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Swiggy shuts down Handpicked

Swiggy recently introduced an ecommerce offering Maxx, yet another pilot service for consumers in Bengaluru.

Swiggy shuts down Handpicked

Wednesday May 03, 2023 , 5 min Read

Hello,

The Godfather has left the building.

After a decade at Google, Geoffrey Hinton, also known as the “godfather of AI”, is leaving the company. Now, he plans to warn of the risks of the technology he received his PhD in 45 years ago.

In an interview with The New York Times, Hinton expressed some regrets over his life’s work, citing the near-term risks of AI taking jobs and the proliferation of fake photos, videos, and text that appear real to the average person. He also told CNBC that he now thinks digital intelligence can “acquire hugely more knowledge than any individual biological agent.”

Speaking of AI wreaking havoc, US-based edtech company Chegg is feeling the heat as its shares plunged more than 40% in early trading on Tuesday after the company said OpenAI’s ChatGPT is threatening the growth of its homework-help services. Additionally, AI will impact about 30% of employees, or 26,000 jobs, at IBM over a 5-year period as the company plans to stop or slow hiring for non-customer-facing roles it believes will be replaced by AI. 

And regulation of AI also features in the list of demands among the 11,500 Hollywood writers belonging to The Writers Guild of America, which went on their first strike in 15 years on Tuesday. While the union doesn’t oppose using AI as a tool, it says it should not share writing credits, or get a chunk of the residuals.

Meanwhile, BharatPe Group has acquired a 51% stake in Mumbai-based NBFC Trillion Loans. The company will continue to operate as an independent entity with its own team under the supervision of the board. ​​This deal is set to bolster BharatPe's lending play as it will allow the company to offer loans and credit facilities without relying on partners.

Lastly, take a look at California’s retro games arcades.

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • Swiggy shuts down Handpicked
  • Overcoming adversity to revive business
  • Giving differently-abled new hope

Here’s your trivia for today: Who were the first mountain climbers to successfully ascend Mount Everest without using bottled oxygen? 


Foodtech

Swiggy shuts down Handpicked

Swiggy has closed down Handpicked, its premium grocery delivery service, just six months after rolling out a pilot for users in Bengaluru. "Handpicked was being piloted in a few zones in Bengaluru and we have had several positive learnings from it," a spokesperson told YourStory.

Swiggy's services:

  • Handpicked was introduced in December 2022 to provide gourmet local food products, ready-to-cook meats, spreads, and region-specific food.
  • Swiggy recently launched ecommerce service Maxx with the promise of delivering orders within an hour.
  • Last month, it rebranded its morning grocery delivery service, Supr Daily, to InsanelyGood, with a focus on locally sourced and organic food items.
grocery delivery


Funding Alert

Startup: Ace Turtle

Amount: $34M

Round: Series B

Startup: Pocket FM

Amount: $16M

Round: Debt

Startup: HYPD Stores

Amount: $4M

Round: Pre-Series A


Inspiration

Overcoming adversity to revive business

Chinmayie Bhat has seen many ups and downs as the co-founder of the baby carrier brand Soulslings. The pandemic stopped the brand's international sales and Bhat also lost her husband, who was managing manufacturing operations. From zero sales in 2020, today, the enterprise sells 500-600 baby carriers monthly, with an increase of 20% MoM.

Bouncing back:

  • Between 2014 and 2019, Soulslings was selling around 1,600 baby carriers per month across 30 countries.
  • To revive the business, Bhat established an online presence, launched a D2C website, and re-engaged with her customer base. 
  • She is now partnering with a hospital to organise a workshop for new mothers on baby-wearing and is also reconnecting with distribution and retail channels internationally.
Soulslings


Social Work

Giving differently-abled new hope

Noticing a mother unable to support her child's therapy, Shraddha Soparkar realised many children don't have the financial support for health treatments. In 2019, she started Madhuram Charitable Trust to help specially-abled children with physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, corrective surgeries for joints, botox surgeries, hearing aids, and crutches.

Goodwill:

  • Madhuram Charitable Trust has tied up with hospitals, including Sparsh Paediatric Rehabilitation Clinic and Hishu Child Development and Intervention Centre, to provide therapy and surgeries.
  • In 2021, the trust started a programme called Stepathon, where it provides free prosthetic legs to underprivileged people.
  • So far, it has distributed nearly 220 prosthetic legs that are imported from Ottobock—a German company dealing in orthopaedic technology.
Madhuram Trust


News & updates

  • Beyond borders: Coinbase launched an international exchange for cryptocurrency derivatives as it looks to expand its global footprint amid tensions between the crypto sector and regulators in the US. The exchange will let institutional users in eligible jurisdictions outside the US to trade in perpetual futures.
  • Location denied: Apple and Google are working together to prevent lost item trackers like Apple’s AirTag from being used to track people without permission. The companies came together to draft a new industry standard that will add the ability to alert victims to unwanted trackers in Android and iOS.
  • Spirited growth: Japan’s major breweries are giving investors plenty to cheer about as their shares outperform the broader market on prospects of price hikes, more favourable taxation, and a rebound in tourism. Asahi Group, Kirin Holdings, and Sapporo Holdings have all climbed more than 9% this year. 


Who were the first mountain climbers to successfully ascend Mount Everest without using bottled oxygen? 

Answer: Reinhold Messner and Peter Habeler in 1978. Two years later, Messner returned to Mount Everest and become the second-ever climber to successfully complete a solo ascent—again without supplemental oxygen.


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