A closer look at Thursday’s startup news and everything you need to know.

#1. Niyo offers 10-12% salary hikes, bonuses and ESOPs to its employees

Digital bank payment Niyo is offering 10-12 percent salary hikes, bonuses and ESOPs, taking the total stock grants to over Rs 100 crore for all eligible employees. Niyo plans to double the size of its tech and product teams by the end of March 2021. Recently, the company acquired Goalwise, a new-age mutual funds platform, to launch a vertical under the brand name ‘Niyo Wealth’, which would be headed by the founders of Goalwise.

#2. MobiKwik launches Personal UPI Payment Link mpay.me

Fintech platform, Mobikwik that operates businesses in consumer payments, payment gateway and financial services, has launched mpay.me – a UPI payment link service to send and receive money from any UPI payment app. Through mpay.me, users and merchants can now easily set up a link using just their mobile number within seconds and can start receiving money instantly, claims the venture. This single link created using mpay.me can be shared anywhere to send and receive money and will work seamlessly on mobile as well as desktop. mpay.me accepts payments from all UPI apps such as MobiKwik, GooglePay, PhonePe and Paytm to name a few.

#3. SMBs, startups on Amazon.in to launch 1000-plus new products this Prime Day

Over 100 small and medium businesses and start-ups on Amazon.in will be launching more than 1,000 new products across 17 categories on Prime Day this year on August 6 and 7. Thousands of local shops on Amazon sellers will be also making their Prime Day debut in India, it said in a statement. Start-ups and small businesses from Amazons Launchpad programme will be launching unique and differentiated products across categories like health & personal care, beauty & grooming, grocery and home products, it said. Prime Day in India will also see artisans and women entrepreneurs from ‘Karigar’ and ‘Saheli’ offer deals on handmade products from Tribes India, Blue pottery by Aditya Blue Pottery and Jewelry from Giva, among others.

#4. Government audit found NPCI affected by over 40 security vulnerabilities in 2019: Report

As per a report by Reuters, an internal audit by central government found more than 40 security vulnerabilities including several it called “critical” and “high” risk at the National Payments Corporation in India (NPCI) in 2019. The audit, over four months to February 2019, highlighted a lack of encryption of personal data at the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) which forms the backbone of the country’s digital payments system and operates the RuPay card.

The March 2019 government document, according to Reuters, cited the storing of 16-digit card numbers and other personal information such as customer names, account numbers and national identity numbers in “plain text” in some databases, leaving the data unprotected if the system was breached. The audit has not previously been reported. CNBC-TV18 has not independently verified the report.

#5. Big tech CEOs face off with US legislators

The members of the House Antitrust Subcommittee grilled the CEOs of Alphabet, Amazon, Apple and Facebook over their dominance and allegations of monopolistic practices that could kill competition. The five hours of testimony and questioning saw very few revelations or striking confrontations as the executives faced tough questioning and multiple interruptions from lawmakers of both parties.

The top bosses provided data to show the competitive landscape and the valur their innovation and essential services offer to consumers. Some answers to pointed questions business practices got were skirted by the group. They also confronted a range of other concerns about alleged political bias, their effect on U.S. democracy and their role in China.

#6. Fair competition and transparency benefits us all: Tiktok CEO slams Facebook attack

TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer slams and accuses Facebook of using patriotism as an unfair way to attack the Chinese-owned consumer app in blog post. The post comes after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s prepared remarks were published ahead of his testimony before the House Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust.

“We believe in values — democracy, competition, inclusion and free expression — that the American economy was built on. Many other tech companies share these values, but there’s no guarantee our values will win out. For example, China is building its own version of the internet focused on very different ideas, and they are exporting their vision to other countries,” said Mark Zuckerberg, CEO, Facebook.Taking on Facebook, Mayer also slammed Facebook for launching a copycat product – Reels. “At TikTok we welcome competition. We think fair competition makes all of us better. To those who wish to launch competitive products, we say bring it on. Facebook is even launching another copycat product, Reels (tied to Instagram), after their other copycat Lasso failed quickly. But let’s focus our energies on fair and open competition in service of our consumers, rather than maligning attacks by our competitor – namely Facebook – disguised as patriotism and designed to put an end to our very presence in the US,” Mayer said in a blog post.

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