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Return of Altman; Mamaearth parent’s Q2 profit doubles

Bengaluru-based Ather Energy plans to launch a spacious ‘family-oriented’ electric two-wheeler by next year. CEO Tarun Mehta posted on X that this vehicle will be “designed for comfort and ample size”.

Return of Altman; Mamaearth parent’s Q2 profit doubles

Thursday November 23, 2023 , 5 min Read

Hello,

E-scooter family size.

Bengaluru-based Ather Energy plans to launch a spacious ‘family-oriented’ electric two-wheeler by next year. CEO Tarun Mehta posted on X that this vehicle will be “designed for comfort and ample size”.

Meanwhile, San Jose-based Adobe has acquired Rephrase.ai, a Bengaluru-based AI company that provides video creation technology, in an undisclosed deal. This is the software giant’s first Indian startup acquisition.

Elsewhere, Tiger Global-backed neobank Jupiter saw a sharp rise in its net losses on the back of increased expenses, even as it showed improvement in operating revenue. Its net loss ballooned 109% from Rs 156.3 crore to Rs 327 crore in FY23, while operating revenue rose to Rs 7 crore from Rs 42 lakh last fiscal.

In other news, Jio Financial Services has applied to RBI to convert into a core investment company from its current NBFC status as part of a strategic restructuring post its demerger from Reliance Industries. 

Oh, and Uber is starting a bus service in Kolkata for office-goers, signing an agreement with the state Transport Department at the Bengal Global Business Summit. Uber Shuttle plans to have 60 air-conditioned buses on predefined routes by March. 

ICYMI: ‘Hallucination’ is Cambridge Dictionary’s word of 2023. 

Lastly, find out your communication style at work. 

Are you one of the Boomers or are you more Gen Z?

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • The return of Sam Altman
  • Mamaearth parent’s Q2 profit doubles
  • Meet the Helmet Man of India

Here’s your trivia for today: In 2011, which US university was awarded a grant of nearly $1 million to study memes?


Technology

The return of Sam Altman

Sam Altman

OpenAI’s ChatGPT took the world by storm when it first launched a year ago, catapulting its CEO Sam Altman to superstar status. So, it was a surprise to all, including those who backed the most-hyped AI startup in the world, when Altman was fired by his board. 

A lot has happened since. Altman was removed as CEO, interim replacements were named, and then Altman was brought back as top boss—all within a week. Here’s a timeline of events. 

All the T:

  • On November 17, OpenAI's board of directors declared Chief Technology Officer Mira Murati as Altman's temporary successor while they found a permanent replacement. 
  • After Altman's exit, President Greg Brockman announced his departure from the company. Soon, three senior OpenAI researchers—Director of Research Jakub Pachocki, Head of Preparedness Aleksander Madry, and Szymon Sidor—also resigned. 
  • On November 21, contrary to the initial announcement of joining Microsoft, CEO Satya Nadella signalled a willingness for Altman's potential return to OpenAI. "Irrespective of Sam's location, he remains engaged with Microsoft," he remarked.



D2C

Mamaearth parent’s Q2 profit doubles

Mamaearth

Honasa Consumers: Varun Alagh and Ghazal Alagh

Honasa Consumer—the parent company of Mamaearth, Aqualogica, The Derma Co., and BBlunt—posted a 94% rise in profit after tax to Rs 29.4 crore in the quarter ended September 2023, against Rs 15.1 crore in the year-ago period. 

The D2C firm’s revenue from operations rose 21% to Rs 496.1 crore in the quarter under review. Its total expenditure increased by 18% year-over-year to Rs 463.9 crore. 

Key takeaways: 

  • Other expenses, which accounted for nearly 58% of the firm's overall expenditure, stood at Rs 267.3 crore in the second quarter of the fiscal year.
  • On a half-yearly basis, Honasa Consumer’s net profit zoomed nearly 8 times to Rs 55.4 crore from Rs 7.69 crore in the first half of last year. 
  • Revenue from operations in the first six months of 2023 stood at Rs 960.5 crore against Rs 722.7 crore last year.


Social Work

Meet the Helmet Man of India

Helmet Man

Every morning, Raghavendra Kumar gears up for his mission—distributing free helmets. With a stock of helmets in his car, he navigates through different neighbourhoods in Greater Noida and distributes helmets to riders who aren't wearing one. 

Kumar, better known as the Helmet Man of India, has distributed 56,000 helmets in Kanpur, Lucknow, Delhi, Meerut, Noida and more.

Safety first:

  • According to the National Crime Records Bureau, around 1.5 lakh people have lost their lives due to road accidents in 2021 alone.
  • Kumar founded the Helmet Man of India Foundation in 2020 to establish a helmet bank, which operates all year round from 6 am to 8 pm.
  • He wishes to start a helmet store outside schools and colleges in Noida. This facility will offer free helmets to students who may forget to carry one from home. Those in need can borrow a helmet and return it within eight days or get it reissued. However, this plan is still in the pipeline.


News & updates

  • Pleading guilty: Changpeng Zhao, Founder and CEO of Binance, has stepped down after pleading guilty to federal criminal charges of violating and causing a financial institution to violate the Bank Secrecy Act. The plea is part of a $4.3 billion settlement with the Justice Department.
  • Deal completed: Broadcom closed its $69 billion acquisition of cloud-computing firm VMware after receiving regulatory approval in its last major market China, ending a months-long saga. The deal was the latest in CEO Hock Tan's efforts to boost the chipmaker's software business.
  • Countermanding: Alibaba Founder Jack Ma is walking back plans to trim his stake after the company suffered its biggest selloff in more than a year last week. Ma has not sold a single share in Alibaba, as the stock price has not reached the level the billionaire was seeking.


In 2011, which US university was awarded a grant of nearly $1 million to study memes?

Answer: Indiana University, which received $919,917 from the National Science Foundation.


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