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WhatsApp Business API price worries SMBs; Meet India's first woman wind foiler

Small business owners are worried about WhatsApp’s potential to establish a monopolistic hold in business messaging. Coelho was the first and only Indian sailor to represent India at the Youth Olympics in 2014. HealthifyMe will use the funds to develop its AI-powered products.

WhatsApp Business API price worries SMBs; Meet India's first woman wind foiler

Thursday June 08, 2023 , 4 min Read

Hello,

How much economic freedom do you have?

Visual Capitalist maps the annual Index of Economic Freedom from the Heritage Foundation here.

In other news, Google Pay launched an Aadhaar-based UPI registration via NPCI to help users set their UPI PIN without a debit card, aimed at making UPI available to more users and further financial inclusion.

Meanwhile, New York emerged as the most expensive city for expats, overtaking Hong Kong. However, the biggest riser of the year was Istanbul, which climbed 95 spots to 108th place, on the back of an 80% surge in prices. 

Oh, did you know that the future of flying could mean double-decker seats and bunk beds?

Are you ready?

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • WhatsApp Business API price worries SMBs
  • Meet India's first woman wind foiler
  • HealthifyMe secures $30 million

Here’s your trivia for today: Which famous inventor is known as the "Wizard of Menlo Park"?


Small businesses

WhatsApp Business API price worries SMBs

WhatsApp's revised business API pricing policy—designed for large companies with huge messaging volumes—has worried small business owners. While many are worried the high costs will affect marketing budgets, there are also concerns about WhatsApp’s potential to establish a monopolistic hold in business messaging.

Monopoly:

  • Earlier, businesses were charged flat Rs 0.48 for a 24-hour customer service window. The price has increased to Rs 0.72 for promotional messages and dropped to Rs 0.30 for utility conversations.
  • “Our promotions on WhatsApp will cost us around 50% more now," says Naman Dhamija of Dharishah Ayurveda, which will reconsider its strategy of targeting 30,000 people in a month.
  • “The market penetration is so deep that it is almost impossible for an existing user to exit the platform,” says Anubhav Bansal, Founder, HealthMug, adding the open rate for WhatsApp ranges between 70-80%.
WhatsApp revised pricing policy


Funding Alert

Startup: Course5 Intelligence

Amount: $53M

Round: Equity

Startup: HealthifyMe

Amount: $30M

Round: Pre-Series D

Startup: Lentra

Amount: $27M

Round: Series B


Sports

Meet India's first woman wind foiler

Katya Ida Coelho is the first and only Indian sailor to represent the country at the Youth Olympics in 2014. The 23-year-old is now all set to represent India again in Asian Games 2023 and will be competing in the wind foiling category.

Sailing ahead:

  • Each day, Coelho dedicates a minimum of two hours to rigorous exercise, focusing on enhancing her muscle strength.
  • She trained for IQFoil windsurfing last year. She says that with wind foiling, an athlete needs to put on more muscle weight to maximise the speed in the direction of the wind to go faster.
  • Since there is not enough women participation, she has had to participate in the men’s category many times. However, she believes her participation in the Asian Games can open doors for other women.
Katya


Healthtech

HealthifyMe secures $30 million

Health and fitness platform HealthifyMe secured $30 million in a pre-Series D funding round led by LeapFrog Investments, Khosla Ventures, Finnish development financier FinnFund, and Dutch investment firm Van Lanschot Kempen. The investment is a mix of equity and venture debt.

Goals:

  • HealthifyMe will use the fresh capital towards developing its AI-powered product to assist nutritionists in giving more personalised advice to customers.
  • The company is also looking to upgrade Smart Plans, its AI-enabled health offering, which contributes to half of the company's current paying subscribers.
  • It aims to achieve an ARR of $50 million in the next few months with the target of becoming the largest health and fitness app outside of the US and China.
fitness diet


News & updates

  • Raised: The Bank of Canada hiked its key overnight benchmark rate to 4.75%, the highest level in 22 years, on increasing concerns that inflation could get stuck significantly above its 2% target amid persistently strong economic growth. 
  • Diversify: Bath & Body Works is expanding its men’s line. Its new grooming products, now sold in all of its 1,800 stores across the US and Canada, are crucial for the company to maintain its pandemic-driven sales boom. More male-targeted products are coming in September.
  • Agent AI: Meta could be the latest company to test the social potential of AI chatbots. A screenshot shared on Twitter shows what seems to be an intro screen for the new Instagram feature. It says the chatbots will be able to answer questions, give advice, and help users write messages. 


What you should watch out for

  • The RBI’s MPC committee to announce decisions on key repo rates. 
  • World Oceans Day 


Which famous inventor is known as the "Wizard of Menlo Park"?

Answer: Thomas Edison


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