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White-collar professionals ➡ gig workers; Nischal Shetty-led Shardeum secures $5.4M

Highly-skilled tech professionals are opting for gig work over traditional full-time employment. Shardeum has secured $5.4 million in a strategic round. CarbonCraft manufactures tiles made from upcycled carbon.

White-collar professionals ➡ gig workers; Nischal Shetty-led Shardeum secures $5.4M

Monday July 10, 2023 , 5 min Read


Storm clouds gather over BYJU'S.

The edtech major is reportedly under investigation by the Serious Frauds Investigation Office regarding alleged compliance failures in financial reporting and governance lapses. While BYJU'S has denied being a part of any such discussions, it also faces the ongoing review of its FY20 and FY21 financial statements by the CA Institute's Financial Reporting Review Board.

In other news, funding in Indian startups fell by 36% in January-June to $3.8 billion—the lowest half-yearly number in the last four years, according to a PwC report. The second half of the year, however, began on a positive note with the first week of July seeing $273 million raised across 15 deals. 

Meanwhile, after the successful public debut of drone startup ideaForge Technologies, NSDL—the SEBI-registered market infrastructure institution, which is the largest depository in India in terms of the number of issuers, active instruments, etc.—has filed draft papers with SEBI for a public issue. 

Also, ISRO will soon transfer its Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) to the private sector as the national space agency aims to commercialise satellite launch services. On PM Narendra Modi's recent visit to the US, India become a signatory to the Artemis Accords for advancing space activities beyond Earth's orbit.

ICYMI: The global fashion industry is responsible for an estimated 10% of all emissions. But a city in Italy making new fabric out of old wool, bringing centuries-old tradition alive.

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • White-collar professionals turn gig workers
  • Nischal Shetty-led Shardeum secures $5.4M
  • Making tiles out of polluted air

Here’s your trivia for today: Which continent has hosted the Olympics the most times?


White-collar professionals turn gig workers

Highly-skilled tech professionals are opting for gig work over traditional full-time employment. The top reasons for this shift are: flexibility, improved work-life balance, and higher in-hand salaries. 

“The demand for gig workers in the IT software and services industry has gone up by 24% in the last three months. Full stack is the most sought skill in demand followed by Python and Java for gig workers,” remarks Sekhar Garisa, CEO, foundit.

Gig economy:

  • Gig workers or freelancers in India can benefit from tax advantages under the Presumptive Taxation scheme outlined in Section 44DA of the Income Tax Act. 
  • Gig work reduces fixed costs in the profit and loss statement (P&L). Offloading these costs enhances flexibility and efficiency, notes Gurpreet Singh, Co-founder and Chief Business Officer of Awign
  • According to a study by Microsoft and Zinnov, retail, trade and transportation sectors employed 50% of gig workers before the pandemic. Now nearly 35% of gig workers are employed in IT. 
White-collar gig work

Image credit: Nihar Apte


Nischal Shetty-led Shardeum secures $5.4M

Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM)-compatible sharded blockchain, Shardeum, has secured $5.4 million in a strategic round. The company plans to bolster the ecosystem's growth as it prepares for the upcoming mainnet launch scheduled later this year.

Strategic value:

  • Shardeum aims to bring Web3 project teams closer to its mission by involving them as early holders of SHM tokens. 
  • The company wants to partner with strategic funds to expand into new regions and build communities.
  • Shardeum claims its testnet has witnessed over 7.4 million transactions, with over 820,000 accounts, and more than 230,000 deployed contracts as of July 7, 2023.
Nischal Shetty


Making tiles out of polluted air

Hubballi-based startup Carbon Craft Design is doing its bit towards carbon-negative homes by starting with a ubiquitous material in the industry–tiles. The company manufactures tiles made from upcycled carbon, the first-of-its-kind in the world.

Carbon negative:

  • CarbonCraft makes tiles using a four-stage proprietary process–collect, process, build, and cure.
  • The tiles are priced at Rs 175 per sq ft for plain, and patterned tiles cost Rs 300 per sq ft. The idea is to bring down the price of CarbonCraft tiles to Rs 100 per sq ft.
  • So far, the startup has sold 10,000 sq ft of tiles and prevented 10 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

Tejas Sidnal

News & updates

  • Flying away: Jack Sweeney, the college student behind the “ElonJet” account that tracks Elon Musk’s private jet, has switched to Meta’s Threads after Twitter suspended his account last year. In December, Musk threatened to take legal action against the student for “doxxing real-time location info”.
  • Oh gee: Artificial intelligence can never capture the essence of Mickey Mouse, according to Bret Iwan, the man who voices Disney's mascot. Iwan, who is one of just four people to have ever been Mickey's official voice, said, "I don't think anything can replace the heart of a character."
  • New hope: The US FDA granted full approval to a closely watched Alzheimer’s drug, Leqembi. It’s the first medicine that’s been convincingly shown to modestly slow the cognitive decline caused by Alzheimer’s. The drug is given intravenously every two weeks.

Which continent has hosted the Olympics the most times?

Answer: Europe. It has hosted 30 editions of the games. The upcoming 2024 Summer Olympics will be held in Paris, France.

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