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I'm a 50 year old PLC programmer from Burnley, UK. I severed my time as an electrician in the baking industry and soon got involved with the up and coming technology of PLC's. Initially this was all based in the Uk but as the years went by I have gradually worked my way around the globe. At first it was mainly Mitsubishi with a bit of Modicon thrown in but these days the industry leaders seem to be the Allen Bradley range of PLC and HMI’s.

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