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Bharat Innovation Fund doubles down on deeptech; RBI enables easy credit, brings AI to UPI

BIF plans to increase the quantum of money it will invest in deeptech companies. Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das unveiled the bi-monthly monetary policy. Rainmatter Capital will be investing Rs 1,000 crore in Indian startups.

Bharat Innovation Fund doubles down on deeptech; RBI enables easy credit, brings AI to UPI

Friday August 11, 2023 , 5 min Read

Hello,

Disney+ Hotstar continues to lose subscribers.

In the April-June quarter, the Indian arm of Disney lost 12.6 million subscribers while business too took a hit, shifting to a $87 million loss from a $166 million income in the year-ago period. 

The company attributed this loss to reduced advertising revenue, primarily influenced by lower rates related to the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket programming, along with a negative foreign exchange impact. 

Speaking of losses, Ola’s report card for FY22 is out. Parent entity ANI Technologies recorded a consolidated loss of Rs 1,522.33 crore for the financial year ended March 2022, compared with a loss of Rs 1,116.61 crore in the previous fiscal year. 

While Ola’s income rose by over 80%, it wasn’t enough to offset the loss caused by the 67% rise in its total expenses. 

In other news, South Korean gaming company Krafton, the maker of Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI), plans to invest another $150 million in India over the next two to three years to boost the gaming and startup ecosystem.

Lastly, with antitrust cases galore, what does the future of Big Tech look like?

The ‘curse’ of bigness, indeed.

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • Bharat Innovation Fund doubles down on deeptech
  • RBI enables easy credit, brings AI to UPI
  • Nithin Kamath's Rainmatter to invest long-term

Here’s your trivia for today: Which is the largest peninsula in the world?


Deeptech

Bharat Innovation Fund doubles down on deeptech

India is home to 10,000 deeptech startups, however, the sector faces funding challenges. Bharat Innovation Fund (BIF), an early-stage VC firm focused on deeptech startups in India, plans to increase the quantum of money it will invest in these companies.

“Our investment ticket size is now bigger as there is greater maturity in the deeptech segment and we will have a portfolio of startups which is manageable,” Ashwin Raguraman, Partner, BIF, tells YourStory.

Leveraging deeptech:

  • BIF will look at having around 23 deeptech startups under its portfolio as part of its $100 million fund. It made the first close of $50 million in 2018.
  • The VC firm has had two exits from its portfolio—CreditVidya, a fintech startup with AI offerings, and API fintech startup Setu, which was acquired by Pine Labs in June 2022.
  • BIF is also exploring a second fund and has started initial conversations. It is looking at a size of 1.5-2 times the first fund.
Deeptech


Funding Alert

Startup: BluWheelz

Amount: $500,000

Round: Seed

Startup: MetaShot

Amount: $400,000

Round: Pre-seed

Startup: Everest Fleet

Amount: Undisclosed

Round: Non-convertible debentures


Finance

RBI enables easy credit, brings AI to UPI

Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das unveiled the bi-monthly monetary policy, retaining the GDP projection for the current fiscal year at 6.5% and raising the inflation projection marginally to 5.4% due to a spike in vegetable prices.

Key announcements:

  • RBI Governor also proposed to introduce AI-powered systems to help make payments on UPI.
  • In another decision, the central bank raised the transaction limit of UPI-Lite to Rs 500 from Rs 200. 
  • On the sidelines of the meeting, the RBI announced an open architecture-digital public tech platform to enable easy access to loans.
Reserve Bank of India, RBI


Investment

Nithin Kamath's Rainmatter to invest long-term

Rainmatter Capital, Zerodha's investment and philanthropy arm, will be investing Rs 1,000 crore in Indian startups, said CEO Nithin Kamath. Aiming for long-term resilience, the VC firm's investment will offer patient capital without exit obligations.

"We are perennial investors and stick with the founders for as long as it takes the founders to build a sustainable business," Kamath added.

Investment thesis:

  • Rainmatter Capital's investments will focus on sectors like health, education, fintech, and climate change.
  • All the upside generated through the investment will be put back into the fund to support other entrepreneurs.
  • Set up in 2016, Rainmatter has partnered with over 80 startups and has invested close to Rs 400 crore.
Nithin Kamath - Rainmatter

Nithin Kamath, Co-founder and CEO, Zerodha


News & updates

  • Beat estimates: China's Alibaba Group reported its strongest quarterly revenue growth in almost two years as its domestic ecommerce unit focuses on low-cost products to attract consumers amid a sober economic environment.
  • One step closer: India’s National Company Law Tribunal approved a merger between Sony Group’s South Asian unit and Zee Entertainment. This brings the deal closer to completion but objecting creditors can still appeal the decision at a higher court. 
  • Housing woes: Despite a loss in population during the pandemic, average rents in Manhattan are now up 30% compared to 2019. The average monthly rent in July was $5,588, up 9% over last year and marking a new record. 


What you should watch out for

  • Nykaa, InfoEdge, Pfizer, and Patanjali among others to announce quarterly results.
  • Indian Hockey Team to go up against Japan in the semi-finals of the 2023 Asian Champions Trophy.
  • Ather Energy expected to launch 3 new electric scooters.


Which is the largest peninsula in the world?

Answer: The Arabian Peninsula, which includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Yemen, as well as southern Iraq and Jordan.


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