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Inside Instagram Threads; Urban women runners' fight for freedom

With more than 30 million sign-ups and counting, will Instagram's Threads emerge as the potential Twitter killer?

Inside Instagram Threads; Urban women runners' fight for freedom

Saturday July 08, 2023 , 5 min Read


The ups and downs of VC funding continue.

After two weeks of cornering less than $100 million, July began on a more optimistic note, with Indian startups raising $273 million across 15 deals. The big boost came from the $145 million raised by NBFC startup Veritas Finance. 

In another positive development, drone startup IdeaForge made a stellar debut in the public market, with its shares listing at a premium of 93.4% to its issue price. The stock was listed at Rs 1,305.10 per share on the BSE while on the NSE, it was listed at Rs 1,300 per share. The market capitalisation of the unicorn stood at Rs 5,407.80 crore.

Meanwhile, Anant Maheshwari, President of Microsoft India, has stepped down from his role after nearly seven years at the company. Maheshwari's departure takes place amid a reorganisation of high-level executives within the technology firm.

ICYMI: Read about the millions of people who make tech feel ‘human’.

Lastly, here are some spectacular shots of astrophotography that made it to the 2023 Astronomy Photographer of the Year shortlist.

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • Instagram Threads: The Twitter killer?
  • Urban women runners’ fight for freedom
  • Barefoot luxury at Coco Shambhala

Here’s your trivia for today: What are the names of the ghosts in Pac-Man?

Social Media

We tried Threads: The potential Twitter killer 

Instagram Threads

The world was waiting for Mark Zuckerberg’s “cage fight” with rival Elon Musk. Instead, it got Instagram Threads, a new social media app that Meta hopes will rival Twitter. 

Does Threads deliver? YourStory tried the app to find out. 

Stitch and sew:

  • In just 17 hours since launch, Instagram Threads already had more than 30 million sign-ups and counting.
  • There is no concept of hashtags or trending topics on the app. The search option is limited to just profiles. Also, users can’t bookmark a post as they can on Twitter. 
  • Twitter has threatened to sue Threads, accusing it of stealing “trade secrets and other intellectual property.”

<Top Deals of the Week>

Startup: Veritas Finance

Amount: $145M

Round: Undisclosed

Startup:  Leverage Edu

Amount: $40M

Round: Series C

Startup:  Battery Smart

Amount: $33M

Round: Pre-Series B


Eswari Andiappan, runner from Chennai

Eswari Andiappan, runner from Chennai

Urban women runners’ fight for freedom

Sports brand Nike’s slogan, “There are clubs you can’t belong to, neighbourhoods you can’t live in, schools you can’t get into, but the roads are always open,” cannot be more true for urban Indian women who have taken to running to face mental, physical, and cultural barriers. 

Just run:

  • Only 8.81% of the world’s marathon runners are Indian women, says Run Repeat—an organisation helping athletes find shoes that work best for them. 
  • In September 2022, Chennai-based gynaecologist Dr Erika Patel became the first woman from Tamil Nadu to complete one of the world’s longest and oldest marathons, Comrades, in South Africa. The marathon spans 89 kms linking Durban and Pietermaritzburg in eastern South Africa.
  • As a gynaecologist, she is busting myths about working out while pregnant. “When women run, they avoid hypertension, excessive weight gain, and radically increase the chances of a normal delivery,” she says.

Travel and Leisure 

Coco Shambhala

The lunch spread included local Malvani delicacies

Rustic luxury at Coco Shambhala

Located on the coast of the Arabian Sea, Sindhudurg is one of those rare gems deserted due to urbanisation. Popular for the famous Sindhudurg Fort built by Shivaji, the Malvan district is now inhabited by elderly locals, home-sick youngsters or the occasional tourists.

Coco Shambhala—an eco-conscious luxury retreat located at the foot of the unexplored Bhogwe Beach— allows travellers to discover this hidden treasure. 

Eco-conscious retreat:

  • The word ‘Shambhala’ refers to the mythical kingdom in Central Asia, where harmony, good health, and well-being were given utmost importance. And ‘coco’ comes from Goa’s Coco Beach. 
  • Outdoor activities at the resort include water sports like parasailing, jet skiing, and surfing at the nearby Tarkali beach, hiking, night safari, scuba diving, dolphin spotting, and barbecues on the beach. 
  • Guests can also take part in art and craft workshops, cooking classes, and pottery workshops, among others. 

News & updates

  • End of probe: Chinese authorities announced on Friday a 7.12 billion yuan ($984 million) fine for Ant Group, ending a years-long regulatory overhaul of the Jack Ma-founded company and marking a key step to concluding a crackdown on the country's internet sector.
  • Select roll-out: Apple is planning a retail launch of its Vision Pro headset with appointments and in-store promotion in select US markets early next year. The company will designate special areas in the stores with seating, headset demo units and tools to size accessories for buyers.
  • Heating up: The UN secretary general has said that “climate change is out of control”, as an unofficial analysis of data showed that average world temperatures in the seven days to Wednesday were the hottest week on record. 

What are the names of the ghosts in Pac-Man?

Answer: Pinky (pink), Blinky (red), Inky (cyan), and Clyde (orange).

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