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Behind the scenes at OTPless

Long before Bhavik took charge as the CEO of OTPless this month, he and his former BharatPe colleagues Tanmay Sagar and Satyam Nathani had been working on building the WhatsApp-linked authentication platform with unicorn ambitions.

Behind the scenes at OTPless

Thursday January 19, 2023 , 4 min Read


Sadly, the layoffs continue. 

This time it is Microsoft. The software giant announced laying off 10,000 employees through March 31 as it braces for slower revenue growth. 

The move will reduce Microsoft’s headcount by less than 5%, and some employees will find out this week if they’re losing their jobs, CEO Satya Nadella said.

Closer to home, Sequoia India-backed GoMechanic has laid off 70% of its workforce as it grapples with a funding crunch after the existing and prospective investors found that the founders had misstated facts.

The Gurugram-based car servicing startup was raising funds by misleading investors about its sales numbers and costs, sources told YourStory. In a LinkedIn post, CEO Amit Bhasin admitted the company made errors in financial reporting.

In other news, archaeologists in Norway have discovered the world's oldest dated runestone, featuring runic inscriptions from up to 2,000 years ago.

The reddish-brown sandstone boulder, named "Svingerudsteinen," or "the Svingerud Stone"—after the site where it was found—measures about a foot in height and width, and dates between 1 and 250 AD.

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • Behind the scenes at OTPless
  • Budget wishlist for gig economy
  • Sustainable fashion with Bihar roots

Here’s your trivia for today: Although it sounds like the fear of a Marvel villain, thanatophobia is a dread of what?


Behind the scenes at OTPless

Over a dinner conversation, Bhavik Koladiya, Tanmay Sagar, and Satyam Nathani decided to start OTPless with one idea in mind: allow folks to log into websites and other platforms using WhatsApp. The "jugaadus" have unicorn ambitions and are building a solution for small and medium-sized entrepreneurs.

Building secure alternative:

  • OTPless has signed up 2,000 clients, including BharatPe, PostPe, Freo, CityMall, EasyEats, GameZop, Capri Global, and Park+.
  • Bhavik says the clients have noticed an increase in login conversion by almost 25% after switching from email to WhatsApp authentication.
  • The startup recently raised a seed round of about $2.7 million.

Budget 2023

Budget wish list for gig economy

The largely informal gig economy has high expectations from the upcoming Union Budget 2023 on social security, minimum wage, tax relief, and upskilling. Industry observers say the Budget should focus on schemes that encourage MSMEs and enterprises that employ gig workers.

Meaningful employment:

  • Fyn Mobility Co-founder and CEO Visakh Sasikumar says it’s critical to have policies on educational and housing loans for gig workers.
  • Gig economy workers should be under the purview of the Minimum Wages Act, Umanshi Marketing Founder Tamanna Gupta recommends.
  • Sales and service tax relief would enable smaller organisations to invest in hiring more people, says Ajay Kumar Singh, CBO of Billion Careers.
gig enonomy


Sustainable fashion with Bihar roots

Sumati Jalan started Bihart, a fashion brand that promotes various crafts from Bihar, to change unfair perceptions about the state. Bihart’s portfolio consists of Indian wear for men and women.

Bihar on fashion map:

  • The fabric used in all products is hand-spun and hand-woven.
  • Bihart employs an omnichannel approach, with offline stores in Patna and through its website, Instagram, and ecommerce platforms.
  • It works with four clusters of weavers, teaching and upskilling them and introducing them to new motifs.
This entrepreneur is reviving dying arts of Bihar and building a brand that 'Biharis’ can feel proud of

Patna-based Bihart is a sustainable fashion brand that is working to extend the life of dying crafts of Bihar while creating high-quality handmade clothes that appeal to a wider market.

News & updates

  • Raising funds: Gautam Adani’s Adani Enterprises Ltd. is offering investors discounts of 10%-15% in India’s biggest follow-on share sale as the billionaire tries to woo a wider set of backers. The conglomerate is seeking to raise $2.5 billion by selling shares in a price band of Rs 3,112 to 3,276 a piece, according to an exchange filing.
  • Recall: Maruti Suzuki is recalling 17,362 vehicles manufactured between December 8, 2022, and January 12, 2023, over a possible defect in its airbag controllers. The recall is to inspect and replace the affected part of the airbag controller, which could, in rare situations, not deploy the airbags and seat belt pretensioners in the event of a vehicle crash.
  • Carbon offset: The forest carbon offsets approved by the world’s leading provider Verra and used by Disney, Shell, Gucci, and other big corporations are largely worthless and could make global heating worse, according to a new investigation. More than 90% of their rainforest offset credits—among the most commonly used by companies—are likely to be “phantom credits” and do not represent genuine carbon reductions.

Although it sounds like the fear of a Marvel villain, thanatophobia is a dread of what?

Answer: Death.

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