Bloom time for gardening startups

While our newfound passion for hobbies like painting, crafts, and baking fizzled with the end of lockdowns, gardening apparently is still gaining traction.
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Hello Reader,

Adani Group’s media arm AMG Media Network indirectly acquired a 29% stake in New Delhi Television Ltd (NDTV), and has offered to buy another 26% from the open market, which will make it the majority stakeholder in the company. 

This is the conglomerate’s largest bet in this sector so far, putting Founder and Chairman Gautam Adani—who saw the largest wealth gain of $49 billion in 2021—directly in competition with fellow business magnate Mukesh Ambani on yet another front. Ambani-led Reliance Industries owns Network18 Group, which runs several news channels, magazines, and news websites.

In other news, Apple aims to start manufacturing the iPhone 14 in India two months after its initial release out of China. The tech behemoth has been working with suppliers to ramp up manufacturing and shorten the lag in production of the new iPhone from the typical six to nine months for previous launches, reported Bloomberg.

Lastly, it is ​​Pluto Demotion Day, which marks the controversial decision to downgrade Pluto to a dwarf planet in 2006, changing our textbooks forever.

And some of us are still quite mad about it.

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about

  • Bloom time for gardening startups
  • Nischal Shetty's Shardeum to raise funds
  • A job portal for blue-collar workers

Here’s your trivia for today: Who discovered the ozone layer?


Home gardening

Bloom time for gardening startups

While our newfound passion for hobbies like painting, crafts, and baking fizzled with the end of lockdowns, gardening apparently is still gaining traction. 

And cashing in on this love for home gardening are startups like Lazy Gardener, Seed2Plant, Bombay Greens, and Gardengram. 

New shoots:

  • The home gardening industry, which is growing at a CAGR of 50%, is estimated to reach $4 billion by 2025. 
  • Indoor plants such as money plants, lucky bamboo, air purifier plants, and succulents are especially seeing good demand from customers. 
  • Apart from products, gardening startups are also working on building their service offering. 

Blockchain

Nischal Shetty's Shardeum to raise funds

Nischal Shetty, Founder and CEO of WazirX, is in talks to raise $18.28 million in funding for his new blockchain startup, Shardeum. 

In 2022, Nischal teamed up with Omar Syed up to launch Layer 1 blockchain Shardeum. The project says it is the only network to employ auto-scaling, where it can increase and decrease shards in an automated manner, and achieve infinite scalability.

Building blocks:

  • Shardeum is working on a sharded blockchain (which splits a company's entire blockchain into smaller partitions) backed by Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).
  • The startup is attempting to address the two main problems of Layer 1 (L1) blockchains: limited throughput and high gas fees. 
  • The latest fundraise will reportedly value the startup at an estimated $200 million.

Gig workers

A job portal for blue-collar workers

The SMB segment may be the largest employment generator in India, but it routinely finds itself facing a recruiting problem, especially finding blue- and grey-collar workers. 

Namakkal-based Kaigal, which means 'hands' in Tamil, aims to offer a helping hand and solve this problem. Founded in 2019 by Balamurugan Sundararajan, Ravin Somi, and Senthil Natarajan, the social enterprise is working to organise the blue-collar jobs sector. 

Helping hands:

  • In 2020-21, 7.7 million workers in India were estimated to constitute the gig workforce. 
  • Kaigal was selected as one of the top emerging startups in TANSEED, a StartupTN initiative, and received a grant of Rs 10 lakh. 
  • The company, which competes with players like Vahan, LokalPe, Meraqui, Team Lease, and Apna, plans to expand its services to the other southern states by the end of this year. 

News & updates

  • Vulnerable: ​​Twitter has major security problems that pose a threat to its own users' personal information, company shareholders, national security, and democracy, according to whistleblower Peiter "Mudge" Zatko, who was previously the company's head of security.
  • Turbulence: The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq advanced in choppy trading on Tuesday, helped by megacap growth and technology stocks as yields slipped from one-month highs hit in the previous session, while weak business activity data raised concerns about economic growth.
  • Welcoming: Financially troubled Indian carrier SpiceJet Ltd. is open to investment from external parties, including other airlines, as it seeks to raise 20 billion rupees ($250 million), Chairman Ajay Singh told reporters in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Who discovered the ozone layer?

Answer: French physicists Charles Fabry and Henri Buisson in 1913.


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