Fire and Blood, and Fundamentum’s Fund 2

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August 20, 2022

Hello Reader,

It’s time for Fire and Blood to reign once again.

If you're missing some dragons in your day, HBO is back with a prequel to the iconic “Game of Thrones”.

This time, it's all about the fiery Targaryens and their captivating dragons. And, if early reviews are an indication, “House of the Dragon” has a promising start. No spoilers here!

You're all invited to a screening party… at your own home, of course.

Made you read twice, didn’t we?

But not for long. Google is tweaking its search algorithms to tackle clickbait.

“We know people don’t find the content helpful if it seems like it was designed to attract clicks rather than inform readers,” Google said in a blog post.

Next week, the company is launching a “helpful content update” to tackle so-called SEO spam, content written explicitly to appear high up on the results pages of search engines.

In other news, the photo of a “zombie” fungus-infected fly has been crowned the overall winner in this year's BMC Ecology and Evolution Image Competition.

That’s something to think about!

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about

  • Fundamentum’s Fund 2
  • Gender diversity with Nidhi Bhasin
  • Additional work for SoftBank India head

Here’s your trivia for today: Which company owned the rights to the word “zombie”?


Investment

Fundamentum’s Fund

Fundamentum Partnership, the venture capital firm co-founded by Nandan Nilekani and Sanjeev Aggarwal, raised $227 million for its second fund as it looks to invest in growth-stage startups.

The VC fund had raised $100 million in its first fund and followed an investment strategy on a concentrated portfolio.

An overview:

  • Fundamentum has unicorn startups such as Pharmeasy and Spinny in its portfolio.
  • In its Fund 2, Fundamentum plans to lead or co-lead $25-40 million investment rounds and invest in four-five startups each year, typically in Series B or C stages.
  • The VC fund’s portfolio of companies from the first fund has collectively raised over $1 billion in follow-on rounds.

Top Deals of the Week

Startup: Sunstone Eduversity

Amount: $35M

Round: Series C

Startup: Shiprocket

Amount: $32.6M

Round: Undisclosed

Startup: Exponent Energy

Amount: $13M

Round: Series A


Leadership

Gender diversity with Nidhi Bhasin

Nidhi Bhasin is the CEO of NASSCOM Foundation, the social arm of the industry body. Having been in the development sector for over 20 years, she has seen the evolution of the social space in India.

In the first of our Women in Leadership series, we speak with Nidhi on diversity, inclusion and more.

Breaking the glass ceiling:

  • A firm believer in women’s empowerment and progress, when the opportunity to lead NASSCOM’s social arm came calling in May 2021, Nidhi knew this was her chance to do more.
  • From disability, education, and child sexual abuse, to a project at Tihar Jail to reform prisoners, her 20-year career exposed her to many social issues.
  • On gender bias in organisations and the largely male-dominated tech industry, Nidhi says she has been to forums and platforms where she has had to make way.

Investor

Additional work for SoftBank India head

Image credit: Softbank Website

Sumer Juneja, India head of SoftBank Vision Fund, will now have an additional responsibility. He will also look into investments of the private equity giant in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region.

Sumer joined SoftBank in December 2018 to establish its local presence in India. His elevation follows top-level management changes at the firm.

What’s happening:

  • Sumer is expected to shuttle between India and the UK to oversee the investments in the region.
  • SoftBank’s big bets in Europe are on the fintech unicorn Klarna and fantasy soccer platform Sorare.
  • SoftBank has witnessed a management churn at the top level, with Rajeev Misra stepping down from this primary role to run a new fund.

News & updates

  • Targeting inflation: Despite signs of inflation having peaked in India, the outlook remains highly uncertain, and bringing the retail price rise closer to the target of 4% is essential to help sustain economic growth over the medium term, members of the central bank's monetary policy committee said.
  • Frenzy crypto market: Bitcoin on Friday fell to its lowest level in more than three weeks, dropping below $22,000 amid a sudden crypto sell-off in early European trading. Bitcoin plunged from $22,738 to below $21,500 at 9:40 a.m. ET, according to CoinDesk data.
  • Spain’s Stonehenge: Following a brutal summer in rural Spain, one unexpected side-effect of the country's worst drought in decades has delighted archaeologists—the emergence of the Dolmen of Guadalperal but dubbed the Spanish Stonehenge, the circle of dozens of megalithic stones is believed to date back to 5000 BC.

Which company owned the rights to the word “zombie”?

Answer: Marvel Comics. Without an ongoing zombie series, Marvel lost the trademark for the word in 1996.


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