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Inside the world of gut health startups: More layoffs at BYJU'S

The taxman has come knocking on Zomato’s door again.

The online food delivery platform has received a service tax demand and penalty order aggregating over Rs 184 crore and it will file an appeal against it. It recently also received a GST penalty notice from Karnataka’s tax authority demanding Rs 23 crore.

Meanwhile, the engines of the Indian economy are roaring.

India’s manufacturing sector growth climbed to a 16-year high in March on the back of a strong increase in output and new orders since October 2020. The Purchasing Manager’s Index climbed to 59.1 in March, indicating growth expansion.

Also, leading defence PSU Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) recorded its highest-ever revenue from operations exceeding Rs 29,810 crore in FY24, registering an 11% growth. 

In other news, influencer marketing is growing big. According to a report by EY and Collective Artists Network’s Big Bang Social, it is poised to expand to Rs 3,375 crore by 2026. Also, every 3 out of 4 brands are expected to include influencer marketing in their strategies by 2030.

Elsewhere, March saw a 3.5% rise in venture capital funding with a capital inflow of $921 million compared with $890 million raised in February. However, this is a 34% year-over-year decline from March 2023 due to absence of large deals.

And lastly, the resources for renewable energy are abundant. Here’s how electricity can be generated even from a small stream.  

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • Inside the world of gut health startups
  • More job cuts at BYJU’S
  • Virtual call centre solutions for SMBs

Here’s your trivia for today: Which element makes stainless steel “stainless”?


Inside the world of gut health startups

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Infographic by Nihar Apte

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Infographic by Nihar Apte

Over the last two years, a host of gut health-focused startups have emerged in India, propelled by active discussions on social media and a rising interest in the microbiome—a community of microorganisms in the gut that play a crucial role in promoting digestion, boosting immunity, and improving metabolism. YourStory takes a closer look. 

Gut feeling:

  • Platforms such as The Good Bug, Cosmix Wellness, and Veera Health offer products that balance the microbiome to target concerns like weight management, bloating and gas, diabetes management, and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).
  • According to data sourced by PrivateCircle, a private market intelligence platform, the top ten firms in the space—including The Good Bug, Lifechart, Leucine Rich Bio, and Peping, among others—raised upwards of Rs 43 crore in FY24 alone.
  • New-age brands are spreading the word through social media influencers, some of whom are doctors. For instance, doctor-influencer Dr Pal Manickam has endorsed The Good Bug’s product targeted at burning fat and easing weight management.

<Funding Alert>

Startup: Namdev Finvest 

Amount: $19M

Round: Pre-Series C

Startup: Scrut Automation

Amount: $10M

Round: Growth

Startup: Traya

Amount: Rs 75 Cr

Round: Private Equity


More job cuts at BYJU’S


BYJU’S has initiated another round of job cuts impacting more than 500 people amid a severe liquidity crunch and an ongoing tussle with some of its investors, sources told YourStory

The company’s fresh round of workforce reduction will affect employees in various departments, with people in sales taking most of the hit, a source noted, adding that the edtech firm is also laying off some teachers.


  • According to BYJU’S, the layoffs are part of the restructuring that started in October last year. It was expected to execute a workforce reduction of over 5,000 permanent and contractual employees as part of the restructuring effort. 
  • The company has postponed salary payments of its employees for the month of March. It hopes to disburse the salaries by April 8.
  • Moreover, the edtech firm is yet to process the full and final (FnF) settlement for employees who were laid off last year. 


Virtual call centre solutions for SMBs


While large enterprises—fueled by deep pockets—often have dedicated call centres, micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) find it difficult to achieve the same level of communication prowess with limited resources at their disposal.

Founded in 2016, Noida-based CallerDesk helps smaller companies by offering a virtual help desk for callers, delivering comprehensive call centre solutions entirely through the cloud. 


  • CallerDesk is seed-funded by the IIM Lucknow enterprise incubation centre and has a Unified Communication-Virtual Network Operator (UL-VNO) licence in four cities.
  • The company enables SMBs to manage large volumes of calls efficiently, offering features like call tracking, team productivity analysis, and smooth call routing, which isn’t possible for callers to do manually. 
  • According to Co-founder Rajesh Kumar Dimania, the Indian customer relationship management software market is projected to clock revenue worth $1.22 billion in 2024. 

News & updates

  • No damages: Google will delete billions of data records to settle a class action lawsuit that accuses the company of secretly tracking internet users who thought they were browsing privately. Plaintiffs alleged the Alphabet-owned company’s analytics, cookies and apps let it improperly track users in its private browsing, or “incognito” mode.
  • Bubble bursts: Crisis-hit Chinese property developer Country Garden has suspended trade in its shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange after delaying the publication of its annual financial results. It defaulted on its overseas debt last year and faces a winding-up petition.
  • New asset class: The World Bank is looking to issue up to $1 billion in a debut hybrid note on capital markets this year as development banks face increasing pressure to find new ways to boost their lending. It would be only the second multilateral lender to issue such an instrument after the African Development Bank.

Which element makes stainless steel “stainless”?

Answer: Chromium. It forms a protective layer on the surface of the steel, preventing it from rusting or corroding. 

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