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The kid who made it despite the odds


More pink slips.

VC firm SoftBank is planning a fresh round of layoffs at its Vision Fund, which could be announced in the next two weeks, reported Reuters. This move is expected to impact nearly 30% of the investment arm’s staff in the US. 

ICYMI: SoftBank Group posted record losses of $32 billion for its Vision Funds in the financial year ended March 31, 2023, with investments across the two funds dropping to less than one-tenth of the amount ploughed in the previous year.

Meanwhile, edtech startup upGrad has set up a medical institute in the Republic of Vanuatu, marking its entry into the Pacific region. Already present in Australia, this expansion will help fortify upGrad’s footprint in the region, given its proximity to Australia and New Zealand.

Watch: How do noise-cancelling headphones work?

Turns out, there’s a simple science behind creating silence. 

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • The kid who shouldn’t have made it
  • From urban wastelands to green spaces
  • UrbanPiper acquires Ordermark’s US biz

Here’s your trivia for today: How did Galileo Galilei describe the rings of Saturn?


The kid who shouldn’t have made it

Deepinder Goyal

You’ll miss Deepinder Goyal in a crowded restaurant or a mall. He’s an everyman. But once you talk to him, you’ll learn a little more about him. The man who built Zomato doesn’t have the same origin story as most entrepreneurs.

In an exclusive interview with YourStory, Deepinder Goyal, CEO and Founder of Zomato, opened up about the early days that moulded him to be the person he is. 

Boss life:

  • With a sharp focus on improving Zomato every day, Deepinder is also trying to foster the startup culture in India. He has, so far, invested in 16 startups, including ChefKart and Unacademy.
  • Deepinder says he built a startup because he didn’t want to compete. “I built a startup because I didn’t want to be a part of the rat race.”
  • “For me, it is about being able to chart my own path, where I don’t get compared to anyone. I think comparison is a negative thing,” he explains.


From urban wastelands to green spaces

Arun Krishnamurthy, founder, Environmentalist Foundation of India

Over a year ago, a passerby would’ve easily missed an abandoned plot of land on the busy Anna Nagar junction in northwest Chennai. Located right on the banks of the Cooum River, this land—degrading with weeds—was a dumping site for construction debris and commercial waste. 

This four-acre land located at the heart of the bustling commercial hub in Anna Nagar, Chennai, is now an eco forest and play area. Environmentalist Arun Krishnamurthy tells us how.

Urban forest:

  • In early 2022, EFI started work on this project and called it Kanagam (a Tamil word for forest).
  • Instead of building an urban park with walking tracks and ornamental plants—which are typically non-indigenous—EFI decided it would create what it calls a ‘coexistence zone’ where nature and people benefit from each other.
  • Kanagam is the first project of its kind supported by the Greater Chennai Corporation’s Namakku Naame Scheme launched last year. It empowers the community to implement public projects and maintain them.

Mergers and Acquisitions

UrbanPiper acquires Ordermark’s US biz

Online food delivery

Bengaluru-based UrbanPiper, a SaaS platform for restaurants, has acquired the US business of food delivery aggregator Ordermark for an undisclosed amount to expand its global footprint. The deal will enable the firm to solidify its presence in the United States and Canada through Ordermark’s large consumer base. 

New territories:

  • Ordermark provides order management services, including POS systems, kitchen display systems, and accounting tools for restaurants and food businesses. 
  • UrbanPiper—backed by Peak XV Partners and Tiger Global—services over 35,000 restaurant locations globally and processes more than 300 million orders per year. 
  • Its services include workflow automation, seamless integration with multiple online delivery platforms, analytics and dashboards, and marketing automation capabilities. 

News & updates

  • Ramping up: IKEA is training call centre workers to become interior design advisers, as the Swedish furniture giant aims to offer more home improvement services and hand run-of-the-mill customer queries to an artificial intelligence bot called Billie.
  • Slowing down: New York-based VC firm Insight Partners has slashed the $20 billion target for its latest fund and said it would slow down its pace of dealmaking after almost a year of glacial fundraising as technology valuations have slumped.
  • Looking ahead: Accenture plans to double its AI staff to 80,000, just three months after shedding 19,000 jobs in a cost-cutting effort. The professional-services company will invest $3 billion in its Data & AI practice over the next three years.

What you should watch out for

  • ‘No Honking Day’ in Mumbai to curb noise pollution today.
  • World Blood Donor Day.

How did Galileo Galilei describe the rings of Saturn?

Answer: He described them as ‘ears’ or lobes on either side of the planet.

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