WATCH: The week that was - from Facebook's new crypto to Niti Aayog's bet on EVs

This week, government think tank Niti Aayog created ripples by telling the government to sell only EVs after 2030. Then, WhatsApp’s grand startup challenge came to an end. Take a look

WATCH: The week that was - from Facebook's new crypto to Niti Aayog's bet on EVs

Saturday June 22, 2019,

5 min Read

Somewhere Over The Rainbow became a popular song thanks to Wizard of Oz, but there is a new rainbow in town. Colourful celebrations have kicked off across India. After all, June is International Pride Month -- India’s first since the Supreme Court’s monumental verdict decriminalising homosexuality in September 2018.

While that's a story you must read let us also talk about what is happening in the world of business.

Watch our video where we go into what made headlines the past week:

After many months of speculation, Facebook has finally announced its entry into the cryptocurrency and financial services market with a new digital wallet: Calibra. The wallet is still in the works and is likely to launch in 2020. It will be available in Messenger, WhatsApp, and even as a standalone app, the company revealed.

With Calibra, consumers will be able to use to save, send and spend Libra - a new blockchain-based global currency developed by Facebook. The Libra network has already received support from the likes of Visa, MasterCard, PayU, Stripe, eBay, Uber, Lyft, Spotify, and several others. Venture Capital giants including Andreessen Horowitz, Thrive Capital, Union Square Ventures, and others are also backing this idea.

Uber Eats

Uber and MOWO have joined hands to skill women as food delivery partners for Uber Eats

Another global Unicorn made a global announcement. Uber, on Tuesday, announced a partnership with MOWO Social Initiatives Foundation that would enable women to gain skills in order to register as Uber Eats delivery partners and earn a livelihood.

This partnership is part of UberBhavishya, a nation-wide initiative to create entrepreneurship opportunities for women and trans persons.

While companies like Uber are going all out to support women. The govt of India is going all out to save the environment.

Niti Aayog recently moved a Cabinet note to address e-mobility targets for a greener India. It emphasises on the sale of only electric vehicles by the year 2030. The note also spoke about e-highways with overhead electricity networks for trucks and buses, as well as for radio cab services such as Ola and Uber, to go electric by 2030.

Greaves Cotton Ampere

The Ampere Vehicles Team

What is more interesting is that 160-year-old manufacturing powerhouse Greaves Cotton, known for its diesel engines, generators, and pump sets, is also moving into the electric mobility space. The company recently acquired Coimbatore-based startup Ampere Electric for Rs 150 crore and is now moving from a predominantly diesel engine resource maker to a fuel-agnostic solution provider.

Then we ended the week with another Facebook company, WhatsApp.

WhatsApp India startup challenge

The winners of the grand startup challenge with Abhijit Bose, India Head, WhatsApp (third from left). The challenge was held by WhatsApp India in partnership with the government's flagship Startup India initiative.

WhatsApp India organised a grand startup challenge with government initiative Startup India. The five winners of the challenge, selected from a pool of 2,000 entries, were handed cheques of $50,000 each. The selection was on the basis of their ability to solve real-life problems using technology and innovative thinking.

Watch other video interviews, stories our viewers loved this week:

These two automobile enthusiasts' EV startup's bike doubles as a cycle

Polarity had its beginnings in circa 2009 when Sachin and Anand met in Coventry, England. Sachin, from a small town in Satara district of Maharashtra, was a gold medalist in engineering, who received a scholarship to study design in England. Anand, on the other hand, studied automobile journalism. They soon became friends and vowed to do something together in the future. In 2017 they built a smart bike, a combination of a bicycle and a motorbike, complete with a powerful motor and are testing it out in Pune.

In a conversation with YourStory Business Editor Vishal Krishna, the startup’s founders Sachin Jadhav and Anand Mohan explain why they have the most urban EV solution in the country.

Polarity Bikes

Polarity SmartBikes have bluetooth features along with a powerful 3KW hub-motor for a vehicle of this size

Startups can fuel hardware ecosystem’s growth: Intel India’s operations director

Intel has supported over 60 startups and it has deep interest in the hardware ecosystem in India. The company talks about how make in India can benefit and the role of startups in disrupting the electronics industry in the future. In a video interview with YourStory Business Editor Vishal Krishna, Jitendra Chaddah, Senior Director, Operations and Strategy, Intel India, reveals why startups are important in the hardware ecosystem.


Jitendra C, Intel

Brick by brick, how this SaaS startup brings transparency to the construction industry

FalconBrick has been one of the few proptech companies going after data in the real estate industry. Its software when used in construction site can help the company track all their vendors that supply to the site cutting out irregularities in billing and bringing transparency to the finishing of the project. In a conversation with YourStory Business Editor Vishal Krishna, they tell us what the Bengaluru-based startup does.


(From L to R) Aditya, Sasi and Gautam, Co-founders, FalconBrick

Myntra Head on the Walmart impact, Myntra-Jabong unification, and their biggest sale

Amar Nagaram took charge as the head of India’s online fashion market leader Myntra early this year. Amar succeeded Ananth Narayanan, who was in charge for three years, after spending six years at Flipkart, which owns Myntra. Talking to YourStory in one of his first media interactions since taking charge at Myntra, Amar says his current role was one he had never expected to be in. Recently, the workforce at Gurgaon-based Jabong, which Myntra acquired in 2016, was absorbed into Myntra, taking the company’s total strength above 2,000 people.

amar nagaram

Meet GrapeGuitarBox, one of Bengaluru’s rising indie stars

The world tends to operate through a binary lens acknowledging only two sides of gender - man and woman. Breaking this stereotype is Teenasai Balamu (24) aka GrapeGuitarBox, a musician from Bengaluru who identifies as non-binary. Teenasai’s interest in music began at age 10 when they decided to learn how to play the keyboard. But their music career’s pace really started picking up in 2016 when they were featured in Rolling Stone India as one of the budding artistes to listen to. In a conversation with SocialStory, watch Teenasai Balamu talk about music, gender, and the LGBTQIA+ community, and catch them performing Run.

Teenasai Balamu

Teenasai Balamu aka GrapeGuitarBox