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Boosting public use of blockchain; India biz untouched by WeWork's slide

Airchains helps bridge the gap between Web2 agencies and blockchain protocols. WeWork India said it remains unaffected by the global company's bankruptcy concerns. ControlZ hopes to make a difference by refurbishing old smartphones.

Boosting public use of blockchain; India biz untouched by WeWork's slide

Thursday August 10, 2023 , 5 min Read


All hail ‘Right to Privacy’.

The Rajya Sabha finally passed the much-awaited Digital Personal Data Protection Bill on Wednesday, bringing India one step closer to its first-ever data protection law. This is over six years after the Supreme Court deemed the ‘Right to Privacy’ as fundamental in 2016.

The bill, which was passed by the Lok Sabha on Monday, seeks to protect the privacy of Indian citizens while proposing a penalty of up to Rs 250 crore on entities for misusing or failing to protect the digital data of individuals. 

Elsewhere, Saarthi Founder Chirag Kapil, along with the edtech startup’s investors, has initiated legal proceedings against Classplus and its founders, citing charges of cheating and breach of trust arising from a complicated acquisition process.

Meanwhile, BYJU'S may need to allocate an additional $50-60 million per year for interest payments on its $1.2-billion term loan B due to the new terms negotiated with lenders. While the rate falls within the range of 11-11.5%, this is subject to potential changes as discussions between the edtech firm and the lenders to finalise the terms continue through this week.

ICYMI: 50 rappers who represent the different generations, regions, and styles of the genre on the evolution of hip-hop.

Lastly, here’s what the cities of the future look like.

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • Boosting public use of blockchain
  • India biz untouched by WeWork's slide
  • Making old smartphones good as new

Here’s your trivia for today: Name the longest-serving President of India.


Boosting public use of blockchain

Blockchain is fast getting adopted by various institutions and governments—be it for securing education certificates, citizen records, land records, and more. 

Airchains helps bridge the gap between Web2 agencies and blockchain protocols by offering institutions, enterprises, and developers an easy way to deploy smart contracts on blockchains.

On the chain:

  • Airchains and the blockchain protocol NEAR have collaborated with NGO SankalpTaru to build a monitoring system to track tree plantations in Raigarh, Chhattisgarh.
  • In West Bengal’s New Town Kolkata Development Authority, the startup plans to introduce 500,000 NFTs, representing ownership of 27,000 acres of land, on Polygon Supernets.
  • “There are over 4,000 developers using our tools, which include app-specific chains, APIs, software development kits (SDKs), and more,” says Co-founder and CEO Ankur Rakhi Sinha.

Funding Alert

Startup: Credgenics

Amount: $50M

Round: Series B

Startup: What's Up Wellness

Amount: Rs 14.4 Cr

Round: Seed

Startup: All Is Well

Amount: $250,000

Round: Undisclosed


India biz untouched by WeWork's slide

WeWork India said it remains unaffected even as the New York-headquartered company raised "substantial doubt" on its ability to stay in business. 

The global company suffered losses of $696 million in the first half of the year and its long-term debt stood at $2.9 billion.

India business:

  • Karan Virwani, CEO of WeWork India, said the company generated Rs 1,400 crore in revenue in FY23 and posted "earnings" of Rs 250 crore in the fiscal year.
  • The Indian offshoot is backed by the Embassy Group, which holds the majority stake and control to run and operate WeWork Global’s business in India.
  • WeWork India has been steadily scaling operations, leasing new properties in Delhi, Pune, and Hyderabad. In June, it secured a lease for 2.2 lakh square feet of office space in Bengaluru.


Making old smartphones good as new

With smartphones getting updated every few months, the constant consumption and purchase of new smartphones are leaving behind a huge carbon footprint. 

controlZ hopes to make a difference by refurbishing old smartphones and using a streamlined industrial process to make them as good as new. 

Production process:

  • While pre-owned devices undergo basic refurbishment before being sold, ControlZ’s expertise lies in comprehensive component-level renewal.
  • The startup disassembles each device to diagnose its defects, and thoroughly renews it. It retains up to 80% of the original components.
  • The company has implemented a circular channel for components, including an in-house store for renewed components, to decrease renewal time and speed up the turnaround.

News & updates

  • Key player: Amazon is in talks about joining other technology companies as a cornerstone investor in SoftBank Group Corp's Arm Ltd ahead of its IPO. Amazon's potential involvement underscores Arm's significance in cloud computing. 
  • Game time: Sony reported a 31% fall in profit in the first fiscal quarter as its life insurance unit dragged on its bottom line, but the company raised full-year sales forecasts on the back of expected strength for its PlayStation gaming business.
  • Anti-climax: China's economy has slipped into deflation as consumer prices declined in July for the first time in more than two years. The official consumer price index, a measure of inflation, fell by 0.3% last month from a year earlier.

What you should watch out for

  • RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das to announce the Monetary Policy Committee’s decision on the central bank’s next bi-monthly policy.
  • The public issue of TVS Supply Chain Solutions to open for subscription today.
  • Q1 results to be announced by LIC, Hero MotoCorp, Biocon, and CarTrade, among others.

Name the longest-serving President of India.

Answer: Rajendra Prasad, India’s first president, who held the office for 12 years and 107 days.

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