TechSparks comes to Mumbai!
TechSparks, the premier startup event of the country, is making its debut in Mumbai, and we could not be more excited!
Over the past 13 years, YourStory TechSparks has evolved as the destination for technology innovation, facilitating collaboration among entrepreneurs, policymakers, investors, and enablers in the ecosystem.
Taking place on March 22 and 23 at the Grand Hyatt Mumbai, this year's event will continue to focus on "Building on India's Tech Agenda," bringing together over 2,000 attendees and 150+ expert speakers to discuss the latest trends, innovations, and challenges facing the Indian startup ecosystem.
Meanwhile, IPO-bound PhonePe raised $350 million in funding at a pre-money valuation of $12 billion from private equity firm General Atlantic.
The latest valuation putsin the decacorn club (a term used for startups with a valuation of over $10 billion), along with peers , , , and .
In pics: Bengaluru city adorns a pink veil as pink trumpet trees are in full bloom.
In today’s newsletter, we will talk about
- Edtech cos expectations from Budget 2023
- Helping men look sharp
- An app for MENA readers
Here’s your trivia for today: What is the only number when written has all its letters in alphabetical order?
The edtech sector saw dramatic highs and lows in the last two years. The pandemic accelerated its adoption in 2020, a period that followed large cheques from investors. However, the reopening of offline classes and a funding winter dealt startups a double blow in 2022.
Industry players hope the government will introduce policies focused on building a stronger digital education ecosystem in the Budget 2023.
- Abhimanyu Saxena, Co-founder of and , says making educational services affordable through tax exemptions and lowering GST is a crucial demand.
- Industry leaders believe that more students could be encouraged to take up courses by reducing and subsidising interest rates on loans.
- Budget 2022 included key proposals such as Digital University to provide education on a hub-and-spoke model; DESH-Stack e-portal, a digital ecosystem for skilling and livelihood; and expansion of One Class, One TV Channel programme under PM e-VIDYA scheme from 12 to 200 TV channels.
Amount: Rs 50 Cr
Round: Pre-Series B
Until a few years ago, men wanting to up their grooming game had few products to choose from.decided to change that. Founded in 2015, the New Delhi-based D2C brand offers a range of skin, beard, haircare, and fragrances. It caters to the male audience in the age group 20-35.
A cut above the rest:
- Ustraa products, priced from Rs 199 to Rs 1,547, are available on its website and in over 45 marketplaces, including and .
- Its products are present in over 10,000 physical stores, which it plans to scale to 40,000 by the end of FY23
- Going forward, the startup wants to add variety to the product range in skincare and fragrance. Its focus will be on increasing its customer base by 2X on its website and 3X on marketplaces.
Founded in Tunisia,gives users summaries of bestselling non-fiction books in Arabic in under 20 minutes. Since its launch, the app has been downloaded 90,000 times across Android and iOS, with about 10% of the total downloads from the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
- At the moment, Reedz works on a freemium model. Users can access one podcast of the book every day.
- The full library of 200 summarised books is available after users pay a subscription fee that ranges between $2 and $8 monthly.
- Reedz raised an undisclosed amount in a pre-seed round from Flat6Labs Tunisia in 2021. It is now looking to close another pre-seed round by April.
News & updates
- Smile fades: is trying to find money wherever it can as the company announced that it would end AmazonSmile—a donation programme that redirects 0.5% of the cost of all eligible products toward charities. The separate website lets you browse and buy items just like on Amazon.com, but Amazon would keep track of your purchases and donate money on your behalf.
- Acquisitions: Sun Pharmaceutical will acquire US-based Concert Pharmaceuticals for $576 million in cash to gain access to its experimental drug for treating patchy baldness. The deal is the Indian drugmaker's biggest since its $3.2 billion acquisition of generic drugmaker Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd in 2014.
- Laundering: Binance, the world's largest crypto exchange, was named as a counterparty in an order against the little-known cryptocurrency exchange, Bitzlato, accused of laundering $700 million by US authorities. Binance was named as the top three receiving and sending counterparties associated with Bitzlato, according to the order from the Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).
What is the only number when written has all its letters in alphabetical order?
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