VC funding remains steady in June; Arkam betting on “middle India”

Four years after partnering with Apple on the launch of the Apple Card, Goldman Sachs is “looking for a way out” of its high-profile deal, which was recently expanded to include savings accounts for Apple Card holders.

VC funding remains steady in June; Arkam betting on “middle India”

Sunday July 02, 2023,

5 min Read


Fantasy gaming platform Dream11 is all set to replace edtech major BYJU’S as the principal jersey sponsor of the Indian cricket team for an undisclosed amount, which is expected to be lesser than the previous deal. 

BYJU'S had quit after the end of the last financial cycle, and BCCI had invited closed bids for its new sponsor and Dream11 was one of the prominent names to have submitted its bid.

Age-old secret: Find out why Finland is home to the world’s happiest people. 

Meanwhile, four years after partnering with Apple on the launch of the Apple Card, Goldman Sachs is “looking for a way out” of its high-profile deal, which was recently expanded to include savings accounts for Apple Card holders. 

The Wall Street Journal said the investment banking firm is in talks to offload the partnership to American Express, but so far nothing seems to be set in stone, nor is it clear if Apple would support the handoff.

ICYMI: Australia has legalised psychedelics to treat depression and PTSD.

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • Steady funding in June
  • Arkam betting on “middle India”
  • Meet contemporary artist Shilo Shiv Suleman

Here’s your trivia for today: What was planet Uranus initially named? 


Steady funding in June

VC funding

Venture capital funding in June remained steady for the Indian startup ecosystem, at the same level as in April, but declined 60% when compared with June 2022. Monthly VC inflow in the first half of the year has been hovering around $1 billion. 


  • India's startup ecosystem managed to reach the psychologically crucial level of $1 billion in terms of VC funding in June, with the largest deals chalked up by Lenskart and Cleanmax Solar.
  • There has been an absence of large deals in the first six months of the year, and any transaction above $100 million has been far and few in between.
  • Mumbai received the highest amount of funding in June, followed by Bengaluru and Delhi-NCR.


Arkam betting on “middle India”

Why Arkam is betting on ‘middle India’

Early-stage VC fund Arkam Ventures bets on investing in companies that use digitisation to solve problems for ‘middle India’ or ‘Bharat’. By Arkam’s estimates, below the top of the pyramid in India, there is a deep market, including labourers, farmers, and small and medium entrepreneurs. 

Digitisation has enabled financial services, healthcare, skilling, and manufacturing to be distributed widely. As such, the early-stage VC firm has launched a new fund for 20 more startups catering to this market.

Blue ocean:

  • Arkam says for India to become a $9 trillion economy, the middle India piece has to work, and the segment needs more products and services.
  • The VC firm observes that more of middle India is gaining income and wants quality services now.
  • Demand in this market has boosted transactions at Arkam portfolio companies, including KreditBee and Jar.

Art and Culture

Meet contemporary artist Shilo Shiv Suleman

Shilo Shiv Suleman

It is not uncommon for daughters to seek inspiration from their talented mothers and follow in their footsteps. But for contemporary Indian artist Shilo Shiv Suleman, it was important to create an individual identity while looking up to her mother and renowned artist Nilofer Suleman. 

Shilo gets candid with YS Life about being rebellious, her inspiration, and what it means to be a celebrated artist’s daughter.

Candid at best:

  • Growing up listening to the stories of people like Frieda Kahlo, Matisse, and Raja Ravi Varma, painting came naturally to Shilo. 
  • Shilo’s art focuses on social change and technology. She has created large-scale installations that beat with one’s heart, applications that react to one’s brainwaves, and sculptures that glow with one’s breath. 
  • Recently, Shilo collaborated with Scotch whisky brand Johnnie Walker Black Label for a series of limited-edition bottles illustrating a vision of Delhi, using the Air-Ink technology that converts pollution into ink.

News & updates

  • A Must(k): If you’re not logged into your Twitter account and try to view a tweet, you’ll be presented with a sign-in screen. Twitter hasn’t commented on this change, and it might just be a glitch. However, when Twitter is struggling to grow its user base, it’s possible that this is a tactic to force silent lurkers into creating an account.
  • New change: China named Pan Gongsheng as the central bank’s new chief, putting him in line to be the next governor. The decision was made at a People’s Bank of China meeting of top cadres on Saturday. Pan, 59, is a deputy governor at the central bank with extensive experience in commercial banking.
  • AI regulations: Major tech founders, CEOs, VCs, and industry giants across Europe have signed an open letter to the EU Commission, warning that Europe could miss out on the generative AI revolution if the EU passes laws stifling innovation. Executives from 150 businesses said the rules could threaten the ability of European companies to compete in AI, while also failing to deal with the potential challenges.

What was planet Uranus initially named?

Answer: The Georgium Sidus, or The Georgian Planet in honour of King George III of England.

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