ICYMI: Stories this week to pep up your Sunday


This Sunday, we begin our weekly column, 'Always on a Sunday', which will refresh our weekly stories and articles for you in case you missed it during your busy work week.

If you live in Bengaluru or have lived in Kolkata, you must be familiar with the phenomenon of April showers. It is the pre-monsoon rains that bring a much-needed relief from the punishing heat. An event engineered by nature to say, ‘aal iz well.’

The fund-starved Indian startup ecosystem experienced similar relief of sorts when the flagbearer of e-commerce in India, Flipkart, was rejuvenated this week with a fresh shower of funds to the tune of $ 1.4 billion. The good news kept flowing with a number of startups going public about their fund raise, from HackerEarth to Ninjacart to Capital Float and many more.

The week also brought cheer to the Stayzilla family and to all the supporters of the startup when its founder Yogendra Vasupal was granted bail after nearly a month in prison over an alleged payment dispute.

With so much happening around us, the writers at YourStory had an action-packed week that saw them incessantly pounding away at their keyboards to bring their readers well-researched and compelling articles.

We love telling stories. But we rarely tell our own story. The process of gathering news, researching important elements of the story, and writing the piece can make for a colourful story book.

We debate and discuss ideas, sometimes even fight over our beats, or a sentence that we feel ought to have been retained but was mercilessly axed by the copyeditor. The copyeditors, meanwhile, listen patiently, roll their eyes, and leave you alone. They know once the writer has cooled off they will see merit in the exercise.

Our Whatsapp group is an overworked beast that never relaxes even at 2 in the morning, thanks to outstation correspondents who operate in their own parallel universe where night is day, and day night.

This Sunday, we begin our weekly offering, 'Always on a Sunday', which will repackage our weekly stories and articles for you in case you missed them during your busy work week.

Our writers will share the stories behind their stories published during the week. The back stories are always exciting and funny, often at our own cost -- bloopers and all. But, thank god, we are not live television.

Harshith Mallya, our resident Millennial, nearly escaped scrutiny with his story that explored whether technology and new business models can change the landscape of cab aggregators and ridesharing platforms. After playing hide-and-seek with his editor, Mallya finally succeeded in putting out this well-researched and original piece.

He even managed to speak to James Bellefeuille, Founder of Minneapolis-based Vugo, who believes that short-distance cab rides could, in fact, become free for consumers in the near future. Read the story here.

How tech, new business models could change cab industry, make short rides free

While on the future of technology, there has been increasing curiosity over the fate of Snapdeal. Our e-commerce expert Radhika Nair’s story on the big e-commerce battle that is playing out in India seeks to unravel who the winner will be. While researching the story, she caught some emotions predominant in the ecosystem.

“Disappointment - that's what most people I spoke to said they felt about Flipkart acquiring Snapdeal. There is sadness that what could have been a strong Indian e-commerce firm is now going through a distress sale. Relief - that's the other feeling most expressed. Relief that a company that has raised millions of dollars of funding isn't collapsing but is getting acquired, even if on paper. Hope - most insiders I spoke to also expressed this feeling. They hoped that this deal would not adversely affect the Indian startup ecosystem and that entrepreneurs would learn the right lessons from this deal,” Radhika tells me. Read the story here.

Clash of the Titans – Masa San and Jack Ma to set up battle with Jeff Bezos via Flipkart

Talking about hope brings to mind the coming together of founders and investors who rallied around Stayzilla’s Founder Yogendra Vasupal. Yogi, as he is fondly referred to by many, was released on bail this week. Our resident Superwoman Sindhu Kashyap, who has been following the Stayzilla saga, and reported the incident with sensitivity and balance, observes, “Ego can be destructive. Nobody wins in an ego battle. It's time startups got away from their tech bubbles and experience the world for what it is. Reality is far different from what people assume it to be.” Read the entire coverage here.

We had other inspiring stories this week that are a must-read. If you haven’t, do so now. Our Mumbai correspondent Binjal Shah’s heartwarming piece on Gauri Sawant and feisty Tanvi Dubey’s profile of the first woman jockey will round up your week just fine.

The real story of Gauri Sawant, the trans ‘mommy’ from the Vicks video, is even more extraordinary

How a 17-year-old Italian made India her home and went on to win 2 derbies

Till next Sunday then.