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‘Unmeat’ your diet

Hello Reader,

The Indian startup ecosystem sees more job cuts as Unacademy asks 150 employees from PrepLadder, a medical education platform it acquired in 2020, to leave. 

The company claims this is the “outcome of a recent appraisal” that put ~2.6 percent of the workforce on a performance improvement programme, and called it a “standard practice in all organisations”.

This is merely two months after the edtech giant had laid off 600 employees across departments. 

After two years of record growth due to the pandemic, India’s edtech startups are not doing so well. Apart from Unacademy, other players like Vedantu, WhiteHat Jr, Eruditus, LidoLearning, and FrontRow have also laid off employees this year

In other news, four Indian brands have ranked among the world’s top 100 brands. A report by Kantar, a UK-based consultant, listed Tata Consultancy Services (#46), HDFC Bank (#61), Infosys (#64), and Life Insurance Corporation (#92) in its “Most Valuable Global Brands” report for 2022.

Of course, Apple topped the list, followed by Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Tencent. 

Last but not least, there’s a new plane (design) in town. As the world grapples with a hike in airfare, a German aeroplane designer’s concept could “revolutionise” budget travel. The idea? A double-decker plane. 

Alejandro Núñez Vicente first conceptualised the Chaise Lounge Airplane Seat when he was a student. This week, it was tested out at an industry event in Hamburg, Germany—ladder and all.

‘Unmeat’ your diet

Today’s specials include Unmutton Keema, Vegicken Curry, and Eggless Bhurji. Perplexed? These are just some of plant-based startup GoodDot’s offerings, aimed at replacing the meat on your plate. 

Launched in 2016 by Abhishek Sinha and Deepak Parihar, GoodDot aims to create affordable meat alternatives that still taste like meat.

As an animal lover who has been rescuing and feeding strays since childhood, being a meat-eater became a moral dilemma. In fact, he tried to give it up numerous times.

“I would go back to eating meat because of the taste. I was unable to control the craving,” said Abhishek. 

Finally, his passion won and GoodDot was born.

It’s in the taste:

  • GoodDot’s products include Biryani, Meatless Mince, Unmutton Dhaba Curry Kit, Vegicken Chunks in Brine are packages of 125-500g, priced between Rs 95 and Rs 379.
  • In 2017, the startup sold around 3,000 units every day. This number now stands at 50,000.
  • Besides an online and offline presence in India, GoodDot exports to Singapore, Canada, Nepal, the UAE, South Africa, Oman, and Mauritius.

Entrepreneurship lessons

What will you do if you receive a job offer worth Rs 1 crore?

When IIT-M and IIM-A alum Vineeta Singh was confronted with an offer from Deutsche Bank at the age of 23, she knew what she had to do. She declined the job and decided to take the plunge as an entrepreneur. Now, her startup SUGAR Cosmetics is valued at half-a-billion dollars (Rs 4,000 crore).

One of the most important tools she used to build her D2C beauty brand is social media. The Shark Tank India judge’s social media channels are also a goldmine for lessons in entrepreneurship. 

Leadership lessons:

  • Before tasting success, Vineeta also experienced failures with an insurance company and a lingerie startup that didn’t take off. “Wrong place, wrong time,” she says.
  • She takes a lot of pride in growing brand awareness, placing emphasis on visual storytelling. She took to Instagram to celebrate SUGAR Cosmetics opening its 100th store last week.
  • Funding is not a milestone in itself, according to Vineeta, hinting at consistency and the need to simply show up are more important

“Entrepreneurship is like a marathon. It actually teaches you a lot about just showing up every single day and not having to worry about anything else. Entrepreneurship is like running a marathon. Quit nahi karna hein bus.(Just don’t quit),” she told YourStory

Insurance in Metaverse

Is there anything the Metaverse cannot do? Apparently, not. 

With blockchain technology seeing rapid growth, attracting users from across the world, its asset marketplace is expected to grow at a CAGR of 40 percent between 2022 and 2030.

But as assets—including digital properties, health of avatars, and digital goods—become more commonplace, there’s a risk of losing them, leading to a rising need to insure them.

Enter AcknoLedger, which has built a Universal Content Number Scheme (UCNS) for Web3 assets across a range of NFT (Non-Fungible Tokens) and Metaverse ecosystems. So far, AcknoLedger claims its beta product is seeing traction of around 15,000 monthly users.

Key takeaways:

  • The Universal Content Number Scheme (UCNS) maps all NFTs across virtual platforms.
  • The project has partnered with over 100 Metaverse and gaming platforms for tracking digital assets. It has raised $1.53 million in funding.
  • AcknoLedger plans to perform interoperability checks for NFTs, track their utilities, scarcity, social proofs, etc.

“Content is the new economy, so there is a need for a unique serial identification system. Think of it like a small insurance policy for your content,” says Abhishek Singh Rajpurohit, Co-founder of AcknoLedger.

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