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Free bus ride for women sparks mixed reactions; 100X.VC backs 22 startups in 9th cohort

Under the Karnataka Shakti Scheme, women, and those from the transgender community, can avail of free bus travel anywhere in the state, without any limits on the kilometres. Critics say the initiative will increase tax burden.

Free bus ride for women sparks mixed reactions; 100X.VC backs 22 startups in 9th cohort

Sunday June 25, 2023 , 5 min Read


Big Tech is making big bets on India. 

Amazon plans to invest $15 billion more in India, taking its total investment in the country to $26 billion, a top official of the company has said.

After meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday in the US, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said the company has already invested $11 billion in India to date.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai also met Modi on Friday to discuss the company’s plans for India, including collaborations in areas of artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, fintech, and skill development.

In other news, drone maker ideaForge Technology has said it has mobilised Rs 255 crore from anchor investors ahead of its initial share sale that opens for public subscription on Monday.

And, it turns out that Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg are “absolutely dead serious” about trading blows in the Octagon, and fans will have to pay up if they want to watch. 

How much would the pay-per-view cost? About $100, according to UFC  (Ultimate Fighting Championship) President Dana White. 

ICYMI: Netflix is offering users a chance to star in a Black Mirror episode! Well, not exactly Netflix, but the fictional streaming service, Streamberry. Warning: The links contain spoilers for Season 6 of the science fiction anthology series.

Black Mirror’s latest season took a cheeky shot at Netflix, and now the company is joining in on the fun. It has launched a website for where users can upload their photos and become a subject of the fictional show. 

Oh, and here are 10 award-winning drone photographs from around the world, including two from India. 

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • A closer look at Karnataka Shakti Scheme 
  • 100X.VC backs 22 startups in 9th cohort
  • Bengaluru’s blossoming love for reading 

Here’s your trivia for today: Although used as a word to describe diving, what does the acronym Scuba stand for?

Women empowerment 

Free bus rides for women spark mixed reactions

Shakti scheme

Shakti Scheme, a flagship scheme of the Government of Karnataka, aims to empower women and the transgender community by providing free bus service. HerStory spoke to women from different walks of life about what they think of the initiative. 

Key takeaways:

  • Under the scheme, women, and those from the transgender community, can avail of free bus travel anywhere in the state, without any limits on the kilometres.
  • Saroja Kannapa, General Secretary of the Garment Labour Union, believes that the initiative has been beneficial for garment workers.
  • Although Kannapa is optimistic about the initiative, she notes that the buses have become overcrowded and their frequency has dipped.

Venture Capital 

100X.VC backs 22 startups in 9th cohort

investment funding

Mumbai-based venture capital firm 100X.VC has invested $3.4 million in 22 startups that are part of its 9th cohort. This takes the fund's total portfolio of investments to 127 startups since its launch in July 2019.

The new set of portfolio companies was announced during the VC Pitch Day, which was held in Mumbai on Saturday. 


  • The venture capital firm has invested Rs 1.25 crore per startup.
  • In its 9th cohort this year, 100X.VC shortlisted 709 companies from an application pool of 4210 startups, before investing in 22 companies. 
  • The portfolio companies hail from 11 cities including Mumbai, Bengaluru, Delhi, Pune, Ahmedabad, Noida, and Kolkata.


Bengaluru’s love for reading

book culture

Bengaluru, known for its many IT parks and startups, is also home to a number of iconic brick-and-mortar book retail stores. YS Life takes a closer look at the reading culture of the city. 


  • Blossom Book House, where Bengaluru’s readers have thronged to, for over two decades, began as a small store in 2002 on Church Street selling fresh and second-hand copies.
  • In Bengaluru, 1.25 crore people have registered on the Karnataka state’s digital library portal, says Satishkumar S Hosamani, Director of the Department of Public Libraries, Government of Karnataka, Bengaluru
  • On June 17, a quiet reading community that regularly meets in Cubbon Park on Saturdays between 9 AM and 2 PM, saw more than 600 attendees.  

News & updates

  • Tech deal: IBM is in talks to buy software company Apptio as part of a deeper push into automation technology, The Wall Street Journal reported.
  • Stress test: Meta and the European Union (EU) have agreed on a stress test in July on the EU's online content rules, following EU industry chief Thierry Breton's demand that the social media platform act immediately over Meta's content targeting children.
  • AI dubbing: YouTube is testing a new tool that will help creators automatically dub their videos into other languages using AI. The company has teamed up with AI-powered dubbing service Aloud, which is part of Google’s in-house incubator Area 120.

Although commonly used to describe diving, what does the word Scuba stand for?

Answer: Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus

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