TechSparks 2023 is here; Another top-level exit at BYJU’S

India's much-awaited startup-tech conference TechSparks is back. The three-day mega event will feature the who's who of the industry.

TechSparks 2023 is here; Another top-level exit at BYJU’S

Thursday September 21, 2023,

6 min Read


Get ready for the biggest and the most influential startup-tech event of the year as TechSparks 2023 takes off today!

YourStory’s flagship summit will feature 140+ entrepreneurs, innovators, investors, and stakeholders of the Indian startup ecosystem engaged in conversations that will define the spirit of entrepreneurship of 'The Great Indian Techade'. Across three days, catch 100+ sessions spanning innovations taking place in space tech, electric mobility, GenAI, content creation, online gaming, and Web3.  

Listen to interesting conversations, network with entrepreneurs, and investors, and take a look at the 30 most promising startups from India that will define the startup ecosystem of tomorrow. Book your tickets here.

In other news, women are finally having a greater representation in policymaking. Lok Sabha passed the Women’s Reservation Bill, which will grant 33% of seats to women in the lower house of Parliament as well as in state legislative assemblies.

Meanwhile, just a week after launching its broadcasting tool—Channels—in India, WhatsApp has rolled out Flows, which allows businesses to create interactive in-chat experiences. The Meta-owned platform also launched WhatsApp Payment-to-Merchant which will enable users to transact using a payment method of their choice, including UPI apps and credit or debit cards, without opening another app. 

Also, Bengaluru-based early-stage venture capital Unitus Ventures has integrated with its US affiliate Capria Ventures. The combined entity—Capria India—will have an AUM of $188 million. It will invest across seed, pre-Series A, and Series A stages, with a focus on GenAI startups.

Last but not least, travel tech company Yatra Online managed to get oversubscribed by 1.61 times on the third and final day of its IPO on Indian bourses. While the retail and institutional segments were subscribed 2.1 times each, the high-net-worth individual portion was subscribed only 42%. 

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • Gear up for TechSparks 2023
  • Another top-level exit at BYJU’S
  • Creating a space in corporate gifting 

Here’s your trivia for today: The first commercially available microwave oven appeared in 1947. What was it called?


Gear up for TechSparks 2023

TechSparks - Day 1

The 2023 instalment of YourStory’s flagship three-day conference holds a lot of promise. 

The opening day of TechSparks will feature the crème de la crème of India’s startup ecosystem, including founders, investors, bankers, policymakers, and thought leaders.  


  • On day one, Divya Raghavendra Rao, Co-founder and MD of Rameshwaram Cafe, will share how an Udupi joint became a socio-cultural phenomenon like no other. 
  • Bhavish Aggarwal will outline the country’s big electric future in mobility and supercharging India’s electric dream
  • Karan Virwani, CEO of WeWork India, will talk about the once-darling-of-Silicon-Valley’s journey of resilience and recovery in the Indian market amid chaos elsewhere.

<Funding Alert>

Startup: KukuFM

Amount: $25M

Round: Series C

Startup: Eloelo

Amount: $22M

Round: Pre-Series B

Startup: Aurassure

Amount: Rs 4 Cr

Round: Seed


Mrinal Mohit leaves BYJU'S


In yet another top-level exit at BYJU'S, its India chief executive officer (CEO) Mrinal Mohit has stepped down from his role in the company. Arjun Mohan will take charge as the CEO of India operations. 

Mohan, who was a part of the startup's founding team, last served as the Chief Business Officer and re-joined the edtech company in July as the CEO of its international business. He served as upGrad’s CEO while away from BYJU’S.

Key takeaways:

  • Mohit, a founding partner at BYJU’S, is embarking on a new journey to pursue personal aspirations, the edtech company said in a statement.
  • In the last month, a number of senior-level executives have departed from the edtech company, including, Cherian Thomas, Senior Vice President for international business at BYJU'S; Pratyusha Agarwal, Chief Business Officer and Himanshu Bajaj, Business Head of BYJU’S Tuition Centre.
  • The company has been downsizing its workforce, both globally and domestically, to better navigate its path to profitability. Over the last 12 months, it has done several rounds of layoffs as part of its cost-cutting measures.


Creating a space in corporate gifting 

Brownwall's Dibha

Dibha's products

The story of Brownwall Food Products Pvt Ltd—a company that today competes with industry giants such as Cadbury and Nestle in the corporate gifting space—begins with a small cake business started by architect-turned-entrepreneur Ruchika Bhangdiya. 

What began as a modest home-based venture has now grown into a 20,000-square-foot manufacturing facility with a production capacity of two tonnes of chocolates and two to three tonnes of snacks per day.

Sweet treat:

  • A significant turning point for Brownwall came in 2017 when it introduced its patented chocolates (chocolates shaped like crackers) for its B2B clients during Diwali.
  • In FY22, the company’s revenue reached Rs 30 crore, and in FY23, it surged to Rs 45 crore, marking a YoY growth of 50%. The projected revenue for FY24 is Rs 90 crore. 
  • Brownwall serves as a gifting partner to approximately 150 companies, including Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, HSBC, Asian Paints, and Audi.

News & updates

  • Brain implants: Elon Musk's brain-chip startup Neuralink has received approval from an independent review board to begin recruitment for the first human trial of its brain implant for paralysis patients. The study will use a robot to surgically place a brain-computer interface (BCI) implant in a region of the brain that controls the intention to move.
  • Stocks rally: BofA Global Research expects the S&P 500 to end 2023 nearly 7% higher than it previously forecast, and that "old economy" stocks on the blue-chip index could benefit as much, if not more, over their new-age tech peers. The Wall Street brokerage now expects the index to end the year at 4,600 points.
  • Bad light: Stanford University will be returning gifts it received from bankrupt crypto exchange FTX “in their entirety,” after a lawsuit against founder Sam Bankman-Fried’s parents alleged the school received millions of dollars in donations.

The first commercially available microwave oven appeared in 1947. What was it called?

Answer: Radarange. Manufactured by US-based Raytheon, they were priced between $2,000 and $3,000 and were stored in refrigerator-sized cabinets.

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