NewsBytes Briefing: Reliance buys Netmeds, SpaceX's biggest fund-raise, and more
In the last few hours, renowned tech giants took major strides. First, Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries, which was on a fund-raising spree since April, started acquisitions to expand its e-commerce business in India. The company acquired a 60% stake in five-year-old online pharmacy Netmeds for $83.2 million and is also in talks with Urban Ladder and Milkbasket. Here are other major developments.
SpaceX raised a whopping $1.9 billion
As Reliance upped its acquisition game, Elon Musk's SpaceX brought in money by securing $1.9 billion in its largest funding to date. The company's regulatory filings revealed the investment, and while it's not exactly clear who participated in the round, the development will be a major push for the company, which has recorded many successes recently and is now building a giant Moon/Mars rocket.
Facebook sued by anti-vaccination group
Social media giant Facebook, meanwhile, faced a lawsuit over censoring content. The case has been filed by Children's Health Defense, an anti-vaccination group, in response to the company's rejection of its ads and labeling (already debunked claims) about vaccines and 5G networks. In addition to the lawsuit, Facebook also raced to block links to Plandemic: Indoctornation, a documentary promoting a coronavirus conspiracy theory.
Google Maps got a big update
Along with battling it out against Epic Games, Google is also pushing regular updates for its products. Mere days after announcing the plan to turn Android into Earthquake detector, the company announced a revamped avatar of Google Maps, where you will see far more details to distinguish natural features like mountainous ice caps, deserts, beaches, or dense forests.
Other important updates to note
Among other things, Google is bringing Chromecast support for Meet videoconference while Netflix began testing a shuffle play button to save you from the trouble of choosing something to watch. Plus, Instagram is rolling out QR codes, a feature to let people scan and add someone they meet on the photo-sharing app almost instantly. It saves the trouble of searching the usernames.
Finally, some COVID-19 updates
India on Tuesday recorded over 63,000 new coronavirus infections, bringing the nationwide tally to 27.66 lakh. The death toll surpassed 53,000. As for the vaccine, Australia announced an agreement with AstraZeneca to source Oxford's COVID-19 vaccine for 'free' public distribution. Further, Chinese pharma company SinoPharm claimed that its COVID-19 shot will be commercially available by the end of the year.