MSME financing, powered by VCs; The art and science of AI anxiety

Indian MSMEs largely depend on banks for funds and credit, with banks often showing reluctance to extend loans due to concerns about Non-Performing Assets. However, venture capital (VC) is now emerging as a significant source of funding for these businesses.

MSME financing, powered by VCs; The art and science of AI anxiety

Friday November 17, 2023,

5 min Read


BBD to Walmart’s rescue.

As the festive season and the blockbuster sales come to an end, the US-based retail giant expects Flipkart's Big Billion Day to boost its Q4 numbers. Walmart reported $453 million in profits for the third quarter and revised its Q4 sales and profit forecast. Its revenue grew by 5.2% year-on-year, with consolidated revenue growing to $160.8 billion for the quarter. 

Elsewhere, RBI has tightened norms for unsecured personal loans for banks and non-banking financial companies. 

These revised norms, wherein risk weights have been increased by 25% points, will not be applicable to certain consumer loans, including housing, education, and vehicle loans, and loans secured by gold and gold jewellery. These loans will continue to attract 100% risk weight.

Meanwhile, TVS Motor Company is entering the European market.

The manufacturing company has partnered with the 100-year-old automobile enterprise Zurich-based Emil Frey Group, which will help TVS Motor with its extensive distribution network and deep market insights in the continent.

Lastly, National Geographic lists the best pictures of the year.

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • MSME financing, powered by VCs
  • The art and science of AI anxiety
  • Fractal home ownership

Here’s your trivia for today: What does the Moon smell like?


MSME financing, powered by VCs


Indian MSMEs largely depend on banks for funds and credit, with banks often showing reluctance to extend loans due to concerns about Non-Performing Assets. However, venture capital (VC) is now emerging as a significant source of funding for these businesses. 

While VCs are eyeing profitable family-run enterprises for sustainable growth, the changing landscape offers opportunities for MSMEs, with private investments driving expansion and innovation.

Raining $$:

  • VCs like Fireside Ventures, Kedaara Capital, SIDBI Venture Capital, Aavishkaar Capital, Everstone Capital, and others are now actively looking at profitable small businesses, which possess a rich legacy and reputation, often being family-run enterprises.
  • Dipanjan Basu of Fireside Ventures says long-standing businesses are led by experienced entrepreneurs with innovative ideas, but limited access to capital hinders their ability to expand rapidly, hire top talent, or embrace technological advancements.
  • Besides funding, VCs also help entrepreneurs gain access to mentorship from some of the most experienced minds in the industry, says Nishant Naveen, Senior Vice President at Kedaara Capital.


The art and science of AI anxiety

AI anxiety

As AI continues to advance, job-specific anxiety in India intensifies, with concerns centring around potential displacements and transformations in various industries, prompting a reassessment of workforce dynamics and skill requirements.

According to Microsoft’s Work Trend Index 2023 report, around 74% of Indian workers are worried that AI might replace them.

A love-hate relationship:

  • Psychiatrist Dr Gorav Gupta, Co-founder of Emoneeds, explains that AI anxiety refers to the apprehension or fear associated with the increasing presence and capabilities of AI. It encompasses concerns about job displacement, loss of privacy, and potential misuse of AI.
  • Many also believe that AI advancements are providing people with the opportunity to upskill themselves and use it to their advantage.
  • Syed Nazakat, Founder and CEO of DataLEADS, says that AI has the potential to automate routine, repetitive tasks, which could in particular lead to the displacement of certain jobs in office support, customer service and finance sectors. 


Fractal home ownership

Equity Address

After investing in the bustling Delhi/NCR real estate market, four friends—Mohit Gupta, Abhishek Madhukar, Puneet Gupta, and Aashish Raj—realised that their investments were yielding less than 2% during the pandemic. Restless, they started looking for a solution that would yield handsome returns.

This led them to start Equity Address in 2021, which offers tokenised ownership and an alternative approach to fractional ownership of high-end vacation homes. 

Home sweet home:

  • According to the founders, the startup has a unique approach to fractional property ownership and offers true ownership, future gains, flexible scheduling for accommodation, and shared expenses. 
  • Equity Address takes care of the paperwork, asset valuation, clear title reports, and more, reducing the registration transaction time to around 90-120 days. 
  • In February 2022, the parent company of Equity Address launched The Venya, a platform that curates premium holiday properties such as luxury villas, boutique properties, and luxury apartments for short-term rentals of around 35 days. 

News & updates

  • Customisation: Spotify expanded its partnership with Google Cloud to use large language models to help identify a user's listening patterns across podcasts and audiobooks to suggest tailor-made recommendations. Spotify has already been using AI for music recommendations. 
  • Scrapped plans: Alibaba Group Holding tumbled as much as 10% after it called off a spinoff of its giant cloud business as a result of tightened US curbs on advanced chips for China. The announcement stunned investors, sending shares down to a low of $78.23.
  • Anti-environment: PepsiCo has been sued by New York state for plastic pollution along Buffalo River that is allegedly contaminating the water and harming wildlife. According to the lawsuit, PepsiCo is the single largest identifiable contributor to the problem.

What does the Moon smell like?

Answer: According to Apollo astronauts who brought Moondust back to their spacecraft with them, it smells like burnt gunpowder.

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