Layoffs at Synapsica
The Diwali spirit is already here!
A bit of good news as startup funding saw a sharp rise in the third week of October to $419 million from just $97 million the previous week. More than half of it was raised by BYJU’S ($250 million) .
Oh, and T-Hub is going international! The Hyderabad-based incubator launched T-Hub Chicago to enable the tech ecosystem there, as well as help Indian startups scale globally.
In other news, Google said it will review Competition Commission's decision to impose a Rs 1,338-crore penalty for alleged anti-competitive practices, and termed the order a "major setback" for Indian consumers and businesses.
But Diwali is the time for gifts, and we’ve curated the ultimate gifting guide for you to find the perfect presents for the festival of lights.
Lastly, here’s why so many people love to laminate.
“Life in plastic, it’s fantastic!”
In today’s newsletter, we will talk about
- Layoffs at amid fraud probe
- pilots electric cabs in Delhi
- The joy of telling simple stories
Here’s your trivia for today: Which luxury fabric is made from the leaves of the pineapple plant?
Y Combinator-backed healthtech startup Synapsica, already bruised by the recent detention of two of its founders, has laid off nearly 30 of its 100-odd employees citing market conditions, according to people familiar with the developments.
The startup, which provides AI-based radiology reporting solutions, resorted to the layoffs as part of a restructuring and to redefine its business goals, said Co-founder and CTO Kuldeep Singh Chauhan.
All details here:
- Police detained Co-founders Meenakshi Singh (CEO) and Dr. Cherian (COO) last month in a financial fraud investigation brought by a former founding and core-team member.
- CTO Kuldeep Singh added that the company has provided two months' worth of severance payouts to the employees who have been laid off and that it would also assist them in finding a job.
- Founded in 2018, Synapsica raised $4.2 million in a Series A round from investors, including Y Combinator, IvyCap Ventures, and Endiya Partners, last year.
With cab aggregators like Ola and BluSmart launching EV cabs on Indian roads, Uber is also matching step by piloting electric cabs in Delhi under Uber Electric.
In a statement, Uber said, "We have begun offering riders the choice of an electric vehicle on pre-scheduled trips under the Reserve feature on the Uber app. Uber Electric remains limited to parts of Delhi-NCR currently."
EV in Delhi:
- While the company has not shared any detail on the development, Uber said the app would not allow the rider to immediately book the electric cab.
- Users would have to schedule a pickup up to 30 days in advance. The cancellation at no charge is available up to 60 minutes in advance
- In 2021, Uber came out with the Green Future programme to provide cab drivers access to resources valued at $800 million to help them transition to battery EVs by 2025.
Film producer Siddharth Roy Kapur has an affinity for simple stories that celebrate the wins of people.
Whether it is Barfi!, a love story about a man with speaking and hearing disabilities, or Dangal, about a father from Haryana who trains his daughters to become world-class wrestlers, Siddharth is drawn to inspiring stories. His latest production, Chhello Show (Last Film Show), a Gujarati film, focuses on a young boy from a village in Saurashtra, his love for cinema, and his dream of becoming a filmmaker.
Following big dreams:
- Chhello Show, directed by Pan Nilan, is India’s official entry to the Oscars in the best international feature film category. It premiered at the Tribeca Festival in New York City last year.
- Siddharth points out that stories rooted in the local milieu have the potential to go global.
- While scouting for films to produce, Siddharth has always focussed on the script and looked for non-formulaic stories.
News & updates
- By hook or by debt: Startups are brushing aside higher interest rates and taking on debt, in part to avoid resetting prices for equity stakes in their companies, after years of easy money pushed private-market valuations to record highs.
- Clean energy: Gautam Adani is in exploratory talks for a giant renewables project in Morocco, which would aim to supply electricity and emissions-free fuel to Europe. Adani is considering building wind and solar generation plants and facilities to produce green hydrogen for export.
- Staying private: Grocery delivery app Instacart is likely to postpone its plans to go public in 2022 amid market uncertainty that has left investors worried about growing volatility in capital markets. The tech IPO market globally is in the middle of its worst drought in nearly two decades.
What you should watch out for
- may launch an affordable Rs 80,000 e-scooter.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hand out appointment letters to 75,000 youths across the country for government jobs.
- The narrow-gauge Neral-Matheran railway will begin after a three-year hiatus.
- It's Dhanteras.
Which luxury fabric is made from the leaves of the pineapple plant?
Answer: Piña, traditionally hand-woven in the Philippines.
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