Utsav Somani’s exclusive club for founders; Solar biscuits for retail investors

After leading AngelList India for seven years, Utsav Somani is ready for his next inning. He is building an exclusive community Offline for startup founders.

Utsav Somani’s exclusive club for founders; Solar biscuits for retail investors

Wednesday September 20, 2023,

5 min Read

Next stop–TechSparks!

YourStory’s flagship startup-tech conference is starting in Bengaluru tomorrow, where we will dive into the hottest topics shaping The Great Indian Techade. From a trillion-dollar SaaS market to the potential of emerging technologies like AI, ML, Web3, and others—meet the experts innovating the next stage of disruption.

In other news, Flash, an ecommerce startup founded by former Flipkart Senior Vice-President Ranjith Boyanapalli, has completed a $6.7 million Pre-Series A round led by Blume Ventures and existing investor PeerCapital. It aims to make online shopping easier by reducing consumers’ email clutter. 

Elsewhere, Elon Musk has hinted that X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, is preparing to charge all users accessing the site. He added that charging users could potentially ward off the problem of bots on the platform. 

ICYMI: Buoyed by a mounting pile of academic research and success stories from Iceland, Japan, New Zealand and elsewhere, companies around the world are embracing a four-day work week.

Oh, and here are the stunning images of space that are part of the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2023. 

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • Utsav Somani’s exclusive club for founders
  • Retail investors bite into solar biscuits 
  • Tina, a transwoman uplifting her community

Here’s your trivia for today: During its earliest days in development, Microsoft’s Windows was known by what name?


Utsav Somani’s exclusive club for founders

Utsav Somani

Early-stage investor Utsav Somani, who quit AngelList India in July, is building a community for tech startup founders and CEOs. Somani-led Offline has already raised $2 million from micro-VC funds like Better Capital, DeVC, Huddle, Riverwalk Ventures, and India Silicon Valley. 

Members only:

  • Offline aims to replicate the success of global paid communities like Hamptons, Tiger 21, and Chief. 
  • As many as 45 founders of companies, including Groww, Razorpay, Polygon, and , have also put money into Somani’s latest venture. 
  • The early-stage angel investor, who has backed over 150 startups, also runs two funds—Galaxy and iSeed—with AUM (assets under management) of $100 million.  


Solar biscuits for retail investors

Solar investment

Rooftop solar projects—which are typically capital intensive and hence restricted to large investors hitherto—are now being thrown open to retail investors with entry tickets as low as Rs 500, promising an average annual return of 9-15%. 

Pitched as a viable alternative investment option like mutual funds and fixed deposits, how safe are these investments?


  • Startups such as Pyse, SustVest, and Incept Green, which operate as intermediaries, aim to democratise the asset class and make them accessible to investors at large. 
  • Last year, Bengaluru-based Pyse installed a Rs 26-crore open-access solar project in Karnataka, with an average investor ticket size of Rs 25,000. 
  • An investment of as low as Rs 500 in one of Incept Green’s listed projects could get investors 14 watts of capacity, which translates to a reduction of 270 kg of CO2 and an earning of Rs 64 per year on average.  


Meet Tina, a transwoman uplifting her community

Tina, transwoman and activist from the Van Gujjar community in Haridwar.

Tina, transwoman and activist from the Van Gujjar community in Haridwar.

Tina, a transwoman, is a living testament to the reality of intersectional discrimination in India. A first-generation schoolgoer in her family, as well as the first trans person to have come out in her community, she has also been paving the way for the empowerment of children and women. 

First steps:

  • Tina belongs to the Van Gujjar community, a nomadic pastoral tribe from the Uttarakhand Himalayas.
  • Van Gujjars are regular victims of displacement. The areas they had been living in for centuries have been turned into national parks, following which parts of their population were rehabilitated into the Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve and Rajaji Tiger Reserve. 
  • Tina has received Tata Steel’s Samwad Fellowship, which aims to support indigenous practices of vulnerable tribal communities.

News & updates

  • Fact check: Alphabet Inc's Google said on Tuesday that Bard, its generative artificial intelligence, will have the ability to fact-check its answers and analyse users' personal Google data as the tech giant scrambles to catch up to ChatGPT in popularity.
  • Headwinds: Germany is expected to experience the heaviest blow from a slowdown in the world economy driven by higher interest rates and weaker global trade, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has warned.
  • Rare diseases: Scientists at Google DeepMind have built an artificial intelligence program AlphaMissense that can potentially speed up research and diagnosis of rare disorders. The program can predict whether millions of genetic mutations are harmless or likely to cause disease.

During its earliest days in development, Microsoft’s Windows was known by what name?

Answer: Interface Manager. 

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