The first-ever Mumbai edition of India’s biggest startup-tech summit TechSparks came to a close with business leaders, investors, innovators and celebrities motivating entrepreneurs to keep pushing to grow and stay relevant.
HCL Co-founder Ajai Chowdhry kicked off the final day of the mega event by assuring startups that despite the funding winter, capital is always available to those with differentiated products. He also announced bringing together angel investors in his network to fund Indian hardware startups.
At the event, Karan Virwani, CEO of WeWork’s India franchisee, was quite optimistic about the company’s growth plans as it looks to add 10 new locations by August across six key metro cities. He said the company was recording 80%-85% occupancy.
Bollywood also made its presence felt at the summit with actor and investor Malaika Arora laying out her dream to explore international markets through her investment venture, Malaika Arora Ventures—which backs lifestyle, health, and wellness brands.
Celebrity influencer and angel investor Mira Rajput Kapoor underlined the importance of investing and building a portfolio of brands she believes in. She has invested in SARVA Yoga, Wellbeing Nutrition, and Zama Organics, among others.
For our full coverage on TechSparks Mumbai, click here.
In other news, short-seller Hindenburg Research alleged Jack Dorsey-led payments company Block overstated its user counts, understated customer acquisition costs, and enabled insiders to cash out over $1 billion. Block shares plunged 19% after the release of the report.
Also, in another blow for the IT services sector, Accenture has decided to cut 2.5% of its workforce, or 19,000 jobs. The IT services giant also lowered its annual revenue and profit forecasts.
To top it all, SoftBank-backed Unacademy is reportedly in talks for a potential merger with BYJU’S-owned Aakash in what could be a major shake-up of the Indian edtech landscape.
In today’s newsletter, we will talk about
- Ashneer Grover’s new app to offer cash rewards to cricketers
- Top 25 Web3 Innovations Report
- Gender equality starts at home
Here’s your trivia for today: Which country is home to the most number of active volcanoes?
Ashneer Grover’s new app to offer cash rewards to cricketers
Ashneer Grover’s Third Unicorn has officially launched its first startup, fantasy cricket platform Crickpe, in time for users to get familiar with the platform before the IPL matches begin in a week from now.
The platform, however, will also allow users to offer “cash rewards” of up to Rs 1 lakh in a financial year to real-life cricketers for “good performance”, making for a potentially controversial feature.
- Crickpe, Ashneer Grover’s much-awaited new startup, is a fantasy cricket platform competing with the likes of Dream11 and Mobile Premier League.
- The startup has so far raised seed capital of $3.5 million from ZNL Growth Fund, Vevek Ventures Investments, Rishaayu LLP and other venture and angel investors.
- Users will need to pay entry fees of between Rs 50 and Rs 3,000 depending on the contest they want to participate in. Crickpe will take a portion of the winning purse, although it would be lower than that charged by other fantasy cricket platforms.
Round: Pre-Series B
Startup: Reveal HealthTech
Startup: Uravu Labs
Top 25 Web3 Innovations Report
Despite a global meltdown around crypto and Web3, Indian founders and innovators have remained steadfast. For the second consecutive year, Buidlers Tribe and YourStory curated a list of 25 promising Web3 projects and startups led by Indian innovators. Here’s a quick look. You can download a copy of the report here.
At the top:
- Many of this year’s winners are building for multiple chains but two clear favourites emerged—Polygon (64%) and Ethereum (44%).
- This is in line with the theory that the sector is moving towards a multi-chain future, showing marked progress from previous periods in Web3 innovations where many projects were restricted to single chains.
- Indian Web3 startups are building platforms and infrastructures across segments to attract Web2 audiences through larger B2B partnerships and integrations with traditionally non-crypto firms.
Gender equality starts at home
Gender equality must start at home by educating children about shunning traditional gender-based roles, actor-investor Dia Mirza said at TechSparks Mumbai 2023. Mirza said that when children are taught to respect women and encouraged to perform daily chores, they will grow up to be responsible humans.
- Mirza said her angel investments are focused on startups founded by women and making a measurable impact on the world.
- “Capitalism must have a conscience. It is our active choice on how we choose to make money and use our money,” she added.
- Nandita Sinha, CEO of Myntra, said women have come a long way in establishing themselves as formidable and successful entrepreneurs. Women need to support each other to keep the momentum.
News & updates
- AI error: A ChatGPT glitch allowed some users to see the titles of other users’ conversations, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman said. On Reddit and Twitter, users had shared images of chat histories that they said were not theirs. The error has now been fixed.
- Data concerns: After the UK government, the British Parliament is also set to ban the Chinese-owned video-sharing app TikTok from “all parliamentary devices”, citing the need for cybersecurity. This comes as CEO Shou Zi Chew testified before the US Congress, addressing security and data privacy concerns.
- Securities violation: The US SEC warned crypto exchange Coinbase that it had identified potential violations of US securities law. It said the enforcement action would encompass Coinbase Earn, Coinbase Prime and Coinbase Wallet.
Which country is home to the most number of active volcanoes?
Answer: Indonesia. It has 147 volcanoes, 129 of which are active.
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