Upskilling tribal women in rural MP; Physics Wallah to expand in South India

Kumbaya is a brand—for apparel, patchwork home linen, and accessories—that has grown into a producers’ company, empowering women and people with disabilities with the art of stitching. Investors of Mojocare have found “financial irregularities” and are moving to scale down its operations.

Upskilling tribal women in rural MP; Physics Wallah to expand in South India

Monday June 19, 2023,

5 min Read

Hello,

Startups cannot seem to catch a break this year.

Investors of Mojocare have found “financial irregularities” and are moving to scale down its operations. Backed by Peak XV, B Capital, and Chiratae Ventures, this comes after the Bengaluru-headquartered health and wellness startup laid off some 150 employees earlier this week.

In a joint statement, the investors said they were reviewing the startup’s financials, and their findings thus far suggested that Mojocare’s business model is “not sustainable due to a variety of operational and market factors”.

Meanwhile, the SEC has reached a deal with Binance to allow it to keep operating in the US and safeguard customer assets as the company battles a government lawsuit. 

But troubles for the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange aren’t over yet. On Sunday, CEO Changpeng Zhao tweeted that the company has issued a cease and desist order against ‘Binance Nigeria Limited’, calling it a "scammer entity".

Earlier this month, Nigeria's markets regulator ordered Binance to halt its operations in the country, saying that the local unit ‘Binance Nigeria Limited’ courted domestic investors illegally.

ICYMI: The Beatles is going to make a comeback—for one last song. And it’s all thanks to AI!

Sir Paul McCartney, in an interview with the BBC, revealed that he has used artificial intelligence to create "the final Beatles record", using the technology to "extricate" John Lennon's voice from an old demo. This is going to be the band’s first ‘new’ music in 25 years since the release of Free As A Bird and Real Love in 1995 and 96.

AI making the impossible possible—one algorithm at a time.

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • Upskilling tribal women in rural MP
  • Zomato’s impact on India’s food journey
  • Physics Wallah to expand in South India

Here’s your trivia for today: Which American state is the largest (by area)? 


Women empowerment

Upskilling tribal women in rural MP

Kumbaya

In 1994, Nivedita Banerji started Kumbaya as a stitching centre in Jatashankar, a tiny village in Bagli Tehsil of the Dewas district in Madhya Pradesh. Today, it is owned and operated by more than 100 women from marginalised communities.

Stitch in time:

  • Kumbaya is a brand—for apparel, patchwork home linen, and accessories—that has grown into a producers’ company, empowering women and people with disabilities with the art of stitching.
  • In due course, the women started working on designs for simple garments and the collections grew. The demand for stitching spread, and Banerji was inundated with requests to open centres in nearby villages. 
  • It has partnered with brands like Labvisby in Sweden, Alcana in Australia, Rani & Reine in Germany, Zazi Vintage in Amsterdam, and Naushad Ali in India.


Foodtech

Zomato’s impact on India’s food journey

zomato

In 2008, it all started with scanning a few restaurant menus to simplify the lives of Bain & Company employees. This is at a time when ordering in wasn’t the culture, and those who did would call the restaurant to place the order, hoping that the person on the other side heard it correctly. The ‘revolution’ was still a few years away. 

This is Zomato’story—the company which started with a ready-made PMF and created a need we didn’t know was missing from our lives. 

Takeaway, please:

  • With over 1.4 million listed restaurants, 12,000 restaurant partners, and 285,000 delivery partners with a presence in over 1,000 cities, Zomato’s story is unlike any. 
  • On November 16, 2021, Zomato’s share price skyrocketed to an all-time high of Rs 169.10 apiece on BSE. However, by the end of the year, the stock price experienced a decline and closed at Rs 137.45. 
  • The market today is completely different, and Zomato has competitors in the category it created. But that doesn’t bother Deepinder Goyal, who knows Zomato is in it for the long haul.


Edtech

Physics Wallah to expand in South India

Alakh Pandey PW

Edtech unicorn Physics Wallah (PW) has entered into a strategic partnership with Kerala-based edtech firm Xylem Learning, under which it plans to invest Rs 500 crore over the next three years. 

The partnership is aimed to strengthen the presence of PW in the southern market, and involves strategic equity and cash investments in Xylem and scaling up operations.

Expansion mode:

  • Founded by 26-year-old MBBS graduate Ananthu S, Xylem Learning claims to have a strong presence in the Kerala market and plans to now expand to Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and other southern markets.
  • At present, Xylem Learning provides free classes to over three million students through its 30 YouTube channels. 
  • It has more than one lakh paid students across its various online courses and 30,000 students in its offline or hybrid centres located across five prime districts of Kerala.


News & updates

  • Return to air: The Paris Air Show—a trade event where companies get a chance to showcase new technology, commercial, and military aircraft, and strike deals—returns during a surge in air travel demand, with airlines starving for jets to feed it.
  • Israel bound: Chipmaker Intel Corp will spend $25 billion on a new factory in Israel, the largest-ever international investment in the country. The factory in Kiryat Gat is due to open in 2027, to operate through 2035 at least and to employ thousands of people. 
  • Legit banking: Hong Kong regulators are planning a second meeting in less than two months to push banks to offer services to virtual-asset firms as it seeks to become an international crypto hub. The discussion will focus on how to address the challenges crypto firms face in opening bank accounts.


Which American state is the largest (by area)? 

Answer: Alaska.


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