Detangling Web3 with Kirthiga Reddy

Virtualness, whose team is spread across the United States, India, Dubai, and Singapore, is expected to launch its platform in the first half of 2023.

Detangling Web3 with Kirthiga Reddy

Friday February 17, 2023,

5 min Read


Indian airlines are on a shopping spree like no other.

After procuring a record order of 470 jets from Airbus and Boeing, Air India now has options and purchase rights to buy 370 more aircraft from the aircraft makers over the next decade.

Then, 200-day-old Akasa Air has taken delivery of 17 Boeing 737 MAX planes out of a total order of 72 jets that will be delivered by March 2027. The fledgling budget airline is looking to capitalise on booming demand at home and begin international flights, CEO Vinay Dube told Reuters.

Meanwhile, AI photo apps are already out of fashion, with download numbers peaking in mid-December and dropping heavily since. And it could be because ChatGPT took over the internet.

ICYMI: A personalised licence plate, bearing the alphabet ‘R’, was sold for HK$25.5 million ($3.2 million) at a Lunar New Year auction in Hong Kong. Did you know that ‘R’ represents “good fortune for the next 20 years” in feng shui?

Interestingly, this sale was just short of a record HK$26 million bid for the letter “W” in 2021.

Oh, and if you like numbers and statistics, this video is for you. All the world leaders in one place—from the happiest country to the country with the most educated people, and more.

Guess who leads the world in chocolate consumption. Unsurprisingly, Switzerland.

In today’s newsletter, we talk about 

  • Detangling Web3 with Kirthiga Reddy
  • Mr Bartender and The Crew 
  • Shoes that grow with children

Here’s your trivia for today: Sequoia Capital formed its first VC fund in 1974. Which was the first company it backed?


Detangling Web3 with Kirthiga Reddy


In the tech startup world, where the near-absence of female founders is conspicuous, Kirthiga Reddy, Co-founder and CEO of Virtualness, stands out with her mobile-first platform. Virtualness makes it easy for creators and brands to capture the value-creation opportunity that blockchain and Web3 present and scale businesses.

The launchpad:

  • Virtualness, whose team is spread across the United States, India, Dubai, and Singapore, is expected to launch its platform in the first half of 2023. 
  • Its pre-launch investment round was over-subscribed, revealing the importance of the domain and the value of an integrated, simplified Web3 platform.
  • A believer in dreaming big, Kirthiga’s advice for women is to “have high aspirations and write them down”.


Mr Bartender and The Crew

Mr.Bartender and The Crew

Staying out all night and jamming to music while perfecting that one martini is something that Fay Barretto had yearned for as a bartender. However, after being misgendered by patrons and finding no support from his co-workers, he decided to launch Mr Bartender and The Crew.

The right mix:

  • The collective provides online training and employment opportunities to marginalised communities and is focused on bringing equitable representation of all genders in the industry. 
  • Apart from holding offline training sessions, it also focuses on conducting sensitisation workshops to make the industry more inclusive for the LGBTQIA+ community. 
  • It is now looking to train victims of human trafficking and slum dwellers to create better livelihood opportunities.


Shoes that grow with children


Satyajit Mittal and Krutika Lal launched Pune-based Aretto to help children find shoes that grow with them. The startup makes podiatrist-approved shoes for children that are 360-degree flexible, breathable, adaptive in size, and stretch up to three sizes due to the use of “insole, upper, and sole technology”.

Sole mates:

  • The unisex shoes are designed by an in-house team and manufactured in India.
  • The startup offers 38 product lines, and the shoes come in nine styles, five sizes, and four categories, with prices ranging from Rs 1,699 to Rs 2,899.
  • Aretto has sold more than 3,000 pairs till now and registered 100% month-on-month growth. The startup generated Rs 12 lakh in revenue last month. 

News & updates

  • Back on feet: WeWork turned a core profit in December for the first time since it went public. The office-sharing firm, which went public in 2021, said that for the "first time in WeWork’s history", it had achieved adjusted EBITDA profit. Shares of WeWork rose as much as 4% pre-market on Thursday.
  • Against odds: Crypto markets rose on Thursday, shrugging off a tougher regulatory stance from the US government. Bitcoin gained 2.4% to $24,579.55 at around 7:45 am ET, while Ether was up more than 1% at $1,686.87, according to Coin Metrics.
  • Swapsies: One of the world’s biggest airline caterers is swapping prawns for chicken to help save costs as the aviation industry emerges from the pandemic. Singapore’s SATS said prawns that used to be available on certain flights are sometimes replaced by chicken as the meat is cheaper. 

Sequoia Capital formed its first VC fund in 1974. Which was the first company it backed?

Answer: Gaming company Atari. In 1975, Sequoia invested $600,000 in the firm.

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