Building an Indian metaverse

A second-time entrepreneur, Krishnan Sunderarajan of Shark Tank India fame, knows what it takes to build a startup from scratch. His observation of existing trends online led him to build the all-inclusive metaverse — Loka.
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Hello Reader,

Flipkart Co-founder Sachin Bansal's fintech startup Navi Technologies received the Securities and Exchange Board of India’s nod for an Initial Public Offering (IPO). Navi expects to raise Rs 3,550 crore through a fresh issue of equity shares. 

Meanwhile, Vedanta has reportedly picked Gujarat for its semiconductor project. This is the company’s first major step in its $20 billion joint venture with Taiwan's Foxconn, according to Reuters.

ICYMI: Leaked images and videos of a “Meta Quest Pro” virtual reality (VR) headset have surfaced a month ahead of Meta’s Connect event on October 11th. 

At least one of Meta’s upcoming four VR headsets is reportedly designed for work rather than gaming, and is reportedly called a “laptop for the face.” 

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • Building an Indian metaverse
  • BioPrime’s climate resilient crops
  • The journey of Nishtha Satyam

Here’s your trivia for today: In the 1930s, which country built an analogue computer that ran on water?


Metaverse

Building an Indian metaverse

During COVID-19, the odds of having a chance encounter were scarce. Socially distanced meetups and other online options became par over time. Naturally, the pandemic also pushed the metaverse to the forefront–people found love, friendships and other important relationships within these universes. 

A second-time entrepreneur, Krishnan Sunderarajan of Shark Tank India fame, knows what it takes to build a startup from scratch. His observation of existing trends online led him to build the all-inclusive metaverse — Loka

What’s happening:

  • In the simplest form, Loka can be considered a metaverse multiplayer game, where users can interact with game replicas of Indian cities and visit its iconic destinations. 
  • Loka has nearly two lakh users and is expanding on its existing B2B business of hosting events on its metaverse. 
  • It recently partnered with electronics maker boAt Lifestyle to host a K-pop concert on its metaverse.

Agritech 

BioPrime’s climate resilient crops

A PhD in plant biology, Renuka Diwan, along with fellow PhD scholars Shekhar Bhosale and Amit Shinde, started BioPrime in 2016. 

The Pune-based agri-biotech startup develops bio-molecules that ensure optimum plant growth and performance, ensuring crops that are capable of withstanding adverse climatic conditions.

What it offers:

  • BioPrime has eight products in the market, which fall into three categories: stress mitigation, growth enhancement, and yield enhancement. 
  • At present, BioPrime products are used by farmers in Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Andhra Pradesh. 
  • According to filings with the Registrar of Companies, the startup earned revenue of about Rs 89 lakh in FY21.

Inspiration

The journey of Nishtha Satyam

On a balmy but breezy evening, Nishtha Satyam—Head of Mission, UN Women in Timor Leste (East Timor)—sits down for a Zoom interview from the Southeast Asian nation, and in the background, there is that distinctive sound of splashing waves.

In this week’s Women in Leadership series, we spoke to Nishtha Satyam, whose journey to the upper echelons of UN Women is nothing short of an inspiration.

New milestones:

  • Nishtha joined American Express as an analyst soon after her graduation, and worked with a couple of companies, including KPMG, before joining the UN in 2012.
  • She recalls working for the UN was a long-held fascination that saw its origin when she visited the UN building on a trip to New York as a child, and yet a dream that remained unfulfilled until her late 20s.
  • Speaking of the challenges she has overcome in her professional journey, she points to the everyday trials of working in a bureaucracy, sometimes too slow, sometimes too old-fashioned.

News & updates

  • NFT with coffee: Starbucks is today officially introducing Starbucks Odyssey, the coffee chain’s v venture into building with Web3 technology.
  • Twitter deal: Microblogging platform Twitter on Monday said that payments to a whistleblower did not breach any of its obligations under the $44 billion acquisition proposed by Elon Musk, after the billionaire sent a third letter to try to call off the deal.
  • Going green: A long-awaited software upgrade to the Ethereum blockchain aimed at slashing its huge energy consumption is expected this week. The upgrade, known as the "Merge," will mark a radical change to how transactions on the Ethereum blockchain occur and ether tokens are created.

Here’s what you should watch out for

  • The launch of the 8th edition of the Bangalore Business Literature Festival
  • France’s Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna begins her three-day visit to India. 

In the 1930s, which country built an analogue computer that ran on water?

Answer: Soviet Union. Although the first computers were mechanical and ran on vacuum tubes, scientists across the world experimented with different mediums. Built by Vladimir Lukyanov in 1936, the "Water Integrator" solved partial differential equations using several interconnected pipes and pumps. 


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