Vijay Shekhar Sharma to invest in AI, EV; Bumpy ride for corporate EV mobility
The VSS Investments Fund will focus on new startups in the EV and AI space, as well as expand Sharma's stakes in current holdings.
CFO calls it quits.
Ajay Goel, CFO of the edtech major for about six months, has quit to join his previous employer, Vedanta. BYJU'S has now named Nitin Golani, who was the president of the company's financial operations and the chief strategy officer at Aakash Education, as its new India CFO.
The development comes days after BYJU’S said it would soon release its financial results for FY 21-22 after a delay of more than 19 months.
Elsewhere, Germany may become the world’s third-largest economy in 2023, dislodging Japan, helped by a slide in the yen against the dollar and the euro. The IMF’s latest projections estimate Germany’s nominal GDP at $4.43 trillion this year, compared with $4.23 trillion for Japan, lagging behind only the US and China.
Meanwhile, S&P Global Market Intelligence said that India is likely to become the world's third-largest economy, with a GDP of $7.3 trillion by 2030.
After witnessing rapid economic growth in 2021 and 2022, the Indian economy has continued to show sustained strong growth during the 2023 calendar year. India's GDP is expected to grow 6.2-6.3% in the fiscal year ending in March 2024, being the fastest-growing major economy this fiscal year, S&P Global added.
In crypto news, the price of Bitcoin briefly topped $35,000 for the first time since May 2022, bolstered by positive sentiment about a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund. On Tuesday, Bitcoin was up by more than 9% at $34,349.55, according to Coin Metrics.
Lastly, Indian households are grappling with climate change—with air conditioner ownership increasing 3X since 2010 to 24 units per 100 households.
Well, the heat is real.
In today’s newsletter, we will talk about
- Vijay Shekhar Sharma launches new fund
- Tech in manufacturing
- Bumpy ride for corporate EV mobility
Here’s your trivia for today: Which player has the most centuries in Cricket World Cup history?
Founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma has launched a Rs 30 crore fund to invest in India-incubated startups that predominantly focus on serving Indian consumers and businesses. The VSS Investments Fund will focus on new startups in the EV and AI space, as well as expand Sharma's stakes in current holdings.
Supporting young startups:
- The fund has an initial size of Rs 20 crore, with an additional Rs 10 crore available through a green shoe option.
- VSS Investco, a company owned and controlled by Sharma, is the main sponsor of the new fund.
- The Paytm founder currently has stakes in 21 companies, including , , , , , , etc.
As India's manufacturing sector grows, digitisation is keeping pace with its evolution, slowly but surely. As per Aritra Ghosh, Vice President of Manufacturing Engineering, Mercedes-Benz, several companies are making their way to India to make products, including Mercedez Benz, which has plans to scale up in the country.
“India has a lot of potential in manufacturing, and it's interesting to see how we're growing,” Ghosh said at the Bengaluru edition of TechSparks 2023.
- For digitalisation to flourish, small businesses will need to get in on the action, Ghosh highlighted, adding that, however, many SMBs still distrust technology.
- Mercedes-Benz has established a paper-free factory in Berlin. It is connected to the industrial 5G internet network, and cars or products made there require no human intervention.
- "Mercedes-Benz is even making new electric motors for sports cars using this technology and selling them all around the world,” he added.
In Bengaluru’s IT parks, corporates are increasingly moving away from ICEs, warming up to electric vehicles for employee commute—offering a sustainable and convenient alternative. But it hasn’t been a smooth ride.
For one, charging has always been an issue for EVs. And with fleets, especially when they’re on tight schedules and involve pickups and drops of personnel, these vulnerabilities can lead to a confusing scramble that sometimes results in costly solutions.
- Companies such as Lithium Urban Technologies, Quick Ride, Bombay Logistics, VOZI, and others are helping businesses electrify their employee commute fleet.
- EV fleets also enable companies to accumulate carbon credits for future sales—even though the market for carbon credits in India is still in its nascent stages.
- The most significant benefit, however, is financial: transitioning to EVs signals a commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility (ESG goals) and can help companies command a premium price for their goods and services.
News & updates
- Energy transition: Global demand for oil, natural gas, and coal—and the carbon pollution they generate—are expected to peak later this decade, according to the International Energy Agency. It also said there will be nearly 10X as many electric cars on the road globally by the end of the decade.
- Earning results: The number of people paying for Spotify Premium rose 3% to 226 million on a quarterly basis as the streaming service announced price increases across the US and several other global markets. Spotify’s MAUs also rose to 574 million as of September 30, a 4% rise QoQ.
- Equal pay: Tens of thousands of women in Iceland, including Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir, refused to work on Tuesday. The "kvennafrí", or women's day off, has been called in protest at the gender pay gap and gender-based violence, affecting sectors like healthcare and education.
Which player has the most centuries in Cricket World Cup history?
Answer: Rohit Sharma. He has scored seven centuries in World Cup matches. His most recent ton was against Afghanistan in the 2023 edition.
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