Day 1 at TechSparks 2022

Today's star-studded lineup included Zerodha's Nithin Kamath, Ola's Bhavish Aggarwal, OPEN's Mabel Chacko, and OYO's Ritesh Agarwal, among other prominent personalities.

Day 1 at TechSparks 2022

Friday November 11, 2022,

5 min Read

Hello Reader,

"Sabka time aayega," began YourStory's CEO and Founder, Shradha Sharma, flagging off the 13th edition of TechSparks 2022, adding "no one can take away from what you're due" in an inspiring opening note that set the tone for the rest of the day.

On Day 1 at TechSparks 2022, back for its 13th year in an offline avatar, the star-studded lineup included Zerodha's Nithin Kamath, Ola's Bhavish Aggarwal, Open's Mabel Chacko, and Oyo's Ritesh Agarwal, among other prominent personalities.

We also had influencers Bhuvan Bam and Ankur Warikoo speaking about their lives and how social media has evolved since they started.

Following an exciting first day, catch the edtech champions Byju Raveendran and Divya Gokulnath in an unfiltered conversation with Shradha Sharma, Founder and CEO of YourStory, on day 2, as they discuss the current state of the Indian edtech industry and what’s in store. 

Also, we have Kabeer Biswas, Co-founder and CEO of Dunzo, to spill the secrets behind building a 'Made in India' hyperlocal business. 

Meanwhile, we have also planned a special set of sessions focusing on Web3, and much more! So don’t miss out!

ICYMI: This "magnificent" tree, thought to be over 500 years old, is named the Woodland Trust's Tree of the Year.

Didn’t we tell you, old is gold!

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • Indian can lead with EVs: Bhavish Aggarwal
  • Beware of hyper-valuation: Nithin Kamath
  • 30 most promising Indian startups of 2022

Here’s your trivia for today: Which early web browser did Carnegie Mellon University develop?

TechSparks 2022

Indian can lead with EVs: Bhavish Aggarwal

The pandemic hit Ola's mobility business hard. However, Co-founder and Group CEO Bhavish Aggarwal told those at TechSparks 2022 that its auto-rickshaw and two-wheeler businesses had picked up.

And now the company has set its sight on making India a world leader in producing electric vehicles. Ola Electric's S1 and S1 Pro EV two-wheelers have already made the company one of the leaders in the segment.

“This is India’s moment; why can’t we make the country of our dreams in our lifespan?”

Ola's EV ambitions:

  • Ola Electric is focusing on sharpening the supply chain and leveraging existing infrastructure to create charging stations.
  • Bhavish emphasised that the culture of safety was ingrained in Ola Electric right from the design and engineering stages to the customer sales stage.
  • The founder has deferred the IPO plans to next year—which can be for either Ola or Ola Electric.
Bhavish Aggarwal

TechSparks 2022

Beware of hyper-valuation: Nithin Kamath 

Nithin Kamath, Founder and CEO of Zerodha, believes it's important to start learning how to handle finances from a young age.

“People like us go home and talk about taking risks and entrepreneurship. But the younger generation is a lot more prepared to take risks,” Nithin said at TechSparks 2022.

However, even when we become entrepreneurs and investors, we can fall into the cycle of hyper-funding and hyper-valuation, he said. This comes amid shares of public tech companies like Paytm, Zomato, and Nykaa plunging below IPO price.

Net worth isn't valuation:

  • Zerodha valued itself at $1 billion during an ESOP buyback programme in 2020. Later, the Hurun Startup Valuation list pegged its worth at $3 billion.
  • Nithin said hyper-funding and hyper-valuation put additional pressure on entrepreneurs to keep justifying numbers.
  • He added the ongoing funding winter "brings in resilience" as founders start focussing on burn rates and unit economics.
Nithin Kamath - TS

TechSparks 2022

30 most promising Indian startups of 2022

On Day 1 of India's most influential startup-tech summit, TechSparks 2022, YourStory unveiled Tech30—a specially curated list of India’s 30 most promising startups. First created 11 years ago, earlier winners included companies such as Freshworks, Chargebee, and Innovaccer.

"The startup ecosystem is going through challenging times, and that means that we don’t have to compete, but collaborate. And we will always be on your side in your future journey," said YourStory Founder and CEO Shradha Sharma.

Key points:

  • The Tech30 list of startups was curated out of 1,580+ applicants.
  • A little over 71% of applicants were based in Tier I cities, while 20 Tier II and beyond locations had applications from five or more startups.
  • A dozen Tech30 winners were backed by marquee investors such as Sequoia Capital India and Kunal Shah (Founder, CRED), and 6 were backed by Accel and Tiger Global.
Tech30 2022

News & updates

  • Smaller net loss for Zomato: Food delivery company Zomato reported a narrower loss for the second quarter, thanks to a rise in volumes and value of online orders. Adjusted core loss, excluding figures for its recently acquired quick-commerce business Blinkit, narrowed to $7.37 million. 
  • Unforeseen fallout: FTX, once the second largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, is now worthless, according to one of the company’s early investors. In a note to partners, the venture capital firm Sequoia announced it had written down its investment in FTX, worth $150 million, to nothing.
  • Twitter payments: Elon Musk detailed his vision for Twitter’s plan to enter the payments market. He suggested that, in the future, users would be able to send money to others on the platform, extract their funds to authenticated bank accounts and, later, perhaps, be offered a high-yield money market account to encourage them to move their cash to Twitter.

Here’s what you should watch out for

  • TechSparks 2022 Day 2
  • The US treasury secretary Janet Yellen will visit India to participate in the 9th India-US Economic and Financial Partnership (EFP) dialogue.

Which early web browser did Carnegie Mellon University develop?

Answer: Lycos

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