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The big slump in VC funding; NGO transforming lives via sport

Dunzo Co-founder Dalvir Suri has exited the delivery startup at a time when it is facing a liquidity crunch. Suri spent more than six years in the company and played a key role in introducing new lines of businesses, including Dunzo Merchant Services (DMS).

Priyanka Gill, Co-founder of Good Glamm Group, is bullish about the upcoming festive season. The content-to-commerce startup is prioritising profitability in the run-up to an IPO in two years’ time, according to a PTI report. 

In other news, the Indian economy will grow at around 6.5% in the current fiscal as the country’s macroeconomic situation is benefiting from the reforms that have been taken up in the last nine years by the Narendra Modi-led government, former NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar said on Monday.

Lastly, Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman have been awarded the 2023 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their contributions to RNA biology that enabled the development of mRNA vaccines that have changed the course of the COVID-19 vaccine pandemic.

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • The big slump in VC funding
  • NGO transforming lives via sports
  • Building a career despite a break

Here’s your trivia for today: When and where did the first Starbucks store open in India?

Venture Capital 

The big slump in VC funding


Venture capital (VC) funding into Indian startups declined by 59% for the nine months of 2023 compared to the same period in 2022.

In total, startups raised $8.2 billion in the first nine months of this year while the figure was  $19.8 billion in 2022. The number of deals during this period also declined by 37% as the total count for 2023 was 811 as compared to 1,279 in 2022, according to YourStory Data.

Key takeaways:

  • Zepto is the only startup to get into the unicorn club so far this year, compared to the emergence of 23 unicorns in 2022.
  • Only 15 startups raised over $100 million in funding. Leading this list was fintech unicorn PhonePe, which cumulatively raised $850 million across tranches. This was followed by eyewear brand Lenskart, which raised $600 million.
  • Fintech, ecommerce, edtech, and electric vehicles are among top four sectors that saw funding action. 


NGO transforming lives via sports

Paulraj, Street Child United champion, India

Since 2008, Street Child United has empowered hundreds of children living or working on the streets with sports, higher education, and employment opportunities. This year, the United Kingdom-based NGO has organised the second edition of its Street Child Cricket World Cup in Chennai.


  • About 160 children from 19 teams, representing 13 countries participated in the tournament, which was held from September 23 to 30. 
  • The tournament saw Uganda (which was pitched against Zimbabwe) take the trophy home.
  • Street Child United has also partnered with the University of Bristol and other NGOs to fund college education and employment opportunities wherever needed. 

Women in tech

Finding success despite career break

Gayathri Vaidyanathan

Gayathri Vaidyanathan is the Director of Software Engineering at Lowe’s India. In 2010, she took a break from her career and returned to the industry after seven years, taking up an internship with Target.

Despite the break, which is often regarded as a death knell, especially in a rapidly evolving sector like information technology, Vaidyanathan charted new heights in her tech career. 

Onwards and upwards:

  • During her seven-year break, Vaidyanathan took up tech blogging as a freelancer and began writing about emerging technologies. 
  • She feels women need to take up opportunities and not fear failure. Also, networking with a diverse set of people and peers brings new perspectives and learnings on how to tackle challenges in life and career.
  • Vaidyanathan also mentors people with their engineering careers, and regularly interacts with them on how important it is to invest in their personal growth.

News & updates

  • The slowdown: Tesla missed market estimates for third-quarter deliveries on Monday as planned upgrades at its factories forced production halts, sending its shares down 2.4% in early trading. The electric vehicle maker handed over 435,059 vehicles in the three months to Sept. 30, down nearly 7% from the preceding quarter, but said its target to deliver 1.8 million vehicles this year remained unchanged.
  • Star IPO: Birkenstock, the German premium footwear brand backed by private-equity firm L Catterton, said on Monday it is seeking a valuation of up to $9.2 billion in its highly anticipated initial public offering (IPO) in New York.
  • Jumbos in the sky: Dozens of planet-sized objects have been discovered in the Orion Nebula via observations that could herald the existence of a new astronomical category. The free-floating entities, which have been named Jupiter-mass binary objects, or Jumbos, appear in spectacular images taken by the James Webb space telescope. 

When and where did the first Starbucks store open in India?

Answer: Mumbai, in 2012. Starbucks opened its first store in India in the Elphinstone Building, Horniman Circle, in October 2012.

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