Climate tech firms get big bucks in 2023; Blume Ventures’ fund report card

In other news, Alphabet’s Google has agreed to pay $700 million and allow for greater competition in its Play Store, according to the terms of an antitrust settlement with US states and consumers disclosed in a San Francisco federal court.

Climate tech firms get big bucks in 2023; Blume Ventures’ fund report card

Wednesday December 20, 2023,

5 min Read

Hello,

Good news for fintechs.

Razorpay and Cashfree have received the final licence for payment aggregator from the RBI and are now also allowed to onboard new merchants. The central bank gave initial approval to a few fintech firms, including Razorpay, Cashfree Payments, Pine Labs, Stripe, etc., in August-September 2022.

In other news, Alphabet’s Google has agreed to pay $700 million and allow for greater competition in its Play Store, according to the terms of an antitrust settlement with US states and consumers disclosed in a San Francisco federal court.

Speaking of Play Store, the tech giant has suspended or removed over 2,500 fraudulent loan apps between April 2021 and July 2022, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday informed Parliament. 

ICYMI: Google Maps now has AI capabilities.

To enhance user experience in India, Google has rolled out AI-powered features, including address descriptors, lens in maps, live-view walking navigation, and enhanced fuel-efficient routing.

Meanwhile, the government reconstituted the National Startup Advisory Council by nominating 31 non-official members, including Kunal Bahl (Snapdeal), Sanjeev Bikhchandani (Info Edge (India), and Shradha Sharma (YourStory), who will serve a two-year term on the council. 

Lastly, here’s why this study believes remote work is stifling innovation.

Innovation or productivity, what to choose?

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • Climate tech startups raise $1.23 B in 2023
  • Empowering Sikkim’s tribal women
  • Blume Ventures’ fund report card

Here’s your trivia for today: The English classic, A Christmas Carol, became one of the outstanding Christmas stories of modern literature. When was it published?


Climate tech

Climate tech startups raise $1.23 B in 2023

Climate tech

After several long years of winter, climate tech startups in India are finally starting to see some sunshine. The year 2023 saw investors pump money into ‘hot’ sectors such as e-mobility, renewable energy, and advanced technology. 

The EV sector raised over half a billion dollars—$667.9 million to be precise—in the first 10 months of 2023, while the clean energy sector raised $390.3 million led by a $360 million mega-deal bagged by CleanMax Solar, according to YourStory data.

Break down:

  • Waste and effluent treatment, where India severely lags behind other countries, failed to turn trash into cash. Food and agriculture, as well as clean water, which 6% of the country’s population still does not have access to, also saw very little funding.
  • Overall, the climate tech sector raised a total of $1.23 billion, across 55-odd funding deals.
  • Clean energy, water, waste, and food and agriculture were the sectors that witnessed the highest number of early-stage funding rounds.


Women entrepreneurs

Empowering Sikkim’s tribal women

Rinzing

Rinzing Choden Bhutia is the founder of organic and handcrafted skincare line Agapi Sikkim. Bhutia also worked with the Skill Development and Capacity Building Department in Sikkim to train 21 women in the village on how to make handcrafted soaps and skincare products. 

Social causes:

  • This group, Bhutia adds, became a safe haven for women to just leave their homes, and be in the company of other women, share their problems and desires, and just be themselves for a certain time in a day.
  • After the three-month training period, 10 women decided to form a self-help group (SHG) to make handcrafted soaps. 
  • Over two years, Bhutia has trained over 400 women and continues on the mission of empowering the tribal communities around her.


Investors

Blume Ventures’ fund report card

Investment

Blume Ventures, an early-stage VC firm, has earned a 5X gross return from its first fund, launched in 2011. The firm expects it to realise a 6X return in 2024. Blume Ventures said that Fund 1 was launched with an initial capital of Rs 98 crore, followed by Rs 24.5 crore as Fund 1A in 2013.

The first fund of Blume Ventures has raised Rs 122.50 crore cumulatively and invested in over 70 startups between 2010 and 2015.

Key takeaways:

  • Fund 1, which will close its full lifecycle in 2023, is backed entirely by 80 domestic investors, including the Technology Development Board and SIDBI.
  • According to Blume Ventures, Fund 1 has already realised 4.6x (gross returns) of the invested capital and is expected to realise 5.4x by 2024 when it is fully closed. 
  • Fund IA is projected to realise 7.0x (gross returns) by 2024 and has already realised 5.8x.


News & updates

  • Halt sales: Apple will pause sales of its Series 9 and Ultra 2 smartwatches in the US from this week, as it deals with a patent dispute over the technology that enables the blood oxygen feature on the devices. 
  • Policies: The yen slumped versus the dollar after BOJ Governor Kazuo Ueda pushed back against bets for a near-term interest rate hike, saying it’s difficult to lay out a plan for an exit. The currency weakened as much as 1.5% to 144.96 during European trading hours.
  • Rules: India's IT firms are accepting tougher contract terms to win large deals from clients as they compete for fewer orders in an uncertain global economy. The $245 billion sector, which gained immensely from the pandemic-induced boom in digital services, has struggled in recent quarters.


The English classic, A Christmas Carol, became one of the outstanding Christmas stories of modern literature. When was it published?

Answer: Authored by Charles Dickens, it was originally published on December 19, 1843.


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