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ZestMoney has a new leadership team

Abhishek Sharma, Head of Growth; Mandar Satpute, Chief Banking Officer; and Mohit Chhajer, Vice President of Finance and Financial Operations (FinOps)–all internal appointments–will assume responsibility for leading ZestMoney.

ZestMoney has a new leadership team

Wednesday May 17, 2023 , 5 min Read


Zomato is spreading its wings. 

The foodtech company is going to offer payments through Unified Payments Interface (UPI) as a third-party application provider. It has partnered with ICICI Bank to offer both merchant and peer-to-peer payments. The move is expected to enable the company to list its own UPI offering for payments.

On the other hand, rival company Swiggy received yet another markdown as US-based asset management firm Baron Capital slashed the valuation of its holding in the firm by 34% to $50.9 million.

Elsewhere, Paytm has appointed Bhavesh Gupta, former CEO of Paytm's lending vertical, as its President and Chief Operating Officer (COO). He will be responsible for leading the verticals of lending, insurance, and payments—both online and offline—and will also drive key initiatives, including user growth, operations risk, fraud risk, and compliance.

ICYMI: Reminiscing about the days when airline food was fun.

Meanwhile, MakemyTrip is reaping the benefits of the renewed demand for travel. The NASDAQ-listed firm posted a profit of $5.4 million in the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2023. For the fiscal ended March 31, 2023, it reported a loss of $11.2 million, down from $45.6 million in FY22.

Lastly, a chart to trace how the adoption of electric vehicles will impact oil consumption.

Spoiler alert: EVs are predicted to save 886,700 barrels of oil per day in 2025.

No more liquid gold?

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • ZestMoney has a new leadership team
  • Inside Borzo’s hyperlocal playbook
  • Robotic toy kits for development

Here’s your trivia for today: Who was the first Disney princess to have biological siblings?


ZestMoney has a new leadership team

Troubled fintech startup ZestMoney, which saw three of its co-founders step down on May 15, now has a new leadership team. 

Abhishek Sharma, Head of Growth; Mandar Satpute, Chief Banking Officer; and Mohit Chhajer, Vice President of Finance and Financial Operations (FinOps)–all internal appointments–will assume responsibility for leading ZestMoney.

Taking the lead:

  • The news of the leadership change comes two months after the much-talked-about acquisition deal of the platform by PhonePe fell through.
  • ZestMoney Co-founders Lizzie Chapman, Priya Sharma, and Ashish Anantharaman will continue to be significant shareholders in the company.
  • Walmart-owned PhonePe was in talks to acquire ZestMoney for $200-$300 million since November 2022. However, in March, it walked away from the deal citing issues with due diligence. 

<Funding Alert>

Startup: RevenueHero

Amount: $5.1M

Round: Pre-Series A

Startup: StepChange 

Amount: $4M

Round: Seed

Startup: Agrara 

Amount: Rs 70 Cr 

Round: Series A


Inside Borzo’s hyperlocal playbook

Borzo, headquartered in the Netherlands, wants to capture a portion of India’s growing hyperlocal market. Previously known as WeFast, the logistics firm initially entered India in 2016. 

In early 2022, it started business-to-business (B2B) hyperlocal deliveries in the country and is now confident about significantly scaling its order volume in this segment.

On the right track:

  • Borzo was incorporated in Russia in 2012 as a door-to-door courier service. 
  • In January 2022, the company acquired Now, a Noida-based 90-minute intra-city delivery firm for an undisclosed sum, to fulfil last-mile deliveries. 
  • In India, it currently serves micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) by fulfilling door-to-door delivery of food, pharmaceutical products, and ecommerce items.


Robotic toy kits for development

Prashant Mamtora wanted to use toys as a way to assist in the cognitive development of children. In 2021, the engineer-turned-entrepreneur created an innovative solution to merge play and education, and launched a toy company–Havi.

The company has four do-it-yourself SKUs (stock keeping units)—robotics starter kit, robotic toy car, object sensor projects kit, and smart lighting kit—priced between Rs 1,227 and Rs 3,477. 

Building blocks:

  • Havi’s toy blocks allow children to unleash their imagination and creativity by constructing an array of practical items, including blind sticks, smart home systems, and sanitiser dispensers. 
  • The company, with a customer base of around 550, sells 70-100 kits per month. Its average monthly revenue is between Rs 75,000 and Rs 1 lakh. 
  • According to FICCI-KPMG, the Indian toy market is expected to double by 2025, with a projected value of $1 billion.

News & updates

  • Official rules: European Union states on Tuesday gave the final nod to the world's first comprehensive set of rules to regulate crypto assets on Tuesday, piling pressure on countries such as Britain and the United States to play catch up. The rules are expected to be rolled out in 2024.
  • Not a quick fix: Vodafone Group’s new turnaround plan—its biggest-ever job cuts and streamlining operations—isn’t going to pay off immediately. CEO Margherita Della Valle forecast flat profit and a roughly 30% decline in free cash flow for the fiscal year.
  • AI and health: Google Cloud launched two new AI-powered solutions to help biotech and pharma companies accelerate drug discovery and advance precision medicine. The two suites mark Google’s latest advancements in the red-hot AI arms race.

Who was the first Disney princess to have biological siblings?

Answer: Ariel, the fourth Disney princess, in The Little Mermaid (1989). She was the youngest of seven daughters of King Triton and Queen Athena.

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