Overcoming lower-tier bias

It was serendipity that inspired Prabhash Nirbhay to launch Jharkhand Angels, a network of angel investors focused on incubating, funding, and providing accelerator services to startups based in smaller Indian towns and cities, and those working to solve prevalent problems in those areas.
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Hello Reader,

Exactly 141 years ago today, the world’s first international phone call was made. A lot has happened since then. For one, communication has never been easier—or more annoying.

No longer does one have to go through an operator to call someone across the planet. Actually, you can just video call them, a feature that gained even more prominence amid the coronavirus pandemic, proving how intensely we are all connected in a disconnected world via our smartphones.  

Now, WhatsApp is bringing avatars to your video calls. In a new beta expected to be rolled out soon, WhatsApp will allow people to use an avatar during video calls. The messaging giant is working on creating its own set of stickers similar to Bitmoji or Apple’s Memoji. 

Meanwhile, several finance-related changes are coming into effect from today. Your money will still fold, but differently. 

For instance, buyers will now have to pay 1 percent TDS on crypto transactions while influencers and content creators will have to pay 10 percent TDS if they want to retain the freebies they receive from brands. We also have a new wage code! In-hand salaries will reduce as Provident Fund (PF) contributions increase, and employees can now opt for a four-day workweek at 12 hours each day.  

In other news, NASA’s Curiosity rover found organic carbon, a key ingredient to indicate molecular life, in an ancient lake on Mars. 

First the sentient AI, and now the possibility of a historic alien civilisation? 

2022 is a gift that keeps on giving!


Jharkhand Angels on overcoming ‘lower-tier’ bias

It was serendipity that inspired Prabhash Nirbhay to launch Jharkhand Angels, a network of angel investors focused on incubating, funding, and providing accelerator services to startups based in smaller Indian towns and cities, and those working to solve prevalent problems in those areas.

“I realised that if the process of raising funding was so laborious for startups based in metros, it would probably be 10X harder for a startup based out of a Tier II or III city in India,” he says.

Founded in 2021, Jharkhand Angels primarily helps connect startups to investors and mentors them to become proficient in the art of pitching and fundraising. It also provides valuable business mentoring and training services to help startups troubleshoot problems, learn from others’ journeys, find resources, and grow.

Key takeaways: 

  • The angel network has invested Rs 3 crore in total across five startups—GoSeeko, Hanuman, ZiffyTech, Fydo, and The Playbook—between 2021 and 2022.
  • It is about to close a round for JhaJi Store, which was featured on Shark Tank India.
  • Jharkhand Angels plans to start an incubation programme and enrol 30-40 startups. It also aims to work with lower-tier colleges to help them set up incubation cells in the next 6-12 months.

Programmable NFTs for the win

For months now, non-believers have ridiculed NFTs even as users across the world dropped millions to own one of these non-fungible tokens. But saturation is coming, say Anil Dukkipatty and Raunaq Vaisoha, founders of NFT startup Revise.

In a conversation with The Decrypting Story, Raunaq explains that "while NFTs have become quite commonplace, it is only a matter of time before the market wants more than just static JPEG images."

To help users leverage their NFTs beyond their static state, Revise enables them to ‘program’ them to connect their digital assets to apps and even billboards in the metaverse! 

How will it work?

  • Revise enables developers to write programs that users can use to turn their NFTs into utilities and gaming assets for apps.
  • The startup is also adding an audit trail for all revisions made to an NFT based on the programming structure so that a developer can handle dispute resolution in a trustable and seamless manner.
  • Dynamic NFTs will also help creators earn more than just royalties—via advertisements in the metaverse.

Revise recently teamed up with metaverse platform WeMeta to launch NFT billboards in the metaverse, which will also offer innovative marketing for brands. 


Ankiti Bose exits Zilingo board

Ankiti Bose, Co-founder and former CEO of Zilingo, took to Instagram to announce her resignation from the troubled fashion ecommerce startup's board.

In her statement, Ankiti alleged that although she remained a director in the group's holding company and its subsidiaries, other material information pertaining to the company was concealed from her. 

"Over the past few months, despite my many requests, the Zilingo board has failed to show me any report (issued by Kroll or Deloitte), which pertained to any investigations into the company or into my alleged misconduct, and why or how these were used to terminate my position as CEO," she said.

The story so far: 

  • In April, Zilingo suspended Ankiti after efforts to raise new funding led to questions about the company’s accounting.
  • In May, following an investigation by an independent forensics firm into complaints of financial irregularities, the startup fired Ankiti. 
  • Earlier this month, several media reports said co-founder Dhruv Kapoor made a management buyout offer to the Singapore-based company’s board, a move that was endorsed by Ankiti.

Ankiti Bose, Co-founder, Zilingo


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